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Thread: Official Value Electronics Pre-Order Scam Thread

  1. #1
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    May 2004
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    Official Value Electronics Pre-Order Scam Thread

    This thread started at the TivoCommunity Forums, however the moderators there brutally censored our viewpoints and factual information so it has been moved over here instead. Here are the FACTS of the matter:

    1. Value Electronics took several thousand pre-orders for the HD Tivo, pocketed $100 from each customer, and failed to deliver said pre-orders on time.

    2. Value Electronics obtained 350 extra pre-orders under false pretenses, by telling them they were within the first 350 orders even though they were well beyond #350.

    3. Value Electronics continues to refuse refunds to customers who want their $100 deposit back. They claim that this was because of an agreement with Direct but they are happy to give you $100 in VE funny money store credit instead, which gives you approximately $25 in real US Dollar buying power when you take their inflated prices into account.

    4. The TivoCommunity Forum moderators, such as unixadm and Mike Lang and Dan203, censor most viewpoints that are critical of VE or of the way the pre-order process has been handled. They do this by silently deleting posts and banning users who express dissent.

    5. Several customers have filed credit card disputes and complained to various government agencies about the dishonest way this is being handled. Many consumer fraud investigations are pending and some of them are looking into the TC staff.

    6. Several dozen so-called "fanboys" have consistently enabled the con game to continue by making false claims on TCF about the trustworthiness of the VE enterprise.

    You can safely link to this thread from TCF using the following address:

    http://www.shorl.com/gudranuprifrohe

    Please post your own VE experiences and opinions here where they will not be censored. Thank you very much for your participation and good luck getting your money back.
    -Dave Swallow
    http://www.stopaidsalliance.org/

  2. #2
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    Here is the latest "confidential" BS that Robert has sent out, asking everyone to wait just a few more weeks instead of buying from a reputable merchant like best buy

    Quote Originally Posted by DTV TiVo Dealer
    S T R I C T L Y C O N F I D E N T I A L



    The repeated delays and extremely limited availability of the HR10-250 is like a wild rollercoaster ride for all of us. We had secured significant inventory to fill every order in a very fast delivery schedule. Unfortunately, manufacturing delays and the limited production has put pressure on DIRECTV to divert inventory to other dealers before completing our orders. This will hopefully give you more insight on your, my company?s and my own position.

    We will continue to receive small shipments from the normal distributors? inventory weekly or bi-weekly plus our larger DIRECTV allocations of 210 HR10-250s will begin again by the end of next week or no later than the beginning of the week of June 7th. Another large DIRECTV allocation of 210 HR10-250s are on schedule to be shipped the week of June 14th. We have 450 scheduled for the last week of June and enough allocated in July to fill every remaining order. I am very sorry we could not get enough HR10-250s to deliver everyone's pre-order faster, but we are proud to be the leader on the forefront of this tremendous product. We are in the home stretch now. You are in the shipment scheduled for the last week in June.

    I have included the credit card authorization form you will need to complete if you haven?t already done so or now want to update the credit card we have on file for you or your shipping method.

    The HD DVR is an incredible product. Personally, I love it and get a thrill when enjoying award winning video/audio presented on the latest HD/DD equipment. I have always enjoyed science and art and experiencing the highest level of quality art and science elevates us to a new quality of life, rich in enhancing graphics and audio that enhances the images. I have a passion for this business and will continue my life career in this emerging advanced technology.

    I enjoy the distinction of fostering the top 3 largest TC threads, delivering a large volume of DIRECTV DVR?s and now the HD-DVR. I look forward to maintaining my superior relationships with the development, QC, product management, and marketing management and to be a voice for our requirements to help push change to rapidly grow our technology with the highest quality standards we all demand. I also look forward to even more forward looking useful threads that continue our tradition and mission of enhancing communication among our members about their mutual interests.
    After all, isn't that what we are all here for? Being on the bleeding edge can sometimes be a double-edged sword, but more advanced technology, powerful, multiple purpose appliances and functionality all running together and faster is enhancing our quality of life.

    We extend special discount pricing, exclusively to the avs/TC forum membership. These promotions add many technology-minded folks as new members to the forums. One new member who joined after finding my site doing a Google search became one of my most active critics.

    I actually appreciate some criticism because I?m convinced it has made ValueElectronics a better company. I remember when one terrific and very technical member contacted me with a technical error on my site. I thanked him and a rash of expert members who then jumped in and did a thorough critique of my site which benefited us enormously.

    Now to the current issues: To get a deposit refund, I have asked for proof of purchase because that is the deal we agreed on when you chose to put down a voluntary deposit to secure the product with an equal discount. We entered into a unique and different sales transaction that was simple and very easy to understand and clearly disclosed. No one can say they did not know about the cancellation and deposit refund policy as it was your choice to put down no deposit, 25., 50., 75. or 100. dollars. Here are more reasons why I am requesting your receipt and s/n.

    Sending me your receipt with the s/n is our assurance that you actually have received this extremely difficult product to acquire. Many dealers have thought they would receive inventory that did not materialize. I do not want to give refunds where my customers actually do not receive the other HR10-250 order. This example has actually happened many times.

    The receipts and s/n are my proof to the suppliers that what they did was take my customers and move them to other dealers to accomplish their agenda and not yours or ours.
    -Dave Swallow
    http://www.stopaidsalliance.org/

  3. #3
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    continued from the last post

    Quote Originally Posted by DTV TiVo Dealer
    When I do business I hold all vendors in the supply chain responsible to the high standards we need to ensure our successful delivery. I hold the manufacturer, distributor, the trucking company, shipping clerk, the UPS or Fed Ex delivery carrier and the programming provider responsible to us. That?s why you see me involved in calling all of the vendors our behalf.

    Most importantly, I have taken the role of torchbearer of our needs, usually officially, but sometimes behind the scenes between HNS and DIRECTV. I will continue as a mouthpiece for our group.

    We stayed the course on a very thin line of integrity and took our responsibilities very seriously. I did not cut the line for any customer. Not for friends or relatives, not even for the many legitimate offers of between two to five thousand dollars. And not to the hundreds of new DIRECTV activation customers who, when faced with cancellation by a competitors recent availability, I chose to send them to my competitor and give them a deposit refund.

    We gave special pre-order discounts, reducing our bottom line by many thousands of dollars of potential profit. We provided surprise gifts with your purchase. Yes, I ask you to consider applying your deposit refund towards a deeply discounted accessory; hopefully this makes sense to you as well if you are interested in any of the items we offer if you choose to get your HR10-250 earlier than we will deliver.

    An even better idea is to keep your order with me so I can deliver your HR10-250, sell you the accessories you will enjoy and continue to give you superior support and value with your home theater system. You HR10-250 delivered by ValueElectronics will also demonstrate to DIRECTV the value of loyalty and solidarity. Your support gives me teeth so when I talk to DIRECTV they see my teeth.

    I love the culture of the avs/TC forum and believe it or not it makes doing my hard work extremely rewarding. Thank you all for our relationships.

    Regards,

    Robert Zohn
    Tel: 800-789-5050
    www.valueelectronics.com
    108 Garth Road
    Scarsdale, NY 10583
    -Dave Swallow
    http://www.stopaidsalliance.org/

  4. #4
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    Feb 2002
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    6,414
    I can't vouch for anything regarding the HDTivo mess but I have dealt with Robert Zohn at VE in the past and never had a problem with him or his company. HDTivos are scarce and it's apparent that the factory isn't getting them to the distributors as quickly as everyone would like, but this isn't anything we haven't seen before, right? For whatever reason it appears that the HDTivo isn't going to meet the demand for quite some time so the only advice I can offer is to be patient. Personally, I'd prefer to sit back and let the dust settle before getting my HDTivo (although it would help if I actually had a HD monitor and receiver first).
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dswaIIow
    Value Electronics continues to refuse refunds to customers who want their $100 deposit back. They claim that this was because of an agreement with Direct but they are happy to give you $100 in VE funny money store credit instead, which gives you approximately $25 in real US Dollar buying power when you take their inflated prices into account.
    Hmm...I smell class action.
    Before PMing me: Iím not your personal tech support. If you have a question, ask in public so I don't have to repeat if somebody else asks. If you want images or slices, use emule. I will ignore all support PMs.

    Sponsor a vegetarian! I have taken the pledge, how about you?

  6. #6
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    Nov 2002
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    I had no problem receiving my $100 refund after I faxed my invoice from circuit city. You didn't make a distinction in your original post if you:

    1) Already received a unit from some other source and unable to get your refund
    2) Trying to get a refund even though you haven't found a unit

    If it's 2, then IMO it's your own fault. The original terms were he'd refund only if you could find it somewhere else first. I know you'll prob call me a "FanBoy", but this is the first and only time I've ordered from Robert, so take it for what it's worth.

    Gill

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gill
    I had no problem receiving my $100 refund after I faxed my invoice from circuit city. You didn't make a distinction in your original post if you:

    1) Already received a unit from some other source and unable to get your refund
    2) Trying to get a refund even though you haven't found a unit

    If it's 2, then IMO it's your own fault. The original terms were he'd refund only if you could find it somewhere else first. I know you'll prob call me a "FanBoy", but this is the first and only time I've ordered from Robert, so take it for what it's worth.

    Gill
    The BIG problem i have with VE is the way he changed the rules as the problem lingered. Under no circumstances should a serial # ever be required period. He "says" this is a dtv requirement to allow him out of his "commitment" yet he didnt require serial #'s early on and he still doesnt require a serial if you use your deposit as a store credit. If you want to cancel no problem, give me your serial number, your receipt, your first born but if you let me keep the deposit and use it as a store credit ill waive all of that stuff even tho it IS a DTV requirement. pffft, is he a scammer? that may be too harsh but he's certainly not a good upstanding retailer either imo.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2001
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    why should you be required to prove you bought somewhere else? the original terms also talked about being the first on the block and such, and that shipments would be before anyone else...so its pretty clear that agreement is moot at this point. there really should be no messing around with VE funny money at this point, except giving out $200 in funny money rather than $100 cash back....cause robert would still come out ahead in that case

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill
    I had no problem receiving my $100 refund after I faxed my invoice from circuit city. You didn't make a distinction in your original post if you:

    1) Already received a unit from some other source and unable to get your refund
    2) Trying to get a refund even though you haven't found a unit

    If it's 2, then IMO it's your own fault. The original terms were he'd refund only if you could find it somewhere else first. I know you'll prob call me a "FanBoy", but this is the first and only time I've ordered from Robert, so take it for what it's worth.

    Gill
    Step one: search button!
    Silly Wabbit, guides are for kids

  9. #9
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    Weez, you may have a point there. When I requested my refund, they never mentioned the serial number requirement, although I do know several others reported that issue. I have to agree that is a little fishy.

    The fact is these things are still pretty hard to come by. People complaining about their deposit that aren't able to go out and buy it somewhere else just seems silly. Yes, he took way too many pre-orders, but nobody twisted anybody's arm when they agreed to the original refund agreement.

    Also as far as the 'first on the block' statement. I'm pretty sure they were the first to get in a decent sized shipment (if I'm wrong, I appologize).

    Gill

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gill

    The fact is these things are still pretty hard to come by. People complaining about their deposit that aren't able to go out and buy it somewhere else just seems silly. Yes, he took way too many pre-orders, but nobody twisted anybody's arm when they agreed to the original refund agreement.
    This has been beaten to death on another board but yes you are correct nobody twisted anyone's arm totally agreed. But he also said he would only accept 350 pre-orders and we now know he accepted something like 1,500. There was a reasonable expectation we would receive ours first from VE but where does that expectation end? 400? 500? 600? possibly by the way he talked....."were getting the first 2 shipments, 450 in each.........they shorted us in our initial shipments sorry we didnt get 450 but you will still be first to deliver your units........ok we wont be the first to deliver the unts above 350 but please keep your order with us, it will only be another week.........

    Don't get me wrong, i KNOW this isnt VE's fault He doesnt control DTV distribution. BUT the terms as i see it in his initial agreement apply to the first 350 and there are a huge number of individuals how thought they were in the first 350 and turns out they weren't. These are the guys that are getting the shaft so to speak.

    Also as far as the 'first on the block' statement. I'm pretty sure they were the first to get in a decent sized shipment (if I'm wrong, I appologize).
    No apology needed you are correct, he did deliver first, he just did to a much smaller group then he led us to believe.

  11. #11
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    May 2004
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    Value Electronics is back to their old slimey ways!! Will this guy ever learn business ethics?

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...hreadid=211137

    1) Early adopter orders the new top of the line model
    2) Value electronics ships a cheap knockoff instead
    3) Customer complains and they try to convince him to keep the wrong unit for the same high price
    4) Customer is sodomized
    5) Profit!!

    Oh well I guess the scarsdale process server will get a nice christmas bonus
    -Dave Swallow
    http://www.stopaidsalliance.org/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dswaIIow
    Value Electronics is back to their old slimey ways!! Will this guy ever learn business ethics?

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...hreadid=211137

    1) Early adopter orders the new top of the line model
    2) Value electronics ships a cheap knockoff instead
    3) Customer complains and they try to convince him to keep the wrong unit for the same high price
    4) Customer is sodomized
    5) Profit!!

    Oh well I guess the scarsdale process server will get a nice christmas bonus
    Have you ever run a business, Doug?

    Have you ever come in to work every day, rain or shine, healthy or sick, weekday or weekend, 14 hours a day, from Thanksgiving til Christmas, knowing that every time you pick up the phone there's a screaming whiny a-hole on the other end who wants you to do him a favor?

    If you don't like the way we treat you, go back to best buy. I don't want to hear your complaining anyway, honest. Don't let the door hit yo in the ash on the way out.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by VE Wendy
    Have you ever run a business, Doug?

    Have you ever come in to work every day, rain or shine, healthy or sick, weekday or weekend, 14 hours a day, from Thanksgiving til Christmas, knowing that every time you pick up the phone there's a screaming whiny a-hole on the other end who wants you to do him a favor?

    If you don't like the way we treat you, go back to best buy. I don't want to hear your complaining anyway, honest. Don't let the door hit yo in the ash on the way out.
    dswaIIow is alterting folks to shady business practices, and your reply has exactly nothing to do with that

    this is a hobbyist hacking site, not a social club like tcf. if you don't have anything to contribute one of the friendly mods will be happy to show you the door


    *if you don't like your customers or their $$$ enough to provide a decent service you really should go back to flipping burgers

  14. #14
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    Apr 2002
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    Riley--VE told OP they'd swap out the receiver if he wants. I think many (most) of us would rather NOT get the R-10.

    Not every mistake is an example of a shoddy business practice.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2002
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    didn't say it was, but "change the subject and attack the whistleblower" replies are exactly the sort of thing you see from scammers


    bringing a warning about a retailer here is fine, signing up just to flame isn't

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