Saturday, June 03, 2006
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO RIPPED ME OFF!
I thought I'd provide a testimonial regarding my experiences with an online bookseller named bookstation.net.
In my opinion, they are a fraud.
If you look at their textbook prices, they seem to have AMAZING prices, about 50% of what you can get from Amazon used sellers or just about anything else on the web. So how do they do it? Well, here is their apparent scam.
I ordered two books from these people. Both technical textbooks, US street value about $150 (Microwave Engineering by Pozar and Signals and Systems by Oppenheim for those who need the deets. I know who you are). For these two books, "BS.net" was selling them for a total of $75 for BOTH. Not bad, since textbooks are waaaay overpriced anyways.
I ordered the books, and received the confirmation mail (twice, actually - they screwed up the order by perhaps trying to bill me twice, but after a quick and responsive email exchange, they cancelled the redundant order). I waited for the 2-week ship time, and as expected, a package arrived. It had a return address from Kolkata (aka Calcutta) India!
NOWHERE on the web site, to the best of my knowledge - perhaps it is very obscurely buried somehwere - NOWHERE do they declare they are based in India. Which is fine, but it would have been nice to know. I opened up the package, and it is indeed one of the two books I ordered, but unexpectedly, it was the foreign Indian-market version, and not the US version, with the price magic markered away. It's a paperback, and it has the very very inexpensive and fragile thin paper that you can see through. No sign of the second book, however. I talked to a friend of mine who graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, and he said that I paid way way way too much for that copy of the book, and that this is not an uncommon scam these days.
I waited a few days for the second book, but nothing arrived. I sent them multiple queries and email, NOTHING. It wasn't until I started a complaint process with PayPal before I got any response - they claimed there was an error, and they would ship the second book or if I desired, they would credit me for the book. I asked for the credit. No response. More queries, nothing.
So the deal with PayPal is they do not track this kind of apparent fraud (they would if there were no shipment, but in the case of a partial shipment of an apparently misrepresented item) not so. Even if they were to track fraud, it has to be done within 90 days, and unfortunately, because I trusted bookstation's lying asses, it exceeded the 90 days. ARGH.
In my opinion, bookstation.net is fraudulent. I believe they are: crooks.
It turns out that at the time, they had a link to bizrate.com. Geniuses! I go to the site, and noticed that there were maybe half a dozen of more reviews of bookstation that were all 1 or zero stars out of 5. I was, apparently, not the only person burned by these lying motherfuckers. So I posted my experiences with them and my description of their apparent business model, and gave them the lowest possible rating.
A week or two later, I noticed that bookstation.net (aka the people who seem to have RIPPED ME OFF) were no longer linking to this consumer review site. Heck, if I were a lying, piece of crap swindler, I sure wouldn't link to a site where people could post their experiences.
So, I got burned. I went for the cheap price and ended up paying, essentially, full price for the super low-cost version of a book that I could have bought new with much better quality and longevity in the states for the same price.
You have been warned.