This is a blog to write about my disappointment over an Internet trade with a so-called UK company. I found this website purely through a random search on the Internet – there was a link from cc.cc (which looks legitimate) to their website at www.phones4divas.cc.cc.

They are selling 32GB iPhone 3GS for USD2500 (including internet shipping). It does looks tempting!

On 4th of January 2010, I sent a mail to phones4divasltd@yahoo.com requesting to buy 1 unit of iPhone 3GS and also ask for the company’s credibility proof. The total cost is USD250. I included my address in the mail.

They replied shortly with confirmation and said they shall package and label it for shipment. Below are some of the tracking numbers they have made to date. They are showing me that (as a proof). You may check yourself.

  • 1ZA03R690398506921
  • 1Z2X1R010401310342
  • 1ZA572V66770971430
  • 1Z203Y18A845372907
  • 1ZE5T7370390313821

Funny thing is that, most of the pick up locations are located in the US but in fact their company is situated in the UK. Catch my first point of disbelieve… Second point is that they requested me to use western union to do the money transfer rather than the well known paypal or credit card transfer (even though I insisted). I thought western union not safe? They asked me to transfer the money to a guy called:

Name: David Leigh
Address : 5 Eldon Place,
City: Bradford,
State: West Yorkshire,
Country: United Kingdom,
Postal Code: BD1 3AU

To be safe, I have requested for a copy of this resident permit [Link]. They mailed it to me. It looks genuine though. I can’t detect any fakery though.

On 5th January 2010, I have decided to take this risk to pay for it. It costs me USD250 + USD29 (charges) to do the transfer. That equates to RM990 for me. So I replied them with the MCTN# and asked them to keep me informed of the shipment. I wait, wait and wait for a day without any response from them.

On 6th January 2010, they replied me suddenly early in the morning. I thought they are sleeping?!??!?! Ok, fine. Their reply as follow.

Thanks,

Presently there was a delay on the shipment of packages to international buyers. This has affect many of our customers this week, and Ups courier had claimed the reason to increase the handling and shipment fee for international shipments.*(TAX, HANDLING AND DELIVERY FEE)*

Our Company Manager had called all sales staff to board meeting to notify us that, all international buyers must be on MOQ (minimum order quantity) which must be 5units or more.

Courier companies do charge very much Up to *80GBP* on each goods this New Year seasons to ship internationally.Therefore to make deals very easy for our recent customers. Our company had offer buy 5 get 1 free. This means if you could buy 4 more we would ship 6units to your doorstep.

Only 3buyers from Malaysia had done this to make goods transaction. Please we do hope you understand and at the same time we want to offer you best transaction by offering you 1 free Apple iPhone 8GB.If only you could buy 4 more.

Charges are very much, we are only doing this so that our international customers will not have any problem of handling and delivery of goods to thier doorstep . Tax, handling and delivery fee said by UPS are now high in prices (International shipment). And we are very happy to deal with you as we propose to you, *BUY 5UNITS GET 1 FREE*. For more transaction please do understand that we will be selling 5units minimum.

My first thought was that, what the heck, what’s this about?!?!?! I only ordered 1 but you want me to take 4 more!!!! It does sounds tempting when they say they are offering one more unit as compensation. But I replied and told them that I feel that the trade is a SCAM. I gave them a few options.

  • You can “Western Union” back the money back to me (current amount – charges)
  • Or you send me a 16GB instead of a 32GB iPhone just to offset the shipping cost.
  • Or you let me know the additional charges needed for you to ship the item, not too much.

I started chatting with them a lot and below are the summaries I can derive.

  • They are using UPS.
  • The package has already been shipped. Oh “shipped” to me means the item has left their hand and on the way to me.
  • They can’t cancel or hold the order. Oh well, I’m UPS user myself and I know it is doable. However, if the package is already shipped, it does  cost something to cancel.
  • They refused to give me a tracking number by saying that I must make the payment first. That’s joke… What can I do with the tracking number other than looking at where the package is… Oh fine, I said.
  • They really drives me nuts! Now they are forcing me to pay without my consent.

Oh, they are really good at using words to persuade me.

  • They said they are registered company.
  • I can call their number +447024063805 any time to inquire.
  • I’m not alone in this kind of trade (yeah, get cheated huh?).

Alas, I insisted to look at the tracking number before I will make any payment.

The matter dragged.

On 9th January 2010, they finally replied. They somehow scanned the UPS label (with the tracking number on it) and mailed it to me. [Link]

So I pulled up my browser and fire away with the tracking number. To my surprise, the status shown was “Billing Information Received”. The point here is that they mentioned that they have already shipped the item, so why does the status still shows that?! So I quickly do a search on “Billing Information Received” and found that it is actually some kind of a new shipping request. The real item has not been picked up! I called UPS UK and confirmed that the pick up location should be US instead of UK. Oh why? You are just creating a bogus shipping request at UPS US website? Oh, I’m very upset. Now I’m suspicious to the MAX!

The matter dragged again with few emails going on.

On 11th January 2010, again I requested to…

  • Cancel the order, refund the amount of money I transferred to you (or I will start to blog about my bad experience)
  • Delay the shipment of 1 unit until shipping charges finally dropped to normal (I can wait, I only want one unit in this case)

If they want me to pay now, they have to convince me to do so!

So the guy (David) whom I transferred money to, got impatient (drama?). He changed his reply now by saying that the shipment has been scheduled for pick up only… I need to make full payment before he can release the shipment.

Erm, now I feel stupid. So many evidences and yet I’m still asking for more…

The next thing I know is we got into serious chatting and sometimes on the phone. He even added me in Yahoo (durexcares@yahoo.com) Oh he does sound sympathetic. I actually asked for a lot of things. Below are the summaries.

  • He is not native after all. He doesn’t has the local accent. His English is unbearable.
  • I understood from him that the shipment actually work this way <Phones4divas> <-> <shipping agent> <-> <UPS>. Err, I wonder why do they need to use a shipping agent? UPS doesn’t provide a pick up service?
  • He has a female boss called Sheena. His father is his real boss.
  • I requested to speak to his bossess as well but never he is willing to let me talk to them.
  • So I requested to call the shipping agent. That person’s name is Haul Tristan. He is not local neither. I think the same kind. His English is unbearable too. I tried many times to reach that guy through the number 07024083577 to no avail. He asked me to keep trying also. Never in my life I try calling the same person so many times!
  • After a while, he told me to call Haul Tristan on 07035972788. So I made the call and requested to take a look at the package since David said he has it with him. To summarise I think he just pretended that he will never take a picture or any kind to prove that the shipment is genuine. He just verbally assure me that I should trust him that my name is on the list. Barker!
  • Ok fine, whatever Haul Tristan said… David told me that he came to his office and offered a picture of my package [Link]. You know I’d rather he doesn’t show me that! I’m not idiot enough to believe this kind of picture… Oh well, if you are geek yourself, you should notice that the picture is not right. Look for yourself.
  • Double UPS logo
  • Why only top view but not from the sides?
  • The picture looks heavily modified with Photoshop or similar tool
  • My address and his are very SHARP. Aren’t the text suppose to look blur on the picture since everything on the picture is rather blur?

Duh!

The matter, again dragged…

Let’s jump to the last bit. On 12th January 2010, due to the fact nothing much can be trusted… The last bit of information I requested him to scan or show me his company registration document.

Oh btw, I must say that he has been very emotional. He even called me during his late night (3am) to BEG me. He even said that he might loose his job because of this.

He somehow refused to do so… However, he asked me to check his company incorporation at www.checksure.biz and the company registration number 05759573.

Ok guys, do check carefully when you look at the website provided. You will not see much information there. The company was incorporated in year 2006, with the same mailing address as advertised on their website…

I did an extra search, www.companieshouse.gov.uk, it actually shows more information!

Status: Dissolved 20/11/2007
Date of Incorporation: 28/03/2006
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Now I’m shocked! So I did another search for more UK company check websites and all of them showing me the same fact – company dissolved in 2007! I can’t help myself now… Let’s ignore all the emotional bits he portrayed in the chat. So told I him the following final bits.

  • you can either return me initial money
  • or i will pay you the remainig 4 units once i received them

He said, in reply.

Sheena: You really disappointed me
and would you expect us to call back the package and refund your payment
after paying the shipping agents and all other fees
me: yeah, as far as i know you can always void a shipment with UPS
im not sure for your shipping agent
Sheena: You can’t even expect me to allow the package to deliver because I dont wanna loose my jOB
I\m very sorry i shall call back the package and no refund shall be made
me: please i think we are taking things too personally already
Sheena: Thanks for your time and thanks for disappointing me
Thanks
Have a Nice day
BYE
me: well if no refund will be made, im gonna blog about this on the internet
Sheena: well sir, we are a reputable organizations
all our customers knows us
we are not scammers
me: i dont know whether you are reputable… i just know that im somehow asked to accept extra 4 units
Sheena: so if you dont believe us, Our long time customers will believe us and they shall not believe you
thanks
Have a niceday
You can call me when you change your mind
me: well my experience counts when people look at it…
Sheena: You can call me when you change your mind
Bye

So there goes my money! If they are a reputable company, they should have at least respect customer’s right. They should always make refund for whatever reason!

phones4divas is a SCAM! Beware guys!

Email addresses used by them:

Persons (or maybe just one, they are sharing a single email & IM account) I dealt with:

  • Sheena Powell (CEO/representative)
  • David Leigh (Accountant)
  • Haul Tristan (Shipping Agent)

Related websites:

Their address:

5 Eldon Place, Bradford,West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, BD1 3AU

Contact: +447024063805

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