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Approach with Caution: Italianbikesusa.com (Long)(11 posts)

Approach with Caution: Italianbikesusa.com (Long)rengaracchi
Jun 24, 2002 8:47 AM
I hope what I experienced with Italianbikesusa.com was a true exception, but I have to share this with people in this forum because I want you to be prepared for what you may have to face if you want to buy a bike from them.

I ordered a Pinarello Prince ("Tribute to Green", a beautiful $4,000 bike) through Jim who runs Italianbikesusa.com. I learned that he has a supplier in England who handles all orders he gets. The prices Jim has on his page are very competitive, and I thought his business model was interesting. To his benefit, I have to say that he had been helpful, and we even had a good chat over the phone. I thought that I made a great purchase until I realized that there was something strange going on.

The problem was that they (Jim and his supplier) fabricated stories and continuously led me to believe their fallacy claims. The shipment of my bike was delayed, which is I think a common story for an exotic Italian frame like Pinarello. I understood that, but what followed I couldn't tolerate.

First, they blame the pedals on the delay. I ordered a pair of Look CX-7, and they said that when the bike arrived at Japan, the Japanese customs found faults in them (in fact, they claimed that there was a recall on CX-7) and didn't allow the bike to go through. They suggested that they swap the pedals to Campy Pro-fit, then everything would be OK. This was a very strange and difficult-to-believe story.

I contacted Look and sure enough found out that there was no such recall on CX-7. I also contacted the Japanese customs office and found out that they do not check on recalls for there are too many things going through the customs, and it is simply impossible for them to check everything. That is, the recall story they told me on CX-7 was a complete fabrication.

The customs office also told me that if they receive merchandise and put it on hold for whatever reason, they always contact the receiver and notify it. They don't send it back to the original sender without receiver's consent, either. This inadvertently revealed another fabrication they made. According to the story I was given, the bike got here in Japan, but it would take a bit longer to be delivered due to the recall on the pedals. But the fact is that the bike had never been in here. If it had been, I would have been notified by the customs. But the notification had never come. This also explains why they didn't tell me where in Japan the bike arrived at even though I asked about it repeatedly. They simply couldn't.

I had to cancel the order and demanded immediate and full refund. I keep my fingers crossed for this, but I guess a time-tested old lesson is applicable here: you make mistakes, but what counts the most is what you do about them. Making up stories and try to get away from them won't help anyone and ultimately hurts you the most.

Honestly speaking, I think Jim was caught inbetween and couldn't do much at all. But the least what he could have done was to tell me the truth. If he had done so, I could have waited for the bike. I still love it and wish I could get one.
Did you get your money back hassle free? (nm)Paul
Jun 24, 2002 10:04 AM
I'm waiting.rengaracchi
Jun 24, 2002 3:30 PM
I called my credit card company, and they said that it takes seven to ten business days for refund to be completed if everything goes well and smoothly. Wish me luck!
I'm waiting.zeke
Jun 25, 2002 2:14 AM
Sensei,
what do they mean "if everything goes well and smoothly"? that means there is a possibility you wont be credited?

Please explain.
I'm waiting,rengaracchi
Jun 25, 2002 5:28 AM
I've got a mail from Jim, and he said that his supplier was willing to refund in full. So I think I am safe on that part. But who knows?
re: Approach with Caution: Italianbikesusa.com (Long)OOF
Jun 24, 2002 4:16 PM
You in Japan.

There was a product recall on LOOK ERGOPOST 3 seatpost, because I had one and it was recalled. When I telephoned LOOK to confirm it they denied it, but my LBS told me I had to send it back.

There was a product recall on the ERGOPST 2 as I recall it.

LOOK will never admit there is a prodcut recall, just as Campy never admit that there is a problem on the Carbon Cranks. All campy Carbon Cranks were recalled because they alway broke, but when you phoned Campy they never admitted there was ever a produt recall, and ever a problem with Campy Carbon Cranks. They say "Not Commercially Available Yet" meaning they broke.

These guy do you a favor.

To ask LOOK and Campy for problem you is fools

follow this ;

http://www.campyonly.com/rumors.html
The problem is not that.rengaracchi
Jun 24, 2002 11:56 PM
OOF,

I knew that there was a recall on LOOK carbon seatpost. They post that in their homepage. (That's a welcome progress!) But I didn't see CX-7 in there.

Actually, the heart of the problem is that the Japanese customs office does not inspect every component of a bike. In fact, they don't care or cannot know whether there is a recall on a particular component or not. I confirmed this with an officer in the customs office. So, it was dishonesty of Jim to say that the bike deliverly was delayed because the customs office held my bike due to the pedal recall. It was doubly dishonest: 1, there wasn't any recall, and 2, the customs office doesn't do what he told me it does. Even if there was a recall which we don't know of, the problem 2 still persists.
If a deal is too good to be true, then it probably is...spyderman
Jun 25, 2002 12:00 AM
Buyer beware... Salespeople lie!!!

Don't hold Jim harmless, he was the one who set the terms...
If a deal is too good to be true, then it probably is...zeke
Jun 25, 2002 2:19 AM
Unfortunately we must be wary of what sales people tell us. When they speak they may have profit as their motive. It is up to us to determine if that is so (caveat emptor). However, this is difficult since salespeople have much experience in dealing with the public and know what to say and what not to say. In relation to bikes, we may buy a few in a lifetime, but the salesperson sells many in a short period of time, and he/she can use this experience to dupe the public. On the other hand he/she can use the same experience to benefit the public.

Just be careful, and in general if it seems too good to be true, then it is. (certainty is normative, not absolute).
CREDIT CARD FRAUDOOF
Jun 25, 2002 4:52 PM
SENSEI

As someone working in retail trade I noticed important aspect of shipping to Asia and Eastern Europe. When customer ask for BIG TICKET ITEM to be shipped to their countries in very short time as possible, they almost always using a Stolen Credit Card or for that matter someone else credit card.

VISA and MasterCard tell us that ONE SURE SIGN of CREDIT CARD FRAUD is customer who ask for item to be shipped in just a few days, for BIG TICKET ITEM.

I can't help thinking why someone on this forum with millions of viewer would want to take your money and not ship bike you. Obviously, on side caution they deliberately wait long shipping time so make sure you no use stolen credit card. Why you no be patient ? No be so greedy. I once by bike in Europe he say 3 days, it arrive in 4 week. Keep cool man be patient man.

SENSEI you mention you look look website http://www.lookcycle.com/english/index_english_std.htm

Here you say you see LOOK seatpost recall, I no find.

Any Company never tell you they recall prodcut, this damage there image. They always tell lie. Campy lie also.

I think sensei you no patient, you be patient.
CREDIT CARD FRAUDrengaracchi
Jun 26, 2002 5:28 AM
OOF

For recall info, try this page.

http://www.lookcyclesusa.com/recall.htm

I guess they had to do it because regulations are much tighter in the US than Europe or Japan.

Now, about the credit card fraud, I don't know what to say, really. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that stores do make Asian and East European customers deliberately wait to clear their doubts about possible fraudulent use of credit cards. Even assuming this to be the case, what happened to me wouldn't fit. I never made Jim hurry up for anything. Several weeks had passed before I decided to place my order since I first contacted him. I carefully studied. We had several discussions over e-mail and phones about fit and geometry of the Prince. We both knew that we are regular participants of this board. Once I decided to purchase the bike, all business transactions went smoothly without any gritches and delays. I had been very honest to them.

Only point I've made, and I had been very consistent about this, was that their explanations for delay contradicted with facts that I gathered and didn't make sense. The sources of my information, such as officers in the Japanese customs office and ParcelForce WorldWide in England, are reasonably trustworthy. I can say so with stronger than usual confidence because they have no interests in my case. Why do they have to tell a lie to me when they don't get anything out of this?

I already stated in my previous posts that I understand that for exotic bikes like Pinarello, delay is almost expected. I have a brother who deals with an Italian furniture manufacturer, and he always complains about the same point: they have excellent furniture craftsmen, but they cannot deliver pieces on time.

OOF, why didn't tell me at which customs office in Japan the bike was held? Why didn't tell me whether the bike was shipped or not? Why didn't they clarify CX-7 recall business? Why didn't tell me all about these even after I pointed out that they contradict themselves? I think any person with a reasonable mind would start worrying. And so did I.

The bottom line is this: If they had given me straightforward and clear answers, I would have waited. They failed to do so, and that is not tolerable business practice to my standard. Now, you made me worry about whether I can get my money back.