The TVboxset.com scam

This story from this morning’s Gazette is hilarious. Apparently customers are complaining that they’re being ripped off by Montreal-based TVboxset.com, which has been promising them great deals on DVDs of TV shows, and then never delivering them.

What’s interesting is that those who do get the DVDs delivered quickly find out that they’re low-quality pirated versions recorded straight off of cable (they even have the network logos in the corner).

A quick scan online shows plenty of other people with similar complaints. In some of them, a representative of the company responds with a form letter about “misplaced orders”, but never answers the charges of blatant pirating.

The article quotes him as saying they “buy bulk and resell”, and that they don’t verify stock before they send it out. As if any idiot couldn’t spot such obvious fakes from a hundred feet away.

Garcia Media Group, which owns the website, isn’t under investigation by the Quebec consumer protection bureau, because apparently nobody’s complained to them yet (isn’t bureaucracy wonderful?), the Better Business Bureau can’t do anything because the company isn’t a member, and the police won’t say whether they’re investigating. Only Canada Post is looking into the matter.

Hopefully, unless the claims that this is all a smear campaign from a competitor are true (right, sure), this company will be quickly shut down and its owners prosecuted before they scam more people.

UPDATE (Oct. 7): Slashdot has a story on the lack of action in this case.

20 thoughts on “The TVboxset.com scam

  1. swan_pr

    hahaha! this is what they say:

    Satisfaction Guarantee

    If you are unsatisfied with your purchase (although we have never had this happen), we will happily replace or refund your purchase.

    and they bill in us funds. cute.

    Reply
  2. RB3

    These folks may *claim* that they are victims of a smear campaign by competitors, but they aren’t. I am not a competitor, and I have the poor quality, pirated TV series that they sold me.

    These people have not been shut down, and they need to be. I also believe their leaders should spend some time in prison. I am willing to work with anyone dedicated to that outcome. Any low enforcement folks looking into these scum should find and contact me…

    Reply
  3. george rigmand

    I do not consider myself to be a stupid person – and I am not a competitor – but I ordered a DVD set from this company. I used a famous search engine and up popped TVBOXSET.COM. I entered the website and found it to be an impressively constructed professional site – so I ordered. I received a confirmation email with a schedule of when I should receive my DVD’s – when this period passed I became suspicious and emailed and emailed and emailed – without reply! I have also contacted my credit card company to advise them.
    I can only advise others from my personal experience to beware!
    If indeed this is a con I cannot understand how they are not shut down and prosecuted.

    Reply
  4. P.R.

    They probably have no complaints against them with the Quebec Consumer Protection Bureau, because under Quebec law, any contract not signed in person (i.e. internet purchases, phone purchases…) is deemed to have been signed in the purchaser’s location. So if you don’t live in Quebec, you can’t file a complaint with the Quebec Consumer Protection Bureau.

    However, you CAN file a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in the USA, if you were conned by a website.

    After being dicked around by the fraudsters at tvboxset.com since July 25th, I Googled them, found the Montreal Gazette article, contacted the Quebec Consumer Protection Bureau (who told me about the Quebec law on contracts), and filed a complaint with the FTC. I provided them with the contact information for Stephen Simmons (at Greenspoon & Perrault), who is the company’s lawyer. I figure they’ll have better luck contacting him, than contacting Garcia Media at its post office box (fraudulently given as a Suite in its address), or through the 800-number given in the Montreal Gazette article (which just leads to an answering machine).

    I’ve also contacted VISA, to request a refund, and it might be worthwhile to contact the Surete du Quebec, as well.

    Finally, I sent an e-mail to Mike King, the Gazette reporter who wrote the article, telling him of my similar experience, and inviting him to get in touch with me, if he does a follow-up article. Wouldn’t it be interesting if all the other victims of this scam got their chance to contribute to a newspaper article exposing these bastards?

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  5. stephen

    Well apparently I am not the only one who got taken by this company. I placed an order for a tv series box set on August 1st and I still have not received anything. And of course my numerous e-mails and phone calls have not been responded to. I called Stephen Simmons (the companyy’s lawyer?) and he said he does not represent them.

    Is there anything we can do? Is it even worth going to the FTC on? What is everyone else doing??

    Reply
  6. P.R.

    Besides complaining to the FTC, you should file a complaint with the RCMP’s online crime unit (www.recol.ca). The form is detailed, but once you’ve given them all the information, they’ll work with other police forces in Canada and around the world to bring the scammers to justice.

    It would also be worthwhile to contact CBC’s “Marketplace”, and the American shows “60 Minutes” and “20/20”, because of the huge number of Canadian, American and international victims of this scam. This is one of the many international scams operating out of Quebec, due to the lax fraud laws there. This appalling situation needs to be exposed, so that these scammers won’t be able to defraud anyone else. The whole sordid mess gives Canada a really bad name.

    Reply
  7. Ken

    I also made a purchase from TVBoxset and it never arrived. was also promosed a refund within a weeki fthey couldnt resolve a problem with their distributor. that promise was made over a month ago and teh origional purchse was more than 2 months ago. basically its a case of they have my money and no longer care so they ignore my emails now

    Reply
  8. Pamela Murphy

    This site is a real ripoff. I ordered a box set of DVD’s. It took forever for them to arrive & when they did they were unwatchable. The quality was terrible. I have sent several e-mails with no reply. So much for their guarantee!!! DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM THESE CROOKS!!!!!

    Reply
  9. martin rock

    i to have been ripped off by these crooks ordered boxset airwolf1/4 never recieved goods and after many emails and chats to a recorded message have heard nothing if it wasnt for the fact i am in england i would be hunting for bear in canada

    Reply
  10. Carl (UK)

    I ordered a DVD set from these people as it was a rarity, i have since found out that the release of the series has been cancelled and wouldn’t have been available till october 2007 anyway, i ordered it several months ago. I got the standard “ohh we’ve had all our mail returned and are going to have to resend it”. It seems now that i was lucky not to recieve the set as it would have been a pirate anyway. Of course the down side is that they have my money, which is going to be difficult to get back. After sending E-mails through their website they did reply and promise to sort things out by putting in a claim to their shipping company, after getting two such emails after contacting them through their website still nothing had happened. I have now found that the website has shut down and it has the following message on it:
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    To all clients:

    TVBOXSET.COM is currently restructuring its site, and making significant changes to the way it does business due to issues that arose in the past few months.

    The company’s current and only focus is to resolve all delayed orders and refund requests. No order has been forgotten, and all weekends will be addressed.

    Over the next 6 weeks all client requests will be resolved. We are processing orders and refund requests in the order in which they arrived.

    If you have already sent us a request we kindly ask you to not send another one since it slows down our ability to respond to all requests, and your original request has not been ignored.

    If you have not sent us a request in the past you may do so by e-mailing us at Info@tvboxset.com

    We apologize for any inconvenience that these shipping issues and delays may have caused you.

    TVBOXSET.COM
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    I now beleive that we the trusting public have been used by these people to fund their setting up a legitimate buisiness and i fully expect TvBoxSet to disappaer and be replaced by a similar company doing buisiness in a very different way.
    It is far too easy for unscrupuluos individuals to use the internet for their own advantage and i beleive it is about time that the authorities of the world started working together to make the world wide web a safe place for entertainment and buisiness.

    Reply
  11. Keiran

    Hi an Aussie here,

    I ordered the Get Smart series in July, its now the 17th of Oct and I have just found all of these ‘scam’ alerts!

    So I contacted my bank today and have lodged a dispute, just so residents of OZ know that the rule here is we can claim up to 90 days from the arranged shipment date, I have read here that you only have 60 days from purchase date, with all of their stalling tactics this would have taken me close to the cut off.

    So they (TVBOXSETS) told me 3-4 weeks from July so I have 90 days from August to logdge the dispute, which I have. My bank contacts their bank and gets the fund back off them, it could take 6-8 weeks but at least I get my money back from these crooks!

    Oh and I have had the same emails from them, first the automated ones, then another stating shipping problems.

    Stay away from TVBOXSET.com.

    Reply
  12. david johnson

    i to ordered a box set and have not heard anything from them ive tried phoning and emailing them no luck. dave j

    Reply
  13. Dan Crawley

    I to ordered a dvd set from tvboxset back in August and have recieved nothing except outright lies DO NOT buy anything from this pack of criminals !

    Reply
  14. Andrei Michnea

    Same story from my side, I am from UK and wanted to get hold of some Animes, in the UK the release date was Christmas:):) (what an irony) so I decided to purchase from TVBOXSET.COM as it was one of the first websites that came up from google.co.uk and it was close to my birthday:):) so I wanted a ncie present.

    Same issue, they told me that the DVD’s would arrive in few days… nothing, got a postage date 1 month later… again nothing. I e-mailed them again and again and again and again… Went to website and was met by the same message. I decided to google them and ended up here and a few other sites where people have complained.

    I called AMEX and opened a dispute. I now have to forward the e-mails send by myself and by them to AMEX. I will also make sure to point them to this link.

    Reply
  15. Molly

    I ordered a TV Boxset for my younger sister for Christmas in the beginning of July, only to assume that I would have recieved it way before Christmas. I became very suspicious when I hadn’t recieved the boxset that I had ordered this past summer because it had been so long. I sent e-mail after e-mail asking when I was going to recieve this product, and never heard any sort of reply. I can say from my personal experience, to not purchase anything from this website, and I don’t recommend it. If this is a scam and so many of us are complaining, then why aren’t these people shut down, and something be done about it?

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Fagstein » Arrests in tvboxset.com case?

  17. Tamara

    I too ordered the Get Smart series back in July 2007 for my fathers birthday present and have yet to see the product. If only i saw these scam complaints before i ordered. Considering it has been a little over five months, is there anything i can do about getting my money back? I live in Australia, so if anyone out there has any ideas please post them here.

    Reply
  18. Kezz

    To Tamara & all Aussies burnt by these crooks, if you lodge a dispute with your bank, they will contact the ‘crooks’ bank and get a refund of your money as I think there is a certain amount of time AFTER they have taken the money and AFTER the expected delivery date, if you have proof that they have ‘changed’ the delivery date you get the extension from THAT date!

    I received a full refund after lodging the dispute with my bank(Westpac) Oct 17 07, received refund direct deposited into my account on the 28th of Nov 07.

    I also received an email from TVBoxset saying that a refund had been given and they hope I was happy with their service! OMG how unbelieveable are they?!?

    Reply
  19. Danny

    Hello, my name is Danny. I purchased the domain name tvboxset.com back in Febuary this year from a website forum. To my horror I have discovered some very ugly history relating to this domain name, I only bought the domain because it had lots of traffic.

    I would just like to point out that the website http://www.tvboxset.com is now only advertising dvds directly from the amazon.com website, all orders through tvboxset.com go directly to Amazon, you can check this out by going to the site and add a dvd to your shopping basket, click checkout and you will see you are sent to Amazon.

    I would hope you can see this website is no longer a scam, yes it has been in the past – but not by me.

    Regards, Danny.

    Reply

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