Are you tempted to buy a pair of trestles for $40? (Photo: Weiku website) Be careful where you buy your rowing equipment. Double check your business partners to avoid fake business with the rowing community. Prepare yourself against surprises. Read this story from Peter.
Peter* (name changed) and his club were very interested to by a set of 10 boat slings. He checked the internet and found a source at the Weiku website. Reference was made to a company Hangzhou Olym Sports Co., Ltd. Sports. But surprise – surprise: The response came from Turkey. A nice person, who called himself H., introduced himself as the agent of Olym Sports.
The communication started very smooth and friendly; the only hiccup: The payment terms where changed from 50:50 to “payment in advance / Western Union”. Peter received a discount for excepting it.
He started wondering if everything was correct when the Western Union agent kept asking: Do you know this person in Turkey? Do you trust this person? We have recently been informed about some irregularities. Peter trusted and paid.
Fake business with the rowing community?
The nightmare continued when a shipping company called etransexpress.com informed Peter per email, that the goods were blocked in Paris at Charles de Gaules Airport. Peter needed to pay customs duty and a refundable insurance fee. In total more than 500 Euros. This was serious. Peter got irritated: Duty-ok, but insurance? Checking out their Website did not help. It looked professional, even their location was in Utah, his telephone calls got redirected to Turkey and their European contact had a Belgian cell-phone No. Both operators were not native speakers. Why is customs clearance in France and not in the UK? DHL, FEDEX, UPS and others work very different. And etransexpress.com did refuse to give customs agent number. Peter was afraid to be a victim of fake business with the rowing community.
What Peter, a professional international trader of chemical goods, did not like: He never asked for insurance and he has never heard of a refundable insurance. Their email was full of mistakes, – and the payment was supposed to be made to Mr. G.F.A. in Turkey again. Same area where the trestle money was sent to.
We don’t know if there are criminal intentions between internet platform, Olym Sports, Mr. H. , GFA and etransexpress. We are far from accusing them. Peter himself is unsure if this is fake and is afraid of being a victim of professional internet fraud.
Here is what he claims:
- (too-) Easy going price discussions with Olym
- Sudden change of payment terms by Olym
- Payment to private persons, not Olym
- Tefken tower in Istanbul is a very expensive office place.
- No traceable company number of Olym in Turkey
- “Linked In” profil of Mr. H. is empty
- Shipping agent (etransexpress) location not traceable,
- etransexpress has Belgian cell phone no
- etransexpress strange US telefone no
What we recommend:
Please pause your activities if you are uncertain with your trading partners. Do some investigation. We cannot comment on the professionalism of Olym Turkey or that shipping company. Rowperfect does not want to get into legal discussions. If needed, that can be done by experts. But if you have doubts, be careful.
Maybe all is a big misunderstanding. We have not experienced fake business with the rowing community so far. Peter will let uns know about the outcome of his adventure. Rowperfect has all names, numbers and addresses. Contact us if you have similar experiences.
What is your advice?
What would you recommend Peter to do? Pay the amount asked by the shipper? Send the package back to Turkey and ask for a refund? In case you have experienced a similar case let us know. We will keep your request confidential.