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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives

Re: Before you buy a swimming pool ... please read this!

Posted By: Sandi Bowman
Monday, 20 February 2006, at 7:58 a.m.

In Response To: Before you buy a swimming pool ... please read this! (IMELDA BUGTOG)

> BE CAREFUL of searching the Internet for your sporting goods, you just
> might be victimized by this swindler Malaysian national who is based in
> Hong Kong, like what happened to this certain company.

> DO NOT BUY your swimming pool equipments from RICHARD TEH a.k.a. TEH KOK
> LEONG, a HongKong based "employee" of this said company.

> This ia a recent scam which happened a year ago, this victim company was
> constructing this pool and needed to purchase swimming pool equipments,
> while browsing the internet, it came across a US company named Colorado
> Time Systems (Swimming Equipments)

> This victim company sent a enquiry and got a reply from this US company to
> contact its HongKong office which had the ff details
> Level 25 Bank of China Tower
> 1 Garden Road, Central
> Hong Kong
> Represented by: Mr. Richard Teh VP Asia Pacific

> So this victim company sent its enquiry again but this time to this
> RICHARD TEH who is the Vice President for Asia Pacific of this US company.
> Since the victim company was in a hurry to get its pool ready, it
> requested for a personal meeting with this Richard Teh. Teh agreed and so
> both parties met in Teh's HongKong office and came into an agreement to
> purchase the swimming pool equipments, no contract was written since Teh
> was hesitant and even said that there is no need since it will take time
> to prepare but a sales invoice was prepared by Teh

> The agreement was the goods were to be shipped from the US to the victim's
> country by CIF basis (cost, freight, insurance, services of a technician
> to properly install the equipment). Teh informed victim company that
> Colorado Time System would not start production unless full payment is
> received by them in advance, so as not to delay the arrival of the much
> needed equipments, victim company decided to wire the full payment to
> Teh's company.

> Several months had passed but no shipment came in, victim company was so
> worried that it sent several communications with Teh but were unanswered
> by Teh. So victim company decided to go to HongKong and personally meet
> Teh but when victim company went to its HK office, victim found out that
> it was a secretarial services kind of office and not a real office, the
> building was not owned by Colorado Time Systems as what Teh informed
> victim. Finally victim was able to find Teh after calling its mobile and
> leaving word with the virtual office/secretarial services office because
> victim didn't want to leave said virtual office unless Teh shows up which
> eventually Teh did show up and talks resumed.

> Upon the arrival of the goods several months after receiving victim's 100%
> full payment, victim learned that the freight was not paid by US Company
> because the forwarder gave its bill to victim and would not release the
> goods unless freight is paid. Victim had no choice but to pay the freight
> so goods were delivered, upon checking of the goods, victim found out that
> the goods was incomplete and turned out was only partial of the complete
> set.

> Very frustrated, victim contacted Teh again, after several days of no
> reply, Teh finally sent an email to victim saying some parts were missing
> because it was still under production. Once it is finished it will be
> delivered, victim waited for another 2 months before shipment arrived.
> Again, victim was surprised to learn that freight was not paid again by US
> company so it had no choice but to pay again the freight for the goods to
> be released.

> Victim's warehouse called up and informed victim that the manuals were
> missing and not in the boxes so they didn't know how to operate or
> assemble the items. Victim contacted Teh and asked why the manuals were
> not included, Teh was unable to give any reason and offered to send the
> manuals. After several months, manuals were received by victim.

> Victim suspected Teh's action so it made inquiry with other swimming pool
> equipment companies and victim found out that the items sold by US Company
> through its agent Richard Teh was over-priced! It was higher than the
> other companies' prices for the same equipments. Victim went back to
> question Teh re the price but Teh was no where to be found, Teh was not
> answering emails, phone calls and when victim went to Teh's HK office, he
> was no longer holding office there. Victim contacted the US Company but
> the president/owner claimed he cannot give any refund as he was fully
> unaware of what their Vice President in Asia Pacific (RICHARD TEH) was
> doing and how he got the deal!! The owner of this US Company, however,
> denied the allegation that their equipments were over-priced! Victim was
> unable to get any refund for the overpriced equipments and is currently
> still looking for RICHARD TEH a.k.a. TEH KOK LEONG

Thanks for sharing the experience with us. Frankly, however, there were red flags all over this so-called 'deal'.

Sometimes it's legit to refer to a foreign branch but this one doesn't seem to be essential. Why didn't the US company just handle it through their branch?

No contract for a MAJOR international purchase? Amateur time and just asking to be taken. Teh was 'hesitant'? No time to do a contract but lots of time for delays, additional expenses, trips, etc and now trying to track the guy down? Get real.

It was Teh's responsibiliy to notify of delays - not the other way around...he was, after all, the supplier (supposedly). Teh had good reasons for not wanting to 'bother with a contract' as it turned out.

Talk, talk, talk...long past time for ACTION! Full payment in advance? Half in advance and remainder upon delivery would've been more like it.

The time to check pricing on a proposed purchase was BEFORE ordering, not after.

If you wouldn't do business that way in the US, why on earth do it anywhere else that way? Think, folks. Learn the business customs of a country, and a company, before investing your time and money in them.

Hope this is helpful to someone. Sorry to be so harsh but we see entirely too much of this wishful thinking type of business deal these days. Folks need to learn proper business protocols, and insist upon them, or just walk away. This doesn't excuse Teh's abominable behavior by any means either. Takes two to make a scam or a bad deal...always.

Sandi Bowman

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You'll find great information in this "Read Only" Archive, but remember..... things change.
Be sure to visit the Current Message Board when you're finished here.

We're very friendly, so don't be shy... just jump right in and post your question.
Scams outnumber legitimate biz ops about a bzillion to one, so it's well worth your time.

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