One man's fight to get a refund for undelivered merchandise
I wonder if you would be interested in investigating my fight to get a refund for undelivered merchandise from A Wind of Change Kites, a merchant with addresses in Salt lake City and Las Vegas? The piece involves mail theft or loss and worthless insurance on the part of USPS. It includes incompetence on the part of Visa investigators as well fabrication on the part of the merchant. I have included the story here. If you would like to see the screenshots and photo available, please go to the video I have made at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM7hVwPbS68 Thank you Michael Skorulski You’ve seen those company websites with the glowing customer endorsements raving about the products and the superlative customer service. But what happens to the complaints? Well, the company does not want you to see those. That’s why I have decided to make a video and written complaint about my experience with A Wind of Change Kites, a seller of sports equipment with premises in Las Vegas, Nevada and Salt lake City, Utah. In September of 2013, I bought the following items from A Wind of Change Kites: a Blokart Pro, Blokart sail and Blokart fiberglass mast for a total of $3,076 including shipping. Here is the sales receipt for that purchase. (screenshot available) :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.31.13 PM.png A Blokart is a kind of reclining deckchair with wheels and a sail that looks like this: (photo available) :blokart 3.jpg The items were shipped to my APO (Armed Forces Post Office) in two separate parcels. The mast and sail in one parcel had USPS tracking number VI88694****US. It was sent via priority mail and arrived at my address about two weeks after being sent. If you go to USPS tracking athttps://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction!input.action and enter the tracking number, you will get a page that looks like this: (screenshot available). :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.34.40 PM.png Notice that the shipment is marked as “DELIVERED” and has arrived at APO,AE 09803The other item, the Blokart Pro, essentially the body of the Blokart was sent via parcel post with tracking number VI88694****US. If you enter the tracking number into USPS tracking you will get the following page: (screenshot available). :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.36.23 PM.png I wrote this piece on July 27, 2014 and the USPS screenshot shows the shipment as “IN-TRANSIT” as it has been since September 27, 2013 when the shipment left the USPS Sort Facility in Denver, Colorado. What has happened to the shipment during the last 10 months? I don’t know. I know that the USPS has experienced losses and thefts of mailIn case anyone believes that I am using a fraudulent tracking number, here is the insured mail receipt from the USPS with the tracking number along the left side. (screenshot available) :Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.29.23 AM.png First, I contacted the military postal system and they told me they could not track individual shipments. As shown from the above receipt, I had insurance on the package. So after 75 days, I made a claim for insurance with the USPS. I received this notification denying my claim for insurance. (screenshot available). :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.37.50 PM.png Notice under, Current Status, that the claim has been denied and that “A letter has been sent detailing the reason for the denial.” Well, that letter like the shipment never arrived. No matter how many times I contacted the USPS I was never able to get a reason for the denial. No matter. A company such as A Wind of Change Kites that does business via the internet is only as good as the system it uses to ship the merchandise. In March of 2014, I asked A Wind of Change Kites for a refund of $1973 for the Blokart pro which did not arrive. The company told me that the post office, not they, had lost the package and that they did not want to take a loss for the shipment. The implication was that I, not they, should take the full loss. In April 2014, I went on Power Kite Forum, a forum dedicated to wind sports, to publically ask for a refund in the form of a consumer complaint. The forum is basically dominated by equipment dealers and their friends. I was perceived as a trouble-making outsider and a bad customer. The owner of A Wind of Change Kites came on the forum to say that I was there to smear the reputation of the company and he actually used the word “smear” as if HE had cause to feel victimized. However, he said publicly in an effort to win a public relations victory, that I would receive a refund or merchandise after he completed an investigation. All very reasonable. However, his friends on the forum went on the warpath against me. Some abused me verbally. They got hold of my real name probably from the owner of A Wind of Change Kites. They found a video of me on Youtube using a Blokart. They posted an image of me from the video, with the words, “Does this man look like a crook????” above the image. (screenshot available) :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.40.40 PM.png Their implication was that I had in fact received the Blokart Pro from A Wind of Change Kites and was fraudulently attempting to get a refund for merchandise I had received. A strategy of claiming that I had already received the Blokart would later be used by A Wind of Change Kites when I started a Chargeback procedure against them with Visa. In short, to save themselves the cost of a refund, A Wind of Change Kites was willing to label their customer as a criminal. Actually, in December of 2013, after waiting nearly 3 months for the Blokart pro from A Wind of Change Kites, I had gone to Dubai and purchased another Blokart pro from a company called Enact. Here is the invoice from that purchase stamped to show that it has been paid. (screenshot available) :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.42.37 PM.png So the Blokart pro body in my videos is the one I purchased in Dubai and not the one from A Wind of Change Kites which to this day has never arrived. I thought about suing A Wind of Change Kites in small claims court for a refund. The small claims system in Nevada is set up for people who live there to use cheaply without a lawyer. A non-US resident would have to pay a lawyer $200 an hour to represent him. A ruling against the defendant could be appealed. And there is no guarantee that the defendant would pay up even if a ruling went against him. Some of the defendant’s merchandise would have to be seized as payment and to do this would incur even more expense. Lawyers’ costs would be prohibitive. In May of 2014, I started a chargeback procedure with Visa for non-delivery of the Blokart pro. Actually, anyone can do this within 120 days after you discover you have a problem or 540 days from the transaction date, whichever comes first. But I did not know this before. However the chargeback procedure went against me. I received the following quote from my bank representative: “Ultimately Visa have concluded that, after liaising with the merchant you bought the good from that they have provided sufficient evidence to show you have received all of the goods supplied, including confirmation of delivery of both packages from USPS the delivery service.” There is something unreal about having a barefaced lie directed at you: to be told that you have received a product when you haven’t. You do a reality check to make sure you haven’t gone mad. You expect the world to be somehow smarter and more just than that. Then a sense of outrage sets in. I can only conclude that A Wind of Change Kites presented Visa with false or erroneous information in their quest to show that I had already received the Blokart Pro. If you put the Blokart pro tracking number VI88694****US into https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction!input.action, you will get a page that looks like this: (screenshot available). :Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.36.23 PM.png Perpetually, IN-TRANSIT not delivered. So, Wind of Change Kites, USPS tracking completely contradicts your claim to Visa that I received my merchandise. And, why didn’t anyone at Visa take the time to enter a 13-digit number into USPS tracking to ascertain the truth? Really good companies are genuinely customer-centric. Really bad companies like A Wind of Change Kites would like you to think they were customer-centered but they are merely self-protective. A Wind of Change Kites, I still want that refund for $1973 for undelivered merchandise.
Salt Lake City, Utah
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