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Scopecity - a scam?

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#1 CabbageMS

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Hi all!

I am new here so sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place!

I recently tried to order a mount and counterweight to piggyback my DSLR onto my ETX scope. I ordered from a US site called Scopecity.com. I placed for and paid for my order at the end of July '12. So far I've had nothing to say it's been dispatched.

This site looks genuine enough but I can't get replies from them via the contact us form, the email address nor their phone number? Has anyone else ordered from them before? Have they gone out of business?

#2 GpB311

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

Its not showing up on their website store locator, so I dont know if its still there, but Ive been to a scope city in Costa Mesa and if its the same company, they seemed totally on the level at the time. It was right after I had gotten my telescope and the people working there were very helpful, however, they did mention that they were just a satellite store and not a major branch.

#3 oldstargazer

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

I ordered one of the dbk imagers from them last december and never got it. I called imaging source and they told me and was later comfirmed from another source that they are not paying their suppliers on time or not all in some cases and therefore not getting the equipment to ship out for customers. Like you I had paid up front and finally had to get the better business involved because the time to file with paypal had already expired. So if you paid with paypal start the process with them to get your money back before it is past the period of time that is allowed with them.

With my case after getting the BBB involved they finally sent me some CCD imager that I had never heard of as compensation for the imager that I ordered but never got. I figured at the time something was better than being out the money that I paid up front but don't like the CCD thing at all since I don't have a guide scope and it requires very long times on target to get anything at all to show up.

So long story short they used to be a very good store but seem to now be having money flow issues.

#4 aamilo

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

I read in another thread here (I think in the eyepieces thread) that they have gone out of business. Hopefully you paid via CC, if so get them involved now.

#5 CabbageMS

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:12 PM

Oh brilliant... just trying to recover my money with Paypal, but because it's gone past 45 days they won't allow me to dispute it. The problem is when dealing with the US (I'm in the UK), things can quite feasibly take more than 6 weeks to arrive, so that is an annoying system Paypal have there.

It's concerning that their could still be people going onto that website and placing and payign for orders. It looks like i've lost my $90. :'(

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:32 PM

Oh brilliant... just trying to recover my money with Paypal, but because it's gone past 45 days they won't allow me to dispute it. The problem is when dealing with the US (I'm in the UK), things can quite feasibly take more than 6 weeks to arrive, so that is an annoying system Paypal have there.

It's concerning that their could still be people going onto that website and placing and payign for orders. It looks like i've lost my $90. :'(


I am not sure if you have any recourse. Hopefully there is something you can do... The local Scope City closed down several months ago.

Scope City Closes its doors

Jon

#7 barbarosa

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

It is barely possible that the Better Business Bureau can help resolve your problem.

People overlook the BBB as both an evaluative resource before buying and a means of resolving a disspute after buying.

Scope City INC gets an F rating (the lowest).

Scope City is a California corporation but not a publicly traded, so the State has no real information.

To find out if the company is bankrupt you need to use a business service, such as D&B. These are not free, but many libraries have access.

The company is in business, although with fewer stores than it onece had.

#8 oldstargazer

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

That is exactly what happened to me as well. Just so others know paypal told me that if you have paid using them and have not received the item and it looks like you will go over the time limit file a dispute so you are covered and then they can just close it out if the item arrives.

Contact the BBB in their area with the details of the case and they will get on it for you and that is what got them to finally take my calls and do something for me.

#9 GeneT

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:30 PM

I am sorry about your problems. Most astronomical vendors are on the up and up.

#10 panhard

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

All I can say is lick your wounds and re-group. :bawling:

#11 Grandpa Jim

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

I ALWAYS use "PayPal" whenever possible for just that reason...............

#12 CabbageMS

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

I'm not exactly sure what the Better Business Bureau is, certainly havent got that in the UK as far as I know. I'll google it and see if its something they can help me with.

#13 pdfermat

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

This amazes me - I just went to their website and there is absolutely no indication that they are closed. So at this point are they just taking people's money and not shipping items? How can this be even close to legal? What am I missing here????

#14 Dave74

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

This is BS. If Scopecity is out of business, where did this man's money go. Someone cashed in. Someone should be held accountable for either delivering the product or refunding the money. This is outrageous.

I googled for a local (MA) scope shop just last week and a scope city site was the only thing to come up. I realized that they weren't local so I moved on. But these people are straight ripping people off!

#15 Dave Hederich

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

Wow, I just visted their website, and it really looks legit. If they're still taking people's money and not delivering product, it's pretty much organized crime.

#16 la200o

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

If they're closed and taking money, it's mail fraud, a federal offense.

Bill

#17 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:29 PM

Scope City was certainly a company at one point. I visited their San Francisco store when I was visiting out there. Looks to me like it's fallen apart. Stores have closed and they are not running a good online business. Interesting for sure. I had visited their site a few times when I was looking for stuff. Glad I didn't purchase anything. We'll see if they come back or not, but this won't help them.

#18 oldstargazer

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:03 PM

I got lucky and the guy that was running shipping at scopecity gave me a heads up that I would probably not get my item the day he quit. I had been calling about once a week when it went past 60 days with no imager and kept getting the standard response that it hadn't arrived yet from the manufacturer and then I just happened to call on the right day to get the true answer from the shipping man. That was when I called imaging source and told them about my order with scopecity and they did inform me that they had not been paid so they would not be shipping any product to scopecity.

I called scopecity and asked to speak with someone in charge and the lady on the phone said no one was in charge. I asked to speak with the manager and she said there was no manager. I then called paypal and of course it was way past the point of being able to get anything from them. However they did call and talk with scopecity about my case. I also posted an online report with the BBB for the store in Simi Valley which was listed in the online store guide. They responded in a day or two that a report had been made and suggested that I try talking to them again. That time they took my call and did in fact transfer me to someone to help me with my lack of product and the fact that they had almost 300 dollars of my money. I had already browsed their catalog looking for items of similar value to what they owed me and that was when they made the offer of that CCD camera. Probably a good camera, Optic STar, but I just really didn't want a CCD camera and still don't like using it. But figured might as well get something for the money that I had already paid them.

Anyway good luck and for sure file a report with the BBB online. I used Bing to find the office in that county and they had a form to fill out on line. I did post all this back when it happened but it got deleted after a few days I think.

#19 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

I saw your info on the BBB. Very interesting stuff on there.

I can tell you one company that is super solid... Astronomics.com (our sponsor). I've had good luck with them every time. Like clockwork on the shipping (of course I'm not too far away from them). I find their descriptions of products to be informative and honest. I also find their stock indicators to be pretty accurate and avoids those misleading purchases where the item isn't actually there.

Optcorp is another company I've had good luck with so far.

#20 oldstargazer

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:41 PM

I have bought lots of stuff from Astronomics myself and would have bought the imaging source camera from them but they don't or didn't carry it, haven't looked for it in a while since I finnaly got one from Starizona. I for sure have nothing but praise for Astronomics, good products, great prices, and great service. I got my CG5 from them and it can do stuff that isn't supposed to be possible.

#21 simpleisbetter

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

Oh brilliant... just trying to recover my money with Paypal, but because it's gone past 45 days they won't allow me to dispute it. The problem is when dealing with the US (I'm in the UK), things can quite feasibly take more than 6 weeks to arrive, so that is an annoying system Paypal have there.

It's concerning that their could still be people going onto that website and placing and payign for orders. It looks like i've lost my $90. :'(


Another good reason to H8 paypal, and avoid them when possible.

#22 jerwin

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:08 AM

Scope City INC gets an F rating (the lowest).


hahah, I looked up Anacortes Telescope & Wild Bird the same owner of Astromart. Anacortes and Astromart both have an F rating. I'm sure Herb kicked someone without telling them why and then didn't respond to the BBB.

Astronomics has a A+ rating.

Astronomics has always been good go me, quick to respond to e-mails. Telescopes.com has been solid site too, I don't know if I ever paid for shipping there. Scopestuff has also been a good experience.

Just sucks there are a few bad sites out there that make an already expensive hobby more expensive or frustrating.

Jim

#23 jerwin

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:17 AM

Another good reason to H8 paypal, and avoid them when possible.


Paypal is a pretty solid company. They don't fit everyone needs for sure, but they are a pretty safe and secure way to buy something online. It's not paypals fault scopecity sucks. They simply hold part of the sellers funds in a reserve for 45 days. With the exception of international in this case, that's typically long enough to get a shipment without something going wrong.

I'd never trust a money order with buying equipment online. That's WAY too scary for my blood.

#24 cloud_cover

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:09 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your fiasco.
So far the retailers I've used: Astronomics, OPTCorp, Agena have all been good and they don't take my money until the stock is physically in.
I hope the BBB manages to help you settle your case!

#25 ozyrithm

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:09 AM

Another good reason to H8 paypal, and avoid them when possible.


Paypal is extremely buyer friendly in any case. If you really want to hate Paypal try running a business through it without getting eaten alive by unscrupulous chargebacks.






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