Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A quick heads up...

Online bicycle store is a fraud
BBB says many cheated by elusive scam artists

By Thomas Stauffer
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.31.2006

The Better Business Bureau is warning local bicyclists about a fraudulent Internet bike store that changes names quicker than some can change a flat tire.

The BBB of Southern Arizona has yet to receive complaints from Tucson-area residents about a company most recently operating under the name Steve's Cycling Store, and it wants to keep it that way, bureau spokeswoman Kim States said.

"We're wanting to give the cyclists in Southern Arizona a heads-up that this seems to a be a popular and lasting scam," States said. "We'd rather get the word out now to people before we get a complaint."

The company's Web site, www.steves-bikes.com, shows images of scores of bikes and several employees eager to serve you at a shop in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Trouble is, there are no bicycles or employees at Steve's Cycling Store in Cheyenne, because there is no such store in Cheyenne. The address listed on the Web site is actually the location of a large truck stop.

...Steve's — aka Todd's, George's, Kent's, Stan's, Jones', Max's, Moby's and possibly dozens other names — offers high-end bikes at ridiculously low prices on eBay, Read said. A common scenario is for a customer to call or e-mail about a particular bike, she said. When the customer asks about the eBay listing, he is told that rather than paying through conventional online sources, the company prefers that buyers use its own escrow service. The service is not legitimate, and the goods are never delivered, Read said.

To "prove" that a bicycle has been shipped and is on its way to a customer, the company often gives tracking numbers. While the tracking numbers are valid, the package that can be tracked is not a high-end bicycle but rather a very small, empty cardboard box, said Jack Ailion, owner of Alpharetta, Ga.-based Ibex Bicycles.


Blogger Paul Tay said...

Small, empty cardboard box, eh? Just goes to show ya git what ya paid for! Buy from your friendly local bike shop! Ya might git an empty bike box, if ya ask. But, only for shipping!

9:26 AM  

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