I ordered a DVD Box set of the popular television series WKRP in Cincinnati on 12/7/12. The website stated that shipping could take up to four weeks, and that the shipment was not guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. I assumed this was because of the holiday. I later (after looking more closely at the website) realized this time frame was normal practice.
On December 11th, I received an e-mail that my item had shipped and that it could take up to three more weeks.
I logged into the site to find the package tracking data (the website claims you can "track" your shipment, but this is misleading. You really can't track the package. When you log in to the DVD Tiger website, it simply reads: "your package has shipped". This was concerning to me, so I sent an e-mail to customer service asking how to properly track the shipment. I also asked where the company was located and which mail courier service they used.
Two days later, I received a response, but the customer service representative (Gordon Kennedy) did not answer the question about their location and did not provide the name of a courier service. He simply re-stated the shipping description on the site FAQ, which states that the DVD sets require one week of "processing" since all orders are "processed" off site. Once the customer is notified that the item has shipped, it can take up to three weeks. The reason it took three weeks to ship was because DVD Tiger uses a very basic "air mail" service. It takes longer, and unfortunately does not offer any kind of tracking, but this is how they are able to offer free shipping without passing any of the shipping costs on to the customer.
I found it odd that Gordon Kennedy would not answer my question about the location of the business, and would not provide the name of the air mail courier.
Why did the package take three weeks to arrive by any form of mail? Even the most primitive form of mail would be faster than three weeks.
I started to research this company (something I should have done prior to giving them my credit card number) and found a few interesting things. 1.) the "webutation" for DVD Tiger was very low. Various rating sites have different factors for how they arrive at their rankings, but all of them had the same basic criticisms of DVD Tiger; the website was only 6 months old, there was no owner/ceo information listed on the domain nameservers, and the location of this business was unknown. I also found two negative reviews of DVD Tiger with similar complaints to mine. Both negative reviews complained of not receiving their product, still being charged in full for the product and encountering poor customer service.
I waited another four weeks and sent another e-mail to customer service informing DVD Tiger that I still have not received the package. I was slightly more assertive in this e-mail. You might say I was nasty this time around. I asked DVD Tiger to shoot me straight and answer my original questions regarding their location.
Two days later (the responses always seemed to take at least two days ) I received another response from Gordon Kennedy. It was obvious at this point that DVD Tiger was a one man DVD Bootlegging operation, probably based overseas. My guess would be the Philippines, as some other customers have surmised. The response was another one line response that did not address any of my concerns. Gordon Kennedy simply stated: "sorry for the inconvenience, I will put a trace on the package with the post office."
Wait a minute.. I thought due to the primitive form of shipping that allowed DVD Tiger to offer free shipping, there was no way to track the package?? So how was Gordon going to put a "trace" on it? And if the package can have a "trace" put on it, why wouldn't this available tracking information be offered to the customer? I was convinced at this point that DVD Tiger was a scam.
Despite my skepticism about the authenticity of this company, I decided to wait three business days to find out what the result of this "trace" was. After three business days (it is now 1/15/13) I sent DVD Tiger a final e-mail. All courtesy was out the window at this point, and I will be the first to admit, I lost my composure and used foul language. I'm not proud of it, but I don't like being scammed and I was tired of the one sentence responses that never addressed my concerns.
I let Gordon Kennedy know that I was contacting the Internet Fraud Division of the FBI and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to file a complaint of fraud. I also contacted the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) with a copyright and piracy claim, because after further research, I learned that this company can not possibly own the copyright to the shows they are distributing, because that copyright has not been released.
I also called the credit card company to dispute this charge on my card. My credit card company immediately credited my account, canceled the old card to ensure this company could not apply any future charges and mailed out a new card. This is why I listed my losses as $0.00, because thanks to my credit card company (who was very understanding and accommodating) I am not out any money. However, if I did not take this action, I might have lost a significant amount of money.
After sending the nasty letter I got a four word response from Gordon;
"It takes three days"
Of course, it had been three days. It was obvious no trace had ever been placed on the package.
I responded one last time. In my final e-mail, I regained my composure and simply stated that I had taken action with the credit card company, and with the BBB, FBI Internet Fraud Division and MPAA. I also informed Gordon not to contact my e-mail again, or it would be considered harassment. I made it very clear that there was nothing left to discuss and a response was not required or desired.
Of course, I did receive another response. Wouldn't you know it, Gordon likes to respond to things in a timely manner once his correspondence is not requested. The e-mail was directions on how to return the DVD's, which explains that I will need to pay the shipping and will then be reimbursed. I am fairly certain this final e-mail was an attempt at passive aggression. I ignored it, as I will be doing for all future emails. I will however not be deleting them, as I could potentially use them in the future as proof of harassment. I have no doubt Gordon will attempt to send this to collections once he realizes the charges were disputed.
DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH DVD TIGER!! IT IS A SCAM, LIKELY BASED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, PROBABLY THAILAND OR PHILIPPINES. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR YOUR ORDER AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE IT.