• Report: #733805
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Thu, May 26, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, September 30, 2012

  • Reported By: Tonisha P — Fresno California United States of America
Internet United States of America

dutyfreedepot.com Duty Free Depot They will SCAM you, do NOT order Internet

*Consumer Suggestion: Scam Basics 101- you haven't resolved ANY

*Consumer Comment: This company is a FRAUD, sells counterfeit cigarettes!

*UPDATE Employee: Respond

*Author of original report: Won't ever do business with dutyfreedepot.com

*UPDATE Employee: Regarding your complaint

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I have been ordering cigarettes from duty free depot for about 5-6 months.  I received a call from a sales rep and was told that I was a VIP customer and that I had earned points with this company.  She told me if I ordered 6 cartons of cigarettes I would get 2 free cartons.  Even though I had just placed an order I went ahead and ordered the cigarettes.  Well I received the first 6 but never received the 2 free cartons, then I noticed that I was sent menthol instead of regular cigarettes.  I contact customer support via their web site, no responds.  I called the # on the web site and the guy who I spoke with told me that I need to wait for a responds and then hung up on my when I told him I wanted to speak with someone.  I finally got a responds from the web site and was told to ship the cigarettes back and they would send me the 6 that I returned and the 2 I never received.  I ask for them to pay for the shipping to return them but they wouldn't so I shipped them over night at my expense.  It has been almost a month that I have been asking them if they have shipped my cigarettes and they keep e-mailing me back asking what brand do I want, after this going on for 2 weeks I finally get an e-mail today telling me that the price of my cigarettes has gone up and they will only send me 3 cartons of cigarettes.  DO NOT ORDER they will SCAM you and ignore your e-mails and will NOT speak with you over the phone unless you are ordering cigarettes.

Tonisha Pacheco order # 206215

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/26/2011 09:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/dutyfreedepotcom/internet/dutyfreedepotcom-duty-free-depot-they-will-scam-you-do-not-order-internet-733805. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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1Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Scam Basics 101- you haven't resolved ANY

AUTHOR: Daniel J Towsey - (United Kingdom)

OK; this should be Not-getting-ripped-off 101 for the 'net. This one should have been obvious as a scam if you follow these steps. You could have known. NEVER give credit card information to anyone that has not passed these checks.

1). Use a whois lookup to find who owns the domain, in this case dutyfreedepot.com, and dutyfreeaffiliates.com. Both have been registered anonymously. That's the first red flag. They don't want people knowing who they are dealing with when they connect to those domains.

2). #1 is not a deal killer, by itself. Every now and then you will find an anonymous registration for no good reason, causing no harm. Like you're dealing with Sears or Target and one of their domains is anonymized. You know who it is so it has no effect. It's pointless. But if you don't know the people, like in this case, you have to go to the second step.

Look at the "About Us" and "Terms of Service" pages to see, a). Do they list a DBA name and jurisdiction, b). do they list an officer/owner's name and address, c). what is the venue for legal disputes, d). are they incorporated, and if so, where? There is no such information for this one. "Terms of Service" always tells you a lot. It is a contract. It's written in legaleze. Read theirs. You know, common sense 101, an agreement has to specify who it is between. You and... They never identify themselves. They never specify a venue to resolve disputes. That's not a contract. Reading between the lines, I don't think they're in the US. They obviously get busted by customs in Europe, California and New York regularly. That would be for breaking the law. Where are they based? Iran? We don't have a clue. I can buy a NY phone number and sit in Iran and do business.

3). Do a reverse look-up on all listed phone numbers. Here that is 718-717-2195 and 800-865-7043. Both refer back only to dutyfreedepot.com. Sometimes you'll find other businesses that *are* registered using those numbers and that can be a clue. That they only refer back is another technique for hiding identity.

4). Finally, ping the domain and look at how the IP address resolves. I got, which is registered to Zayo Group UK, Ltd. So that tells us that the physical website is hosted in the UK. OK. So...these are probably Bangladeshis or Pakistanis?

So, you know nothing about these people. Why would you give them cc data? Because all scams work the same; tell the mark exactly what they want to hear.

Is the problem that people can't put the 'net in real world terms? OK. Imagine you're waiting at a bus stop at night and you say outloud to yourself, "Man, I sure could use some smokes". And a voice from out of the dark, behind a wall behind you says, "I can get you some American Spritit Black if you just give me a $20 bill. I'll be back here at the same time tomorrow with them". So, you give him a $20 bill and leave. Would you do that? Well, if you ordered from this site, you did *exactly* that. What kind of person would make the $20 mistake? Someone naive to the point of a four year old. Well, you need to take to heart that that is your level of internet maturity if you ordered from here and do something about it or you will be ripped off over and over and over.

And to "Michael" who was paid to rebut the posting, answer these questions.  Identify yourself as a business entity, DBA name or individual.  Explain why you have been an anonymous coward, beyond the obvious, that you are a crook.

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#2 Consumer Comment

This company is a FRAUD, sells counterfeit cigarettes!

AUTHOR: Frank King - (United States of America)

As a former customer, I have seen your "duty free" cigarettes first hand.  They are consummate fakes, many with low quality reproduction packaging and no manufacturer seals.  This is not the way authentic cigarettes are packaged and sold anywhere in the world. Your company is selling a dangerous product to unsuspecting people who would otherwise stear clear of it.  You are also committing fraud and a multitude of other criminal acts by transporting counterfeit goods.

You can have as many of your agents running around the internet doing damage control as you like, it will not change the facts.  Your company has been exposed, so stop lying.

To anyone who doubts that the cigarettes (and other products) sold by Duty Free Depot and their affiliates are in fact counterfeit goods is advised to google the phrase "Duty Free Depot counterfeit China cigarettes" for detailed accounts.
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#3 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Michael DutyFreeDepot - (United States of America)

Hi Tonisha,
Once again I would like to apologize for any inconvenience you have had with dutyfreedepot.com. I have been working in the company for a couple of months and my office is right next to support team's room, and I hear people calling about different issues every single day. I can promise you that the very most of the complaints are resolved instantly with no hassle. I have never heard about any customer, that paid money, and was not treated right after-sale. However, our company does hire occasional telemarketing services from East Asia, so the only explanation that I can think of is that your call was mistakenly forwarded to those agents. All of our employees are committed to supply the best service possible and it is highly unlikely that any of my agents has treated you the way you described it.
I will check your issue once again anyway.
I hope that you will consider shopping at our website sometime in the future, and if you have any questions whatsoever, you can always contact me personally via my email (marketing[at]dutyfreedepot[dot]com) and we will take it from there.
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#4 Author of original report

Won't ever do business with dutyfreedepot.com

AUTHOR: Tonisha P - (USA)

Michael, I did finally get a refund of my money after MONTHS of CALLING, and E-MAILING your company.  You tell me to call this number but when I tried to do that the person on the phones told me that unless I was calling to place a new order I could not speak with anyone regarding my issue and my issue would only be responded to via e-mail.  I demanded to speak with someone and he hung up on me.  Your company lost my business and all I asked for was to be given what I was promised and an exchange for your company sending me the wrong cigarrettes.  I now purchase my cigarettes from shopping-heaven. I have had no problems with them, the cigarettes are actually cheaper and the shipping is much faster and the cigarettes taste better.  So thanks for making me an upset customer, that is what made me good for, and find a much better company to do business with.
Thank you,
Tonisha Pacheco
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Regarding your complaint

AUTHOR: Michael DutyFreeDepot - (United States of America)

I'm Michael and I'm DutyFreeDepot's marketing and customer relations manager. I would like to clear things up a little bit. DutyFreeDepot.com has been operating online for over 6 years now. Our website is one of the biggest online cigarette retailers in the world, with dozens of satisfied customers from across the globe. We are one of the very few websites that sell genuine duty-free smokes (and other items) from Western Europe (Switzerland and Spain) unlike many competing websites that sell lower-quality cigarettes from Eastern
Europe. Our company has warehouses across Europe (and a warehouse in the Philippines, to serve our customers from Asia) and we have telemarketing agents worldwide. During the last year, some of the outsourcing telemarketing agents did not follow our strict policies by offering coupons, free gifts and discounts. Those agents were terminated immediately from our company and are no longer work for us.

Nevertheless, DutyFreeDepot did the best it could to satisfy its customers despite the matter. Our aim is to give the best shopping experience and supply our customers the best service in the industry. In any issue or question you may have, always feel free to contact us at 866-417-8369. If you feel that your problem has not been resolved, you may contact me, Michael, personally at: marketing[at]dutyfreedepot[dot]com, and I will do my best to take care of the problem.

Regarding your case, Tonisha P, I have checked the status of your order and have
the statement at hand. You have been fully refunded on June 14th, 2011.
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