• Report: #129647
Complaint Review:

Havecigs

  • Submitted: Mon, January 31, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, February 05, 2005

  • Reported By:Scottsdale Arizona
Havecigs
Internet Switzerland

Havecigs ripoff, un-delivered goods, no feedback, eternal wait, out of $100 Geneva Switzerland Internet

*Consumer Suggestion: Transcript of Letter from US Customs and border Protection

*UPDATE Employee: If we are pointing the finger, let's point in the right direction

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Hi,
I have ordered from havecigs.com, then havecigs.ch after they changed their address for over a year without problem. I was used to order 3 to 4 cartons by order. in November 30th 2004 to take advantage of a special discount I ordered 7 cartons.

I have got 2 cartons delivered in Dec 22nd 04, then nothing.

The cusotmer service told me to be patient, it could take up to 30 days. I sent another follow-up 7 days ago and did not get an answer this time around.
I went to their web site and it is down.

I came accross another rip-off report about this company.
I am going to request a charge back.

Be very carefull with this. I have got another advertisement lately about a company with almost the same name and a .ch domain as well. This could be the same guys, just moving away with your money.
I also noticed something about a new regulation. Another site cigs.ch says they no longer ship to the USA.
It may not be a scam or rip-off after all however I am out of $100 and i will have to request a charge back.

Philippe
Scottsdale, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/31/2005 09:24 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/havecigs/internet/havecigs-ripoff-un-delivered-goods-no-feedback-eternal-wait-out-of-100-geneva-switzer-129647. 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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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Transcript of Letter from US Customs and border Protection

AUTHOR: Philippe - (U.S.A.)

Hello,
Let's stick to the facts.
I have received today a letter from the US Department of Homeland Security about this issue.
I want to be fair, honest and factual in this case. of course, I have submitted a Charge Back complaint to my credit card company since I did not get timely feedback from Have-cigs.com.
The low-down is that I do not know who should assume the risk and loss here. I am not a lawyer, just someone who want to be honest. I will certainly never consume goods without paying for them.

I will certainly never request a charge back if I am legally responsible to bear the risk (which I am not sure since Have-cigs says it is legal and have-cigs actually delivered cigarettes without problems for over a year). Anyhow. If I get a refund and If I get the goods, I will pay for it. I also hope that Have-cig will not attempt to send anymore goods not to put me in an illegal situation with the borders. I am better of doing business with local companies. See US Customs letter transcript bellow.
-----------------------
U.S. Department of homeland Security
Whashington DC 20229
US Customs and Border Protection
-INFORMED COMPLIANCE NOTICE FOR CIGARETTES IMPORTED THROUGH THE MAIL.
Laura Rios
JFK
BLDG 250 JFKIA
Jamaica NY 11430
----
This is to notify you that the US Customs and Border protection (CBP) has interdicted a U.S. mail Package addressed to you that contains cigarettes. Please be advised that the imported Cigarette Compliance Act of 2000 (Act), which was codified under Title 19, United States Code, Section 1681, et seq. (19 USC P 1681, et seq), imposed strict requirements for the lawful importation of cigarettes. This shipment of cigarettes does not comply with these requirements. The cigarettes are described as follows:
Reference: CIG-04701-16771, Description: Cigarettes, 1 envelope.
Cigarettes imported in violation of this Act are subject to seizure and forfeiture under the provisions of Title 19, Unitewd States Code, Section 1682A. however, CBP has decided to allow you the option of voluntarily abandoning the property to the governenment after which it will be destroyed in accordance with title 41, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 102-3 (41 CFR p 102-36). you may elect to do nothing in response to this notice. If you elect to do nothing, the cigarettes will be considered abandoned after 30 days and destroyed. Finally, you may elect to request that CBP commence seizure is available unless you prove the cigarettes were not imported in violation of the imported Cigarette Compliance Act of 2000 and all other applicable laws.

Enclosed is an election of proceedings document. Please indicate your election, sign, date, and return the document to the address indicated on the document.

Please note that future attempts to import cigarettes in violation of the Imported Cigarette Compliance Act of 2000 may result in personal penalties or criminal prosecution.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

If we are pointing the finger, let's point in the right direction

AUTHOR: Marketing - (U.S.A.)

Let me explain the real story...

This Company has been in operation for over 6 years now and only in the last 3 months have we had any kind of problems. In fact we typically get letters complimenting us on our service. What has happened in the past 3 months? you might ask.

Absolutely nothing! at least on our end, let me continue... During the Christmas season, the United States Customs (where the packages pass through from their origin in Switzerland), secretly (without notifying the customers or the suppliers) began unjustifiably seizing personal shipments of cigarette packages intended for consumers.

Essentially the U.S. Customs is trying (and succeeding) in bullying and frightening the public into complacency, because they are afraid of losing their prized cigarette taxes.

Currently cigarette taxes are at $7.50 per carton for Federal taxes and as high as $20 per carton for state taxes. Yes, depending on which state you are from, you can be paying almost $30 per carton for cigarette taxes (could that be? 300% tax). That is a lot of money for the sate to lose, so they are doing everything they can to stop this business. Including wrongfully seizing the product and claiming false laws that ONLY APPLY TO COMMERCIAL PURCHASE OF CIGARETTES. But you all are falling for it and you are not doing anything about it, except...

Let me give you a typical scenario of what has happened over on the HaveCigs side (you will be very surprised at what your fellow Americans have been doing).

After the orders are placed they are usually shipped out of our warehouse the next business day. Under NORMAL circumstances they arrive at their destination within 10 business days believe it or not! During the previous months YOUR U.S. Customs has been seizing your PESONAL PACKAGES (did you ever think the day would come!) without notifying HaveCigs or the person the packages were intended for. Obviously after a while the customer calls HaveCigs and asks about their package. HaveCigs informs the customer to "be patient" (as you said) because packages have been known to take up to 30 days to arrive. After receiving complaints from customers that have been waiting for more than 45 days we will send out another carton, assuming that the carton has been lost. 30 days pass and that one never arrives either, we process a refund. Now here comes the surprise! After refunding the customers order, they begin to get their packages and simply refuse to pay HaveCigs for them (probably assuming that for all the waiting they have done they shouldn't have to pay! right?), on top of that many of them will turn around and contact their credit card companies and request a Back Charge (claiming that fraudulent charge has occurred), in many cases even after receiving their order (how would HaveCigs know? after all they are all the way in Switzerland). In some cases customers had the nerve to openly tell us over the phone, "I will smoke every last one of these cigarettes and I am not giving you a single penny!" (obviously after the refund).

What does all this mean from the point of view of HaveCigs? First we get the payment for a carton of cigarettes, and then we send it out. We are all happy because we make a little money to pay all our hard working employees and the customers cigarettes are on there way. Customs seizes package, customer complains, we send out the second replacement carton. At this point we are actually losing money (because 2 cartons does not equal our profit from one order). On top of that we issue a refund to the customer and then the customer requests a charge back from their credit card company (probably from a previous order) knowing that they already received their refund. Shortly after all this drama, they receive the packages and do not even call us back to pay for them. What is the score? HaveCigs -3 Customer +3, the customer actually made money on this and in some cases got 2 cartons on top of it! Don't forget, there are also labor costs, someone has to source the product, order it, receive it, store it, advertise, take your order, package it, send it, take your complaints, issue your refund, etc.

So thanks to the U.S. Custom's clever plan (I personally wasn't aware they were bright enough to plot this whole thing out), The states and Federal government are back to getting your hard earned tax dollars and you the Public essentially shot yourself in the foot, AGAIN!

I think it goes without saying that this did not have to go on for very long before the HaveCigs company would be financially crippled while the U.S. Customs still has your package to this day. Hey it's not quite theft if you do it in front of their faces, right?

I think the real question is what you should do if you did not get your packages? Why not try saying "I AM MAD AS HELL! AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!" and then direct your anger in the right place. Here's how...

Step 1: Just for your own sake, call The ATF (Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) and confirm that you are allowed to purchase Duty Free cigarettes as long as it is for personal consumption. Or if you know an attorney ask them, they will tell you that it is clear that there are NO LAWS AGAINST PURCHASING DUTY FREE CIGARETTES OVER THE INTERNET, AS LONG AS IT IS FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION. Think about your next vacation to Mexico, Canada or the Virgin Islands and notice how when you come back across the border carrying your 2 cartons of cigarettes home, the U.S. Customs DOES NOT SEIZE YOUR CIGARETTES because they know that when face-to-face with you, they cannot just take things from you for NO REASON!

Step 2: Call The U.S. Customs that is strong-arming your package and DEMAND! that they release them, because according to U.S. Laws you are allowed to purchase Duty Free products as long as it is for personal consumption and NOT FOR COMMERCIAL RESALE.

Step 3: The next time something really good comes along that can save you hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars in taxes... DO NOT SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT. That is exactly what they want you to do because they could not come up with any legal basis to stop it. If you think about the years to come, you all as a whole are going to lose a lot more money from paying your cigarette taxes than your credit card charge backs.

I urge you to speak up and DEMAND that the U.S. Customs gives you your personal packages back! I would be surprised if they even tried to give you a legitimate reason why they should not, because there is none!

HaveCigs
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