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Locked: FYI: Business spamming the boards (Sig Electronics complaint)

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[OP]
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Dec 13, 2002
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FYI: Business spamming the boards (Sig Electronics complaint)

The other day I made a request for a Canon printer *rebate coupon* in the Request-A-Deal section: http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/show ... p?t=506820. Nobody replied for a few days, then Wednesday I noticed there'd been a reply:
DaSilva wrote:
Oct 31st, 2007 3:58 pm
another option you have is i found a HP PSC1401 All-in-One Printer for only $69.99
That was odd, as I didn't ask for "another option" - in fact my request was very specific. I'd never heard of the HP PSC1401 and it was well below the price-point(and therefore quality) of the printer I'm looking to buy, so I quickly dismissed it, but giving DaSilva the benefit of the doubt I looked up his recommendation and found that it's not only a very-low-end *2-year old printer*, but that the price at the retailer he linked to is considerably more expensive than the only other store in the GTA selling it!

Why would DaSilva (with his 16-post post-count) pop up out of nowhere and mention this printer I didn't ask for, and recommend I buy it from this specific store, Sig Electronics (which I'll refer to as SigE from here-on-in)???

I searched DaSilva's other posts for clues:
  • DaSilva's 1st-ever post on RFD:"Wow, that's a great price" - as a first-reply in a topic about a "warm deal" found at SigE. [neither post suspicious itself]
  • After someone reported that an item being discussed was "no longer available" (OOS at TD), DaSilva posts: "I have seen a Vizio 42" Plasma P42HDTV (recertified) at SIG Electronics for $899.99. (direct link posted)" -- how nice of you to share, however your price is $100 more expensive....
  • In a discussion about TVs at SigE[*, **], DaSilva chimes in: "I think that the 42" Plasma Vizio is 749.99 in store" Perhaps DaSilva is just a frequent shopper there... he certainly seems to like to mention them...
  • More Request-A-Deal replies suggesting to use SigE: U3 drives, and another "I found a...", and another in reply to a request for TV deals.

    * This thread included a post in which "jacmon", made his 1st-ever post here on RFD, apparently as 'a shopper in need of advice'. He gave detailed info on the benefits of buying either of 2 products from SigE, then threw in a red herring by comparing them to a 3rd somewhat-comparable item from a US retailer, mentioning the downsides of going the US route. He even drops-in the unasked for fact that SigE has 'free' local pickup (gosh, I would hope so!) Having done that, he asks "Which one would you choose?" Again, all seemingly innocent on its own...

    ** Also found in the thread was a post by someone named "zippy pug" (his first-ever post here, too) claiming to have bought the TV being discussed in the thread from SigE. He said "I first called and talked to a very helpful sales rep named Louis. My understanding is that the lcd is not a demo and has not been used or refurbished.". Long story short, when his story(as related to him by Louis) was questioned, he later posted again that he'd since "discovered" a few things, which changed the story considerably. He even now says here, due to missing accessory and scuff marks found on the item, "I think the tv I bought is probably refurbished", but then gives it an extremely positive & forgiving spin, "innocently" questioning the harm in buying a refurb and saying what a great deal it was anyway(especially as he bought a warranty).

    Again, at face-value all completely innocent. "zippy pug" may actually be a legit customer and considerate RFD poster, but a sceptic might see it as similar to jacmon's first-time post in that it could been seen to be a very cleverly concocted STORY presenting a few 'negatives' and then playing them off against many positives reasons to buy the product from SigE. A sceptic might also suggest that by eventually "coming clean" (when pressed to), anyone else buying a similar item from SigE will have no surprises. Hard to prove, but certainly suspicious.
I searched jacmon's other posts for clues:
  • suggested SigE in reply to a "LF: Noise Cancelling Headphones"
  • gave us an "I found this site...", complete with link to SigE. You found it, eh? Imagine that!
  • suggested SigE in reply to a LF for a Ipod Nano, saying that out-of-province buyers can save PST. However, after shipping is included, it's less than a $5 difference from buying it locally at BestBuy -- hardly a 'deal' on a $200+ item.

    Then jacmon starts a new Hot Deal thread: "Hey guys, check out this deal! I found..... at SigE"...
    ---> and is then called-out by at least 2 posters for self-promoting SigE, is told that it would have been helpful to include the fact that the tv is a refurb in the topic title, and that high shipping charge is a deal-breaker.
    ------> replies: "The TV is like brand new no dead pixels and they have showroom there. I will try to tell them to lower the shipping cost. Will post the message once I called them.".
    ---------> followed by: this: "I just call them, and they just adjust the price on shipping for the Westinghouse 32" TV, ship to my address in north york only cost me $30.70, not bad!"
    F-me! I wish I could call stores and have them change their shipping price just like that!! :-0
So that pretty much confirms "jacmon" is not being honest with us and is somehow involved with SigE. Recall his innocent-shopper "i need advice" thread that I mentioned earlier and re-read it from a "How can I make this sound like I'm not an employee/friend of the store?"-perspective. The "zippy pug" thing isn't as much as a stretch as it might first seem either, though still, it's hard to prove for sure.

So, back to "DaSilva"....BUSTED... DaSilva = Luis DaSilva = employee of SigE.

Oh, but unfortunately I'm not done there! The first ever mention of SigE here was this:
Luis wrote:
May 18th, 2007 7:26 pm
I found a site called SiG Electronics they are having a sale that is worth checking out. Their site is http://www.sigelectronics.com under specials.
Promotional code: _____
It was posted by someone named "Luis". However, the User Info for this Luis shows that this is the "Luis Kuo", not Luis DaSilva as I expected. So it seems, nothing more than just a coincidence. I then Googled some more and found this link which locates Kuo at 245 W Beaver Creek in Richmond Hill --- which JUST HAPPENS to be the same address as SigE!! I could not pinpoint the Unit# and found this same person running another business from #245 - so I giving Kuo the benefit of the doubt, came to the conclusion that despite the coincidence of sharing the same first name, Kuo was perhaps nothing more than a neighbour in the same business plaza as SigE.

.. Looking at Luis(Kuo)'s post history here on RFD, it seems pretty much all his 108 posts (going back to Oct, 2006) are For Sale ads of electronics - the exact type that SigE happens to sell.

OK, so that doesn't prove anything, either. Kuo might visit SigE on his lunchbreak, picking up hot deals that he comes across and re-selling them here on RFD for profit".

BUT.. THEN I found this, the striking blow that unravels it all:
Luis wrote:
Jan 8th, 2007 6:33 pm
My handle is 3c_online on ebay, I've sold hundreds of stuff on ebay.
So I go to eBay and look him up. And what do I come to?
[IMG]http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/2237/13vk0.jpg[/IMG]

BUSTED... Luis (Kuo) = 3c_online = employee of SigE, using RFD as an occasional retail outlet for SigE merchandise.

So Luis, DaSilva and your friend/alias 'jacmon' and anyone else that is involved with SigE who posts here pretending to be unconnected customers "finding" good deals at your store - TAKE A HIKE!
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27 replies
[OP]
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Dec 13, 2002
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What a colossal waste of my time that was!

Anyhow, this is the RFD Suggestion forum - so I suggest we ban them, and any other businesses found to be having employees &/or associates posting 'deals' for their store and/or 'For Sale' ads of store merchandise in the BST forums.
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Sep 1, 2004
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Victoria
wow... you have some eye

good job!
Deal Expert
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Dec 14, 2005
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Richmond
Thanks for the heads-up.
[OP]
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Dec 13, 2002
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^ Thanks for the swift action!

I trust this thread can be left in place so that a history of their practises here on RFD remains intact.

edit: Just in case anyone is still considering a purchase from SigE (they do have *very* good prices on certain items), I think potential buyers should be aware of their return policy:
[IMG]http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/3302/s ... icyai2.jpg[/IMG]
(Further down, it says they do exchange *defective* items only, but no refund)

.. and that also, in addition to 'zippy pug''s story as related above, SigE has advertised and sold at least one other item as "open box"[link], stating explicitly that it is not Refurbished[link from the same listing], yet an examination of the item's serial# and quick call to the manufacturer confirms that IT IS in fact a refurb[link]. :!:
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Nov 17, 2003
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This is the real strength of the RFD community right here. Awesome. :)
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Jan 16, 2003
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RenegadeX wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2007 1:15 am
What a colossal waste of my time that was!
:lol: At least you're honnest! :D
Member
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Mar 23, 2006
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wow, thats alot of work you put into that :eek: i probably would have given up after 1/4 of what you did and just assumed they were SIG without giving them the benefit of doubt :lol:
good job, thanks for the heads up :)
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
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We need a thread were we list companies that do this. I caught one before as well.
Deal Guru
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Apr 16, 2001
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Oshawa
Nice detective job, OP.

Shall we track down Luis and DaSilva, and post their home addresses and phone numbers? :twisted:
Whenever someone asks a question that starts with "Why do they..." or "Why don't they...", the answer is always a) money, b) stupidity, or c) both.
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May 13, 2004
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Toronto
Great detective job, indeed! I do that kind of thing over at ehMac, and have done it here with a few people subsequently banned. And had some close calls with scammers but did the detective work to root them out first.

It's too bad SiG didn't come here as a sponsored poster, or whatever status would be appropriate. It doesn't appear to cost that much, and would have made their deals transparent to users of this site.
[OP]
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Dec 13, 2002
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HowEver wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2007 9:18 pm
It's too bad SiG didn't come here as a sponsored poster, or whatever status would be appropriate. It doesn't appear to cost that much, and would have made their deals transparent to users of this site.
Sure, but then again I'm not sure that I'd appreciate companies posting crap like the "another option is...." when it's not needed, or "we have a ___ at our store for $___" in any threads where they deem it might be "helpful".

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for good deals, but just imagine the mess if stores had free run to post their deals in any thread that was discussing an item they happen to sell.
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Jun 14, 2007
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thank you
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Sep 29, 2005
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Toronto
it was a rather interesting read
good job detective =D
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wooo! lol gj man

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