Ebay, Paypal, Wachovia, BBB, Bureau of Consumer Protection, IC3.gov, UPS, USPS, omega2000group Scam Rip Off Report.
Here's how I got scammed by George Sararu from, omega2000group. This article involves Ebay, Paypal, Wachovia, BBB, The Bureau of Consumer Protection, and IC3.gov. Did any of these businesses or organizations protect me? Will they really protect you? Reading this article will give you information you need to protect yourself.
Here's my story...
I was searching on Ebay for a tankless, gas, water heater. During the time I was searching on Ebay I received one of those promotional emails for 10% off my Ebay purchase. I ended up finding George from omega2000group. It seemed like George had good prices on water heaters and good customer service as he claimed on his Ebay listing. He also had 100% feedback. I wanted to purchase a tankless, gas, water heater and a Flue Adaptor as a package. So I wrote George / omega2000group through the Ebay message service. George / omega2000group wrote back with his phone number in the reply, telling me to give him a call.
I gave George / omega2000group a call as he suggested. When I talked to him over the phone he told me he would just give me the 10% discount direct and not to use Ebay, but rather buy the items from his website http://omega2000group.com/. I figured, he had 100% feedback on Ebay, and he seemed to be a reliable business person when I spoke with him on the phone. He basically seemed like someone who can be trusted. So I made the purchase from his website using Paypal. You might think you know which direction this story is going to go in but it ends up going much further than you'd think.
About a week goes by and I receive my tankless, gas, water heater and flue adaptor. Both items arrive damaged. So I called George / omega2000group about the problem. He claimed it was the shippers fault and to contact them, he then would send me a new replacement water heater. He also had a pointless attitude about it. I found that a little odd, but I just let it go.
UPS picks up the first damaged water heater. Over a week passes by and I never receive the replacement water heater. I call George about it. He mumbles about something having to do with UPS and says it's not my problem, it's his problem, and he'll send the replacement out to me.
The second water heater arrives and it's in even worse condition. I call George again. He claims once more it's the shippers fault and to call them. I felt something didn't seem right, so I told George to call the shipper himself and make the claim. George says he'll send the third water heater out by United States Postal Service (USPS) because UPS isn't reliable.
UPS picks up the second damaged water heater. I finally get the third water heater from USPS, a completely different shipper, and it's also damaged. I call George and guess what he says? It's the shippers fault and to call them. Once again, it seemed something was not right. (I didn't want to be involved in filing false shipping claims). I told George to call them, but I never told George I suspected shipping fraud. It was just something that appeared to be obvious to me, I kept it to myself and never mentioned it to George. I just told him to make the calls and left it at that.
The thing is, the damage was inside the unit. It was the exhaust fan which is inside it's own casing, which is inside the whole unit, double protected. It was almost impossible that the shipper could have caused the damage.
Also, I owned a business for over four years where I received items of all sizes and frailness, both daily and weekly. I never had this ratio of shipping damage. Not even near that. Either his company has real bad packaging or the product is made under real bad quality control. The product comes from china. If it can survive that, why can't it survive being shipped within the united states??? I made many purchases on Ebay and never had a shipping problem. I've also shipped many items and still no problem.
After receiving three products in a row, all damaged, that made me very skeptical. Was George just passing the bad products onto me for shipping claim purposes? Did he treat me as less of a customer because he didn't have to worry about Ebay feedback? Or did he just simply not want to take responsibility for a bad product? Anythings possible I suppose. Is George involved in some type of shipping fraud? I'm not sure, but I guess the truth will come out in the end.
(Wait until you read the part about Paypal. Did they help me?)
Moving forward. I nicely told George to just take his products back and just give me a refund. He told me to send my damage claim to him by email and he'd have the items picked up and give me a refund. He seemed honest and sincere. I sent the email he requested and that's the last I heard from him. I never got a refund. He never had the items picked up as he said he would. A lot of time passed by so I figured i'd give him a call. He wouldn't answer my calls or reply to my emails. I left him voice mail. Still no reply. I should point out that he uses his caller ID to see who's calling. When I first started calling him, he knew who I was by my phone number, as he mentioned during one of our conversations.
Since he was avoiding me I figured Paypal would help me since I used their service to pay for the items and he's Paypal/Ebay verified. I filled out the complaint form in their resolution center. The complaint went to George. He never replied back. Nothing. So Paypal said, there's nothing they can do, work it out with the seller, and they closed my case. That's it, they didn't even attempt to help me. Nothing, not at all. You think Paypal would see a red flag when a business doesn't even defend themselves. It gets even worse.
I contact my bank, Wachovia, which I use through the Paypal service, about the problem. They tell me to fill out a form. I fill out the form and send every little detail to them through their customers online message service. They issue me a pending refund. This is money I can take out of the bank and spend it. A month or two later they send me a letter that they are debiting my account for their money back. I call Wachovia and ask why I'm not being protected, they bluntly say, we don't even look into these claims. So I say and ask, I sent you all the detailed information, why did you give me a refund then? The Wachovia rep says, we don't even read our online messages. Ok, that makes a lot of sense. So they didn't read the form I faxed in. They have a message service for customers, but they don't read those messages either. And they just blindly issue refunds? How did they know they won't look into my case if they didn't read my information??? Nothing about that conversation made sense. It's like they just pull excuses out of thin air. So basically they tell me to call the seller and work it out with the seller. I explained how the seller just completely ignores me. They just keep telling me to work it out with omega2000group. How am I supposed to work something out with someone who just ignores me???? They had no answer.
I called Paypal. I told them the whole situation, again. They bluntly said. We don't even look into sales made outside of Ebay. (Ebay owns Paypal). They made some excuse that the seller can change what's on their website. Omega2000group is verified through Paypal and Ebay. They can't compare George's Ebay listings to his website listings? And what exactly is he going to change? I have receipts and tangible proof that I have been ripped off. All they had to do is look at the BBB website, look at the omega2000group website, look at my proof. Nope, they don't even look into it, not at all. How crazy is that??? So businesses can just rip you off, and no one protects you? Be careful, Paypal is not on your side. They also said, work it out with the seller. Their excuses and resolution were just as bad as Wachovia's.
I filed a complaint at the IC3.gov. Still have not heard anything back. It's almost 9 months now.
I filed a complaint with the Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection. I just got two letters from them saying they got my complaint, and it's being forwarded to the CA Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection. We'll see what happens with that.
I filed a complaint with the BBB where omega2000group has an F rating. George actually replied. But his replies were full of false claims. Wow does this guy make stuff up. It's actually somewhat comical. His replies at the BBB made no sense and had no tangible proof backing what he claims. He loves to blame the shipper and the customer, it's never his fault. If George is perfect, why doesn't that show in his ridiculous claims? You can't just make stuff up and expect smart people to believe it. It seems George thinks he's smarter than he really is. Maybe it's because he gets away with ripping people off?
If I just did a little more research about omega2000group I would have never made that purchase. All I had to do is check the BBB. Also on Ebay, you can tell he had problems in the past because he has a statement found on all his listings.
"Feedback- Due to the fact that some buyers hold feedback hostage or as a bargaining chip to leverage financial gain. I will ONLY leave feedback for you after you have received your purchased product from me, are satisfied with the purchase and consequently leave/post positive feedback for me, at which time I will gladly post positive feedback for you. Unfortunately, if you leave negative feedback, I'll do the same for you."
I'm still in disbelief no one will help me??? I lost respect for Ebay/Paypal and Wachovia. Watch yourself, because they're not always on your side. I'm also surprised the mentioned organizations didn't tell me how to initiate a state to state small claim.
How George has positive feedback on Ebay amazes me too??? Does he trick his buyers into leaving feedback immediately? Does he treat his Ebay buyers better because he's under the Ebay Eye? Does Ebay know he talks buyers into buying directly from him rather than using the Ebay service? I never mentioned to Ebay / Paypal that he did that to me. After the way Paypal responded to my issue I figured they would just say it's my problem and not theirs.
Wachovia also ripped me off once before, near the time I opened my account with them. I don't even think that story needs to be told. They pretty much showed their true colors in this story, although the stories are completely different.
As for Paypal, if you're going to use their service. I'd recommend using your Visa debit or credit card. Visa has the best protection so far. I'd highly recommend not using your bank account direct with Paypal unless you have an amazing bank. At least with Visa you can do a charge back. Wachovia will not. They wouldn't do it for me. Maybe Ebay owns Wachovia??? haha
These are George's websites...
Some of his other info:
Omega 2000 Group Corp.
160 South Carmalita Street
Hemet, CA 92543
Contact: Sararu, George
Phone: (888) 866-2118
Hopefully this report helps someone out. This situation is like being mugged while being surrounded by different authorities. Some authorities saying to the robber "you really shouldn't do that, but I'm not getting involved". Other authorities saying "I'm not getting involved, the robber might have a gun". I'm really baffled how someone can get ripped off so easily and nothing happens to the "robber". Be careful!
My next step is to contact the local and national news.