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Piantedosi Oars / no refund

1 PO Box 643West Acton, MA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 978-263-1814

In April I ordered a Scout Rig rowing frame and oars for installation in a canoe from Gary Piantedosi at Piantedosi Oars. At the end of May he still had not shipped my order, citing a back-order of parts and could not give an estimated shipping date. I asked to cancel my order and get a refund. Gary Piantedosi promised to refund my money. Since then I have not received my money back. I've called repeatedly, emailed repeatedly to no avail. He ignored a BBB consumer complaint, never answered them. I sent a certified letter that he never even accepted from the post office. I filed a complaint with the MA State Attorney General's Office and he won't answer their phone calls either. My only option left is to sue him and I'll be contacting a lawyer in MA soon.

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  • Dt
      23rd of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    Yeah - I am currently getting screwed too. Worth spreading the word to all involved with the rowing community. He doesn't answer his phone or respond to emails. I wonder if he comes out from under his rock at any regattas?

  • Gr
      2nd of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Amen to that. Same story w/me. Ordered and paid for scout rig and oars in early August. No response to inquiry.

  • Hi
      20th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I, too, was victimized by this person to the tune of about $940.00. Ordered a 'scout rig' early Aug 09 and paid w/debit card. Only time I could get this guy on the phone was prior to payment. No communication or delivery for more than one month and no response to multiple attempts at contact by phone and email. My bank was kind enough to reimburse me and referred this individual for further investigation. My first clue should have been the expired security certificate on his web order form uncovered by my browser. BEWARE PIANTEDOSI OARS

  • Sh
      13th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    What a sad story. All that potential. He must be having problems. There is still time to turn it around.

  • Sn
      24th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same story. Ordered a Row Wing in Feb of 2008. Paid $670 by credit card, and expected it to take 6 weeks. Multiple calls gave assurance it was on the dock, shipping immediately. Finally, no one answers calls any more. BBB complaint had no result. BBB advised complaining thru the Mass. Attorney General, will try that next but above comments don't make that sound hopeful either.

  • Su
      20th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I'm so glad to find this web sight! I thought we were the only ones who have been screwed over by this guy. My husband and I order 2 sets of row wings in April 2009 for over $1, 400 and never received them. He promised them to us but then stopped returning our calls and emails. Unfortunately the 2 months passed and we were unable to get a refund from our credit card company. We ended up buying 2 more sets of row wings for another $1, 400 from Alden who he now works for. No problem getting those, they were sent out within a week from our order. But when we installed them one of the bolts in the oarlock bent and we had to return it to Gary and thats been 3 weeks and we have not heard from Alden or Gary.

  • Jw
      30th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I was told today that Piantedosi Oars was recently bought out by Micro-Wizard Fast Track Derby Timers. Not sure if oar business was sold too, but just FYI (something seems to be wrong up there). My dealings with Piantedosi Oars, Incorporated in past years were great.

  • Ak
      16th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    An update to the above. I did contact an attorney and we sued in MA small claims court. We won by default as Piantedosi never bothered to show up. My attorney is now getting an arrest warrent issued to compel Piantedosi to appear. We get him to answer somehow.

  • Sc
      3rd of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    Same experience here. I'm out $885 for a scout rig and oars. Gary has been ignoring my calls for months now. Hopefully I can recover some of the money via legal action.

  • Be
      21st of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I worked for Piantedosi almost 30 years ago, and recall then the phone ringing constantly while Gary and his two brothers ignored it. Irate customers constantly screaming about long overdue deliveries. Gary is an artist/artisan, not a businessman. I can tell you that every oar and seat was crafted to exacting standards, and Gary demanded perfection. He didn't produce rigs at that time, but I suspect the approach was the same. If you ever took possession of a Piantedosi product, I suspect you have some appreciation for the hand crafting. These were not products cranked out by automated machines. Gary needed to price his products - a handcrafted set of sculling oars, made to the exacting standards of a world class rower and MIT engineer, you would have to pay premium prices. In turn, Gary needed to reinvest the additional profit into greater scale to reduce the production cycle time, OR be upfront that producing the Rolls Royce of oars was a longer lead time undertaking. Instead, he would keep taking orders, and the backlog got worse every day.
    I make no excuses for a guy I have not seen or spoken to in almost 30 years. I Googled him out of curiosity. But thought I would offer this not-particularly-consoling additional information to some of the victims.

  • Ak
      12th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    An update to my original post. After three years I have finally received a refund from Piantedosi, but only after an arrest warrent was issued and executed by the Sheriffs Dept. He was hauled into court and ordered to write a check to me in payment of the court judgement that I had previously won. I was initially skeptical that the check would clear but much to my surprise it did. A good thing id did as it saved me from having to have him charged with check fraud which would have added criminal charges onto the civil ones, but it was something I would have willingly done. I'm happily sending payment to the lawyer who handled it for me. I would strongly recommend to anyone else having similar difficulties with Piantedosi to contact a lawyer in Massachusetts. The MA Bar Assoc can be contacted for a referral list of lawyers who will assist in filling a small claims lawsuit. Please don't hesitate to take legal action against Gary. And Gary, if you read this, I hope you enjoyed the experience of being arrested and taken to court in handcuffs. But if you didn't enjoy it, keep in mind you have no one to blame except yourself.


  • No
      31st of May, 2011
    -1 Votes

    What a hoot!! Here's a guy who by all expectations should be in the top 1% of money earners in this country. It just goes to show you that all the education and accolades in the world do not produce a person of integrity or foresight. Imagine being married to him, you think you are getting a real catch and look what you end up with. It's laughable. REFUND THE MONEY.

  • Do
      1st of Jun, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Is he not associated with rowalden these days, see if you can contact him there.

  • Se
      12th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    Nothing has changed over the past few years. I order over $6, 000.00 dollars worth of seats and oars from Alden Rowing. Once he received my money there was zero communication, would not respond to repeated emails and phone calls.
    Lucky I paid with Mastercard and was able to get my money back from them. (It took almost 3 months.)
    Do not trust Gary Piantedosi.

  • Mw
      8th of Nov, 2014
    0 Votes

    I wish I would have found this thread before ordering from Gary Piantedosi at his website. He must have learned that credit card companies can retract payments because now he only takes checks. I ordered $450 worth of oars from him two months ago, and now that my check has cleared he won't answer my calls or emails. Filed BBB and MA Atty general complaints, but they weren't able to help since he won't answer their calls either. Looks like he's had a bunch of tax liens and judgements against him in the past. Looks like I'll have to take him to court as well if I want my money back.

  • Bi
      18th of Dec, 2014
    0 Votes

    I recently purchased a sliding rigger unit for my rowing boat. I paid by Visa. The unit eventually arrived but with installation instructions for a different unit. I have emailed, texted and tried to phone Gary but still have not received the correct paperwork. It would cost him nothing beyond a little time to supply me with the correct information . I can probably develop my own installation but would like to be sure I have all the parts. Gary's phone appears to be cut off; perhaps he has forgotten to pay the bill?

    Does anyone have an electronic copy of the installation instruction for the sliding rigger unit?


    Bill Grace
    New Zealand

  • Sa
      19th of Mar, 2015
    0 Votes

    I'm his latest victim. I had bought a 17' rowing shell from the "old" Alden years before and had excellent service. So the company had a good reputation with me. I didn't realize that ownership of it had changed hands. So in February 2015 he cashed my $2, 300 check for two SUP rowing rigs and oars. After he cashed the check, I heard nothing for a month. No reply to requests for status of the order, and the login part of the website didn't work. Then I found this board! So I requested a refund. He did ask for my mailing address, but I think that's just a stalling tactic. Can we do a class action suit?

  • Lo
      25th of Mar, 2015
    0 Votes

    In September 2014 I ordered a fixed rowing seat which I was told would be shipped the following day. I have not received it, no have I been able to reach Gary via numerous email addresses or phone. The certified letter I sent is on it's way back. My credit card was charged as soon as the order was placed.
    I emailed to the other Alden dealers. Those that replied have had about as much luck as I have contacting him. At this point I just want my money back.

  • Gh
      29th of Apr, 2015
    0 Votes

    In November 2014, my wife ordered and paid for an SUP rowing unit and oars as a Christmas gift for me. She paid with a check as Gary Piantedosi wouldn't accept a credit card. The check was cashed quickly. But after that my wife couldn't get through to Gary in any way. No luck with the phone; no luck with email. She was trying to find out if my gifts would ship in time for Christmas. A few days before Christmas, she gave up all hope of getting through to Gary -- and all hope of ever getting the rowing unit and oars. She quickly bought me several other gifts so I would have something to open on Christmas day. Then, lo and behold, the rowing unit showed up just in time for Christmas. (After reading all the posts here, I take it as a Christmas miracle!) But the oars didn't come. Still haven't. I don't expect they ever will. And I've been unable to reach Gary by any means. Artisan? Yes, I guess so. Not a businessman? That's for sure. But how about thief? That's what comes to my mind every time I think about this guy and the $500+ my wife paid for oars we never received. Class action suit? Count us in.

  • Ds
      30th of May, 2015
    0 Votes

    Ouch. Wish I'd read this post. I have a RowWing/oars that I purchased through CLC in Annapolis and wanted to get a canoe mounting kit. The website is a mess but I finally put in an order and sent a check. He did answer once when I called but I've never received the order. I'm not sure he cashed the check but after reading this I will be contacting my bank. As noted the rowing unit is a piece of art but too bad about the company.

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