Anybody Else Ripped Off By Iain Sinclair Design?
In June I inquired again and was told they were on track to complete all the back orders by the end of July. I asked about cancelling the order, and was then introduced to the grim reality of this particular situation. See, my card was charged back in February. The Sinclair Design rep says they've changed credit card systems and can't do a refund. The card company says the deadline for that was a couple of months after purchase. But the knives are available, they're just apparently not shipping to individuals. You can buy packs of them on eBay.
In the intervening months, I've seen credit card knives at gun shows for $10 and they're not exactly hard to come by. I didn't get one at the shows because of the long standing order.
So I thought I'd ask you, dear readers. Anyone else been ripped off by these guys? Anyone else know anything else about the company? It's hard to fathom why an honest seller with products to sell would take over five months to ship. Could they have expected a few hundred sales and got a million? Way more than they could handle?
Although this post is eight months old, it's unique in getting comments fairly regularly. It received three comments in February, two in March and four since April 1.
Iain Sinclair Design has a slick website, but judging by the feedback I've gotten, they're either rather incompetent at running a business or just plain petty criminals. I'm assuming it's the second option: petty criminals. After all, if you want to steal money, this is a pretty effective way to do it. You sell something on the promise it will ship as soon as prototyping is done, charge the credit card number immediately and never ship. If the customer inquires, politely explain you're having some delays and you'll be shipping Real Soon Now, all the while charging more credit cards. By the time the customer decides it's fraud, they have a real problem. Dealing with international payments, multiple credit card handling services, and other ways to tangle the trail makes it hard for the customer to do anything. How much do you need to spend to get your $16 back? Faced with large costs to recover a small loss, most people give up and swear never to buy from the company. I'm not proud to say I gave up.
Basically, it's easier to steal $10 1000 times than $10,000 once. If you get a supply of $10 bills, people are going to complain and post angry comments, but they're probably not going to make a big deal of it. If you steal $100 or $1000, folks will probably call the police.
But all that is offset by the fact that there are dozens of entries for Iain Sinclair knives on eBay. Clearly they sell to someone. Do they just rip off small foreign orders, or only sell to bulk buyers, or what? Is this number of complaints I can see just a small random sample and they're really just wonderful folks? That doesn't make me feel any better about being out $35 for two of these. The website shows a Cardsharp 4, a $90 version that looks as nice as can be. Would I buy one? Hell no.
To keep a clear conscience, all I can say is DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE FOLKS!! Or, at the very least, don't do business from outside the UK. If you're in the UK, maybe even the EU (sorry, don't know exactly what that relationship is), it might be easier for you to get resolution. If you're in the States or probably anywhere else: don't do it, man.
There are always scammers and ripoff artists out there, and it's always wise for the buyer to beware - caveat emptor. I should point out that my order was in response to an email offer from someplace in the gun culture, so I was inclined to trust them (but I don't remember whom it was or have records...). So you can't necessarily trust a seller even if they come from a source you might trust.
I'm blessed enough to host a thousand readers a day coming through here. Perhaps there's someone coming here to read who can be a pain in the ass for Iain Sinclair Design in London. In my opinion, they deserve it.