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This site started out as an advice site to educate people on how to save money amid all the confusion and scams on the net. What the printer companies are doing amounts to legalized piracy and our goal was to help you keep your own money in your pockets. Eventually visitors urged us to stock the items we recommended and offer them on the site. When we discovered the reusable cartridges, we found a fantastic product difficult to obtain in the US so we had to import them. Our advice site evolved into a family business. Our goal is help you save money while getting great results from your printer.
We consider ourselves more than reasonable in dealing with customers and go the extra mile to make sure no one is disappointed. However, sometimes a few individuals make it difficult for everyone else. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone conducted themselves fairly and we wouldn't need lawyers and contracts to keep people honest? So while we would like to say 100% money-back guarantee, no questions asked, a few people have made it impossible to do this without adding some conditions. They can be summed up in two words: be reasonable.
We have a 60-day window in which to give credit car or paypal refunds, so refund requests must be received within this time frame (though we have at time sent refund checks even after that time period). The time limit for replacement is much more generous. If there is a problem with one or two of our cartridges, we will replace them. If three cartridges, we will refund the purchase price for those cartridges and any unopened ones returned within the window. If a printer uses four or six different cartridges (black and 3-5 colors) and you opened one of each, we will take those back. But don't open more than one of each color and expect a refund.
Why this limit? It is always possible that one or two were defective. This can happen (and has) even with genuine Epson products. But if it is two of the same color, this indicates a problem with the printer itself. What happens is the print head gets clogged and the printer stops producing that color. The customer puts in a new cartridge and it still won't print. The customer assumes the cartridge is defective and tries a second. At that point, the customer should realize it is a printer problem. Even if the customer believes it to be a cartridge problem, if two don't work, there is no point in continuing to open the rest. Return them for a refund. But we did have at least one person order a dozen black cartridges, then (without contacting us) return them all opened and empty six months later, claiming they were all defective. We did not refund in that situation. Another customer received 12 black cartridges on a hot day in a southern state. Exposure to heat creates pressure within the cartridge. (So does exposure to extreme cold.) He then emailed to say all 12 cartridges spewed ink when he removed the yellow tape and he wanted a refund. Had he called or emailed after opening the first one or two, we could have told him to put them in a refrigerator and let them cool off before opening. (And had it been a cold day, we would have recommended letting them warm up.) But if the first one spewed and then the second, why continue to open all 12? We have to protect ourselves from geniuses like that. Incidentally, we did send another 6 free and that person is still a loyal customer. But we went beyond our warranty and are not obligated to do so.
It does not take months to decide an entire order is defective. The customer tries one and it doesn't work, tries a second and has the same issue and at that point should contact us. Naturally we don't expect a customer to test an entire order within two months. So if they bought a quantity and a few months later find that one didn't work properly, we will replace it or add extra to their next order. But to request a refund, it must be done within the window. The excuse "I know I bought these 6 months ago but I just got around to using them" doesn't cut it. What's to stop anyone from buying anything - a MP3 player, computer, car, etc and saying they didn't use it until after the warranty expired? The warranty begins from date of purchase, not the date they decide to use it.
We have made exchanges a year after the purchase date when there was good reason. For example, customers bought a quantity of cartridges and then had to buy a new printer which couldn't take the old cartridges. We almost always take back sealed cartridges. But we don't want to be obligated to do so, hence the limitations in the warranty.
If you experience a problem, email or call first. Often we can resolve the problem over the phone. We get very few cartridges back and most of those work just fine in our printers. If we can't solve it, the next step would be to replace or refund. We may require that you send the product back to us. We do not send prepaid potage labels or reimburse your shipping. If this is for replacement, we will add extra to cover your costs. (We also put extra cartridges in most of our Epson, Canon and Brother orders.) This is what you accept when placing your order online. If you buy an item from a store and it doesn't work, it must be returned to the store. You can't call them up and expect to get your money back. If you expect a refund without returning the merchandise, shop elsewhere.
When returning opened ink cartridges, you must be careful to seal them against leaks. If they leak, the Post Office will dispose of them without delivery. Tape the bottom of the cartridge where the printer punctured it and the top where you removed the yellow tape. Place them in a baggie. Do not put closed cartridges in the same baggie. Return them to:
2412 Oceancrest Blvd
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
We supply schools, professional printers and corporations. We do almost no advertising. Most of our customers come to us by referral from other customers. We must be doing something right (and our cartridges must be working properly) to achieve this track record. As long as your expectations are reasonable, we will be more than reasonable.
Our warranty only covers the cartridges bought from us and for up to the amount paid us. We do not cover any other expenses. If someone waited until the day an important job was due and discovered a cartridge didn't work and had to run out and pay a lot more somewhere else, they can't expect us to refund the amount they paid for the other cartridge. We had one customer say since a cartridge didn't work and she couldn't find another one, she bought a whole new printer and expected us to pay for it. Sorry, but that's not the way it works. Another customer complained that his 4-year old printer stopped working a year and a half after putting in our cartridges so it had to be the fault of our cartridges and therefore he expected us to buy him a new printer. I hope anyone reading this understands why this is not a reasonable expectation. If not, please shop elsewhere.
Don't wait until you're down to your last cartridge on the last day you have to complete a critical job. At about $3 a cartridge, there is no reason not to have a backup. Someone's failure to spend an extra $3 does not impose an obligation on us. An entire set of our cartridges cost less than a single Epson cartridge. Instead of spending $60-$100 for one set of Epsons, spend $20 to $40 for two to three sets of ours. With our special bonuses for buying backup sets, there is no excuse not to be prepared.
We do not offer lifetime free replacements. Cartridges do not contain any moving parts. There is no particular reason a reusable or refillable cartridge can't last for years. We have a set going on four years. However, electronic chips can be damaged by stray voltage, liquid, or being touched by sweaty fingers. So don't count on your cartridge lasting forever. We typically replace it free within a few months of purchase or we add an extra in your next order. But we did have a professional print shop with multiple printers buy a single set of refillable cartridges and move it from printer to printer. Naturally doing this caused the ink to be used very quickly. Every time time cartridges are inserted in a printer, they go through a charging process which uses a good deal of ink. This print shop kept calling to complain the ink was being used too quickly. In four months we had sent five replacements for the four cartridges they bought. In all that time, despite our reminders, they didn't take the obvious step of buying a set for each printer. Expecting unlimited lifetime replacements of a $4 item is not reasonable. Epson won't do it and their cartridges cost five times more and give one-third the ink. Incidentally, when we stopped replacing the cartridges, this print shop bought several sets and has had no problems since. They still buy their ink from us and gave us a glowing recommendation. See our customer testimonials on the upper left. We also had customers call every few months to ask for a replacement for a different cartridge - all without placing any new orders. They were basically using our warranty to get free replacements every time they ran out of ink. Over a year they had received a complete new set, cartridge by cartridge. With some people abusing our warranty we can no longer afford to be that generous. So if you make your purchase expecting our basic warranty and you experience some issue, you will receive service which exceeds any reasonable expectations.
For a free e-book called "The FoolProof Guide to Accepting Credit Card and Check Payments," click here.
Helpful phone numbers and web sites dealing with Internet fraud www.Basestealer.com.
Features: 1) Paypal has millions of more users than Google. It is the payment service of ebay, making integration much simpler for auction sellers. 2) Implementing Paypal buttons and shopping carts is easier than integrating Google. 3) When someone pays you with paypal, the funds go into your account immediately. With Google, you have to charge each individual transaction. If you forget to charge it for seven days, the funds go back to the buyer. I learned this the hard way, after I shipped an item and was then unable to charge the transaction. The buyer decided to stiff me and would not pay the duplicate invoice even after promising to do so over the phone. 4) With Paypal you get the buyer's email ID. With google it's optional. If the buyer doesn't choose to send it, you get a long string of characters which points to google and they are supposed to forward it to the buyer. On several occasions it came back as undeliverable. 5) With Paypal you get a print shipping label button which lets you print a shipping label to the buyer's confirmed address. With Google you have to use some other method and cut-and-paste the address.
Safety: Now that Paypal allows "not as described" claims, neither Paypal or Google offer seller protection. Only time will tell whether Paypal becomes a playground for scammers. In the meantime, ING Direct Bank has launched a free person-to-person payment service linked to an interest-paying checking account. For more details ING Direct Free Checking
I recently helped a large cell phone distributor with eight stores and an active web site set up Paypal and Google accounts. They do over ten thousand dollars a day in online business. Because they immediately began to receive thousands of dollars, both Paypal and Google froze their ability to withdraw the money until they could furnish additional information. We gathered the info and faxed it. Several days later, I called Paypal to ask when the limitation would be lifted. Within minutes, an agent was explaining to me that one of the tracking numbers we had provided was inaccurate. I looked up and provided the correct number over the phone and the limitation was lifted.
Google has no phone number and everything must be done via email. It takes them several days to answer. They claimed the first fax we sent them never arrived. They claimed the second one was illegible. We finally scanned it the requested documents and e-mailed them. It took several weeks and there was almost twenty thousand dollars in the account before they finally unlocked it. In the meantime, we removed Google as a payment method from the site. This is customer service at its worst, (surpassed only by Amazon which blocked my client's ability to post items pending approval, yet continued charging him $40 a month for his account. They never answered any e-mails and every phone call ended with someone promising to get back to us and not following through.)
Because this firm does such a volume of business, there are a few complaints. Some may be mistakes made at the stores and some may be from customers who simply don't bother to read the description of what they were ordering (and some may be scammers). Paypal notified us of each claim. Someone researched it and either exchanged the merchandise, refunded the money, or explained why no further action was being taken. Some customers complained about "quality of goods" or "misrepresented item" issues. (In a few cases, the customers assumed that since the cell phone was bluetooth enabled, this meant a bluetooth headset was included and complained that it wasn't. The item description is very specific about what is in the box and a bluetooth headset does not automatically come with the phone.) In those case, Paypal explained to the buyer that they do not get involved in such disputes. (Something which is no longer true.)
Google on the other hand allowed a customer to charge back a $250 order which was sent with signature confirmation because the customer claimed he did not make the purchase. What?! Google was the one who validated the card - not the seller. If the address provided by Google is not the cardholder's address, it is Google's mistake for validating it. It if IS the cardholder's address, then the claim is a lie! Why would a thief steal someone's credit card and order merchandise to be sent to the cardholder's address? And why isn't the cardholder responsible to return it? So Google's promise of protecting the seller is as worthless as their customer service without a phone number.
Here is an email I received about Google checkout not from a scammed seller, but from his customer:
I do remodel work, and I've been making large payments to a subcontractor using GCK since summer 08. The sub signed up with GCK at my request and I'm the only one paying him. In the Fall of 08, Google froze his account and asked for verification for his business license. He couldn't receive any payouts at the time, but a few days after his license was provided they re-opened the account and all was well.
Fast forward. On February 10th, they closed his account. He received an email message which began, "It has come to our attention that your account ID:....does not comply with our Terms and Conditions. As a result, your account has been closed." But later it reads, "Finally, for security reasons I am unable to provide further details regarding this issue."
Of course this is boilderplate, and there is no violation of T&C's anywhere. Basically
what we have is GCK simply deciding they don't like the account, so they're closing it.
That wouldn't be so bad--they have that right--except for what they do if they do take
this action. First, they not only prevent you from using GCK, but they also prevent you
from accessing any of your sales and purchase history. I can't fathom a reason for this, and it can cause massive headaches. Even worse, here's what their offical page on closure
Note the amazing policy included on their second link at the bottom:
Risk: I already shipped orders to my buyers. How do I receive payment for these items?
Google Checkout will issue refunds to buyers for any pending orders for which tracking information has not been added. If a payout has not been initiated to your bank account for orders which you have already shipped, we recommend ordering a 'stop shipment' from the shipping company used. If you're unable to order a 'stop shipment', please reconcile payment with your buyer directly, as this order has been refunded back to your buyer".
WOW. So even if the shipment is legitimate, and you can prove it, Google will refund the purchase price because they unilaterally decided that they would close your account. I thought this was disconcerting.
An even stranger thing is that Google is known as the king of search engines. You would think they would bother to update their own site. They allow buyers to post reviews about sellers who accept Google checkout. A year ago a buyer posted an untrue negative comment about me. Since then 30 other buyers have posted positive comments. Yet for over a year, if you found me on Google, it showed that I had only 4 comments, one of them negative. Come on, Google, wake up! Don't you update your own site more than once a year?
New payment services keep popping up. Many of them use the public's fear of Paypal to garner "customers." Their sites say things like "Are you tired of payment services that can freeze your whole account? Well, we won't." Then they make all sorts of grandiose promises. Some offer bonuses for signing up and referring your friends. Be very careful! Some of these so-called payment "services" are no more than frauds set up by thieves. Their purpose is to get you to reveal your credit card number, bank account, even social security number. You give these thieves access to your identity. The cost of identity theft is incalculable. It has cost people thousands of dollars, many hours of their time, any possibility of ever owning a home, and worse. Do not sign up for a payment service without checking them out carefully! Here are some tips:
Who is behind the service? A number of these services do not reveal the names of the principals or the companies behind them.
When was the site registered and who owns it? Some of these payment services were registered to a single individual using a hotmail (or yahoo, juno, etc) ID. Not a very reassuring sign of stability.
Read the text carefully Some of these sites do little more than bash Paypal and then make vague promises. One particular site has contradictory statements. After promising they will never freeze accounts, under their terms they mention "and if your account is frozen." After saying they won't allow chargebacks like Paypal, they mention "and in the event of a chargeback." Their legal terms could not have been reviewed by an attorney because they make statements that even a non-attorney like me knows would never stand up. For example, they claim that their terms can change at any moment without notice and customers are bound by this. Even Paypal understood that customers have to be warned about changes to the terms and given the opportunity to accept or reject them. They claim that making a chargeback for any reason is fraud. Cardholders have the right to make chargebacks under certain situations and this is not fraud. So to me these are all warning signs of a service that is at best being run by rank amateurs or at worst, by someone interested in harvesting credit card and bank account information.
Sellers, beware of dealing with the wrong merchant!
Some folks have asked about getting involved in drop-shipping deals, where they run the auctions and the goods are sent directly from the merchant to the customer. Though I and others have been doing this for years and it works very well with the right merchant, it is very important to know who you are dealing with. Dealing with the wrong merchant will leave YOU holding the bag. The link I posted about this is no longer on the web. Incidentally, this crook, like many others, used paypal to receive money from his victims. Months later, his account was still open despite numerous complaints and despite his sending his victim a letter boasting about how he was a "safe as teflon because nothing sticks to him." Paypal was of absolutely no use. We discovered that complaints had been made against him months earlier, some of which had even been upheld and the buyers reimbursed. Why did they allow him to continue to scam?
Merchants are fighting back. Join a group of Online merchants who have banded together to exchange information on fraudulent cards and methods of combatting online fraud. Merchant911.org.
I have stated in the past that when folks use an online payment service to make a payment, they may be giving up their charge back rights. I was told this by officers in the credit card department of several banks. Here is a link to an article which states this. Note that it is a bit out-of-date, particularly in reference to the fees being charged. Online Payment Services.
Author meets with celebrities and lawmakers to discuss online payment services. Article and photos
1) I am not an employee of, consultant of or have any connection to any payment service except as a customer or former customer.
2) I personally have never had any charge backs from any payment service and my account has never been restricted. My personal experiences with all payment services have been good.
I post these web pages as warnings based on information that I received via email or found on the boards. You can choose to disbelieve them all if you like. You can decide that hundreds of posters had nothing better to do than make up stories about companies providing them with free services. You can also wonder why, if these stories aren't true, the companies didn't just say so. Instead, those (like Exchangepath and Paypal) who bothered to go to the sites where the complaints were posted, either blamed the complainer or the complainer's ISP or made excuses for why it happened.
Note about credit card services: There are three problems to worry about in a transaction: 1) the buyer is using a stolen credit card, 2) the buyer will receive the mechandise and charge it back with a false complaint 3) the seller will receive the payment and not ship or ship something very different than what was ordered. Because credit card rules are so badly skewed in favor of the buyer, sellers run a high risk when they accept credit cards and an even higher risk when using a third-party payment service. Banking laws are more clearly defined and validation of payer ID is higher. Therefore a service that uses a bank account payment will be safer. I have therefore rated the payment services based on how they respond to these three problems.
General note about fraud: A basic fact of a business transaction over the Internet is that there is no way to protect both parties. The method will either favor the buyer or the seller. Credit cards favor the buyer and many sellers have been taken by scamming buyers. Money orders favor the seller and there have been buyers scammed by dishonest sellers. I believe that it is the sellers who need protection more than the buyers for these reasons:
1) There are far more buyers than sellers. If there is a tool that can be used by buyers to scam, it opens a much bigger door for fraud than a tool that can be used by sellers.
2) Buyers can choose their sellers. Sellers don't have the luxury of choosing their buyers. Buyers can check out a seller's ratings before making a bid. There is a reason why the famous saying is "Buyer Beware." Only the buyer has the means by which to be aware.
3) Sellers have to maintain a reputation, buyers don't. So it is far easier for a buyer to keep changing their ID and scam victims than for a seller to do the same. Most buyers who have been scammed on auctions bought something from a seller with low ratings. In a sense, they asked for it. Now I don't condone taking advantage of a person under any circumstances, but if someone fails to exercise their due diligence, they have no right to complain that another party (an auction site, a payment service, a government agency) should have protected them from their own ill-conceived actions. There are laws to protect people from muggers and burglars. But should we make a law that if someone leaves their wallet in a restaurant and it disappears, they can sue the restaurant? Some people want to hold the payment services or auction sites responsible for their own negligence. Paypal tried to come up with a plan to protect everyone. The result became so convoluted that only the scammers managed to stay protected.
If you feel you have been defrauded on the net by an individual, company or payment service, you can fill out an online fraud report.
Beware of another auction scam!
Egold is a payment service similar to paypal but with a few significant differences. 1) It is based on gold. When you open an egold account, you are actually buying a quantity of gold. If the price changes, the value in your account changes. 2) The price you pay depends upon the quantity purchased. The more you buy, the better price you get. 3) There is a minimum amount which must be purchased. 4) Payments are made to account numbers. You don't see the name of the recipient. 5) Payments are non-refundable. If you pay the wrong account by accident, it's too bad.
Because of these factors, it is common for people to open egold accounts with large purchases and then sell them in smaller blocks to investors who can't come up with the minimum purchase. There are also sellers who accept egold for their auctions. If you win one of their auctions and don't want to open an egold account, you might pay an existing account holder who accepts paypal to act as a middleman and ask him to then pay your seller.
A well known egold seller received several emails from someone telling him that some payments for egold were on their way and giving him an egold account number in which to deposit the egold purchases. He then received some money orders and payments via other payment services, just as he had been told. He began depositing egold payments in the account that he had been instructed to fund. Along comes a money order with a note reading, "this is for the digital camera on ebay."
Now this egold seller does not sell anything on ebay. So he called the person who had included his name and phone number along with the money order. He was shocked to discover that a seller had been offering all sorts of popular and expensive items on ebay and instructing his winners to send checks, money orders and electronic payments to this egold seller. The egold seller had then sent off non-refundable payments to an annonymous egold account. The actual scammer remains completely untraceable and the egold seller is on the hook for a few thousand dollars.
The moral of the story:
-know who you are doing business with. Buyers should not have been bidding on the expensive items of a brand new seller with a hotmail address and no ratings.
-always include some basic information with a payment, particularly who you are and what the payment is for. If the first few buyers had done this, the whole scheme would never have worked.
Paypal *** (if used caution)
visit Our Paypal page for details.
Propay *x0 (use extreme caution)
At 3.5% + 35 cents per transaction, and another 35 cents to withdraw the funds, they are rather pricey. But they do offer two advantages. You can pretend to have a merchant account, since you charge the card yourself and the address verification reports if the address given you matches the cardholder. They also have two problems. One, you don't find out if the address matches until AFTER the charge goes through. If it doesn't match, you have a small window of opportunity to cancel the transaction before you are charged transaction fees. Two, I have tried to charge at least 12 cards and in every case it reported that the address didn't match. The last card I tried was my own, which I have used successfully for years. Propay reported that the zip code didn't match. I tried it twice and it's hard to misspell a zip code. So I am pretty certain that Propay's verification doesn't work. Yet their customer service wants me to believe that the same problem is the fault of 12 different banks.
You have to wait a few days for the money to be available in your Propay account. Then you have to withdraw it to your bank account and wait another few days. Propay's fees are rather high for less service than you get with Paydirect and longer waits for your money. What kind of protection does a seller get? Absolutely none. Sellers are responsible for all charge backs plus charge back fees. Though some sellers have told me that they like the fact that Propay lets them pretend to have a merchant account, I feel that the fees are too high, the service too low and the potential for charge backs too high to justify using it regularly. But because there are foolish buyers out there who think that you are somehow more reputable or that they are safer if you charge their card directly, I did use it before I got my merchant account.
Seller protection against fraud: moderate. Buyer protection against fraud: high. Seller protection against charge backs: none.
Incidentally, a site once popped up called Paymentalt that copied Paypal's text. Whole sentences were copied right out of Paypal's pages. I warned folks to stay away from them, since any company that does this is not to be trusted. Sure enough, about 14,000 folks signed up and later many found fraudulent charges on their CC. Last I heard, the owner was being sought by authorities. So beware of new sites that pop up, offer incentives for joining and have no background info on the principals.
The Good News
Even Visa itself is responding to the complaints of numerous vendors. They are now beginning a program which will allow even online vendors to verify that the person making the charge is indeed the cardholder. If the merchant belongs to this program, then the cardholder can not claim the charge was unauthorized. Visa Security article