Have you ever heard anything back about avs-store? I just came across their web site today, and they had a 32" Samsung extremely cheap. I'm wondering if they are legit. Please let me know what you've learned and whether you've had some experience with them. Thanks.
I too came across avs-store and was blown away by pricing and the fact that they claimed to have the Samsung HLP5674W in stock.
I wired them 3,860.00 for the TV. They responded that I just missed the cut off; and they were out of stock and would have to re-order. That was June 30th. It's now August 9th.
Since then I have done a lot of research on both the TV I ordered and this company.
Before I wired them the money, I checked them out with the Upstate NY BBB. That had 6 complaints that were resolved. I though it might be reasonable.
Now they are up to 11. One of them is mine. And now the BBB has a note referencing the nature of the problems with this company.
They will refund your money when they can't deliver; but levy a 10-20% service fee.
While I can find no evidence that they are frauds, I get the feeling that they are simply making money on the refund service fee.
One thing that bugs me though, is that they said that I just missed the cutoff and they were now out of the TV I ordered. Since then, I have heard some back-channel info from Samsung regarding the HLP5674W and that it is not available yet. If so, then avs-store lied about that.
They tout their credentials; but I advise looking closely at them. They look like forgeries. Logo's slightly mis-aligned, shadows indicating a copy-paste exercise, etc.
I will give them another week then I will ask for a FULL refund. I have a complaint started with the Federal Trade Commission; and will embark on it fully if I don't get all of my money back.
After all of this, however, I really can't say if they are legit, frauds or perhaps just victims themselves of being a middle man in a supply-chain issue.
Frankly, I too would love to hear from someone that has actually received a product from them.
By the way, I checked out their address...It's a 3 bedroom house. I pulled the Title records on it.
Robb and others: I may be one of the few who has gotten back all of their money. After waiting a long time I had my girlfriend inquire about the same TV and if it was in stock and how soon could she have it in her home. After asking two or three times, Howard responded that yes they were in stock and it would be shipped in one weekday. AFter that I gave AVS an ultimatum to have it at my house by the 30th or I would contact the Sheriff and State Attorney.
I was purchasing a RCA so I contacted Thomson and asked if they had any factory problems with my set. I included a write up of the problems I was having. I was informed to call their toll free number. I talked with Stacy and Thomson had opened up some tracking number. Stacy assured me that there had been no factory problems. She also told me AVS was not an authorized RCA dealer. I told her about the credentials page but have no idea if they are doing anything about it.
After getting the information from RCA I informed Howard. His reply was that in fact there was a large shipment now arriving but since they would not be able to get it to me before the deadline, they had already refunded all my money. That was a TRUE statement for a change.
I am not going to give up. I had email correspondence with a gentleman who had received 90% of his money back. He used a similar threat and supposedly they have put his other 10% in the mail.
Don't Give UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a reply to the BBB that I do not consider this problem resolved, it is going out in tomorrows mail.
I canceled my order back on 7/29/2004, a Thursday. Then Howard Knapp said no problem, but that 'accounting' processes cancellations on a Wed through Wed schedule.
At that time, I stll wasn't sure that this was a complete scam; or perhaps they were just caught up in a Samsung supply chain problem, so I stopped the cancellation.
Today I canceled the order based upon the new evidence. Howard said no problem; but that they processed cancellations on a Mon noon through Mon noon schedule and that it wouldn't be until next Monday before the cancellation would go in. An then, 'accounting' wouldn't process the check until that Friday. That puts today cancellation (8/9/2004) to a 8/20/2004 refund.
I am crossing my fingers and in the mean time am looking for ways to force them to pay up in case they renig.
The odd thing to me is that most of this negative research appeared a week after I placed my order on 7/1/2004; and the company has in fact been around for a while.
Anyway, let's all keep an eye on this guy. Perhaps we can figure out a way to help each other get our money back.
He advised me on Friday, July 23rd that since they could not meet the deadline I had given them, they were mailing it out that day. I received it on Monday July 26th. I deposited it on Monday the 26th and waited 10 business days to be sure it had cleared. It appears I escaped with them only getting 1 1/2 months interest and me getting more gray hairs.
No there was no mention of weekday cycles at all. It is just BS.
I wonder if the IRS would be interested in this? Did you contact the manufacturer? They might like to know their name is associated with this guy. I'm hoping to hear something from the Sheriff's office but really doubt I will.
Howard said that they 'accounting' changed their payment cycle on him; but that he would do his best to try to get my payment in this Friday's processing.
I think that this was once, perhaps a legitimate business; but is now in a grand check kiting scheme, whereby they simply keep floating money. That's why they offer a deep discount if you 'wire' funds to them. They hold your cash long enough, as you say, to earn interest; and if they keep your cash for at least 30 days, then they are happy to refund it without charge.
As I may have pointed out before, I pulled title records on that property; and it is not a warehouse, it is an old, 3 bedroom house. There are also several names associated with that address, Ralph Olson (owner), Pearl E. Olson, Steven B. Olson and Sherry L. Olson.
I expect to either be mailed a check this Friday (8/13) or next Friday (8/20). Meanwhile, I am gathering evidence and researching facts.
If I get my money, I'll let it go. Either way, though, I want to help anyone else in any way I can to stop this guy before he takes anyone else's money.
OK Robb - Good Luck and I feel you will get your money - They walk as close to the edge as they can without falling off. However, there mst be laws about this that they are breaking.
I am not giving up. Still don't have my big screen TV either.
It wouldn't hurt to have more people contacting the authorities. I even sent in my story to an Orlando TV station. I doubt they will do anything about it since we are talking NY here. But until they say no, there is always hope. Guys really nead to hang by their Gonads.
Many thanks to Robb and Jim. I was just about to wire almost $2K to these guys for a Toshiba 65HX93 when I decided to do a due diligence check via Google for complaints. Near the top of the list was a pointer to this discussion thread. Saved at the bell. Needless to say I did not wire any money.
When I emailed Harold this morning that there were problems reported with recent orders and offered him the opportunity to complete the transaction if he would provide positive references, his normally rapid email reply has yet to arrive - 9 hours later. If it would be of any assistance I would be glad to file a complaint as I have all of the emails he sent.
Interestingly, yesterday when I asked him to confirm that the Toshiba 65HX93 was actually in stock he replied that he did but had many bids out to other consumers and institutions and could not guarantee availablility until they were in receipt of my money. What a set up for the 'sorry your too late' response after he had my money.
Thanks again for your candor in sharing your experiences. We should do something to stop this disreputable operater.
When I was first researching AVS, there were only two posts here. Like Roger and Tom, I was looking for information about the company. Like Robb, I checked them out with the BBB and they still only had six complaints with one not resolved. Well, I sent my $$ and now I'm pissed. I've been waiting since early July for a television. Anyway, I want to join you in hunting these people down so they can receive their due punishment. Is anyone recording complaints and collecting documentation? If so, I want to contribute. Any one thought of criminal charges? ...legal recourse?
To All: I would suggest you make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Also, contact the Owego sheriff's office. I sent my complaint to the Owego police dept and they replied that they were forwarding to the Sheriff's office as this place was not in their jurisdiction.
I notified an Orlando TV station and did receive a call back (left on my answering machine.) Thanks to Hurricane Charley, that message is now lost. I have re- emailed them. They may well be interested in giving this a public forum.
Contact everyone you can think of. IRS would be a good point, doubt they are reporting this on their taxes. Maybe, but!!!!!!!!!
I would suggest making a complaint to both Tioga State Bank in Spencer NY and to the NY State Banking Commission re fraudulent transactions being made through their establishment. Follow the money trail.
Ok, at least it is good to know that I am not the only one who has been snowed by AVS. I placed an order with them on 8/5/04 and have still not received my order. On 10/8/04 I registered a complaint with the BBB in Buffalo, NY. I am now preparing a registered complaint with the Attorney General of New York. I am out over $2600.00 on a TV that RCA no longer makes. It is about time we put AVS on notice.
Chip - count on me for any testimony or what ever assistance I can provide. My problem was trying to purchase an RCA TV also. I contacted RCA and even had a case number opened. I was assured that AVS was not an authorized dealer. I included that knowledge when I gave them a deadline. I did fortunately receive ALL of my money back. Good Luck.
I also have been swindled by AVS to the tune of $1400. We wired the money and were immediately contacted by Howard Knapp saying the unit was out of stock and back ordered. This was 20 days ago. Since then no further responses by email, fax or phone. Also their website is off the air now.
I have files charges against them with the BBB and the local sheriffs office.
Also filed an FBI report/complaint as this is an interstate theft/violation.
I have repeatly tried to leave the address of the FBI link, but since I am a new member I cannot post links until I have posted 15 messages.
We all need to let the FBI know what's happenning with this person/company.
I will not let this incident slip away, neither should you. I'm going to follow this through to the end.
Email me for the address, or do a google search for, FBI fraud report, then go to the ifccfbi site.
Stand fast here and let's get this person. It's your hard earned money.
A few of us over on the ecoustics.com forum that have also been duped by AVS and Howard Knapp are in touch with an attorney up in NY. It's rumored that Howard Knapp (Ralph Olson) may have filed for bankruptcy. We're not sure if we're going to pursue with legal action or not, but it's an option. The last thing I want is to put more money into this if I'm not guaranteed to get any back. However, I also don't want to let him get out of this that easily! The more fire power we have, the better chance for us all, and if we push it, they may be able to deny his submittal due to fraud. If you're interested, let me know...