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Scam of the year

Posted on Wednesday 14th December 2011

A company called XS-Clearance has sold me a domestic appliance on eBay back in October 2011. XS-Clearance labelled this domestic appliance as a manufacturer’s refurbished item with 90 days manufacturer’s warranty. On the advert, XS-Clearance has put down its contact details as Thomas Roy, Unit 81 Whiteladies Estate, Clifton, Bristol BS1 3TT, United Kingdom. The telephone number is 0845 3016824 and email address is ebay@cc-promotions.co.uk. VAT number is UK 585166021.

I received the item via CityLink on 13 October 2011. The item seemed to work OK in the first 4 weeks (despite the fact that it was only switched on occasionally in those 4 weeks) but then it suddenly stopped working altogether. I phoned XS-Clearance to report the matter, but I could not get through to anybody, so I left a voice message on their answering machine. Since then I heard nothing from XS-Clearance, I started to think the whole thing was a bit suspicious. Anyway I decided to leave a neutral feedback to XS-Clearance on eBay, and out of the blue XS-Clearance responded to my neutral feedback and also sent me an email to ask for information about my purchase.

I emailed XS-Clearance everything that they asked for. Then I heard nothing from them again. I sent XS-Clearance an email every day to chase for a response, and I have no luck here at all. I really do think XS-Clearance IS a dodgy trader.

I tried to search for some info about XS-Clearance on the internet, but all the results were related to their eBay shop. Then I remembered the item was delivered by CityLink, so I phoned CityLink to see if they could give me some further information about XS-Clearance. I gave CityLink the tracking reference and the sender’s account number. I was told by CityLink that the item was sent by a company called General Contracting UK Ltd. CityLink could not expose any further details about this company but they did suggest me to do a google search to look for this company.

I googled General Contracting UK Ltd and discovered they are based in 38 Bluestem Road, Ransomes Euro Park, Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9RR. And their telephone number is 01473 271272. Then I remember XS-Clearance responded to me via email before, so I started to track down who owns the domain name of cc-promotions.co.uk. It turns out cc-promotions.co.uk is registered to General Contracting UK Ltd trading as Pikapak. So I googled Pikapak and found its website. I went to the ‘contact us’ page on the Pikapak website. Pikapak has not included its postal address on the website but the company exposes several telephone numbers and email addresses. One of these telephone numbers is 01473 271272 which is the same number for General Contracting UK Ltd.

I also googled the telephone number 01473 271272 on the internet and discovered the manufacturer (Igenix) who produces my domestic appliance uses the same telephone number as well. I managed to find an instruction manual online for my domestic appliance and on the back of the manual, it says the appliance is distributed by Pikapak. It means XS-Clearance produces and sells the items.

I decided to phone Pikapak to chase for an response for my broken domestic appliance. A chap called Dan answered my call. I told Dan his company sold me a faulty item and I needed to know what was going to happen. Dan denied his company sold me anything. He described his company only distributed items for different companies. Dan told me to contact the person on eBay to resolve the issue.

I have now found a business directory which includes Pikapak in it. Pikapak advertises themselves as a one-stop-shop for all electrical domestic appliance. So if Pikapak is a one-stop-shop for the domestic appliance, why would Dan say his company was only a distributor earlier? I could really smell a dodgy business here.

So now I understand that XS-Clearance from eBay is the same company as General Contracting UK Ltd which trades as Pikapak and Think Electricals (discovered it from another source). The question is, why would XS-Clearance need to use a different name to trade and why has XS-Clearance submitted a fake address on eBay? The only answer I can think of is that XS-Clearance do not want to be traced for its dodgy trading.

I went back to eBay to read through XS-Clearance’s thousands of feedbacks. Without a doubt, XS-Clearance did get a huge amount of positive feedbacks on eBay, but that does not mean XS-Clearance has traded fairly and honestly. I can see some neutral and negative feedbacks left by XS-Clearance’s buyers in the last 30 days. These buyers claim, ‘Havn’t received my items, No reponse to emails/phone calls. A VERY DODGY EBAYER’, ‘Item and replacement damaged. Poor communication and no refund. Under dispute’, ‘The product was faulty.tried contacting the seller but had no response.not happy’, ‘Advertises items that they do not have in stock, listing stated 10 available!!’, ‘cheap and nasty product,unionjack is plastic transfer not painted onPOOR QUALITY’, ‘damaged and dirty’, ‘inferior product supplied’, ‘I’ve tried contacting the seller through E-bay twice , but had no response.Poor!’, ‘Wrong item, they asked us to send it back, havent refunded or responded since!’, ‘The whole transaction was not satisfactory and they spent ages sorting it out’, ‘Poor service: ignored delivery instructions and failed to respond to messages’, etc..

These buyers are just like me, they received a faulty item from XS-Clearance, tried to contact XS-Clearance to resolve the issue but XS-Clearance do not respond to them at all. If XS-Clearance aimed to have a fair trade, they would not act the way they are now and treat their buyers badly!

I have contacted Trading Standard to report XS-Clearance (or General Contracting UK Ltd) for bad trading. I was advised to send a letter to General Contracting UK Ltd to resolve the problem. If the problem cannot be resolved, the next step will be the small claim court. A company like XS-Clearance or General Contracting UK Ltd or Pikapak or Think Electricals should never be allowed to trade at all. This company should be banned and fined for what they have done to its customers. The owner and the staff from this company should be hung in shame!

A dishonest company is now named and shamed!!!