Sitar scam alert, Amritsar

#1 Apr 11th, 2011, 23:08
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  • 1trickymicky is offline
#1
I was in Amritsar, which is a beautiful place. I decided to buy a sitar from the a shop there. The portly guy I talked with was very friendly, and patient while I decided and I made the mistake of trusting him to send the sitar home after I had left Amritsar. Unfortunately he didnt send it, and calling now result in either

a) he can't hear what I'm saying, and to call back later
b) he sent it yesterday, call back tomorrow with the tracking number
c) there's nobody here, call back some other time.

So you get the point.

I guess I've let it go now, but if anyone could help, or just feels like hassling them that will be in the area please let me know!

All the best.
Michael
#2 Apr 12th, 2011, 08:58
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#2
How long ago was it you bought the sitar? If fairly recently, it may still turn out alright - they could just be slow getting around to doing the packaging. I am guessing you paid for postage as well?

I would keep on with the ringing, but if we are talking about more than a month ago, then yes, unfortunately the shop has failed to deliver.

I can imagine hours of this sort of shop would be flexible, and closed for holidays, sick / dead relatives whatever - this is fairly par for the course here.
Every cloud has a silver lining!
#3 Apr 12th, 2011, 15:39
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#3
Mistake , i would not do it despite living in India itself, better to order through an online site where atleast there is a track of the order ,payment documentation etc , fingers crossed that you get it though.
#4 Apr 12th, 2011, 15:41
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#4
It's getting onto about 2 months now. I had definitely called pretty regularly, and in the last call I made to them maybe 3 weeks ago, it was pretty apparent both parties knew what was going on as I caught him out and made him squirm a bit.

Pretty unfortunate, but I'm not letting it tarnish my view of Amritsar, I really loved that place. And well, maybe they really needed that extra money more then I do. I can always get one off eBay. Or maybe someone knows a better (safer) place to import them from somewhere on this site!

Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated!
#5 Apr 12th, 2011, 15:45
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#5
How much has it set you back by?

Maybe you should call him and tell him that you are going to ask a local friend to file a police report.
#6 Apr 12th, 2011, 21:54
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#6
Thanks I thought about doing that, I guess it's worth a try
#7 Apr 12th, 2011, 22:04
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#7
Wow Sitar seems to be the flavour of the month for scams. See thread from Fuller
http://www.indiamike.com/india/scams...pping-t132221/

If it is two months I think he has no inention of sending it - why dont you file a police complaint
#8 Apr 12th, 2011, 22:07
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#8
Yeah I saw that thread too! I tried calling a number of police numbers I found on the net for amritsar - but had a lot of problems communicating or knowing even if I'd called the right place. Any suggestions for where I might be able to submit a complaint would be welcome!

Thanks for your reply - much appreciated.
#9 Apr 12th, 2011, 22:30
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#9
Buying a sitar in Amritsar ? You sat down, got a feel of a particular sitar, then negotiated a price, and finally you said what ?? "Please ship it DHL/Cargo to Melbourne"

You must have a receipt or a B.O.M ? Here are two portals to get you started - Punjab Services - http://punjabsewa.gov.in/default.jsp and Amritsar's Portal - http://amritsar.nic.in/index.html find the FAX or number for the Asst. District Commissioner of the appropriate district, and fax him a letter and receipt. Phone calls will not really shake trees.
#10 Apr 13th, 2011, 11:05
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#10
Forget about it, you'll never see the sitar nor your money back (that is, unless you send some goondas carrying a can of kerosene to his house to make the refund request). Too late now but the golden rule here is to purchase an item (cash&carry) and to handle packaging and shipping yourself. Calling them is no use, in their eyes you're just a stupid foreigner who allowed himself to be cheated. Your less is their more, simple as that.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#11 Apr 13th, 2011, 12:12
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#11
I agree with Dilli and i have mentioned that to the same effect as well , fingers crossed that it works out - dont let this put you off Sitars either
#12 Apr 13th, 2011, 13:40
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by puchoo View Post I agree with Dilli
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post Forget about it, you'll never see the sitar nor your money back
I'd like to know more. I find it kind a - sort a -whatchamacallit strange that people have no hesitation, or compunction to bad mouth an airline - pick one (Air France, Air India, Jet Blue BA, AA, VS..... Joe's Goa-for-Free Charter) who did not give them a bottle of beer, or a gallon or water, or the female flight attendant was too old, and/or did not smile, or give him his fifth free beer from Manchester to Liverpool; but, are unwilling to precisely name a shop/retailer who has scammed/ripped them off.

I truely wonder why
#13 Apr 13th, 2011, 13:49
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post I find it kind a strange that people have no hesitation, or compunction to bad mouth an airline ...but, are unwilling to precisely name a shop/retailer who has scammed/ripped them off.

I truely wonder why
Maybe it's because they knew that an early post condemnation would removed or edited by a friendly moderator.
#14 Apr 13th, 2011, 14:15
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#14
i almost wish i was going to Amritsar just so i could go raise a stink for you... i understand the thought that they need the money more than you, and it's probably the healthy and appropriate response. however, this sort of thing really irks me. they would have made a tidy profit even if they'd been honest and sent you the sitar, the markup for a foreigner is probably 200% or more (despite whatever they tell you... even a western music store has markups in the 100% margin). the justification, of course, is that for you it's very little money, for them it's a large sum, but there's really no excuse for it, it's dishonesty and greed. beyond that, it really causes a lot of mental harm for most of the victims, i assume that if you're still calling india and posting on forums, you've been churning this experience over and over again, and spent some time obsessing about it, in some way or another. i've been there, and it isn't pleasant... i guess just take solace in the fact that what you're going through has happened to all of us india travelers, at some level or another, and do your best to come to peace with it. whether that involves letting it go, or doing your best to file a police report...
#15 Apr 13th, 2011, 14:46
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post I'd like to know more. I find it kind a - sort a -whatchamacallit strange that people have no hesitation, or compunction to bad mouth an airline - pick one (Air France, Air India, Jet Blue BA, AA, VS..... Joe's Goa-for-Free Charter) who did not give them a bottle of beer, or a gallon or water, or the female flight attendant was too old, and/or did not smile, or give him his fifth free beer from Manchester to Liverpool; but, are unwilling to precisely name a shop/retailer who has scammed/ripped them off.

I truely wonder why
Same reason as why it's easier to sit in an ac/room, watch a video screen, hit a button and watch a bomb fall than it is to walk up to a (supposedly bad) guy and slit his throat. Anonimity / ease of segmentation / distance...sure the psychologists cooked up a term for it. Attacking a big corporation is attacking an anonymous giant with the foreknowledge that the result will likely be negligible. Going after one particular guy, certainly via the web on a travel site if he's remotely connected to the tourism industry can do far more damage and isn't anonymous. I would name the outfit but I'd need to be very sure (as in this case) that it's malicious intent, not an honest error or misunderstanding or just bad luck. And of course what Oceantragic said: new member, starts naming and shaming people on the site, I'm sure a red light would start blinking in IM's control center

If you haven't yet read it: the lucifer effect by P. Zimbardo (the guy who ran the Stanford prison experiment) explains some of the dynamics involved, albeit from a different perspective.

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