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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Somone is selling the Vortex as Black's rings! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jclark
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Okay, I'll be the FIRST to give you kudos for competition, but not when you full on defraud your customers!

I just found out that at least one shop has sold Vortex rings as our Black's PK rings; even gave out our paperwork.

They are telling people that our sizes are Small, Med, and Large. But we have sizes 7-16 and half sizes in between.

So if you purchased a Black's ring and it is very thin or looks squared off like the Wizard ring and it came in a crystalline box, was called Small, Med, or Large but didn't have a specific size, or any combo of these, please contact me right way and let me know.

As I said, I have NO problem with competition, but fraud is fraud!

James
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Jaz2005
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James, I wish you well in your fight against this blatant fraud. As you are aware from your conversations with Costas, we have been victims of the same fraud, where certain nameless individuals were selling another ring as the Wizard PK Ring. We caught them out several times but each time they claimed it was just an error from the warehouse packing dept. That didn't explain the fact that they had included photocopies of our instructions and warranty with the other product. They also charged the customer the full Wizard PK Ring price for the alternative product. FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD. Makes my blood boil. Despite our previous dispute, we will offer you our full support in nailing these individuals.
best regards
Jim
jclark
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Jim,

Cheers for the email; it is good to hear from you and I am grateful for the support. It goes both ways from my end; I will do everything I can to protect your brand as well. At the end of the day, I find the excuses given to be ridiculous; there is a striking difference between a few items being mixed up, et cetra and these scenarios.

The fact is that this is NOT speculation or conjecture; I have VIDEO and AUDIO proof to support my claims as well as writen statements. The more I dig, the more I find to implicate the culprits.

Here’s what I found:

A customer from another shop contacted me and said that he had one of our “Wizard PK Rings” and it needed to be replaced because it had broken. I politely advised him that he should contact you guys, to wit, he said the warranty had our web address on it.

Hmm.

“Okay” I said, “Would you be so kind as to email me photos of everything you received?” He did so.

The photograph contained the following:

1.) A photocopy of our old warranty sheet that had only been sent out to a SINGLE distributor in CA (this warranty was changed when we went exclusive with another company).

The key point here is that no other “distributors” were given these rings except the aforementioned because we had just begun to make sales at that point, which makes it very easy to ascertain where the photocopy came from.

2.) There was a crystalline box that looked exactly like the box your company provides with the Wizard PK Ring. In my view, this was a blatant effort to convince retailers and buyers that it was a legitimate ring; there is not other reason for this. As you know, we have very humble packaging which includes a cardboard box and foam with a sticker on the top of the box identifying the contents; nothing more.

3.) The ring was clearly the Vortex which hit the market not long after we emerged with the Black’s Ring; it was being sold off under your name with our warranty and directions, and it wasn’t just one or two, but scores of them in the sizes small, medium, and large. As you know, we have sizes ranging from 8-16 and all half sizes in Chrome, Silver, and Gold. These were only chrome and a very poor gold.

These details have been made available to law enforcement already; reports have been filed. We will also be filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the State Attorney Generals office in California, and yes, even the FBI for copyright and trademark infringement and the shipping of counterfeit products over state lines, among other things.

What they do not seem to understand is that there is a real world going on outside the confines of their business, and it doesn't take lightly issues of this nature.

We’ve already filed complaints in other cities and states where we found evidence of wrongdoing, but ultimately, this traces back to a single source—one we now have ample evidence on.

I think it is important to point out that the first thing out of the dealer’s mouth was that he had nothing to do with it. Though, I find it incredulous that a dealer would be so ignorant about the brands he carries in his store.

In my opinion, it appears that there is a singular source here that has made a serious miscalculation as to what legal actions I would be willing to pursue on behalf of not only our company, but yours as well.

Our differences aside on competition, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior and I plan to send a VERY big message out to anyone in our community who thinks that somehow magic is above the law that the rest of the world must abide by.

The reality is that those of us who run legitimate businesses have a responsibly to assure that illegitimate businesses practices be dealt with swiftly and severely and that the culprits who engage in illegal activities be held to account for their actions.

I am speaking with newspapers this week about it.

At the end of the day, whatever the reason, what happened was wrong. When I confronted those involved, I didn’t get so much as an apology from them. Instead, I got excuses and a feeble attempt to downplay the significance of these actions.

Can you imagine if you took a generic brand cola, poured it into a Coke can, and then sold it off to a consumer as Pepsi what kind of problems would come from that? I’ve encouraged the consumer to file complaints too; after all, he was defrauded by these people too.

Truly amazing!

At the end of the day this is about as much of an accident as someone having an affair with another person’s spouse; it doesn’t just happen. Conscious decisions were made, choices acted upon, and profit made off of our brand name and yours.

James
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Gochos
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Hi James

I counld not stop loughing when we were talking yesterday, becouse all this sounds crasy, but unfortunately it is all true. I think people need to understand that magic is not outside the law.
airship
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It amazes me that someone would try this in such a small niche market as Magic, where everyone knows everyone else. They were bound to be caught.

And really, how much money is there to be made? If they're going to flaunt the law, they could make much more in other markets. Counterfeit auto parts. Counterfeit teddy bears. Practically ANY other market would be more lucrative than Magic.

What dumb crooks!
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
jclark
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It is interesting, isn't it?

Whilst I truly want to give people the benefit of the doubt, the reality is that sometimes people just make down right wrong decisions. True, we don’t “understand” why they do the things they do, they just do. Rarely can you apply objective logic to such things.

My biggest problem with everything I have been told thus far is that it doesn’t seem to add up; it appears to me that there is more to this behind the curtain at Oz. Approach this with an investigative mindset and you begin to build a rather unflattering picture out of all the pieces.

Consider the principle of falsus in uno falsus in omnibus. My ONLY interest is in finding the truth and exposing it for what it is. It is the principle of the issue, not the cost.

The fact is that this DID happen. Now, it is a matter of how to handle it with integrity and composure—within the bounds of law—and in a way that isn’t designed to be malicious.

There is much to consider. I’ve spoken with scores of government officials, magicians, and legal counsel in an effort to make sure that I am doing the right thing; I would never want to complicate the issue by, inter alia, acting inappropriately.

As my mother used to say, “Two wrongs do not make a right.”

I am not one of those legal minds who ascribes to the concept of fiat iustitia et pereat mundus, but I do believe that justice is an important concept that should not be ignored.

Like in anything, there is a small window of opportunity to do the right thing and to make amends; we shall see if it happens or not.

James
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Jaz2005
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James,
Wow !!!! you have done some serious investigating. Guess old habits die hard Smile If there is anything we can do to support your effort please let us know.

Without naming names, we of course know to whom we are referring in this matter of consumer fraud. We ourselves tracked the customer complaints right back to the very same source as you. Unlike you, we were not able to visit with them
( geographical restriction with the rather large pond in between us and them ).

We do have certain information which we are able to provide if you require it.

I was also very interested to learn that a certain dealer whom you visited had a large number of supposedly, our products in his stock. Costas and I have come to the conclusion that he must really be magic because these cannot be traced back to any legitimate source so I guess they are "another brand of cola" being sold as ours or indeed yours.
Jeez If I bit into a lemon right now, the Lemon would pull a face. Bitter just doesn't cover it.

I applaude your ethics in this matter and we will go the whole hog with you to stamp out this consumer fraud.

At least you enterd this PK Ring arena with a ring which could in no way be confused with ours. Yours is a well made and well supported product and at no time have we said otherwise.
There will always be room for legitimate competition in this and any business. The culprits in this scenario would appear to be getting top dollar for an inferior product by re-packaging and supplying it with copied instructions from either Blacks or Wizard PK.
That is a crime in this country also. However, the customers from whom we had had complaints are all overseas ( Mainly U.S. and Canada) and that is not something the authorities in this country will take any action over. So, anything we can do to support your case will be done and let us hope that this fraud can be stamped out ASAP or perhaps it will just be sucked into a VORTEX.

best regards

Jim
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