Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dakka Friend/Moderator ripped off

Posting this up-----this is Alpharius from Dakka. A great guy who was recently ripped off by Redstarone.

Redstarone has an infamous reputation online----from getting banned on Bartertown for ripping people off----then Dakka. Anyways, I'll let Alpharius speak for himself;

I am really NOT happy about being, for all intents and purposes, ‘forced’ into posting this.

Clearly Matt has been through a lot – the loss of a child and the loss of a wife.


I started e-mailing Matt (RedStarOne, RSO, Red the Conversionist, etc.) way back in December of 2008.

I was looking for help in getting an all MKVIII marine army on the table.

It quickly became apparent that it wasn’t feasible, and would probably be too expensive in the end.

So, instead, we moved on to other conversions I’d like to have built.

Conversation went back in forth and on 5/13/2009 I sent the following to Matt:

1) Stormhammer Super-Heavy Tank conversion (Baneblade based)
2) Pre-Heresy Land Raider conversion (Land Raider based)
3) Venerable Dreadnaught (Finish a conversion I started but was having trouble completing)

Good communication followed and in late July 2009 he announced he was finished!

He sent pictures, I was happy and so, on 8/3/2009 he requested payment, and on 8/4/2009 I sent $120 to him via PayPal.

Now, oddly enough, nothing ever got shipped – but I was VERY happy with the pictures and figured this was just a minor glitch – after all, he was going through some tough times with his wife’s illness.

I received MANY assurances that Yes, my package is on its way soon!

In September of 2009, we moved forward with the next round of conversions:

1) Stormhammer Super-Heavy conversion (Baneblade based)
2) Stompa Lifta-Dropa arm (bits based, provided by me)
3) Leman Russ conversion – Magnetized with turret and sponson options
4) Space Hulk Terminators – all 12 of them, for removal of BA specific icons.

So, even though he still hadn’t shipped the first round of conversions, which I’d already paid for, I shipped him the next round.

Many excuses and delays later, he announced that the second round was complete!

On 11/27/09 he requested payment, and on 11/27/09 I paid him $140 via PayPal.

I was then told everything was going to ship – no worries!

In fact, I soon heard that everything did ship!

I then FOOLISHLY believed this, and sent in the last round of conversions – ‘upsizing’ Marine vehicles to accommodate my long labor of love, a Pre-Heresy True Scale Alpha Legion army.

So, without waiting to receive the package which had allegedly shipped, in December of 2009 I sent along:

1) 6 Rhinos
2) 2 Predators
3) 2 Whirlwinds

After MANY excused and delays, including TWICE being told that the packages had shipped but… mysteriously BOTH times it was returned to him for… some reason.

On 2/1/2010, he emailed me to tell me that EVERYTHING was complete – finally!

Final payment for this job was requested on 2/1/2010, and on 2/2/2010 $235 was sent via PayPal.

Fast forward 13 MONTHS and over 150 e-mails later and still… NOTHING.

Now, you’re probably thinking … “What were you thinking?”…and I’d have to agree with you.

Basically, I believed all the stories Matt told me, and even though he could never provide a tracking number, I always thought ‘tomorrow’ would be the day he’d finally ship everything AND provide a tracking number.

So, to summarize:

Total paid in conversion fees adds up to $495.

And the list of models?

1) Leman Russ tank - $50
2) Pre-Heresy Land Raider – plastic Land Raider $65
3) Venerable Dreadnought - $40
4) 1 set of Space Hulk Terminators – 12 Terminators, irreplaceable at this point, but call it $100
5) 6 Rhinos - $198
6) 2 Predators - $89
7) 2 Vindicators - $89
Stompa Lifta Dropa Arm – misc. bits
9) Stormhammer Superheavy Conversion - Baneblade Kit $99
10) Stormblade Superheavy Conversion - Baneblade Kit $99

That's around another $829 right there.

That totals up to about $1300.

MANY times I've offered to send more money to get it shipped, but that never helped either.

Fast forward to 2011.

Matt has started a new blog, in order to “Pay it Forward” and “Give Back to the Community”.

Miniature Wargame Conversions.

You could imagine my surprise upon seeing this.

He can find time to continue to model, organize give-aways and give back to the Wargaming Community…

But he can’t find the time to ship my stuff back to me?

Stuff I’ve already paid for and have been waiting, very patiently for, since August of 2009.

I don't know what else to do.

I’ve been supportive of him and his efforts.

As much as it is possible to be someone’s friend via the Internet, I have been his friend.

I can sympathize with what he’s been through.

I have been though some things during this time too.

I’ve had heart problems.

I’ve had a skin cancer scare.

My wife has thyroid problems.

And, most importantly, I’ve had my youngest daughter, now five years old, diagnosed with Autism.

She still doesn’t speak, and the medical bills associated with all of her challenges and now the legal bills as we fight the school department to get her the services she needs…

My hobby used to be a release for me, something to do to get away from the stress of ‘everything else’, at least for a little while.

Now, along with a lot of my money and models, Matt’s kind of taken that away too.

Now, he's almost killed this hobby for me.

I cannot recover from this hit. I cannot afford to replace what Matt is, for some bizarre reason, holding hostage.

I just want my models back.

The models I’ve already paid for.

The models I’ve offered to pay shipping for AGAIN in order to get them back.

The models that Matt allegedly shipped back to me (for the third time) on 3/9/11, that still haven’t arrived.

The models that allegedly shipped back to me (for the third time) on 3/9/11 but for which he still hasn’t provided tracking numbers.

If Matt wants to “give back to the community”, if Matt wants to “pay it forward”, I sure would appreciate it if he would do the right thing here.

Thanks for reading this…



Muskie said...

Caveat Emptor

What I don't understand is why this Dakka fellow sent more minis and money when he didn't get the first batch of models back, that seems like a poor business decision and a poor choice of business partners or vendors to support.

The other thing I don't get is how the Matt guy or the Red whatever he wants to be known as, has done enough stuff, to annoy enough people online, that he has a reputation, yet he continues to use the same handle. I thought the reason you used a handle rather than your real name is so you could be cool, I mean throw it away and start a new one when you f'up.

Confused in Canada, but not enough that I would have done any of this... And I've done my share of internet trades since 1995, never been ripped off by anyone really, same can't be said for other eBay purchases or everything I've ever bought or had to deal with online...

crazyrat said...

What I don't understand is why did you keep sending models and money to him even after your 1st batch of commissioned models did not arrived?

You could have submitted a charge-back or open a dispute on paypal before 30-45 days from the day of payment. That way you can cut your losses.

I had seen and heard a online store owner which I dealt with in real life ripped people off. Cheating 15k+ of his partners investments and around 1k-2k of merchandise.

Luckily I wasn't cheated as I sensed something was wrong when he started clearing his old stocks and orders start getting slow to arrive. To top it off, the people that online store owner cheated some were his "friends" and they know each other in real life and game together.

What I want to advise you here is never, never trust anyone online... especially when money is involved. Always have a back-up plan to get your money back if things don't go your way.

Hope you continue with the hobby and don't give it up because of scums.

AgeOfEgos said...

Slight clarification here----this did not happen to me. That is a repost from Alpharius on DakkaDakka.

He does regret sending him more stuff----but you just need to know Alpharius. He's a true 'good guy' and thinks the best of people.

However, I agree that he was a tad bit naive to believe that guy would continue to honor their agreement. Really a shame.

@Muskie----Yeah I'm shocked he continues to use the same handle too. He's been banned from Bartertown for ripping people off, DakkaDakka and Warseer---and continues to use the same handle. Pretty surprising.

Gustav said...

Well if you have been sending him stuff, you know his adress, to get his phone number wouldn't be so hard.

Give him a call or better yet, call his family. That sort of pressure should do it.

DQ said...

Sorry to hear that such unfortunate events occured to Alpharius. It would indeed be sad if an experience, dedicated wargamer leaves the game. If there is anything else the community can do to help him maintain his interest still in the game, pls let me know, ok?

Lord Lucius said...

Time to make a trip? How far away is he?

A said...

Yeah. he ripped me off too and on most of the sites because he can paint decently it apparently gifts him with magic powers of invulerability or sainthood where he can do no wrong. It's frustrating as even when a glut of evidence is put in people's faces all he has to say is "oh it's dakka and drama" and suddenly everyone gets to feel snide, superior, and discount the entire thing. The only way to get any bounce from him is to dog him on bells, warseer, astronomicon, heresy, etc. If he thinks he can blow you off he will. ALSO, much importante, he now claiming he's settle his argument with alpharius. Can you confirm this?