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Anyone after a home theatre? Dodgy dealings

By Golden-Alpine - 28 January 2010 27

Quite some time ago, a year or so I’m pretty sure there was a story on here I have been unable to locate about some guys selling home theatres out of a van.

The story went along the lines they would pull up next to you at  a bus stop or walking down the road.  They would then ask if you would be interested in a cheap home theatre system.  They would go onto explain they are here to do an install and they have one extra one they don’t need and fully paid for.  They even have paper work to show you.

Today I was at a set of traffic lights and a guy in a white Mercedes van motioned me to wind down my window.  The van had Victorian plates and green P plates and with 2 Aussie flags stuck to the back.  He then went on to ask if I was interested in buying a home theatre.  Straight away I knew what the story was and replied no.  Sure as following a script he told me they had a spare one they could sell off cheap.

Is there a crime here?  Or if people buy off these guys do they deserved to be ripped off?

Be aware folks.  If it’s too good to be true…..

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Anyone after a home theatre? Dodgy dealings
TAD 7:00 pm 29 Jan 10

The stereos aren’t stolen, just portrayed as being of a much higher quality and value than in reality.

The only criminal offence is a cooling off period one “enforced” by ACT Fair Trading so it’s not really a police issue.

Have a read at the wiki of this scam which is as old as they come but apparently they haven’t run out of suckers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speaker_scam

And a Chief Minister Media release from 2008 http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/media.php?v=7183

Special G 4:51 pm 29 Jan 10

Ask to check their hawkers licence and books if you think they are not legit. Try it next time.

Their sales pitch is to appear as dodgy as they can possibly be to suck you in. Probably the same quality as you can get for bottom of the range stuff. Then again my experience with ‘so called’ good brands has been hit and miss as well. The dodgy stuff just might last as long.

Vincent Vega 4:30 pm 29 Jan 10

There is a long thread on this scam on whirlpool: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/1249495.html. I think there is a mention in there about some police interest.

Maxxiz 4:11 pm 29 Jan 10

Its obviously not legit.. All most likely hot..

seanneko 3:09 pm 29 Jan 10

“do they have a registered busness etc?”

Yes, it’s a legitimate business, as far as I’m aware they aren’t breaking any laws (although I’m not a lawyer).

They try to make you think it’s stolen and hence a good price, when in fact it’s overpriced crap that you couldn’t sell in a store.

pepmeup 2:56 pm 29 Jan 10

do they accept cheques…..

nexus6 2:25 pm 29 Jan 10

Me and another guy were approached by them. the other guy called the police and was told that they were legitimate and police would not be investigating. i guess they are to busy booking taxis parked incorrectly or spraying people with capsicum spray. i cant help but imagine they were breaking some kind of trading laws. do they have a registered busness etc?

dodgy dodgy little shits as far as i could tell.

bd84 12:55 pm 29 Jan 10

Wide Boy Jake said :

Actually, some of it would probably be the real deal. Almost a month ago my mother bought a 42″ plasma for her house. It was due to be delivered a few days later. Because our house is a modest one built in 1969 there was no room to place such a large set. I sent her back to the store and she exchanged it for a 32″ LCD which she brought home and I set up within 15 minutes. A few days later the delivery company turned up at our house with the original plasma. We explained what had happened and that we didn’t want the second set. I’m fairly sure that plasma did not return to the shop and that somebody somewhere is now watching that set having not paid for it.

There is just about no chance that it would be the real deal. That’s the same as getting a tv that has “fallen off the back of a truck”.

I’d be taking down the rego, time and location and reporting it to the police through crimestoppers.

Special G 12:48 pm 29 Jan 10

They are a legit business selling cheaper variety home theatre equip etc. No warranty. You can barter with them if you like. Are they ripping you off any more/less than a big chain store – probably not.

Wide Boy Jake 12:08 pm 29 Jan 10

Actually, some of it would probably be the real deal. Almost a month ago my mother bought a 42″ plasma for her house. It was due to be delivered a few days later. Because our house is a modest one built in 1969 there was no room to place such a large set. I sent her back to the store and she exchanged it for a 32″ LCD which she brought home and I set up within 15 minutes. A few days later the delivery company turned up at our house with the original plasma. We explained what had happened and that we didn’t want the second set. I’m fairly sure that plasma did not return to the shop and that somebody somewhere is now watching that set having not paid for it.

Mike Crowther 11:37 am 29 Jan 10

If they are misrepresenting, then yes: “Obtain benefit by deception’. If the goods are stolen, then you could be charged with ‘Receiving’ or ‘Goods in Custody’. An intersting charge where the onus of proof is reversed. You have to prove there was no suspicion attached to the goods. (White van at a set of lights? Good luck with that one!)

Of course though, you are in the ACT so the likelyhood of being caught, charged, convicted or gaoled are so miniscule as to hardly be a factor. I’d be more worried about the lack of warranty if I were you.

Joe Canberran 11:13 am 29 Jan 10

As Tooks said although given that their spiel involves them informing you that “they had a spare one they could sell off cheap” which isn’t the case at all and that the item they are selling is a cheap copy and not the actual brand that is in the brochure they’ll show you there might be a case for fraud…

Katietonia 11:12 am 29 Jan 10

Can’t they just put it on Ebay like other legit companies selling crappy equipment?

Tooks 10:50 am 29 Jan 10

A legit company selling crappy quality equipment from what I can understand.

jas0nt 10:02 am 29 Jan 10

The stuff they’re selling is probably either stolen or dodgy ($50 speakers bought from eBay). What you experienced is so common the term is called ‘being white-vanned’.

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=white+vanned&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

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