Acoustic Reference Speaker Fraud

Models involved:

Acoustic Studio Monitors Series 3311
Acoustic Studio Monitors Series 3312
Acoustic Reference Model BS-300 (a.k.a. BS300)
Acoustic Reference Model SM-1000 (a.k.a. SM1000)

Warning!

Warning !

Warning !



Do not purchase these speakers. They are fake. If you've just bought a set of these speakers from a couple of blokes in a white van, then unfortunately you've been had by a sophisticated scam. These speakers are not worth anything like the value you were told. However, don't give up hope just yet. You may be able to get your money back. I did, but it was lucky. I'm going to try my best to tell you what I know and what I did and perhaps you might be able to get you money back too.

Basically, these two guys in a white van pulled up in the street and told me that they had been given excess stock to deliver and they had a couple of sets of VERY expensive speakers to get rid off. At first I was dubious, but they told me that if I didn't believe them that I could phone the shop that they were delivering them for and I could confirm that they really were worth the value they reckoned. So I did and sure enough, that's what I was told - about 1789 or something. Believing them to be for real, I paid them 300 for a set and I was thrilled ! What a bargain - or so I thought. . .

Next thing, I'm on the internet looking up these speakers to learn more about them. Shit - there were all these sites warning people that the whole thing was a giant scam. I'd been had! Not a good feeling. What could I do ?

Then I remembered - I'd phoned (on my mobile) that number to confirm the price of these speakers with that "shop" - they had to be in on the scam. So I phoned up this number again and sure enough they actually appeared to be an audio equipment shop of some sort - they were called "Global Audio" (a company that seems to be responsible for this scam all over the place).

Anyway, I got very angry with them and threatened to call the police if they didn't return my money immediately. They tried to deny that they'd done anything wrong, but their story was full of holes and kept changing. Anyway, they took my threats seriously and the following day they came round (in some very flash Land Rover) collected my speakers and gave me my money back. They seemed to consider selling things out of the back of white vans, to be a perfectly legitimate way of selling speakers ! It's strange that the guy in the van (called Mark) had claimed the shop weren't aware of what he was doing !

I was sold these speakers in London, NW3 at the end of Summer 1999.

This shop responsible at this time was called "Global Audio Network Ltd." and there address was:

Unit 4
Abbey Wharf
Abbey Estate
Mount Pleasant
Alperton
Wembley

They're phone number was (020) 8903 6243.

 

However, since then their London based operation has moved. Their new address is . . .

Global Audio Network Ltd and Acoustic Reference Ltd
The Glassmill
1 Battersea Bridge Road
London
SW11 3BG

But their telephone number remained the same. . .

(020) 8903 6243

  They will make refunds if you approach them. Many others have managed to do so. The most important thing is to be persistent - the law is on your side!!

Update (Since the end of December 2000): They appear to have changed their number. The above number is no longer working.

Update (February, 2001): Someone has supplied me with their new number. It is (020) 8900 2177. Apparently, it works fine and you can arrange a refund through this number. (Check the messages on the message board at the end of this page.)

Registration Number Plates: People have supplied me with some of the registration plates for van's involved in this scam:

You will be amazed to learn that this scam is not confined to London or even the UK. It is a world wide scam and this company Global Audio appears to be regularly involved no matter where it occurs. Also if this scam happened to you in the UK, then from my experience this London shop was almost certainly responsible - they have admitted responsibility to incidents dotted all over the country and not just confined to the south east.

If you've just bought a set of these speakers in the UK then it is extremely likely that this shop is to blame. But be warned they are trying their best not to be helpful about this. Remember - they are breaking the law and if you are persistent you'll get your money back.

What is strange, is that if you do manage to get in contact with them and if you are determined and do not accept their excuses, they seem to behave like a "reputable" retailer and will refund your money as though it was an ordinary purchase from a shop!

Anyway, that is basically what I know.

 

What to do to get your money back

Here is what I would do in your situation, but it may not be the best thing to do, but something along these lines has to be a good idea.

Firstly, if you phoned any shop on your mobile during the sale you're pretty much home and dry - basically do what I did.

If you didn't phone a shop, but you bought your speakers in the UK then I would consider the London shop to be responsible for this. However, they will probably still not be keen on giving you a refund.

If you bought these speakers abroad, then your situation is more difficult. The best I can advise is to search your local area for companies called "Global Audio . . .". If you're lucky/persistent you may find one. Alternatively, see if you can find a local audio shop that stocks the particular brand of speaker you purchased.

If you don't find any shops matching this then I don't know what to do - probably it's best then to phone the police, they might be able to help you.

Now, assume that you have found a suspicious Audio shop or if you were scammed in the UK (then it is a safe bet that the London shop I described is almost certainly to blame), then it's best to pursue this lead - you've got nothing to lose !

If you haven't found out already, it's probably best to find out the address of this company before getting them annoyed, now if you found their number in the phone book, then you should automatically have their address, so you don't need to worry. If it was through directory enquiries then you won't be able to find their address that way, so either look them up in a phone book or actually phone them up and ask them for their address - but be careful, they may not be keen on giving out their address over the phone.

Next, think back to the guys in the van (or whoever sold it to you). Can you remember his/her name ? If you can then this information could be useful. The guy who sold me mine was called Mark.

Basically, I reckon you've got two options. You could phone up this company and ask them "How much do a set of Acoustic Studio Monitors, Series 3311 cost ?" (or which ever brand of speaker you bought) or alternatively ask them "Is Mark (or whoever) in at the moment ?". If they say no he's out or even if he's there then the chances are you've got the right shop.

Probably, I'd recomend doing the first option, but the second could also be useful. Lastly, you could even go to visit the shop and confront them - this is particulalry useful if you recognize the guy who sold them to you. People have done this and been successful in getting their money back. Anyway, the choice is yours.

Lastly, once you've become fairly confident that you've got the right shop then begin to turn up the heat - believe me they are not keen to get involved with the police, however they may at first try to call your bluff. But don't be concerned by this. Also remember, if they do stock/sell Acoustic Studio Montiors series 3311 (or whichever model you bought), then they have to be dodgy because these are quite literally bullshit speakers and I bet you the police are aware of how they're illegally sold.

Well, that's about it. If you are clever about this, I think you should be able to get your money back. You'll be pleased to know that I've had quite a few people e-mail me (and leave messages on the old bulletin board - which kept getting mysteriously wiped), who've also been successful in getting their money back. Anyway, Good Luck!

If you have anymore questions, or you just want to drop me a line, e-mail me on ripoff@publicist.com.

If you are successful in either getting back your money or you find a shop responsible for supplying these speakers, please let me know and I'll post these details, so that others can do the same and we can all get revenge on the assholes!

Good Luck !


Message Board

If you've just been scammed or if you've learned of some new information then why not leave a message to inform others and also to give other people who've also been scammed the opportunity to contact you if new information comes to light.

You can also find out if anyone's learnt of anything new that could be helpful to you.

Anyway, if you just been had, why not leave a quick note stating when and where it happened and any other details that might be helpful, in particular the name of the speaker model that you were sold.

This way we can track exactly where and how these bastards are operating!

If you do manage to get your money back, instead of just forgetting about this web site, please come back and leave a note to show others that it is possible.

To sign the message board click here.

To view the message board click here.


Useful Links

http://www.rsc.co.uk/noose/index.html

http://www.londonstudent.org.uk/12issue/news/leadingnews.htm

http://us.parsimony.net/forum27133/messages/507.htm

http://www.audioreview.com/market/messages/16513.html

http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/Speaker/product_6738.shtml

Information submitted by another UK scam victim


Do Your Bit to Seek Revenge

If you feel angry with the people who just scammed you then why not do your bit to hurt them. Believe me, they hate this web site. They took my old web hoster (Lycos) to court to make them drop this site (which they eventually did - this was really hurting them). After you've finished viewing this page take the time to advertise this site to others, so more people can get their money back and really piss these bastards off. Please feel free to submit this page to any search engines you can think of or post the details on a news group, so that more and more people learn of this page and make their business impossible.

Thank you for reading this page and I wish you the best of luck in getting your money back.

Remember: Don't give up - finding them was the hard part. You've done that - now get even.



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