My fake Bal bag experience! (Aka Life Before PF)

  1. I have been fawning over Bal bag for ages and I finally decided buy one (a month before I knew of PF).

    There has been talk (all positive) from another forum about a website which shall remain nameless (for the sake of keeping the peace) as they have threatened to sue me for defamation!

    This site swears all of their bags are authentic.

    So I contacted them about buying a black First bag and the lady said she had one in stock but there was a flaw-a scratch on the silver hardware on the tag. But she was willing to sell it for $750AUD.

    I met her in person to inspect the bag and to me, everything looked ok. (Bales, LAMPO zipper, welded rings, correct wrapping of tassels, etc.) She showed me invoices from Balenciaga in Italy and courier delivery receipts to prove the bag came from Italy. I even managed to talk down to the price to $700AUD.

    I felt very proud that I had made my first designer bag purchase until that night when I realised it was a fake! :wtf:

    Check this out:
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    Here is an excerpt from an email to I sent to the site, comparing my bag to a "friend's"-(thanks LP for your advice!):
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    1) The leather on mine was noteably shinier and more crackled.

    2) The scratch on the silver plate appears to be a fault from sewing the plate on-Balenciaga would not sell a bag with a factory fault.

    3) The zippers do not match. There is an embossed LAMPO logo under the internal pocket zip however the main zip and external pocket zip is engraved with the words (not logo) LAMPO and MADE IN ITALY. She says that on all of her Balenciaga bags, she has never seen this type of zip before and all zips should bear identical logos.

    4) The bales and buckles appear slightly different to hers.

    5) The swing tag is blank when it normally should have the model specifications.

    6) The "Z" on the silver plate looks different to hers.

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    Here was their response:
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    As far as I know, the latest Balenciaga model is made of shinier leather. No two Balenciaga bags look the same because of the distressing characteristic.

    As you're aware, I purchase from boutiques in Italy. The goods are all brand new and some of them are part of their items physically on display in the boutiques. The scratch may have been done whilst on display. I may not know how and where the scratch was done but I can comment that the plate is sewn manually and not by a machine that can scratch the metal plate with the sewing needle.

    I buy stock from current or previous season, in stock in excess IN THE STORE. Boutiques in Italy change their stock every season - they don't destroy the bags but they re-sell them to buyers like me.

    And this particular item came from the batch that was purchased from Balenciaga, Milan. I mean, how else can I provide further authenticity if the bags came from Balenciaga store? They will not provide me the invoice if it wasn't bought from them. Please see attached copy of the said invoice.

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    I felt cheated but determined to prove her wrong. There were holes in all of her arguements. So I emailed BalParis with the invoice and pics of my bag. Here was their response:
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    all of this is fake : the invoice is not one of ours, the logo is wrong,
    the leather of the bag is wrong

    if you could send me the details of the companies involved, we could take legal action against them.

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    :yahoo:Just what I was hoping for! I swifty forwarded the email to the site and demanded a refund. She did'nt apologize-not even once! Since she finally realised that she lost, she tried to palm me off with:
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    Just to let you know that I have contacted my supplier in Italy. They'll let me know what they can do to solve this. I have forwarded them your comments about the bag.

    I'll update you with the outcome. I take your concerns seriously, so please bear with me trying to get some answers too.

    -----------------------------------
    I sent the bag straight back and got my refund a few days later. She offered me a replacement from "another supplier" and I said no way!

    I told a girl from the other forum that I was sold a fake by that site and she posted a public message about it.

    Suddenly I was inundated with pms from other girls who had bought from that site! Thankfully I know of one girl who got a refund as a result.

    I also got an email from the site, who must have been monitoring the forums:
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    We are aware that you have been initiating, issuing and disseminating emails and discussions against our company about an issue that we have already resolved with you and other concerned customers. We therefore request that you cease further discussions or statements that are defamatory to our company. We have already sought legal advice and we were advised to communicate with you first to ask you to refrain from initiating, disseminating and publishing malicious statements about our company and our
    products...

    Please be aware that we are serious in protecting our company's good name and we will not hesitate in taking all necessary legal actions against you. We will also be seeking compensation for loss of business and loss of
    goodwill as a result of your actions.

    -------------------------------
    They obviously wanted me to keep my lid on the dodgey deal. They figured that since they gave me the refund and that I declined their "replacement", that they had done me the hugest favour in the world! Here was my response:
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    I am aware of the criteria of proving defamation and if necessary, the defences available.

    As for the replacement offered, given the way that our transaction was handled, I no longer want to deal with your business. For your information, here are the reasons:

    1) The bag was fake and you instantly dismissed my claims. The onus was on me to prove it in order to get a refund.

    2) I question your business practices. Just because a bag has been purchased from Italy does not immediately mean that it's authentic. Just because there are laws against selling fake bags, does mean that it never happens. Given the legal repercussions and it's effect on business, wouldn't it warrant some research to establish that invoice and bag was fake? The logo apparently has'nt been used for years.

    3) You charged my credit card and did'nt issue a receipt, even when I asked for one. I am entitled to a receipt. A transaction on my bank statement does not immediately constitute my authorization of the transaction.

    4) I have seen others experience the anguish and loss of others who are sold a fake bag as authentic. I would never risk experiencing it first hand again.
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    Now I own a Black First from AR and I love it to bits! :tender:

    Anyway, I was busy studying for an exam at the time but I swore I'd post this up to warn others amd share my experience. Not that you lovely and diligent PF ladies need any warning!

    Thanks for reading the long post!

    Please share if you had similar experiences!

    Ahhhh...if only I joined PF sooner! :lol:


     
  2. Thanks for moving it to the right forum, amanda!:flowers:
     
  3. Thanks for posting Emmakins. I'm so glad that you got your refund and alerted the other girls to the fact that the company is selling fakes. Yay for you!!!!

    Just out of curiosity - can someone claim you defamed them if what you said is true?

    Edited to add: Emmakins, I can't see the pics.
     
  4. :yes: Wow! hurray for you! Well done for sticking with it and getting a good result! It makes me so mad that companies think they can get away with this behaviour :rant: PF has really been a saviour for a lot of people, and the scammers will slowly realise they can't get away with it that easily!
     
  5. Sorry, the pics disappeared on me! I've re-attached them now.
     
    fakebag.jpg
  6. wow! emmakins! close call, huh? I've NEVER seen that lampo sizpper before.. crazy.
     
  7. Thanks Emma for your post !!!
    I'm very glad you get a refund !!!
     
  8. you go girl!:yahoo: you kicked butt. glad it worked out in the end for you. from here on...nothing but the real stuff.
     
  9. Thanks for posting this for us.And good job on not quiting.
     
  10. Thanks for the cautionary tale.
     
  11. Good for you for persevering, glad you finally got a real one.
    Unless it's new, there is no Balenciaga store in Milan. I was there last summer and they're surprisingly scarce in that city. 10 Corso Como was the only store I could find them and there was nothing left in stock.
     
  12. WOW what a fake! Terrible! I'm wondering if this is bluefly or bergacci's work...:throwup:

    Congrats on getting an authentic black first from aloha rag! I have a black city and I love it to pieces! Awhile back a friend had shown me a site selling "authentic" bbags with reasonable prices - about $100.00 off or so, and I toyed with buying my bag from there. At the time I had been on multiple wait lists all around my area - and was desperate! Thank GOD Barney's came through and found me my city - if it wasn't for them I may have been duped into buying a fake as well! :wtf: :yucky:
     
  13. I'm sure this site is already posted here somewhere, but I wouldn't be afraid of legal action. They use this scare tactic to place fear into someone who has been vigilant enough to warn previous and future customers. It's not slander when it true and you've proven that with that bny e-mail and the many differences in their bags. Last thing they'd do is come to court with dirty hands...especially for moving counterfeit goods and banking thousands and thousands of dollars from unknowing consumers. Might as well walk into the FBI and confess. I'm glad you were able help those gals who would have been ripped off! Congrats on your black first!
     
  14. TRUE. I'm addicted to court shows and recently saw a case with this same scenario. Actually the defendant was an eBay seller(thief) who was countersuing the plantiff for defamation. The judge's response to him was "IT"S NOT DEFAMATION WHEN IT'S THE TRUTH, PAL, PAY THE LADY!" *sound of gavel* :nuts:

    So tell the world!!
     
  15. ^I knew that the truth was a defence. Even if I tell my story to the world and she sues me, she would be facing a losing battle! Plus, it would expose her even more as a dogdey seller.

    Maybe I should name this seller after all!