Tuesday, July 21, 2015

GN eStore is a Scammer

I have been an online shopping addict for more than a decade. I bought stuff from all over the world, UK, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada and majority of my shopping loots came from US stores. I considered myself a lucky one as I only had handful of bad experience. To be precise, only 2 incidents. Now, another bad experience to be filed in the record.

Here's what happened. 


Recently friends and I were chatting over some automotive accidents and road bully incidents we saw in the social media. That triggered us to look for a decent dashcam for our daily ride. With no doubt that Google is the first we asked for answer and we found Blackvue is the leading brand with many good reviews. After some research on the latest modeln DR650GW-2CH,  I headed to my trusty online store Amazon.com to place order but was told by my friend that local online store Lazada.com.my was offering storewide 15% discount. I had a not-so-pleasant experience with Lazada previously but the deal was better than Amazon's when taking forex into account - weakening Ringgit Malaysia MYR against USD. As I always skeptical with local online stores like Lazada, I did some research and contacted the seller before I placed the order. The seller, GN eStore responded and displaying its certificate of authorization on selling genuine Blackvue products. I took the plunge went ahead with my order at Lazada, so did my friends. 


The item arrived safely at the doorstep after almost a month of waiting. It was received by my mom when I was travelling on business. Ask any geek, you probably get the same answer like me that the most excitement and exotic moment is when unboxing a new gadget. So you could imagine that what was the first thing I did upon my return from business trip when I saw the the parcel on my working table.


Opened the box and everything seemed to be in order. I quickly ran to my car to try it out as the only available power connector is cigarette lighter connector. Plugged everything in according to manual, a sexy voice welcomed me with "Blackvue for your safe driving" followed by "Starting normal recording". Everything was perfect up to that moment. Almost orgasm. Unfortunately the anticlimax moment struck.

Similar to GoPro or any action camera, the key feature of dashcam is the wireless connectivity to configure and view the recordings without the fuss of wired connection to download via PC or laptop. So does Blackvue dashcam. I installed the Blackvue app from Play Store, launched the wireless scanning on my Nexus 5 to connect to the camera. Nothing resembled blackvue_xxxxx was detected.


Let's try another phone, I told myself. Repeated the same with Moto X. Failed. Let's get another. Pulled out my old Motorola Razr and did the same...


To no avail. I wasn't disheartened, yet. I booted up my Surface Pro 3. Finally, I gave in. It's a unit with faulty wireless. Sigh.

As a technical guy whom has worked for life in IT with several Microsoft, Cisco, ITIL and etc certificates on my waistband, I applied the same problem management process to diagnose the situation. Recheck connections, reread manuals, forums, PC update, manually changed the parameters in config.ini, firmware upgrade etc etc.You name it. All failed.

I contacted the seller GN eStore via email and explained the problem. As expected, I was asked to repeat a subset of what I had performed earlier. Let me do something similar to Sarawak Report that published the email leaks, the seller eventually told me this excuse...


WTF?! Why not explain that I need line of sight for wifi connection? Perhaps my technical knowledge is fucking dated and my certificates were all bribed over.

Well, even though it was damn idiotic, I acted like a dummy and replied nicely with intention not to upset the seller so that he/she could agree on a return for warranty. In the end, the seller cum scammer disappeared in black hole without any reply!! GN eStore, a truly genuine scammer.

My verdict? Think positively, at least the dashcam can still record, only the wifi is faulty. I am putting my last hope on Blackvue support if I am allowed to exchange a replacement directly. Fingers crossed.

Sharing here so that you think twice if you plan to buy stuff from this scammer in all online stores with all its online stores at popular platforms below.

By the way, if you are curious, apparently my friends ordered older model 550GW through a different seller. Their units are working fine.