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Problems with a German whiskyshop

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Problems with a German whiskyshop

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:25 pm

I was wondering if anyone has had any dealings with a German whisky shop called Scoma?

Last year I made a few orders, including the purchase of a few bottles of Port Ellen. At first they shipped me all ordered products minus one bottle of Port Ellen - and did not inform me beforehand of this chance, so that I could have perhaps either changed my order, or cancel the one P-E bottle. I put this down to their poor english skills, as after calling them I realized that nobody at the shop spoke any english really.

I did get the P-E bottle later and ordered a few other bottles with it, all went fine, and all the shopping was charged from my credit card.

After not having any dealings with the shop for several months, to my astonishment I received in the mail an invoice from them for one Port Ellen just recently. On the invoice, someone had written "sory we forget". ?? I rechecked all my purchase transactions, as well as my credit card bills, and quickly realized that they are trying to doublecharge me for one of the Port Ellens.

Now my first thought was that this is surely a mistake in their bookkeeping, due to the mishap with the bottle. However I must sadly conclude after three emails to them (all written both in english and german) and not receiving ANY reply that dear Scoma is really trying to rip me off, as some say. I just received my credit card bill and sure enough, there is a charge from this company on my bill, matching the cost of one Port Ellen.

I would like to warn others due to this incident - I can certainly understand that mistakes can happen, but this seems less and less like a mistake. I am using three email addresses I have for them, including the same one I still occasionally receive advertisement emails from the shop. I sincerely doubt that they have not received my emails. I would call them, but they do not speak any english, and my german is truly poor.

I feel rather confident that I will not have to pay for goods a second time, as I have all the documents of each transaction with me. But I would not give this company my credit card details any more, this is certain. Be warned.
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:54 pm

just phone your credit card company and say theyve took money without permission, you'll get it back from them.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:07 pm

Hello vitara7,

This is precisely my first action - however after thinking about this for a while, I wanted to publish the incident, as it may deter others from giving their credit card details so easily to companies such as Scoma. I was originally chuffed that they accepted credit card orders (most german shops do not), now I wish I would have paid the orders "cash in advance" as with many other shops.
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:16 pm

they prob do it from time to time with folk thinking folk will forget or overlook it due to the time scale.
but personally, id tell my cc company that the first order was the one i didnt order, that way they may be scoring a few quid for one bottle, but youve scored in the end... ;) not very honest i know, but fairs fair
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:48 am

Hi MRJ,
I struggle to write correct German but I am quite happy speaking the language and understanding it. If you would like me to help by calling them, please PM me with some details and I will happily do so.

I know Scoma from some years ago when I bought from them via Ebay and you are correct that all their communication was in German, never English. Although I never had any problems with them as a seller.
MT
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Postby Drammer » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:14 am

Malt-Teaser wrote:Hi MRJ,
I struggle to write correct German but I am quite happy speaking the language and understanding it. If you would like me to help by calling them, please PM me with some details and I will happily do so.

I know Scoma from some years ago when I bought from them via Ebay and you are correct that all their communication was in German, never English. Although I never had any problems with them as a seller.
MT


A little refresher mate:
my german teacher wrote:masculine
der ein
des eines
dem einem
den einen

feminine
die eine
der einer
der einer
die eine

neuter
das ein
des eines
dem einem
das ein

plural
die eine
der einer
den einen
die eine


The horrors *shudders*
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:35 am

Drammer,
German Grammar drives me insane - thanks for the reminder as to why!
:x :lol:

The fact that a simple word like "one" can change dependent upon when, where and how (possibly also dependent upon the colour shoes both the speaker and audience are wearing at the time) is just incomprehensible to a simple Tyke like myself.

:roll:
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Postby les taylor » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:47 am

MT wrote:-


Hi MRJ,
I struggle to write correct German but I am quite happy speaking the language and understanding it. If you would like me to help by calling them, please PM me with some details and I will happily do so.


MT I knew you'd come to the rescue if needed. There are quite a lot of resources here on the forum aren't there.

:)
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:48 am

Hi there,

I have no problems with German grammar or speaking and understanding the language. I can offer the same help as malt teaser did if you want.
Scoma is one of the oldest German companies which did great things for the whisky connoisseurs here. The founder has been made a Keeper of the Quaich for his contributions in making whisky known and affordable here in Germany. That was at a time when the title meant something still.
I can not say what happened with your orders but afaik Scoma is a well established company and not a bunch of rippers off. It is regrettable that some mix up happened with your orders and that they do not speak your language propperly. But a general warning to do business with them seems a bit far off the mark to me.
At the moment there is unrest in the mail order business in Europe as far as spirits are concerned because of a strange ruling of the European Court. Many internet shops stopped shipping goods within Europe or abroad because of that ruling. In essential it means that if you buy whisky in Germany and bring it to France Belgium or the UK in person, everything is in order. But if you ship it via a third agency you have to pay the taxes of the land where you bought and back at home. The tax from the country where you bought can be reimbursed. If the customer fails to do that, the seller e.g. the internet shop is responsible and could face a charge of tax evasion. Nice isn`t it?
That whole business with the double paying of taxes is to protect the interests of the large companies which have no interest that a citizen of Europe can buy his spirits where the tax level is lowest. What was that again wit the free common market?

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:59 am

Drammer wrote:A little refresher mate:
my german teacher wrote:masculine
der ein
des eines
dem einem
den einen

feminine
die eine
der einer
der einer
die eine

neuter
das ein
des eines
dem einem
das ein

plural
die eine
der einer
den einen
die eine


How strange to see them in that order. We always had nominative, accusative, dative, genetive. I found German grammar straightforward. Gaidhlig grammar, on the other hand...
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Postby les taylor » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:05 pm

KallasKander wrote:-

At the moment there is unrest in the mail order business in Europe as far as spirits are concerned because of a strange ruling of the European Court. Many internet shops stopped shipping goods within Europe or abroad because of that ruling. In essential it means that if you buy whisky in Germany and bring it to France Belgium or the UK in person, everything is in order. But if you ship it via a third agency you have to pay the taxes of the land where you bought and back at home. The tax from the country where you bought can be reimbursed. If the customer fails to do that, the seller e.g. the internet shop is responsible and could face a charge of tax evasion. Nice isn`t it?
That whole business with the double paying of taxes is to protect the interests of the large companies which have no interest that a citizen of Europe can buy his spirits where the tax level is lowest. What was that again wit the free common market?

Greetings
kallaskander




Thankyou KallasKander your comments about the european court were very interesting. It shows really if they can't tax you one way they will get you another.

:(
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Postby Drammer » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:26 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
Drammer wrote:A little refresher mate:
my german teacher wrote:_SNIP_


How strange to see them in that order. We always had nominative, accusative, dative, genetive. I found German grammar straightforward. Gaidhlig grammar, on the other hand...


It was just a quickie, I try not to think about german grammar too much though. Us dutchies had a similar system, but we dropped it.

At least it's not as bad as russian, it has like 9 or 13 or something :shock:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:43 pm

kallaskander wrote:Hi there,

I have no problems with German grammar or speaking and understanding the language. I can offer the same help as malt teaser did if you want.
Scoma is one of the oldest German companies which did great things for the whisky connoisseurs here. The founder has been made a Keeper of the Quaich for his contributions in making whisky known and affordable here in Germany. That was at a time when the title meant something still.
I can not say what happened with your orders but afaik Scoma is a well established company and not a bunch of rippers off. It is regrettable that some mix up happened with your orders and that they do not speak your language propperly. But a general warning to do business with them seems a bit far off the mark to me.
At the moment there is unrest in the mail order business in Europe as far as spirits are concerned because of a strange ruling of the European Court. Many internet shops stopped shipping goods within Europe or abroad because of that ruling. In essential it means that if you buy whisky in Germany and bring it to France Belgium or the UK in person, everything is in order. But if you ship it via a third agency you have to pay the taxes of the land where you bought and back at home. The tax from the country where you bought can be reimbursed. If the customer fails to do that, the seller e.g. the internet shop is responsible and could face a charge of tax evasion. Nice isn`t it?
That whole business with the double paying of taxes is to protect the interests of the large companies which have no interest that a citizen of Europe can buy his spirits where the tax level is lowest. What was that again wit the free common market?

Greetings
kallaskander


Thanks Kallaskander, maybe you are better equipped than I to help, but either way, at least it looks like MRJ can get some useful help here.

As for the tax - I have seen many sellers stop shipping abroad, mainly due to EU rules on "Distance Selling", but when you refer to "tax" do you mean VAT or something else?

MT
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:07 pm

It's easy to be cynical, but if I understand correctly, the tax ruling has its logic. If Jean-Claude in Lyons buys a bottle from the comfort of his home and consumes it there, the French government expects to get its due, regardless of the origin of the bottle--a German shop, a Scottish producer--the same as if he bought it at the corner market. It's not an unreasonable expectation; you're not supposed to be able to shop around for the lowest tax, any more than you can decide to pay your income taxes to Liechtenstein. Obviously international internet shopping represents a potentially enormous loss of revenue for some countries. We have the same issues with sales tax within the US.

Hopefully suppliers will work out a system for reporting and paying the appropriate taxes. Uniform tax rates within the EU would probably help a lot.
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Postby lambda » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:41 pm

The recent ruling of the EU court that caused these issues had to do with excise duty. Normally purchases of goods from another EU country by a private individual will simply mean that VAT is paid in the country of origin. This is reasonable as VAT is somewhat uniform within the EU (between 15-25%).

Excise duty (for goods such as alcohol and cigarettes), however, has to be paid to the destination country. So either you pay excise duty twice or shops need to reimburse their excise duty (but that might not be so easy, if possible at all). Plus there is the hassle of doing this for every package.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:35 pm

Dear all,

I must thank all of those who offered to help. I have indeed discussed with the shop now, using an interpreter of sorts and they have admitted it is their mistake.

I did mention to them that I am surprised they did not respond to my emails, but the main thing is the admittance of the mistake on their part. Similarly, I asked them to immediately contact my credit card company to reimburse the charges against me, and Mrs. Setter says she has already done this. I am contacting my credit card company now daily to monitor if this has gone through, because otherwise I will indeed have to pay the extra money, and try to get it back later through an official reclaim.

I am deeply grateful for the offers of assistance, and they do strengthen my belief in that our whisky hobbyists' / aficionados' world is that of gentlemen (and of ladies of course as well). Similarly it is very good to hear that Scoma is of good reputation; as my experiences with them are based on a few transactions last year only, I could only wonder what kind of company this is.

Again, once the finances are cleared, I will certainly post a notification here. Already the fact that they admitted this is the company's mistake and offered an apology raises confidence in my books for the company.

In today's world, with internet full of various shops and sorts, I admit to reacting very quickly and publicly to matters of this nature, if for nothing else than to seek learning from other people's experiences.

Thank you very much all!!

M.R.J.
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Postby Aidan » Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:04 pm

I've bought from this shop in the past. I'm sure it was an innocent mistake. They seemvery reliable to me.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:10 am

Well done MRJ, I'm pleased it's now sorted.
MT
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Postby vitara7 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:12 am

yeh, glad you got it sorted in the end, even if it did take ages....
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:39 pm

I am finally pleased to say that the company in question has indeed made good and compensated their mistake to my credit card company. This came one day before I would have had to pay the bill.

Still I would urge others to excercize some caution when making payments with credit cards. Particularly when something doesnt go exactly according to plans (items missing from order, changing orders), one may expect apparently some later confusion in billing as well. Caveat emptor.
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