Tongkat ali scam?

From: “Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com
Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:44 AM
To: sanare.sam@gmail.com

Dear Sam,

I notice you say you can help people to get a refund. I am hoping you can help me.

I purchased (via paypal) a “two month supply” from Tongkatpowder http://www.tongkatpower.com/

I believe you have stated this is a scam, and I have seen other posts online stating it is a scam. I realised this only a few days after purchasing the ‘product’ (I have not yet received it but there hasn’t been time for it to arrive from the US so that doesn’t mean anything in itself).

I have now contested the purchase with Paypal on the grounds that it is signifcantly not as described. I asked for a physical address and phone number and conclusive and verifiable information about the facilities at which the product has been manufactured. The seller has responded “our product is manufactured on BACTOLAC factory in US.”

I planned to ask them to give me contact details at this factory so that 1) I can verify they manufacture it; and 2) I can ask for the source of the Tongkat ali so that I can verify the supply from the source.

I would really appreciate your advice on how to proceed!

The full text of my dispute and the response is below in case you wish to refer to it. I note they have not even bothered to sign the message with a name!

Kind regards,

Steve

******

I dispute the transaction irrespective of whether it is received on SNAD grounds because there is no possible means of establishing you are a genuine company selling the product (Tongkat ali 1:200 extract) that you claim to sell. There is no physical contact address and no telephone number on the wbsite.

Your site claims to sell “The most potent high quality Indonesian Tongkat Ali Root extract 1:200”. The (genuine) product is relatively rare and expensive, with limited supply. The site tongkatpowder.com provides no physical address and no phone number.

It was brought to my attention by a site providing general information about Tongkat ali that “Tongkatpowder” is a scam.

I hereby request from you: 1) a physical address and phone number; and 2) conclusive and verifiable information about the facilities at which the product has been manufactured.

Background information

A search on whois.com returns the following:

Registrant:

Domains by Proxy, Inc.

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)

Domain Name: TONGKATPOWER.COM

[with NO physical address or contact information]

Tongkat Ali’s scientific name is Eurycoma longfolia. The wikipedia article on this flowering plant states:

Fake Eurycoma longifolia products have been pulled off the shelves in several countries but are still sold over the Internet, mostly shipped from the UK…. It is therefore recommended that buyers of Eurycoma longifolia request from Internet vendors conclusive information, and proof, on the facilities where a product has been manufactured.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurycoma_longifolia

From Seller – NaturaFormula (Soteria LTD)

06/12/2011 07:59 AEDT

Dear Jiayu Li,

We distribute our products from US. Our warehouse address is provided on the shipping confirmation receipt. Our product is manufactured on BACTOLAC factory in US.

Regarding the information you read on the internet it is the matter of competition. There are distributors who sale the product for the high price (twice than ours) and try to position themself as a prime product , also there is no difference in the product. We manufacture in large quantities and can reduce the ingredients price, so we are cheaper.

Also please take into consideration the following:

We manufacture the product in US and all the ingredients are tested before we use them in our products. We are very stringent about the quality; everything we receive undergoes vigorous testing (ensures that there are no microbials, contaminants, heavy metals, etc) and is pharmaceutical grade as per the United States Pharmacopia. We tested many different extract suppliers and most of them are not safe as their extract contain high levels of lead or didn’t pass microbials tests and may damage your liver.

There are a lot of competitors in this area and each one of them publish deferent marketing materials claiming that they have the best product. It’s just a manufacturer which tries to promote its product and builds the perception that it has the best option.

We do not provide phone service because we want to keep low prices and it does not justify itself economically. Our customer care is by mail only.

Best Regards

——

From: Sam Sanare
sanare.sam@gmail.com
Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 6:09 AM
“Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com

Hi Steve, well, you could try to ask for any certificate. They claim to do so many tests. The fact that a package is on the way to you actually increases the likelihood of a refund. It could be useful in tracing them. Their English is sub-standard, sounds Asian. Maybe some Indian or Filipino youth. I am Swiss, but I don’t pretend to be American as they do. Could even be that they use a reshipping service in the US and are based abroad. Such services can be contacted on the web. Cheers…

——

From: “Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com
Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 8:46 AM
To: Sam Sanare
sanare.sam@gmail.com

Thanks Sam. I sent a reply (below). I contacted BACTOLAC as soon as I got their reply and still have not heard. I suspect they have contacted this factory to make sure that either they don’t reply to such enquiries or that they don’t give out that kind of information. I agree on the English. My wife is from Taiwan and also, as an Associate Professor in Australia, I have many asian students (including an Indonesian PhD student who just finished) and I see this kind of English regularly. I agree with you it is “asian english”. I think you’re right that they are using the storage place in the US.

It is located here:

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=250+Homer+StOlean%2C+NY+14760%2C+USA&rls=com.microsoft:en-au:IE-ContextMenu&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&redir_esc=&ei=vgfiToH7JK-uiQeN18S2BQ

Of course, if they provide me with any way of verifying the legitimacy of the product, and if I can actually verify it, I will happily use it. I won’t hold my breath.

I assume that ndonesiatongkatali.com is genuine? They have contact addresses etc. I have ordered from there so I can try a smaller amount to make sure I don’t have adverse reactions. If it works for me, I intend to buy from tongkatali.org (probably powder).

My reply to them below. Cheers Sam, Steve

********

Unfortunately, I consider the information that you have provided totally insufficient for me to establish that your product is genuine. I note the following points:

1. You have not provided a phone number at which I can contact someone to request further information about the product.

2. The physical address appears to be a third party storage facility and you have prodivded no means by which I can contact anyone.

3. The English in sentences 3 and 4 of your reply is substandard.

4. You did not sign your reply in Papal with a name.

You claim to conduct various tests on your products. Please provide a certificate or evidence (e.g. lab reports) that demonstrate these tests have been conducted. I need to be able to verify the evidence with a lab or certifying agency.

If the tests are done at BACTOLAC factory, would you please provide the name of a person at this factory who you work with and who can confirm that your product is produced at that facility. I will then contact that person directly. Please note that this is not a matter of customer service: it is a matter of dispute resolution.

I trust you apprecaite that I need to be confident I am purchasing genuine Eurycoma longfolia exctract. In the absence of any possible means of verifying that your product contains what you claim it does, I am not satisfied with the product.

I note that you offer a 10 day unconditional money back guarantee on your site http://www.tongkatpower.com/?lat=en-uk Given this, I hereby request a refund should you not provide in your next reply contact information that permits me to confirm details. If you elect to refund the money,please let me know if you would like me to return your product, and I will do so by registered mail to the address you supply me with through PayPal without opening bottles and breaking any seals. Please refund the money as soon as possible. In the absence of contact information to verify your claims, I intend to escalate this dispute to a claim through PayPal within the timeframe.

——

From: Sam Sanare
Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM
To:”Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com

Hi Steve, indonesiatongkatali.com is legit. I am confident you will get money back from tongkatpower.com.

Cheers…

From: “Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com
Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 3:09 PM
To: Sam Sanare
sanare.sam@gmail.com

Thanks very much Sam, and I assume tongkatali.org is also legit?

I’ll let you know if I get the refund.

Steve

——

From: “Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com
Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 6:32 PM
To: Sam Sanare
sanare.sam@gmail.com

Sam, you might be intersted in the response from NaturaFormula (Soteria LTD). You’re right, they have offered a refund. They have tried to frighten me off Indonesian Tongkat Ali, saying it contains lead! They advised me to read scientific studies. I did so–the only one referring to contamination with lead that I can find refers to Malasian Tongkat Ali ( http://het.sagepub.com/content/22/8/445.short )

They are claiming they will “reveal all the information about our company in two weeks …”

Regards, Steve

*****

10/12/2011 20:23 AEDT – Seller: Jiayu Li, 1. We will provide you the immediate refund 2. Please send the product back to our address in NY, Olean 250 Homer Street, as appeared on the shipping confirmation mail. 3. You base your understanding about tongkat ali on marketing materials published by specific manufacturer and fake publications supporting this manufacturer (please read scientific studies to change your perception). You can buy the “genuine” tongkat ali from them for twice a price, no problem. By the way we tested the latest tongkat ali extract from Indonesia and it contains high level of lead. It will probably harm your liver. 4. You will not be allowed to buy from our site anymore since we cannot trust you as a customer 5. We will improve our website and reveal all the information about our company in two weeks, since probably the same manufacturer is trying to harm our reputation using lies and fake journalists. In any case we are honest company and everyhting we publish is true. We hope you will find what you are looking for. Best regards and good luck.

——

From: Sam Sanare
sanare.sam@gmail.com\
Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM
To: “Steve Hu” st*****@gmail.com

Hi Steve, glad to hear that they refund. Cheers…