Gainsaver- Stock Switching and Forced Sale Tactics

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CoachWade, May 4, 2011.

  1. CoachWade macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Good day, everyone;

    I am a relative newcomer here to Macrumors. Although I've been a member here for a while, I rarely post. I think this might be my fifth post in four years or something like that, but this is pretty important so I thought I'd break radio silence.

    Recently I went looking for a new computer. I started looking at Macbooks, but the price made me decide to move outward, and I discovered a website called "Gainsaver" that showed macs and my other favorite computer: the IBM thinkpad.

    The full experience of what I went through with Gainsaver is documented here: .

    This is a six minute video I posted on Youtube about Gainsaver's business tactics. In short, after sending me the incorrect computer and slamming a phone in my ear when I had the audacity to be offended by their complete disinterest in fixing a problem they caused with their own negligence, I had to endure Steve Harper, the Gainsaver sales manager/owner (Although he denies this) calling me a "pain in the ass" and a "charlie horse" and telling me "I'm going to leave you on hold until you decide to email me for customer service." He also hung up on me more than a dozen times. At one point I sarcastically said, "We seem to keep getting cut off," and he said, "No, I'm hanging up on you, _sshole." Of course, that was punctuated with a click and a dial tone.

    Going beyond even THAT customer abuse, Harper searched me out on the internet (my web site is in my email signature) and discovered I am a football coach and teacher. In a burst of RANK INSANITY this man then searched further and found the contact information for my school. He then called my employer about a private transaction that had nothing to do with them in any way. (Harper was reported to the Durham police for harassment for that stunt.)

    Looking further, Gainsaver claims an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, but they have 294 complaints over the last three years-- that's a complaint every four days, by the way. The Better Business Bureau informs me that Gainsaver is currently under investigation for the number of complaints they are racking up. The reason the score is so high is because Harper knows how to work the system: only UNANSWERED complaints lower the score. Any time a customer complains, Harper can respond with "Gainsaver is looking into this" and the automated system registers this as a zero out for the complaint; the rating stays at an undeserved "A+".

    When Harper sees this post, he or one of his employees will respond claiming I called him and harassed him (I think a customer spending $560 has a legitimate right to call a business on the phone.) and that he has reported me for harassment to the Long Beach Police. (They have no record of the call or a complaint.) The insanity is that I kept calling because Harper and his people kept hanging up on me-- had they acted in any way to competently fix the problem I certainly wouldn't be here now writing this.

    He will claim my account is in collections (Gainsaver threatens collections immediately after a chargeback is received from a credit card company. And by the way, California law prevents sending a customer to collections until their account is more than 90 days in arrears). Harper uses this scare tactic more or less any time an aggravated customer disputes a credit card charge.

    Harper will claim I "called all the sales people at Gainsaver telling them to f__k off." (That's seriously what he wrote on the answer to complaint form he sent to the Attorney General's Office.) What actually happened is that after his employee hung up on me the second time, I called in a third time and said, "F you if you won't help me. You're getting the entire computer back." Dropping one f-bomb after you've been hung up on by a customer service 'professional' because you asked for an RMA number is hardly the profanity-laced diatribe Harper wants you to THINK I accosted him with. (Harper's claims don't explain where calling a customer a "pain in the ass" and a "charlie horse" fall on the profanity chart.)

    Harper will ALSO claim "recordings are on file." This is true. After he called my principal, I called him back to tell him if he called my place of business again I would file a harassment complaint. He replied, "Oh I want to record this! Say that again!" So I did. In other words, the ONLY recording this maniac has of me is an admonishment not to ever harass me at work over a private transaction again.

    Currently, Gainsaver does not appear to be licensed by Apple to sell or refurbish Apple products. I'm still waiting for a call back from Apple on that subject.

    Here's the bottom line: protect yourselves, folks. You don't have to take my word for what happened with Gainsaver. (I tell my students, "Don't trust NOBODY! Not even me.") Please make your own opinions after doing some necessary research.

    Please take the time to view my video about my experience with Gainsaver: . I would be very appreciative if you would comment, and link to it/like it on Facebook and Myspace as well, if you have accounts with those services. (As an educator, I do not.)

    Even if you don't bother with my video, and you don't have the time to read the reviews of Gainsaver here at the LA county BBB website , (the reviews paint a MUCH different story than the rating score), please protect yourself by deeply investigating every company you do business with on the web. I should have looked beyond the rating myself, and now I'm busily documenting Gainsaver to my credit card company instead of enjoying the computer I purchased through another vendor.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at coach_wadeAThotmailDOTcom . Anyone who has been ripped off by Gainsaver and needs help building a case to get your money back from your credit card company or to bring to the Attorney General, please contact me as well. I have 54 pages of documentation about this company and their fraudulent tactics I can supply to you to support your case.

    Best wishes, everyone.

  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Yep, it's been well established around here that GainSaver is a bunch of crock, and that no one should even consider buying from them. Of course, that doesn't mean that people don't get caught without finding out about them first. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but I don't think any of us are surprised.

  3. CoachWade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Thanks GG. As I said, I should have researched Gainsaver more carefully here in this very forum prior to purchasing from them. Hopefully I can save someone else the elevated heartrate and sheer frustration of dealing with those clowns.

  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Sorry to hear about the problem.

    Might want to try Apple Store next time.

    If you want a discount on a Mac, go for the refurb at
    Refurb Apple products look like new, and has same warranty as new Apple products.
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    BBB ratings are no longer very reliable. You can get rid of a bad rating by buying advertising from BBB. I never trust a BBB rating anymore.
  6. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    Derek, like I said earlier, I'm really sorry I wasn't able to help you BEFORE you laid out your hard earned cash but you really did a GREAT job with the video. I'm sure your story, and your EXCELLENT video documenting it, will save someone else from the same outcome in the future.

  7. CoachWade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Thanks Jeff. We'll chalk this up to experience. I think it will turn out for the best. I got a better computer for a lower price from an alternate vendor. Unless something goes completely haywire in the Capital One dispute office I should get my full money back since I have more documentation for Gainsaver's antics than Obama has of citizenship, and I was highly motivated to make a video that may keep some other folks from making the same blunder.

    All in all, it could be worse.

    @Everyone: Thanks for the support and messages of consolation. I do appreciate it. Please help me get the word out to other unsuspecting consumers. If you would like/link to my video from Facebook and MySpace and your other social networking sites I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you.

  8. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Jan 6, 2009
    Titletown USA
    Yeah, BBB has gotten so bad that I get suspicious of any retailer that brags about their BBB rating. The bigger the BBB logo is on a retailers website, the more problems you're going to have.
  9. CoachWade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2011
    Thanks to the Youtube video, a gentleman named Cory S. contacted me over the weekend. Cory had a dealing with Gainsaver where they promised to purchase a Macbook Pro laptop from him. When he sent the computer to them, he was contacted and told that the computer was damaged and nonfunctional and they would not purchase it. It took him several weeks of wrangling and arguing to get his computer back from them, which they sent using UPS rather than the prepaid and insured USPS shipping he had provided.

    When he received the computer back he took it to the Apple store, where it was clear that the internal components of the computer had been removed and lesser value, non-functional components had been substituted instead by Gainsaver employees. Cory is currently working with Detective Buclot of the Signal Hill Police Department on a charge of theft-by-proxy and with the New York Post on a story about fraud in online businesses.

    Two additional complaints and four more negative reviews of Gainsaver have appeared on the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau website since I posted my review, yet the BBB rating is still A+.

    Be careful, folks. Before you buy online, carefully research the company and take care of yourself.

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me about this at Coach_WadeAThotmailDOTcom .

  10. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Jan 6, 2009
    Titletown USA
    This reminds me of an experience a friend had back in the early 1990's under System 7. He had taken a Mac in for servicing at a non-Apple computer store and one of the tech's removed half of the RAM, and then adjusting the virtual memory settings so that it would appear all the RAM was still there. I don't think he ever got a satisfactory resolution to the problem.
  11. mario65 macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2012
    I wish I would hav read this before I sent them a check. Words cannot express how terrible these thieves are. Consider yourself screwed if you send them money. If they dont have what you ordered and I assure you if you saw a deal its the bait. The return email or call is a request to take some turd you couldnt get anything for. Now I have store credit with a thief until I let them use the vaseline on me.
  12. xx3vil3mpirexx, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012

    xx3vil3mpirexx macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2012
    I will be listing what i find in depft on Gainsaver and Steve aka Brad

    This tells us one of his agents and his mailbox which is signal hill!

    2012 update more to come, and i will bag this bastard :D

    Oh and this might be helpful

    Number: C2878565 Date Filed: 4/26/2006 Status: forfeited
    Jurisdiction: NEVADA
    1601 LOCKNESS PL
    TORRANCE, CA 90501
    Agent for Service of Process
    Hopefully this helps
  13. TineD macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2012
    I had a similar experience with Gainsaver. I ordered a laptop and paid for extra diagnostics. When it arrived, turned out the motherboard was defect, and that I had to send it back at my own expense with UPS (340USD).

    When they sent me the replacement, I asked to clearly indicate on the outside of the box that this was a replacement, in order to avoid having to pay import taxes twice. They did not do this. Consequence: a double import tax of 400USD and three weeks of waiting because customs did not want to clear this suspicious parcel.

    When it finally arrived. The replacement's motherboard was also defect. I have been trying to file service order requests, mail and call them for three days now, and they keep filing my requests as solved without even getting back to me.

    Today I went to an official apple store to see how much it would cost to have the motherboard fixed mysel: around 800USD.

    Conclusion, I will have paid around 3600USD (1660 original price, 2X400 import tax fine, 350 return shipment, 800 repair) for a refurbished mac of which it is still not sure whether it will ever function properly.

    This website is a total fraud. Do not trust this company. A friend of mine had a similar experience.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'm sorry to hear people are still being screwed by this company.
  15. tothedome macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2013
    Gainsaver will rip you off

    For starters they use bait and switch tactics constantly. If you go onto their site ALL of their items are in stock but you'll get a call saying "THE ITEM THAT YOU ORDERED FAILED TESTING AND IT WAS THE LAST THEY HAD IN STOCK" then they'll present you with a different item.

    None of their items are tested even if you pay for additional testing so chances are you'll get a lemon and they will do their best to make you pay for return shipping.

    IF THEY REQUEST MONEY UP FRONT "PRE-PAY" DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM. They don't have the item in stock and are trying to use your money to get it. If it's a large amount they will keep it as long as they can.
  16. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I can't believe how angry I'm getting reading all of these posts about this company. They should be ashamed of themselves and, from the tone of a few folks, should be quite nervous for their own safety...

    That said, I cannot stress enough to buy from a trusted reseller even if it costs you a bit more. Even well respected and completely reliable vendors still have policies that might impact your decision. For example, B&H Photo does not generally provide a refund on defective products and will instead provide a replacement. Doesn't sound that bad, right? Its not really, but I purchased a 2012 Mac Mini and soon discovered the "white crush" effect from the HDMI port. So, I rang up B&H, explained the issue and requested a refund for the item. They politely explained they don't do refunds on defective items and would be happy to ship me another. I quickly explained the situation, that its a known issue with no fix in sight and a replacement will yield the same results. After a few minutes on hold they said they'd make an exception for me and allowed me to send back for full refund.

    The point here is even with completely reputable, well respected companies there may still be policies that impact a consumer, much less these clowns at Gainsaver I'm reading so much about.

    When in doubt go Amazon or Apple (or for me, Best Buy as I have a 60 day return policy, no questions asked). It might cost a bit more, but you know exactly what you're getting into).

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