Anything New York

The Chinese Way of Cheating

by on Jul.08, 2007, under Posts>Stories

I have also been cheated by a Chinese individual and a Chinese company. So I think I should let you know too.

The Chinese individual cheated me by paying with a check and then stop the check before I tried to cash it.

He was paying for a used SONY computer and a used SONY LCD monitor. It took me one day to try to install both English and Chinese operating systems on the computer. Then I and my cousin and her boyfriend, who happened to be visiting from England, carried the computer and the monitor and keyboard and mouse, etc., to his home which was one hour and a half away. Then I had to help him get the Internet set up at his home because he did not know English and could not communicate with the cable guy.

And what I got for doing all of these for him was $10 fine for a bounced check.

When I tried to contact him, he did not answer my phone calls. Her landlady would not let me see him. Eventually, he moved and disappeared.

The Chinese company did the same thing. They charged me for filing for an immigration application on my behalf. But I later found out that the application was never paid for and so was never considered. When I looked for the company, they were not at their old address any more. They had simply disappeared.

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The Illusive Internet Startup Stock Options

by on Jul.08, 2007, under Posts>Stories

Most people can only dream of getting a job that would offer stock options at a very low price and being able to make a large sum of money after the company goes public.

So I took such a job, passing on a job offer by McGraw-Hill’s Standard and Poor’s ComStock.

However, when the company was going to go public, I was fired, together with some other early employees who had been promised stock options at very low prices. And the company kept me in the dark for one year before they told me that I had lost the stock options that I had earned during the time I worked for them. The reason was that I did not exercise my stock options in time.

But how would I have known what I needed to do with my stock options if they did not tell me.

In the end, I had to file a lawsuit against the company to get half of the money that I could have made with my stock options. The lawsuit dragged on for two years because the company kept lying that they did not have money to pay.

I don’t know why people who have such a great amount of wealth still find it necessary to take so small advantages of people who have near to nothing.

By the way, that company was an American company with a majority share owned by an American who immigrated from Australia when he was young.

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The Meanest American I’ve Ever Met

by on Jul.08, 2007, under Posts>Stories

She was a business associate who initially found me through a work associate. She asked me to let her use my eBay account to sell her wedding dresses, promising to pay me $50 commission for each dress sold through my eBay account. I agreed.

Because my eBay account automatically linked to my credit card, all eBay fees were charged to my credit card.

Also because my eBay account was automatically linked to my PayPal account, the money paid by the customers was collected by my PayPal account. For this reason, she insisted that she had to be able to login to my PayPal account to see how much money the buyers paid to my account. I let her log in to my PayPal account. She then made payment to other people from my PayPal account

In the end, I did not make any money but lost a little money.

But what is a lot more worse is that she never sent the dresses, which were sold from $800 to $1000 each, to the customers. When the customers asked her for the dresses, she directed them to me, telling them that I had the dresses and the money. Some customers threatened to sue me for this.

She is an Italian American born and raised in New York.

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My Ordeal with My Cell Phone

by on Jul.05, 2007, under Posts>Stories

My ordeal with my cell phone does not seem to have an end.

I lost my cell phone when I fell asleep on the subway. I tried to call my phone but no one answered. So I never got it back.

Then I bought a used cell phone on eBay. It turned out to be too old to take a SIM card or to be used as a prepaid phone. I contacted the seller and was told that she would charge 20% restocking fee if I was to return it. None of these was made clear on her ad. So I complained to buySafe, the company that had guaranteed safe shopping for the customers of this seller. All I got was a skillful rebuke from buySafe on behalf of this seller. And I felt like being insult by the person at buySafe who answered my phone call.

I decided to resell this phone instead of returning it because I would not get any money back after shipping cost and restocking fee. Of course I made it clear on my ad that this phone could not take a SIM card or be used as a prepaid phone.

The guy who responded to my ad offered to give a a memory stick and some “old coins” in exchange for the phone. I took the offer and took the subway to deliver it to him.

It was dark where I met with him. So I did not see that the “old coins” were just some very dirty foreign coins, and the memory stick was broken. When I got home, I found out that the memory stick did not work. The only good thing is that he is still responding to my email. He told me how to make the memory stick work. And it did work sometimes.

I have bought a new cell phone from T-mobile web site. It is OK except that I keep hitting keys on the cell phone keypad when I am carrying it because it has no cover. I did not have such a problem with three other cell phones that I have had. So it is little annoying to me.

By the way, I do not know the identity of the eBay seller except that she used Anna as her first name. The guy who bartered the memory stick for the used phone was Hispanic, but sounded like a very decent American on the phone. I can tell from his English that his was raised here and was probably born here as well.

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The Statue of Liberty

by on Jul.02, 2007, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Immigration & Globalization>Immigration

I can not think of anything that represents the United States of America more than the Statue of Liberty. It represents the reasons why this country was created and why it has been the greatest country in the world.

However, many people who are here in this country do not really understand what about this country that is great other than the wealth that this country can offer them. Just like people in any other country, they oppress people who have not been able to obtain enough of legal protections to protect themselves.

If this country is run by these people, there will be no difference between this country and any other country in the world. The United States of America will no longer be the leader of the world. And she will find herself having to constantly fight for her own self-interest.

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Why was the immigration bill stalled in the Senate?

by on Jul.01, 2007, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Immigration & Globalization>Immigration>Immigration Reform

There has not been enough time for consensus to be built on most of the issues addressed by this bill. In a rush to pass an immigration bill, instead of trying to build consensus on each issue in immigration reform, the Senate had put together in one bill all the things that different people want and push everybody to accept what others want so they can get what they want. This strategy did not work.

I think that the hard work of building consensus on every issue can not be substituted with a grand bargain. We will just have to work hard to build consensus on every issue and try to get them passed one by one.

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Are All Gyms Like This?

by on Jun.14, 2007, under Posts>Complaints

I recently signed up for a membership at Boom Fitness. I remember I was told that it would be month to month – there would be no contract. But after I gave my signature which I thought was for card verification, I received a contract in my email with my signature on it.

After one month, I told them that I needed to suspend my membership. I was told that they would charge me $5 for suspending it. I agreed. So I thought I did not have membership for this month. But when I received my credit card bill, I saw a full month membership charge for this month on my credit card. Their explanation was that the membership was taken care of by another company and that the request was submit by the gym too late. Any way, they charged me membership fee and suspended my membership at the same time.

Also I was told that unless I can prove I have moved out of the city, I can not cancel my membership.

I have heard of similar business practice by Bally Total Fitness. I wonder if all gyms are like this and why?

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A British Business Consultant

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Posts>Stories

He charged me $1500 a month for two days of his service plus $35 a month for cell phone usage. At first he tried to work as many hours as he could and kept track of how many hours he had worked for me. But I thought it was more important that he was able to accomplish something than to just spend time with me. So I did not try to keep track of how many hours he had worked for me. So eventually he did not work at all. And he never made any phone call to anybody on my behalf to justify the charge for cell phone usage either.

After our three months contract ended, I did not want to hire him any more. He said that I needed to give him 30 days notice. By the end of the fourth month, he tried to keep the job by promising to get me a part time consulting job that would pay me $4000 a month. So I continued hiring him. But because I had run out of cash, I paid with a credit card. According to our contract, he was supposed to get paid every two weeks after he had offered me two days of service a month. But he charged me $3000 on my credit card for two months of service at once.

He used that money to set up a new office space for himself and his partners. Then he told me that I should rent his office so that I would be able to get the consulting job. I rented his office at a high price. He did not give me any furniture other than a round table which was not suitable for office. And he had me to build my own file cabinet.

He got a lot of opportunities to help my business. But he did little to help me even though he got paid over $9000 for consultation. He did not write a business plan or a contract or a patent.

If I told him that I wanted him to talk to someone on my behalf, he would ask for a free meal in a good restaurant paid by that person.

He never got me the consulting job that he promised even after he became the CEO of that company.

After our relationship had ended, he went to other clients and told them about my business secret and helped them to email me threats of law suits against my business.

Can you come up with a word or a phrase to describe such a person?

By the way, I am an Asian woman. And he had two Southern girlfriends and several Southern business partners. I wonder if the British and the Southerners are racist against Asians.

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Disputing a Credit Card Charge for a Service

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Posts>Complaints

I wonder if anybody has been able to dispute a credit card charge for a service.

A business consultant charged $3000 on my Chase credit card for business consultation service. But he never provided any service. I disputed the charge. Chase initially promised to send the dispute to arbitration if the merchant challenged my dispute. When the merchant did challenge the dispute Chase sided with him and insisted that I had to pay and ask for an arbitration from an outside arbitrator myself. They imposed high finance charges and late fees on my account to pressure me to pay before I ever got any chance to have my case looked at by an arbitrator.

I did not want the case to go away by paying to avoid finance charges and late fees. So I refused to pay. And since I had no time to send the case to an arbitrator before getting finance charges and late fees, I did not ask for an arbitration from an outside arbitrator myself.

In stead, I filed a complaint to the BBB against Chase. Chase responded by simply waiving the finance charges and late fees. But they still would not give me time to have the case looked at by an arbitrator.

After that I started to receive calls several times a day, seven days a week from people who claim to be Chase. Their calls had no caller ID. And they initially refused to give me their mailing address. I consider that phone harassment. And I think it is from a collection agency, which makes the phone harassment illegal.

Chase also sent my account to the credit reporting agencies without noting that it was a business credit card account and that the transaction was still in dispute.

After quite a lot of efforts I found out that I could submit my complaints against Chase to the Office of the Controller of the Currency. I did it. Chase responded by waiving the finance charges and late fees again. And they also gave me $1000 credit. But they still did not send the case to arbitration as they initially promised, or give me time to have to have the case looked at by an arbitrator.

I do not understand why nobody understands the basic issue here. Chase is basically forcing me to accept the charge. In doing so, they are helping the merchant in their scam scheme. A merchant can just charge a credit card for a service and never has to deliver the service.

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Getting the Government to Investigate Something

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Posts>Complaints

Half a year has passed and I am still not able to get the government to investigate a company for frauds.

When I went to a police precinct for the first time, the policemen who were standing at the door simply whisked me away telling me that I needed to go to court even though I told them the company has disappeared.

Later I learned from a paralegal that I need to contact the DA office. I looked up the Internet and found all the phone numbers for the DA office. I called them all up. They were mostly answer machines. Eventually I got through to a person who told me that I needed to go to the police precinct to talk to the police and that if they would not talk to me, take down their badge numbers.

This time, the police did talk to me. But they had me to come back with all the physical evidence. When I brought the evidence to the police precinct, they said they needed me to go to the court house to get a letter from the DA office to start an investigation.

When I went to the court house, I had to register and wait to meet with one person who took some notes and gave them to another person, who after some time produced a letter for me to bring to the DA office. With that letter, I was able to get someone at the DA office to meet with me after a long wait. She also took some notes and told me to wait for them to call in one week.

Two weeks passed and I still did not get any call. I went to the DA office again. They told me the paralegal in charge was on vacation and she would call me the next day when she came back. I did not receive any call for another week.

Only when I went there again that they let me talk to the Assistant DA and get a letter from him to bring to the police precinct to get them start the investigation.

I brought the letter to the police precinct and got the chance to make a report. But two days later, they told me that this is a civil matter and I should go to court instead.

I called the DA office to find out what I should do. I was told that I would have to hire a private investigator instead.

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