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Ugoole MP4 Player scam
(aka e-britain & lowest_total_price)


Ugoole is an eBay vendor selling MP4 players that seem to be amazing value for money. They claim to have storage capacity of 2GB and 4GB, and claim to play AMV video movies as well as MP3 audio files.

Here is the reality:

  • Many players are infected with a worm virus. All players contain pirated music tracks.
  • While the player seems to work when files are loaded up to around 25% of the claimed capacity, if any changes are made to these files (deletions or additions) the complete drive corrupts with files that previously worked flagged with the message 'format error'.
  • If an attempt is made to load files beyond 25% of the claimed capacity, the complete drive corrupts.
  • Windows reports the claimed capacity, but this does not prove that this is the actual capacity since the data is derived from the player's firmware/chipset. Go to this link  to check the actual capacity of your drive (for the technically savvy). My so-called 4GB drive is actually less than 1GB. To reverse the firmware hack, try this link.
  • Ugoole has standard replies for these problems, which are reported by hundreds of buyers:
    • #1 "reformat the drive". The instructions that come with the player state that only FAT format is acceptable (not FAT32). FAT is not presented as an option (probably due to the hacked chip), so this is a smokescreen. If pressed, Ugoole tell you that FAT32 is "okay". Reformating the drive clears the corrupt files for sure (it wipes all data from the drive), but when the files are reloaded they corrupt again.
    • #2 "credit of $5 per unit". This is the next attempt to avoid bad feedback.
    • #3 "if you have tried everything, send it back for a refund". This requires the buyer to trust the company to refund the purchase price and ugoole refuses to refund the return postage.
  • There are many stories of MP4 players that are not as advertised (search Google for examples). Ugoole has 113 ratings "mutually withdrawn" - and most of these are since November 2006. Add to this 97 negative ratings in the past month, and you will see the scale of the problem. Update: Ugoole seems to have stopped trading under that name - see below for other suspected guises.
  • Many of the positive ratings have been left shortly after the player has been received. Many will not have experienced the problems described here. When they do, they will be given the standard replies.

Ugoole's MP4 players are not as advertised. It is doubtful that they have the claimed storage capacity. It is impossible to load files beyong 25% of the claimed capacity. When any alterations are made to the files (additions, deletions) the complete drive corrupts.

Wednesday
Dec202006

Post Script

If you have followed this case, you will know that I agreed to withdraw negative feedback for a full refund and uGoole's agreement that they would pay in advance for any return postage.

They did provide the refund, probably due to the fact that it was going to happen anyway. I had paid with an Australian credit card and I understand that they would have issues with what they call a 'chargeback' to Paypal. Of course, Paypal hold uGoole's ill-gotten gains.

I thought it had been a bit too easy and of course, the scammer wasn't finished with me. He had the audacity to issue an Unpaid Item dispute against me. For those of you that will go through the same process, here is the resulting correspondence (from the bottom up)

Me 20-Dec-06 at 16:16:54 AEDST 

I demanded a full refund in light of this vendor's fraud: providing MP4 players with hacked flash
memory (really less than 1GB). The vendor agreed in writing to pay in advance for the return of the
goods. I agreed to this on the condition that the return is by trackable method (signature required).
I am awaiting confirmation as to whether the vendor wants the goods returned on this basis.


ugoole   20-Dec-06 at 14:55:18 AEDST 

Hi,
Please dont worry !
we can solve it with agreement .
Thank you


Me 20-Dec-06 at 12:03:57 AEDST 

PAYPAL DETAILS: 7 Nov. 2006 Payment To Digital Era Tech. Co. LTD.  Refunded  Details  -$82.00 USD 
Refund (ID No.10B658270S653193K)
In reference to:7AD36483C3956994P
For the complete truth, go to
http://www.procopy.com.au/ugoogle-mp4/


Me  19-Dec-06 at 00:49:20 AEDST 

You credited the whole amount, after it was paid, remember? Because you scam people, or had you forgotten?


eBay   18-Dec-06 at 23:47:40 AEDST 

An Unpaid Item dispute has been opened for the following item: 4GB FREE SHIPPING MP4 MP3 REC USB2.0 FM player 4Go R14 (#160048702315)
Reason given for Unpaid Item: The buyer has not paid for the item.
Buyer actions reported by seller: The buyer has not responded.

Monday
Dec112006

Ugoogle scam - message board

Got the same problem? Leave details of your experience here. All details will be passed to eBay and Paypal.

UPDATE: Here's the 'standard' dispute resolution email from ugoogle. Note that they discourage tracking for any returned parcel. Is this perhaps so they can dispute receipt of the returned article?

"there should be something wrong with the memory. If you are sure that it is really wrong, please send it back to us for checking and leave a note (your name/item number /the matter) to tell us the details.The return address: J Zhang 28-38#, Hongli Youju Shenzhen, Guangdong 518028 China Please don't send it by any express like UPS, FEDEX or DHL ect, please send it by your national post office.We appreciate your understanding. if you can keep the item, we can give you a partial refund of 25AUD. please tell us about your decision. thanks"

Here's my response:

"You are completely aware of the 'problem'. The MP4 players are not as advertised, contain worm viruses, pirated music and you are scamming innocent buyers. I require a 100% refund for both players, and I do not trust that if I return the players to you that you will refund anything."

NOTE: China will not permit imports of Radios (this classification covers the players). DO NOT SEND THESE PLAYERS TO CHINA. Since Ugoogle is not (according to ebay listings) based in China, there is no reason whatever to 'return' the player to a third country.