May 6, 2013 1:29 PM by Faye DeHoff
TUCSON - An alert today from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona about an online knife and sword retailer with ties to Tucson, that has racked up 64 consumer complaints.
In the complaints, 51 of which 'Blade Empire' has not answered, consumers allege they never received merchandise they ordered, or they received incorrect or incomplete orders. In addition, consumers have reported that Blade Empire customer service became extremely hostile towards them when they inquired about their orders.
When contacted by BBB about their unanswered complaints, a Blade Empire representative said that there was confusion as to how to properly answer the complaints, and blamed most of the complaints they had received on "impatient people." The representative also claimed that the company is actually based in the Ukraine.
Multiple consumers who contacted BBB said that Blade Empire employees began using profanities, and threatened them when they emailed the company to inquire about their orders. In email exchanges obtained by BBB, Blade Empire used numerous epithets to belittle and threaten the consumers, seemed to imply they were affiliated with the Russian mafia, and refused to provide the consumers with the requested status update on their orders.
To date the company has not taken steps to rectify the pattern of complaints they have received, while racking up more complaints than any other Southern Arizona business so far in 2013.
The company has used several Tucson addresses to receive mail over the years, most recently 3849 E. Broadway Blvd., but is incorporated in Nevada, and employs customer service representatives in the Ukraine. The owner of the company legally changed his name from 'Michael Lopez' to 'Thayvian Zayon' before incorporating Blade Empire in Nevada, but still appears to using the 'Lopez' alias in recent videos uploaded to Youtube <http://www.youtube.com/user/Pupsik4Ever?feature=watch>.
BBB Tips for shopping online:
· Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may offer free or very low prices on hard-to-find items. There may be hidden costs or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge. Look for and read the fine print.
· Verify the online retailer's track record. Visit www.bbb.org <http://www.bbb.org> to verify that the company you're considering ordering with has a good track record when it comes to not only shipping their orders in a timely manner, but also in resolving any customer complaints.
· Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don't receive an item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are any unauthorized charges on the card, and many card issuers have zero-liability policies if someone steals and uses your card number. Check your credit card statement regularly for unauthorized charges. Never wire money.
· Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page of an order or emails confirming the order until you receive the item and are satisfied.
· Obtain a tracking number for shipments. If you need the product before the holidays, find out when the seller intends to ship it and if possible, how it will be shipped. The tracking number can help you find a lost order.
· Know your rights. Federal law requires that orders made by phone, mail or online be shipped by the date promised or within 30 days if no delivery time was stated. If goods aren't shipped on time, shoppers can cancel and demand a refund. Consumers also may reject merchandise if it is defective or was misrepresented.
For more information about Blade Empire or other online retailers, consumers can visit: www.tucson.bbb.org <http://www.tucson.bbb.org> or call (520)888-5353.