Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

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Shay h arnoy
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Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#1 Post by Shay h arnoy » January 27th, 2020, 1:31 pm

They took my money in March of 2019 when I ordered a case. They didn't have it in stock (even though the website indicated they did) and when I would contact them they said it was delayed but should be shipped promptly.
In November/December I started asking for my money back. The guy on the phone agreed and asked 'accounting' to refund. This happened for multiple weeks and multiple phone calls. They are now not picking up my calls anymore and not responding to emails. I now have an open dispute with my CC but since its been so long they are giving me a hard time.

WineSearcher.com brings them up on many searches as the lowest cost but be wary.

I found another thread citing Institutionwine.com, which I think is their other alias.

Attached is a screenshot of their HQ as per Google StreetView.
Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 2.30.33 PM.png

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#2 Post by jason stein » January 27th, 2020, 1:39 pm

Yikes. Sorry to hear about this, and thanks for letting us know.

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#3 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 27th, 2020, 1:40 pm

I think there’s another thread on these guys

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#4 Post by YLee » January 27th, 2020, 1:49 pm

I'm surprised these guys are still in operation and not behind bars.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#5 Post by Jay Miller » January 27th, 2020, 1:51 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 1:40 pm
I think there’s another thread on these guys
It might have been back on the Parker board. My basic take on it was to never order anything they couldn't ship right away.

I also remember someone describing them as the grape swine people...


As always, not to be confused with Grapes the Wine Company which is a class act.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#6 Post by YLee » January 27th, 2020, 2:01 pm

Shay h arnoy wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 1:31 pm
They took my money in March of 2019 when I ordered a case. They didn't have it in stock (even though the website indicated they did) and when I would contact them they said it was delayed but should be shipped promptly.
In November/December I started asking for my money back. The guy on the phone agreed and asked 'accounting' to refund. This happened for multiple weeks and multiple phone calls. They are now not picking up my calls anymore and not responding to emails. I now have an open dispute with my CC but since its been so long they are giving me a hard time.

WineSearcher.com brings them up on many searches as the lowest cost but be wary.

I found another thread citing Institutionwine.com, which I think is their other alias.

Attached is a screenshot of their HQ as per Google StreetView.
Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 2.30.33 PM.png
Report them to wine-searcher. I reported them and they only said they will research it. More people that comes forward with putting into these situations.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#7 Post by John Morris » January 27th, 2020, 2:12 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 1:51 pm
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 1:40 pm
I think there’s another thread on these guys
It might have been back on the Parker board. My basic take on it was to never order anything they couldn't ship right away.

I also remember someone describing them as the grape swine people...
Here's the thread from a year ago on GrapesWine and Institution. Same kinds of issues then.

Someone might consider contacting the NY State Liquor Authority. They tend to come down hard on miscreants with licenses.
Jay Miller wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 1:51 pm
As always, not to be confused with Grapes the Wine Company which is a class act.
Yes! That's Dan Posner's shop in North White Plains.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#8 Post by RandyH » January 28th, 2020, 8:37 am

I had similar experience with Institution. I had ordered 2 bottles of an in-stock wine on May 5, 2019. After months of telling me they would "check with the shipping department" I had finally had enough and was ready to go to the state AG. Only after that threat did they finally send me the wine on December 17, 2019.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#9 Post by Doug Schulman » January 28th, 2020, 9:36 am

John Morris wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 2:12 pm

Someone might consider contacting the NY State Liquor Authority. They tend to come down hard on miscreants with licenses.
I hope anyone who has had problems with them does this. States tend to take licenses to sell alcohol very seriously.

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#10 Post by Betty C » January 28th, 2020, 10:06 am

Geez, sounds like Premier Cru 2.0. I hope everyone gets their wine or money back.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#11 Post by GregT » January 28th, 2020, 11:03 am

Actually, if they came up with their name after Dan, they may intentionally be trying to confuse people. He's spent a lot of time building his reputation and wouldn't want it sullied. But definitely report these guys. The bureaucrats can be PITA many times, but once you get them rolling on someone, they can be formidable.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#12 Post by Shay h arnoy » January 28th, 2020, 11:06 am

Update: Managed to get through to them (I ended up hiding my phone number when calling and they picked up). Assured me that they would refund me by the end of the week. We will see.
I directed them to this thread on WB and told them that I would love to update the board on the resolution.

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#13 Post by Tom Taylor » January 28th, 2020, 3:42 pm

GregT wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 11:03 am
Actually, if they came up with their name after Dan, they may intentionally be trying to confuse people. He's spent a lot of time building his reputation and wouldn't want it sullied. But definitely report these guys. The bureaucrats can be PITA many times, but once you get them rolling on someone, they can be formidable.


Don’t think they did. Grapes has existed in CT for over 20 years IIRC, I believe that pre-dates Dan’s shop
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#14 Post by Robert B. » January 28th, 2020, 3:47 pm

Thanks for this thread
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#15 Post by John S » January 28th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Sorry about your awful experience and thanks for posting in order to help others.

Not that it helps you there have been many threads over many years on these guys. I ordered something once and finally got my money back and this was 20 years ago. Think it was called grapes wine of Norwalk and amazing they are still in business.

Please report them to winesearcher and I have no idea how they are still there.

Sadly some who hear about this shop think it is Dan Posner’s great store, Grapes The Wine Company, which is the exact opposite of these scoundrels.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#16 Post by Randy Bowman » January 28th, 2020, 7:43 pm

Hard to believe they have been in business as long as they have if this is how they operate. We make errors and forget to take wine off the website the minute we sell out, but we are set up to charge the card when we ship. One of our reps told us to put certain wines we don't possess on our website and they could deliver the wine the next day for our sale. I can see a hundred ways that could go wrong but there are a fair number of shops that do this and do well.

As far as Wine Searcher, they can't/won't do anything unless the miscreant is paying to be on Wine Searcher. Their search engine obviously scans most sites. We don't pay to be on Wine Searcher but often times we come up when you search for certain wines. Enough times that we got three gold medals from Wine Searcher for 2019; American List in Napa; New World List in Napa and Overall List in Napa. Of course they want us to join up with Wine Searcher but still, it shows they are digging up the best prices they can find. If the miscreant is undercutting the world of wine merchants, he will appear on Wine Searcher. Not sure they can block them otherwise.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#18 Post by Steve L Gellman » January 29th, 2020, 3:37 am

They are not far from me. Don't know if I could help but I'd be willing to stop buy in person. Norwalk CT right?

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#19 Post by YLee » January 29th, 2020, 3:57 am

Steve L Gellman wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 3:37 am
They are not far from me. Don't know if I could help but I'd be willing to stop buy in person. Norwalk CT right?
That's very nice of you.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#20 Post by John Morris » January 29th, 2020, 7:13 am

Tom Taylor wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 3:42 pm
GregT wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 11:03 am
Actually, if they came up with their name after Dan, they may intentionally be trying to confuse people. He's spent a lot of time building his reputation and wouldn't want it sullied. But definitely report these guys. The bureaucrats can be PITA many times, but once you get them rolling on someone, they can be formidable.
Don’t think they did. Grapes has existed in CT for over 20 years IIRC, I believe that pre-dates Dan’s shop
I'm not sure which came first, but they have both been around. Dan's store used to be in Rye, NY, close to the Connecticut border, so there was even more confusion.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#21 Post by Shay h arnoy » January 29th, 2020, 8:29 am

Steve L Gellman wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 3:37 am
They are not far from me. Don't know if I could help but I'd be willing to stop buy in person. Norwalk CT right?
Thats an amazing offer. Hopefully by next week it will be resolved and I won't need any intervention.

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#22 Post by Shay h arnoy » January 30th, 2020, 10:48 am

Update: A REFUND!! Got it today.

Thank you all for your help and for the forum having the influence that it has (I told them about this post).

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#23 Post by John Morris » January 30th, 2020, 10:56 am

They're terrified of Gellman.
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#24 Post by Peter Kleban » January 30th, 2020, 6:22 pm

Nah, it's Todd and his team of Enforcers... Enough to make anyone in the wine world quake with fear.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#25 Post by C h r i s C » February 1st, 2020, 9:01 pm

I stopped in there recently and it appears to be a couple of guys in a semi industrial space on Post Rd. Very little wine on the shelves. To the extent that they are selling wine it appears to be a brokerage/online operation.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#26 Post by Phillip D. » February 5th, 2020, 10:37 am

Definitely a Scam. DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS COMPANY! I ordered four bottles of wine from Institution Wine and was billed $171.92 on September 7, 2019 . The wine did not arrive by September 26th so I contacted the company to inquire about the delay. I was told that the wine was out of stock and would be delivered in 2 or 3 weeks. Still the wine did not arrive. i again contacted the company on October 7th, November 5th and each time I was assured that the wine would be shipped in the coming weeks. The wine was never shipped. On January 13th, 15th and 30th, I again contacted the company offering that they could substitute several different wines of similar value that appeared to be in stock on their website. There was no response from customer service. I have repeatedly emailed and left telephone messages which the company has not returned. DO NOT GET SCAMMED - DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS COMPANY!
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#27 Post by John Morris » February 5th, 2020, 2:21 pm

You really should print out this thread and send it to the NY State Liquor Authority.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#28 Post by JC J o u a s » February 5th, 2020, 8:07 pm

John Morris wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 2:21 pm
You really should print out this thread and send it to the NY State Liquor Authority.
If the store in question is located in Norwalk, CT, what good would sending anything to the NYS liquor authority do? [scratch.gif]
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#29 Post by Randy Bowman » February 5th, 2020, 8:15 pm

Phillip D. wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 10:37 am
Definitely a Scam. DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS COMPANY! I ordered four bottles of wine from Institution Wine and was billed $171.92 on September 7, 2019 . The wine did not arrive by September 26th so I contacted the company to inquire about the delay. I was told that the wine was out of stock and would be delivered in 2 or 3 weeks. Still the wine did not arrive. i again contacted the company on October 7th, November 5th and each time I was assured that the wine would be shipped in the coming weeks. The wine was never shipped. On January 13th, 15th and 30th, I again contacted the company offering that they could substitute several different wines of similar value that appeared to be in stock on their website. There was no response from customer service. I have repeatedly emailed and left telephone messages which the company has not returned. DO NOT GET SCAMMED - DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS COMPANY!
This should be in a new thread unless it is associated with Grapeswine.com
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#30 Post by Wes Barton » February 5th, 2020, 11:26 pm

Randy Bowman wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 8:15 pm
Phillip D. wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 10:37 am
Definitely a Scam. DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS COMPANY! I ordered four bottles of wine from Institution Wine and was billed $171.92 on September 7, 2019 . The wine did not arrive by September 26th so I contacted the company to inquire about the delay. I was told that the wine was out of stock and would be delivered in 2 or 3 weeks. Still the wine did not arrive. i again contacted the company on October 7th, November 5th and each time I was assured that the wine would be shipped in the coming weeks. The wine was never shipped. On January 13th, 15th and 30th, I again contacted the company offering that they could substitute several different wines of similar value that appeared to be in stock on their website. There was no response from customer service. I have repeatedly emailed and left telephone messages which the company has not returned. DO NOT GET SCAMMED - DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS COMPANY!
This should be in a new thread unless it is associated with Grapeswine.com
The OP indicates it's the same company.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#31 Post by YLee » February 25th, 2020, 4:02 pm

I received 2 calls from them today. When I answer the phone nobody on the other end said anything. I don't have any orders placed with them.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#32 Post by Michael Klein » May 26th, 2020, 9:11 am

You can add another to this scam list. In all my time buying wine, this is the first time I have truly been scammed and I feel like an idiot.

TLDR - I ordered a case of wine a month plus ago. Texts, calls, broken promises galore for over a month. $500 order. I finally got the case and none of the wines were wines I ordered. Inside the case was a note explaining that they had to 'make subsititutes'. So over a month goes by and no one can tell me you dont have the wine I requested? What the f*ck.

Then - I realize there are 11 not 12 bottles in my case i ordered. Again, wtf.

Total dodge for a week now and I officially raised a complaint with BBB and also called chase bank to contest the charge entirely.

BE WARY THIS COMPANY IS A TOTAL SCAM

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#33 Post by John Morris » May 26th, 2020, 9:30 am

JC J o u a s wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 8:07 pm
John Morris wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 2:21 pm
You really should print out this thread and send it to the NY State Liquor Authority.
If the store in question is located in Norwalk, CT, what good would sending anything to the NYS liquor authority do? [scratch.gif]
Good point. With several outfits' names being thrown around, I got mixed up. But my guess is that the CT liquor authorities might be helpful.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#34 Post by julianseersmartin » May 26th, 2020, 9:32 am

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 9:11 am
Total dodge for a week now and I officially raised a complaint with BBB
FYI, BBB are a private organisation that "mediate" complaints. They have no clout other than publishing bad press (and monetising that process). Not to say that you shouldn't submit one to them, but don't expect them to actually achieve anything. Some of their practices can be quite predatory where false complaints are lodged, too

A complaint to the FTC is probably more in line with what you were aiming for: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#35 Post by Michael Klein » May 26th, 2020, 9:35 am

Any one want to be of help here? I am at the end of my ability to work with this company and am truly hoping Chase will help bail me out.

I am also convinced 8 of the bottles of bruno paillard i ordered are fake. the labels just look wrong to me.

If anyone has suggestions of what to do next - short of a cc dispute and a BBB complaint, let me know. UGH.

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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#36 Post by Michael Klein » May 26th, 2020, 10:12 am

FTC complaint will be issued and I will also be calling the CT liquor control board. i think this idiotic company doubts just how bored i am 2+ months into this covid shit.

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#37 Post by Victor Hong » May 26th, 2020, 10:36 am

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 10:12 am
FTC complaint will be issued and I will also be calling the CT liquor control board. i think this idiotic company doubts just how bored i am 2+ months into this covid shit.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#38 Post by YLee » May 26th, 2020, 10:36 am

We need a lawyer. These guys are ridiculous.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#39 Post by John Morris » May 26th, 2020, 10:41 am

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 10:12 am
FTC complaint will be issued and I will also be calling the CT liquor control board. i think this idiotic company doubts just how bored i am 2+ months into this covid shit.
??

You mean you'll complain to the FTC? I think that's a waste of time, as they don't have the resources to police small-scale bad business practices. They focus on nationwide issues.

In addition to the liquor board, I'd try the local DA or the state attorney general's office.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#40 Post by Victor Hong » May 26th, 2020, 11:02 am

John Morris wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 10:41 am
Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 10:12 am
FTC complaint will be issued and I will also be calling the CT liquor control board. i think this idiotic company doubts just how bored i am 2+ months into this covid shit.
??

You mean you'll complain to the FTC? I think that's a waste of time, as they don't have the resources to police small-scale bad business practices. They focus on nationwide issues.

In addition to the liquor board, I'd try the local DA or the state attorney general's office.
The liquor board is key, via licensing power.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#41 Post by HoosJustinG » May 26th, 2020, 11:10 am

If they’re actually selling fake wine, I wonder if the wineries could be convinced to file a DMCA claim (or whether or not that would be covered—I suppose the argument would be they’re posting a fake label online ... seems kinda shaky?). The winery reporting it to their hosting company and their website being taken offline would DEFINITELY get their attention.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#42 Post by John Morris » May 26th, 2020, 11:25 am

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 9:35 am
I am also convinced 8 of the bottles of bruno paillard i ordered are fake. the labels just look wrong to me.
Then you should contact the distributor/importer. They should be able to determine if they are fake and, if they are, they'll be interested in the matter, I predict.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#43 Post by Michael Klein » May 26th, 2020, 11:43 am

Here is the crown jewel of this bullshit, the “note” and the “replacements” for my delamotte bdb. Lol.
3037A82B-B8D2-44F9-BCE1-7A04F6EEA9D5.jpeg
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#44 Post by Lonnie F. » May 26th, 2020, 11:51 am

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 10:12 am
FTC complaint will be issued and I will also be calling the CT liquor control board. i think this idiotic company doubts just how bored i am 2+ months into this covid shit.
I'm rooting for you. I know you are angry and with justification. And, your post made me laugh out loud.

Go get 'em.
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#45 Post by AD Northup » May 26th, 2020, 11:59 am

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 11:43 am
Here is the crown jewel of this bullshit, the “note” and the “replacements” for my delamotte bdb. Lol.

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“But most importantly of equal or greater taste”...wow
A n d r e w N o r t h u p

2020 WsOTY:

2015 Roses de Jeanne / Cédric Bouchard Champagne Blanc de Noirs La Presle (#1)
1954 Fontanafredda Barbaresco
2015 Ultramarine BdB

2019 WsOTY:
1994 Edmunds St. John Les Côtes Sauvages
2016 P. S. Garcia Grenache Piedra Lisa
2002 Perrier-Jouet Belle Époque
2005 Faja dos Padres Malvasia

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Rich K0rz€nk0
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#46 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » May 26th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Thanks for the PSA. Friends of mine have at times accused me of being tough on wine shops that are not prompt and on point with their service and communications. This thread is exactly why I am tough on that.

Be the fist of an angry God, I'm rooting for you.

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Michael Klein
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#47 Post by Michael Klein » May 26th, 2020, 12:34 pm

Just had a nice conversation with an agent from the CT liquor control board. Many, many complaints about these guys.

Frank Drew
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#48 Post by Frank Drew » May 26th, 2020, 1:06 pm

i guess it’s nice that the liquor control board is already aware of the problem, but it would be a lot nicer of they had a plan for dealing with it.

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John Morris
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#49 Post by John Morris » May 26th, 2020, 1:08 pm

Michael Klein wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 12:34 pm
Just had a nice conversation with an agent from the CT liquor control board. Many, many complaints about these guys.
Be sure tell Chase that.
"English doesn't just borrow foreign words, it stalks languages down dark alleyways, knocks them over and then rifles their pockets for new words." -- @Another NPC on YouTube

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Arv R
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Re: Scam alert -- Grapeswine.com

#50 Post by Arv R » May 26th, 2020, 1:13 pm

If they have a high enough pattern of chargebacks, their merchant card processor will toss them as a client, or change their terms. Even responding to them takes some effort & energy. So definitely push through a chargeback.
R_@_0

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