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Any idea what's going on with La Couronne du Comte?


Vpen

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This is the problem with iDeal (or a regular bank transfer, or paying cash): the money is handed over to the other party.

 

I hope the curator can do something for you, or that some kind of restart of LCdC can take place (possibly in a slimmed down version)

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Certainly hope so...my natural born naive optimism and overall general trust in my fellow men now does really bite a large chunk out of my backside (metaphorically...out of my wallet literally...)

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2 hours ago, Linger said:

Am afraid not...I spoke to the curator's office this morning. They hope to be able to ship products ordered and that are on stock and/or to be received by LCDC...meaning they did not yet fully understand the modus operandi of (a) LCDC in general and of (b) high end japanese urushi pens in particular.

 

Mentioned before in this thread, consumers like us are the last in line...the bricks and mortar store might be in a different BV not included in the bankruptcy...meaning there won't be much to liquidate at the end...

 

I am angry to have to admit that I had 3 pens on order...all high end...one even higher than high end...this HURTS!

 

That's terrible, feel your pain. Keeping my fingers crossed you will get your pens or at least some of your money back.

 

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1 hour ago, Lam1 said:

Oh, no! I have a very large outstanding order with them, and IO can't call my CC because this was a complicated process: I placed an oder for a Montblanc last December and it never shipped. So, 3 months ago I cancelled that and put more money to order a Namiki Emperor. They certainly knew what was going on by then and took my money anyway!

 

Oh nooooo!! That’s quite drastic! But if this was three months ago, I suppose there’s a small chance that the order was placed. Certainly worth contacting the curator/administrator about it, and maybe even Namiki directly, I would say. Keeping my fingers crossed for you as well!!

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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I have this little nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that it is not very likely that LCDC had to prepay their orders with Montblanc or Pelikan or Pilot…my assumptions is that is is more likely they first order and only pay upon delivery….and after yesterday’s news, i doubt that Montblanc c.s. would ship an unpaid order to a company in bankruptcy.

 

Ii feel like a victim, because I am a victim here, but I hate that feeling…my money is gone and there is only a very slight chance I might get a little bit of it back…

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23 hours ago, PatrickA said:

So sad, yet another specialised shop gone. Not too many pen stores left where you actually can hold and try a out a pen

 

It looks they went straight in to bankruptcy, skipping a receivership period. Normally a sign that the administrator doesn't see any options for recovery.

 

For those who made pre-payments and can't get a refund from their CC/PayPal below the contact details of the administrator if you want to submit a claim.

 

By the way according to Dutch law normal creditors/pre-payments are pretty much the last group in line to get their money after tax, bank, employees, etc. Of course only if there is something left.,

 

 

mr H.L.J.M. van Grinsven

PO Box 414 5000AK TILBURG

Phone +31 13-4668888

 

By chance, is there any email contact information for Mr Grinsven?

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28 minutes ago, SpecTP said:

 

By chance, is there any email contact information for Mr Grinsven?

 

Based on what I can find it should be: h.vangrinsven@devoort.nl

 

He is a lawyer specialised in corporate law and insolvencies at De Voort Lawyers in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

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1 hour ago, Linger said:

…my money is gone and there is only a very slight chance I might get a little bit of it back…

 

& That isn't the end of it. I dont know how the law works there but, I had to go thru a bankruptcy proceeding once long ago, & they make you jump thru all kinds of hoops to get your pittance, including signing a promise you will accept what they offer & you promise not to sue them further.  About like adding insult to injury. 

 

Kinda funny how, those who suffered the greatest % of loss seem to be the ones who legally should get the highest returns - those with pending deliveries of goods or services for cash pre-payments - who will get back maybe 5 - 10 cents on the dollar, while the ones who fully "get theirs" are the ones running the legal system. As the old saying goes about lawsuits -- the Lawyers are the only winners.  

 

I abhor these kinds of things. Good luck to those involved here! 

 

 

 

Ever notice that all the instruments looking for signs of intelligent life in the universe are pointed away from Earth? 

 

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3 hours ago, DvdRiet said:

Oh nooooo!! That’s quite drastic! But if this was three months ago, I suppose there’s a small chance that the order was placed. Certainly worth contacting the curator/administrator about it, and maybe even Namiki directly, I would say. Keeping my fingers crossed for you as well!!

 

Thank you, @DvdRiet!

 

I will try to contact the administrator at the email provided above, but I won't hold my breath!

The Namiki was a grail pen for me, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

 

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9 hours ago, Lam1 said:

Oh, no! I have a very large outstanding order with them, and IO can't call my CC because this was a complicated process: I placed an oder for a Montblanc last December and it never shipped. So, 3 months ago I cancelled that and put more money to order a Namiki Emperor. They certainly knew what was going on by then and took my money anyway!

 


I had something similar (ordered a red M800 that never came, cancelled that and folded that money into 3 Montblancs, my orders were in I April and then 1 month ago). I disputed the charges with American Express and they refunded me both transactions. Apparently the 120 days to dispute goes from the date of promised delivery. I didn't know this when I made my dispute, but I used the future date they told me to expect them (the M800 was to be expected shortly after I had cancelled it) and it worked out fine, and apparently this is why it worked from what I'm reading.

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10 hours ago, Geert Jan said:

This is the problem with iDeal (or a regular bank transfer, or paying cash): the money is handed over to the other party.

 

I am in America, so I don't necessarily understand the culture or common practice elsewhere. But bank transfers are not common here for goods from retailers (that I am aware of), and I always use my cc or PayPal because they wield great power on behalf of the buyer and have large divisions working against fraud. It's another reason I often use Amazon: they work hard to keep customers happy, I think especially ones like myself who have been members there since the beginning and don't file many complaints. When retailers don't want a credit card or PayPal (usually to avoid a fee), I am immediately suspicious and uncomfortable.

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20 minutes ago, TSherbs said:

When retailers don't want a credit card or PayPal (usually to avoid a fee), I am immediately suspicious and uncomfortable.

 

In Australia, the culture has largely moved over the past decade to making the payer explicitly wear the payment processing fee (by % of the transaction amount), or a surcharge to cover it, instead of the merchant or payee absorbing the cost.

 

The major supermarkets, and the odd (as in belonging in the minority) café, don't charge extra if customers want to pay by credit card, but many hospitality venues and smaller retailers do; as do utility providers, strata/building management firms, and even local government (i.e. at the ‘city’ level) when one pays council rates (in other words, property ownership taxes at the ‘city’ level) for credit card payments.

 

I was booking a flight yesterday, and Virgin Australia lets the customer choose between payment by credit card with 0.94% slapped on top of the order value, debit card with a lower 0.54% fee, or direct bank transfer with no fees. Given that the economy fare was essentially non-refundable and would be fully consumed by the airline's admin charge if I wanted to change my travel date, I chose to pay by direct bank transfer. (PayPal wasn't an option.) Jetstar Australia does not accept direct bank transfers, and every payment option — which includes PayPal — on offer carries a transaction fee on top of the fares.

 

Maybe that is a factor in Dutch consumers choosing to pay in a similar manner for purchases.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Credit Cards are not that common in the Netherlands and certainly not used in every day transactions like in the US. Plenty of people in NL do not have a cc  I normally only use my CC when traveling abroad or buying online from outside the Netherlands.

 

In NL Debit Cards are used for everyday transactions and linked to that, we have an online payment system called "Ideal" which is directly linked to your bank account. All payments made this way do not come any additional fee for the buyer and is quick and easy.  Unfortunately this system does not offer any buyer protection when the goods are not delivered.

 

When I was living and working in the US I used my cc's for pretty much everything, from groceries in the supermarket to airline tickets. I am not sure which system I prefer but when using my cc I always had too many surprises when the cc bill came  🙄.

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7 hours ago, TSherbs said:

I am in America, so I don't necessarily understand the culture or common practice elsewhere. But bank transfers are not common here for goods from retailers (that I am aware of),

 

The debit card (physical) and iDeal/automated transfer (online) transfer systems are just like writing a check in the US. While the US stuck with that manual paper system, many other countries like NL were going fully electronic. So, the system of debit cards and direct bank transfers (iDeal) that a lot of people here will have used is exactly as if they had written a check, except that it is written, received and cashed almost instantaneously. And it has the exact same lack of recourse as a written check would have once cashed.

 

I do think it's also safe to say that the popularity of this system here does indeed have a lot to do with a deep aversion to paying fees. People don't like to pay fees themselves, and retailers (especially smaller ones where they eat up relatively more of the revenues) don't like to either, so they often charge the customer extra for payment methods where they have to pay fees themselves. Also, credit cards are expensive here and really never quite caught on as much as they did in the US (just as credit/loans in general), where they are used for basically anything and everything. But, given the love of all things insurance here, I'm willing to bet that if those fees were marketed as clear and unquestioned buyer protection insurance, it might be a different story!

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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5 hours ago, DvdRiet said:

 

The debit card (physical) and iDeal/automated transfer (online) transfer systems are just like writing a check in the US. While the US stuck with that manual paper system, many other countries like NL were going fully electronic. So, the system of debit cards and direct bank transfers (iDeal) that a lot of people here will have used is exactly as if they had written a check, except that it is written, received and cashed almost instantaneously. And it has the exact same lack of recourse as a written check would have once cashed.

 

I do think it's also safe to say that the popularity of this system here does indeed have a lot to do with a deep aversion to paying fees. People don't like to pay fees themselves, and retailers (especially smaller ones where they eat up relatively more of the revenues) don't like to either, so they often charge the customer extra for payment methods where they have to pay fees themselves. Also, credit cards are expensive here and really never quite caught on as much as they did in the US (just as credit/loans in general), where they are used for basically anything and everything. But, given the love of all things insurance here, I'm willing to bet that if those fees were marketed as clear and unquestioned buyer protection insurance, it might be a different story!

 

Thanks for helping me understand. I have no-annual fee credit cards, and I pay all my bills each month. I am not charged (a noticeable) users fee by the retailer/vendor, and I appreciate the buyer protections. If iDeal is like a check, I would not be writing someone a check for the full price of an item before I received it. That seems wrong to me. Too many scammers and lowlifes out there! When you have already paid in full (basically in cash), you have given up most of your power in the transaction. 

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57 minutes ago, TSherbs said:

 

Thanks for helping me understand. I have no-annual fee credit cards, and I pay all my bills each month. I am not charged (a noticeable) users fee by the retailer/vendor, and I appreciate the buyer protections. If iDeal is like a check, I would not be writing someone a check for the full price of an item before I received it. That seems wrong to me. Too many scammers and lowlifes out there! When you have already paid in full (basically in cash), you have given up most of your power in the transaction. 

 

even a physical check can be recalled/cancelled. Not so much with strictly cash transaction.

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13 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

In Australia, the culture has largely moved over the past decade to making the payer explicitly wear the payment processing fee (by % of the transaction amount), or a surcharge to cover it, instead of the merchant or payee absorbing the cost.

 

 

I would really like to see that in the U.S.  I think people would be shocked at how much they fund big banks by using credit cards.  In particular I'd like to see the idiots with 8% cash back cards have to pay (and see that they're paying) 10% for the privilege.  Hopefully such a system allows product prices to go back down a wee bit since the basic price no longer has to cover crazy card fees, but at a minimum people would at least be aware of how much they're paying.

 

I think I read many years back that one big difference in the U.S. vs European credit cards is that in the U.S. it is the credit card companies that are liable for fraud or misuse of stolen cards, whereas in Europe it is the consumer that is responsible.  While this certainly has led U.S. financial systems to pour billions into fraud detection, I would rather not have to fund that.  I'm not sure if it was laws the built those different systems, or just different corporate decisions that have since turned into inertia: certainly you would not be successful in the U.S. today by offering a card with zero fraud protection.

 

There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal that mentioned how much is paid to banks in the U.S. for the card interchange fees, but I can't find it.  I believe it also said the amounts are something like 7 times higher than in the E.U.  I did find an old article https://www.wsj.com/articles/visa-mastercard-prepare-to-raise-credit-card-fees-11646743166?mod=article_inline that mentions in 2021 the interchange fees were $55.6 billion.  I don't think the interchange fees account for all of it though:  I recall a local shop-owner explaining to me that he also paid service for the terminal, and a different service for connecting the terminal to the banks.  It's a giant waste.

 

I have to agree with @TSherbs about Amazon, though.  I'm a super happy customer, and while I think it's bad that they are so huge, one reason they have achieved that scale is because their customer support is outstanding.

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4 minutes ago, SpecTP said:

 

even a physical check can be recalled/cancelled. Not so much with strictly cash transaction.

 

Sure, I can put a stop payment on a check, but the stop has to be made before it has cleared.  You can claw it back if you can convince your bank of fraud(*).  But circling back to La Couronne du Comte, where they take your money and ship some months down the road, the options you have with check are useless:  the check has long since cleared, and it was in fact deposited by the correct payee.  Similar for a lot of custom fountain pens:  it's not uncommon for people to fork over a lot of money for a custom pen when placing the order, then wait for a long time for delivery.  It mostly works out, though, because their is so much good will in the FP community.

 

(*) If you convince the bank to claw it back then most likely what really happens is the bank returns your money and files a claim with their own insurance company.  The person who received the money probably keeps it, unless the checks are large enough or the fraud is frequent enough to actually make it worth somebody's time to hunt them down.

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12 minutes ago, XYZZY said:

 

Sure, I can put a stop payment on a check, but the stop has to be made before it has cleared.  You can claw it back if you can convince your bank of fraud(*).  But circling back to La Couronne du Comte, where they take your money and ship some months down the road, the options you have with check are useless:  the check has long since cleared, and it was in fact deposited by the correct payee.  Similar for a lot of custom fountain pens:  it's not uncommon for people to fork over a lot of money for a custom pen when placing the order, then wait for a long time for delivery.  It mostly works out, though, because their is so much good will in the FP community.

 

(*) If you convince the bank to claw it back then most likely what really happens is the bank returns your money and files a claim with their own insurance company.  The person who received the money probably keeps it, unless the checks are large enough or the fraud is frequent enough to actually make it worth somebody's time to hunt them down.

 

Even credit card companies may not recover if the transaction is too old. Though the cc companies have insurance or write-downs for such loss. Customer's don't have similar options for their loss mitigation.

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