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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Swoggi - New auction site to get ripped of

I've got ripped off by a new auction site: swoggi. How is it possible? Well, first the site is very efficient in term of advertising, look at their first page. You really think you can buy things for not a lot of money.

That should have raised some alarms in my head. But the site opened recently ad I thought that they did this to launch it. The explanations and help/FAQ were written in a way that the most important information was hidden: you can loose money. For me, auction means ebay and you never loose money if you do not win the auction.

Here, you can loose money ... and get nothing ...You pay for each bet, like in Poker, in any auction you want to participate. You have to buy credits with Paypal or with your credit card before. For example, you can have 200 credits for 100 Euro. What they do hide, is that the credits are lost if you do not win the auction.

They also claimed that you can gain a PSP, a wii, a flat tv screen and an Iphone for several dozen of euro. In fact, the auction price is not the price you paid. It is the auction price, plus the credits you use when doing your bids. For them, it is a golden idea. In general you have around 15 people in average per auction and each of them can be spending several dozens of euro.

When I understood that the credits I bought were lost, it was too late. I spent money and got nothing in return. I felt miserable ... But this is a good lesson for me, especially in early 2010. It is now very easy to get ripped of in the information age. one or two clicks (Paypal, Credit Card info) and money is gone. Of course the web site is located outside France (here in Switzerland when you buy credits).

I contacted immediately the French Governement agency in charge of frauds (called Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes). I'm not sure that this site comply to the France law since they claim to be an auction site, but in fact they are more a casino/poker web site. They should better explain to people how what they call auction works, how you will possibly loose all your money for getting nothing and that the auction price shown is not what you will pay at the end.

Other sites you should be worrying about: swoopo, BigDeal.

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