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Hi All,


My intrests lie in steam engines.  They don't have to be train related...I just like steam engines.  


 A couple of years ago, I met a person on the internet who is in India and claimed to manufacture steam engines among other things.  We traded messages and I bought two samples from him wiht the intent of importing some for sale.  The two I got were nicely built and looked good.  I worked out a deal to purchase 50 engines from this person and things went south from there.  It turns out that he bought the engines from somebody else and claimed to make them himself.


After more research, I learned that these were engines designed by the late Elmer Verberg and this guy from India, Pramod Agrawal, claimed to own the rights to these designs.  By then, he had my money and I was waiting on steam engines.  During this time, he pointed me to positive messages he was receiving via the myLargescale.com forums (previous iteration to the one up now).  After stories that changed constantly, he finally shipped me some steam engines that don't work and looked horrible.  He said his contractor did a bad job on them and since his contractor wouldn't refund his money, he wouldn't refund mine or take them back.   


According to his claims, he is doing business with others from this web site and I want to warn you all to avoid this scam artist at all costs.  


He has a web site up for a business called Real-Train and the web site address is http://www.real-train.com/.  I have put up a web site to detail Pramod's misdeeds here: http://www.fordcraftsmanstudios.com/real-train/ 


I sincerely hope none of you have been burned by this guy.  I'm out $1,150 and hope I can save somebody else from taking the same kind of loss I did.  He claims to be working with somebody in the UK who designs steam engines and also claims to have a company in Australia he sells to.  If the UK guy, who he claims to have met on here, is associating his name with this scam artist, you have been warned here.  


The scam artist is still registered with this site as pramodisha. 


I'm sorry to post something so negative on this forum but I don't want anybody to be scammed like I was.  


Please feel free to message me with any questions and I will tell you whatever you need to know.


Thanks,
David 
 

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I was wondering what happened to that fellow. I saw the initial postings here and it sounded good, then he posted photos of one of the boilers and that seemed to be the end of it... very sloppy workmanship. I felt sorry for the guy because he sounded so up-beat about the idea, but when I saw the result it revealed he was assumming we would buy just "anything" and had no idea what "quality" was. Now I feel even more sorry for you and anyone else he has scammed (whether he was intentionally scamming or not).

Caveat Emptor!
 

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Wow, I do remember this from a while back and wondered what happened? Sorry to hear about the money situation.
 

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Yeah, me too.  It's not the end of the world for me but I want to make sure nobody else has the opportunity to be taken.  If somebody does an internet search on this guy in the future, they're going to see my postings far and wide and will know to stay away from this guy.
 

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I remember too, and seeing samples of the work posted blew me away, it was atrocious. Thx for the heads up.
 

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Hi David,

Sorry to hear the bad news but did you see the pictures of his boiler on here a while ago before you ordered the loco's only surely that would have put you off.
 

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Care to post some pics of the steam engines you recieved "as built" so we can get a heads up in case we see similar things like them start appearing on Ebay we can avoid them?

I also remember the pics of the boilers, wow even I could solder something together better than that
 

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Thanks David for the Heads Up. This sort of thing gives everyone in the Trains Business a bad name. Thank heavens we have sites like MLS where we can share bad news as well as good news.

I think some of us on MLS did say "if it looks too good to be true then it probably is" and so it turns out. But it takes courage to admit to being fooled by these people so well done and thanks again David.
Andrew Pullen
 
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Although it may appear to be so I don't think this individual is a scam artist, that is, a larcenous person with the primary intent to fraudulently separate the unwary from their money without delivering anything. What was immediately apparent to me from his very first appearance was that he genuinely had no clue as to what constitutes minimally acceptable quality in the western live steam marketplace. That alone is not a crime, however it would certainly have put me on notice that if I decided to do business with him chances are I would be greatly disappointed with the products AND without an enforcable contract (I assume) any money sent would certainly have been in limbo if not in great jeopardy. Perhaps the enticement of smooth talk, cheap goods, and a potential for resale profits tempted you to take a much greater risk than you should have?

Is it possible that this was a scam and that you were duped by bogus samples? Yes, but this appears to be more of a is a double violation of good faith. You relied upon his good faith promise that he would deliver goods to a certain standard. His manufacturer failed to deliver on his good faith promise to deliver acceptable goods. You left yourself with the most exposure, money out, no collateral, no leverage, no enforcable contract, so you are caught in the middle. Either way the outcome is the same, the live steam community is now generally fore-warned and the Indian can kiss any western market goodbye. It is unfortunate that the lesson had to be learned at your expense.
 

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hmmm........sounds like something I would write........
 

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Posted By Curmudge on 12/27/2008 8:21 AM
Although it may appear to be so I don't think this individual is a scam artist, that is, a larcenous person with the primary intent to fraudulently separate the unwary from their money without delivering anything. What was immediately apparent to me from his very first appearance was that he genuinely had no clue as to what constitutes minimally acceptable quality in the western live steam marketplace. That alone is not a crime, however it would certainly have put me on notice that if I decided to do business with him chances are I would be greatly disappointed with the products AND without an enforcable contract (I assume) any money sent would certainly have been in limbo if not in great jeopardy. Perhaps the enticement of smooth talk, cheap goods, and a potential for resale profits tempted you to take a much greater risk than you should have?

Is it possible that this was a scam and that you were duped by bogus samples? Yes, but this appears to be more of a is a double violation of good faith. You relied upon his good faith promise that he would deliver goods to a certain standard. His manufacturer failed to deliver on his good faith promise to deliver acceptable goods. You left yourself with the most exposure, money out, no collateral, no leverage, no enforcable contract, so you are caught in the middle. Either way the outcome is the same, the live steam community is now generally fore-warned and the Indian can kiss any western market goodbye. It is unfortunate that the lesson had to be learned at your expense.



I agree, but he could easily (easy for me to say!) redeem himself by delivering a quality product to the purchaser that started this thread. It might result in a financial loss to him to make the boilers over again, but many manufacturers have had similar problems and have to "eat the failure" and pony-up with the proper product to maintain their good name. I cannot think of any Garden Train manufacturer that has not had to do something similar! And some have had to do it more than once and they are still in business and many are often acclaimed for their great customer service.
 

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It's a shame there are folks like that out there. Old saying if it sounds to good to be true then it's not. Buyer be ware. I hate to see folks getting ripped off. Sorry to here it happen to you David. Later RJD
 
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>>he could easily (easy for me to say!) redeem himself by delivering a quality product to the purchaser

That's his real crime . . . being unwilling to eat a failure (at least so far) to save his market, and his punishment will be that he will lose the marketplace he most desires, which will be a far more costly decision in the long run.
 

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Posted By Curmudge on 12/27/2008 12:04 PM
>>he could easily (easy for me to say!) redeem himself by delivering a quality product to the purchaser

That's his real crime . . . being unwilling to eat a failure (at least so far) to save his market,



There seems to be more to this than meets the eye.

David,

Have you returned the original 50 engines to India for a refund yet?

And if not, do you still have all of them safe, ready to return?


David
England
 

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Yes, I still have them here in the box they were shipped in.  


I spoke with Pramod about the poor condition and quality and the fact that not a single one I tested (I quit testing at about 20) would run.  This was AFTER he said he tested each one and ran them for three hours each prior to shipping.  He admitted later he did not test them but should have.   


I told him that these do not work and that there are milling errors, bubbles in the powder coating (which was a fix of his because the surfaces were all rough), etc.  He said he would go back to the company that did the work but ultimately refused any refund because the company who did the work refused to issue a refund to him.


I told him that the transaction was between me and Pramod and that whatever issue he had with the manufacturer was his problem.  He should have tested as he stated and not lied about it.  If he had done so, he would have known there was an issue earlier.  Perhaps he did...who knows.  


If he would refund these, I would be happy to send them back to me but it will cost me $150 to send them back and if he has already refused to do anything about them, it's a waste of money to ship them.


David 
 

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This sounds like the same guys that ripped off Bob's Collectables in Watervleit, MI a little over a year ago. Got into Bob for about 25,000, bank will not support Bob, although his credit has been impeckable for years. Now Bob can not get a credit line anywhere. Once again, welcome to "Global Rip-off" opps sorry, Global Economy
 

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I remember now, when he turned up on this forum Pramod had said he'd already made an "Idris" and another steamer for customers. I asked for pictures of them but he said that he had forgotten to take any - which I found very strange. I cannot stop taking pictures of my creations.

Dave.
 
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