These days in gaming, a good sound system is key to truly experiencing the game. Those of you playing without a nifty set-up, ARE missing out on the true sweetness that is: Surround Sound OF SCIENCE
. And there ARE many things to learn. But before you head over to a nifty learn-all website, learn ONE thing first: The White Van Speaker Scam
. It's real and it is sweeping the nation.
Just last Monday I decided to take my lunch. This particular day lunch time ran a bit later than usual, today i took my break at around 3PM, no big deal. After wondering to myself just where I was going to eat this day, I decided to head over to my local fast food joint. I hadn't stepped but a few feet away from my car when some dude in the parking lot called out.
I could have sworn he needed directions.
"Hey man! How you doing? Listen! We just installed a home theatre system in this neighborhood and they gave us an extra 6.1 Surround System - it's Italian and special order only, since we got it for free we're just trying to get rid of it. This is our boss' car, so we can't take the system back with us, blah blah blah blah blah, we need to get going soon. Here let me show it to you. How much can you offer us? Blah blah blah blah
The dude was incessant, before I even knew it he was already opening the box with MY keys, showing me the speakers - which where indeed NEW. The receiver, which has this cherry wood finish on the sides. And this being the season to be jolly, I could only imagine - oh man, I could totally hook this up to my system. Or, I could be the bigger man and give this to my step-dad as a Christmas present.
Notice the dumb-asses decided to PRINT a fake price on the box itself. Notice that the box has no real logos on it, but can support such advanced digital age like: DVD video, CD audio, DVD audio, DTS movies AND DIGITAL movies. Holy hell! This is ALL WIN!
The sales pitch is SO fast and unyielding, that you barely have a chance to even inspect the box. Much less debate against yourself if this brand even exists (it doesn't) - Since he did such an awesome job of it, 5 minutes later - I am driving to the ATM, with the box in my trunk no less, and they are following me so I can get $300 dollars out. My daily limit.
On the way there, I call up a buddy and ask him to get on the internets - NOW. Needless to say, the short drive to the ATM is cut even shorter, when I pull into a Chucky Cheese's parking lot and park, I get out of the car and start to remove the contents from my trunk. I don't want a Home Theatre system that doesn't exist.
Stolen goods? I'm apparently OK with. But crummy no-brand name speakers. No thanks. This is when he goes full-throttle with his sales pitch. And the price begins to reduce... next thing it's $200 - at this point the driver (there's two of them, and they both wear nifty matching "AUDIO whatever" shirts) starts to get upset. The box is open, I had said 300, they're running late.
At this point it's MY responsibility apparently, to make sure they SELL the item and to get them on their way before their boss suspects something.
Meanwhile, at this point I KNOW this is a BS system, I don't want to spend anywhere near $200 - in fact, my FIRST instinct, which was I DON'T NEED THIS is once again kicking in. What I NEED is to get me some damn lunch, and I HAVE to get back to work soon myself.
By the time we're talking about $100 it's plainly obvious they really don't think the box is worth what my dumb ass was first willing to pay. I figure, fine, on the way to the ATM I will think of a final reason why NOT to buy it. At this time, I get a text from my friend... which I won't read for another 5 minutes, it says: "It's a SCAM, don't buy them."
As I begin to pull out of the parking spot, since I imagine the $100 is worth it in speakers at least. Keep in mind, I still don't know it's a scam. I figure, this guys stole the goods. Which doesn't say much for me, but the guy was SO good at his pitch, I truly felt like I was getting a good deal.
This is when the COP pulls up behind us, and impedes our exit.
Shit. I am on my break, I have been gone for a good 30 minutes now. I am hungry, and now I am waiting here while the cop interrogates the dudes in their car and proceeds to get their IDs and what not. I am not spoken to until maybe 5 minutes later. Now I read the text my friend sent. Then MORE cops get there. My ID is now taken and my info is taken down.
In retrospect, I am the victim, so I am not in REAL trouble - but at the moment, all I can think is - shit, I'm probably buying stolen goods and the cops probably want my blood. God DAMN.
Long story short, and many a hilarious situations (well, at least NOW I can laugh about it) the cops tell me I can go. They keep the guys there and continue talking to them. I couldn't feel both LUCKIER or SHITTIER.
I just got PUNKED.
If you don't know what the White Van Speaker Scam is, please take a few moments to read the WIKI
. Yes, there IS one. There is a collection of BLOGs on the internet, and most aren't as positive as mine, theirs are: "I Spent $200 On a Life Lesson" - or worse.
Many are on the eBay
. It's ridiculous.
So, if you want true BANG for your buck, do a little bit of homework and remember: Sounds too good to be true? Then you may want to rethink it - No stranger will hit you up for a deal, when (s)he can hook up his friends/family first. Keep your cool under pressure (these guys are relentless) and just ignore them, they'll get over it. Trust me, they are in NO rush to go anywhere, though they may say the opposite - PLUS, it's not your responsibility in the first place.
Buy your speakers from a source you can trust - like we always do. And FIRST and foremost, EAT your lunch, no matter what - and THEN do business.
This post is for those of you that might have been unaware of such a scam.
Here is a www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF5bhueZlhs
video that I haven't HAD the chance to watch (site blocked at work) but it sounds promising. Let me know how it goes.