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Old January 31st, 2011, 09:34 PM
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Angry British american auctions scam artists

i have written earlier about the scam artists these people are. We had bought pieces on the Equinox in OCTOBER and non-receipt.. Parrot POP, Celebrity and British American Auctions.they had reached a partial compromise when they said they would send the Ted Williamss Collage he wanted... Guess what... it arrived today and it is NOT the piece we bought. The other piece is 'backordered' for another month.. and i truly believe it will never be the other piece we bought.. Tomorrow Parrot pop will contact Celebrity AGAIN.. i beg all of you not to go to their auctions..CELEBRITY, BRING BACK PARK WEST!!!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 12:39 AM
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Really sorry to hear you got a raw deal, and didn't get the "art" you thought you ordered.

I've been writing for some years now that I have no idea why anyone would think a cruise ship is a good place to buy art! It just dumbfounds me.

Over the years I've had people insist they have got great deals and their art was appraised for much more, but like jewlery, appraisals are as big a scam as selling art on ships.

I don't care who is doing the selling, cruisers shouldn't be doing the buying.

By accident I met the man who originally began selling art on ships. He got very wealthy from it. Then Park West came in and was willing to boost the amount they were paying the cruise line to take over that business, and took over the market.

If they can pay the cruise lines huge dollars for the concessions, and still make LOADS of money, just how good a deal do you think you're getting?
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:17 AM
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Some people like to drink, some like go to gamble and there are those of us who like attend art auctions as a learning experience. As a Ted Williams fan, remember we are Boston Red Sox fans...memorabilia on a ship of Ted Williams is rare.. and this 'collage' was within our means. We have been dealing with British Art and Celebrity for a few months and they promised to send the Williams collage on to us...imagine our shock when we opened the box this evening... and found it was NOT the piece we wanted, but just a picture. Kuki.. i know we are not alone in being ripped off by this company...and i hate being scammed. oh how i hate it.. i only hope that when we contact Celebrity and the idiot we have been dealing with that Celebrity cancels their contract.. The only 'jewelry' we buy on the ships is on $10.00 watch night.... fun watches... I for one am red faced about being caught by these people and my aim is for others to learn to avoid them like the plague.. and illegal or not if i am on another Celebrity cruise and this company is onboard i will make a point of warning potential buyers..not to mention 'heads up' on Cruisemates...:These people promised to make good...they certainly don't keep their word and cannot be trusted
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom View Post
i have written earlier about the scam artists these people are. ... Tomorrow Parrot pop will contact Celebrity AGAIN..
We are fortunate on this board that we can all learn from the sad experiences of those who post them.

Besides Kuki's notes about buying at onboard auctions, it is important to note that Celebrity is being no help at all in this case. If they do not even act in the case of their own onboard contractors, why in the world would anybody believe their so called "guarantees" of the "recommended" vendors in port?

Essentially, the lesson is that buying expensive souvenirs of any sort whatsoever is a "caveat emptor" situation. Now I will admit to buying a rug in Turkey, and an expensive papyrus in Egypt. In both cases I held my breath for several weeks, knowing what a chance we had taken. To my great relief both arrived as promised in great condition. But I knew that I had little recourse if they did not.

We learn that even buying on board ship or at the "recommended" shops is still the same story. You pays yer money and you takes yer chances.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 02:04 PM
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BELIEVE it or not these were NOT expensive pieces, but what i am upset about is that the scam of selling a piece and not sending you what you wanted/ bought. Celebrity has been very supportive. The other piece we are waiting for, and i'm about to cancel,,, i'm positive will not be the piece we ordered. NO, we do not go to the islands to buy jewelry or camera equipt...usually an unusual craft and for my husband a big buy is a handcarved cane...What i want to reiterate is that in all our years dealing with Park West we have found them very honorable...you may find that hard to believe, but its true. IF WE FIND THEM ON A CELEBRITY CRUISE AGAIN....i have my own secret plan...you just don't mess with PARROT MOM
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Old February 8th, 2011, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom View Post
i have written earlier about the scam artists these people are. We had bought pieces on the Equinox in OCTOBER and non-receipt.. Parrot POP, Celebrity and British American Auctions.they had reached a partial compromise when they said they would send the Ted Williamss Collage he wanted... Guess what... it arrived today and it is NOT the piece we bought. The other piece is 'backordered' for another month.. and i truly believe it will never be the other piece we bought.. Tomorrow Parrot pop will contact Celebrity AGAIN.. i beg all of you not to go to their auctions..CELEBRITY, BRING BACK PARK WEST!!!
Park West were proven to be a scam and were despatched forthwith by most cruise lines. Celebrity was left liable to class actions in Michigan. (Google - Park west at Sea.) Their redundant staff formed British American Auctions and the same highly trained con artists had jobs.

They have a scam which gives potential customers raffle tickets and the "winner" gets a "free" picture, for which they pay shipping. Mine never arrived, contacting their customer relations in Florida and despite charging my shipboard account a very rude uninterested rep said they had no record of the transaction.

My complaint via BBB was?:-
Complaint ID#: 90081581
Business Name: British American Auctions

BBB has made several attempts to contact the business regarding the above referenced complaint. We regret to inform you that we have not received a response from the company.

BBB develops and maintains Reliability Reports on companies in our service area. This information is available to the public and is frequently used by potential customers. In the case of your complaint, the company's failure to promptly give attention to the matter will be reflected in the report we give to consumers about them.

If the company has contacted you in the interim, please notify BBB immediately.

If you wish to take your complaint further, you may want to try contacting the Division of Consumer services at 1-850-922-2966 or their website at Division of Consumer Services Homepage, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You can also try the Attorney General at 1-850-414-3990 or their website Florida Attorney General - Home Page.

We apologize that we could not help you further in your matter.


Conclusion

They will fleece their cusomers, as a matter of course and AVOID them like the plague!

Traveller UK
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Old February 8th, 2011, 05:16 PM
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We have been dealing also directly with Celebrity.. What British American is doing is for you to "buy" a piece and NOT HAVE IT IN STOCK.. They sent us the sports picture gratis,but it is nothing but a framed poster which we do not want...The second piece which we did want we told them to cancel the order... they do not have it in stock and I'm sure when they "have it in stock" it will not be what I wanted.. We have NEVER, EVER had a problem with Park West in more than 20 years. Oh yes, the State of Florida is not interested..
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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Parrot Mom...

So sorry to hear about your problems with that art company.

I think Park West spoiled the cruise lines with outrageous profits and they are having a hard time letting go of the good memories (for them, not so good for the buyers).

Park West was notorious for selling items with a slew of added costs and inflated prices. Granted - you were not a victim of that but many people were.

I thank UKCruiser for telling us about this new company and where they came from - somehow I am not surprised at all.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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Default Park West

In all honesty Paul... we were very happy with Park West and the pieces that we bought.....nothing extravagant..With the new organization it seems to be a bait and switch.. you buy something and somehow or other the item isn't available or there is a wait of months or they are willing to send you a replacement item...which turns out to be of less value.. We are fortunate in that the baseball poster (not what we wanted) was sent gratis and the piece I really wanted by the Moroccan artist we've cancelled because "it is no logner available" according to them and a credit has been issued. BTW an avid cruiser friend has nothing to say but positive things still about Park West which is still on oe of the cruise lines.. If I were to be on another cruise and BA were there I would quietly warn people...might get me tossed off the ship.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 02:21 PM
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Fine Art Registry - a web site that has worked to expose some of ehat they say are less than ethical practices by Park West has an article that says...

In fact, it was Ira Shore that sold his "at-sea auction" business to Albert Scaglione in 1993 or 1994 (and what this consisted of at the time is anyone's guess), and it is Ira Shore who arranged lucrative business contracts for Park West Gallery and Shore has sold a great deal of artwork to Park West Gallery which they in turn sold aboard cruise ships.

In a May 2008 Art Business News article titled, "Gallery roundtable: eight fine-art professionals meet for a candid discussion on the changing art market," (Google the article to see for yourself) it was reported that, "Ira Shore provides his professional services almost exclusively to Park West Gallery, an art and auction company, with locations in Southfield, Mich., and Miami Lakes, Florida."

And we just recently learned that Ira Shore is now the new owner or operator of British American Auctions--and is doing business aboard cruise ships again. Oh joy! And round and round we go. It's just more of the same old same old. Isn't it amazing that the cruise lines continue to allow these pseudo dog and pony show auctions to continue?]

In other words - there is virtually no difference between the Britsh American Auctions, and Park West - they use the same tactics and have worked together over the years in a number of ways. Recently, the owner of British American, Ira Shore, was recruiting new auctioneers for Park West through Craig's List ads.

In fact - I just noticed on the Celebrity web site they advise their passengers that if they have a problem with a British Auction purchase that they should go the Park West Gallery web site. FYI: I checked the link and it does go to Park West - this is not a misprint. Look at my attachment.
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File Type: jpg BritishAmericanParkWest.JPG (62.1 KB, 2 views)
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Old July 18th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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I always thought these auctions were suspicious, & with all due respect I could never see why anyone would buy things there. If they were auctions at all the reserve price was pretty high.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 09:56 PM
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If I am reading the page correctly, there has been another name change, as shown in the link I posted in the other thread on this subject....
www.sunbiz.org - Department of State
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Old July 18th, 2011, 09:58 PM
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Phil...

That is interesting, but what do you think it means?

I also saw the address for British-American was in Pompano (I looked to see if it was the same as the Park West Miami Lakes address, but it isn't) but I didn't think to do a corporate search.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
I always thought these auctions were suspicious, & with all due respect I could never see why anyone would buy things there. If they were auctions at all the reserve price was pretty high.
UMMM ... Yeah, as suspicious as diamond stores in Alaska advertising 70% off, or row after row of jewellery stores in St. Thomas all offering diamonds at great savings? Why do people go on cruises to make major purchases from businesses they have never heard of just because the cruise line "port lecturer" (read shill) recommends them?

My advice to cruisers remains to restrict your purchases in port or onboard to coffee mugs and t-shirts.
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