History of a nightmare, or how America's Pride does business
In mid september of 2007, I ordered a 2 post 10000 lb lift from
America's Pride in Seekonk Ma and paid via bank check. The first lesson
in all of this is always pay via credit card, although it will not
always protect you I have found out. Prior to paying they spoke as if
they had them in stock, although I will not swear they said such a
thing. After receiving my check they told me it would be 12 business
days, then never returned another phone call for 5 months.
When in mid October I had received no lift and had spent hours on hold
and calls to my salesman [Steve Smith] went unreturned, I finally told
the receptionist that I was going to call the Mass Attorney General. You
see, part of the attraction, besides a nice website with lots of helpful
pictures, was that they were in my home state, so how bad could they be.
their BBB listing was revoked on 1/7:
If the link dies they had 111 complaints in the 36 months preceding 3/1
Well, some minutes later I got a call from someone saying they were the
sales manager[ did not get the name] who quite belligerently 'read me a
letter' that said that they had had supply problems since July [what
happened to 12 days] and since people had pulled orders and canceled
credit card transactions, they had been forced to change bank
accounts[hello, fraud alert] and had no lifts, no money to pay for
lifts, and no firm idea when they would have either. Very big attitude,
like he somehow deserved my money.
Numerous unanswered phone calls, and a great habit I had never seen in a
real company; since they had call ID , they would not answer the phone,
just put me straight to hold.
So I called the AG, filled out the online form, filled out the online
form for the BBB, picked up the forms for small claims[but didn't file]
and contacted the Seekonk police dept. This was, in the end, the key. I
emailed and spoke to one of the detectives there, and he said he would
stop in, as it wasn't the first time he had heard this, but was under
the impression that they always come through in the end.
Actually not a bad site for a small town PD. Det P. Was a great help
in the end.
Fast forward a bit, some life intervened in my chasing these guys down,
beginning of January I started calling again. Same drill.
I saw a craigslist posting with a familiar story line and emailed[one
of the people getting this missive] and, yes he had eventually got a lift.
So I did a roadtrip, and got down to Seekonk and checked out their
office at 75 County Rd. Hah! Not so much as a sign at the address
listed. No mailbox, nothing. Big sign for "Mike's Dojo" Mike would be
Mike Nees, proprietor of America's Pride. DOJO appears to be upstairs
and the offices of AMPRO in the basement. I didn't go in, didn't want to
cause a fuss just yet.
On the way, I called and scammed them into telling me their warehouse
address, which, by the way is 13 Conduit st, Central Falls RI
What a dump
the place defines 'bombed out'
bottom left is a stack of lifts
Sorry for the clarity, truck driver was nervous and I was trying not to
So I call again, on 1/29, and take notes to show how they treat me:
call 11:45, on hold 31 minutes
straight to hold
hand up redial
answered, hold 9 minutes
redial, straight to hold
straight to voicemail
hold 2 minutes
Answered, and it is actually the infamous Becky, who holds the secrets
of who will get product. Wow.
I am told that i will get a call on Friday[this is tuesday] to say what
day next week my lift will ship. I'll be holding my breath.
When I come in Wed there is a message on my answering machine from Det.
P of Seekonk PD, saying that he had been in to talk with them, and
telling me essentially the same story. I am beginning to feel some
glimmer of hope.
Friday comes, no call by 3pm, I call, and miracle of miracles, I am put
through in a businesslike timeframe to Becky. It is pretty amazing what
little visit from a nice man with a badge will do for people's
telephone skills. She tells me Wednesday my lift will ship. Needless to
say, i will believe it when I see it. She will call me with a tracking
number on Wed.
Of course, no call by 4 pm wed, so I call, again told I will have to
wait jut a few minutes, and less than 3 minutes later she is on the
line. no number yet, but she will call me later from her cell, which of
course does not happen.
Thursday, 9:26 AM, for the first time since September, America's Pride
calls my office. She gives me a tracking number. Which does not work on
Yellow's automated phone system. Arghh
A person at the freight company clears it up, and yes, a package has
shipped. Box of rocks? Old tennis shoes? We will find out.
Of course, then Yellow proceeds to juggle the shipment[of course, how
could they not] and a 80 mile trip takes till Monday.
Of course the shipping frame leaves about a half inch too short to fit a
pallet jack under it, probably the same everywhere, Chinese pallet
jacks are probably shorter.
So from the bill of lading, this is a National Auto Tools NT9 floor
plate lift. Go to their website and it is a 9000 lb lift, available for
300 bucks less, probably would have had it in September! NAT paid the
freight too, must pay their rent to Ampro in lifts.
So it is setup and runs, has a car up on it as I type. Has some of the
nice features that made me decide on the lift in the first place, but it
does not have the wheeled carriage that was originally listed[website
apparently has changed] Lesson number two, when you are beginning to
doubt a company, save copies of their web pages. I plan on chasing them
for the 300 bucks. What the hell.
Now, I consider myself a intelligent consumer, I saw no complaints
online when I placed the order[although I did not openly solicit them]
Perhaps it was my own arrogance and being sick of people telling me I
must buy the most expensive item to get a serviceable product.Hell, my
main use for this will be to lift cars less than 2000lbs! the BBB still
listed them as acceptable even a month after I ordered. They had an ebay
identity[auto-lift-king] had crappy feedback , but very small sample.
They still have items listed there and on Amazon.
The saddest thing about it is that I was in no real hurry. If they sent
the lift I ordered with some kind of normal customer service I may just
have waited. After all, they had much better info online than anyone.
Everyone shows just one stock photo of a generic 2 post lift, not real
close up pics like AMPRO did. How about trusting the customer, saying,
hey we can't get things till January, throw us 500 bucks and we will
order on for you? Many would pass, but with a good product, some would
not. I run a business, sometimes I have supply issues. They appear
unable to act honestly. If I had not enlisted the authorities, would I
have a lift at all, even an overpriced cheapo lift? I don't really know.
So I found out a lot of fun info.
Mike Nees bought the warehouse, for 400k at the same time as having no
money to ship lifts
He or his associates own the building on County St in Seekonk, some
company called 'real relief LLC' address the same has some financial
dealings, putting money in, taking it out, I cannot tell, since I am not
an expert on registry of deeds documents.
Mr Nees appears to live in neighboring Rehoboth, but I cannot confirm that.
scammers? you decide
dishonest? can't say
might be a waste of money
do you really want to wait?
don't be a gorilla
Any way watch out for Ampro lifts!!!!!!