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Buyers warned against cheap forklift software
Wednesday, 4 Mar 2009 ( #400 )
News Story
Linde frowns upon software piracy.
Online buyers are urged to exercise caution after reports about a website selling alleged pirated forklift hardware and software. Purchasers have told News the vendor takes their money and delivers nothing.’s Discussion Forum has revealed a number of buyers who have purchased items including software and key generators from and never received them (Discussion Forum).

Rod Chapman, general manager, sales and marketing of Linde Australia, while not aware of this particular vendor, says the software being sold is clearly pirated and is a breach of a company’s intellectual property. "(Linde) frowns upon this sort of piracy," he says. "Service agents would be better served purchasing their genuine software through the supplier.

"It appears the people buying the software are more than likely forklift service agents trying to circumvent the system and do things illegally," he comments. "With that style of operation, situations arise where the product could be inferior and/or may not turn up at all."

Chapman says there is always a risk with pirated software that the information is tainted or the diagnostics will be incorrect. "This potentially puts people’s lives at risk. It could be fatal if people think a truck is repaired and it is not – that is the worst case scenario," he comments. "Or a $500 fix could turn into a complete new brain needed for the truck."

The purchasers of these items may or may not be aware the website is not legitimate, but they have all paid for products that have never been delivered.

Iain Wilson, owner of Forktruck Wholesale and Hire in the UK , says he purchased a Linde CanBus and software from the forkliftsoftware website. "I paid EUR800 (USD998) for it and never received it.

"I have tried to contact this person over 20 times by email and since going live on the forum to tell people about this, I have heard back from this chap," Wilson explains.

"He refuses to give his name, but says he has cancelled my cargo and is keeping the money because I have damaged his good name."

Wilson says he tracked the site to a residential address in Istanbul. "I offered to send a business colleague to pick up the items and the website owner sent me a really nasty email back," he says. "The email had a download link for the software that was part of my order."

However, the zip file turned out to be a virus that would have crashed Wilson’s computer.

Another Discussion Forum user has reported a similar experience. User gerhard_s says he ordered a judit box and an interface through "I ‘met’ this person through the forum. I paid EUR890 (USD1,111) per item so, in total, I have transferred EUR2,960 (USD3,695) by PayPal and I have waited for it to turn up."

The forum member says he has never received the items - even after sending multiple emails asking the seller when they would be delivered. "Since I paid by PayPal, I lodged a conflict resolution claim," he explains. "The seller asked me to withdraw this complaint, saying he could not deliver if there was an active complaint."  

Software piracy is illegal.
"I cancelled the complaint and still do not have my items or my money back," gerhard_s says.

Another user reports he dealt with an online company and ordered three forklift software discs. "(They) took GBP150 (USD220) from my PayPal account and sent three blank discs," says ftdoctoruk. "When I complained, they said it was my computer."

Complaints about this online vendor go back to July 2008. However, there are a number of other threads that mention at least two other websites selling software online (Discussion Forum) (Discussion Forum) going back to early 2008. News attempted to contact the online vendor for comment, but there has been no reply.

Mike Nash, director of Tall Emu, an Australian software development company, says it sounds like the software being sold from the forkliftsoftware website is "clearly dodgy".

"It is an out-and-out case of software piracy," he explains. "If one site is selling software for $20,000 and the other $50 and it looks too good to be true, it probably is."

Nash says there is nothing inherently illegal about a key generator – it is a piece of software that generates a software key. "The issue is using a key generator to generate keys for software you have not purchased legitimately.
"Purchasing pirated software is like going to a locksmith and getting a duplicate set of keys to my car," he explains. "And taking this as an entitlement to drive my car."

Buyers of online products have a few choices to get their money back.
PayPal offers buyers recourse against disreputable sellers.

A PayPal spokesperson says the best recourse to recover money from disreputable dealers is to open a dispute against the vendor (PayPal Buyer Protection Policy) – if they have used this online payment method. "They may just get their money back," he says. "Or they can report the vendor to their local fair trade or consumer complaint commission."

In September last year, News published advice from Joseph Vukasovic, director, payment systems integrity, Australasia, for MasterCard Worldwide ( News #378). Vukasovic said if people suspect they have been a victim of a fraudulent online scam and paid by credit card, they should immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.
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