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Author Topic: Counterfeit GBA Cartridge? The Final Chapter?  (Read 3304 times)
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ATB
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« on: October 27, 2007, 09:20:42 PM »

I know there was a link to a story or blog somewhere some time ago that had how to spot a counterfeit GBA/DS cartridge- can anyone remember where it was?

I ordered a 'new' and sealed GBA Advance Wars cartridge on ebay.

The box arrives and sure enough it's sealed.  however, upon opening it, the cartridge looked used- with some scratches on it- as though it had been inserted and removed from a GBA.

The really odd thing, though, is the manual.  It's 10 pages long and there are clear references within those pages to page 23, page 32 etc that don't exist in the copy I have.

The printing on the manual could be authentic, but it's odd that it's only 10 pages long. Printing errors have occured, I wonder, for those of you that own the original advance wars whether this was a known issue or if I've likely been sold a fake.  I'm leaning towards the latter, but am curious as to whether I need to unleash my dogs of war.

Thanks.

Edit: I've played through the first two tutorials and the game appears to be legit.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 01:08:26 PM by ATB » Logged
Lee
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 09:29:12 PM »

No clue what the deal is, but my Advanced Wars GBA manual has 63 pages in it.
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2007, 10:02:31 PM »

Piracy is extremely easy to 'do' on the GBA/DS - all you need is a cart burner and a copy of the cart in question (or the ISO file). Even easier if you happen to own one of the devices that lets you play as many games as you can toss onto a MicroSD card.

Based on the manual, either you got a used version (with a damaged manual) or a copy. On the flip side, the game should work just fine as long as it saves properly.
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ATB
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2007, 10:19:28 PM »

http://boards.1up.com/zd/board/message?board.id=gba&message.id=16079

The bit about the shortened manuals is what catches my eye the most.  I haven't opened the cart up, but I'd bet the farm it's a fake.
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2007, 10:25:18 PM »

Look inside where the cartridge opening is and you should see nintendo's name in there if its legit.

Here is a shot by Nintendo of what it looks like opened. You DO NOT have to open the cart. You will be able to see the name looking down into the connection thing.

Couldn't find a better pic but that should help you.

If you compare it to another cart you might notice a difference in build quality (Screws used, all the diff codes in the label and embedded in the plastic, etc.) Sometimes counterfits don't fit as well as a legit cart do.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 10:27:28 PM by Creepy_Smell » Logged

ATB
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 11:05:03 PM »

Quote from: Creepy_Smell on October 27, 2007, 10:25:18 PM

If you compare it to another cart you might notice a difference in build quality (Screws used, all the diff codes in the label and embedded in the plastic, etc.) Sometimes counterfits don't fit as well as a legit cart do.

Yeah the screw is different from my Fire Emblem cart.  I've emailed the seller to see what he has to say.
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2007, 12:31:54 AM »

Quote from: ATB on October 27, 2007, 11:05:03 PM

I've emailed the seller to see what he has to say.

He won't say anything, knowing most eBay sellers. The only way you'll get any action over this is if you review/comment the seller and say that he sells counterfeit games.
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ATB
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2007, 12:33:13 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 28, 2007, 12:31:54 AM

Quote from: ATB on October 27, 2007, 11:05:03 PM

I've emailed the seller to see what he has to say.

He won't say anything, knowing most eBay sellers. The only way you'll get any action over this is if you review/comment the seller and say that he sells counterfeit games.

I plan to if things don't go well. I also plan to dispute via ebay and paypal if necessary.  Right now if I had to guess, I'd bet he didn't know.
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2007, 01:13:56 PM »

The Nintendo on the circuit board is the biggie as mentioned.
There's lots of other little things, from variant art or poor print quality to lack of Nintendo seal.
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2007, 04:31:59 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on October 28, 2007, 01:13:56 PM

The Nintendo on the circuit board is the biggie as mentioned.
There's lots of other little things, from variant art or poor print quality to lack of Nintendo seal.

Definitely no Nintendo on the board.
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ATB
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2007, 01:42:39 PM »

Sent October 27 (pardon the terrible grammar; wasn't really focused):

Quote
Greetings. The game arrived today and it appears to either:

A. Be used (there are clearly marks that appear to be from going in and out of a GBA on the cartridge that confirm it has been used- such marks could not result from shipping)

B. And most concerning, is the manual is only 10 pages long and in those pages there are references to pages 23, 34 and 35...so obviously the manual is a fake.

I have friends who have the cartridge and the manual should be 60+ pages.

I'd like to know how you're going to remedy this situation.
   
 
Also sent October 27:

Quote
I've done some more research and it appears that the cart is definitely a counterfeit given what I stated in the previous email. Here are some links:

http://boards.1up.com/zd/board/message?board.id=gba&message.id=16079

http://ap.nintendo.com/tab_06.html

I've not opened the cart up, but given the details about the shortened manual, I think it's fairly conclusive that it's not an original Nintendo issue.

Do you have any other NIB copies I could swap it out for?

Sent this morning:

Quote
Hi. You've had one week to respond. I will give you one more before I dispute this sale via Paypal and report you to Ebay and Nintendo of America.
   
 
 
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2007, 01:58:43 PM »

Honestly, I wouldn't even give him another week. Just do it now or wait until Monday or something if you'd rather be nice.
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2007, 02:45:16 PM »

Yeah, the longer you wait the easier you become to ignore.  I would just leave the bad feedback and get the charges reversed.  Let him do the work to rectify the situation.
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ATB
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 03:50:24 PM »

Got this from him today:

Quote
What are you talking about?
I've received no message from you.

Wrote back:

Quote
This is getting more shady all the time. I've written you three times and can show proof it through the ebay messaging console.

Bottom line: You've sold me a counterfeit GBA cartridge and I want a refund or a replacement.


So. I'm giving him 24 hrs before I report him. The 2nd week of grace is now off the table.
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2007, 04:02:00 PM »

Just report him now.  I think it's pretty obvious what he's doing.
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2007, 04:04:23 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on November 05, 2007, 04:02:00 PM

Just report him now.  I think it's pretty obvious what he's doing.

But I'm having fun with Advance Wars  ninja
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2007, 09:11:45 PM »

I had this happen twice before, through Ebay no less, the biggest problem with it is that the games may save just fine for a month or two, but then you won't be able to save them after that because the batteries in the fake carts are really bad. It happened with both of my fake GBA games.
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ATB
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2007, 09:15:47 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on November 05, 2007, 09:11:45 PM

I had this happen twice before, through Ebay no less, the biggest problem with it is that the games may save just fine for a month or two, but then you won't be able to save them after that because the batteries in the fake carts are really bad. It happened with both of my fake GBA games.

I'd better finish it then!  icon_wink
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2007, 09:17:41 PM »

Any luck with a resolution yet ATB?
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ATB
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2007, 10:16:15 PM »

I have submitted a dispute via paypal and ebay and have also contacted customer support at Nintendo.  We'll see what happens...
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ATB
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2007, 02:36:38 PM »

He sent me an email outside of the ebay console:

Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: *****@aol.com
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 12:35:38 -0500
Subject: Re: You've received an answer to your question about item Advance Wars (Game ...
To: XXXXX

OK, I'll say it again.
Send it back so we can refund or replace it.
 
Thanks

I wrote back within Ebay's messaging system:


Quote
Dear goinvoice,

Your email (outside of Ebay) stated:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: ****@aol.com
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 12:35:38 -0500
Subject: Re: You've received an answer to your question about item Advance Wars (Game ...
To: xxxxxx


"OK, I'll say it again.
Send it back so we can refund or replace it.

Thanks"

Provide me an RMA number with postage paid and I will or send me 4.99 to ship it back.



He charged me 4.99 for shipping...

Also, Nintendo has responded to my email asking for an item description and the guys name on Ebay. I obliged.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 03:45:53 PM by ATB » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2007, 03:23:19 PM »

Get him ATB!  I really hope you get this resolved completely in a way that punishes this guy who has tried to screw you over and also allows you to get the actual game you purchased.  Maybe Nintendo will hook you up with something for being honest and helping them find someone who is defrauding them?  I sure hope so.   

Keep up the good fight ATB, I am pulling for ya!  smile
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2007, 03:53:37 PM »

I got screwed once on eBay, basically from my own stupidity.  Keep the coms inside eBay for tracking!
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2007, 09:00:38 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 07, 2007, 02:36:38 PM

Also, Nintendo has responded to my email asking for an item description and the guys name on Ebay. I obliged.

IMO, that one is going to be the knockout punch.
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ATB
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2007, 12:42:51 PM »

Got an automated email from the guy asking me to leave feedback... icon_confused

And the response from Nintendo:

Quote
I have forwarded your e-mail to our Legal Department for further review.

If you see other counterfeit products being sold on Ebay in the future, please e-mail the specific details to the following address: [email protected]

For more information regarding piracy in the videogame industry,please visit the Entertainment Software Association's website (www.theesa.com).Sincerely, Nintendo of America Inc.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 12:45:16 PM by ATB » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2007, 06:14:12 PM »

Oh man, go get 'em ATB!
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2007, 06:17:45 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 08, 2007, 12:42:51 PM

Got an automated email from the guy asking me to leave feedback... icon_confused

So what does that even mean, is he saying he's not going to do anything, and he's fine with having the bad feedback?
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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2007, 08:54:29 PM »

So I write back again on the 9th:

Quote
Dear ****,

I've received no RMA number or shipping cost coverage. When can I expect it. I'm leaving feedback tomorrow- 11/10 whether you answer or not.

- ATB



No response come so I leave this feedback:

Quote
Sold counterfeit game. Claimed no emails received. No RMA. Nintendo notified.


to which he replied:

Quote
Used a dropshipper, customer wouldn't return game, false claim.


And responds with this feedback (so much for my perfect record frown):

Quote
Horrible Customer, Slanderous Accusations, No chance to correct!!

And this threat:

Quote
Dear ATB,

You had better be very careful with your slanderous accusations accusing my business. You're feedback is public record and my lawyer is reviewing it. Hope you have a good one.


- xxxxx

I responded as such:

Quote
Dear XXXX,

The fact is you sold me a counterfeit game claimed not to receive emails sent through the ebay console and then pretended to have written prior to the first time you responded. I've got the date stamps to prove it.


- ATB 



Thoughts?  I really had to fight back what I wanted to say about Nintendo coming after him and that if he really wanted to go at it, I've got the fake game to support my claims...etc...but discretion is the better part of valor.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 08:57:10 PM by ATB » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2007, 09:01:51 PM »

Oh and I have officially escalated it via Paypal.
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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2007, 09:20:10 PM »

Good luck, ATB.

I had a guy send me a counterfeit copy of the Criterion Hard Boiled awhile back.  Didn't work at all beyond the menu. 

It's amazing how difficult it is to accuse anyone of anything, ebay-wise.  Everything is set up in their favor.  Though I guess if it wasn't, more people would be fraudulently tossing accusations around.
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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2007, 09:31:27 PM »

No lawyer is gonna come knocking at your door. He's just trying to get you to remove the nasty ass comment from his ranking or whatever the hell eBay uses.

And it all goes to show you why I don't use eBay anymore. It's WAY too easy to counterfeit a game. Especially something like the GBA/DS which has next to no copy protection built in.
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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2007, 09:46:28 PM »

Yup, precisely why I hate eBay now. Too much of this crap going on, and far too easily for a bad seller to retaliate against a legitimate buyer complaint. I'd like to see Nintendo's legal staff nail this guy with the way he's treated you.
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« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2007, 09:47:09 PM »

Yep he's just trying to scare you.  The shitty thing about fiighting someone on eBay is that they can ruin your rep, as you found out.
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« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2007, 11:38:56 PM »

Contact Nintendo and eBay, see if they are talking, and if they can get the feedback removed.

There is some website, I'll poke around for it, which has some "higher priority" customer service numbers (not the ones for the average schlubs).  That should help you shave a few weeks off the problem solving.
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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2007, 12:34:22 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on November 11, 2007, 11:38:56 PM

Contact Nintendo and eBay, see if they are talking, and if they can get the feedback removed.

There is some website, I'll poke around for it, which has some "higher priority" customer service numbers (not the ones for the average schlubs).  That should help you shave a few weeks off the problem solving.

Much obliged!
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2007, 02:39:30 AM »

http://www.nintendo.com/contact

Piracy Reports:      To report infringing items on internet auction sites, please call us at 1-800-255-3700 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  To report ROM sites, emulators, Game Copiers, Counterfeit manufacturing, or other illegal activities, please call us at 1-800-255-3700 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  For any other legal inquiry or concern, please call us at 1-800-255-3700 or e-mail us at [email protected] 
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2007, 01:15:50 PM »

So I wake up to find this:

Quote
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 20:34:42 -0500
The fact is, you're an idiot. You were advised multiple times to send the game back but you wanted money sent to you first. Nobody does that. I know you think you're experienced with 90 feedbacks, but are you stupid?  And again, you had better watch the slander.

I reply inside of ebay with that text and the following response.


Quote
First off, it would be libel as it's written. But it's only libel if it's untrue. So, I've no worry of your 'lawyer' because you've sold me a counterfeit game & U know it. & you did not write me multiple times- only the one time (outside of ebay) asking for it to be returned - again, date stamps will prove this.  Also, companies that stand behind their products issue an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) to cover return of the product at their cost when the item is defective/not as advertised. Paypal asked that I mail the game back to you. I'm not going to in the event you try something else underhanded. But I'll drop the claim. Give Nintendo my regards.

So Paypal is on my side but I'd rather eat the 15.00 than give up my best evidence in the event he does somehow escalate this.

I probably shouldn't have ended it with my last statement, but I couldn't help myself.
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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2007, 02:07:47 PM »

"& U know it. & you did not write me"

?
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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2007, 02:42:33 PM »

That's bull.  Contact your credit card company (not paypal) and dispute the charges.
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2007, 03:03:24 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on November 12, 2007, 02:07:47 PM

"& U know it. & you did not write me"

?

Ran out of character spaces...
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