***Chain Reaction Cycles - SCAM***

PB Forum :: Canada - East
***Chain Reaction Cycles - SCAM***
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Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 9:50 Quote
I use CRC all the time and never pay duties...

$150 and below I use free untracked postal. I am aware of the risk but so far so good.

$150 and above I use "duty paid" option which is the equivalent to the tax you would pay at home.

I have made around 20 orders over the years.

I live in Ontario...

Posted: Apr 18, 2020 at 14:10 Quote
Over the past few years I've placed many orders with CRC. I've used all options for shipping and never had an issue...until the most recent order I placed on 2020 Mar 28.
Order total was $100.77 (2 handlebars).

I selected: "Standard Postal - Free, delivery by Canadian Post - Orders over $20 may incur Canadian import duty if they are selected for inspection by Canadian customs."
The other 2 options were:
"$13 Priority Express - will incur Canadian import duty + a handling charge from our courier"
"$47 Duty Paid - all duties and taxes are included in shipping cost"
In the past 'Duty Paid' was a reasonable cost...not anymore.

If CBSA selects a package for inspection they adds a $10 handling fee + taxes (5% GST in Alberta) + duty. If the parcel is not selected for inspection, no fee, tax or duty.
Bike parts are duty free (other than complete bikes & built wheels). If CBSA charges duty you can get it back (I've done it twice) but that's another subject.

On April 7 I received a suspicious text and email from Skynet Worldwide Express stating that I must pay $19.30 in duty/tax/brokerage/processing fees. No invoice attached and no details.
At first I assumed my contact and shipping info had been acquired illegitimately and this was a scam so I ignored it assuming the parcel would arrive by Canada Post as usual, possibly with GST + CBSA fee added.

The parcel did not arrive.

I contacted CRC via live chat, which went on for over an hour. They stated there should be no extra fees and said they would look into it and get back to me. I did not hear back from CRC.

I called the phone number in the email from Skynet and was told to pay thru the internet.
Researching Skynet I found they have a few different websites that are not connected to one another, a few different address, and they appear to be based out of Romania (or London?).
Their Romanian webpage warns of fraud such as this and states: "SKYNET WORLDWIDE EXPRESS NEVER collects payments in the form of upfront payments in connection with the transport or purchase of goods."

I replied to the email from Skynet requesting an invoice for the charges. They replied via email with a cost breakdown which contained errors (HST which is not charged in AB & calculated on wrong total) but still did not provide an invoice.

I contacted CRC again on live chat. This time they said Skynet is one of the couriers they use and that I should pay them. I referred the CRC person to the transcript from my previous live chat and pointed out that the selected Free Shipping should not include processing fees. I also asked CRC why they were asking me to send my credit card info to someone who contacted me via text and email and has provided no company info, no invoice, no address, etc. Again they said they would look into it and get back to me. I did not hear back from CRC.

I emailed Skynet again requesting an invoice for the charges and again they replied but still no invoice.

At this point I don't even care about the $14 (+$5 tax) but am concerned about my credit card security, more fees potentially being extorted, and getting my handlebars.
I emailed Skynet a 3rd time requesting an invoice and this time they replied with an invoice attached (with the tax still calculated on the wrong amount).

I realize now that CRC will do nothing and that my parcel is being held ransom in Vancouver by a shell company, called Skynet, contracted by CRC.
I paid Skynet via the webpage they provided (Moneris), which was a time consuming ordeal itself (If things get out of hand I can reverse the credit card charges.)
On the Moneris webpage I received a pdf payment confirmation receipt.
On Skynet's tracking webpage (the 1 out of 3 Skynet tracking sites that actually works) it shows the parcel has progressed from 'On hold - Consignee to pay charges' to 'On hold - Awaiting customs clearance'
On April 17 I received 2 emails from 2 different people at Skynet (both with same last name 'Kuar'), both stating that the parcel would now be delivered by UPS.
The parcel has not arrived yet but my experience with UPS is they have never delivered a parcel to me without extorting exorbitant fees at delivery, holding the parcel hostage.

I was a long time customer of CRC but they have become untrustworthy.
It seems 'Free Shipping' means free for CRC, then pass the parcel to a courier that demands payment from the customer.

If I ever get the parcel I'll post an update.

Some trivia: CRC was purchased by Wiggle a few years ago and their prices and service have been in decline ever since.
About 2 years ago I started shopping at Bike24 (Germany) as they had great selection, prices and service. Unfortunately last year they too were purchased by Wiggle and their selection and prices are in decline. I haven't ordered from them since.

Today I noticed that CRC has raised the 'free' shipping minimum order to $119.
I am no longer a CRC customer so this is of no concern to me.

Posted: Apr 20, 2020 at 14:30 Quote
I think you're on to something. I know I posted here recently saying that the duty/taxes paid option is usually fair but I too noticed how it has increased dramatically recently. I went to order something that costs roughly $100 and the duty/taxes paid option was something like $48. That's a 48% upcharge. That's absurd.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 at 18:38 Quote
I've had the same experience as Matt-France. Used CRC for the last couple of years and never had an issue with the "Standard Postal" shipping. It's advertised as being delivered through Canada Post, however a few days after placing a $120 order recently I get an email from Sky Net Express requesting a $40 payment to be made for Customs Duty/GST/PST/HST & Processing Fee within 3 days. Had I known the package was not going to be delivered by Canada Post and held for ransom by a 3rd party shipping company I would have never placed the order.

Matt-France: Have you received your package?

Posted: May 3, 2020 at 18:18 Quote
Good to know guys, thanks for the heads up. I've been a long time customer of CRC, I even have a post above but after you two had this experience using what used to be the Canada Post option, I won't bother. Thanks again.

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 7:23 Quote
I placed an order on the 05/20 with duty paid assuming that DHL will be used as a carrier. It seems that they are using Skynet now instead. Skynet also charges administration fee i have heard but we shall see, when they used DHL with duty paid it was so fast that its here within 24-72 hours from UK to Canada. Going forward I will no longer purchase anything from CRC, although I heard that Merlin cycles is good as well.

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 7:33 Quote
Ever since SRAM (and now shimanio as i understand) began restricting sales to domestic markets, the deals and value have decreased. Just prior to CRC selling out to Wiggle (i believe) there were amazing deals on all kinds of things. in recent years the deals have become less, and domestic sites have become more comparable.

With the changes in global travel, delivery and brokerage frees for many things arriving from overseas has increased, along with wait times.

I almost always cross reference prices on these sites with CRC, and lately (for what I have been shopping for) these places usually win. Particularly when considering shipping/brokerage/taxes and time.




Posted: May 28, 2020 at 14:22 Quote
It seems that CRC is no longer the place to get deals on anything. Do not know why the switch to Skynet but it is the last order I will ever place with them. Placed an order on May 06, 2020. Chose the free shipping via postal service. Still ended up via Skynet and with a brokerage fee which I paid as soon as I noticed package was being held for consignee charges to be paid. That was on May 22, 2020. Paid them, got a UPS tracking number same day and still nothing. Online tracking shows that it was released from customs on May 27, 2020. Still nothing. Emailed Skynet Canada, no reply.

Before they changed to Skynet and used DHL, I have never had any issues. I even purchased a complete bike from CRC and delivered by DHL, could not complain about anything.

I will post if I ever receive my order. I am also curious about if anyone out there is also waiting for their order.

*Update* May 29, 2020 - My package has been picked up by UPS and is now in transit. Wow.

I should also not that I placed one order before but chose fast shipping with all fees and duties paid. That one was shipped by Skynet and transferred to UPS for delivery in Canada. Took about 2 days longer then what is use to take when DHL was shipping for CRC.

Posted: Jun 18, 2020 at 9:36 Quote
I placed an order for new brakes two weeks ago. Prepaid duties. They shipped with Skynet and just confirmed that the package has been lost. No tracking updates other than 'Arrived Hub' and 'Unable to locate'. Last time I order from CRC. DHL had always been quick and reliable.

Posted: Jun 21, 2020 at 8:49 Quote
Maxxis tires 50% off
WTB rims 95% off
Onza tires 70% off

It was good while it lasted, I got some amazing deals in 2018 and 2019 - even though they messed up my order more than once, the deals were so good I still used them. Now not so much - local shops, buy direct, or MEC have more reliable delivery and better value.

Posted: Jul 1, 2020 at 9:53 Quote
Going through this right now, selected standard postal but order left the UK via sky net now order status is “on hold waiting for payment from consignee”. Online chat with customer service revealed that CRC does not finalize shipment method until time of dispatch even if you select postal you can be exposed to sky net fees and drama. I was advised to contact skynet directly to resolve. I placed my first CRC order a decade ago, (the deals and service were real back then). CRC used to issue invoices with the correct canadian tariff codes now they just leave you to deal with the courier yourself. Even their own systems are flawed while chatting with an online representative I was assured I would receive a transcript of the discussion, guess what no transcript. Honestly, its like dealing with some shady eBay seller. As others have said save yourself the headache and order elsewhere.

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 9:50 Quote
Hey just adding my experience that happening as we speak. I puchased a list of parts from chain reaction cycles which were shipped via Skynet to Ontario Canada. Purchase was fine and easy as usual dealing with chain reaction cycle its Skynet shipping you need to be aware! They texted and emailed me at 4am saying I need to make of payment to their link of 24.32$ to cover border and duty fees. A few hours later at 630am a transaction was taken from my account of 25.32$ followed by a pay confirmation to my email. I've emailed and called the shipping company and they haven't picked up or responded!

Posted: Aug 13, 2020 at 14:30 Quote
So from what I'm reading SkyNet does actually exist, and as much as it sucks, I should pay the fee and I'll eventually get my package?

Oh and then never order from CRC again.

Posted: Aug 18, 2020 at 8:08 Quote
Remember, if you paid through credit card you can always leverage a chargeback. I think in these cases where you paid for shipment via Canada Post, and get some sleezy courier company that is a legitimate chargeback scenario.
I ordered something from CRC a couple of days ago, shipped August 16th and it says Skynet, I found this thread looking to see if they were any good. I'll update when my item arrives.

Posted: Aug 18, 2020 at 8:11 Quote
Another alternative is this place: https://www.thebikeshop.com/

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