Hi, below is the text I filed with the ripoff report.
I must say I really appreciate that you have such a
website and I think you guys are saints. I hope you
can help me get my money back for shipping costs, etc.
Thank you in advance for reading my report and for
your help. Sincerely, Mark Bailey, [email protected]
052-654-6605 (fax, phone, Nagoya, Japan)
Subj: I retract my request for help
Date: 9/28/99 8:54:20 PM US Mountain Standard Time
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Hi, I just heard from Multilingual Books and they will
refund my shipping money. I just published on your
website last week and already have gotten results, so
thank you very much and I no longer need help to
recover my shipping charges. Your organization is
really great, thanks a lot. Mark Bailey, Japan.
MULTILINGUAL BOOKS WILL WASTE YOUR TIME.......
I am a university instructor, linguist, radio host,
and an avid Pimsleur language tapes fan. The Pimsleur
tapes from Simon & Schuster audio are the best,
fastest, most effective language-learning tapes I have
ever found in my 15 years of collecting and
researching language learning material for foreign
languages, such as Spanish, French, Italian, German,
On August 27, 1999, I ordered from
Multilingual Books and Tapes, 1205 E. Pike, Seattle,
WA. 98122, (http://www.multilinguabooks.co. I ordered
a set of new Pimsleur Speak and Read French 2 (16
cassettes) 1996, by Simon & Schuster Audio, for 229$
plus 25.05$ for shipping. What I received was The
Sybervision Foreign Language Series SPEAK, READ &
THINK ESSENTIAL FRENCH 2, 1991, Heinle & Heinle
Publishers, opened, used and an entirely different
language course. I already own French 1 and French 3
Pimsleur Simon & Schuster sets and I needed the French
2 set, which would review the same lessons presented
in French 1 and would build up to the lessons
presented in French 3. That is why I ordered
legitimate Pimsleur. I needed them by early September,
which is why I ordered them express mail and not the
cheaper surface mail.
I assumed the order was an error and promptly
returned it to Multilingual Books and notified them
that I believed there had been an error. Since
Multilingual advertises only the Simon & Schuster
Pimsleur sets and not the Sybervision sets, I expected
them to apologize and send me the correct set.
The email response I received enraged me further, it
was defiant in tone, claiming that the staff had
compared the two sets of tapes in which I had
specifically enumerated the glaring differences
between what I received and what I ordered, and the
email claimed that the two sets were identical.
Conclusion, I was just a dumb clown consumer who
wouldnft know the difference if they sent me a cheap,
used imitation set of tapes which were now 8 years
Below is the email I received, polite in tone, yet
containing no apology or admission of error or
> Dear Mr Mark C Bailey:
> We have listened to both issued tapes, the
> sybervision and the one
> pictured on our website and they are identical.
> Please accept a refund for your original order.
> Thank You,
Note: I have concealed the staff
member name in the email but upon request I will
provide it. I have sent my claim to the Better
Business Bureau and they will be sent the unedited
I called Multilingual Books and talked with the above
staff member who was polite but not apologetic. It was
agreed that they would refund my money, but they have
only refunded me for the product, not for the shipping
(25.05$) which I paid in vain when they knew it was
not what I had ordered. Nor have they paid me for the
express shipping I incurred (29.35$) by sending it
from my home in Japan back to them to meet their
20-day refund policy.
PLEASE HELP ME GET MYSHIPPING MONEY BACK.
What I want from Multilingual Books:
I want my shipping costs refunded immediately, I want an
apology from the staff members that knowingly wasted
my timeand made me miss the deadline for which I
needed the tapes in the first place, I want an apology
and assurance from the Store Manager and CEO that
Multilingual will no longer deceive customers by
advertising one set of tapes and intentionally sending
a completely different set of tapes. If Multilingual
is incapable of sending the tapes that they advertise,
I demand that they cease to advertise them. That is a
practice which if done knowingly is referred to as
Bait and Switch and is in the U.S. considered to be
And finally, I want
Multilingual Books to post a public apology on their
website to customers who may have been mislead by
their misrepresentation of the Pimsleur tapes which
they advertise, when in practice they intend to send
a different unadvertised set of tapes to customers who
request Pimsleur Simon & Schuster.
I repeat, ifMultilingual Books is unable to send the products
that they advertise, they must not advertise them. They
should advertise Sybervision tapes on their website if
that is what they intend to ship to customers who
request Pimsleur Simon & Schuster.
The following is the email that I sent
Multilingual Books as of Sept. 25, 1999.
I believe you when you say that you didnft
actually listen and compare the two sets of tapes, so
the following letter is addressed to the staff member
who said he or she compared the two sets of tapes,
that is the person who apparently wasted my time, made
me miss the deadline for which I needed the tapes, and
that is the person who has infuriated me by adding
insult to deceptive advertising.
To: Relevant shipping staff and The Store Manager.
I must start by saying that my first and last
experience ever with Multilingual Books has left me
infuriated, insulted, and very very very angry. Did
you in fact listen to the tapes that you sent me
together with the tapes that I ordered? You stated in
theemail that they are identical. Well you must be
aware that I can easily download Lesson 1 from
Pimsleur French Level 2 from other sources, which I
have done. What you advertise on your website is Simon
and Schuster Audio publications 1996, I have a copy of
it right here and have listened to the authentic tape
that I ordered.
Identical means ealike in every wayf as
defined by Websterfs Encyclopedic Unabridged
Dictionary. There are many major differences between
the two tape sets which you called identical. In fact,
the set you sent me and the set I ordered are
different in practically every way. The only
similarities between the two are that they deal with
French, are a cassette course, and one is based
loosely on the Pimsleur method, while the other is the
1. Pimsleur bears the title PIMSLEUR LANGUAGE PROGRAM,
Sybervision bears the title THE SYBERVISION FOREIGN
2. Pimsleur is published by Simon & Schuster.
Sybervision is published by Heinle & Heinle.
3. Pimsleur was published in 1996. Sybervision
is published in 1991.
4. Pimsleur tapes are shipped (by Simon & Schuster,
Amazon, and Barnes & Noble) new and unopened in
shrinkwrap. Sybervision was sent open and apparently
used, not to mention 8 years old.
5. Pimsleur tapes are featured on the Multilingual
Books website and on the Sybervision website!!!
The Sybervision set I received is not featured on
either of these websites.
6. The Pimsleur French 2 case is black with a yellow
and orange Pimsleur card on the front, Sybervision is
gray, white, and blue, with no Pimsleur trademark card
anywhere on the case.
7. Pimsleur French 2 is narrated by Jordan Weinstein,
who has narrated the entire French Pimsleur series.
Sybervision is narrated by a younger less dynamic
voice, which is not that of Jordan Weinstein. It is
not clear who the announcer is because UNLIKE
Pimsleur, Sybervision does not list the announcerfs
8. Pimsleur lists the names of the announcers in
the back of the book, Sybervision does not.
9. Pimsleur unit 1 of French 2 features the characters
Mr. Jamison and Mrs. Berget, they are talking about
Nice, France. Sybervision features an unnamed
airport traveller who is looking for a taxi. There are
no characters named Jamison or Berget anywhere on this
10. Sybervision II Unit 1 does not review the material
featured in Pimsleur French 1. This means that they
are not covering the same material and are therefore
not compatible for someone listening to the tapes of
Level 1, who then wishes to continue to Level 2, and
then Level 3. The reviewed terms and expressions
taught are not compatible between the two systems.
11. The lesson in Pimsleur Unit 1 teaches the phrases
eI would likef and ewould you like?f, Sybervision
Unit 1 teaches the phrases eover theref, elooking
for a taxif, and edo you know?f
12. Pimsleur Unit 1 is talking about Nice, France,
Sybervision Unit 1 is talking about Paris, France.
13. The scripts are completely different between the
14. The announcers are completely different people.
15. The material is completely different and therefore
not compatible with sets I and III.
16. The publishers are completely different.
17. The publishing sights and years are completely
18. Sybervision was printed in 1991, so how could it
be identical to that of Pimsleur 1996? Surely we are
not expected to believe that they went forward in
time at Sybervision so that it would be compatible
with Pimsleur. Pimsleur is the set I ordered,
Sybervision was recorded 5 years before the set that I
ordered was even recorded, so tell me HOW CAN THEY BE
I am quite certain that when you say they are
identical, you are not comparing the order I received
with the Pimsleur tape you advertise. Apparently you
are comparing the Pimsleur tape you advertise with the
Pimsleur tape that Sybervision advertises on their
website. They are the same, of course, I told you in
my fax and emails that they are the same, but THAT IS
NOT WHAT YOU SENT ME. I REPEAT, THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU
SENT ME. YOU DIDNfT SEND ME WHAT I ORDERED.
Please compare the tapes you sent me with the tapes I
ordered, you obviously have not compared them. I told
you I am a long-term customer of Pimsleur tapes and
practically an expert on identifying their
authenticity, so why would I complain if they were
identical? Therefore, they must not be identical. You
have already wasted my valuable time and have caused
me to miss the deadline for which I needed the tapes.
This is going to be a story I tell over and over and
over and over to my university students, internet
course students, linguistic colleagues, and radio
audience on my FM Jazz show.
As I stated before in my emails and fax, Sybervision
does not even advertise the tapes that you sent me, I
have no idea where you found what you sent me, because
they are not featured on any website that I can find.
Sybervisionfs own website advertises exactly what
your website advertises, which is what I ordered,
which is not what you sent me. What I really donft
understand is if you had the original Pimsleur to
compare to what you sent me, why didnft you just send
me what I ordered? This is not a difficult order I
Multilingual has rightfully returned my
money for the product but PLEASE HELP ME GET MY MONEY
BACK. Since Multilingual intentionally advertised
something they had no intention of actually selling to
me (The legitimate Pimsleur Tapes, by Simon &
Schuster), they have wasted my time and should be
obliged to refund my $25.05 shipping charge from
Seattle and the return shipping charge of 3200 yen
($29.35) I incurred by having to ship their attempted
imitation item back to them.
In addition, I am still waiting for an
explanation of how the staff considered it appropriate
to send me something that they do not advertise on the
website in lieu of something that I ordered as
featured on the website. If you have it to compare
then you have it to send in fulfillment of an order,
is that so difficult? Oh, and since you made the
mistake, how about a sincere apology from the staff
member who messed up my order and wasted my time and
made me miss the deadline for which I wanted the tapes
in the first place.
fervent, enthusiastic EX-customer.