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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All, Long story, will try to keep it quick.

Two weeks ago I ordered an "in stock" Zenith Defy Classic directly from Time of Switzerland in Basel, which promises "ships within 24 hours".

After some research I concluded they are legit so, sent them a wire for the full amount (I know, eyes are rolling and tsk tsk is coming....).

On October 3 I received a form confirming the order.

On October 6, after I inquired, I received this message: "We are working on the shipping arrangement as there are some documents we need to prepare in order to ship the good out from Switzerland."

On October 10 after inquiring again, I received: "Sorry for keep you waiting. The watch is with us in Basel office (Attached is the real pic for your reference). Due to some operation problems, there is a bit delay on the shipping process. However, the shipping invoice and the airway bill will be done today."

On October 14 I emailed them again, I received this message: "OK, we do send it to you tomorrow"

That was the last message they sent. I have not received the watch nor any tracking info. In fact, they appear to have gone completely dark -- I have sent emails to the entire team listed on their website with no response.

Does anyone here know Andy Frei or have suggestions on how to proceed? I'm afraid I have been scammed!
 

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I had a similar experience when ordering one of my watches from a company in the UK. I suspected that they didn’t actually have the watch in stock and were running about like headless chickens trying to source it. This could be what’s happening here.
 

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Really know nothing about that shop. Are they grey market? I've read stories like that about known grey market dealers. The watch is advertised but not in inventory. Once ordered they try to find a source which may take a few weeks. Presumably you paid with a credit card and have that as a backstop. I would give them a couple of weeks then cancel if nothing is forthcoming.
 

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Don't worry about it.

My brother purchased from TOS and the watch eventually showed up after some unexpected delay. :)

(He did not worry about it.)

They are (or were) a reputable company.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback -- they are definitely grey market. I messed up by not paying through an escrow service or credit card. They did send me a picture of a hand holding the watch to prove that it was "in stock" but the picture wasn't dated.

I think I would be OK if they simply said: "we mistakenly thought it was in inventory, but it's not, so we are working hard on sourcing it for you."
 

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Not a tsk, tsk, OP...but just out of curiosity, why did you source one from Switzerland (you're in Chicago, right)? There are plenty of Zenith ADs in the states offering healthy discounts on brand new Defy Classics.
 

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Yep, in Chicago. Short answer is price -- it was $400 cheaper than domestic grey market. Definitely won't make that mistake again though.
 

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Latest update is that I have still not received the watch and communication from Time of Switzerland has been very poor. Here's the chronology of communication from
Andy Frei, CEO at Time of Switzerland:

3 days ago: "I was in Hospital and had to recover, will be back in a day or so"

7 days ago: "please, Mike, I refund you and double it, whatever it is. But I got f****d by employees and really cracking down. Your money is save with ME. and I promeise"

10 days ago: "Ok, we do send it tomorrow"

22 days ago: Staff member: "Confirmed the timepiece is available on stock."

Honestly this is turning into a horrible saga and all I want is my money back. My questions and complaints have been wholesale ignored except for the messages above. Writing emails seems to just generate vague and not completely coherent responses. Getting desperate for resolution so I will take any advice!
 

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Sounds like this is a typical grey dealer tactic stalling for time.

As some poster already said, they typically accept your money first and then source the watch.

I also find that email communications with European countries is generally not as fast as if it were with companies in the US.
 

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<snip>
3 days ago: "I was in Hospital and had to recover, will be back in a day or so"

7 days ago: "please, Mike, I refund you and double it, whatever it is. But I got f****d by employees and really cracking down. Your money is save with ME. and I promeise"

10 days ago: "Ok, we do send it tomorrow"

22 days ago: Staff member: "Confirmed the timepiece is available on stock."

My questions have been wholesale ignored except for the messages above. Writing emails seems to just generate vague and not completely coherent responses.
@takeapart, there are only two outcomes to this.

Grey dealers that don’t have stock will take a long time to source the watch and send to you hence the delay tactics in response to your emails.

His email responses seems to indicate some level of stress and I am not sure if it is a sign that they are not doing well financially. From a pessimistic point of view, if you haven’t used escrow service or credit card and have sent them the money, then you need to be prepared to lose it. There is no recourse for a buyer if a business goes bankrupt as they would ring fence their personal assets.

In my view, the best course of action for you would be to:
1) state clearly your expectations, like the due date when you expect the watch to be shipped and delivered since they had it in stock;
2) ask for proof;
3) failing which, ask for a refund on the funds you have already sent them.

If he is honest and not mucking you around, he will refund the funds to you. If he refuses, then you know what the obvious answer is.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Unfortunately another week has gone by with no further movement or communication on the part of Time of Switzerland. Another member of the forum private messaged me that he is also having the same issue (saw a picture of the watch, but it hasn't shipped). That fact leads me to believe that this is a broader issue and ToS may indeed, after a 20 year run, be experiencing financial difficulty.

As far as the advice that @Dogbert_is_fat provided, I have already taken all of the actions such as seeing a picture, setting a deadline, and asking for a refund, all to no avail. I even threatened to explicitly "out" ToS as a scammer on this forum and they didn't respond to that message either.

I now definitely believe that ToS is experiencing financial trouble and am beginning to assemble a list of authorities in Switzerland through which to seek recourse. I don't have high hopes for that but at least I'm doing something.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The latest: since my last update Time of Switzerland has gone completely dark on responding to any messages. In addition, I have been privately contacted by another forum member who had the exact same experience. Finally, an individual left a complete and detailed review on Trustpilot with an experience that mirrors mine: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/timeofswitzerland.com It's the second review, mine is the newer of the two.

Based on 3 individuals having an identical recent experience with ToS I can only conclude that they are no longer functioning as a trustworthy business and advise all forum members to avoid them. Unfortunately their website is still up and appears to be active, which could lure other members into their quagmire.

I would appreciate any advice on which Swiss authorities to contact in order to seek recourse. Thanks in advance for anyone's help.
 

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Based on the very differing experiences people listed here, are you all sure you are all talking about the same company. A Swiss watchseller name "Time of Switzerland" sounds very generic, and it could be someone using a very similar URL that goes to a different IP address with the same name ripping people off while the original company is unaware. Or just one bad company creating a company with the same name. Or the original company has changed their ways. I don't know. Never heard of the company, so I can't say one way or the other about how good they are.
 
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So are they located in Basel or Hong Kong? Because if it's the latter, the masked protesters probably have your watch
 

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So are they located in Basel or Hong Kong? Because if it's the latter, the masked protesters probably have your watch
The protesters don’t loot. Also, the HK office isn’t close to the areas of protests, nor does it hold much stock (as I am led to believe). It is just a minimalistic office, couple of rooms where they can meet buyers. I think most of their watches are in Switzerland where they have another office. I bought a JLC from them in HK back in 2016. They may not have had anyone in their office for the last couple of weeks though, or they have had loss of staff due to current events (mainlanders obviously haven’t been visiting HK much so sales must have nose dived).


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