Back in the summer of 2015 hundreds of customers forked out their hard earned cash on GhostArk, hailed to be the world's first all-in-one ghost hunting tool. Now, a year on, customers are still waiting for their orders and the company behind the product, Selekton Ltd and their CEO Massimo Rossi have gone worryingly quiet, leaving unhappy customers in the lurch.
A handful of customers have received the first batch of products to come off of the production line but these proved to be mostly faulty and needed to be replaced and for those outside the EU especially, it looks like it's the customers themselves who are being forced to cough up the cost of returning the product.
Many customers have given up all together on getting a working replacement and instead have asked the company for a refund, but it seems these requests have fallen on deaf ears as very few customers have yet had their funds returned to them.
GhostArk is being manufactured in China but is the brainchild of an Italian company whose registered offices are in Bulgaria. This means customers within Europe are protected by EU consumer rights laws, however customers outside the EU such as Australia, the US and Canada might not have a leg to stand on.
If your requests for a refund or replacement from GhostArk are going unanswered, then below is some advice on what you can do.
Bulgaria is an EU country so they are bound by European consumer protection laws in regards to distant selling.
Under these rules you always have the right to a minimum 2 year guarantee at no cost. If your GhostArk has a fault then it must be replaced or repaired free of charge. However, GhostArk isn't obligated to provide a refund unless it's not possible to repair or replace the device.
In some European countries the time scale you have to report a fault varies, so it's advisable to report a faulty device to GhostArk as soon as you receive it.
These laws also stipulate that you have the right to cancel. The law says you can change your mind as ask for a refund from the moment you complete your order online until 7 working days after you receive your order, but GhostArk actually extend this period to 15 days after receipt in their terms of sales.
If you wish to cancel you should do so in writing or through the advised communications channels, in the case of GhostArk that can also mean the contact form on their website or the support email address, email@example.com.
The law states that as a customer you may be liable for the cost of returning the item, so if you're still waiting for your first device to be shipped to you then it's best to make an official cancellation request now.
So to summarise, if you live with the EU:
- GhostArk are legally obligated to repair/replace any faulty device with no cost to you.
- GhostArk are legally obligated to give you a full refund if you cancel your order at any point before shipment.
- GhostArk are legally obligated to give you a full refund upon return of the product if you cancel once you've received your device, GhostArk are not liable for the cost of returning the item.
I would imagine that most customer in Europe will be served to some level, for example personally I was issued a replacement with no cost to myself and another European customer on Facebook says that she was able to return her device for a full refund.
If GhostArk fail to abide by the laws in Europe it's easier to enforce than it is for those customer outside of Europe.
If you're outside of the EU then your rights are in line with GhostArk's terms of sales and the laws in Bulgaria where the company is registered. Bulgaria is an EU country (as is Italy where the company is actually based) so this basically means your rights are the same but the problem is enforcing them outside of Europe.
Your entitlements in accordance with EU law means you should be able to cancel your order before it has been shipped for a full refund. Once your device arrives if it's faulty then GhostArk should repair/replace it at no cost to you. If your device is in working order but you've changed your mind then you can send it back within 15 days for a full refund but you will be liable for the cost of shipping in this case.
Within Europe there is a support network which ensures these laws are upheld, but there are no similar arrangements in place between Europe and the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, there is very little you can do at this point as the purchase in most case will be too long ago for credit card companies to claim on your behalf.
The only real option you have is to make a complaint through your own country's consumer protection channels:
When GhostArk announced their product they were very active on social media and sent out frequent email newsletters, as time has gone on communication has been getting rarer.
In recent months, Facebook has become the company's only way of communicating with its frustrated customers but at the time of writing this article, it has been 36 days since the company last posted an update on their page.
Even those customer who have been luckily enough to receive a GhostArk which is fit for purpose and in some kind of working state haven't really had their orders fulfilled. When customers ordered the product they were promised a full instructional manual and access to an online data analysis tool, neither of these promises have materialised and the company have avoided making comment on either points.
GhostArk have been so quiet recently that I wonder if they've gone bust... in fact I wonder about the legitimacy of the whole company. While speaking to UK European Consumer Centre about the issue us customers are having, they ran a simple VIES VAT number check on GhostArk's customer number (as listed on their website) and it appears to be invalid.
If you're still waiting for your order or waiting to hear about your replacement then please let me know. It would also be good to know if you've been successful in getting a refund or replacement. I can then share this information with others in our situation so they can enter into the complaints process fully armed with information.
I have posted GhostArk's terms of sales below. I don't know what financial state the company is in or how much longer they'll be able to pay their internet hosting bills, so I thought it would be sensible to post their terms here.
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This terms were last updated by GhostArk on July 20, 2015. The information below is taken from the ghostark.com's terms of service, I have only included the terms related to order, delivery, returns and dispute below. For the full terms visit https://ghostark.com/terms.
During pre-orders, you will purchase a voucher that can be used to redeem GhostArk devices. The value of the voucher is equal to the number of devices that you have pre-ordered, plus shipping costs. All Payments are in U.S. Dollars and your card will be charged for the full amount immediately.
The voucher is strictly personal and non transferable. When a pre-order is placed, the voucher is automatically redeemed and converted in an order request.
Once your order has been shipped, the voucher loses its validity.
If Selekton Ltd. is unable to fulfil the pre-orders, the parties agree that these Terms will apply. Selekton Ltd. may cancel and refund your voucher at any time and for any reason, without having to provide any explanation. If Selekton Lltd. does so, GhostArk is not required to fulfil the pre-order.
GhostArk is shipped worldwide via tracker courier. The customer is responsible for paying any applicable import costs or duties upon delivery. Shipment insurance terms may vary according to the courier company used to process the delivery.
4. REFUNDS & RETURNS
You can send us a refund request within 15 calendar days of confirming you pre-order.
After 15 days, we will not be able to issue refunds and you will receive your GhostArk Device. Once you have received it, you can request to return it.
To request a refund, please use the contact form inside your customer account.
The refund will be issued within 15 working days of receiving your request (please allow additional days for the funds to reach your account. The number of days may vary according to your bank).
You can return GhostArk within 15 days of receiving it.
In order to receive a refund, you will need to send us all the original packaging, the Device in "as new" condition (it must not have been used or have any data inputted on it), as well as all other parts included in the original shipment, also in "as new" conditions.
If you wish to return a Device, please use the contact form inside your customer account.
Please note that you will be responsible for arranging the shipment and for paying all shipping costs to return the Device.
When we receive the Device, our technical team will verify that the Device and all other components are in their original state. If this is confirmed, we will issue a refund within 15 working days (please allow additional days for the funds to reach your account. The number of days may vary according to your bank).
If the Device is not working due to manufacturing issues, the warranty applies (please refer to section 5).
GhostArk Devices are covered by a 12-months warranty, which starts when the device is delivered to the customer.
If your Device doesn't work, we will ask you to send it back to us (please note that you will be responsible for arranging the shipment and for paying all shipping costs).
Once our technical team verifies that the GhostArk has not been damaged, accidentally or intentionally, and that is still covered by the warranty, you will be offered the choice to receive a refund or a new device.
If the cost to repair the device exceeds the production cost, we will send you a new device. Otherwise, we will proceed with the repair.
The Warranty doesn't cover Devices that have been opened or lost. GhostArk shall not be considered responsible for any data stored on a lost Device that have not been exported and backed up.
6. WARRANTY DISCLAIMER
GhostArk is sold as an electronic device. Selekton Ltd. guarantees the performance of the GhostArk device as described in the technical specification.
Selekton Ltd. does not guarantee the recording of paranormal events using the Device.
13. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
In the interest of resolving disputes between you and Selekton Ltd. in the most expedient and cost effective manner, you and Selekton Ltd. agree that any and all disputes arising out of or relating in any way with these Terms or your use of the Service shall be resolved by binding arbitration. Arbitration is more informal than a lawsuit in court. Arbitration uses a neutral arbitrator instead of a judge or jury, may allow for more limited discovery than in court, and can be subject to very limited review by courts. Arbitrators can award the same damages and relief that a court can award. Our agreement to arbitrate disputes includes, but is not limited to all claims arising out of or relating to any aspect of these Terms or the Service, whether based in contract, tort, statute, fraud, misrepresentation or any other legal theory, and regardless of whether the claims arise during or after the termination of these Terms. YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT, BY ENTERING INTO THESE TERMS, YOU AND SELEKTON LTD. ARE EACH WAIVING THE RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY OR TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION. Regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to your use of the Services or under these Terms must be filed by either party within two (2) years after such claim or cause of action arose or it will be forever barred.
14. GOVERNING LAW
These Terms, whether interpreted in a court of law or in arbitration, shall be governed by the laws of Bulgaria, regardless of your country of origin or where you access the Services.
HOW TO CONTACT SELEKTON LTD.
Company No. 203477763
Address: 9 May Street,