OXA USA Violates Trust; Illegally Uses My Personal Information Without Consent; May Use Yours Too @ ModSynergy.com
This story is continuing to happen as I type this.
First of all, here's a brief background on OXA USA (or OXA INNOVATIONS LLC) from their website, www.oxausa.com.
OXA is a San Jose, CA based designer and manufacturer of external batteries and accessories for mobile products. Ourtagline More Juice, More life represents our foundational principles of extending the life of your mobile devices so that you never have to go without. We make the term “always on, always available” a reality. As a newcomer to the industry, we offer the latest and most advanced technology in the marketplace at the best price. What makes us different is our simple elegant design with the needed connections in every box reducing the need to carry the array of power chords and cables. You can depend on OXA to deliver More Juice, More life.
OXA devices extend the life of many mobile products and are supported by a commitment to excellence through exceptional customer service, global inventory and immediate shipping. We offer exception quality control from our in-house designs and manufacturing processes all the way through to our global distribution structure. One source through the entire supply chain allows for guaranteed deliveries and unrivalled customer support. We work passionately to exceed your expectations every time.
To the best of my knowledge and from my investigation, OXA is just one of the few brands operating under the umbrella that is Shenzhen Valuelink Technology Co.,LTD. They then export their products under the OXA name to be sold in outlets such as Amazon and Newegg in North America.
The start of March, 2014, ModSynergy reached out to OXA USA to inquire about reviewing their portable USB power banks. Tony Lee, OXA USA Sales Manager, agrees to this idea and agrees that OXA USA would send out 3 portable USB power banks for testing and review on ModSynergy. Personal information is exchanged including shipping information. It is my impression that my personal information is confidential and strictly for the use of shipping goods for review, as it has been for the past 12 years.
After multiple delays, the goods show up a week before June. I begin long term testing of said portable USB power banks, something done to certain products so that we can gauge how well it holds up to everyday use and for the long term. Two of the three products had the worse packaging I've ever seen in my 12 years of reviewing a wide variety of items, and therefore caused damages to the products. I brought this up with Karen from OXA USA in July, and was advised to...Kindly do me a favor do not to post 1-3 stars review for these two items. If you don't want to leave 4-5 stars, I hope that you do not post the reviews. Appreciate your cooperation.
Oh boy, I've seen this line before with certain companies, it's not something new in the industry of reviewing products. I follow up and confirm with her if she really just asked me not to release the review on ModSynergy.com and not to post the review link on Amazon...
She replies and states, If your reviews lower than 4 or 5 stars, kindly do me a favor do not to post them. Highly appreciate your understanding. At this point I pretty much know what kind of company this was (you know as well) and was not going to listen to them. Anyway, the two OXA portable USB power banks would showcase to me their poor quality and performance. Why the Amazon reviews for these OXA USA products seem great, I think we all know why now, I would take their great reviews with a grain of salt, sketchy at best.
Fast forward to November 24, 2014 when I receive an email from the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada.
Who and what is the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada?
From their website: The Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada provides a certification service for both radio and terminal equipment in Canada.
Testing of either radio or terminal equipment, to establish compliance with Industry Canada standards, is performed in private sector laboratories. In the case of terminal equipment these laboratories are required to be approved in accordance with the provisions of a departmental procedure.
The first time I saw this email, it looked flat out suspicious, almost like spam because of the weird formatting. I was going to delete it until I saw that it had been sent to not only me using ModSynergy's email address, but it also included the Industry Canada email format of gc.ca, something that all Canadians know that is reserved for the Canadian Government and all of its various departments.
So this email was sent to me using my ModSynergy.com email address, sent to the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada, and sent to Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology CO., LTD, who are a lab that tests and provides quality test reports along for certifying various products for approvals in Canada, Europe, worldwide.
The thing that really caught my eye was that the email was advising of an application for a new company called ModSynergy Technology Co.,Ltd. Hmm...yes you read that correct, someone was submitting an application for a Radio or Telecom product under a company name that closely bears a resemblance to my website name ModSynergy. I had a suspicion based on the formatting of the email and how the company name is presented, that this could be done from someone in China.
But I questioned the validity and authenticity of the email. I continued to believe it was fake. So I contacted Industry Canada directly about the email as I have no knowledge of any such company or application for anything and why it was being directed to my websites ModSynergy email address.
Industry Canada confirmed the validity of the email and would be forwarding my concerns to the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Canada. Now I have clear indication that this is a real situation.
On Tuesday, November 25, 2014, I was sent an email from the Certification and Engineering Bureau asking me if I had been asked by a company outside of Canada to be a Canadian Representative for a Radio or Telecom product that they may be importing. I replied that I had not been contacted by a company or person outside Canada about anything relating to being a Canadian Representative for a Radio or Telecom product that they may be importing. I also stated that I have no knowledge whatsoever of such consent and authorization being given to use my information including email address and the possibility of other information being included such as my name and personal information.
Frankly at this point I was peeved off to the extreme that someone was using not only my website's email address without my consent and knowledge, but also the possibility of using my name and personal information for a company that almost sounds like my website. I made the point of whatever was being attempted or has been done was illegal and fraudulent, along with the lines of identity theft.
By Friday, November 28, 2014, I was contacted by the Program Officer for the Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch of Industry Canada thanking me for confirming that I was not a Canadian Representative for a foreign company, and that they would be investigating further into this matter to try and identify who tried to use my name and why.
On Monday, December 15, 2014, I was again contacted by the Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology Co., Ltd. testing lab advising that there was a new IC application for Shenzhen Valuelink Technology Co.,LTD, under the format of IC: 12523A-OXA. However, the application that was submitted to Nemko Canada Inc. failed because the Canadian Representative did not passed the system. A PDF of the report is given in the same email, I open it and surprise, surprise, my personal information is all there, my full name, address, and ModSynergy email address. What the heck is going on? At this point I'm just steaming mad, upset, angry, but also at the same time concerned, and terrified that someone out there has all my information.
I am assuming the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada did and is doing their job in preventing this application from passing with the new information that they learned of from myself contacting them on this matter.
I was happy to know that this was happening, but I wanted to know, ultimately who was doing this.
Then those three letters of OXA was jumping out at me, this name seems awfully familiar, I wonder if it could be related to OXA USA? Can it really? I emailed the contact at Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology Co., Ltd, who happened to be the General Manager of the company. I also CC'ed the same message to the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada.
I basically re-stated everything all over again from the very beginning, but I also inquired who it was that was using my information without my knowledge, consent, authorization? I made a suggestion that it could be related to OXA USA who's parent name is Shenzhen Valuelink Technology Co.,LTD. I added information on the people I had contact with including Tony Lee, Cassiel, Karen, and also provided WHOIS information on the OXA USA website which stated that the website was registered by someone by the name of Qingcao Gan (or his English name of Jerry Qan going by his LinkedIn profile among others) who I believe is the CEO of the company.
I received a reply back from the General Manager of Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology Co., Ltd and guess what? I was correct, the General Manager of the Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology Co., Ltd, advised me that the information was submitted to them by Shenzhen Valuelink Technology Co.,LTD and that they indeed export their products under OXA USA.
But what I found highly disturbing was that the General Manager of Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology Co., Ltd, adds that they will contact Shenzhen Valuelink Technology Co.,LTD and have them explain about this situation and to re-submit a Canadian Representative to them.
Shake my head...what did you just say? That's all you're going to do? Have them explain themselves and just ask them to re-submit another representative? That's barely a slap in the wrist. But I guess all you guys care about is the bottom line, let alone care about a company that is illegally using someone else's personal information without their knowledge, consent and authorization. That's absolutely BS.
So now the cat is out of the bag. I caught you snakes. You knew exactly what you were doing. You had months to contact me about the possibility of using my name and information, but yet you never did once reach out to me, you hid it from me, did it without my knowledge, consent, and authorization. You guys proved who you really are, nothing but conniving snakes. If you want to run your company in a shady way, that's up to you. Just don't illegally use someone's personal information without their knowledge, consent and authorization to do so, no matter what kind of device you were trying to get approved.
So what the heck were they trying to do? Well I head back to their website and notice its changed from the last time I've seen it. They no longer have accessories like battery power banks or anything else. All they have is a Bluetooth Headset they are creating. They tried raising money on KickStarter and failed miserably. And yes it is confirmed on their KickStarter page that Jerry Gan (or Qingcao Gan) is indeed the founder and main product manager of OXA USA (or OXA Innovations LLC) so I would point the finger at him for letting this all happen
So OXA USA gets caught. Let's see the email that was just sent to me from Tony Lee on Tuesday, December 16, 2014...
From: Tony Lee [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I'm Tony from OXA. It's been a long time since we communicated in last email. You have emailed us for reviewing our OXA Power Bank on March. Do you remember?
Gee, so many wrongs in this message. The audacity of some people.
So why am I writing this article in the first place? I can be doing other important things than writing five pages on this incident, believe me.
My intent is to warn other fellow reviewers, and to warn other potential customers of OXA USA (aka Shenzhen Valuelink Technology Co.,LTD.) products that this may happen to them. Your personal information may be compromised, be used without your consent, without your knowledge, without your authorization, for other things you and I may not be aware of. How do we know our information is protected when dealing with such companies, how do we know they won't sell our information to other companies, etc.
A company that violates trust, uses sneaky tactics to get by, shows ultimately what kind of company they are, can you really trust such a company, let alone their products? It also shows the problem of businesses in China, in a world where they are free to copy, cheat, wiggle their way around situations.
Don't get me started on Shenzhen CTL Testing Technology Co., Ltd, it's as if they clearly don't care about illegal practices, they don't even give a slap on the wrist for what has happened. They just wanted to ignore it and move on and get a new Canadian Representative contact, all they care is about their bottom line. It's funny how they mention integrity on their website. The fact that Industry Canada is working with a company like this, I'm not sure what to say.
You can tell OXA USA how you feel about what they have done here...