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Author Topic: Bryan Micon's Butterfly Labs Scammer Investigation including Josh Zerlan  (Read 99266 times)
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April 08, 2013, 09:12:02 AM
 #281

I was threatening a refund in January if I could not get a confirmed ship date. So I don't blame you for pulling the plug. However the bastards jacked the price on the units and now if they start delivering it will cost you 270 dollars. pfft BFL can suck my **** I'll never buy from them even if they end up being the last company on earth.

I have been following Joshes lies for a little under a year and he never tells the truth. BFL lol what a joke.
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April 08, 2013, 09:25:42 AM
 #282

I decided to ask for a refund for a jalapeno (I wanted to give bfl the benefit of the doubt) and see if they delivered before March. As the deadline date wad close to paypals 45 day refund policy i decided to open a dispute. I got the refund immediately, but I noticed that there was an adjustment fee of 5 dollars. Has anyone noticed this?
Screenshot?

I know previously on eBay some scammy buyers would "adjust" the payment costs and get away with a $10 or $20 discount. Maybe BFL is doing the same thing, except they make off with $5?
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April 08, 2013, 04:16:42 PM
 #283

I decided to ask for a refund for a jalapeno (I wanted to give bfl the benefit of the doubt) and see if they delivered before March. As the deadline date wad close to paypals 45 day refund policy i decided to open a dispute. I got the refund immediately, but I noticed that there was an adjustment fee of 5 dollars. Has anyone noticed this?
Screenshot?

I know previously on eBay some scammy buyers would "adjust" the payment costs and get away with a $10 or $20 discount. Maybe BFL is doing the same thing, except they make off with $5?


"Everything is a matter of degree"
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April 08, 2013, 04:31:59 PM
 #284

I was threatening a refund in January if I could not get a confirmed ship date. So I don't blame you for pulling the plug. However the bastards jacked the price on the units and now if they start delivering it will cost you 270 dollars. pfft BFL can suck my **** I'll never buy from them even if they end up being the last company on earth.

I have been following Joshes lies for a little under a year and he never tells the truth. BFL lol what a joke.

I wrote to BFL with the same query and I didn't get a reply on shipping dates, so I pulled the plug before my 45 days ran out with PP.

"Everything is a matter of degree"
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April 08, 2013, 04:43:56 PM
 #285

I was threatening a refund in January if I could not get a confirmed ship date. So I don't blame you for pulling the plug. However the bastards jacked the price on the units and now if they start delivering it will cost you 270 dollars. pfft BFL can suck my **** I'll never buy from them even if they end up being the last company on earth.

I have been following Joshes lies for a little under a year and he never tells the truth. BFL lol what a joke.

I wrote to BFL with the same query and I didn't get a reply on shipping dates, so I pulled the plug before my 45 days ran out with PP.

When the General Manager is telling investors not to bother her with annoying questions like "When will I receive what I paid for months ago?", then yeah...it's time to get out.

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April 08, 2013, 04:54:24 PM
 #286

What is an adjustment fee?

I suspect we don't get them in the UK due to the Distant Sellers Act.

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April 08, 2013, 05:03:47 PM
 #287

1)  The BFL refund game has been interesting to watch.  This latest fee is just 1 sprinkle on the icing on the cake IMO

2)  The price increases on their site IMO seems to be a play against what must be an ever-increasing stream of refunds.  The owner of this business is a convicted mail order scammer, so these techniques are to be expected IMO

3)  While it seems they had *something* they claim to be hot-hashing in the LukeJr video (once you put a few months behind that video certain entities are going to look extremely foolish) The once again deafening silence will have me looking for multi-month multi-100 coin wagers against them shipping.

4)  JoshZerlan.com continues to fly Josh's flag.  7000+ views:   http://youtu.be/UlWrmIqGs3Y?t=2m16s

I'm flying FPV race drones these days. Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MiconFPV
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April 08, 2013, 05:12:20 PM
 #288

What is an adjustment fee?

I suspect we don't get them in the UK due to the Distant Sellers Act.

It was a UK order.

"Everything is a matter of degree"
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April 08, 2013, 05:58:28 PM
 #289

1)  The BFL refund game has been interesting to watch.  This latest fee is just 1 sprinkle on the icing on the cake IMO

2)  The price increases on their site IMO seems to be a play against what must be an ever-increasing stream of refunds.  The owner of this business is a convicted mail order scammer, so these techniques are to be expected IMO

3)  While it seems they had *something* they claim to be hot-hashing in the LukeJr video (once you put a few months behind that video certain entities are going to look extremely foolish) The once again deafening silence will have me looking for multi-month multi-100 coin wagers against them shipping.

4)  JoshZerlan.com continues to fly Josh's flag.  7000+ views:   http://youtu.be/UlWrmIqGs3Y?t=2m16s

@Micon, I thought that the questions you formulated to Josh were fair to get a decent answer. I was surprised to see Josh's reacting negatively towards you which is just echoing what sort of company he is part of; unprofessional PR and hiding the truth that perhaps there is no intention to ship and just keeping pre-orders coming in, hence funding their 0% interest loans from pre-orders on other activities. It simply does not give confidence to customers who have pre-orders.

Despite that BFL is a manufacturer and control ASIC bitcoin miners, they are still selling as a business to customers (B2C) and that does not excuse them from keeping pre-orders and rescheduling shipping dates.

"Everything is a matter of degree"
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April 08, 2013, 06:06:29 PM
 #290

I'm just a humble miner, and really only lurk in these forums, as obvious by my post count.  I was strongly looking at ordering some BFL products in order to keep my mining operation relevant, but was hesitant considering all the drama surrounding them.  I almost pulled the trigger last month and ordered, but said to myself, let's just wait a little longer and see how things develop.  I'm glad I hesitated, given yet another shipping delay and obvious problems with their hardware tests and now the drastic increase in price, they will not be seeing my money.  Considering how nontransparent BFL has been about their operations, given the little they have told consumers about their problems, who knows what the real scope of their difficulties are.

My real intention with this post is to say this, there are laws in place to protect consumers from fraud.  I'm no lawyer, so I can't really speak to the specifics, but there are avenues a consumer can take if they feel like they are being defrauded.  How many of you that suspect a scam have taken the time to pursue them?  Given that BFL is incorporated in Wyoming and operates out of Kansas, not sure really where jurisdiction would fall, but a few dozen emails and/or phone calls to the Kansas State Attorney General, Wyoming State AG and the local county DA office might garner some attention.  They could either be investigated and found to be the scam that everyone suspects and appropriate action taken, or maybe the heat getting turned up on BFL might light a fire under their asses and improve their terrible business practices. 

For those interested, here is relevant contact info:

BFL's operational address
10770 El Monte, Leawood, KS 66211 United States of America
taken from  http://www.butterflylabs.com/contact/

Kansas State Attorney Generals Office
120 SW 10th Ave., 2nd Floor
Topeka, KS 66612
(785) 296-2215
1-888-428-8436
Fax: (785) 296-6296
Email: Use the contact form on their website
http://ag.ks.gov/home

Johnson County Kansas District Attorney  (The county BFL operates out of)
100 N. Kansas
Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 715-3000
Email: Use the consumer fraud form found on their website
http://da.jocogov.org/

Wyoming Attorney Generals Office
123 Capitol Building
200 W. 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7841
(307) 777-6869 FAX
(307) 777-5351 TDD
Email: use form on consumer protection unit
http://attorneygeneral.state.wy.us/

BEWARE:  NOTROLL.IN POOL MAY STEAL YOUR GENERATED LTC
Original thread starts here:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=92716.msg1782471#msg1782471
Theft discussion thread is here:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=172667.0
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April 08, 2013, 06:22:55 PM
 #291

I'm just a humble miner, and really only lurk in these forums, as obvious by my post count.  I was strongly looking at ordering some BFL products in order to keep my mining operation relevant, but was hesitant considering all the drama surrounding them.  I almost pulled the trigger last month and ordered, but said to myself, let's just wait a little longer and see how things develop.  I'm glad I hesitated, given yet another shipping delay and obvious problems with their hardware tests and now the drastic increase in price, they will not be seeing my money.  Considering how nontransparent BFL has been about their operations, given the little they have told consumers about their problems, who knows what the real scope of their difficulties are.

My real intention with this post is to say this, there are laws in place to protect consumers from fraud.  I'm no lawyer, so I can't really speak to the specifics, but there are avenues a consumer can take if they feel like they are being defrauded.  How many of you that suspect a scam have taken the time to pursue them?  Given that BFL is incorporated in Wyoming and operates out of Kansas, not sure really where jurisdiction would fall, but a few dozen emails and/or phone calls to the Kansas State Attorney General, Wyoming State AG and the local county DA office might garner some attention.  They could either be investigated and found to be the scam that everyone suspects and appropriate action taken, or maybe the heat getting turned up on BFL might light a fire under their asses and improve their terrible business practices.  

For those interested, here is relevant contact info:

BFL's operational address
10770 El Monte, Leawood, KS 66211 United States of America
taken from  http://www.butterflylabs.com/contact/

Kansas State Attorney Generals Office
120 SW 10th Ave., 2nd Floor
Topeka, KS 66612
(785) 296-2215
1-888-428-8436
Fax: (785) 296-6296
Email: Use the contact form on their website
http://ag.ks.gov/home

Johnson County Kansas District Attorney  (The county BFL operates out of)
100 N. Kansas
Olathe, KS 66061
(913) 715-3000
Email: Use the consumer fraud form found on their website
http://da.jocogov.org/

Wyoming Attorney Generals Office
123 Capitol Building
200 W. 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7841
(307) 777-6869 FAX
(307) 777-5351 TDD
Email: use form on consumer protection unit
http://attorneygeneral.state.wy.us/


I am a miner too and joined this forum to give my input on BFL treatment on pre-order customers and give readers and other miners a heads-up. This is why I ordered only a Jalapeno to test the waters; I can afford to lose $181 if the worst was to happen. I was tempted like you in investing further in ASIC miners, I was planning in getting a couple of 60GH/s ASIC miners, but this would be very risky seeing that nothing has yet materialised. Ideally, they should withdraw monies when the item is ready to ship and not when it is circulating on a design phase/implementation/test phase. This is not good business.

"Everything is a matter of degree"
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April 08, 2013, 09:54:16 PM
 #292

1)  The BFL refund game has been interesting to watch.  This latest fee is just 1 sprinkle on the icing on the cake IMO

2)  The price increases on their site IMO seems to be a play against what must be an ever-increasing stream of refunds.  The owner of this business is a convicted mail order scammer, so these techniques are to be expected IMO

3)  While it seems they had *something* they claim to be hot-hashing in the LukeJr video (once you put a few months behind that video certain entities are going to look extremely foolish) The once again deafening silence will have me looking for multi-month multi-100 coin wagers against them shipping.

4)  JoshZerlan.com continues to fly Josh's flag.  7000+ views:   http://youtu.be/UlWrmIqGs3Y?t=2m16s

Micon although I have had my reservations about Josh's intentions as being incompetent I am sliding more and more to deceit on his part. As everyday passes I'm begining to see more and more that he could just be a front man/general public relation/technician geek that is slowly going into conman.

I still hold the belief he had good intention but that to me carries so far. He has been caught lying so many time that by now all credibility has been lost. In my opinion, as you know I have been following his shout boxes. I have posted here a couple of times the content of what I saw.

What I have posted here was of how he uses the drama to drum up more hits on his website and in his words it gets him more orders/pre-orderd/sales I find that despicable. That is not the leadership skills a company should depend on to be successful in business. However judging by most people here according to their greed and maturity level it seems to work.

I believe he is trying to make money and that is not a bad thing but as most military persons they are with an attitude of no failure at any cost or that could just be an American state of mind. Sorry if I offended anyone here. He has no sympathy for his customers and holds them in low regards.

As you know bitcoins are sky rocketing (175 dollars right now) and he does posses a mining pool called Eclipse. Then add the fact that mysteriously he is reducing the amount of chips per board and removing the availability of the rigs atm only suggests to me he could be mining with some.

Now that would have to suggest he has a working unit. How can I sit here and in good conscience give money to a company when I have such thoughts about their trust level?   

As for all of you BFL customers waiting.... still I can understand your frustration and your decision to wait this long as I have purchased a pre order as well. However I have canceled in January and that fell before the 45 day rule (which I had no Idea) I guess I was lucky. I really feel for you all knowing that bitcoins sitting at 175 dollars is so close within your reach and denied to you by someone I hope you trust.

My plan, Micon was to buy when they have proof of a working unit and that was in Jan now they raise the price and that like you believe is a bad sign for what ever reason.

In conclusion BFL is not a company I wish to support in the future for many reasons.     
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April 11, 2013, 09:36:57 AM
 #293

only whores and scumbags actually live in vegas.

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April 11, 2013, 12:51:35 PM
 #294

You guys holding onto your preorders should consider asking for refunds.  I don't care if you think $150 isn't much coin or skin off your back.  It's keeping these guys in business and there's absolutely no reason why they would ever ship one stinking product any longer.

It's clear they're not being honest, truthful, and forthright about their product.  Remember, they were planning on shipping these in time for Christmas LAST YEAR.  We're nearly half way through the next year and all I see are some prototype boards that don't even look functional.

I'm sure, if its real, their PCBs are riddled with human errors.

They'll never ship because ...

1.  It'd be more profitable to keep their rigs and mine with them instead of selling them to you for pennies on the BTC.

2.  They've already had an interest free loan for nearly 12 months from you.  Money is now in possibly off-shore accounts and they're just stalling...  Best case is you get a full or partial refund.

So if they have a working product, it won't ship.  And they likely don't but have used your money to invest in BTC and are still making money.  Get out, put the pressure on them.  This song needs an ending, or this train wreck needs to finish.
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April 11, 2013, 04:22:35 PM
 #295

You guys holding onto your preorders should consider asking for refunds.  I don't care if you think $150 isn't much coin or skin off your back.  It's keeping these guys in business and there's absolutely no reason why they would ever ship one stinking product any longer.

It's clear they're not being honest, truthful, and forthright about their product.  Remember, they were planning on shipping these in time for Christmas LAST YEAR.  We're nearly half way through the next year and all I see are some prototype boards that don't even look functional.

I'm sure, if its real, their PCBs are riddled with human errors.

They'll never ship because ...

1.  It'd be more profitable to keep their rigs and mine with them instead of selling them to you for pennies on the BTC.

2.  They've already had an interest free loan for nearly 12 months from you.  Money is now in possibly off-shore accounts and they're just stalling...  Best case is you get a full or partial refund.

So if they have a working product, it won't ship.  And they likely don't but have used your money to invest in BTC and are still making money.  Get out, put the pressure on them.  This song needs an ending, or this train wreck needs to finish.

+1

Also consider that with the exchange rate crash of Bitcoin the incentive to keep your order in with BFL has largely been diminished. This combined with the continuously falling value of the purchased BFL hardware vaporware itself makes a refund request a no-brainer.

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April 12, 2013, 01:00:56 AM
 #296


Also consider that with the exchange rate crash of Bitcoin the incentive to keep your order in with BFL has largely been diminished. This combined with the continuously falling value of the purchased BFL hardware vaporware itself makes a refund request a no-brainer.

Vaporware is right.

One thing that I find interesting is their "Drivers" page.  I know they delivered some FPGAs in the past.  But the list of drivers available makes them appear to be a hardware company with some other "irons in the fire".

Quote
Software drivers

All drivers have been updated to operate with our new BitForce platform.  If you would like to have a driver written or modified for your individual purpose, please contact us for a review of your needs. In general, we can provide this service as a courtesy to support volume chip purchases.  Paid consulting is also available.

Drivers:
1.Computational research
2.Medical imaging
3.Packet integrity verification
4.Generic fingerprinting engine

Source:  http://www.butterflylabs.com/drivers/

Do they have any medical imaging device hardware?  How about a packet integrity engine?  Who does packet integrity checking besides stateful firewall?  Oh wait, it's built into the protocol?  hmm...  Generic fingerprinting engine?

May as well as WPA2 cracking engine to the list...

Folks.... this is PUFFERY.

Game over BFL.  Start sending out UPS tracking numbers for your boxes or go home.  It's bullshit and you guys are looking more and more like crooks.
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April 12, 2013, 01:51:05 AM
 #297


Also consider that with the exchange rate crash of Bitcoin the incentive to keep your order in with BFL has largely been diminished. This combined with the continuously falling value of the purchased BFL hardware vaporware itself makes a refund request a no-brainer.

Vaporware is right.

One thing that I find interesting is their "Drivers" page.  I know they delivered some FPGAs in the past.  But the list of drivers available makes them appear to be a hardware company with some other "irons in the fire".

Quote
Software drivers

All drivers have been updated to operate with our new BitForce platform.  If you would like to have a driver written or modified for your individual purpose, please contact us for a review of your needs. In general, we can provide this service as a courtesy to support volume chip purchases.  Paid consulting is also available.

Drivers:
1.Computational research
2.Medical imaging
3.Packet integrity verification
4.Generic fingerprinting engine

Source:  http://www.butterflylabs.com/drivers/

Do they have any medical imaging device hardware?  How about a packet integrity engine?  Who does packet integrity checking besides stateful firewall?  Oh wait, it's built into the protocol?  hmm...  Generic fingerprinting engine?

May as well as WPA2 cracking engine to the list...

Folks.... this is PUFFERY.

Game over BFL.  Start sending out UPS tracking numbers for your boxes or go home.  It's bullshit and you guys are looking more and more like crooks.

Nah the medical stuff is in there because they bought the registered business name for a couple hundred bucks or something. I forget the story around that and I'm too lazy to search for it, but it's not because they're producing anything...including ASIC mining hardware, but yeah they're crooks.

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April 13, 2013, 01:55:20 AM
 #298

1)  seriously?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSu5Yyc1bEM

The ONLY thing it seems BFL spends $ on is advertising

2)  2 dudes just rolled into BFL offices yesterday:  http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1c3hyc/toured_butterflylabs_a_few_hours_ago/?sort=confidence 

they found the "Luke Unit" and that's about it.

Seems like that pre-order monies are paying a staff of ~ 10 to do not much all day, then Skype the lead French Dev. who works at the bank for his day job.

I don't think you could script any of this better.


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April 13, 2013, 02:08:22 AM
 #299

2)  2 dudes just rolled into BFL offices yesterday:  http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1c3hyc/toured_butterflylabs_a_few_hours_ago/?sort=confidence 

they found the "Luke Unit" and that's about it.

So it's confirmed Puke-Jr never even really received the unit in the first place.  It never left BFL.  What a joke.
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April 13, 2013, 02:08:55 AM
 #300

I thought Luke-Jr just ssh'd into that machine.
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