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Beware of Intex inflatables


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I was looking for an inflatable kayak to use as a shore dinghy and after doing some research, narrowed it down to either the Advanced Elements "Island Voyage" or the Intex "Excursion Pro".  I did a little online shopping and found what LOOKS LIKE the Intex website...

but it isn't. It's a scam.   this is the URL --  https://us.intexcs.com/         SCAM ALERT!

THAT URL IS A SCAM.  If you do a purchase through that company, you'll find out that gosh, they won't take your credit card, but they'll take your debit card!  The website is an EXACT copy of the real Intex company website in every way except the prices, which are highly discounted.  The scammers run your money through some known third party portals, and you'll wind up sending money to a place called "SIDEHOUSECAFEANDBAR"...which is a front for a bullshit company based in France, and the website is hosted in Czechslovakia.

OK, well, I lost $88 to those assholes, but that's not Intex's fault.  To be fair, the real Intex website actually has a section on "fake sales websites"  though it takes a little digging to find it.    Here's why I wouldn't buy an Intex product.  I went to the REAL Intex company website to try to report the scam, you know...being a nice guy.  I thought I'd let them know that someone was ripping them off, and they have been ripping them off for seven months (which is when the fake website domain was registered).    Well, the real Intex company customer contact form is programmed to remove your phone number, which you just typed in, after you complete filling in all the other "required" fields.  Of course the phone number is "required".   WTF?  I tried this on three different web browsers, same result on all three. That's quite deliberate on their part. I called their 800-number customer contact number twice, sat on hold for half an hour once, ten minutes the second time, and nobody ever picked up the phone.

This isn't the scammers, this is the REAL Intex company, in Southern California. Fuck 'em.  I went to significant effort to do something nice for them, and this is how my effort is treated. Imagine what will happen if you have a warranty issue.

Be aware that if you purchase an Intex product, the company is actively doing everything it can to take your money and then never give you a way to contact them ever again.

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2 hours ago, Alan H said:

I was looking for an inflatable kayak to use as a shore dinghy and after doing some research, narrowed it down to either the Advanced Elements "Island Voyage" or the Intex "Excursion Pro".  I did a little online shopping and found what LOOKS LIKE the Intex website...

but it isn't. It's a scam.   this is the URL --  https://us.intexcs.com/         SCAM ALERT!

THAT URL IS A SCAM.  If you do a purchase through that company, you'll find out that gosh, they won't take your credit card, but they'll take your debit card!  The website is an EXACT copy of the real Intex company website in every way except the prices, which are highly discounted.  The scammers run your money through some known third party portals, and you'll wind up sending money to a place called "SIDEHOUSECAFEANDBAR"...which is a front for a bullshit company based in France, and the website is hosted in Czechslovakia.

OK, well, I lost $88 to those assholes, but that's not Intex's fault.  To be fair, the real Intex website actually has a section on "fake sales websites"  though it takes a little digging to find it.    Here's why I wouldn't buy an Intex product.  I went to the REAL Intex company website to try to report the scam, you know...being a nice guy.  I thought I'd let them know that someone was ripping them off, and they have been ripping them off for seven months (which is when the fake website domain was registered).    Well, the real Intex company customer contact form is programmed to remove your phone number, which you just typed in, after you complete filling in all the other "required" fields.  Of course the phone number is "required".   WTF?  I tried this on three different web browsers, same result on all three. That's quite deliberate on their part. I called their 800-number customer contact number twice, sat on hold for half an hour once, ten minutes the second time, and nobody ever picked up the phone.

This isn't the scammers, this is the REAL Intex company, in Southern California. Fuck 'em.  I went to significant effort to do something nice for them, and this is how my effort is treated. Imagine what will happen if you have a warranty issue.

Be aware that if you purchase an Intex product, the company is actively doing everything it can to take your money and then never give you a way to contact them ever again.

I just tried it and had no problem.  It cleared the phone number once, but when I re-entered it there wasn't a problem and it didn't clear again.  I went through and completed the form and sent it, just to make sure.

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1 hour ago, Grrr... said:

I just tried it and had no problem.  It cleared the phone number once, but when I re-entered it there wasn't a problem and it didn't clear again.  I went through and completed the form and sent it, just to make sure.

Now that's interesting.  I tried it on Firefox, Chrome and Safari...put in my phone number multiple times and it jut kept erasing my phone number. Then I tried it on my Linux machine using Firefox, same thing.  The "submit request" or whatever-it's-called button never went "live".  If they get back to you, I'd love to hear about it.

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I'm still not buying their product. if they make it this hard to get through to customer support, then I think my dollars are better spent somewhere else.

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10 hours ago, Alan H said:

OK, well, I lost $88 to those assholes, but that's not Intex's fault. 

I am sorry for your loss.  May I suggest that in future you pay using the American Express card.  When I encounter a merchant that will not take the American Express card, I make a rebuttable presumption that the merchant doesn't qualify to accept the American Express card due to a history of chargebacks.  The history of chargebacks may be because their customer service sucks, their product sucks, or both.  I shop elsewhere except in those cases where I'm dealing with a niche retailer selling one-of-a-kind products.

In the unlikely event that you get ripped off by a merchant after paying with the American Express card, American Express will get on your side, restore order, and give you your money back, unless you develop a history of beating up good merchants for no reason.

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Be aware that if you purchase an Intex product, the company is actively doing everything it can to take your money and then never give you a way to contact them ever again.

Intex markets, among other products, inflatable toys with a superficial resemblance to watercraft.  Because they are toys they are outside the jurisdiction of the USCG and do not need to meet the relatively stringent safety requirements that manufacturers and importers of watercraft must meet.  (I am baffled that they get away with this)

I have watched people on the water with these things and am surprised there aren't accidents.  I've looked in the statistics and there's just not any data to support the idea that they are dangerous.  Of course, building an inflatable watercraft that's at least as safe as a canoe is a low bar to clear, because canoes have the worst safety record of anything that floats.  (Well, except maybe kite tubes)

I spoke with a woman on the beach last year who had three young kids out in one of the Intex canoe-shaped objects and asked her about it.  She said she was really pleased with it.  She'd had it for two years and taken the kids out five or six times and they had fun and got an experience on the water for a price she could afford.  She expected the kids to lose interest in another year or two and figured it would last long enough and then go in the dumpster.
I try not to judge.

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4 hours ago, Al Paca said:

Boy, what I could do with $ 88.00

You could buy 88 instances of Tally Ho at $1 a pop.

Then you could piss off 88 sets of busybody neighbours in commuter zones as you rebuilt them.

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21 hours ago, Alan H said:

Now that's interesting.  I tried it on Firefox, Chrome and Safari...put in my phone number multiple times and it jut kept erasing my phone number. Then I tried it on my Linux machine using Firefox, same thing.  The "submit request" or whatever-it's-called button never went "live".  If they get back to you, I'd love to hear about it.

Worked for me to, first try. Had a response as well.

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Intex sells pool toys. They  sell cheap vinyl one-step-above throwaway  kayak-shaped objects. They also  sell significantly higher quality PVC/fabric bonded boats which are a lot better than pool toys. They're not as good as an Achilles or Avon, but they're a heck of a lot better than pool toys. A little reading  of reviews and so on, a little looking at YouTube user reviews will show you that.

They also sell inflatable beds and inflatable pools.  Hell, they probably sell inflatable sex dolls.

I'm fascinated by Jackett's post that they managed to submit an online request  to Intex and got a response, since nothing I could do on two computers with four different browsers got their online form to work.

if I get an inflatable kayak, I'm going with Aquaglide or Advanced Elements.  I opened up a complaint through my Credit Union, which administers my VISA debit card with the charge to the French/Czech scam artists (again, that's not Intex's fault!)...we'll see if I get my money back. I'm not holding my breath.

What I might get, according to some searches I did online, where people also got duped by similar sites that routed money through "helpdesk@customercarefor.com"  and  "auto5@servicecentervip.com" ... which is who processed the VISA charge for the scammers, is a cheap pair of sunglasses to "fulfill" my order...or a pair of socks, or who the fuck knows, a box of condoms or something.

Again...not Intex's fault that crooks scam their website.

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I know you're not super stoked about the Czech Republic right now, but there's an excellent Czech-made brand called Gumotex. They bought out their US distributor back in 2016, under which they were previously known as Innova. If you're looking at Aquaglide or AE, you should check out the Innova/Gumotex stuff. They don't use a bladder-in-shell design so it dries out really well, with no hidden places where water can collect and get funky. We've got their Swing II two person inflatable decked kayak and it's fantastic. Mine's a 2013 model and though they've gone to a different fabric, I believe it's at least as rugged. 

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My wife has had an Advanced Elements Kayak for a while. I was skeptical of any inflatable kayak but the AE paddles surprisingly well.

We recently got Oru origami kayaks but recent events have delayed launching them.

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The intex inflatable bucking bull has way more freeboard and cargo capacity than the kayak, just sayin'. 

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On 3/3/2021 at 12:05 PM, IStream said:

I know you're not super stoked about the Czech Republic right now, but there's an excellent Czech-made brand called Gumotex. They bought out their US distributor back in 2016, under which they were previously known as Innova. If you're looking at Aquaglide or AE, you should check out the Innova/Gumotex stuff. They don't use a bladder-in-shell design so it dries out really well, with no hidden places where water can collect and get funky. We've got their Swing II two person inflatable decked kayak and it's fantastic. Mine's a 2013 model and though they've gone to a different fabric, I believe it's at least as rugged. 

I think I'm gonna have to rescind my recommendation, at least temporarily. Gumotex appears to have pulled out of the North American market for now. They have a Swing II for sale on their website, but they're out of stock on most everything else and all their distributors have nothing. I sent them a question about their new Swing II and gotten nothing but crickets in return so that's that. It's a shame because they make nice stuff.

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In the UK there seems to be a nice line of inflatable kayaks made by Decathlon.

https://www.decathlon.com/collections/kayaks

The two-person claims a payload of 331 pounds which is just barely enough for me and a five gallon water jug. Barely. If I lose ten pounds. It'd be just right for me and a dry bag with a jacket, VHF radio, cell phone,  lunch and two liters of water.

They're available in the US, apparently though Decathlon doesn't seem to have brick 'n mortar stores on this side of the pond.  I see in one of the reviews that someone from California bought one, so they're available here.

https://www.decathlon.com/collections/kayaks/products/canoeing-and-kayaking-inflatable-2-or-3-person-kayak-new-itiwit-3?variant=12215251566703#product-features

That one has a 500 pound payload.  I think that's plenty!   It's 12 feet long. I spent quite a bit of time in a 12 foot Perception recreational rotomolded hard shell.

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What about the type with rigid bottom and side panels made like the blow-up SUP boards? I saw one and thought it looked good, but never paddled it. I've got the Intex Explorer and it's a bit like a blow-up dinghy I bought from K-mart about 40 years ago.

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If money and an extra few lbs are no object I'd recommend the Hobie iTrek11.  We have the predecessor i11s and love it.  This year's version is different only in that the drive fins are kick up.  I think that is a desirable option but we won't be upgrading.  It's stable, tough, goes fast with less effort, can carry an average couple to shore (tho not quite as stable), extremely comfortable,  your butt stays dry and it doesn't hurt my arthritic hands & wrists like paddle boats.  You can also use the seat for a beach chair.  The board can be a SUP if you like.

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The requirements of the "shore dinghy" in Hanalei have to be balanced with whether I'm going to use it when I get back.  Honestly, to go the 100 yards in Hanalei and take off some gear and get it to the beach, or to ferry myself and another person out there, the Intex Mariner 3 doughnut is probably the way to go. However, when I get it home, I'll never use it. Also, it's 50-something pounds.  Whatever I get has to fit nicely in the forepeak, and not weigh a ton.  It has to be something that the Mrs. or I will use when we get back....or be so cheap that I can just leave it with the boat (I'm selling the boat in Hawaii, and if I can't do that, I'm donating it.)

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/2/2021 at 10:02 PM, 2airishuman said:

I make a rebuttable presumption that the merchant doesn't qualify to accept the American Express card due to a history of chargebacks.  The history of chargebacks may be because their customer service sucks, their product sucks, or both.  

 

It could also be that AMEX charges the vendor considerably more than Visa and MC.  At least they did back when I ran a retail shop.

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13 hours ago, zenmasterfred said:

WTF Dude:  $88 fucking dollars, are you a for real Yachter?  That is nuttin!

$88 is inconsequential.

I haven't been back to this thread in a while.  I got my "kayak"...

Funny, it looks like a cheap, knockoff pair of chinese sunglasses. In fact that's EXACTLY what arrived...a cheap, knockoff pair of chinese sunglasses.  These are knockoffs of "Oakley" glass, with the same styling and the same "o" on the frames, but funny...the name on the front is "Oakey".

and they're shit glasses. They hurt my eyes.  SCAM.

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