Counterfeit Bluray Writer

Last month January 10 2020 I decided to purchase another drive ~ Asus BW-16D1HT. Canvassing thru different online site like eBay, Amazon, BandH, and local shops were it was not available. I took a chance in chinese site Aliexpress, and there were around 3 seller, the three seller all have same unit prices, the shipping was the deal breaker, 1st one has same shipping as Amazon around $20, 2nd seller shipping was $5, and the 3rd one is free Aliexpress shipping. So I went with the 3rd one, checking the seller posted stock ad photos same as the Amazon photos front, bottom and side view, and then the customer reviews their was 8 reviews 9 orders, 2 of the reviews has photos. Thinking it was the safe over-all I purchase it. The seller sent the item in 5 days, Jan 15th, with an aliexpress tracking number, it took 4 days Jan 19 when it got a sweden tracking # going to middle east. Then this coronavirus outbreak news came in China. I was worried my item would not came out of China, but it did, the tracking number still update every 2 days. Finally it reach on Feb 4, I immediately pickup at the nearest post office after the custom checking. The package was deformed on one side, foam box seems crush, but upon opening the box, item seems ok.

I tested the drive that night excited, but the drive keep on failing using a verbatim 25gb 16x using imgburn at 4x. Then again using panasonic 25gb 4x using nero it failed wasted a good disc. My excitement turn to frustration. I took out the unit and examine the physical looks. Here it was I saw a mismatch label, the circular label was Asus BW-16D1HT but the bottom rectangular label was Asus DRW-24B1ST. Before opening the dispute I took photos of the imgburn error and the label mismatch. Then open a Dispute reason counterfeit goods and refund only, posted the photos I took as evidence. The aliexpress rep will step-in in 5 days starting Feb 9, up to Feb 18.

The next day the seller reacted furiously with a counter proposal of $2 refund, stating that the drive model is not wrong using my own evidence ( my imgburn photos shows the correct model ), also stating the problem is my disc not the drive. Asking me to upload videos, that the problem was the disc not the drive using 2 different burner, that the photos I sent does not qualify as proof.

On Feb 6, I saw his message on the chat box, mocking me saying “What do you mean by silence now? Please answer the question positively.” and I saw a lot of seller evidence uploaded on Feb 5. I said “I am currently at work, also time difference of 5 hrs so please in Bahrain” . The seller does not stop chatting “We sell out so many still no buyer say it can’t write blue-ray disk. show me testing video how to not write. Install NERO this software to test blue-ray write” exactly as it was chatted. The seller took photos as evidence of the drive before sending it but no photos or video that it was working in the 1st place.

On same day I spent upto midnight taking videos of the sold asus drive & failed burn using nero, (as requested by the seller) and then making a video of good burn using verbatim 16x disc but different drive using my pioneer bd drive & my old liteon drive on nero & imgburn at 6x both. Then Upload as buyer evidence. Suddenly the seller tone down increasing the refund to $20. Seller started the chat box again to me saying I was too extreme and that they have sold many unit, and I was the first to make the dispute, I said “This is the problem, you are comparing all buyer are same and will be happy if they got the item. Well I test mine if its ok plus physical comparison, and it turns out its all flawed. The item your sending is the same item in your ads. Think again it is not the same, thats why we have this dispute now.” I also told him in message, “If you only show actual photos of the unit I will not buy.”

During our long messaging chat, I notice the seller mentioned that the model is old and that the head movement is 100% asus bw-16d1ht. Then it struck me, I made another video how he did this “Frankenstein” unit, selling as new manufactured unit by Asus with Site stock photos the seller took out from the other sites. The video I explained, using the asus drw-24b1st as a housing unit (unit bottom label sticker), remove the dvd head, replace with a bw-16d1ht head movement (unit top label sticker). Maybe during transport due to beat-up foam box, drive got a defective head unit, then I upload the video on Feb 7. One day before the Aliexpress rep will step-in, the Seller gave in, refunding my money on Feb 8.

I got my actual money refund on Feb 13, while writing this thread, got my debit card message me refund got credited. Good ending.

Having such bad experience, they still want the buyer feedback them. How do you do such?

1 Like

Now I’ve seen everything…

The guy probably has a pile of parts that were pulled from PC’s taken out of service, and is throwing things together to give the illusion of a new, complete product.

Must admit this is the first time I’ve ever heard of someone doing this with an ODD.

1 Like

Unfortunately shady stuff like this is prevalent all over including at Amazon. This is because Amazon has no control over 3rd party sellers & what they sell until a customer complains.

Tigerdirect (now defunct), Newegg & several other computer parts sellers have also done similar & even worse stuff.
After reading horror stories online of others that got scammed by these types of people, some of our clients got scammed. We checked into it & a few disgruntled/honorable employees of those places informed us of how their scams worked so please pay attention.

You or someone would order a supposedly “new” item (memory sticks, video card, motherboard, cpu, etc.) & it would arrive intact at your place via courier or mail. You install the item & find that it doesn’t work so you contact the company for RMA. It gets sent back & you either get your money back or a replacement item based on what you requested.
These places have special bins for suspect items that were returned because they think that the item is ok but just needs to be be tested by someone else. They keep re-sending these same items back out to the next unsuspecting customer with the hope there will be no issues. Most of these places have their own shrink wrap machines so when you get it, even though it is used, it looks brand new to you but is NOT.
Very easy to tell if an item is used by looking at the memory stick gold pins, video card gold pins, motherboard holes where the screws attach to case for signs of previous use. Those areas will be factory pristine with no wear marks if truly “new” but will show signs of wear if used.
It is illegal for ANY box store or online store to sell items as new when they are used. We know since our companies lawyers sued those idiots on behalf of our clients & they were informed of these laws in court. This applies to North America (Canada, USA) but I am sure that other countries have similar laws.

So buyer beware & please check the manufacturers own site for what you are supposed to get inside THEIR factory sealed boxes. We have seen missing sata cables, hdmi cables, header blocks for motherboards, etc missing from repackaged items from these places & in EVERY case, the manufacture informed us that the item was used because they do QA at factory to ensure it missing parts doesn’t happen. In many cases it was the manufacturer that informed us of this nasty scam practice in the first place. Scary isn’t it :slight_smile:

1 Like

That is a called a " Friendly Drive" it is used to burn UHD discs , and read them also. It has special firmware on it, but in this case it was flashed wrong and its most probably a returned drive that was bricked during the flashing of the firmware process.

The seller covered the entire unit with plastic and place a dated paper seal on one of the screw

1 Like

This seller sent me a fake asus bw-16d1ht with 1.01 firmware, which I read somewhere are non UHD friendly and being old can not be updated to any 3.xx.

1 Like

Ah, I didnt understand that, the original firmware for that drive was 3.00, which was a “Friendly drive” without do anything to the firmware.

1 Like

Firmware 3.00 was the start of the “new” release BW-16D1HT from late 2015. The same model number was used before this date with firmware 1.xx

So then even the sticker label is fake. Manufactured in 2017. The firmware is 1.01 showing in the dvdinfopro photo same in ODC. Serial does not match with the unit.

VinPower Digital is the only place I’d buy a new optical drive if I wanted to add to the 30 odd optical drives I already have . . . that I bought mostly from vinpower - and 16 of them in two 7 target VinPower duplicators.

I got rid of all my old SCSI and e-IDE drives long ago, and still . . . have plenty of SATA drives left.

I have to leave time for stuff like . . . going to the parks, and cheap gear doesn’t further that endeavor very often. That’s just how I roll. My time is pretty valuable to me, eh.

1 Like

The lower ASUS label indicates that the drive is just a 24x DVD writer, without BD writing ablilities.
Really weird fake drive, the fake Pioneer BD-writers were able to write BD-Rs at least.