Beware of www.sportswearfactory.eu

lazygarfield
lazygarfield Posts: 9
edited August 2019 in Road general
Has anyone dealt with this sportswear company in Latvia before?
The owner name is Kevin Van Lancker.

https://www.sportswearfactory.eu
https://www.facebook.com/thesportswearfactory/
https://www.facebook.com/halebrand (also by them)

We have made an order of custom cycling kits with them back in April 2018 and paid a total of €1,117.60 EURO. (attached is the invoice)

However, they are not delivering on time nor do they want to let us cancel our order. Now they are holding on to our money and forcing us to wait and accept the order which we are not comfortable with. They even threatened to sue us when we said we want to share our bad experience online.

This is the first time I have seen merchant wanting to sue the customers when they failed to deliver.

Does anyone know if there is a way for us to get the money back if we are not in Latvia?
Would really appreciate any help. Thanks!

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Comments

  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    How did you pay? If you paid by credit card, talk to the card company.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    For what it's worth when I used to order club kit it was inevitably delayed.

    How overdue is it ?
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,311
    https://company.lursoft.lv/sportswear-o ... 0203135243 says the company was only registered in april

    as above if you paid with credit card contact the issuer

    but if you pre-paid by bank transfer you have no way force refund if they don't want to give it - unless you can take legal action to prove breach of contract/applicable laws, which i'd guess would cost you far more than the debt

    imo posting about it in public is unlikely to help resolve things

    i'd try and talk with them politely to find out what the problem is and when they commit to deliver

    if it goes nowhere, try contacting http://www.ptac.gov.lv/en/content/consumer-protection maybe they can assist
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • We used transferwise.com for payment and I believe it's similar to bank transfer so we can't chargeback according to the website terms and conditions.

    The reason why we shared this online is not just to seek help on getting the money back, but also to share our experience so others can avoid this. We have dealt with many manufacturers over the last 10 years but this is the first time we encountered a company like this.

    The whole account

    4 April - We started conversation with them. Everything was good.
    12 April - We ordered and made full payment via transferwise.com (believe we can't chargeback)
    25 April - They showed us test print and we feedback accordingly on the same day.
    3 May - They showed us samples of the print and we feedback accordingly on the same day.
    23 May - We asked for status update but there's no reply.
    28 May - They replied they can ship next week.
    12 June - We asked for status update and they said they will sew and ship the clothes next week.
    22 June - We asked for status updated but there's no reply.
    25 June - We emailed to cancel the order and proceed with the refund. No answer on status.
    26 June - We got really uncomfortable and emailed to ask for a refund by 1 July but there's no reply.
    30 June - We informed them we will share our bad experience online if there's no refund from them. They immediately replied that we are ridiculous and the reasons for the delay is because they had other big orders to rush. and they will sue us if we share our experience online.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Transferwise is an Estonian company (next door to Latvia, coincidentally), but with a London HQ. Have you tried calling them?

    Sharing your experience online is not illegal, incidentally. Assuming your account is accurate...
  • Vino'sGhost
    Vino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    hmmm 8 weeks from the design agreed to now is not a long time. Did you agree a delivery date? if not why not?

    Did you do even a cursory check on the company before sending money? if not why not?

    The company started at the same point you were sending them money. Perhaps its their first order and theyre not organised. Perhaps is its a total scam but since theyre still talking to you that doesnt seem likely.

    when was the last time you went on line to praise a good service? I note youre in Singapore, last time i was there i had some shirts made, i was measured and they were delivered 4 days later they were also very cheap. thats unusual not the norm where sports kit is concerned.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Must admit if I had read their blog if have thought twice.

    Did they give any references ?
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,832
    Assuming they are a legitimate business there is no way they will refund you. They may have started manufacture of your kit so refunding you will leave them with a pile of kit which no-one else will want.

    Be more patient and next time chose a company with a better and more established track record and pay by credit card.

    Good luck.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    . We have dealt with many manufacturers over the last 10 years but this is the first time we encountered a company like this.

    Why didn't you use one of the many manufacturers you've used in the past ? I think these lot are just a bit slow, and that isn't unusual in my experience of ordering club kit.
  • Imposter wrote:
    Transferwise is an Estonian company (next door to Latvia, coincidentally), but with a London HQ. Have you tried calling them?

    Sharing your experience online is not illegal, incidentally. Assuming your account is accurate...

    The terms and conditions on transferwise website says no chargeback but will definitely give this a try.
  • hmmm 8 weeks from the design agreed to now is not a long time. Did you agree a delivery date? if not why not?

    Did you do even a cursory check on the company before sending money? if not why not?

    The company started at the same point you were sending them money. Perhaps its their first order and theyre not organised. Perhaps is its a total scam but since theyre still talking to you that doesnt seem likely.

    when was the last time you went on line to praise a good service? I note youre in Singapore, last time i was there i had some shirts made, i was measured and they were delivered 4 days later they were also very cheap. thats unusual not the norm where sports kit is concerned.

    To be honest, everything was good before the payment. Kevin claimed that most orders go out of their door in 2 weeks and we had good faith that it will not take long for ours to be delivered. Later on when the delays happened, he said that custom orders take longer time to deliver and the main reason for the delay is because they received big orders that they had to rush. But we gave up after few empty promises by him.

    He claims that he manufactures for many big cycling apparel brands.

    This is the last message that we received from him after telling him that we will share our bad experience online if he doesn't let us cancel/refund us.

    "Hi
    If we will find any slander, we will sue you.
    Think twice!
    We're big enough to deal with this.
    The goods are ready already for some time anyway. You can't reject a CUSTOM order.
    Anyway. As I said, we re done with it from our end."

    It's not uncommon for us to leave good reviews online if we find the services/products good. Facebook/google/website reviews. If this supplier is in Singapore, we have proper government office that we can lodge a complaint or even submit a claim to the courts to get the money back. He will not be in business anymore if he does this often in Singapore. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what I can do if he's in Latvia. We just contacted the Latvian Police and they told us to write in.
  • Fenix wrote:
    . We have dealt with many manufacturers over the last 10 years but this is the first time we encountered a company like this.

    Why didn't you use one of the many manufacturers you've used in the past ? I think these lot are just a bit slow, and that isn't unusual in my experience of ordering club kit.

    We have tried different manufacturers from China, Taiwan and Italy. Some kits last and some don't. It was by chance that I came across hale cycling page on facebook and started reaching out to them. It attracts us because he claims that he supplied to many big brands such as castelli, rapha, sportful, and many others. He also showed some pictures of the products to validate his claims.

    I guess we are too gullible to fall for that?
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    He says his reps attended Interbike last year. that might well be true - but they don't seem to have had a stand :

    http://ibnet.a2zinc.net/interbike2017/p ... px?Index=S

    Anyone can turn up for a look round. Don't see that's much to shout about.

    I can't see any teams or clubs on their site using their kit. The photos that they have there have different logos on the kit than on the website and different to the Hale cycling logo too ? One of the models on the London pic is in trainers and has a chainring tattoo. I'm not sure if shes a cyclist...

    Fingers crossed that you can get this sorted - it could be that theres bigger orders that have jumped the queue - your order is only small - so most suppliers would do the same I'm afraid.

    8 weeks isn't that long to wait for kit in my experience. I'd not be threatening them yet.
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Lol invalid SSL certificate that expired 159 days ago...you've been done.
  • nicosport
    nicosport Posts: 2
    Hello,

    we have read your complaint about the sportswearfactory.eu (Mister Kevin Van Lancker). We were wondering if you ever received your clothing, unfortunately we have been ripped off by him for 64.000€, for 2 years he paid correctly to gain trust, then he started to ask for payment after delivery 15.000€, became 20.000€ then he paid some and so after a period of 8 months he managed to have a debt of 64.000€ with us and then fled to Latvia, his first company was Orana Dynamics here in Belgium, after that it became Orana Produced Sia, after that The Sportswear Factory and I see its now Sportswear of Tomorrow Sia. He regularly chances the company name to avoid legal prosecution, but after a tip from someone in Latvia, even there he made victims, we could inform the Belgian Federal Police he would be here on the 6th of July, they arrested him on 7th of July at his parental house, the day before his wedding. Unfortunately his parents could bail him out after paying 34.000€ to the State, he appeals against the court's decision. So there will be another trial, if his is absent this time he will be arrested again. Now of course he thinks he is the smarter one.. until we meet in court. I am trying to get as much information as possible against this crook. This person made victims all over the world, hopefully now Interpol will be after him.

    Personally I think he produces not very much, I informed some time ago all the Italian, Belgian, Dutch, French, German and Swiss suppliers to beware of this person. So hardly no one here will deliver him materials unless he pays upfront.

    Kind regards
    PS. He doesn't work for big companies, this is just a smokescreen.
  • Vino'sGhost
    Vino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    nicosport wrote:
    Hello,

    we have read your complaint about the sportswearfactory.eu (Mister Kevin Van Lancker). We were wondering if you ever received your clothing, unfortunately we have been ripped off by him for 64.000€, for 2 years he paid correctly to gain trust, then he started to ask for payment after delivery 15.000€, became 20.000€ then he paid some and so after a period of 8 months he managed to have a debt of 64.000€ with us and then fled to Latvia, his first company was Orana Dynamics here in Belgium, after that it became Orana Produced Sia, after that The Sportswear Factory and I see its now Sportswear of Tomorrow Sia. He regularly chances the company name to avoid legal prosecution, but after a tip from someone in Latvia, even there he made victims, we could inform the Belgian Federal Police he would be here on the 6th of July, they arrested him on 7th of July at his parental house, the day before his wedding. Unfortunately his parents could bail him out after paying 34.000€ to the State, he appeals against the court's decision. So there will be another trial, if his is absent this time he will be arrested again. Now of course he thinks he is the smarter one.. until we meet in court. I am trying to get as much information as possible against this crook. This person made victims all over the world, hopefully now Interpol will be after him.

    Personally I think he produces not very much, I informed some time ago all the Italian, Belgian, Dutch, French, German and Swiss suppliers to beware of this person. So hardly no one here will deliver him materials unless he pays upfront.

    Kind regards
    PS. He doesn't work for big companies, this is just a smokescreen.

    Blimey, well done Nicosport thanks for the heads up
  • Vino'sGhost
    Vino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    kevin Van Lanker is a total W ker
  • Thanks so much nicosport!

    What can we do to help bring him to justice?
    Latvian police advised me to write in but I'm not sure how much is it going to help.

    He could be using transferwise.com to collect payment from other customers abroad too because that's what he suggested us to use. (maybe a way to prevent chargeback?)

    We can afford to lose the money but I think it's good to let as many cyclists know as possible.
  • Just came in contact with another person, this man gave him on loan of 20.000$. The rest you guess... yes he never paid him back, worse he even made fun of it by telling the man he would never see his money again, Van Lancker even called this man a looser. So I am gathering info against Van Lancker to have him arrested for good.
  • Korhag
    Korhag Posts: 77
    Dependant on where you made the payment, distance selling regulations will differ. I have had experience with a similar situation in the UK, I bought a graphics tablet for £700 roughly and expected delivery within 2-3 days. I then learned the company had a bad reputation for not honouring delivery times and was the third incarnation of a start-up company that had been shut down 2 times by trading standards. The company would be reborn under different names and shifting the names of the directors around and was operating a Ponzi-like scheme where the money spent on their products was used to buy new stock to deliver to angry and waiting customers, or not at all and they had very little stock in their warehouse, whereas they claimed the item would be in stock on their website. Hard lesson.

    My advice: if you paid via credit/debit would be to report this to your bank ASAP. If you are in the UK, then the banks will generally give the company 30 days before initiating the chargeback process, in order to allow dialogue to be conducted between customer and seller. Obviously in this case that you have exceeded this time, then they may follow their own process and require 30 days from the time of reporting. Following the investigation, they will in most cases, refund your money to you and then pursue the company in question with their significant resources, (legal action and bailiffs for debt collection) Ultimately at this point it is the bank vs the seller, and they may just write-off the debt if it would too expensive to pursue, (e.g. £100) but if the debt was significant then the banks would follow this.

    Bank transfer/intermediary services are more problematic but I would still report it to your bank as they may still be able to assist.

    When it comes to a police investigation, there would be little to be done by the police force from the purchaser abroad. The police of where the seller originates would be the people to contact and with enough reporting/complaining should conduct their own investigation. This would be a fraud investigation and overseas police forces do cooperate on them, but it very much depends on the level of money involved.
  • Thanks nicosport for the update.

    Kevin has reached out to me a while ago asking me to delete my posts before he's willing to work on a resolution (definitely no refund though) which I didn't agree to.

    Let me know if there's anything I can help even though our loss is much smaller than you guys have encountered.
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,832
    I'd be very careful about saying too much more on this thread and the thread you created on Roadbikereview.

    Nicosport has no track record on this forum (2 posts and both on this thread). Unless he has provided you with evidence to support his claims and justify yours I wouldn't trust or repeat what he says. He may be legit or he may just have an axe to grind about the company or its owner. In fact Kevin may be feeding Nicosport to help you slander Kevin...... that could give him a route to pursue you.

    I am not a lawyer so don't take this as anything other than a word of caution.
  • Unfortunately it seems that I have become the latest victim of this fraudster, Kevin van Lancker. I have gone through exactly the same process as described in the original post and it now looks that I have lost 455 euros. I needed a small run of jerseys, he was happy to send out samples, and then suddenly he went to ground when he couldn't deliver them on time. I count myself lucky that I have only lost 455 euros, but BEWARE : SPORTSWEARFACTORY.EU is definitely a fraudulent business, and Kevin van Lancker a criminal. I don't know how there is a way to bring this message to a wider audience before yet more people fall victim to his scams. Obviously I will contact the main suppliers and warn them, although it seems he is already known to them.
  • Vino'sGhost
    Vino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    Kevin van lancker seems like a wan r
  • OlafB71
    OlafB71 Posts: 1
    Hi there, I read the posts about Kevin van Lancker. I know the situatuion, experienced it years ago allready. So i contacted the embassy in Latvia and police in my home country. Kevin also was sentenced o some years of jail and 60.000euro but did not show up in Brussels court.
    Only legal way to get your money back is via court. An expensive international process. With the relatively small amounts he comits fraude to his victims he knows no one will start this process. Unless all victims get together.
    Other possibiliy is we all make sure everybody knows he is a fraude. So he wil not be able to make any more victims.
    If anyone wants more info, please contact me.Theres more information.
  • hi. Here is a small update from myself. It will be my only comment on here as I am not interested to discuss anything on a forum such as this one. I just want to say that there are usually 2 sides of the story. I recognise that sometimes there are problems in manufacturing custom made sportswear. We, and as far as we know, most of our colleague-manufacturers are doing their utmost to minimise this. However, in certain months, our output is thousands and thousands of pieces with almost all orders having deadlines. Of course, it happens we miss deadlines. Sometimes this is our fault, sometimes this is the client's fault (who, of course, will not elaborate on the latter on here). That is the only reason I do not want to discuss project by project. I am available by myself, or via my team, to discuss any open matters and are doing whatever we can to help everyone as good as we can. Within our capabilities, that is, of course.

    Then, to come back to user @nicosport who posted slander on here. At the time of his post, they initiated a legal case against us, of which I was not aware. My business relationship to them ended somewhere in 2010, if I am not mistaken. At the time we acted as middlemen between teams and them as manufacturer. However, despite the big words here above, that 'interpol was looking for me' and 'he will end up in jail forever', I actually was released the same day and the only reason I had to come to police in Belgium, was to explain why I did not attend the court case. As stipulated earlier, I wasn't aware I was being sued by a company who let me down in the first place. We had debts to them, as the teams who ordered clothing, did not get what they ordered or the deadline was missed. Something typical for this industry, unfortunately.

    When I was made aware I was being sued, I hired the necessary lawyers and in February 2020, the highest court in Belgium ruled I was not guilty to ANY of the claims and neither did we owe Nico Lapage Sport any money. Nico Sport applied for bankruptcy and even family members of the Lapage family informed me they were ashamed to learn the managers of the company tried to hold me responsible, even though they knew I was in my right.

    Today, we work for the leading cycling-, activewear-, and other sports brands in the world. The representatives of these brands visit our factory on a regular basis. We no longer work for teams as we leave this up to the brands. We also try to help smaller brands, which isn't always an easy thing to do. That is why most factories accept only large brands as clients. I see also that the people who claim here (via their side of the story) that they have been let down by us, are some of these small business owners. While I do understand their frustration, I do not think writing on here is the right place, nor will have the issue resolved. Sometimes, the solution in their eyes looks easy, but in reality it could be much more complicated. We do respect every client and try to honor all of their wishes. I see a client on here complain that they transferred 500 EUR to us, while 50% is part of a deposit they would get back when placing orders. It's just an example where one can write whatever they want on here without us providing our side of the story. And as said higher above, I do not think this is the right place to resolve such issues/problems. Imagine I would start to write here publicly the list of clients that owe us money (..). The discussion would never end.

    Further I can send anyone who would like to, a copy of the arrest of the Appeals Court House of Ghent, Belgium.

    The court ruled that NEITHER I, NOR THE COMPANY IS GUILTY of the claims made here by user @nicosport

    Hence, I invite everyone who has any issues, to get in touch with myself ( kevin at sportswearoftomorrow dot com ) or my colleagues and we will always try to help you. This is not a promise that your issue can be resolved fast.

    Respectfully
    Kevin Van Lancker
    +40 742 442 381
    ( kevin at sportswearoftomorrow dot com )
  • trevor.hall12
    trevor.hall12 Posts: 400
    edited July 2022
    Do you have the court papers to prove the verdict against you .They will be public so a link to them would prove what you are saying .
    Your reply is also a copy/paste from elsewhere .
    The op has a different complaint .You have his money he has no kit .
    You need to rectify that ,it's now all on you to deliver the kit the op paid for .
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,186
    I'd still be extremely wary of dealing with them
  • Another forum where the OP posted didn't allow for new users to upload images. Hence I didn't. Yes I will post only the above. Also on OP we have our version of the story but I will not discuss ANY projects individually.




    We no longer work for teams but if you are a serious cyclist and based in Europe, chances are high you have kit that s been produced by us.
  • Those pictures don't prove anything about the op .
    He paid you you dontvdeny it ,you need to honour the agreement ,you already said the order is done ,what possibly can the issue be ?