Home > Focus on Japan 2011 > Never Buy from Dospara

Never Buy from Dospara

July 10th, 2011

For the past week, I have been ordering parts of a DIY computer kit. In order to get it made this weekend, I have been ordering parts online for a while, and on parts that would have taken longer, I paid special expedited fees to get them “within 24 hours”) though some of those took two days). The CPU cooler is an integral part, and Dospara is the only established chain that claims it is both in stock and can be express-delivered. So I pay the extra fee. It takes more than the 24 hours they promised, but only by about 8 hours.

So finally, by late Sunday afternoon, the parts are here. I am ready to go. I open the CPU cooler, knowing that the back-plate is the first thing I have to install. I am all set to go–maker’s video page is open with a tutorial, parts laid out, all ready. I open the box… and immediately something is screwy. The seal is broken. I take the parts bag out, and it’s open, and bits are falling out. Apparently it is a used item, though it was sold to me as new. And then I notice that one of the parts is screwy. This is what it should look like:


And this is what it does look like:


Note the two screws/pins on the one arm. they are upside down. The central pin can be removed and the arm turned upside-down, but then it does not function correctly. I tried various ways of fitting them together, it could not be done. The screws/pins at the ends cannot be removed by the user and turned upside down. Apparently, this was a mismade item.

Right out of the gate, I am stymied. So I try calling the closest retail store. Despite being listed as open, there is no answer. I call the next-closest shop. He lets me explain for five minutes before telling me that the online shop has a number (it was not listed on the contact page in a way I could easily find), and he tells it to me. I call it up, and, in a recording so low in volume I have to strain to hear it, I hear a recording saying their hours are up, so too bad. Dial tone.

I call up the same guy and he tells me there’s nothing I can do–call up tomorrow. I hung up. I was pissed. I know, don’t sweat the small stuff–but so much has been going wrong for me, including a deep cut to my finger, an imminent cold, and a fractured metatarsal in my foot that is making my life hell, I am in no mood for being treated like crap. I took the photos above, set them up in a temp folder on one of my sites so I could show them the problem, and I called their main store in Akihabara. Again, no answer. I tried a different shop. That guy, after another 2-3 minutes tells me to call their online number, and when I tell him they’re not open, he says that the first guy gave me a wrong number. Sure enough, I call, and the number is operating., So, thanks, Mr. Shinjuku Idiot.

Then I get the bad news: I’m screwed, at least for the next several days. Their “system” won’t “allow” them to help me the way it should–namely, express-ship a replacement and have the delivery guy take the old one in exchange. Nope. I have to wait until their repair center calls me up tomorrow (“sometime after noon”), then they arrange for someone to pick up the part, then I wait for them to confirm what they can clearly see in the photos I sent, and then they’ll send me a replacement. I say, screw that, give me my money back and I’ll express-order from someplace else. Nope–no refunds! We have your money, so screw you. That’s the Reader’s Digest account–the call took about ten minutes while this guy gives me the teineigo “by my actions I will ritually demonstrate that you’re not really important to us” speech, in which he tells me that I will have to jump through hoops to get what I paid good money for a few days ago.

Essentially, they don’t give a crap about customer service–they sold me a bad unit, probably a returned item they falsely sold as new, for which I paid to have express-delivered, and then they tell me I have to sit on my hands and wait–after having set this up carefully–until next weekend before I can even get started.

Short version: never buy anything from Dospara–they are, apparently, incompetent jerks who don’t give a damn about you once they have your money.

Categories: Focus on Japan 2011 Tags: by
  1. Troy
    July 11th, 2011 at 04:02 | #1

    This does remind me of my main difficulty of living in Japan, not being able to communicate that well when I need to get something resolved.

    Shoulda gone to Akihabara in person for the small stuff (ah, but if you’ve got a broken foot I can see why you were trying to do this over the web).

    Before TZone (RIP) made their DIY floor, we did a lot of biz with:


    Not sure if they’re still any good, it’s been 15 years already.

    I see they don’t have the 212, either:


    actually looking through their cooler list they really don’t have anything in stock.


    This mail-order crap is why newegg is the best. They have their act together.

  2. Troy
    July 11th, 2011 at 04:26 | #2
  3. Luis
    July 11th, 2011 at 10:41 | #3

    Well, too late for me. As I mentioned, Dospara refuses to offer a refund, even for a defective product. Amazon would refund without blinking. I found similar no-refund policies in other shops in Akihabara, even no exchanges if the device was flat-out DOA. Which is why I did most of my shopping at Amazon. They had the Hyper 212+, but it did not come from them, so no Amazon policy on returns anyway, and it was a 5-day wait.

    Had I known about the xigmatek gaia, I probably would have gone for that–it looks like a copy of the 212+, but for 40% less cost. Water under the bridge. Now that Dospara has my money, I am completely at their mercy in terms of what they will do and when they will do it. Sho ga nai.

    I did, however, have the unit out and could try the size–and, as I expected, it juuuuust fits in my case. The prongs at the top may actually be in contact with the case, but I don’t think that’s even a bad thing, necessarily.

    I have been to Two-top, they seem good, but are often out of stock. And the brick-and-mortar stores are OK, but the web listings are not representative of what they have. The brick-and-mortar stores often don’t have items in stock, and have prices maybe 10% higher on average than what the web shops have.

  4. Troy
    July 11th, 2011 at 11:34 | #4

    >The prongs at the top may actually be in contact with the case, but I don’t think that’s even a bad thing, necessarily.

    well, I wouldn’t want any unnecessary flex on my motherboard, though the good thing is this contact would actually reduce the lever-arm stress of the big cooler stack (I prefer horizontal mb mounting to eliminate this mechanical stress on the CPU).

    Plus you get to have you entire case be part of the heat sink I guess . . .

    Dospara — well, the DOS/V Paradise 本店 — brings back such pleasant memories . . . in the 1990s I hit Akihabara maybe once a month or so to just walk around. Never really could buy anything there (except a new IIcx power supply for Y45,000 in 1993, a 17″ monitor in 1996, and a G3 in 1999) but all the varieties of Japanese PCs — X68000, FM Towns, PC 98, DOS/V — was very special. I miss the first half of the 1990s — I’d even work at NCB again if I could go back then : )

    well, maybe not.

  5. Luis
    July 11th, 2011 at 11:46 | #5

    well, I wouldn’t want any unnecessary flex on my motherboard, though the good thing is this contact would actually reduce the lever-arm stress of the big cooler stack…
    Actually, it’s not that tight a fit. A feather touch if anything; the side of the case doesn’t bulge or even seem to make any contact sound, but it sure looks like there’s contact; there is a convex grill at about that point and half the prongs show under it, and if there is any clearance for the other prongs, it’s likely the 2 mm or so that I measured, no more. Point taken on the stress for the mobo, though.

    Dospara — well, the DOS/V Paradise 本店 — brings back such pleasant memories…
    I thought they were reputable because a student recommended them, but have not been impressed. Neither their selection nor prices seemed great and I never got the impression that they were experts. Completely unexpected: in Akihabara, a Sofmap shop (which I usually don’t like) has the best selection and deals. A Tsukumo shop has the best RAM. Online seems to be even better, but after my experiences, I think Amazon would be the only way I would go, if given the choice.

    I’d even work at NCB again if I could go back then : ) well, maybe not.
    I was going to say! I mean, don’t get me started. Did I ever tell you about how they hosed me with the managerial thing? Brought William and me in at incredibly reduced salaries, with double the workload the previous guys had, with vague promises of the salaries rising after a “probationary” period of one year, and then used the most piddling of excuses to claim we weren’t deserving of them. I think I did mention it to you before now that I think of it. But I never miss the chance to repeat about what a snake-oil salesman Tony was or what slimy bastards the management were.

  6. Troy
    July 11th, 2011 at 12:32 | #6

    Still, I enjoyed my Monday PM, Thursday PM, Friday AM, Sunday AM Shibuya schedule, at least when we were in the old building (the new building we moved to in 1994 was just too ghetto).

    I was young and stupid and didn’t need health care or retirement savings. We did get our share of Aoyama Gakuin, Todai, and other pretty smart and interesting folks in the Shibuya school.

    I think I only had one S level and no A level classes, but when I subbed and got one they were always pretty interesting.

    As far as the experience of teaching English in Asia goes, I could have done a lot worse than being based at the Shibuya school. . .

    I think the manager who gave me that schedule (it didn’t change much in 2 1/2 years) did me a solid . . .

    Then again if I had had my act together I could have shot for getting a real position at Aoyama Gakuin, LOL. Going in, teaching was just a bridge to get a real job in Tokyo tho.

  7. Luis
    July 11th, 2011 at 12:39 | #7

    Were you in Shibuya when Angelo was manager? He was not there for long, but what a piece of work he was… He was clearly incompetent–I observed him once and his class was awful, one small example I remember was that he spelled “surname” as “sir name,” in a lecture that probably lowered the students’ language ability. I remember once I used the term “photochemical smog” when he was around, and he pronounced the term stupid because it implied that chemical reactions could be affected by sunlight, which to him was an absurd idea. He was also quite the hedonist–drunk all the time, once he passed out in his own vomit at an NCB outing. He was hired as a manager (at the same time as William and I) only because he was virulently (and self-servingly) anti-union, and, I guess, because NCB would have taken anyone with a pulse at that time.

  8. Luis
    July 11th, 2011 at 14:49 | #8

    This is what I am talking about.

    With Dospara, I called last night and got the run-around for a while. Then they say what they cannot do–namely, give me my money back or act quickly–and what they can do, they told me, had to wait for the next day before they could even give me a vague idea. Nor do I recall them giving any formal apology. This morning, they called and did some winging for a bit, claiming that they MIGHT be able to do us a tremendous favor by sending us a replacement unit before receiving the bad unit back first, but that’s really unusual and aren’t they being terrific guys. But, before we do that, let us check to make sure the part is in stock. We’ll call you back.

    Well, it’s been 3 or 4 hours, and no callback so far.

    In the meantime, I found Cooler Master’s Japan site here. They had no phone number, so I used their email form. Within one hour, someone wrote back–in English–apologizing abjectly and telling me they could send a replacement part right away, please give us your mailing address. A few minutes later, another rep asked for photos of the serial number (Dospara never asked), which I sent. Within a few hours, they said they would send the part to me, arriving tomorrow, and we’re so sorry, here’s the Yamato tracking number (I didn’t even have to ask).

    Now, that’s what customer service is supposed to be like. Had Dospara acted that way, I would never have complained. Instead, they’re acting like it’s such a pain to help me but since they’re so patient, they’ll look into the possibility of doing something at some point. Cooler Master didn’t even wait for me to promise to send the original part back or arrange how to do it, they acted on faith.

  9. Troy
    July 11th, 2011 at 14:52 | #9

    yeah I remember Angelo. William was a good guy I guess, wonder how he did.

    Unfortunately, LinkedIn is pretty blank for NCB alums . . .

  10. Troy
    July 11th, 2011 at 14:56 | #10


    sounds like the DOS paradise people area all asperger types.

    though in their line of work they get a lot of people trying to return stuff they broke themselves or are unhappy with for reasons that are not dospara’s fault.

    but them selling you an open box thing as new was pretty low.

  11. Luis
    July 11th, 2011 at 15:02 | #11

    Not just that, but I provided them with a photo showing the piece was clearly mismade. I mean, it’s not like I dropped the thing and the screws reversed. This is obviously a bad part. It’s a no-brainer for replacement. They should have a mechanism which allows them to recognize a bad part immediately and have a delivery company place a new box in the customer’s hands if the customer first hands over the old box.

    If that’s too much to ask, at the very least act quickly–to immediately promise, “send the part by Takkubin chaku-barai, we’ll send you a replacement the moment we get it, and refund the express delivery fee you paid for the original.”

    Nope. 20 hours since I first contacted them, and they haven’t even replied to say they have a part in stock yet. In the meantime, within just a few hours, Cooler Master has a part shipped already. I have no intention of calling Dospara up to tell them it’s taken care of–if they won’t even call me back to tell me how many days it will take them, then screw them.

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