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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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A warning: stay clear of a company called Monaceio

I went out looking for a moderately low-budget rig. I saw a lot of them on Ebay, and then I saw a guy selling one on Craigslist. Turns out he had a storefront, and just used the CL to garner a bit more interest.
It looked similar enough to most of the rigs I was already looking at. He was personable, and he offered to throw some items in. I checked out their site, it looks pretty alright. My main interest was the follow focus, which he said he'd include.
Here's their site. This is where all the info he gave me came from.

monaceio - 1-stop shop for DSLR rig, follow focus, stabilizer, slider and more...

He didn't send the User Manual until it was scheduled to arrive, which was yesterday. I look a look at it today when it arrived in the mail.

My first concern was that it was packaged in a very small USPS flat rate box. I couldn't imagine the rig he showed me and described in detail as fitting in this box. When I opened it, the rig was wrapped in a Target bag. I got worried. Then I saw it.
It's very cheap materials, probably pieces together from $20 of parts, and... poo pooing LEGOs. This would be the kind of thing I'd use on an indie film if I built it myself for $25, but I'd never even leave the house with it professionally.

http://i.imgur.com/PQGkv.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ukZtf.jpg

It's made entirely of a few brackets, some aluminum tubing, a few screws, and the LEGO construction. The tripod mount piece is a fotopro.com piece, and the bracket for the follow focus is a zip tie.

I looked at the manual, and I now understand why they waited until it was going to arrive to send it, and it isn't available on the site. It tries to guide you through how to use this jerryrigged thing. Had I seen ANY of those photos or info prior to ordering, I wouldn't have.

(The manual they sent me only after I ordered it, detailing how to use their junky LEGO rig was here, but they PMed the moderators and threatened copyright lawsuits, what a bunch of scumbags)

They certainly don't advertise that this is what they're selling. It's very clearly a bait and switch scenario, the pictures on the website look nothing like the homebrewed jump that was received.

Yeah... Every time he referenced follow focus by email, I was shown pictures with a 3rd party follow focus, though he said that it also had mounts for 3rd party follow focuses. I said, "well, if yours is any good, I don't need another, right?" and he kind of glazed over it. I didn't find it shady at the time, but now, re-reading it, I certainly do.

I applied for a return via PayPal and they quickly honored in my favor. The seller was very snarky, almost as if suggesting I was silly to even order their product... it was very odd. He told me he'd only give me a return if I removed my posts warning others about their product, namely the manual for the whole thing, which is of course the only thing that demonstrates the actual rig and not some other built-up rig they've covered in 3rd party accessories to mask what it is; some spark plug rods and clasps, and LEGOs.

Stay clear of these guys. I'll be returning this.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: A warning: stay clear of a company called Monaceio

From site -

"This is the 2012 prototype edition with limited quantity available. Low introduction price is due to prototype product offering".

Jeff
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: A warning: stay clear of a company called Monaceio

I guess "prototype" means it's made with scrap parts and kid's building toys.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: A warning: stay clear of a company called Monaceio

Thanks for the warning. I'm wondering how many returns it will take before this company changes their name and pops up elsewhere.
+1 Karma points for you
-1 Karma for Monaceio
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Old April 12th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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Re: A warning: stay clear of a company called Monaceio

Most of their stuff seems to be sold through Ebay. Their feedback is generally good, but all of the sales are marked "private," so you can't see who's buying what.

I found them on Craigslist.
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