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Updated! The Free Ultimatum

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 214 comments

Talk the talk and walk the walk.

UPDATED. For those who haven't read the first two articles in this case, check out the first and second report here:

Company to Avoid: QMS Inc./ and the second: Owner David Free Responds to Us.

After publishing two reports about Inc./David Free, yesterday, we did not receive any further response from Free, even though we continually updated him in regards to actions we were taking. Free, has remained silent.

However, Free himself signed up for an account to Tom's Hardware (under the name meek48) comments and posted accusations about me. The following are all of Free's accusations about me and Tom's Hardware:

- I lied about ordering the product
- I asked for free products initially
- I committed extortion
- I harassed him as his home phone number
- I don't know how to use shipment tracking information
- I didn't pay for tracking information
- I lied about him and his company
- I did not provide all of the information
- I need "emotional therapy" and I am "a disturbed person"

First, we want to say that, no matter how large or small one's business is, it is simply wrong to mislead, scam, or otherwise steal your customer's money. Now, to address each of Free's accusations.

Free claims I lied about ordering the product

The following screenshot is of the original invoice, dated October 23rd, 2009. The order was for 2 aluminum MacPadds.

In the invoice, the number given for contact is (519) 429-0126.
When you call this number, the voice mail says you have reached "QMS Canada".
This is the same number listed on

Unfortunately, no one ever picks up the phone (this may have changed after our reports).

There is no other number listed on and the contact address is a post office box, located in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada.

The transaction was paid using PayPal, with a transaction number of 5J82548055150974H, on October 23rd, 2009.

Free claims I demanded free samples

The following is a screenshot of the first email I sent to, dated October 30th, 2009.

This initial email occurred 7 days after I placed the order.

Notice there is nothing about requesting free products. Simply, a request to respond and question about why no one answers the phone or emails. Free claims he sent the product "yesterday" which would be October 29th, 2009.

In the first email sent out, I disclosed working for media not once but twice, through my email signatures. I also informed Free of the PayPal payment transaction number. I also informed Free that if I do not receive a tracking number, I would file for a refund through PayPal.

Free responds saying he will see about giving me a tracking number.

Free claims I committed extortion

Free claims that I exerted power after the fact to try and "get free product" and get a tracking number. I think he needs to look up the word extortion. Based on the above two emails, I did not try to "get free product" and fully disclosed to Free that I was press. Extortion to get a tracking number? When was the last time someone was accused of extortion for fully paying for a product, and then having no one reply, and then demanding a tracking number?

Free claims I harassed him at his home phone number

After a futile attempt to call the business number listed on, I found another number listed as a "Customer Service Phone" for which is (519) 429-3141. This is the number Free claims that is his home phone number that I called to harass him at.

At this point, the number is officially listed as customer service, not "residential" or "home."

So you have three options, try emailing, try calling the main line, or try calling the customer service line. Only one of those gets answered. From roughly 12:30 PM EST to 6:30 PM EST, I attempted to call's listed numbers 13 times. Only the last 3 times were they answered. This is roughly 1 call every 30 minutes to a business, who had my money, and refuses to provide shipping information.

Free claims I do not know how to use tracking information and did not pay for tracking information

In the first email screenshot, Free offers to look up the tracking information for me. He does not ask me to "pay extra" for it. In the screenshot on the left, after the dispute, Free emails me a tracking number for a Canada Post shipment: cx245270096ca

Unfortunately for Free (and myself), Canada post indicates that this number is for a shipment that occurred on October 3rd, 2009. I didn't order until October 23rd, 2009. Free appears to have sent us a fake or invalid tracking number. The live Canada Post tracking results can be seen here. Attempts to reconnect with Free for an honest tracking number are denied. As of this writing, we still don't know the real tracking information.

Free claims I lied/misrepresented his company

I really don't see how. I provided all documents, screenshots, and PayPal logs, to prove my point. Free hasn't provided anything except a statement claiming that I am wrong about him and his company on

Free claims I exclude details from my reports



I've already pasted the first two emails in this report. The remaining 2 are above. So far, I have provided all necessary documents for my report. The same cannot be said for David Free and his business practices and ethics--of which he highlights on his site. The only details I exlucded are what Tom's Hardware readers already see in my first report.

Free claims I need emotional therapy and am a disturbed person

This may or may not be true. Sometimes I find myself pretty upset about certain things, like in this case. But I'm not the one who wanted to "start world war 3" instead of just supplying a simple tracking number. I'm also not the one who explodes and swears at their customer over the phone.

I am still boggled by the fact that Free still refuses to release a tracking number instead of continuing his charade. I can only conclude that Free took this approach because his claims were dishonest.


Since Free has stopped communication with us entirely to get this situation resolved, the only course of action was to provide information to the Canadian Competition Bureau and to the RCMP Fraud Prevention Department.

The CCB is a Canadian enforcement agency that helps to seek out, close, and prevent fraudulant business practices. They focus on businesses that do false advertising, display misleading claims, and just outright lie. David Free and have been reported to the CCB for some of the claims listed on, such as being resistant to H1N1 flu virus. claims that the product is antibacterial, yet Free fails to realize that H1N1 is not a bacteria. Also, claiming false medical features is a serious misrepresentation and a serious offense. The CCB has a record of my reports, as well as a full record on David Free and

As for the RCMP Fraud Prevention Department, I spent about an hour on the phone with them. They asked for all the details I had on and David Free. The RCMP FPD is also aware of these reports, as well as other reports made by's previous customers.

The CCB can be reached at:


Telephone: 819-997-4282
Toll-free: 1-800-348-5358 (Canada)
Toll-free TTY: 1-800-642-3844 (for hearing-impaired only)

Fax: 819-997-0324

Mailing Address:
50 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0C9

As for the RCMP Fraud Prevent Department, they can be reached here:

General Inquiries: 613-993-7267

Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
Fraud Prevention Department: 1-705-495-8501
Fax: (705) 494-4008 Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426

A report has already been submitted tothe CCB and the RCMP FPD. For the record, the BBB in Ontario gave a "F" rating. According to the BBB report:

Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of F

Click here for an explanation of BBB Ratings.

  • BBB does not have sufficient information to determine how long this business has been operating
  • Failure to respond to complaints filed against business
  • BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business
Dear Mr. David Free

You claim over the last 4 days that we here at Tom's Hardware are liars. Yet, throughout this debacle, you still refuse to produce a real, valid, honest, tracking number for a product you said shipped. You also continually say our reports are dishonest, yet have provided nothing to support your claim.

What arguments do you have left in your arsenal?

UPDATE: It appears Free has opened up a blog about Tom's Hardware and I on and linked to it from his website. You can find his blog here.

UPDATE2: Free himself admits on his blog that there wasn't a tracking number for products shipped using Canada Post for travel to the USA. This claim in itself is wrong. But the most appalling part is the fact that Free forgot he emailed me a tracking number on the day of our original dispute--even though the tracking number he sent didn't work.

UPDATE3: Free removes all comments from his blog, including his own. New comments starting to appear.
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Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    ryanegeiger , November 3, 2009 9:54 PM
    Most entertaining article series in quite a while. I think this should be the new theme of the website.

    TomBusters. Electronics Consumer Advocates and Protection Services.

    Yay fun!
  • 36 Hide
    ecnovaec , November 3, 2009 9:55 PM
    good for you! Most people just brush off bad business and count their license. Thanks to you, hopefully he won't be scamming/ripping people off anymore!

    +1 for TH!
  • 33 Hide
    GoldenEyeX , November 3, 2009 9:52 PM
    WWIII eh? Well I'm on your side.
Other Comments
    Display all 214 comments.
  • 25 Hide
    GoldenEyeX , November 3, 2009 9:51 PM
    WWIII eh? Well I'm on your side.
  • 33 Hide
    GoldenEyeX , November 3, 2009 9:52 PM
    WWIII eh? Well I'm on your side.
  • 22 Hide
    GoldenEyeX , November 3, 2009 9:53 PM
    ^ The repeat happened by itself after the browser just randomly refreshed.
  • 37 Hide
    ryanegeiger , November 3, 2009 9:54 PM
    Most entertaining article series in quite a while. I think this should be the new theme of the website.

    TomBusters. Electronics Consumer Advocates and Protection Services.

    Yay fun!
  • 28 Hide
    matt87_50 , November 3, 2009 9:54 PM
    "I'ts antibacterial design makes it resistant to H1N1 flu virus!!"
    "I'ts weather-proof design makes it resistant to motorbikes!"
  • 36 Hide
    ecnovaec , November 3, 2009 9:55 PM
    good for you! Most people just brush off bad business and count their license. Thanks to you, hopefully he won't be scamming/ripping people off anymore!

    +1 for TH!
  • 9 Hide
    ryanegeiger , November 3, 2009 9:56 PM
    matt87_50lol,"I'ts antibacterial design makes it resistant to H1N1 flu virus!!"like,"I'ts weather-proof design makes it resistant to motorbikes!"

    More like:

    "It's childproof locking design prevents it from being opened by kittens!"
  • 6 Hide
    sonic-boom , November 3, 2009 9:56 PM
    He lost the tracking number in all of the the orders he is getting for his non-existent mouse pad.
  • 22 Hide
    aznriptide859 , November 3, 2009 9:57 PM
    Good job on contacting the CCB/BBB - I hope they will close down this fraudulent business ASAP. Such a person should NOT deal with people who are expecting a product, which they paid for, delivered in a timely manner. I hope there might be a few people here that MAY have ordered from Macpadd and are located in Canada, to see if they have had similar experiences as well. This business better be closed.
  • 20 Hide
    amdgamer666 , November 3, 2009 9:58 PM
    Tuan you are my hero. Scum like Free aka meek48 need to be wiped off the face of the planet. I hope the CCB sets things right.
  • 16 Hide
    ryanegeiger , November 3, 2009 9:58 PM
    Ohh! Even better:

    Consumer Advocasy Protective Service Leader Operations Central Knowledgebase


    ... no?

    ... okay =(
  • 21 Hide
    ominous prime , November 3, 2009 9:59 PM
    Stick it to him Tuan, we need to make an example out of this bastard. As he's probably scammed thousands of people out of products. Keep us updated! I want to see this guy go down, and go down hard.
  • 17 Hide
    doomtomb , November 3, 2009 10:01 PM
    The guy's a prick. I checked out the website and it makes all these claims about being green and being anti-bacterial for hospital use and all of this. It's a sheet of aluminum market as a mouse pad. Basically the claims are lame and false. It appears as though he is trying to follow a trend with his claims to being a "green" business.


    1.Our manufacturing processes use minimal fossil fuels in production and delivery
    2.There is minimal waste in the production of MacPadds and any residual materials are recycled
    3.Our mouse padd will last well beyond any neoprene mouse pad in the market today
    4.Our branding/labelling for our product is even environmental using laser etching instead of plastics
    5.MacPadd consists of no brominated flame retardants (BFR) components unlike all other mouse pads in the market
    6.All materials we use are from recycled sources and can be recycled or reused by our customers (i.e. bubble wrap containers)
    7.Our use of an online store does not contribute the creation of buildings and their use of materials that stresses the environment
    8.Our shipping takes a little longer but it uses existing transportation infrastructure that ships to the masses and reduces the carbon impact.

    He also infringes on Apple copyright numerous times with the use of their logo and their slogan.
  • 24 Hide
    randomizer , November 3, 2009 10:05 PM
    He is going to get burned so hard.

    Wake up Mr. Freeman. Wake up, and smell the ashes.
  • 8 Hide
    nerdherd , November 3, 2009 10:05 PM
    I'll admit, this series of articles has been pretty funny. But also pretty disastrous for MacPadd...
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2009 10:05 PM
    Seriously Like some people have mentioned before, this has been a very interesting ride. I'm glad fraudulent businesses like this get what they deserve. I just don't see how this Free guy can make his own hole any bigger, but I am sure he will prove me wrong.
  • 8 Hide
    ElectroGoofy , November 3, 2009 10:08 PM
    You go Tuan! Sic the law on him!

    Fail, Free!
  • 3 Hide
    IronRyan21 , November 3, 2009 10:12 PM
    Hahahahahahhaah what a loser...... signs in under meek48. Lame-o.
  • 4 Hide
    duckmanx88 , November 3, 2009 10:17 PM
    lol Tuan you should just cite the million newegg/tigerdirect items yo've bought which give you a tracking number and a link to the shipping company. I can't believe this Free guy came on here to troll/cry. Keep owning him Tuan.
  • 3 Hide
    masterasia , November 3, 2009 10:20 PM
    This is soooooo funny. I can't believe this was all over a stupid tracking number. Macpadd and David Free sucks. I hope this story gets dugg up by other sites so it can be plastered all over the Internet so that scum David Free can stop doing buisness. That's how Cash4Gold got noticed for doing illegal stuff.
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