Monday, March 19, 2012

Horror Movie Empire: A Warning

For those of you who are thinking of making a purchase from Horror Movie Empire, or are not familiar with this internet retailer, let me give you a simple word of warning. Don't.  It's not worth the trouble. If you don't want to take my word for it, please visit this thread over at the forums or the Horror Movie Empire Swindle website.

I first became aware of Horror Movie Empire back in December 2011 when they had a sale on the Shout Factory Roger Corman titles. The deal was so good, I had to place a couple of orders. At the time, the site was advertising that all orders ship within 72 hours. A week after my initial order, I did not have my discs or a confirmation that they had been shipped. It was also around this time that PayPal froze their account for significantly increased activity.
I began to get a little worried, and emailed the guy asking for an update. I was told that I would have my titles before Christmas, but that turned out to be lie. The movies finally shipped twenty three days after the orders were placed on January 4th.  Some of the discs were sent directly from the store and the rest were shipped from I found that a bit strange, but I did get my orders. The sale prices were very good, so I decided that I could put up with the less than adequate customer service and long wait times.

Now the drama really begins. The store advertised another sale, this time on Blue Underground titles. Again the prices were great and the PayPal problems seemed to be sorted out. I decided to place another order for two more movies, but this time I would pay with my credit card instead. That last order was placed on January 2nd and I still haven't gotten the movies yet.

I patiently waited for the movies to ship all the while, keeping up to date with the above mentioned thread on the forums. An employee at Blue Underground advertised the sale on their Facebook page and the orders came rolling in for Horror Movie Empire. So much so, that he was not prepared to handle that many orders. I can understand this, after all, he is a one man shop; so, I waited some more.  (In poor form from Blue Underground, they would later remove the post from their Facebook page and deny ever posting it.)

In this time, Mr. Demetrios Siomos (the man behind Horror Movie Empire) had started up a Sci-Fi Movie Empire, an Adult Movie Empire, bought a house, became a movie producer and shut down his Facebook page. I wrote an email one month after I placed my order asking for an update and did not get a response. Another month went by and I wrote another email asking for that update once again. This time I got an automated reply saying that I would get a reply soon.  Nope, another lie.

Mr. Siomos has written many emails to people (not to me) informing them that he has shipped their orders, yet he has not shipped them.  Mr. Siomos has made promises of refunds, but not given any. Many people have been forced to file PayPal claims and claims with their credit card companies. Those are lucky ones. Mr. Siomos has strung along so many people with false hopes that their window for filing a claim has expired.  Mr. Siomos has promised to fulfill orders and give refunds at the upcoming horror movie conventions that he will be attending. He has since gotten himself banned from them.  Mr. Siomos' PayPal account has also been shut down, he has made Twitter posts insulting his customers, and he has now gone into hiding.

Needless to say, I filed a claim with my credit card company. If their process is anything like PayPal's, they will attempt to contact Horror Movie Empire and eventually rule in my favor when they feel they have given him a long enough time to respond, but he hasn't.  And all the above is the condensed version.  

This could all have been avoided with some honesty and a little common sense. 


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