AVOID CSIO Tech
To my loyal and wonderful readers. I’ve been blogging about my interests in the simulation gaming hobby for over 10 years. Later this year will mark the 11th year of this blog. During this time, I’ve shared a lot of experiences (both good and bad) with my readers. While my blog postings can always be found here at GrizzlyBearSims.com, my individual blog postings are picked up and syndicated on several other websites including PC-SG. When I’m actively writing and posting new content, the website and blog postings are viewed by you (my readers) at a healthy rate. Now please understand that I’m not telling you these things to boast or gloat. I’m merely stating that GrizzlyBearSims.com and my blog postings are active on the interwebz and produce a considerable amount of traffic.
About two years ago, I began hearing about a small company called CSIO Tech who was in the process of launching a Kickstarter campaign to develop, build and bring to market an Eaton Fuller style USB shifter to enhance American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2. I watched their Kickstarter campaign video announcement and immediately became a backer. I wrote a few blog postings regarding this product including a full review which I titled CSIO’s SKRS Eaton Fuller Style USB Shifter. Best that memory serves, from the time I initially heard about this shifter to the time I was installing it on my Logitech G27 was only about 4-6 weeks (perhaps slightly longer). The entire process was super easy and left me feeling 100% satisfied. I also personally know several others who also participated in the Kickstarter and all received their shifters and were equally as pleased in the product.
However, about 2 months ago I received a rather odd comment which was posted to the above linked article suggesting the entire Kickstarter and the product was a scam. As I had not had any issues and as previously mentioned knew of several others who also received their shifters right as promised, I figured this posting was meant to be SPAM and I deleted it and didn’t give it any additional thought.
Then right before the holidays I received an email from another reader who also commented on the fact he felt he had been scammed by the CSIO Tech company. I replied to the email requesting more details, but never heard back. As was the case with the first comment, I simply put the idea on the back burner and haven’t really thought much about it.
But things have changed….
Just recently, I received yet another comment on the blog post and this time the reader provided more information which I feel I must act on.
Let me state for the record…
I’m in no way affiliated with CSIO Tech. My only connection to CSIO Tech and the owners/employees of this company was simply as a Kickstarter backer. I paid the same amount of money to back the Kickstarter as anyone else would have done. I received no discount or no other compensation for writing the articles I did almost two years ago. In addition, I do not have any way of contacting CSIO Tech.
But being curious in what has been going on since the time I backed the program and received my shifter, I began to do a little research. After all, while I have no horse in this race….I have several blog articles floating around on the internet all stating what a wonderful product the shifter is and what a wonderful company CSIO Tech is. While I believe most will understand that I have no control over what a company does or does not do to support their customers, I still feel really bad that some appear to have really been treated poorly and perhaps….yes….I’ll say it….SCAMMED!
As stated, I have no connection to CSIO Tech or any of the employees/owners of this company. I could easily delete the blog postings from two years ago and just ignore the comments and emails. After all, this isn’t my fault. But everything posted on the internet is there for eternity. As previously discussed, my blog postings are read by thousands of people and are syndicated on numerous websites. I at the very least wanted to make an effort to see what was going on with CSIO Tech.
My first attempt to contact was to visit the CSIO Tech website. I was hoping to find a “Contact Us” email address, a web form or some other method of contacting. It appears the only way to contact CSIO Tech is to register for an account and log a support ticket. I attempted this process, but after clicking on Support > Submit a Ticket, it does not bring up any physical way of submitting a ticket for support. It’s as if they have deactivated the support ticket process.
Knowing many YouTube Content Creators either ordered or received a SKRS Shifter, I decided to see what folks might be saying on these “review videos”. I read through comments on three different well known YT channels and found comments from just a few weeks ago where folks had been waiting 6, 8 and even 10 months without hearing anything from CSIO Tech.
My next method of contacting CSIO Tech was to visit their Facebook page. One of the first things I noticed when visiting their Facebook page was the date of what appears to be their last post dated 11 May 2017. There are numerous comments from customers who have been waiting on orders. Many postings claiming fraud, scam etc.
Two Sides to Every Story
Yes, I fully subscribe to the theory that there are two sides to each story. I sent CSIO Tech a private Facebook message as this appears to be the only way of reaching them. In my message I explained who I was, I mentioned the email and comments I’ve had posted on my blog about their service (or lack of service in this case) and simply asking them to explain what is going on. I explained that I would wait until end of day Friday, 26 January before publishing this article. But I stressed the fact that while my experience in dealing with this Kickstarter was 100% successful, I feel bad that others have appeared to be scammed and cheated.
Well…it’s Saturday, 27 January and I received no reply to my Facebook message to CSIO Tech. All evidence I can gather points to something seriously going wrong with this company sometime after mid 2016 and the present day. It’s certainly hard to argue with those who have taken the time to contact myself, leave FB comments and YouTube comments for others and all with the same general theme of being scammed.
Again for the record, the experience I had with CSIO Tech almost two years ago was nothing but positive. But things can change and change quickly. I certainly do not recommend doing business with CSIO Tech and for those who have placed orders which have not been fulfilled, I suggest you contact your bank, credit card company or Paypal and file a complaint and request a refund. In addition, you might be interested in filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
While I have no direct experience with either of the two companies I’m going to mention next, it appears these two do offer an add-on replacement shifter (similar to the SKRS). Please do your own research and engage them at your own risk.
AplusB Software Simu Shift Knob
I’m terribly sorry if someone read my blog posting and made a decision to purchase the SKRS Shifter from CSIO Tech and lost money as a result. I truly hope everyone understands that my only connection with CSIO Tech was merely as a customer.
Thank you for reading.
P.S. As you can tell I originally drafted this blog article in late January with the intention of publishing it then. I actually decided to wait in the hopes I would receive a response from the CSIO folks. It’s now mid-March and I know I’ll never get that response from them. I’m sorry to everyone who have been burned by this company.