Mis-Adventures with FatLLama ( Theft, Failed insurance, Bullies )

October 18, 2018  •  2 Comments

MY FATLLAMA (MIS)ADVENTURE

What is FatLama ( or FatLlama after rebranding ) ? How does it work ?

FatLlama is a peer-to-peer equipment rental site, where, they claim, you can rent almost anything. In my case it was photography equipment. In a similar way to AirBnb or Uber it connects individuals – in this case those who have equipment and want to make money renting it out with those who do not but need for work/assignments or just to test.

       IS IT SAFE ? Well, theft ( among other things ) happens…

As with everything in life there are risks. After all you are dealing with people and valuable equipment so there always be temptation for some to, well, take advantage of certain “opportunities”. My case ? I had an expensive lens stolen. It was either someone who hacked someone else’s account or the account owner who did not care knowing he is leaving the country for good. One way or the other – lens is gone. 
( in case you spot CANON FE 70-200 f2.8L IS II USM serial number : 9120002064 – remember – it’s ( or it was ) mine ! )

When I joined FatLama to rent out my valuable equipment, earning extra was an important factor, but only if safety and security was guaranteed. After all you not only want your stuff back unscathed, in the same condition, properly handled - you want your equipment BACK in a first place. Something that not always happen on the FatLlama site.

So here I was - after some successful rentals ( with some minor troubles – more about that later ) one of my most expensive and best lenses was stolen. But hey – FatLama had insurance in place to cover that, right ?

So called INSURANCE

Wrong. I received NO compensation. ZERO. NULL. 

FatLlama explanation ? “Your claim was rejected because you did not provide proof of purchase”. More about that later. First – lets discuss their “insurance”.

FatLlama claims that the equipment you rent out on site is insured. After all – they charge you a fee, which, in theory, should cover the cost of insurance. However – the insurance they provide is vague to say the least, mainly because :

- You are required to claim on your policy first ( if you have one ) 

         My question here is – why ? So are you covered or not ? If they charge you a fee why you are expected to claim on your own insurance ? 

Quote from their Website ( please note this might have changed by now – I have seen their insurance rules changing myself )

“As per our Insurance Guaranteepage, if you have your own commercial insurance, you will be required to claim on this before you claim on the Fat Lama insurance. If your commercial insurance will not cover it, or your claim is rejected for any reason, you can claim on the Fat Lama insurance. 

- You can’t see the insurance policy wording anywhere on site – I have asked numerous times to send me the policy full terms & conditions – to no avail. They were dodging my requests masterfully. I challenge you to get this from them – I couldn’t. 

 

- there seem to be no coherent policy, as all is dealt with on a ( quote ) “case by case basis”

 

- there is also thing called “DISCRETION”

Their current(*) policy ( changed after my case ! ) says this : "Your items are insured up to the value you paid for them (on your proof of purchase). It is at Fat Lama’s discretion whether we pay out the value, or organise you a replacement item"

In translation : If you purchased your lens for £1000 but now it is worth £500 we will find you replacement, if you found a bargain on ebay and bought lens for £500 but its real value is £1000 - we will pay you £500. So you ALWAYS lose.

This might work for some who rent second-hand equipment purchased specifically for this purpose, but I would not recommend to anyone to lend their own valuable equipment you use yourself as the risks far outweigh the benefits.

However when I asked for confirmation of this I received some clarification :

Quote from their email to me :

"It is at Fat Lama’s discretion whether we pay out the value, or organise you a replacement item, but we’ll always try and please." (Well, they didn’t please me….)

  • This is correct. Either the insurance claim is successful and you are reimbursed for the value you originally paid for the equipment, or the claim is rejected by the insurers. It is then at Fat Llama's discretion as to whether we offer to cover you or not, and whether this will be a payment to you or we organise you a replacement, as in your case.

My main problem here is this – as you are never able to see the documentation related to claim made in your name, how do you know ? 

When I was informed my claim was denied I asked for exactly that. Here is the response I got from FatLama :

This is internal.I'm unable and do not need to release these documents to you. (!!!)

So my claim might have been submitted somewhere. Or…might not. How would I know ? Would you like to rely ONLY on someone’s word ?

 

PROOF OF PURCHASE

First - why I did not have proof of purchase ? Because I bought this lens from someone on gumtree many years ago. At that time it did not even occur to me I might need to for anything - because I bought for myself with no intention of renting or selling ( even so to sell on Ebay or gumtree you do not need receipt of purchase )

Fast forward to 2018 - Lack of proof of purchase proved to be the reason my insurance claim ( if there was any submitted at all ) was rejected. However -  at the time when I joined there was NO information that this is the eligibility criteria ! ( after my case they added this information to site - please see the criteria before and after ! )

Of course I have tried to dispute that – here is part of my email to FatLama :

“As mentioned before – lack of proof of purchase can not be the ONLY ONE factor disqualifying from the insurance claim if the ownership of clamed item can be ( and in my case was, beyond any doubt ) proven via other means. Especially that this requirement was missing from the insurance eligibility criteria on your website when I joined, so it can’t apply. Law does not work back in time. By failing to provide this information ( deliberately or not ) you are fully responsible for consequences. As a member of FatLama platform, who fully followed all the listed rules and fulfilled all eligibility criteria you had AT THAT TIME, I can’t be paying price for this omission.”

The fact that I was successfully renting this lens out to various people on site before the theft meant nothing to them.

I have also made lots of research regarding insurance – and the common consensus seemed to be that lacking proof of purchase can not automatically disqualify you from making a claim or from claim being rejected for this only reason. Here is one example from insurance website :

"Proving purchase and ownership :

Insurers realise that most people don’t keep hold of every single receipt for every item they’ve ever bought, especially if many years have gone by.

For this reason, while a policy’s terms and conditions will often state that proof of purchase is one requirement of any claim, insurers will also accept other forms of proof of ownership ( photos, videos). These essentially replace the proof of purchase, which is then taken as a given."

In a typical FatLama fashion, it was ignored, and I was sent this reply :

I've outlined below in more detail why we require proof of purchase documentation for any insurance claims.

·Primarily, this proves your ownership of the equipment.

·The proof of purchase document indicates how much the equipment was worth at the time of purchase, which is the value we guarantee. Our insurers do not cover price fluctuations on the market. 

·Our insurers specify this as a mandatory requirement when submitting claims. 

 

YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN

Another factor that should make you think twice before deciding to join the platform as a lender is the fact that, if you are not happy with the outcome – you can’t go anywhere for help ( unless of course you want to go full legal )

Their opaque way of insuring means they are not falling under the Finanacial Ombudsman regulatory eye ( I’ve asked them for help – their reply below ) so no appeal is possible. Not a boost of confidence I would say…

Here is reply I have received from the Financial Ombudsman :

 

3 wrz 2018 15:47

Dear Mr (.)

 

Thank you for contacting us. As previously explained by my colleagues, we would need to establish that there was a regulated entity involved in order for us to proceed with a complaint.

 

After conducting searches on our financial business database and the Financial Conduct Authority’s business register, I’ve been unable to locate Fat Llama. This means that they aren’t a regulated business. I’ve also contacted Fat Llama to establish the name of their insurer/underwriter and asked for details of these. Unfortunately Fat Llama were unable to give me any details regarding this.In my experience, I can only assume that this means there wasn’t a policy set up for you. Because of this, I am unable to take your complaint any further, as our organisation doesn’t have the jurisdiction to deal with businesses that aren’t regulated by the FCA.

 

You may wish to contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Action Fraud in the meantime.

 

Yours sincerely

 

J. (…) investigator | 020 (…)

 

In summary – FatLlama can basically do whatever they want, whatever suits them. As they are NOT regulated and not willing to disclose any information regarding insurance ( who is underwriter, full terms & conditions etc. ) there might not even be one. Otherwise – why being so secretive ? If you do everything right, you can be open and transparent. FatLlama is not.

 

GOODWILL

Hey, do not worry. Your claim was rejected ( or you were informed without any evidence that it was ) ? No worries, FatLlama are a good people. They will still try to please you, right ?

They tried to please me…. For a start, they decide to trust me ! ( see extract from their email below )

Goodwill
Given your insurance claim wasn't successful as you were not able to provide sufficient proof of purchase, you were not covered by Fat Llama's Guarantee. Therefore - yes - this offer of replacement was a gesture of goodwill as Fat Llama had no obligation to reimburse you for your equipment. We ultimately decided to trust that your claim was genuine( !!! )  given this was your first claim and you'd been such a good lender on the platform previously, and as such we were able to allocate a budget that was far larger than it otherwise might have been (tbc )

Then they offered a replacement. I was initially happy until I discovered what the replacement offer was. My stolen lens ( Canon EF 70-200 mm F/2.8 L IS II USM Lens
 ) was worth over £1000 ( it was in mint condition ), I was offered CANON EF 70-200mm 1:4 L USM LENS - f/4.0L 70-200 mm which, used, sells on ebay for £350 – 450.

The explanation behind this replacement offer was as follows  :

“Given that your lens wasn’t new, this is a fairly good resolution for you and will restore you to more or less the same situation you were in before the incident.”

For those not very familiar with photographic equipment and the difference in quality various lenses produce I will translate this : 

“Given your Mercedes Class S wasn’t new, this is a fairly good resolution. Fiat Multipla that we have offered also has 4 wheels meaning it will restore you to more or less the same situation you were in before the incident”

I will leave it there.

 

I was not given much time to decide :

 “I’ve been given a deadlineof 5pm Wednesday to close this case, so if you would like us to order you a replacement it must be done by then or the offer will expire. (…). Let’s get something ordered today or tomorrow.

 

Penelope A.

Resolutions Team Lead

A little interesting fact here - the Resolution Team Lead !!! – is giving deadline to herself !

 

So I was left with a no-choice – get something or nothing at all. I decided to try to send my proposal. As one of my best renting equipment was a gimbal, I have sent them a link to Amazon for the model I thought might pay me back my losses quickly via increased rentals. At the time it was on offer – when bought from Amazon you could get extra accessories.

It was much cheaper them my stolen lens ( around £650 or so ) but more expensive then FatLlama replacement lens ( approx. £400 ). They agreed and…. failed to deliver what was agreed. Let me explain.

The gimbal I asked for :

Zhiyun Crane 2 newest ver (with follow focus) – it is still available under this link although the offer is gone ( but I tok screenshot ) and price changed

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0762MYNFN/?coliid=IL17U3WBQYONC&colid=1DLTQANPRI6FO&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

It was plain and simple. Click, buy, send to me with proof of purchase ( I just thought it might come in handy… ;-)  ) and we are all happy. It seemed too much for FatLlama….

I was sent a gimbal – without extras and without paperwork. When asked for it I was told :

This was purchased on Facebook Marketplace so we don't currently have proof of purchase for this item, but we will contact the seller and see if we can get this for you.”

 

Can you imagine ? They knew my insurance claim was rejected for the lack of proof of purchase yet it did not occur to them to provide one when organizing a replacement ? Ignorance or utter contempt ? Finally, weeks later, I got a proof of purchase. Invoice under someone else’s name for a gimbal purchased on grey market via eGlobal Central. As the gimbal does not seem to have serial number this is worthless piece of paper as it does not link the equipment to me in any way. They could have send me scanned photocopy of receipt of any gimbal of the same model. Yet they still praised themselves for the great service they provide ! : 

  • Goodwill – ( continued )
    The Resolutions Team worked with you to source a suitable alternative replacement you would be happy with and were able to arrange delivery to you within less than 5 weeks of the original claim. Given most traditional insurance claims can take several months to conclude, I'm pretty proud of the speed of the service we were able to offer you here.

Hey – we were fast ! We offered sh…t, but you got it quickly ! Be happy !!!

Dear FatLlama, I will give you a hint - it is not the speed that matters – it is the outcome !!!

But there is more. Despite all this I should be thankful to them. I was fortunate ! :

“I'm sorry Pawel, I know this wasn't the outcome either you or I were hoping for, but the insurers decision on your claim is final and there's nothing more I can do to change that decision. Sometimes when a claim is unsuccessful we're unable to offer a gesture of goodwill amount, so we've been extremely fortunate here that we've been allocated a budget for a second-hand replacement.”

 

Translation : Our insurance is dodgy and we will never disclose to you full terms and condition of it meaning we can deny your claim based on a thing that was not mentioned as a necessary requirement but you must be happy for the inferior replacement we might ( might, not must, remember ! ) offer you. Otherwise get lost.

 

So here I am. By the way, I have gimbal to sell, anyone ? New ( I hope so ), with paperwork ( not necessarily related to that particular equipment ). Offers welcome.

 

DODGING MASTERS

I was ( and still am ) considering legal action. I asked where my legal representative should send documents relating to this case. Aparently the FatLlama registered business address is a well kept secret :

·FatLama registered address / etc. where legal documentation from my rep can be sent ( your lawyers, etc )

We are not obliged to provide this information. ( !!! )

I persisted. I tried and asked via emails and chat. It paid off – they “googled it” for me ( see screenshot of my chat ). So this is what I got :

16 Palmers Rd, London E2 0SY.

See on google, looks like building site….

Yet when I checked the Companies House – a different address appeared :
        Registered office address

9th Floor 107 Cheapside, London, United Kingdom, EC2V 6DN

Company status

Active

FatLlama – which one is it ? “Where are you hiding ? Where is your bunker ? 

 

After receiving the gimbal I hoped things might improve, yet they got worse.

 

BULLYING

Unhappy with the outcome and concerned about the safety of the platform I started sharing my experience with others, warning them of possible dangers. Result ?  My account has been suspended.Reason for suspension ( permanent, as things stand ) :

breach of point of 4.2.6 terms of use :

"post or otherwise communicate any false or misleading material or message of any kind"

It did not end there – In the text message they bullied me with a threat that :

“If I keep sending malicious messages to the borrowers on the platform I will be liable to pay £200 for each message”

Apparently, the misleading information I was providing was that the theft on platform happens “often”. As I do not have access to my account anymore I can’t verify that, I probably did. Why I said that ? Well, the person who stole from me stole from at least four other people on that day. And when I contacted one of them, he replied :

“ You are kidding, this is getting ridiculous. This is the third time it's happened to me now”

I have also done some online research and found some reviews / forums where people also had equipment stolen ( or worse – that their data was being sold ! Not sure how this can be verified, but once someone has access to other person account theft becomes a piece of cake ). I also got in touch with another, competitive platform only to discover that they had theft happening there too, so this is an issue with that kind of services.

Take all of this into account and that sounds like “often” to me. 

“Often” for me was not only about frequency – but also a value. If one theft can exceed and wipe out all the income you painstakingly accumulated over long period of time – that sounds like “often” to me.

To quote R – another victim of theft :

“he took my Canon 5d IV, MacBook Pro and gimbal” ( estimate value 5000+ )

And another :

Matty has sent you a new message: 

“That was the same day he stole my equipment to. He took my 5dmk 4 lens and flash.”

 

There are more.

 

Here is the FatLlama explanation in relation to my suspension :

4 lip 2018 17:20

Your account was temporarily suspended as the system detected messages that were misleading about the Fat Llama guarantee( !!! ) and the number of times this has happened. You state this happens "often" which is incorrect. This type of incident is incredibly rare on the platform given the vast majority of rentals go ahead smoothly and borrowers behave in a way we expect. Your account is currently in review until the Security Team have made a decision as to whether to reactivate your account again - a statement from yourself may help your case here which we can pass over to them.
Regards,

 

I need to address the “smooth rentals” here. If they classify smooth transaction as one where item is returned and paid for – maybe, but even those cases can be far from “smooth”. I had people returning equipment late, with missing accessories, with some little damage ( scratches etc – not worthy opening a case but still diminishing value of your equipment ), not meeting on agreed time ( being late ) etc. Add stress related to the fact that you worry if you are going to get your valuable stuff back – and the whole process is far from smooth. Stressful - yes. 

Truth be told – I also met few fantastic people and had rentals going well, but in my opinion it did not outweigh the negative experiences.

And, as with the dodgy insurance – FatLlama is also powerless when it comes to helping with smaller issues – like, in my case again, dealing with late return fees.

 

I had once one lens returned 3 days late – and never got a penny for that. Not to mention I could rent it in that time as I had requests for it – meaning I lost additional income. When reporting this to FatLlama – here is how it was dealt with :

 

29 maj 2018 14:34

As mentioned before, we're never able to guarantee the late return fees, as the rental fees can be only processed by the borrower voluntarily. We will, however, do our best to help you recover them and we do promise is to keep chasing the borrower for the payment via various means.

20 cze 2018 12:34

Thank you for your email

Please be advised that we have now exhausted the means to pursue the payment on borrower's behalf and we'll be moving the case to an automated stage, where our system will be trying to recover the funds from Monica's account, which so far has been unsuccessful. 

19 cze 2018 16:53

We're just reaching out to follow up on the late return dispute you have open with the borrower M. from back in April. 

We are continuing to chase the borrower to pay these fees. However, we have not yet been successful in this regard. As this case has been ongoing without conclusion for a few months, we are happy to offer you £35.00 credit ( As I was lending there to EARN money they knew I would never use it so this offer was basically useless, I was owed over £50 in this case) on your FatLama account  as a gesture of goodwill, after which we can close the case on our end. 

Alternatively, if you would like us to continue to chase the borrower for the full late fee amount, we are happy to do this as well. As you're aware, we don't guarantee late return fees, but we do promise to pursue payment from the borrower on your behalf. 

Please let us know which course of action you would like us to take here. 

 

RE-BRANDING

 

Am I grumpy ? Maybe, but I am ( and was not ) the only one. The reviews FatLama was getting were speaking for themselves ( I have included some at the end of this article ). 

FatLlama managers knew it might finally kill the business so they decided to improve… ( just kidding – REBRAND ! )

So they are not FatLama anymore – they are now FatLlama – with a new profile on TrustPilot where they have 8.9 / 10 positive reviews vs 5.5 out of 10 they had before. Still, they old 5.5 positive reviews seemed to be fake, as lots of them have been removed as probably posted by FatLama staff themselves. Here is the disclaimer from Trustpilot site :

Published 23-08-2018

Dear Trustpilot users,

Our customised software has discovered a large number of fake reviews on this domain and we've removed them. The manipulation of reviews is a threat to consumers and businesses and we take it very seriously.

We'll continue to safeguard the integrity of our community by fighting attempts to game the system, and we'll inform our users when we uncover deliberate attempts to cheat. Read more about how we combat fake reviews here: https://www.trustpilot.com/trust/combating-fake-reviews

The new FatLlama account is “claimed” by them – not sure what that means – but maybe they can edit / remove feedback ? If you know – let me know as well.

·       Claimed: The company has claimed their profile on Trustpilot, giving them access to their Business Account, but we do not have information that they are actively collecting reviews.

 

SUMMARY :

So can you make some money ? If you lucky, maybe. But the risks, for me, outweight the profits. I would NEVER rent again equipment I use for my work. I know there are people who make a living from that – buying equipment ( usually used ) specifically for rent on the platform. It might work for some who can’t afford equipment for small jobs ( I had mostly students and young people renting from me ) but my bet is professionals will be looking elsewhere. I hoped I would get longer-term rentals from pros/businesses but with few exceptions, it hardly happens. Usually ( or “quite often” ) I was getting 1-2 day rentals with some trying to stretch the time for minimal possible payment ( statements “I need for a day only but can return only next week – will I be able to pay for 1 day only?” were not uncommon ). So the hassle of arranging meetings and stress from not being sure if the equipment is going to be returned in good state ( or at all ) only added to my negative experience on site. Of course I also met fantastic people and talented photographers ( and one celebrity Hip-Hop artist ) but overall the experience was far from ideal.

Is it worth it ?

Well, for me to get involved in something I must know I have solid support from the service provider. Be it an ebay, John Lewis etc – I want to be sure that if things go wrong ( and they do in life ) you have a support you can rely on, you have policy you can trust and rules that are fair. FatLlama failed to provide those. Seems like they are another company who want to build their success on the backs of other, while refusing to take responsibility for their failings. They prefer to threat, bully and remove a person from site instead of making things right. So no, it is not worth it.

The strength of a company is shown not when all works perfectly, but when things go wrong. That is why, for example, John Lewis has such a good reputation, that is why Amazon is winning. No hassle returns, clear policies, reliable and honest customer support. This is all lacking in FatLama. Their policies are murky and confusing, if you ask for clarification they dodge your questions, avoid answers. If you reach out to community for help or to share your experience – they bully you and, ultimately – block your account. I have also seen numerous reports on line of the personal data they store being either stolen ( hacked ) so their security seems to be poor. 

 

Lastly – if you had a similar experience and want to join forces to go legal – drop me a text. Together we will be stronger. I have not finished with them.

 

TrustPilot ( and other sites )  FatLama reviews before re-branding.

Judge for yourself

Dems 

 

Published 07 September 2018

A huge waiste of time

A huge waiste of time. I signed up. They gave Me £25 free so as I am a filmmaker and am unable to afford drone I dec8ded to rent a DJI Mavic for 1 day. I paid the fee uploaded my I'd documents and they said to me your trust waiting is not high enough to lend. What does that even mean??


Paul 

3 reviews

Published 07 September 2018

Flat LLama

Untrustworthy Company with poor customer support and Fake reviews which Trustpilot has uncovered.

I have not been paid for my last rental although the borrower paid on time - he is unaware that the money did not reach me

Avoid

 

Frank

6 reviews

Published 02 September 2018Updated 04 September 2018

Not great

Initially it was OKish, a lot of hidden rules but explained clearly by their staff via online chat.

Then I convinced myself to try my first rental which will have a £20 discount by using a promo code. That was not straightforward at all, as by default one can only rent items separately and there is a minimum spending amount required for that code, so I was advised to ask the lender to combine the two items I want to meet that requirement. The lender very kindly did and sent me an offer so I accepted it and afterwards there was nowhere to put the promo code.

The rental experience with the lender is very smooth, excellent gears and very nice chap.

But when I saw the full amount deducted from my account without any discount applied I contacted fatllama wondering if they can do anything about it the answer is a hard no because apparently there was a text box above the 'accept offer' button to put the code and it was paid out already (I really struggle to understand what 'paid out' has to do with my request, seemingly the discount was supposed to be taken from the lender's earning but not out of fatllama's pocket? how generous!!!). I looked through the messages I received and can confirm in the offer message there wasn't such a text field for the promo code.

The discount amount was no big deal but I do not think this company will be easy to deal with when there are money issues, they are certainly not there to provide customer-oriented services. As such a simple request will be easily met if I contact any of my usual suppliers or services providers, who wouldn't want a happy return customer for more business?

I don't want to imagine if anything goes wrong and there is a claim. Certainly won't be as easy as it sounds.

 

Diego

1 review

Published 02 August 2018

Shady terms and bad customer support

Signed up on the service, not knowing there was any "fee". When signing up for a service it must be made clear that there are "fees" using the service as a lender. Posted my ad as a lender. I realised there were fees only by asking customer support because I received "first £20 are on us" offer. Really shady stuff going on here!

They say there is insurance, but I've seen people being robbed or ripped of because that was not covered by the insurance. Not official insurance terms found before posting. Another bad practice. When receiving a borrower's request I've accepted and a popup asked me to add a bunch of personal documents. I deleted my account right there!

Lack of transparency, shady policies and probably scammers


Naheeda 

 

Published 16 July 2018

Atrocious service

Honestly fat llama is ridiculous, my booking was cancelled but they didn’t refund my money. They stole money, which is absolutely atrocious. There is no form of buyer protection with this service they have no care for customers.

 

Maya 

1 review

Published 16 June 2018Updated 16 June 2018

The sad truth about FAT LAMA

The sad truth about FAT LAMA

It is a warning review about today's discovery.
I called today Fat Lama website customer service to ask questions about their insurance policy. If someone does not know what a Fat Lama is - it is a website which connects a potential lender and borrowers of any kind of thing you can imagine but cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, and guns.
So... I got someone on the phone saying 
-"hello". 
So, I am asking 
-"who are you?"
-"K...". 
-"K... who? where from?" I do not know if this is someone from the web or not... I needed to ask 6 questions before I got an answer that he is from "fat lama" "customer service".
I had never had this kind of experience with any customer service. So, asking questions he got scared and have me "manager " to the phone. 
Without introducing himself, he asks me who am I? Wow!
But not this is the most important info here. 
I am not sure how many people are reading the policy and pay attention to it, but I will tell you what I discovered.

1. BORROWER - The price which is on the web is not the price what you will pay.
On the top of it you will pay the merchant fees, and 15% for the company Flat Lama service (which is ok). That means that from $100 rental you will end up paying 100+15+3.5, so the total will be up to appx $118.5. And you hope that it will be the only price.
Their insurance policy for BORROWERS does NOT EXIST. If you will break, lose etc. the borrowed equipment, on top of $118.5 you are reliable for a full price of a new same type of equipment, even if you have borrowed used. 
But what happens to the money (since the "company" has an insurance for the lenders)? Well, even if the insurance pays money to the lender - Fat Lama will charge you and keep all the money of the equipment price and the 15% rental for themselves.
Notice that there is no note where the money goes, so if you hope that it goes to the lender- you are wrong!
2. LENDER- be aware!!
It would be great if lending your belonging was that easy!
Are you already happy that you can lend your equipment and make money? well, wait with your decision until you read this.
Fat Lama charges 15% from your rental, means if you rent for $100, you will end up getting $85 plus you need to pay the pay pal fee appx 3.5 %, and on top of it federal and state income tax.
But This is not the scariest point.
THE INSURANCE:

Fat Lama company does not say where are they insured, what is the insurance policy number (so you can claim it). The only thing they say is that they have insurance up to $30.000. But per one piece of equipment, per all company, insurance for your equipment OR the company’s liability? Which one? Up to, hm...? Do they pay you a full price if the borrower loses or damages your property? hm.... well, NO!
If you do not have your own insurance policy from theft, damage, loss and very important -liability (especially in case of drones), they will pay you NOTHING. They stated that if "your insurance" won't pay then they insurance will take it into consideration but getting money back is not guaranteed.
Therefore, if you do not have your own insurance, you can dream about getting money back. Notice that they do not guarantee that they will give you the money collected from the borrower as well. 
So, they will charge the borrower full amount of your equipment price and they will KEEP all to themselves!! Yes, you read correctly.
So yes, these were my questions:
" So, you are telling me that if the lender has no insurance your insurance won’t kick off? And if the borrower has no insurance in case of damage or loss of the property they must pay full price of brand new equipment to you? And in the end regardless if your policy will pay to the lender for the damage or it won’t, you are keeping the borrower’s collected money to yourself" Is that correct? " The answer was – “yes”.
Now you decide if it is ok for you to deal with them.
Maybe you used their service already and you have your own experience, that is great! All I am saying is -Be cautious!
I would not take a risk either way. And if you do not believe me, call them and ask questions. Ps. you won’t find their phone number on the web :). They simply did not expect anybody to call.
This review is copy write but you are welcome to share it with your friends if you care for them.

Maya R.

 

REVIEW FROM ANOTHER WEBSITE :

https://www.producthunt.com/posts/fat-lama

 

Rueben D.

Pros: 

Nothing

Cons: 

They only pay out claims after you use your own insurance. Its a guarantee not real cover

After having £10K worth of camera gear stolen from a FatLama Borrower. This is what the Director Rosie Dallas had to say to me... 

"The Terms of Service are a legally binding contract which you agreed to at the point of sign up. The guarantee page is not. We are not under any legal obligation to payout to you *in view of your commercial insurance*." 

Nice hey I thought a guarantee was a guarantee? They take 15% commision from me and say it goes towards insurance but when it comes to paying out...forget it. 

The issue is Fat Lama amended the Guarantee and the Insurance FAQ to include the text "Commerical Insurance" AFTER I CLAIMED!!! 

They then have the audacity to try and claim they never editing the text and I should have seen it when I signed up. 

Luckily for me, I used googles cached web pages to go back in time to see what the website used to look like when I signed up and right before I claimed. Surprise Surprise nothing about Commerical Insurance! 

If anyone else is having issues with FatLama lying please contact me and I'll send you the required evidence to back up your claims.They changed the wording around the 1st November-7th November 2017. So this only applies to people who joined before this date. 

My insurance provider has recommended I notify the FCA and Financial Ombudsman, which I have done, so this claim will take months to resolve. 

To all other leanders out there reading this I have just joined KitMapper, Dave seems like a really straight up guy and I don't mind paying a bit more knowing I'm not going to get screwed.

 

 

 


CORNWALL, Magical Cornwall

July 17, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

1 week, 1 tent, 1 magical Cornwall.

 


SIGMA Art 135mm - lens masterpiece.

March 25, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I never though I will betray my beloved Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM lens for portraits. Simply, there could not possibly be possible to create a better lens.  And yet... I might be wrong, you may not agree. But the reviews do not lie, hype is justified. But enough words - see some examples below. Mind you - there is hardly any retouching. View tiny sliders moves in Lightroom, minimal. And this was not a pro session - just a short walk with my kids. No setups, reflectors, all handheld. 


Thai sunset

February 26, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Here is another one of my old round the world trip photos - this one was taken in the middle of the bright sunny day from the boat speeding on a rough sea. Photoshop helped to see how this place would look like during sunset...

and here is a link to it on 500px :

Thailand sunset


Petronas Towers

February 26, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Another photo from long forgotten trip. We have been in Kuala Lumpur only briefly, had no time for lots of photograpy, not to mention evening tripod settings etc.. Ten years later - as fun with restoring and improving old photos - I have blurred the sky and added some toning. Not so bad...

Quite pleased with 500px scoring as well :
Petronas towers on 500px

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