Fat Lama Reviews
6 ‘Fat Lama’ Reviews
I usually don’t write reviews, but these morons at Fat Llama need to be called out for their shady business practices in the United States.
First of all I have been contacted a dozen times through email and mobile under several different names. One instance on mobile they lied and said we have met up at an event where Fat Llama was. Little did they know I was in Miami on a job, no way we could have met.
Theses clowns have repeatedly asked me to rent my Alexa Mini Package. They got this information through my Sharegrid, which has my website, which has my email. Little do these morons know is my camera package cost 75k and there measly 30k insurance will not cover it.
With that said they have no idea what the F*** they are doing or what they are asking people to put on their Sharegrid clone. I would not trust these people with my money or my gear.
Please do not list your gear for this company. Go with Sharegrid or Kitsplit, people who actually know what they are doing.
I had lens stolen on this platform.
My insurance claim was denied for a reason that did not exist in the policy when I joined ( lack of proof of purchase )
THIS REQUIREMENT WAS NOT INCLUDED in their eligibility criteria when I joined ( I have screenshots ) - it has CHANGED AFTER my claim. ( I. did not have proof of purchase as I bought this lens from an individual on gumtree many years ago )
When searching online I have found that it is not mandatory in most cases :
"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."
Despite many requests I have not been shown full terms and conditions of their insurance policy ( full wording ) or proof that my claim was actually submitted.
Not only that - when I asked of ANY proof that my claim was submitted to their underwriter ( as they claim ) this was FatLama reply :
“This is internal.I'm unable and do not need to release these documents to you. (!!!)
When reporting this to Financial Ombudsman this what they replied :
"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."
So if things go wrong you are on your own - you can't appeal because they will not even disclose documents related to your case to yourself !
Yes, I was offered a "goodwill" gesture. 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”
To avoid more hassle I proposed an alternative - Zhiyun Crane - and send link to Amazon page. The idea was that, this being popular rental item, I can recover lost money relatively quickly.
Yet even that was not done properly - contrary to agreement I received item originating from grey import, without proper paperwork linking me to it.
On top of that I was bullied with fines and my account was suspended. They sent me this text :
“If you keep sending malicious messages to the borrowers on the platform you will be liable to pay £200 for each message”
I have NEVER sent anything malicious to anybody ( please FatLlama - provide example! ), my only fault being trying to protect myself and others from risks by sharing my experience.
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 -
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.
FatLama replied that : This type of incident is incredibly rare on the platform given the vast majority of rentals go ahead smoothly
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.
"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."
Since then I got in touch with other people treated as badly ( or worse ) as myself - please see their reviews on their other profile before they "rebranded" ( from fatlama.com to fatllama.com )
Full story on my blog page.
Please note that the current, mostly positive rating of this platform can be misleading. They re-branded some time ago and have new profile on TrustPilot where they have 8.9 / 10 positive reviews vs 5.5 out of 10 they had before. Even the old 5.5 positive reviews seemed to be fake, as lots of them have been removed as probably posted by FatLama staff themselves.
Stolen our RED Epic Camera and Cine Lenses Kit at FatLama.com
We both partners are London based Film and TV Directors. Our new RED Epic Digital Cinema Camera (46 hours used, S.no- M02642) along with Zeiss superspeed lenses kits and other equipment were rented out at FatLama.com for one day only, on Feb the 8th, 2018 which have not been returned since over last 5 months.
Next day we were informed that the equipment was robbed on the gunpoint. There is no response or very slow response from FatLama.com
Fatlama has not responded to our questions: Who is your insurer? If you have not already reported to your insurer, when will you inform your insurer? Is there any timeline, when we will get our equipment back? Our understanding is that our equipment and earning are safe on FatLama.
Any suggestions from our Media community?
#stolenequipment, #stolencamera, #stolencinelenses, #Fatlama, #RedEpicCamera, #evergreenmediaeurope, #rentalequipment, #newredepic
Posting gumtree ads now seems to come with an added pleasure of having fatlama send you fake messages from people wanting to "rent your item via fatlama" instead. Don't appreciate having my time wasted for no reason.
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 Finacial Ombudsman, which I have done, so this claim will take months to resolve.
To all other leaners 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.