|Problem: Submitted feedback is being contested|
03-07-2003: Jrobb initiated process
03-07-2003: Mwaltzer submitted response
Jrobb describes the events as follows:
Dear AudiogoN Service,
I've been active on your site for about 3 yrs and have never had a problem with feedback, it's all been positive bordering on superlative IMHO and that of the buyers. Username Jrobb, so you can easily verify.
But earlier in the week, due to a non-payment issue on Mwaltzer's, a new member, part (apparently the first transaction he has ever attempted on AudiogoN), I received my first incidence of negative feedback, which was thoroughly slanderous and inaccurate, which I can prove. I would like you to review the email trail leading up to the buyer forwarding a 10% deposit in the form of a money order, and all the things I'd done for him in between, like get quotes from MIT to modify the cable as per his special requirements. What you will find is that we have the case of a buyer who entered into a transaction over the telephone, the transaction was recapped back to him in email, and a confirmation was received the next day. The day after that, which was a Monday (1st possible banking day since our first communication), he forwarded a bank check deposit via Fed-X. Day after that he forwarded a tracking number for the Fed-X. Day after that he decided against the purchase for some spontaneous reason, perhaps newness to the process since he has no feedback and wasn't a member at the time he contacted me. Then 5 days after the verbal agreement to purchase the item, and 4 days after the written confirmation to do the same, as the email trail will demonstrate, he says he wants to walk away and have me issue him a refund check. By then, 8-10 other prospective buyers were told the cables were sale pending, and close to 3 hrs of my time arranging for multiple quotes and RMAs at the buyer's request to be set up w/ MIT. This is NOT RIGHT, and not the way AudiogoN transactions, in my exhaustive experience, are to be conducted. He needs to either buy the cables he agreed to, or use the credit some other way. Pure and simple. And even letting him use the credit some other way I think that is bending over backwards for someone brand new to the site who doesn't appreciate the fine qualtiy effortst many of the members like myself frequently make for other members. But I am trying to be nice so I thought I'd offer him that option. BTW, I sell Ensemble, Lamm, Thor, Electrocompaniet, Merlin, Egglestonworks, Cabasse, and Zoethecus. Small dealer, but a good one with good solid respected brands. My credibility is unquestioned. This fellows is suspect. Draw your own conclusion.
It is my contention that when you review the facts you will eliminate this one instance of negative feedback from my record, since it clearly fails to meet the AudiogoN criteria for negative feedback. Not a single thing in the feedback is true, and I can prove it.
Here's what happened, in summary, then I will send the emails from the "buyer" and from MIT as confirmation of my side of the story:
#1 - Marc Waltzer called me on Saturday nite March 22 at 8:00 pm on my cell phone. We talked for an hour about the item for sale, and how it would work installed in his Utopia-based system. The item for sale was a pair of MIT Oracle V2 spkr cables, brand new never used, and sold initially by and MIT dlr w/ full lifetime warranty last fall to a local guy who I'm selling them for. That was all explained as such to Mwaltzer in our initial conversation. So who the heck knows what fraud he is talking about.
At the conclusion of the conversation, he agreed to purchase the cables for $3200 and asked me to call him the next day, go over all the details, which I did, and then put the transaction in writing for him, which I also did. He said he might need to have the cables lengthened at MIT, which I agreed to provide assistance helping him get this done.
#2 - After speaking with him at length again on Sunday 2/23 and forwarding an email about 3:00 that afternoon recapping the transaction as we had discussed it on the phone, he emailed me back stating that he accepted the terms and conditions. They were pretty cut and dry. $3200 for the cables (which are brand new never used and retail for $9250 on the MIT website currently in their 2.1 version, mine are the 2.0 version), less $350 for a non-refundable bank check deposit, = $2,850 + MIT upgrade charges for lengthening+ shipping.
#3 - After accepting the terms recapped for him in my email, he then sent a bank check, as agreed for $350 as a 10% deposit, on Monday 2/24 The terms, in summary were that after I received the deposited, I would ship the cables to MIT for modification. The arrangement he requested, not my norm but I honored it anyway, was that when MIT received the cables, Kent would email him that they had been received, and were in new unused perfect shape. Upon receiving that confirmation, Marc said he would Fed-X the balance to me via bank check. Upon receiving the balance, I would the authorize MIT to complete the requested modification, and to return-ship the cables to the buyer. I had agreed with Kent at MIT to prepay the upcharge for the mods + ship chg back to the buyer and include in the box along with the cables. Mwaltzer would then reimburse me by adding that amount + the $2850 balance owed to the final payment.
#4 - Later that day on Monday 2/24, after shipping the funds via Fed-X, he emailed me again to provide me the tracking number. He was obviously comfortable with the transaction, now two days after our initial discussion, one day after he confirmed the written agreement on the transaction, and several hours after shipping the FedEx envelope. No mention of buyer's remorse, just business as usual, and at this point he had plenty of time to think about whether he actually wanted to do all this ever since our first conversation on Sat nite two days prior. Obviously he was doing this out of his own volition and under no pressure from me to do any of this.
#5 - He had indicated to me from the beginning that he needed the 10' pair increased to a 12' pair. At his directive, I called MIT and spoke to Kent Loughlin the VP sales. We made agreement that he would handle the modification for the buyer even though I'm not an authorized MIT dlr. Subsequent to that conversation, he sent me an email quote for $500 for the length change, + $35 shipping. This corresponds exactly to what I had quoted the customer initially for the length change. Kent also faxed me a completely filled out RMA form stating who I was, who the customer was, what the product was, what the modification was to be, what the cost was, and of course the RA#. I forwarded that quote to the member in question, and he responded that he had measured wrong:
#6 He initially thought and stated verbally and in email that 12' would be enough, but then sent another email after receiving the first quote, stating that because the binding posts on the Utopias are 42" off the ground, that he not only needed the main cable before the network box extended by 2', but he also needed the "tails" (the terminations with spade lugs attaching to the spkr terminals) from 18" to 48"; otherwise the network boxes would be hanging off the back, or he'd have to get plateaus to suspend them up closer to the binding posts on the spkr. This is a whole lot more work, and a completely different quote from MIT, since the tails are permanently attached to the network boxes, and require the network boxes be disassemble, rebuilt, and re-soldered with the longer tails. Much more involved than just swapping out the main part of the cable with no network and a union connector for another one which was stated as needing to be 2 feet longer.
#6 At the buyer's request AGAIN then, on Tues 2/25 I recontacted Kent from MIT on the phone and explained the buyer's error incorrectly requesting the 1st quote, and re-requested the quote with the lengthening both on the main cable and the tails coming from the Oracle network box. Of course, this resulted in a different quotation cost from MIT, as it's a completely different task they would be undertaking, and much more time consuming. The second quote came back the same as the first from Kent, plus another $600 for parts and labor to disassemble the network boxes, lengthen the tails, replace them with tails that were 3X as long and solder it and put it all back together. And honor the warranty open the work, of course, for lifetime. Surely the buyer didn't expect MIT to accommodate his 2nd request out of the blue for free. I forwarded the email copy of the 2nd quote to the buyer, and arranged for Kent at MIT to re-create a 2nd RMA form and fax it to me reflecting the changes brought about in the quote resulting from the buyer changing his mind on what he wanted modified. The intent was at this point that the deal would be exactly as arranged, but as a result of his changed requirements for modification at the MIT factory, he would be responsible for the upcharge on the quote of course.
#7 - We spoke next on last Wed 2/26 around 3PM. I was in the middle of explaining to him that each time he sent me back to MIT to ask for more work to be done, that there would be an incremental upcharge that he would be responsible for. He blurted out all of a sudden that he wanted his money back, now days after the initial telephone conversation sat nite, 3 days after agreeing to the deal in writing, 2 days after shipping a bank check deposit via FedEx, and one day after re-requesting a new quote from MIT. Meanwhile well over 1/2 dozen prospective buyers were informed that this was a sale pending. At this point, with all the time gone by and special quotes for upgrades made with MIT on the customer's behalf, the deposit was obviously binding. No outclause was ever promised to the buyer, otherwise why would I have requested the deposit in the first place.
#8 - I indicated to the buyer that I was more than happy to hold up my end of the bargain, and that I would ship the cables to MIT for mods, as agreed, as soon as I had another written confirmation from him that he intended to pay the balance and the mod charges at the MIT factory. Despite repeated attempts, I received no such confirmation. What I received is voicemail messages, which I still have and have reported to local police, on my cell phone threatening me with criminal trespass on my property and physical violence against my person. I also emailed the buyer repeatedly that if had decided against the purchase of the MIT cables (after agreeing to buy them verbally and in writing, and then shipping a deposit to back up this agreement) I would allow him to use his deposit any way he wished. I suggested if he wanted to back out of the MIT deal, that he consider any number of other products that I sell that he needs, such as power cords from Ensemble (Switzerland) or digital products from Electrocompaniet (Norway). I never threatened to steal his deposit as he claims in his feedback; quite the contrary, I strongly suggested that he complete the transaction he had engaged me in verbally, agreed to in writing, and then backed it up with financial evidence that the deal was solid from his point by way of FedXing a deposit in the form of bank check.
#9 - Since then, the buyer, who is obviously real new at this, as evidenced by the fact that his only piece of feedback occurred after he supplied negative feedback to me (from Bill Parish at GTT audio who sold him the Utopias, which I told him to buy in our first conversation sat nite 2/22). Now let's see. I have 80 piece of sterling feedback over 3 yrs, this guy has no feedback, well except for one, which came after issuing me negative feedback under the above circumstances. The facts speak for themselves. This feedback has no legitimate basis for being associated with my username, as it stems from a non-payment issue after verbal, written, and financial evidence of his making a commitment to the purchase over several days.
#10 - I will send you to the best of my ability an email trail, both from Marc Waltzer to me, Kent at MIT to me, and me back to Marc. You will see that, as my reputation on your website would predict, that I am playing 100% by the rules and this newbie is way out of line making commitments, verbally and written, following them up with bank check deposits, whining like a baby 5 days later when he changes his mind on the purchase, and then issuing feedback which can be proven to be 100% lies. Let's consider now the content of his feedback:
Point 1 - "Dealer Fraud" - there is ABSOLUTELY NO DEALER fraud. I have the cables right here, exactly as described in the ad, and am happy to ship them upon receiving a bonafide commitment that the buyer actually intends to complete the transaction he committed to verbally, in writing, and financially.
Point 2 - "Lied about selling price" - Patently untrue. The selling price was put in writing to him at $3200 and that is still offered to this day. The quotes came thru as anticipated, he cannot blame me that because he changed his mind on what work he wanted done, and that resulted in an upcharge from MIT, that I inaccurately quoted selling price. The ONLY inaccuracy is that the BUYER incorrectly requested a length change of 10' to 12' when what he really needed was 16 1/2 feet, which also involved a network disassembly and surgery, as well as add'l lengthening on the tail end. If he wants to buy the cables for the price he agreed, then he can. If he wants to get the upgrades done with MIT (AT MY COST, I DIDN'T MARK IT UP A PENNY ON HIM, I WAS BEING A REAL SWEETHEART ARRANGING FOR ALL THIS WORK AND SHIPPING AT NO PROFIT TO MYSELF WITH A COMPANY I DON'T EVEN REPRESENT OR DEAL WITH), both Kent at MIT and myself are happy to complete the transaction as he had initially indicated and quoted.
Point 3 - "STOLE $350 deposit" - I stole nothing from this member. He voluntarily sent me $350 as a 10% non refundable deposit for an item he never purchased. I have repeatedly offered him the opportunity to either complete the transaction or utilize the credit any other way he wished. I went so far as to tell him that if he wanted some other cable or accessory, that I would discount it substantially and then apply his credit. I didn't want him to think I was being mean by saying that he had to pay retail on something else just to use his credit.
I offered him 25% off on a couple accessories roughly in the price range of the credit he had with me, or to use it toward a substantially discounted purchase of a digital product.
Point 4 - "Did not ship product" - Well, only reason the product didn't ship was non-payment on the customer side. As soon as I hear that the buyer intends to complete payment as agreed to verbally and in writing, I'll be happy to ship the cables to Kent at MIT for lengthening - why else would I have solicited these quotes from Kent in the first place. If you don't pay for the product, like duh, well it won't be shipped. The buyer refused to pay after making a commitment. Is it my fault then that the product didn't ship?
'Nuff said on the invalid nature of this feedback. We are basically dealing with an incredibly mean spirited and naive buyer who thinks he can jerk other sellers around by making commitments and withdrawing them, several business days later, and after confirming those commitments verbally, in writing, and with financial commitment as well. We are talking about a guy who, prior to today, had ZERO feedback posts on AudiogoN. Now I would like you to compare that with my feedback posts, and decide which member you believe to be more reliable, truthful, and overall an asset to your website. It's pretty obvious what me and all my colleagues and buyer's think.
I await your prompt response in removing this slanderous and libelous feedback. I will need a response today, as this type or mean-spirited and inappropriate slander is unacceptable to me and detrimental to my business and continuing all the other excellent relationships I have made on your site over the years.
The rest will be forwarded emails to you showing my summary of the deal in the first email. Followed by his acceptance of the terms. Followed by his confirmation of the tracking number sent. Followed by his CHANGE OF REQUEST for the services he wanted MIT to perform. At that point his communication with me degenerated into foul languaged voicemails with threats of criminal trespass and violence.
All this coming from someone who wasn't even a member and had obviously never used AudiogoN at the time he responded to the ad. He signed up the vy next day. And his first feedback EVER is yesterday, 2 days after issuing his one and only feedback to any other member, to me on the first. Take it down pls, as I'm sure you will upon reviewing the email trail I will send to firstname.lastname@example.org
If that is not correct, RSVP with another place to forward them to.
Jrobb is requesting the following resultion:
AudiogoN must remove negative feedback immediately, since the only issue here is non-payment on the buyer side after verbal, written, and financial, and shipping via FedX evidence to suppport the conclusion that he absolutely was committed to this transaction. It should be patently clear that this new visitor to your website, not even a member at the time of his initial inquiriy and no feedback until TODAY (HA!) has initiated, confirmed, and finalized a transaction with me, only to be cancelled, for some invalid reason he did not explain. Most likely his naivete. Again, we are dealing a non member with no feedack if you go back just a week that would be his status so it can't chagne too much since then. NO FEEDBACK whatsoever until yesterday. Pls do compare that to mine, and I think you'll notice a not-so-subtle difference in the track record. I think I am being super kind, as my reputation suggests that I will allow him to wag out of his commitment and use the deposit however he wants. For some reason, he views that neither the purchase he was verbally and contractually obligated to complete, nor the credit towards anytyhing else I sell as acceptable alternatives. Well, that is all I can offer. Pls get the feedback down ASAP and you have my word that when the newbie member Mwaltzer keeps his word and confirms that he actually intends to pay for the cables, that they will same day ship to Kent at MIT for the upgrade and the costs will be exactly as I quoted, which were pass-thru costs at no markup to Mwaltzer. Most buyer's would be appreciative of these gestures that take considerable skill and networked relationships in the industry to execute. Apparently Mwaltzer is still learning the rules of the game (member for 1 wk, 1st feedback yesterday, 2 days after issuing a negative on me) and I need to have you inform him that his manner of utilizing your website for any personl purposes he may have will not be tolerated by either of us. Awful funny nobody else has EVER seen to do this in the last 2.5 yrs, across maybe 80-90 transactions. So you guys have to decide if I decided to become a fraud overnite or if perhaps the newbie member stepped over the line with his feedback and eliminate it. The choice if pretty obious.
Basically, he enetered into a transaction over the phone at length, confirmed it after I sent him highly specific emails, engaged me as a non-authorized MIT dealer and basically just a consultant to contact MIT and secure quotes on his behalf to his specifications. Which I did. Then he changed the quote, well after agreeing to the deal and shipping the funds. All I am doing is insist tht he complete the transaction as he states he intends to in his written acceptance of my recap of the deal to him. If he refuses, I cannot force him to take the cables, but his deposit must be either used torwards the cables he contracted with me to purchase, or since I am trying to be so reasonable, toward anything else I sell. I'll await his response as to how he wishes to utilize the credit, and I'll be happy to work with him in securing good value for it no matter how he chooses to use the credit. But new visitors to your website need to figure out in a hurry that they cannot visit the webiste as a non-member; then contactly longstanding verified members with great feedback and aggressively priced ads running; then make telephone offers with these sellers and ask them to put it in writing; then accept the written terms; then forward bank check deposits in standard form for the sale to go thru; then forward tracking numbers as confirmation of the shipment of the funds and the intent to keep the trasaction moving quickly; then request all kinds of custom modifications to the product requring substanitial time and networking connections with senior personel at the MIT factory; then make rude and threatening demand to cancel the deal on no notice and for no reason whastosever; then putting down a single piece of feedback, each and every sub-section of the libelous phrases, which can and have been easily borne out to be untrue. This has been done in his own words with his own emails. Too bad we have members like this harassing the good guys. Tell him this is not how it's done on Agon, that he nds to either complete the transaction, utilize the credit some other way, or let it remain until he informs me how he wishes to apply it in the future. I've discussed this with 3-4 other dlr and they all think I'm being extremely fair and can't believe what a bozo this guy is being. He actually called town detectives to investigate the case, which I guess they told him to go to small clamis court, and so now he's freaked out and place the libelous feedback which I will prove untrue in the next 4-5 email forward to you from Mwaltzer and from Kent at MIT, as well as my contined dilligent responses to this very challenging brand new member.
It is URGENT that you CAREFULLY review the email trail, as the above is obviously my side of the story and I want you to see what came into, and back from, the other side, leading up to this irresponsible and libelous posting.
Mwaltzer describes the events as follows:
Hello: The first issue is the seller clearly stated in his ad that he was a authorized MIT dealer selling MIT cables. If you contact MIT they will explain that the seller is not, and has never been an MIT dealer.
The second issue is that the seller advertised the price of the lenghting of the cables would be $500.00 for a five feet extenstion. The actual price to lenghten the cable five feet was $625.00 plus $250.00 for a change order fee, for a total price of $875.00 to lengthen five feet. This is $375.00 more than was stated in the ad.
When I found out this information I told the seller to refund my deposit because he did not tell the truth about the actual price to change the length of the cables. I do not believe that I should be held accountable because the seller did not tell the truth of the actual facts of the (total) selling price of the cables.
Third, the seller never stated that the deposit was non-refundable, the only time he stated this was when I asked for my deposit back.
The next issue is that the selling did not stop or close the auction once he received my deposit on 2/26/03. He let the auction continue until the original scheduled closing time. He was legally obligated to sell the cable to the high bidder of this auction, because it was a no reserve auction.
In closing, if the seller is a (true) reputable seller he should have glady returned my deposit because the facts in his ad were (wrong), and he should not expect the buyer to be held accountable because of his inability to correctly state the actual facts of the selling price of his product.
Mwaltzer's proposed resolution:
Simply have the seller refund my total deposit of $350.00. Since he has already sold the cable to XXX for $2,980.00 because he was the high bidder at the end of the auction at 9:15p.m.est on 2/28/03.
Turns out John Zermani needed the UW band and this is the WB. Mr. John Zermain refused the sale as a result and had informed me of that in adance overr the phone which is OK. So the cables are going to come up for sale again, which kinda stinks after this 'newbie' Mwaltzer w/ no feedback except negative againt mine which is exceptional. He put down a non-refundable bank ck and must either buy the cables he committed to verbally, in writing, and financially by way of the bank ck. Or he can use the $350 against anything else I sell, and I promise to give him a great price. But for him to put down this kind of feedback just to weasle out of his first transaction on Agon is inappropriate to my mind, looking to hear the Agon dispute dpt's thoughts. Rgds,
As of 03-12-2003, Audiogon is requesting input from members regarding this dispute. Audiogon is specifically asking input as to what criteria should be used concerning deposits. Should be deposits always be refundable or refundable for in-store credit or non-refundable if item is special order. The ad description, to assist all, is:
>Opportunity to own some of the best and priciest cables on the market for bargain price. These brilliant cables are brand new and have never been connected to an amplifiier or speaker. Network boxes still in factory wrap. 10 ft pair, single wire spades. New retail was $8000, and these were a current model up until a few months ago. They are upgradeable to the absoulte latest V2.1 version for a small cost. But the 2.0 version is very, very close to the 2.1 and is now available now for LESS THAN 50% brand new in the sealed plastic, with blank warranty cards so warranty should be intact.<