|Problem: Buyer reports problem with purchase|
05-04-2003: Mharries initiated process
05-05-2003: Adriand submitted response
Mharries describes the events as follows:
I have complete chain of e-mail to support all of the following:
4/19/03 saw sellers posting on Audiogon and sent e-mail through the system.
4/19/03 exchanged pleasant e-mails with seller asking routine questions.
Seller said unit was like new and only several months old. He siad he had boxes, manual, Harmonic Technology power cord, and original sale reciept (which i had specifically asked about).
4/20/03 I offered full asking price, $4000, but asked if seller would accept this INCLUDING shipping.
4/20/03 Seller replied: "I will consider your offer. How would you want it shipped? Let me know about your shipping choice and I can figure the cost."
4/20/03 I repsonded: "As to shipping, I would say "safest" I am not in a hurry, but usually 2 or 3 day is better than ground because it isn‚t getting transferred and sitting around in trucks and depots so much"
4/20/03 Seller requested cashiers check for full amount in advance and said he would ship: "FedEx 3 day Air w/ $4k of insurance.
4/20/03 i accepted his offer and promised to get a casheirs check out ASAP.
4/21/03 Monday, I sent a $4000 cashiers check to seller and informed him by e-mail.
4/24/03 Thursday, seller received cashiers check, promised to ship the next day.
4/24/03 I replied: to please include agreed itmes: manuals, receipt, power cord. And to remember to insure it.
I offered to do Audiogon feedback once transaction was completed.
4/25/03 Friday, seller wrote that the unit had been shipped and supplied tracking number, 1Zxxx03xxxx.
Seller also informed me that he could NOT find original reciept (as promised and agreed) but offered to continue to look for it.
4/28/03, Monday. I attempted to follow up on the traking number only to determine that it was a UPS ground number, vs FedEx 3 as agreed. I informed seller and expressed my concern over this and the missing reciept.
4/28/03 Seller responded: that the shipping was a mistake and that i should not worry: "It will be there Thursday in the shape I sent it in; perfect and like new!!!" He also lectured me on Trust and that if I wanted a reciept I should have bought retail.
4/28/03 I reponded that although i had issues with the breach of the agreement, i looked forward to recieving the unit.
4/30/03, Wednesday. The Unit arrived at my work and was accepted by an employee. I took it home and noted that the carton was scuffed, cut, and torn into. I took digital pictures. Upon opening it, i found the remote wrapped, but loose, and NO POWER CORD. I wrote seller, included the digital pictures of the box and informed him that there was no power cord.
4/30/03 Wednesday. Without apology about the missing cord promises to send it the next day (Thrusday). Then proceeds to lecture again: " If you you wanted the Rowland sent via Air, perhaps you should have paid for the additional cost!!! " It was the seller who had offered and agreed to ship via fedEx 3 day air in the deal.
Seller also promises to "try to do all I can to rectify this mishap."
4/30/03 I replied that I was angry and that I could not check the units operation with out a pwer cord. I sugested the seller overnight a cord to me. He did not respond.
5/1/03 seller writes that he has sent a power cord via USPS and that i should expect it Monday.
5/3/03 I borrowed a power cord and find tha the unit has no right channel output when input #3 is selected. I tried restting the unit and swapping sources. No luck. the balance function from the remote is not working either. I politely write seller of this turn of events. Asking his sugestion for resolution. I also attmpt to contact the original selling dealer as the seller had previously encouraged me to do. This dealer has no interest in helping me and reffers me to the manufacturer. I write seller another e-mail telling of the dealer experience.
5/3/03 Seller replies that it is my problem and i need to take it up with UPS. Offers to talk to claims rep and selling dealer. DOES NOT OFFER TO refund moeny or make good y purchase in any way.
5/3/03 I reply requesting a refund. Stating that seller promised an as-new, working unit. And that he had breached our agreement in terms of condition of the unit, shipping method, original recipt and power cord. further, as the shipper, HE was the one who bough the UPS insurance and was the one who had a claim. I also posed the question UPS is sure to ask, "how do we know this was 100% functional when it was shipped?"
5/3/03 Seller became VERY hostile in his defensive response. "You deal with it....Do not wast my time any more. Act like a man..."
5/3/03 I requested sellers phone number to engage in a one-on one dialog to resolve.
5/3/03 Seller responded: "1-800-WOOP-ASS"
5/3/03 I begged again for a dialog. I acknowedged his and my very favorable AudioGon feedback and my hope that we could resolve this. He did not respond
5/4/03, 1 A.M. I am iniaiting dispute resolution intervention.
Mharries is requesting the following resultion:
I would like an apology and the seller to take back the unit and give me a full refund.
Adriand describes the events as follows:
Just about everything he has stated is inaccurate. About the only true statement he made is that I did agree to ship him the Rowland UPS air. Unfortunatly, my family member who shipped it, shipped it ground instead. I apologized to he for that and also told him I would include a power cord to make up for the shipping error. He agreed. When he received the Rowland he emailed me indicating that the box had been marked up, but did not go into details. He made no statement ever that the Rowland was scratched, nicked up or damaged in any way. He emailed me again saying that there was a problem with one of the outputs, again he did not go into any details. He eventually asked me for advice. I told him that the transaction was unfortunate based on what he was telling me. I suggested that he contact UPS and have one of their representitives look at any damage to the unit and/or box. He did not seem too receptive to this at all. He eventually accused me of shipping it to him in this condition and demanded that I refund him his money. This upset me because he was now accusing me of being dishonest and attacking my integrity. I have many faults, but those two certainly do not describe me. My feedback here on Audiogon indicates that to be true. Also, John at Audio Connection, where I purchased the Rowland, and many other Audio dealers can certainly attest to that. I tried to work with hum, but it seems that rather than hold the real people accountable, namely UPS in this case, he just wants to point the finger at me. UPS is the one responsible here if the Rowland is indeed damaged as Mike indicates. The Rowland never left my possesion in any other shape than perfect! I am certainly sorry to hear of this unfortunate situation. I can imagine his frustration. However, I will emphasize again that he should be directing this at UPS. Regardless of whether it was shipped air or ground, it should not have been damaged by UPS. There is insurance on the Rowland for $4000.00.
In summary, I will say that if everything he says is true, then UPS is responsible. They should pay for all shipping costs and repair costs or refund him his money. I can't and will not pay for something that I am not reponsible for. I will not take the Rowland back in any other condition than what it was in prior to me shipping it off to him. If I was in his position, I'd be demanding that UPS be held accountable. I wish him the best in resolving this matter.
Adriand's proposed resolution:
UPS needs to be held accountable. I have never had a problem with them, but I have heard of others who have. It is always unfortunate. If I was in his place I would be accusing them of damaging the Rowland and not me. It actually baffles and irritates me that he is accusing me in all this. He emailed me many times and with each email it seemed more and more like he was second guessing his purchase. I am sorry for his situation. As previously stated, I will not refund money for something I am not at all responsible for. I recommend that he hold UPS responsible and make them pay for their mess up! Thank you again.
I do not even know where to begin! I hate having to rebut the sellers points one-by-one, but I feel compelled as they are so off base.
Right off the bat, seller states that “just about everything I have reported is inaccurate.” Odd that after more than a dozen e-mails with full salutation, seller cannot even get my name right (my name is other). I find this assertion of MY inaccuracy sadly ironic.
(Also, I note that the Audiogon dispute instructions specifically ask for names NOT to be used.)
Everything I have reported is completely accurate and backed up FULLY by time/date stamped e-mails. I have attempted to report the facts as accurately as possible, including information that casts a favorable light on the seller on certain points. I have no reason to fabricate the story. I have owned Rowland equipment before (as well as Levinson and other) and had NO second thoughts about the purchase…I DID, however, have increasing concerns with a seller who changed the agreement after the fact. This concern apexed when I received a $4000 amplifier that did not work.
The fact the seller readily admits to breaching our agreement by shipping via ground instead of via Air ought to settle the dispute then and there. Also, to clearify, the deal was for FedEx, not UPS.
Continuing, the seller claims he offered a power cord “to make up for the shipping error.” This is preposterous. A high-end aftermarket power cord was specifically offered by the seller as part of the original deal. And even if it wasn't, what "as-new" gear comes without a power cord of some kind? To claim to offer this as a concession for the shipping error is ludicrous!
Then seller, in his response, claims that after delivery, I emailed him “indicating that the box had been marked up, but [that I] did not go into details.” Again, this is an outright prevarication. I sent an e-mail not only describing "gashes through the cardboard", but included a digital picture of the carton damage!
I also told him that while the unit appeared externally in fine condition, without a power cord at hand, I could not check it for operation. I had no standard detachable cords at home.
When the seller indicated that I would not get a power cord from him for several more days, I borrowed one from a friend. This is when I discovered the operational problems: no right channel output with source #3 selected, and no balance adjustment control (offered via the remote only, there is no front panel balance control). I e-mailed seller of the problems and that I tried several different sources and tried to re-set the unit all to no avail. I explained this in e-mail to seller just as I have here. Yet seller in his response claims I “did not go into any details” of the operational issues. What Audiogon member does not understand the problem(s) as I have described? In reality, the seller showed no interest in these problems at the time and was quick shunt me off to UPS and an out-of-state dealer I have never done any business with.
By the way, I write this rebuttal Monday night 5/5/03…I still have not received any power cord from the seller which was supposedly shipped USPS Priority last week and promised to me by seller last Saturday or today "at the latest."
To further clarify, and counter to sellers assertion; I did not accuse him of anything (although his rabid defensiveness makes me wonder). I simply posed the logical question UPS is certain to ask when a claim is made… “can I confirm the full working operation of the unit before it was shipped?” My answer would have to be “no.”
Next via e-mail over the weekend, I reminded seller that HE, as shipper, was the UPS customer, the one who purchased the shipping insurance, and, as such, the one with the relationship with UPS for filing and following-up on a claim. Audiogon’s dispute information confirms that damage during shipping is generally a seller issue. Further, I DID contact UPS today and was told that SHIPPER is ultimate claimant.
In summery, we made a mutually fair deal, with a few simple terms. I met my end of the bargain literally within hours of agreement by sending a cashiers check for the full amount in advance (as the seller requested). I felt confident in this based on his Audiogon feedback.
From the very outset, (the point of shipping), the seller breached our agreement and continued to do so vis-à-vis the cord, the original receipt, and failing to make good on delivering a working “as-new” unit to my door. He became increasingly hostile and defensive in e-mail and REFUSED to engage in a phone dialog (directing me to call “1800-WOOP-ASS”).
I do not know when the unit ceased to operate properly. I DO know that in good faith, I paid in-full, in advance for a working, “as-new” unit, with an original sales receipt, a power cord and shipped via FedEx air. I RECEIVED NONE OF THIS. Instead I am out several thousand dollars, I have a broken unit, a lot of wasted time and frustration, and finally, increasing levels of abuse from this problem seller.
I value my Audiogon membership and my favorable feedback here (and on ebay, user: mharries). I regret having to turn to the site and/or it’s members but this situation and this seller have left me no choice at this point.
I look forward to adjudication from the site.
As of 05-06-2003, Audiogon is requesting input from members regarding this dispute.