|Problem: Buyer reports problem with purchase|
05-02-2003: Terry initiated process
05-05-2003: Franges submitted response
Terry describes the events as follows:
March 20: Sent payment for Koetsu Black described by seller as "only a few years old" and "The cartridge is good for about another 2000 hours.Looks virtually new under scope."
March 20: I requested/insisted seller send me serial # before shipping me the cartridge, so I could contact Musical Surroundings to confirm age. Seller ignored my request, shipped cartridge without my permission to do so.
March 30 approximate: I received cartridge. I emailed Musical Surroundings and sent serial #.
April 2: I received confirmation from Musical Surroundings that they did not have the serial # in their database, which meant it was definitely older than 4 years old, when they became importer. Based on the writing on cartridge (Musashino Audio Labo.), they estimated it was from mid to late '80s. I have email with this information.
April 4: 4. I picked up the turntable on the 4th. My dealer (who is a Koetsu dealer)inspected and installed; dealer; dealer determined it was a mid 80's Koetsu Black, not a recent Black as the seller advertised and confirmed to me in email. Sound was also terrible, "dead and lifeless."
April 4: Wrote seller, asked for refund, as cartridge was MUCH older than he advertised and confirmed to me. Seller refused, claiming I was ignorant and new to vinyl, and should let it break in for 100 hours. Also questioned my dealer's integrity.
April 11: After I requested refund several times between the 4th and 11th, with not response, I finally received response. Even though I sent copies of the correspondence from importer, Franges insisted I was wrong, and accused me of trying to "scam" him. This is possibly "libel" on his part. He was very rude, arrogant, and insulting. I have a copy of this email message. Some of the language includes: "You obviously do not know what
you are doing ." Also: "I have dealt with people before who like to "taste" the equipment then want to return it. How do I know the people who were handling your cartridge did not hurt it just to sell you a new one as I have been warned of this scam?"
April 11: I filed a complaint with Paypal, after writing Audigon and trying to file a complaint. I was referred to the Dispute Process. However, I thought PayPal would freeze the seller's acocunt and refund me. I just found out today, that they would not do so, saying they honor only shipping disputes. I may pursue further with charges of "fraud."
May 1 I am filing this claim.
I have been informed by other Koetsu owners that there are fake Koetsu Blacks coming out of Hong Kong and that they are stamped with "Musashino Audio Labo." I therefore do not know if Franges sold me a very old cartridge and lied about its age, or is selling a counterfeit product. Either way, I request Audiogon's assistance in getting a full refund. I have been a loyal Audiogon member and have bought and sold many itmes with no problems. This is by far the worst transaction, and the rudeness, arrogance and insulting manner in which Franges has conducted himself is in itself an issue. I would be happy to forward you his correspondence, and my polite communication.
Terry is requesting the following resultion:
I am requesting a full refund.
Please note that I have been informed by other Koetsu owners that there are fake Koetsu Blacks coming out of Hong Kong and that they are stamped with "Musashino Audio Labo." I therefore do not know if Franges sold me a very old cartridge and lied about its age, or is selling a counterfeit product. Either way, I request Audiogon's assistance in getting a full refund. I have been a loyal Audiogon member and have bought and sold many itmes with no problems. This is by far the worst transaction, and the rudeness, arrogance and insulting manner in which Franges has conducted himself is in itself an issue. I would be happy to forward you his correspondence, and my polite communication.
Franges describes the events as follows:
I am very sorry he has a problem with his cartridge. But I called the Musical Surroundings he used and they said Black cartridge looked virtually new.I bought the cartridge used and did not know the actual age but my technician had it under the scope and said it looked new and mounted it and said it sounded fine.Only after the cartridge was paid for and shipped did he ask for a serial number and asked me questions about the Koetsu.He e-mailed me about 4 times the same day immediately after he paid by paypal with all these questions which I tried to answer.I had already sent replys to about 9 other members to say the cartridge was sold and shipped with some wanting to send payment right away just like he did.I mentioned to terry to work with the adjustment of the arm and so on to dial it in but he said he listened to it and immediatly took it off to ship back which I said no way.To be truthful I questioned his experience with vinyl and tried to offer him ways to problem solve the setup of his table.I do not know if his guy ruined the cartridge because it was perfect when sent and Terry admitted his guy said it looked fine undeer a scope.Again I am sorry he feels the way he does but he will not have a problem selling it if he does not like it.My feedback is good.I sent one member a $400.00 XLO tonearm cable to make up for not finding the original Graham cable to send with the Graham 1.5 arm.I believe in honesty and fairness but I do not want to be a pushover for someone who does not like something they bought.
p.s I did not "lie" by saying the cartrige was a few years old.Saying to him it seems like he is "inexperienced" is not a rude statement because in my some 25 years in audio the dealings with "members" has become worse.
Franges's proposed resolution:
Terry should post his cartridge for resale if he does not like it as he will not have a problem selling the perfectly fine cartridge I sold him.
I apologize in advance for the lengthy rebuttal. But I wanted to state the "Facts" as I saw them in detailed chronological order. Thank you in advance for your time and patience, and I do apologize for having to involve you in this dispute. This is the first time I have had this trouble, hopefully it will be the last.
PS I reviewed this posting, and at least in preview mode, the fields for "From," "To," and the "Date" do not appear. However, when I reviewed the text I pasted (I created my original in a Microsoft Word document), all the info is there. If it is missing in the rebuttal you receive, I can send the original document for reference.
RESPONSE FROM TERRY
Fact: Franges is not telling the truth regarding many details.
First off, my request for the serial #. I requested the age of the cartridge before sending money.
Fact: I requested the serial # the day I purchase the cartridge. Franges refused to send it.
Fact: I sent money on March 20th.
Fact: Franges shipped cartridge March 25th. He had plenty of time to send me the serial #.
Fact: I remained polite throughout. I expressed concern about the cartridge early on.
Fact: I politely asked for a refund on April 2nd.
Fact: Franges finally replied on April 11. He claimed that he listened to it himself and it sounded superb. My dealer would be glad to reply to this lie. Franges also insulted my integrity, accused me of being a scam artist, and “threatened” he would post negative feedback.
I did everything in my power to make this cartridge work. I was very excited to buy a Koetsu Black, I thought it would be the nicest cartridge I ever had. (I had until recently a Benz Glider). From the lengthy emails above, you can see I did my best to confirm age of cartridge.
Summary of Facts:
Franges misrepresented the cartridge’s age, avoided revealing the serial #, shipped without my permission, chose a carrier without consulting me (UPS is not practical to home addresses), shipped 5 days after I purchased without providing serial #, then insulted my integrity and experience, claimed to be very knowledgeable yet acted “unaware” that this was an old cartridge, and was overall very arrogant in his correspondence.
I have also been an audiophile since 1985, and have owned Heybrook, Rega, Walker CJ55, Music Hall, Nottingham Interspace, and now Nottingham Spacedeck (with Wilson Benesch Act One tonearm) turntables.
I currently use Gordon Rankin’s Wavelength Co-tangent phono preamp. It is capable of handling the Koetsu, I did try the different loads and found 100 ohm worked best, but the cartridge was still dead. Gordon personally confirmed it would work, as output was similar to the Shelter 501 he used to import.
Amplification is via Unison Research Smart 845 mono blocks, controlled by a Unison Research Mystery Two preamp. CD is a N.E.W. Ventura Two tube-based CD player, modified by Andy Bartha Audio. Speakers are Von Schweikert VR4. I am also in possession of Alon II and Avance Signature 8 Mk. II speakers. I have gone to the trouble to list all my equipment to dispute Franes claim that I don’t know what I am doing. I know when I have been cheated.
Request for Action: I would humbly request that he be asked to provide a full refund or risk loss of rights on Audiogon. In addition, his insulting and arrogant behavior would seem to be inconsistent with Audiogon general rules for conduct, but that is not my right to determine.
As of 05-06-2003, Audiogon is requesting input from members regarding this dispute. As emails are unverifiable, they cannot be used for the Dispute Process and have been removed from this Dispute.