|Problem: Inaccurate or misleading ad|
08-02-2008: Alex66 initiated process
08-04-2008: Aslater submitted response
Alex66 describes the events as follows:
The other party advertised the item as Signature, that means with special transformers. Actually they are not, as certified by VTL themselves.
Alex66 is requesting the following resultion:
Since sending them back to USA from Italy would cost another eye, I would get at least a refund for the difference between the regular and the Signature transformers.
Aslater describes the events as follows:
I advertised a pair of used VTL 225 amps for sale on audiogon in May 2008.
The previous owner had advertised them as 225 Signature so I did the same in my text description.
I advertised that I had only the VTL boxes included with this sale.
As you know, many items sold on audiogon no longer have paperwork or shipping boxes, etc as owners discard them when moving, etc.
Buyer contacted me and asked several questions before purchasing such as shipping cost and conversion to 220 volts.
Apparently satisfied to go ahead, Buyer agreed to purchase the VTL 225 amps on Friday, May 23, 2008.
He wired the payment to my bank account and I shipped the amps. He received the amps by mid June 2008.
After receipt, Buyer immediately made several complaints. He requested that I pay the import duty taxes to the Italian government. He also requested that I pay additional shipping charges as he lives in a small remote city.
I declined to pay these charges as they are the responsibility of the buyer.
Finally he asked that I pay to “repair” the amps as they had a loud hum and one amp shut off and blew the fuse. It turned out that the hum and fuse issue was caused by a grounding issue with his home wiring (which I helped buyer to troubleshoot and resolve).
Following that, Buyer asked me to provide documentation on the “Signature” upgrade.
I replied that the amps had no manual or other documentation and I could not provide it.
I did email the previous owner who also told me he no longer had documentation/manual on the amps due to moving, etc. I informed buyer of this.
Buyer contacted VTL who were less than helpful.
VTL could not support or deny a Signature upgrade, BUT could also not describe to us what to look for to verify the upgrade by simply looking at the amps - such as stencil mark under chassis, dimensions of transformer Signature and regular, counting transformer leaves, part number stamped on transformer, endbell color etc.
Buyer promptly asked me for $500 as compensation which I declined.
He then asked for $250 which I did not answer.
He then accused me of intentionally deceiving him and defrauding him.
1. I have been an audiogon member for 7 ˝ years and have established excellent feedback. I am straightforward in my ads. My ad was not inaccurate or misleading. I stated what the item was to the best of my knowledge from previous owner.
2. As I explained to Buyer, I never had documentation or manual for these amps and advertised as boxes included only.
3. I cannot anticipate every question before the sale. If Buyer were uncomfortable without all paperwork included (some buyers are and some are not), he maybe should not have purchased the amps.
4. Buyer stated in an email to VTL that he was very happy with the amps sound “They sound gorgeous with my Altec A-7s.”
5. Per VTL, Unless this pair of MB-225 came back to the factory for the Signature transformer upgrade in the last couple of years, they may not have it. VTL has poor records if no info available for 2 most recent years.
6. This issue is now 74 days since Buyer agreed to purchase. Far in excess of agreement for direct sale 30 day dispute period. I believe that the “signature” issue arose later in process because Buyer was unhappy that I declined to pay Italian customs fees (levied to him by his government for importing goods) and excess shipping and kept working the situation until he found something he feels has some merit.
Aslater's proposed resolution:
VTL is unable to certify that these amps did or did not have Signature upgrade due to poor recordkeeping for the last two years (VTL email to buyer).
Visually, these transformers appear identical to Signature transformer on other similar amps sold on audiogon.
This dispute issue was only raised after buyer requested compensation for import duty etc which I declined.
Issue is now 74 days old.
Buyer stated to VTL that he is happy with the amps.
I propose that we do nothing further on this issue.
Xxxx Xxxxxx is a good writer, indeed. Unfortunately he is missing the problem. He advertised regular amps as Signature, which, given his good faith, is at least misleading. In fact, I decided to buy them and pay the requested price for the Signature status.
It is completely uninfluential that I am happy with them and that the previous owner sold them to him as Signatures.
THE POINT IS THAT I HAVE NOT PAID SUCH AMOUNT FOR REGULAR ONES, SO I ASKED HIM TO PARTIALLY REFUND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULAR AND SIGNATURE.
This refund has no connections with import duties, taxes, etc, which are due.
The fact the question is pending since 74 days is because I contacted him tens of times to find a resonable solution, but without success.
I ask again to get a refund for a product different from that I have paid for.
PS Please inform where to send VTL replies concerning the fact the amps are not Signature, without doubt. Mr. Xxxxxx seems not to read well Mrs. Xxx Xxx's email.
As of 08-06-2008, Audiogon is requesting input from members regarding this dispute.