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View Full Version : Tis the season to rip off



Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-17-2010, 06:42 AM
There's a thread on Uke Talk board titled "There Are Angels Among Us". I believe this and surely it is true. This time of year bring out the best in most people.
But it also provides other people with an opportunity to show the darker side of humanity.
Let this serve as a warning to anyone dealing with a guy from the UK with the initials "TC". I've been trying to collect for an uke I sent him for over a month and he has neither paid me nor responding to any of my emails. Maybe he died. It happens I guess. Just be warned.
I've always sent my ukes out before receiving any payment, then requesting payment after the customer is satisfied with his purchase. I figure it's the fair thing to do when buying an instrument on-line without being able to see it and inspect it beforehand. I guess I'll have to change that policy now and demand payment before shipping. I've lived with the Spirit of Aloha in my heart for a long time. Pretty naive huh? I never claimed to be a good business person!

Skitzic
12-17-2010, 06:48 AM
That really sucks. I always thought that was a real stand up thing for you to do...I don't blame you for changing it though. People suck!

BOO!!! HISS!!!

tattwo
12-17-2010, 06:51 AM
Dont lose the Spirit because of one JACKASS. Karma will get people like that eventually

Gmoney
12-17-2010, 06:56 AM
Wow - just wow. I would have never thought a "try before you buy" plan existed in the world of the quality uke's you build. In fact, I would have thought just the opposite. I plan on signing on to a custom next year & would expect to pay something substantial before you even start.

Hope that "TC" comes through w/the payment!

Chap
12-17-2010, 07:05 AM
Chuck,

I really feel for you, it's obvious from the work you do that everything you make has exquisite craftsmanship, and having someone disrespect that is a real blow. Contact the cops in the UK, either to follow up, or maybe they can help find out if anything happened to the "buyer".

And seriously, demand a deposit...it's not unexpected from buyers, and you can always return it if they return the uke. Your time, skill and effort are worth it.

UncleElvis
12-17-2010, 07:07 AM
Mr. Moore,

When I do eventually order my ukulele from you, and, of course, only if this is ok with you, I will come to you to pick it up, and I will pay you on the spot, quite happily, in any currency or combination of currencies you choose.

(Of course, I'd also love to come over at the beginning so you can get a feel for who I am and to work out with you what I want! *grin*)

No one should have to put up with this nonsense, especially just before Christmas.

Sorry you're dealing with this.

Pueo
12-17-2010, 07:26 AM
So sorry to hear that Chuck.
Be sure that you give everyone here a detailed description of the ukulele so that if he tries to move it on EBay/ CraigsList or whatever we can keep our eyes peeled for it and try to get this guy.

That just sucks.

How can TC live with himself?

curlykoa
12-17-2010, 07:32 AM
I had success with invoking ho-oponopnohttp://www.ancienthuna.com/ho-oponopono.htm once. While in Hawaii and the issue was resolved fairly.

UkuleleHill
12-17-2010, 07:33 AM
I am so sorry to hear about this. I hope that you finally hear from him and this is all resolved soon!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-17-2010, 07:40 AM
I had success with invoking ho-oponopnohttp://www.ancienthuna.com/ho-oponopono.htm once. While in Hawaii and the issue was resolved fairly.

This really excellent advice for everyone! I'm a believer in the practice of ho'oponopono and have used it successfully in the past after reading Dr. Hew Len's book on the subject. It really works and is compatible with the way I like to think I live and work. Thank you for the reminder. Aloha !!!!!!!

fitncrafty
12-17-2010, 07:51 AM
I am sorry to hear this chuck... I do hope that this person will stand up and make good with you... Really stinks.... I believe that Karma will indeed come around for both you and 'TC'

Flyfish57
12-17-2010, 08:03 AM
All good things always seem to be ruined by one A-hole...Hope you get your payment or your uke back.

rickmorgan2003
12-17-2010, 08:32 AM
I'm a big believer in Karma, but a bigger believer in collection agencies for $1000+ debts. The 30% collection cost is worth it. Surprising how many people will ignore your calls and letters but soon as an agency letter arrives, payment is made.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-17-2010, 08:33 AM
I'm a little sorry I started this thread. I don't want this to turn all humbug. I didn't do it to grumble or whine. OK, maybe just a little but. My intention was to warn others, especially those who build and sell ukuleles, that there are people who take advantage of others especially this time of year, which can be a difficult time for so many.
But this thread has served as a selfish reminder to me of how many wonderful people I've met in my "profession". I've met many interesting people and have made life-long friends of many of my customers. If I've helped to instill some trust and the Spirit of Aloha by conducting business the way I do, then so much the better. 99.99% of you I'd like to hang out with! Many of you I have. Being burned on one uke out of the hundreds I've made isn't going to destroy me. I'm over it. There are things we can learn from any of life's situation if we choose to.
Mahalo to those who've commented & Merry Christmas.

rickmorgan2003
12-17-2010, 08:37 AM
Hey Chuck, you might want to look into escrow.com. The buyers puts the money in when the order is made, when you ship it to them they have a certain time to review it before the funds are released. If they aren't satisfied, there is a dispute resolution process. Reasonable fee, and it protects all parties.

knadles
12-17-2010, 08:50 AM
Chuck,

First, let me say that I think it's fantastic that you're able to work that way...sending out the instruments, especially your very expensive instruments, without payment up front. I respect you for that, although I suspect you may want to change that policy now that word is out about that. I'd hate to see you put in all that work again for some scumbag.

That said, could you post any photos of the instrument? There's a chance the guy might try to sell it, and it would be nice if we here in the community could keep an eye out for the stolen merchandise (because that's exactly what it is).

-Pete

hoosierhiver
12-17-2010, 09:13 AM
Sorry to hear that Chuck, I had a recent aggravation with a customer as well and initially thought it was the same person you were talking about. The vast majority of uke players are such good folks, it's a shock when you find one that isn't.

Vic D
12-17-2010, 09:33 AM
That said, could you post any photos of the instrument? There's a chance the guy might try to sell it, and it would be nice if we here in the community could keep an eye out for the stolen merchandise (because that's exactly what it is).

-Pete

I was thinking the same. There's no way on earth that uke can surface without the uke community seeing it. Chuck, you've got great ethics, hope all turns out well. Do post pics.

mm stan
12-17-2010, 09:34 AM
Aloha Chuck,
Sorry to hear about the bad news...it always just takes one to change things and our perspective...Generally all ukers are cool!!! Maybe if you post pictures and I hope any of our uu members living by this
guy check him out......you could file a theft report with the police where he lives too, if you do not hear from him in a certain time limit... Good Luck!! MM Stan..

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-17-2010, 09:38 AM
Sorry to hear that Chuck, I had a recent aggravation with a customer as well and initially thought it was the same person you were talking about. The vast majority of uke players are such good folks, it's a shock when you find one that isn't.

Yeah, that's exactly the way I feel. People who are into the ukulele are pretty cool people. By giving the guy's initials and general location I was hoping to reach out to people like you who ship ukes out regularly.
But the following will prove just how cool this community is. I've just received an email from a customer of mine in London who happens to be an attorney who assures me that he can resolve this situation to my satisfaction. Sometimes just having the right letterhead helps. He also wanted me to know that, in the Spirit of Aloha, he will take care of it for free, after Christmas. Thereby restoring my faith in both people and lawyers!
Book 'em Danno! Case closed.

JT_Ukes
12-17-2010, 10:00 AM
Yeah, that's exactly the way I feel. People who are into the ukulele are pretty cool people. By giving the guy's initials and general location I was hoping to reach out to people like you who ship ukes out regularly.
But the following will prove just how cool this community is. I've just received an email from a customer of mine in London who happens to be an attorney who assures me that he can resolve this situation to my satisfaction. Sometimes just having the right letterhead helps. He also wanted me to know that, in the Spirit of Aloha, he will take care of it for free, after Christmas. Thereby restoring my faith in both people and lawyers!
Book 'em Danno! Case closed.

Faith in lawers???? now you are just talkin' crazy!!

Aloha and happy happy Chuck!

brucemoffatt
12-17-2010, 10:53 AM
Hi Chuck,

I had the great pleasure of buying a higher-end mandolin a few years ago. It was no problem for me or the many others who have bought from him to post a deposit up front and I respect the guy for having good practices. As well I'm in awe of his luthiery. I haven't bought a uke from you, but judging from the posts in this forum you're held in the highest esteem, and I doubt anyone would object to you requiring a deposit to start a build, and using an escrow agency for final payment/delivery.

Anyway, great news that a Lawyer has stepped up. Hopefully the buyer is reading the thread and has already sent the funds.

Bruce in Adelaide

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-17-2010, 11:05 AM
On my web site I state that I require a 25% deposit before I begin the build with the balance due upon completion and before shipping. Lately however I've spent too much time on building and not enough on the business end and I've been pretty laid back about it. It's really time for me to hire a business manager to free me up of all that stuff.

thistle3585
12-17-2010, 11:15 AM
I take a non-refundable deposit of $100 to discourage speculators and the balance due prior to shipping. I'll give 3-4 days inspection period with a full refund upon return of the instrument in the same condition. I know a couple guys that have exclusive agreements with store to act as their rep but you have to be willing to give up about 20%.

I do know that Orcas Island tonewood operates under the same philosophy but he'll post your name and info if you don't pay him.

Ronnie Aloha
12-17-2010, 01:39 PM
Chuck,
Sorry to hear about the dead beat "customer." I guess its inevitable in business. However, its easy to let one Scrooge overwhelm the 1,000's of Santa's out there. I've been there too when dealing with people where it just takes one person to ruin a great day. We tend to dwell on that one bad experience instead of celebrating the great ones. Human nature.

I'm glad you're over it but I'm sure it sticks in the back of your mind. Know that I, as well as all LEGITIMATE MB owners out there love your instruments and have the highest regards for the work that you do.

bbycrts
12-17-2010, 03:56 PM
Chuck -

If you can post pictures or a description it wouldn't be a bad idea - wouldn't be surprising at all for it to show up in Craigslist or eBay if the deadbeat is just trying to cash in on your work. Lots of eyes on UU watch those sources like a hawk and could alert you (and the sites) very quickly!

sukie
12-18-2010, 01:02 PM
Thereby restoring my faith in both people and lawyers!
Book 'em Danno! Case closed.

Thank God lawyers are ok. (Remember my friendly banker?) :-).

I am so sorry to hear about this. It is called karma, though. Of which I am a huge believer.

I wish you the merriest of Christmases. Somehow I think this may be one of your better ones. UU people are always so supportive.

sukie
12-18-2010, 01:04 PM
On my web site I state that I require a 25% deposit before I begin the build with the balance due upon completion and before shipping. Lately however I've spent too much time on building and not enough on the business end and I've been pretty laid back about it. It's really time for me to hire a business manager to free me up of all that stuff.

Oh! Can they live on the mainland? And could they come to see you if necessary? I apply. I can do computers.

**waves hands wildly** pretty please?

dave g
12-18-2010, 02:26 PM
I won't send anything out without having first been paid in full. The buyer has all the advantages; they can stop payment (if a check), do a charge-back, whatever. The buyer has been able to read up on the builder, get some idea of his reputation, hear from past customers, etc. The builder, on the other hand is taking a significant risk, sending out their hand made, one-off thing to a complete stranger (often in a different country).

erich@muttcrew.net
12-19-2010, 02:52 AM
Chuck, I'm so sorry to hear that someone would take advantage of your trust and good will. I hope there is some way for you to get the uke back.

Have you done the official three-step procedure: invoice, reminder, final notice with "payment to be received by" date. The final date should be reasonable but not lengthly, ie the person has to have time to go to the bank and make the payment and the bank has to have a few days for the actual transfer. About ten days is normally what is stated, at least in Europe.

UkeDave
12-20-2010, 03:15 AM
Whatever happened to time when someone made an agreement they stuck to their word. Especially over an instrument as high of quality as yours are.

Pukulele Pete
12-20-2010, 04:09 AM
Respect and Honor seem to be relics of a past age, but there are still plenty of good people out there.

6stringconvert
12-21-2010, 01:23 PM
It crushes me to hear the person is in/from the UK. I love Hawaii, aloha, ukulele. This is like pissing in a church! Not just a crime, but a disrespectful crime.

strumsilly
12-22-2010, 08:16 AM
sorry to hear about your problem..this is off subject , but here is a lesson for the season.. We have had a murder in our area, a beautiful. sweet, woman was found burned to death in her car. it appears she gave someone a ride home who needed one, a good deed. the quote from her mother made me cry. " Mia made a choice to do something good, please don't take what happened as a reason not to do good". I doubt if I could be so gracious. then the family posts this on facebook: In lieu of flowers the family has asked that everyone go out and help someone in need. The victim's name is Mia Brown.

ukejoelele
12-24-2010, 06:09 AM
Hey Chuck, 1stly I'd like to apologise for my fellow countryman/womans actions, truely disgusting. I dont want to dwell on the bad though, and would like to say that if they person lives in the Midlands area (Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Birmingham etc.) I would gladly pop round and (gently) remind them? Also, I would like to thank this thread for introducing the concept of Ho'oponopono to me. Hope you have a great Christmas, Joe

GrumpyOldMan
12-29-2010, 06:02 AM
Embarrassing that it should be a fellow Brit doing this! I despair of this country sometimes. I sincerely hope there is a genuine reason for this and it gets resolved.

Anyhow, reason for my posting is that a lot of UK Ukers don't come on UU but instead go to Ukulele Cosmos. Might be worth putting a post up on there about the Uke and the person who ordered it. A photo would also be useful as we could then keep an eye open for it.

Cheers,
Ian.

pingraham
12-29-2010, 07:11 AM
Aloaha Chuck - Folks on that far away Isle know well - "....nothing taken but paid for. For when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner." Hank V said that. I hope the legal angle turns the trick and the issue is resolved. Keep the faith my friend, and don't let anyone rob you of your aloha spirt, that's the most valuable thing. pete