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View Full Version : how long would people wait when they think they might be getting cheated by seller?



smokemeister25
03-16-2012, 11:54 AM
was just curious how long other people would wait to do something when they think they might be gettin cheated by a seller? at first i thought it was just taking a huge amount of time but no i can't get them to even answer correspondence.

it's been over twice the time it was supposed to take.

item was paid for in full. 4 figure money involved

he won't respond to emails, and i've sent several.

just curious how other members would react. was supposed to be weeks and is now several months. i get no correspondence. kinda hate to get nasty if it's just taking a LOT longer, but what would other do and be willing to wait?

molokinirum
03-16-2012, 12:01 PM
If it was me....(I hope you paid with a credit card!!) contact either paypal, if used, or your credit card company and stop the transaction. It will save you your money and they will contact the seller and find out what the problem is.
Good luck and don't wait too long!!!

Dan Uke
03-16-2012, 12:15 PM
More info would be helpful but if it's several months, then you've been more than patient. I realy hope you have protection rights.

smokemeister25
03-16-2012, 12:20 PM
i paid with a credit card but through paypal....

just for peoples info, if you have a problem and used paypal they only will do something within 45 days of the transaction. so, if you make a downpayment and the seller takes over 45 days, the only part of the money they will guarantee to do anything about is whatever you paid within that 45 day period. they will ''possibly'' take the whole amount into consideration but transactions are only limited to 45 days. although i can attempt to do something through the card company.

first off, i feel bad having to think about doing anything, but feel worse about maybe being swindeled out of a rather large amount of money... as long as you talk to me about what's happening i'm pretty OK with things. but when somebody won't even respond to inquiries about what's going on after i've heard several reasons why they have effectively not lived up to the time frame originally quoted by such an overdue timeframe i don't know what to do. i intentionally haven't posted the name of the company, but if this doesn't get rectified and rather quickly i certainly will to protect forum members from being cheated and start some type of collection processes. the internet is a double sided sword. it can be a helpful thing to endorse people, but also can be really ruinous to people who want to stay in business and cheat people. all i want at this time is what i paid for. but i also don't want to have such a bad taste in my mouth about it that i can't enjoy it. if it ever shows up..... that's why i'd like to know what other would do. i'm not an unreasonable person. and i definitely paid every penny when i was told it was ready to be sent. and that is weeks ago and he won't answer me now....

smokemeister25
03-16-2012, 12:25 PM
by the way.... i'm pretty sure what i did, and the transaction i entered into and the way i paid, is probably exactly the same way all or most people would have done it.... and it's a known person and company albeit a small one, not some fly by night business people haven't heard of.... but almost all of the vendors we deal with are smallish. so i really don't think i did anything other people wouldn't do. how many of us have the luxury of buying by just driving down the street for our uke needs?

the only reason i'm not naming right now is i'm still hoping to get what i paid for and obviously if i start to fight with them it's just gonna make it worse... if it could be. but if things don't work out quickly like i said, i'll definitely help to protect others from this

mm stan
03-16-2012, 12:48 PM
Sorry to hear your uke has issues and not living up to your expectations...seller or uke.. I am sure it is a business you're talking about and it is a new uke...not a private seller..
I'd give them 4-5 days to respond...and keep pestering them...sometimes it is that they are busy or the office person is out. can you try and call them... yes being burned four
figures is extreme... what issues do you have..just wondering, feel for you....I always say buy from a reliable source even if you have to pay a little more..

Kayak Jim
03-16-2012, 01:04 PM
You should not feel at all guilty about taking action at this point. Stopping your PayPal transaction isn't backing out of the deal, you're just trying to get someone's attention while protecting yourself. And you've been considerate enough not to smear their business name prematurely. Kudos to you.

I would definitely phone them, as Stan suggests. If you don't have the phone number track it down. Sometimes email addresses get fouled up so that it be a very unreliable means of communication.

Good luck.

smokemeister25
03-16-2012, 01:04 PM
i thought this was a pretty reliable source... i'm hoping it still turns out to be. but it's not been a LONG time. over twice the time i originally said i would be willing to wait and if i couldn't have it within that frame i wouldn't be interested. ''no problem....'' was the answer i got several times. if i would just not be ignored so many times i'd not be feeling so vulnerable.... it's too the point now i feel stupid asking what's going on? how many times can someone ask the same question????

ukulelepuapua
03-16-2012, 01:07 PM
Agreed; I too am sorry you are not having a good experience. Our whole business model is based off customer service, we want people to be happy with what they got regardless of who it comes from- I hope everything works out! If not; Ill have a coupon waiting for you with us.

mds725
03-16-2012, 01:09 PM
It's not clear from your original post, but it sounds like you paid for something and you haven't received it yet. I had that problem once. I bought some Makala dolphin ukes online from a guy who had a shop in Florida as well as an website. Nothing happened for a long time. The seller responded to the first few emails I sent him and then stopped. After what I thought was a reasonable time (less than several months), I called the police in the town in which he had his shop. I told the intake officer my story, and told him that I was calling, in part, because I was wondering if somethng had happened to the seller. I said I didn't want to file a police report if something had happened to the seller, but I would if he simply had taken my payment without sending what I'd paid for. The officer called several days later to say that they'd send a police cruiser down to the guy's shop and had spoken to him, and that he'd be refunding my money. And he did.

Depending on the credit card issuer, a credit card issuer may not be of much help because the issuer paid PayPal, not the seller. So my other thought, if you think the seller's email address is correct and he's getting your emails and just not responding, and if you don't want to involve the police, is to send him, by certified mail with return receipt requested if you have a street address for him, and by email if you don't, a copy of the complaint you file with the district attorney for the area in which he lives. I hate to resort to threats, but people tend to respond when it looks to them like they're going to get into trouble. A little drastic? Yeah, but if the seller is not reposnding to you, you have limited remaining options for getting his attention.

laundromatt
03-16-2012, 01:16 PM
Hopefully it's not those ukes MGM has stuck in customs! (kidding.)

Smokemeister, I hope you get it sorted out. I know you don't want to "out" the seller, but letting us know could potentially save some of us from the same fate if we knew who it was. Just a thought.

itsme
03-16-2012, 01:46 PM
Is this in regard to the custom you said you ordered at the end of January?

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?59507-hi-from-pgh-pa-i-just-got-my-first-ukulele-and-it-should-be-a-honey

If so, then the retailer is at the mercy of the supplier/builder. By the very definition of "custom" wouldn't it be an item they don't normally stock and would presumably be made to order? Or an item they anticipated having available by a certain date, but it hasn't materialized yet?

Granted, that's no excuse for lack of communication on the seller's part, but you are the one who's already throwing around words like "swindled" and "cheated" as if they were deliberately out to rip you off.

smokemeister25
03-16-2012, 05:46 PM
I'm hoping there is a little action happening towards my getting my purchase. i hope so... all i want is to get my merchandise and be a happy strummer. hopefully we can chalk it up to bad customer service and nothing more....

Kayak Jim
03-17-2012, 12:47 AM
So is this a custom order as itsme asked? You raised serious concerns and we all rallied behind you. You need to be up front with us.

hoosierhiver
03-17-2012, 06:11 AM
Four figures and several months, I'd be a little worried too. Be sure a response didn't end up in your spam box. Try on online search to see if other people have had bad experiences with that person.

garyg
03-17-2012, 06:19 AM
If it were me I'd contact the police, also if the US mail was involved it may to contact the USPO because this may quality as mail fraud which may be a felony. I had to contact the local police as mentioned by another poster when someone refused to return a painting to me that they had on "approval". As long as you have appropriate written documentation then the police should be able to help. As for giving all the benefit of the doubt to the seller, well that person quoted you a delivery time that's well past and certainly knows that they have your money and haven't delivered. I say it's time to protect yourself. I don't necessarily think that you should "out" someone here on the board, you've handled this very tactfully and you can always say "contact me by PM if you want more details". You've given this seller way more slack than they deserve especially if they're not answering emails. Good luck, g2

Nuprin
03-17-2012, 12:59 PM
As much as my curiosity wants to know who the seller/luthier/company is, I think you have handled this very well by not outing them. I remember there was a thread not too long ago about a Compass Rose. The buyer had been given a time period when the uke would be done...when that period had come and gone, he started emailing Rick Turner and didn't get much in the way of a response. Turns out that Rick was super busy and the buyer ended up getting his uke...just a couple of months late. Although disappointed by the lack of response and extra wait, the buyer said the uke was worth it in the end.

Could be a similar situation...seems like, in this case, it has been even longer than the other thread but if the seller/luthier/company is well known and has a good reputation, I sure there's a reasonable explanation as to why you haven't received your uke yet. The lack of response is worrisome though. Keep emailing/calling them and keep us updated!

MGM
03-17-2012, 01:20 PM
Ever tried to call the guy...i would almoist always get a phone number if it was a custom or special order...If your emails aren't getting answered...it may be a computor or email problem....I would pick up a phone and try to call the party.

clayton56
03-17-2012, 03:07 PM
he started emailing Rick Turner and didn't get much in the way of a response. Turns out that Rick was super busy

Busy with what? Your primary obligation as a business person is to stay current with such things - after all you took their money. I can see delays happening with ordering ukes and custom building and quality problems, but ignoring an e-mail that takes 10-20 seconds to respond to?

Nuprin
03-17-2012, 04:42 PM
Busy with what? Your primary obligation as a business person is to stay current with such things - after all you took their money. I can see delays happening with ordering ukes and custom building and quality problems, but ignoring an e-mail that takes 10-20 seconds to respond to?

I'm not condoning Rick's actions. Didn't mean it to come off that way. Just saying these situations happen...situations arise that can delay orders. Remember what MGM went through? I remember a thread in January about KoAloha not responding to emails...turns out the entire KoAloha staff was in California for NAMM. Just last week someone was complaining that Mainland wasn't responding to emails...turns out Mike was off at a uke festival. Being busy isn't a good excuse for missing the deadline by a couple of months but my point is that the seller is not necessarily meaning to cheat the buyer.

OldePhart
03-18-2012, 09:06 AM
Depending on the credit card issuer, a credit card issuer may not be of much help because the issuer paid PayPal, not the seller.

If your credit card issuer is not PayPal (yeah, they have their own card now which they'd really like you to use) you can still have the chargers reversed. I had to do this once a few years ago. I had bought something on eBay and payed immediately, then a few days later the bad feedback on the seller started rolling in. It very quickly became obvious that he'd fraudulently listed a bunch of stuff and eBay closed his account. I filed a claim through PayPal and gave them a reasonable time to clear the problem up. When PayPal was still showing my claim as "under investigation" two or three weeks later - and not responding to emails - I called my credit card company and reversed the charges. Then PayPal responded almost immediately with a nasty gram asking me to not reverse charges in the future until they had "reasonable time" to investigate. I don't know what they consider "reasonable time" when two or three weeks is not enough in such an obvious case of fraud - but I supsect that their idea of "reasonable time" is something like "long enough that your credit card company will no longer process a claim reversal."

Anyway, whenever I use PayPal now I always use a credit card unless I have done business with the person before and have a lot of confidence in them. I also laugh every time PayPal tries to get me to accept their credit card...

On those rare occasions when I sell something I also sweep the money out of my PayPal account immediately because if you have a balance with PayPal you must use that PayPal balance before using a credit card. Gee, I wonder why that might be?

Credit card issuers set their own terms on how long they'll process charge reversals. Most are 90 or 180 days. I'd at least call your card company and find out if it is too late to reverse the charges. It never hurts to find out and a reversed charge might get your seller's attention when apparently other means have failed (I would try to phone, first, though, if all you've done is eMail - email isn't reliable).


John

keliiyama
03-19-2012, 10:19 AM
Aloha everyone! Rick actually posted a comment on this. He is really busy being one of the best luthiers in the world. His main business is in building guitars. He apologized and said that during the holidays many on his staff have vacations, and then there are the holidays themselves. So this pushes the orders back a few months. This happened with mine. But check this out. He finished my custom ukulele design last week and wasn't happy with the sound. So he put in his 'Prime Vibe' over the weekend to open it up. But he already knew that he was going to redo the top. REDO THE TOP! He already polished this ukulele with 10 coats, and brought it out a mirror shine. Now he's going to redo the top with another piece of Redwood. And refinish it. He told me he could send it already, but he wanted to 'kill it'. It sounded amazing in his tests already, but he knew he could alter it to make it better. Now how many luthiers would spend another month enhancing a finished ukulele??? But now back to the point, he is really busy and does try to answer all his email.

Kayak Jim
03-19-2012, 10:43 AM
I find it interesting that the OP hasn't responded to confirm whether this was a custom build or whether it was a high end purchase from a dealer that was just out of stock. I think these are two very different scenarios. This certainly doesn't seem like a buyer's remorse how can I get out of this deal situation, but the OP has been very quiet while the community response swings from call the cops to give the guy a call.

JimmyRoberts
03-19-2012, 11:33 AM
All right, let's see how this plays out...

OldePhart
03-19-2012, 11:46 AM
That post has been edited, however.

Yeah, I think the OP was attempting to take the high road and avoid naming the seller/builder once somebody mentioned that thread in this one. So much for that plan... :/

John

barefootgypsy
03-19-2012, 11:50 AM
To return to the statements made in the original post, if it were me, and I had paid in full up front for something, a four-figure sum - and that was seriously behind schedule for completion with zero contact from the seller - I would be extremely concerned. When you are in business and have taken people's money, you have a duty of care to the customer - which includes staying in contact and explaining delays. I think he has done right, not to name - but it would be nice to know whether any progress has been made in his bid for satisfaction!

OldePhart
03-19-2012, 12:00 PM
To return to the statements made in the original post, if it were me, and I had paid in full up front for something, a four-figure sum - and that was seriously behind schedule for completion with zero contact from the seller - I would be extremely concerned. When you are in business and have taken people's money, you have a duty of care to the customer - which includes staying in contact and explaining delays. I think he has done right, not to name - but it would be nice to know whether any progress has been made in his bid for satisfaction!

You're absolutely right about that, of course. Honestly, I'd never own any kind of business where I had to take money up front for products to be delivered later. I know in the case of custom orders, especially, it's the only way luthiers can operate. Most of them can't afford to get stuck with something that is too custom to sell to someone else - and payment of at least 50% up front helps thin the herd of looky-loos and loony-toons. Still, if I had somebody's money and something happened where I was going to be even a little late I'd be stressing. And if I was emailing them and not getting a response (i.e. if they were on vacation or my email was going into their spam filter) I'd be positively flipping out over it! Kind of the reverse case of what's happening here.

John

Plainsong
03-21-2012, 04:40 AM
I find it interesting that the OP hasn't responded to confirm whether this was a custom build or whether it was a high end purchase from a dealer that was just out of stock. I think these are two very different scenarios. This certainly doesn't seem like a buyer's remorse how can I get out of this deal situation, but the OP has been very quiet while the community response swings from call the cops to give the guy a call.

Agreed. It really sounds like a custom order taking longer, but the OP won't shed any further light on the subject. Most customs do overshoot the target date. Like when I got my Sailor soprano, which isn't a full-on custom but has customizable options, they were new to the scene and everyone was ordering, and the humidity during the finishing process wasn't cooperating, and they just fell a tad behind. No biggie.

Now the huge difference there was that Mike at UkeRepublic was my email drinking buddy through it all, so I was kept in the loop, and it was painless.

If the OP is being ignored, that's the toughest pill to swallow for the OP, but are the communication attempts as vague as this thread?

Too little is known to draw any conclusions.

bongolele
03-21-2012, 05:31 AM
I remember a thread in January about KoAloha not responding to emails...turns out the entire KoAloha staff was in California for NAMM. Just last week someone was complaining that Mainland wasn't responding to emails...turns out Mike was off at a uke festival. Being busy isn't a good excuse for missing the deadline by a couple of months but my point is that the seller is not necessarily meaning to cheat the buyer.
But why should people in the uke business get away with treating customers badly because they're 'too busy'? - I don't understand how this attitude has developed.

If you order something and pay for it up-front, you expect it to be delivered within a reasonable time-frame, or at least be kept constantly updated on its progress. And if the supplier really can't deliver, or if the customer is getting agitated, then a refund should be offered early on in the process.

The danger is that hard-built reputations can be damaged in a few minutes by an annoyed customer firing off a few forum/facebook/twitter posts.

It doesn't take much time to send a 2 minute email to someone letting them know the progress of their order. Smartphones make this easy. You can be attending a uke conference in Timbuktu and still be able to contact your customers. This is especially important for small businesses as the customer has the additional concern of not knowing how legit they are, or if they've gone out of business since placing the order.

hoosierhiver
03-21-2012, 05:52 AM
You can be attending a uke conference in Timbuktu and still be able to contact your customers.
Believe it or not, the internet isn't easily assessable everywhere.

bongolele
03-21-2012, 05:57 AM
Believe it or not, the internet isn't easily assessable everywhere.
Sad as it sounds, I've emailed customers from my phone half-way up mountains in Croatia and from the middle of lakes in Killarney. I know it's more fun to leave the phone/laptop at home, but when these customers are the people paying for the trips it puts it into context. (I'm in the software business, not the uke business, so know what it's like to have irritated customers emailing)

barefootgypsy
03-21-2012, 07:41 AM
Sad as it sounds, I've emailed customers from my phone half-way up mountains in Croatia and from the middle of lakes in Killarney. I know it's more fun to leave the phone/laptop at home, but when these customers are the people paying for the trips it puts it into context. (I'm in the software business, not the uke business, so know what it's like to have irritated customers emailing)
I couldn't agree more, bongolele, well said!

Freeda
03-21-2012, 08:21 AM
What I have learned:

Use a credit card.

Have a written contract with a delivery date.

Personally I would be irritated if my money was gone and I felt ignored by the vendor/builder.

Kayak Jim
03-21-2012, 09:48 AM
Is paying 100% up front the standard when ordering a custom? I would think something like 50% up front, balance when uke is ready to ship would be more reasonable. Unless of course it is something really oddball, which most luthiers probably wouldn't agree to anyway. I don't pay the guy who redoes my kitchen or fixes my teeth or changes my oil or caters my wedding 100% up front.

hoosierhiver
03-21-2012, 09:52 AM
I know it's more fun to leave the phone/laptop at home,

Don't own either, then again we never charge until we ship.

Nuprin
03-21-2012, 02:40 PM
Is paying 100% up front the standard when ordering a custom? I would think something like 50% up front, balance when uke is ready to ship would be more reasonable. Unless of course it is something really oddball, which most luthiers probably wouldn't agree to anyway. I don't pay the guy who redoes my kitchen or fixes my teeth or changes my oil or caters my wedding 100% up front.

For the customs I've had, I've never had to pay all up front. Usually it's a flat fee like $300 or a percentage like 25%. One of the luthiers who I worked with, even though he states on his site that he needs a deposit, told me not to worry about it. He even told me he would send out the finished product and I could then send him the money. I'm sure there are many builders who will take a full deposit but I think the norm is a flat fee or percentage and the balance due upon completion before it is sent out.