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September 14, 2005

eBay Member: zdravokp1

eBay seller not responsive to requests to handle damage claim

[This review is a work in progress as I transfer my notes to the web.]

Interested in doing business on eBay with a Seller known as zdravokp1? Maybe you'll think again after learning about my experience with him.

[All e-mail messages were copy-and-pasted into place with no changes. All spelling and grammatical errors are those of the author of the message.]

7/28/2005: I purchased a Minolta QMS Magicolor 2200 DL Color Laser Printer on eBay. Looks like a great buy!

7/29/2005: Through eBay, I informed the Seller that I would be sending a cashier's check for the purchase. His response, within several hours, was:

I have a spare paper tray for the DL 2200 printer. Although the handle has a minor crack, it tested OK. Would you like to have it? There will be no additional cost to you. Please advise.

Very generous! I replied that I would indeed like to have the additional cassette.

8/3/2005: The Seller indicates on eBay that he has received payment for the printer.

8/4/2005: I received an e-mailed shipment notification that the printer was shipped today via DHL.

8/8/2005: DHL delivered the printer today. The box was heavily damaged. It was not possible to determine whether or not the printer was damaged without accepting the package and opening it. I chose to accept it, knowing that the shipment was insured and that simply refusing the package would not return my money.

II contacted the Seller via eBay to let him know about the damage:

Hey, [name removed]. The printer arrived this morning damaged in shipment. It appears to have been dropped on the right, rear, bottom corner of the unit, and the access door on the right side of the unit will not latch. Since the package was shipped on your account, DHL said I needed to contact you. Would you please contact them to report the damage?

8/9/2005: I heard back from the Seller today:

I just returned from my trip. I will contact them tomorrow. Please take some photos and have the prinyter availabke for inpection [sic], if needed. Thanks.

8/11/2005: The Seller needed more information:

DHL can not file a claim without a phone number and the exact address the printer and packaging can be inspected. Please send them to me ASAP so I may file the claim for the possible damage. Thank you.

I was puzzled, because the Seller already had this information. Was he stalling? Perhaps. Perhaps he just needed confirmation that the printer hadn't moved from where it was delivered. I gave him my address (the address the printer was shipped to) and my telephone number.

8/18/2005: I contacted DHL today and the rep informed me that no claim had been filed; in fact, they had no record that the Seller had contacted them. I immediately fired off a message to the Seller, this time being more urgent in my request:

DHL says they have not yet received a claim for the damaged printer. I need a claim filed by you with DHL by 8/19/2005.

It occurs to me (belatedly) that I should check out zdravokp1's feedback on eBay. What I find has me concerned:

Buyer (8/21): Fraudulent!Took money,nothing received,PayPal returned amount.Check his feedback. zdravokp1: Item shipped via insured USPS om July 6th. Bad arab mentality: Wants item free! Buyer: Nobody wanted anything free, A $7 case? come on..Invoice was paid, U didn't ship
Buyer (8/19): Case was damaged, no help in replacement. Extreamly rude from the start. F+ zdravokp1: DHL Claim filed. Still waiting for photos to see the damage. Dishonest Not Good.
Buyer (8/15): This seller is acting like I did not pay him this time around, What a Snake. zdravokp1: No payment. No communication. Two wins and no payment for both. Crazi / drugs?
Buyer (7/30): Item as stated. Difficult & Arrogant. Overcharged on shipping. NOT Recommended. zdravokp1: Bids on item. Rejects DHL Ground shipping at cost. Bad experience. Not recomend! Buyer: My feedback speaks for itself. You requested much more money after invoice paid.
Buyer (7/29): Seller wanted MORE MONEY AFTER I ALREADY PAID INVOICE PayPal Refunded MyMoney :) zdravokp1: Dishonest. Lies to PayPal,Ebay, all in effort to cheat on $2.50 Shipping. Avoid! so-unreal: ReadHisFeedback Im not the only 1. I paid the invoice he wouldnt ship w/o More $
Buyer (7/19): Sent a 55mm filter instead of a 52mm filter which was how it was described. zdravokp1: Refuses shipping charges, Notwclaims wrong size filters through feedback ??????
Buyer (7/10): email me : [email address removed] before you bid and get ripped off zdravokp1: Dishonest. Arrogant. Wins $0.99 case but refuses to pay for DHL ground shipping.
Buyer (7/8): Add shipping cost after auction end. Dishonest unqualified seller. Be aware zdravokp1: Dishonest. Arrogant. Refuses $12 S/H for 11lb Item. Treatens with Neg Feedback
Seller (6/2): Why leave negative feed back's over waiting on UPS REFUND?? HAVEN'T RECIEVED CHK zdravokp1: Dishonest. Item shipped trashed,Blames UPS and makes a claim.Lies about refund.. itecknet: i never lied?? ups broke item he never sen't item back? i'm not getting screwed
Seller (5/12): >>>Be WARNED Sellers! Pays LATE - Makes FALSE Remarks, and VERY Rude and UnFair! zdravokp1: Dishonest to the bone. Refuses cash at pickup, gets check and files dispoute.
Seller (3/17): Unsatisfactory Transaction - Bargainland zdravokp1: Knowingly Sold Trash and Collecting Full Payment. What is unsatisfactory to you?
Seller: (3/17): Unsatisfactory Transaction - Bargainland zdravokp1: Payment made for Dead Camera. What is unsatisfactory to you? Are you nuts?
Bid Retractions (Past 6 months): 23

8/19/2005: The Seller's response to my message arrived today:

I spoke to two agents and could not file a claim. Jovani sent me to a bogus web site (www.dhl.cargoclaims@dhl.com) and stated that I have to file the claim online. What is going on?

Would you like to take the lead in tghis [sic] and open the next step dialog with DHL?

Interestingly, the Seller's message also included the text of a message he sent to DHL about a separate matter:

All items show pick up and residential fees. All items were droped off -NO PICK UP and to my knowledge they were delivered to business addresses.
> I spoke with your billing department in Houston and I was assured that the bill has been corrected. Why the lies?
> Please correct and notify me in writing either by email or regular mail. DO NOT CHARGE CARD FOR THE WRONG AMOUNT.

That strikes me as a rather abrasive tone. My repsonse to him was matter-of-fact:

I have spoken with two separate agents; each has told me that you must initiate the claim; that there is no online process for filing; all you have to do is call (800-225-5345) to start the process; and to authorize me to act in your behalf you must fax me authorization on your letterhead, with your shipper number and signature. You may fax that to me at (951) 639-3797 if you are still unable to file a claim.

I will also be filing claims under the eBay Standard Purchase Protection and PayPal Buyer Protection programs to preserve my rights and options. [Emphasis is in the original HTML message.]

During my talks with DHL, they issued me a contact number for the damage claim: 08191988.

The Seller's response was very quick:

The claim number for your package is 08194604. Within 5-10 working days I will be receiving a written form to fill and file. After that, it will me mailed and they will have resolution within 30-60 days.

You may proceed with whatever other filings you want to make. Please make sure you state to ebay that the item was sold on "as-is" basis, that you received the item and to tell paypal that you paid with cashiers check.

Oops! I had forgotten that I had paid by cashier's check (Bank of America, #411501304). Well, no recourse through PayPal. That was my second mistake (my first was not reading his feedback beforehand)—I should not have bid without that payment option.

I'm trusting that if this does go to an eBay claim, eBay will see through the "as-is" disclaimer to the "fully working" description.

Oh, by the way, the contact number for the claim that I listed above is apparently not the actual claim number; that will be issued once the claim forms are actually filed. When the Seller writes "claim number" he means "contact number." I guess DHL uses different contact numbers for different parties to the claim.

8/30/2005: A week-and-a-half later, after hearing nothing more, I contact DHL and find that the Seller still has not filed a claim (although they did mail the forms on 8/19—his contact number is 08194604). Once again I contact him:

DHL reports today that no paper work has been received from you to initiate the claim. Have you received the forms? Have you returned the forms?

In return, the Seller wrote:

I can not fill the paper work if it is not here. The appendices [?] are ready, but no claim letter from them yet. Maybe it will arrive these days. If you can expedite, please do so

8/31/2005: Attempting to expedite, I called DHL to have the forms faxed to me (although I can't file them without his authorization) and I offer to fax them to him:

Give me your fax number and I will fax the claim forms to you.

9/14/2005: I've been extremely busy and haven't had the opportunity to followup on this lately. Yesterday I spoke with DHL and found that the Seller still has not returned the claim forms to DHL. So, now it's time to ratchet this up.

A brief Google search finds that the Seller has an online presence and the phone number listed for his company matches the phone number on the DHL waybill. I called the number today, but was forced to leave a voice-mail message in which I informed the Seller that DHL had not received the claim forms. I asked when he had sent the forms; offered (again) to fax him the forms; and offered (again) to handle the settlement with DHL if he would fax his authorization to do so. I left both my voice number and my fax number.

That was earlier this morning. I also made good on my earlier notification that I would file an eBay Standard Purchase Protection claim:

Seller states: "Although the printer is in full working order it is sold on 'as-is basis'."

The printer is not in "full working order"; there is extensive damage to the two paper trays so that the printer will not feed paper and the paper cassette cannot be removed so that paper can be added easily.

The printer may have been damaged in shipment; to this point seller has not filed a claim with DHL. Seller has not responded to me in the last two weeks.

Well, that got a response! Within 30 minutes of initiating the dispute, the Seller replied to eBay (even though he has not bothered to respond to me directly):

To date the buyer claimed damage to the printer (his emails). DHL damage claim filed. I have no control over the DHL process. When they resolve the sitiation he will be notified. The printer was sold with one paper tray. The second paper tray was given as gift to the buyer.

The buyer seem [sic] to be obsessed with the control of the DHL process and it [sic] appears to be dishonest. The item was sold on as-is basis and ther [sic] will be no returns or refunds. Until DHL resolves the case I have nothing to add.

Let's just take these in the order given. As of today, DHL says no claim has been filed. The Seller, in my last communication with him, claimed he had not received the claim forms. He has refused to to indicate on what date the claim forms were returned to DHL, if in fact they were. And he has not offered up copies of the claim he says he filed with DHL.

Next, the two paper trays. As shown above, the Seller sent an extra paper cassette with the printer. There's a slight miscommunication here, mostly because eBay's dispute form doesn't allow me more room for explanation, but also because it's easy to confuse "tray" and "cassette." By "tray" I mean the actual input source; by "cassette" I mean the unit that slides out of the machine and is used to provide media to Tray 2. Tray 1 is the manual feed/multi-purpose tray that releases and extends from the right side of the machine. On this machine, both Tray 1 and Tray 2 have been damaged, Tray 2 to the point that the paper cassette cannot be removed.

Then the Seller begins attacking me, characterizing me as "obsessed" and "dishonest." As for the DHL process, it was the Seller himself that suggested I get involved with DHL to get the claim filed (8/19/2005). I suppose it's okay for me to be a little obsessed; after all, it's my money at stake. But "dishonest"? My feedback rating at eBay (100%) speaks for itself, as does the Seller's rating (92.2%). Eight percent of his transactions rated negatively?

9/16/2005: I escalated the dispute to a claim, with the following comment:

Again, DHL informs me no claim forms have been received by them. Seller suggested I contact DHL: "Would you like to take the lead in tghis [sic] and open the next step dialog with DHL?" S.'s last message indicated he had not received claim forms. S. has ignored all attempts at contact in the last two weeks. Tray 1 (multi-purpose tray) and Tray 2 (paper cassette) are damaged--not in "full working order" as described. S. resorts to name calling ("obsessed," "dishonest") to defend his position.

9/18/2005: Oh, this is rich!

Dear Mr. Morris,

Over a month ago you purchased a color laser printer that I sold due to upgrade of my home office. Although I was using the printer until sold (the printed material can easily verify that), the printer was sold on as-is basis, with no warranties or refunds implied. After you received the printer, you implied that the printer was broken in shipment. Claim was filed over the phone and as of September 15, DHL faxed the forms to me. While I was planning to mail the damage claim package on Monday, September 19, 2005 I saw your defamation text on the web. Your lies in the published text, the conditions under which the printer was sold, and the fact that to date I have no proof of any kind that the printer was really damaged, makes me believe that I can certify that your claim has any veracity and that you are simply trying to extort money from DHL. Because of that I will do the following:

  1. I will not be filing damage claim until you correct the situation, correct your actions, and retract any and all web lies about me.
  2. You will be sued for defamation. Unless I have written retraction letter replacing your current defamation letter, not later than September 19, 2005, I will forward your file to my lawyers and you will be sued for defamation and other charges that apply. If you do not understand the gravity of your actions, please talk to your lawyer and doctors, if any, and they will explain them to you.
  3. Any web site involved in the defamation will be named in the lawsuit and you will be responsible to them for not informing them of your illegal activities.

The few dollars your [sic] trying to extort from DHL because they agreed to save you money by picking up printer in a used printer box that was previously smashed in one corner, will be nothing to what you have exposed yourself to.

Please do not take this note not as a treat [sic], but as a request for immediate action on your part. If not, I will use the court system to ensure that you are stopped from publishing lies about me or anybody else you might try to force to help you in your schemes. You will realize that damaging peoples [sic] reputations to make you feel you better will prove to be very costly remedy for whatever mental or other problems you might have.

[Seller's name removed]

The Seller's response to eBay two days ago said "DHL damage claim filed." However, in this communication he states "While I was planning to mail the damage claim package on Monday, September 19, 2005…" Which is it? Has the claim been filed? DHL says "no." Now the Seller says "no": "I will not be filing damage claim…" In addtion,

  • I've already addressed the argument for the "as-is" condition, but I'll mention it again: the seller indicated this was a "fully working" printer. I've done a little research on this subject and, while I don't claim to be an attorney, the law does seem to be fairly clear: the implied warranty ("fully working") trumps any as-is clause.
    • Under the UCC, for a disclaimer to be valid the seller must a) display the disclaimer language "AS IS" must be conspicuously displayed (no fine print), b) there cannot be a conflict between any disclaimer and what is represented verbally or in writing, and c) the seller must have "bargained" for the disclaimer, i.e. the buyer must know BEFORE they sign the contract that the implied warranty is being disclaimed.
  • I have not asked for a refund. I have simply asked that seller file a claim to reimburse him (and, ultimately, me) for a printer damaged during shipment.
  • Actually, there was no implication that the printer was damaged in shipment. I came right out and stated that the printer "was damaged in shipment." (8/8) At no point in this process have I suggested that the Seller intentionally shipped me a damaged printer; my assumption has been—from the start—that DHL damaged the printer while it was in their possession.
  • The claim cannot be filed over the phone. The Seller is confusing the initial contact with DHL and filing the claim with DHL. DHL confirms that the Seller initiated contact on 8/19 and that they sent him claim forms via mail, but DHL cannot confirm that any forms were faxed to him, either on 9/15 or any other date. It may be that a department other than the claims department faxed him the claim forms.
  • Lies? Everything I posted here can be corroborated by the e-mail messages in my possession or by a phone call to DHL. Most of the e-mail messages were sent through eBay, so those messages can be confirmed through a third party. The conditions under which the printer was sold? Again, corroborated by the listing on eBay. Proof that the printer was damaged? I've never been asked to provide proof by the Seller. He did suggest that I take pictures and have the printer available for inspection by DHL; of course, since he has not filed the damage claim DHL cannot make up their own minds about the veracity of my claim. The Seller has taken it upon himself, apparently, to protect DHL from extortion.
  • I'm not quite sure why I would need to talk to my doctors. Oh, yes, he again resorts to an ad hominem argument to support his case, suggesting that I have mental problems.
  • "…because they [DHL] agreed to save you money by picking up printer in a used printer box that was previously smashed in one corner…"—Okay, this is just confusing. DHL agreed to save me money? I didn't choose to have the printer sent via DHL and I certainly had no conversation with them prior to receiving the printer. The Seller shipped the printer in a box that had prior damage? Is he admitting that he improperly packaged the printer?

9/19/2005: After a brief conversation with DHL's claims department this morning, I sent another message to the Seller:

>you are simply trying to extort money from DHL…
>The few dollars your trying to extort from DHL…

Thank you for your concern that I am trying to extort money from DHL. Since that is your belief, why not let them handle it? As they have a claim process to follow, I'm sure that their investigators would turn up any extortion attempt.

In fact, you have suggested on two separate occasions that I deal with DHL directly:

- "Would you like to take the lead in tghis [sic] and open the next step dialog with DHL?" (8/19)

- "If you can expedite [getting the claim forms], please do so" (8/30)

DHL, in my latest conversation with them today, suggested I deal with them directly. To do so, as I have mentioned previously, DHL needs your authorization, on your letterhead and with your signature. It should take just a few moments of your time to fax the authorization to me and you will be done with your part of this unpleasant business. It will be on me to document to their satisfaction that the claim is a valid one.

The authorization should also list your shipper number and you can restrict my involvement by referring to waybill number 27313978952 or your DHL contact number, 08194604. The authorization may be faxed to 951-639-3797.

As expected, the Seller has no intentions of honoring his contract with me:

Dear Mr. Morris,

Thank you for confirming that you received my request to retract your defamation but you refused to do so.

Today I cancelled the DHL damage in shipment claim I can not longer support or justify. I forwarded your file to my lawyers for further actions. I hope you realize what you are getting into. Having opinions about others is one thing, publishing unsupported allegations for whatever reason is very costly business.

In light of the upcoming litigation, this will be my last communication to you.

[Seller's name removed]

9/20/2005: I filed a case with Square Trade, eBay's preferred dispute resolution provider:

Reported Problems: Damaged merchandise

Further Details: 43 days after notifying seller that item was received damaged in shipment, seller continues to refuse to file a damage claim with the shipper.

Potential Solutions: I would be willing to accept a full or partial refund. I would like the other party's help to file a shipping insurance claim if possible. Since this was damaged in shipping, a claim should be filed with the shipper (DHL). It should be up to them to settle the damage, but I would also be willing to accept a refund ($179.18) from the seller.

9/21/2005: eBay confirmed receipt of my Protection Claim. Apparently it can now take up to 30 days for them to respond.

9/24/2005: Square Trade informs me that seller has not responded to their messages.

9/26/2005:Sixty days after the eBay transaction ended, I am forced to leave negative feedback:

Received damaged in shipment. Seller refuses to file damage claim with carrier.

I really hate leaving negative feedback. Out of 84 prior transactions as a buyer on eBay, I've only issued one comment that was not positive and that comment I left as neutral. This is the first negative feedback I've left.

Of course, the Seller leaves negative feedback in retaliation for my negative feedback about him:

Claims damage, but no evidence. Arrogant to the core. Definitely not recommended
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Phone: 951.242.6457 Fax: 951.639.3797

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