Have I been scammed/ripped off? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 529
Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Last November (2005) I sent a rare 540R maple fingerboard neck to a luthier for a refret. It took him several weeks to finish and in December we worked out a barter/pay payment plan. I sent a mint '87 540R redburst body to him with some money in return for the refretted neck and a Saber wizard neck. He also had an old maple board RG550 neck that I sent him to see if he wanted it. So all three necks were to come back to me after payment.

I've inluded email conversations below that start on the 17th of December.

=====================================
On Sat 17 Dec 2005 at 12:36, XXXX wrote:

The post office closed already so the necks will go out Monday [19th].
Besides I still have to take the tuners off the oval inlay neck.

XXXX

[He didn't send them]

=====================================
On Fri 23 Dec 2005 at 22:07, XXXX wrote:

The necks are packed and going to the post office tomorrow [Sat 24th].
I'm using the priority boxes (creatively) I picked up the boxes today
but by the time I got home and packed them the P.O. was closed.

XXXX

[He didn't send them]

=====================================
On Tues 17 Jan 2006 at 21:25, XXXX wrote:

As you know, I started the new job around the
holidays and haven't caught up yet....The necks just didn't
get to the post office before the new job, that's all. It's a complete
failure on my part. I sent you the e-mail telling you they went out
because they were sitting here ready. Let me know if there's anything I
can do to make it up to you. They are still here, and can ship tomorrow.

XXXX

[He didn't send them]

=====================================
On Thu 26 Jan on telephone

XXXX promises to send the necks on the 27th [Friday] and will call that night either way. But there would be no either way, he said, because he would send them for sure.

[He didn't send them. Or call.]

=====================================
On Wed 1 Feb on telephone
[He has had them 'boxed and ready' now for 45 days.]

XXXX said that he would mail the necks today after an
appointment at 2 PM.

[He finally mailed them. Or did he?]

=====================================


On Friday, Feb 3 (2 days after he hit the post office) a box arrives with two necks in it. The Saber, and the one he didn't want. I figured that three necks were too many to put in one box and that he must have used two. I called him to ask about it and he said that the post office told him to break apart the one box and make it two.

It is now Wed, Feb 8 (one full week after he said that he mailed the rare neck) and it hasn't arrived. The other package arrived four business days ago and it was mailed at the exact same time.\

I called today around noon (Wed, Feb and left a message for him to call me at work or at home about what might be going on. He has done neither.

So what do you think? Is this all just bad luck and unfortunate events? Or have I lost that ultra-rare neck forever?

Last edited by ashbass; 02-09-2006 at 12:44 AM.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 12:54 AM
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Location: South Jersey
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Was box 1 insured? If so I'd want the insurance number of box 2 ASAFP, along with a copy of the receipt that shows 2 shipments to your zip code.

Anybody in this biz that does work by mail knows full well all the rules.

1 - never ship without insurance unless you're willing to pay the cost out of pocket if something happens.

2 - never loose a shipping receipt as it's your only proof.

3 - never lie because once you do there's no reason to ever believe you again.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Rich, box 1 was not insured. It had no delivery confirmation. Nothing. Just regular Priority Mail. I called his post office to see if they could check their tape from Wed last week to see if two packages were rung up for going to Pittsburgh but the guy said he couldn't. Then I asked if he might remember a fellow who came in with on large tube and who had to change to two tubes before mailing. He worked mornings so he didn't know but he asked the others and no one recalled anything like that. There was one person not there who worked on Wed, however. And, I could have had the wrong post office.

The real pisser is that his paying out of pocket isn't good enough because I can't get another neck like that. I get more and more angry thinging about it.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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Location: Sydney Australia
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Luthiers Do tend to be utterly hopeless businessmen, so he is living up to a long standing reputation - do you have someone local who could pay a house call on him? Is he so far away that you can't get in a car/bus/train/aeroplane and confront him in person? The guy I use is not exactly prompt, but freely admits to being that way, so it's hard to get annoyed with him - but I have to say I would NEVER try to do what you are doing by posting bits and bats to a luthier - how do you communicate exactly what you are after?

Ask him to be honest with you - try to emphasise that you are not so much mad at him, but concerned about the safe return of an irreplaceable item!

Cheers, and good luck

David
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 01:25 AM
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Well that's 2 strikes. How is he doing on point #2?
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 04:11 AM
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

I HATE stuff like this, I've had similar things happen in the past. Now when it comes to situations where someone is saying "Ooooh, well I'll try and get it out today but if not it'll be next month, etc. etc. etc." I just say don't bother, pack it up and Parcel Force will be with you in the morning. Sometimes it's much more easier to arrange your own delivery and then you can insure it or whatever you want.

Good luck with this mate, don't get stressed. Karma is a bitch and one way or another word will get out that he is an untrustworthy guy.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 05:34 AM
 
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Angry Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

it's a real bitch when stuff like this happens to a bro! we all feel your pain bro.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 07:16 AM
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Sorry to hear this stuff. I had 2 bad luthier experiences as well and have decided that I will avoid long distance luthiers if I can avoid it at all. You just have very little recourse, whether they turn out to be a crook, or just an incompetent boob.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David McCarroll
but I have to say I would NEVER try to do what you are doing by posting bits and bats to a luthier - how do you communicate exactly what you are after?
Email and phone, email and phone. I've done both. Mucho talking about what was needed for the refret, about how the refret went, and about how the neck is on its way. I've been told (not emailed) that "I haven't given it someone else." That "I'm not a dishonest person." etc. I'm at the end of my rope because the next steps to take will necessarily severe my relationship and kill any chance of ever getting the neck I fear.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
Well that's 2 strikes. How is he doing on point #2?
When I called yesterday I said that I needed to get information about the shipping of the packages including the receipt info. He never called or emailed. I'll call again today. We're past 50 days now on this item.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 09:19 AM
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

which luthier is this? i am shopping for one right now, and you're scaring the hell out of me. but i need to hear this kind of stuff
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity
which luthier is this?
I'll wait until Friday to see if the neck arrives or he responds to my calls and emails before I say.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 11:19 AM
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

I hope this all works out for you real soon. Your trading ethics and standards of customer service are impeccable and it would be wonderful if everyone involved in the industry were like you and Rich.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

If I was in the same boat I'd be pissed too! It shouldn't take a month and then some just to get to the post office! Pretty sketchy!

I hope it all works out for you in the end, and his work was so good it was worth the whole trauma.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-09-2006, 02:15 PM
 
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Re: Have I been scammed/ripped off?

Ashbass, I know you're in Pgh so I have to ask why you didn't use someone local? I'd think Pianos N Stuff's guy could handle it. It doesn't help your situation, but I'm just curious as I may be having some custom work done myself soon.

Hopefully this all works out for you and you get your neck back.
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