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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking for a used Serotta fit cycle a couple of months ago and asked around these forums. I got a response from someone in Utah (I'm in Toronto Canada).
We agreed on a price for one he said he had bought 2 or 3 years earlier but never used.

So after several weeks it finally arrived. First it is 'well over 10 years old' according to Serotta. Second, the handlbar attachment and the head tube attachment are bent so that they will not hold position.
Basically, the fit cycle is useless as is.
I started a complaint through Paypal noting these 2 problems (the latter being a deal kicker). The Seller replied that I hadn't exercise 'due diligence' to determine the age of the fit cycle before purchasing (I had assumed because he said he bought in a couple of years ago that it was therefore only a couple of years old--I think a fair assumption).
As to the two broken clamps--he didn't respond at all.

So I 'escalated' the Paypal to a formal dispute stating my case to Paypal. In about 30 seconds I got a reply: my case could not proceed as Paypal only deals with 'non delivery' of goods and is not involved with whether the goods work as advertised.

So I am out of luck!

So, I ask, what good is Paypal and its vaunted security to the buyer?
 

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The web is a MUT
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fredf said:
... Paypal only deals with 'non delivery' of goods and is not involved with whether the goods work as advertised....
Pretty much it.

There are a couple of things I want that I've found in the last month or three, the seller will only deal with PayPal payment, I don't have PayPal currently, so I do without.

Tie your load to one horse and you're stuck with that one horse.

The only way I'll restore my PayPal use is if I get a separate credit card with no annual fee and a limited max amount that is not tied in any way, shape, or form to my banking account(s). As it is I do without.

And, yeah, due diligence versus assumptions, you can learn a lot from schiesters.
 

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bmxhacksaw said:
"My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it."
as you recall, he doesn't fix it though. :D

 

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As far as it being 10 years old, I think that's on you. You didn't ask "How old is it," nor did you ask for a serial number to check with Serotta. As far as it being broken/dented/bent, that is definitely on him. What discussions did you have about condition?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1. I asked how old it was and he said 'I bought it a couple of years ago'. I think it is reasonable to assume the age to be 'a couple of years'.

2. He specifically said 'it is in excellent working order'. He said 'all parts move well'....so well, that they won't stay still.
When I complained directly to him he said that he bought it for a bike fitting business that never happened and that he never used it. When someone says an item is working, I assume that they actually tried to work it.

My real concern here is the surprise I got when I escalated the complaint at Paypal only to learn that they don't care about things working as advertised. I don't know if anyone else was under the impression that this is exactly what Paypal IS about.
If I had paid directly by Visa I would have better protection.

The purpose of this is to warn others about Paypal's lack of protection.

I have taken the size cycle to a frame builder here and he is going to see what he can do. I am going to ask the Seller to pay me my cost if this guy can fix it.

If not, do you think it fair that I mention his name here in this forum? He runs a cyle fitness business and I think people should be circumspect about doing business with him but I don't want to smear him unfairly.
What do people think?
 

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fredf said:
1. I asked how old it was and he said 'I bought it a couple of years ago'. I think it is reasonable to assume the age to be 'a couple of years'.

2. He specifically said 'it is in excellent working order'. He said 'all parts move well'....so well, that they won't stay still.
When I complained directly to him he said that he bought it for a bike fitting business that never happened and that he never used it. When someone says an item is working, I assume that they actually tried to work it.

My real concern here is the surprise I got when I escalated the complaint at Paypal only to learn that they don't care about things working as advertised. I don't know if anyone else was under the impression that this is exactly what Paypal IS about.
If I had paid directly by Visa I would have better protection.

The purpose of this is to warn others about Paypal's lack of protection.

I have taken the size cycle to a frame builder here and he is going to see what he can do. I am going to ask the Seller to pay me my cost if this guy can fix it.

If not, do you think it fair that I mention his name here in this forum? He runs a cyle fitness business and I think people should be circumspect about doing business with him but I don't want to smear him unfairly.
What do people think?
You still should have asked for a serial number. That is apparently what you did afterwards, and how you now know its age. You keep using the word assume, which is not the best idea in dealing over the internet. I know you put trust in people, but you have to be very diligent about these kinds of things, especially when there is this much money involved (I'm assuming it wasn't cheap).

I think if you have approached him and given him every opportunity to remedy the situation, and he won't, then posting on here might be OK. Pics as evidence of the damage would be good, and expect him to come on here and tell his side as well. There are always two sides to every story, as they say.
 

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Your first mistake was dealing with someone from Utah, the fraud capital of the country and sometimes called the Nigeria of the U.S.
 

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fredf said:
1. I asked how old it was and he said 'I bought it a couple of years ago'. I think it is reasonable to assume the age to be 'a couple of years'.

What do people think?
I can see how this one slipped through the cracks.

He never really bothered to check when it was made or anything else with it. I guess for some people it doesn't matter.
 

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If the Paypal transaction was funded by a credit card you can contact your CC company and dispute the charge. They should then do a charge back to Paypal who will then remove funds from the seller's account.
 

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la dolce vita
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I sell/buy a lot on Ebay and I think Paypal sucks, but they've got your by the balls. Most people want to use it because its easy, but when you have a problem forgetaboutit you are on your own. I have even spoken with live reps (yes, they have them there believe it or not) and they sound pained when expressing that they can't do anything. Must suck to work there. I wish there were legit alternatives (yes I know there are alternatives, but I am talking reality here as in something most people would use) for payment on Ebay.
 

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I had the same problem. Product not as described. When I escalated
the claim within 30 seconds I got an email saying I was SOL. (paraphrased)
I still use them but I also realize I need to be more specific on every detail.
 

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bike_guy said:
If the Paypal transaction was funded by a credit card you can contact your CC company and dispute the charge. They should then do a charge back to Paypal who will then remove funds from the seller's account.
+1 on this. I rarely sell stuff on eBay accepting Paypal because Paypal won't stand up for you as a seller if a buyer does this. So you might as well take advantage of this and get a chargeback.
 

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The CC card dispute is probably your best option I agree. If you did not use a CC, are there any attorneys that deal with contracts that could weigh in? I think if you have this information in writing (email, IM, toilet paper), then you have the ability to sue or make a claim. An email can be a legally binding contract you can use as proof (even an oral agreement is a legal contract but unless you were recording the conversation and you both agreed to the recording you are SOL). You don't need a signature for an agreement or a statement to have contractual "weight." Depending how much you paid it might be worth it?
 

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I had a much better experience with PayPal. I bought a motorcycle part off ebay that was described as "excellent condition" but arrived with significant flaws. After good faith efforts to resolve the problem with the seller were fruitless I elevated it to a PayPal dispute. I took detailed photos of the flaws and put them on a web page, and included a link to that page in my letter to PayPal.

It took about a month but PayPal investigated the case and found in my favor. I got all my money back and didn't even have to return the part.
 

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fredf said:
...do you think it fair that I mention his name here in this forum? He runs a cyle fitness business and I think people should be circumspect about doing business with him but I don't want to smear him unfairly.
What do people think?
Yes, by all means, but first inform this individual of your intentions and this thread. He may relent and refund your money.

Regardless of what you should or should not have done, this seller clearly was not completely forthright in his correspondence with you, and in my book that's deception - a half-truth is a euphemism for a lie. Of course, I'm assuming that what you're telling us is not skewed in any way.
 

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Their response sounds odd, unless they have changed their process.

I've had 2 good responses from them.

The 1st came from buying an SD chip that would not store beyond 80 photos. I filed a complaint, the seller claimed it was too late for a refund, I got my money back. Faulty goods.

The 2nd was a non-delivery deal. Bought a seatpost, he didn't have the part, offered an upgrade for $20, I declined, he didn't give me my money back, I complained and got a refund.


Is it possible that they didn't quite understand your complaint? Sometimes those script readers don't quite understand what's being said. In your case, "didn't work" is not the problem, it's sounds like you were sold defective goods - damaged and not advertised.
 

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Me too, I had a good response, but mine was an ebay purchase gone bad. Maybe that's the delta - ebay and paypal being the incestuous duo that they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I've been pretty fair in my description of what transpired.
And I wouldn't print his name until he has a chance to 'make good'. If I can get it fixed, I will email him and ask him to reimburse my cost. I'll just eat the time and trouble.
I was quoted $150 to fix the fit cycle and I paid $1200 for it so I think the Seller comes off ok.

Yeah, I've learned a couple of lessons:
1. Paypal offers no protection so you're on your own
2. Be a little less trusting. In fact, I think I'm through dealing with individuals over the Internet. I'll still to well established stores like Probikekit (who have been great).

Thanks for all your advice and I hope I'm not back with this guy's name.
 
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