So a while back I had a guy that emailed me back and forth for months. He was pretty cool but picky beyond belief and couldn't decide on what he wanted.
Finally though he ordered this ultra deluxe, 4 player arcade machine wrapped in Star wars graphics, (I've lost the actual pic but the design render is pictured below) he spared no expense, spending $3000 plus $220 shipping.
The machine arrives in Melbourne 5 days later and he calls me up losing his shit. It's been damaged by the freight company. I send everything fully insured so I assured him it was ok, he's covered. Please send me the pics of the damage.
It was only very slight, nothing cosmetic, but the console was a little dislodged as they must have stacked something heavy on it.
I assured the customer it could be fixed, I'll contract a cabinet maker to come out to him and repair it at my expense, then I'll go through insurance later.
Nope. he didn't want that.
So i said ok, I'll arrange for collection and have it brought back to me, and I'll issue him a full refund including freight.
Nope. He didn't want that either.
Ok I said, what would make you happy then? It's something easy to fix, perhaps i can pay you what I'd pay the contractor (about $250) and you can fix it?
Nope. He wanted a full refund AND he wanted to keep the machine too.
I said that won't happen. Insurance won't allow it as the damage is tiny. It's like car insurance, they won't write off a whole car for minor damage that can be fixed.
He didn't care, he wanted a refund.
I said they won't do it, and I certainly wont pay out of pocket. Either I'll arrange collection of the unit at my expense and issue a refund to him or we have it repaired.
Nope. He paid via Paypal and he's putting through a dispute because the item "didn't arrive as described". I advised him that Paypal's rules also state that in order to get a refund, He'll need to show proof that he'd sent the item back or arranged with the sender to have it collected.
Nope. He's keeping it and getting a refund.
So I advised him that what he was committing was fraud and theft, Also Paypal will freeze the $3220 in my account and I'm not at fault here. That's what Paypal does you see. If anyone lodges a dispute, they automatically freeze the funds in the sellers account. it's guilty until proven innocent with them. It can also take up to 90 days to resolve, sometimes 6 months. I know, it's happened before.
He didn't care. The next thing i knew, I had a notification from Paypal. The funds were frozen pending the dispute.
The next step is stating your case to them. Providing evidence etc where they relay the info back and forth between the buyer and seller. Paypal ALWAYS sides with the buyer, sellers are a piece of shit as far as they're concerned. If it cant be resolved between buyer and seller, then you can opt to have Paypal decide. but their decision is absolute.
I provided my transcripts advising the customer that I'd collect the item and refund him, and he provided them with a fake pick up receipt. As far as they knew, he's done his part, now he's eligible. So they ruled in his favour.
So this fucker now has his money back and my $3000 machine. I was fuming, and he wouldn't answer my calls or emails. I'm a big guy and i had a rough upbringing in a tough neighbourhood, so i was about to jump into my truck, drive the 900km south, knock on his door and watch him shit himself as i repossess my machine. But my wife being the voice of reason calmed me down and said to try legal avenues first.
coincidentally he emails me 3 days later and says the computer in the machine stopped working. I replied "which fucking planet do you live on where you steal an item then complain it doesn't work?" he lol'ed me and said he had an IT guy.
A few days after that i get a call from a guy saying that his friend bought an item and the Hard drive is dead. It was his IT guy, and i don't think he knew the whole story. I asked him to find the serial number, it's just the date it was built and the iteration, for example 2312201901. He read the number out and i said "oh it's in warranty, send it back and I'll send a fresh new one" he bought it and sent it back.
Now note that he said the HDD was dead, that's a good thing. If it had been the computer, he could just use anything else and use the HDD as a back up. But since it was dead, and now i had his computer too, he has to buy a new system which would set him back at least $450 but he still couldn't play games in it. You can download the apps but there's a tonne of config work and button mapping etc.
IT guy calls me a few days later asking for the computer, and I told him the story and that nope, he can go fuck himself. He also lol'ed and asked how hard it could possibly be to just download shit.
See, what he didn't know is that i have a little fail safe built in. The encoder I use isnt mapped to the default keys on the apps. I changed everything around on the hardware to stop people trying to just clone it. It's not hard to get around, but most people aren't familiar with the nuances of emulators.
inevitably, i get another call a few days later from a different guy saying that he'd built his own machine but couldn't get it working. the symptoms were exactly that of trying to get my controls working on a different system. It was definitely the IT guy fishing. I played dumb and said i didn't know, sorry. Now this guy had an empty useless cabinet, so he left me a one star review on Google.
It's since been removed but it read something like "poor quality build, flimsy, system doesn't work, do not buy from these people!"
I was about to jump into my truck again and drive down to that fuckface. But again, my wife is like a bucket of ice water to my fire. So i wrote a long letter to Paypal attaching all of my evidence of his fraud. Then i responded to the 1 star review with attachments to the emails and his admission to committing the fraud. Also i displayed his name and email address to smoke him out.
He immediately called and said, "look, no hard feelings ok, but i received a damaged item and i'm entitled to compensation. Remove my details" He was getting spammed relelntlessly, but he seriously believed he did nothing wrong, I told him to go fuck himself and to enjoy his useless machine. I was still burning though.
I forgot about it after a few weeks, Paypal didn't respond so i cut my losses and moved on. But then something beautiful happened. It's as though the universe aligned and said "Hey Abs, we're not going to shit on you today, here, take this gift on a silver platter"
I was on ebay looking for old non working machines i can buy and refurb, there's good money to be made doing that. A one day refurb could pull in over $1000 profit. He's listed my machine! but contrary to his google review, the description was "marvelous hand built arcade cabinet, built by a master carpenter, flawless finish and quality, missing computer. Good for a DIY project" (I'm not a carpenter by the way) he had it listed for $1100. That was still $1100 pure profit to him since he got it free.
I bought it under my wife's account and had it delivered to my home address. When i sent it, it was wrapped in about a 4 inch thick layer of bubble wrap. When it arrived it had a flimsy single layer less than 5mm thick. The courier who dropped it off was the same guy who picked up from me, we were good friends and he knew the story. So i said i was going to damage it, make it look serious, but nothing i cant fix in a few minutes. He agreed and said that he's log the damage as due to insufficient packaging. Insurance won't cover it.
I knocked the panels out from inside so it looked like the machine had been crushed, realistically i only had to reset the screws and it was good as new, But it looked mangled.
Then i sent Melbourne dickhead the pics and complained about the damage. He said it was insured.
I advised him the courier said it was insufficiently packaged and that it's not covered, i want a refund, take this back. I knew he wouldn't take it back, it was totally useless to him.
He said he didn't want it and he'll refund the freight. I said nope. I can't do anything with a damaged machine, if he doesn't do anything, I'm filing a Paypal dispute under "item not as described" he wasn't happy, played the victim, played on my sympathy still not realizing who i was. Eventually after offering me partial refunds and getting rejected, he relented and told me to keep it and he'd refund me in full. He must've realized that his greed wasn't worth it and it cost him nothing.
So now i had my machine back and I was happy this was over with, still pissed at this guys audacity, but meh. That's not the end though....it gets better, oh does it get deliciously better.
Someone at Paypal business had finally read my complaint. Since I do a lot of work through Paypal under a business account, there's kind of a concierge service although not really, kind of like a priority service. They actually went through my complaint, verified that his pick up docket was actually a year old and unrelated, and read the transcripts of him intending to keep the machine and get a refund.
They refunded my money in full. Now i had my machine back and $3k of his money and he couldn't do shit because he got caught for fraud. Can't dispute shit if you got caught being dishonest
He called me up losing his shit. I laughed and said sorry mate, it's karma, It's purely up to my good will to refund you, go suck a doorknob.
He pleaded and begged, swore a lot, pleaded more, and I said i'll think about it. Legally he had no leg to stand on. But i have scruples. I donated it all to charity on his behalf. I sent him the receipt, he lost his shit some more, but now there were kids with food and clothes because of his douchebag-ness. Eat a dick Michael.