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Dealing with an online thief?

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Dealing with an online thief?

Old 01-08-05, 02:23 PM
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Dealing with an online thief?

So, let me point for this little 3 month adventure I've had with my first dealings with somebody online followed by questions pertaining to the ordeal:

September
*I contacted an online seller of a television show I enjoy about a deal he had posted on his website for the entire series save for what is already released.
*After some back and forth haggling and a few questions by me about the disc quality and such we struck a deal of $400 American ($530 CDN) for the set which he said would be out to me in about 2 weeks. I sent him up a money order and waited.

October
*Two weeks came and went and no order came. I wrote him and he did not reply.
*Mid-October developments occured where a lost episode of the show became in circulation. He managed to get a copy and I wrote and asked to include it in my order and I could wait a little longer for this. He said he would and my order would be out in a week.
*Nothing showed up by the end of October. By this point I was also working with his partner, another seller, to make DVD covers for the collection he could sell on his site/

November
*November came with little communication from him. I would learn from his selling partner that he was going through some hardships and a move after a split from his wife.
*He posted on his website an apology for not getting orders out and said he would so by the end of the week. He explained some about his hardships and such in this post on the site and I decided to cut him some slack and wait some more.
*By the end of November I had finished the covers and shipped them out to his partner but still no word from my seller and, more so, no discs.

December
*I wrote him at the start of December asking for an update and he replied "So sorry for the lack of communication. I have not sent your discs out yet, and will explain when time permits. I will, however, have them out by the end of the week." AGAIN I got this "by the end of the week" shit! More so, I was getting tired of his repies two weeks after an email sent to him.
*I found a post on a website devoted to the show made the second week of December about somebody else not getting discs from him. Others flocked to say that the seller was usually pretty reliable and we should have patience with him.
*Somebody on the board found that the seller was posting auctions on Yahoo! promising delivery of the whole series by Xmas! This, of course, pissed me off to no end because I'd been waiting for my discs since September.
*I wrote him about this and finally expressed my frustration. He had not written and explained anything and I'd been pretty patient with him.
*He replied explaining a terrible financial status, that he'd only made half of my discs by this point and he needed more money to purchase discs to fill orders. The Yahoo! auctions were of old stock he wasn't really satisfied with so he could get money and such. He said he would get more discs by the weekend.
*I wrote him after the weekend to ask about the discs. He said he didn't get money but sent half of my order out and would send the rest out before Christmas.
*Come the end of December NOTHING showed up and no word from him.

January
*I wrote him 4 days ago asking him for a status on the order telling him I didn't get anything yet. I asked him when he shipped it. He did not reply.
*Today I wrote him again with another note of frustration telling him I didnt' want to wait his usual two weeks for a reply and I wanted something, ANYTHING, delivered to me by the end of the month.

* * *

So, with the background explained:

1) Should I give this guy the benefit of the doubt here and understand he may be going through some hardships right now and that, eventually, my order will be sent to me if I have more patience?
2) Do you think he is scamming me? Is he indeed an online thief? I researched his history before I sent him money and he was good at sending out orders. His feedback was pretty good.
3) If, indeed, I get nothing in return for my money what can I do about it? I am in Canada and he in the US, so know that. What actions do you suggest I take or is there nothing I can do about it? What about warning others about his dealings? At least that's a start.

So, there's my story. Any suggestions or comments are most welcome.
Old 01-08-05, 02:48 PM
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I had a situation almost exactly like this one time and heres what i did -


I went and got the names and phone numbers of his local poice department, and names and phone numbers of the regional FBI office. I emailed that to him, and said, if i dont get my item within 7 days, you can deal with the police and the FBI instead of me"

i got the item 3 days later. If your going to threaten, you gotta throw all compassion, mercy, and emotions out the window and just be a complete dick. WHO CARES if he has problems and hardships, if you let someone sucker play you with that kind crap then youll never get your item
Old 01-08-05, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by skiblet
I had a situation almost exactly like this one time and heres what i did -


I went and got the names and phone numbers of his local poice department, and names and phone numbers of the regional FBI office. I emailed that to him, and said, if i dont get my item within 7 days, you can deal with the police and the FBI instead of me"

i got the item 3 days later. If your going to threaten, you gotta throw all compassion, mercy, and emotions out the window and just be a complete dick. WHO CARES if he has problems and hardships, if you let someone sucker play you with that kind crap then youll never get your item
Yeah, I have been rather easy on him. I mean, Christ, even when I threaten I am apologizing! Argh! You are right, though, sometimes you got to toss that shit out the window or else you're just going to get walked all over. Your idea is much appreciated and noted.

But, honestly, in a matter such as this, between two people in two different countries, you honestly think the cops will get involved? Either way, though, even if he calls me on it, a useless threat is better then none at all.
Old 01-08-05, 02:52 PM
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I make it my policy to never buy stuff from people that they have no right to sell. If they're willing to rip off the content creators, why would you possibly think they'd think twice about ripping you off?
Old 01-08-05, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by stevevt
I make it my policy to never buy stuff from people that they have no right to sell. If they're willing to rip off the content creators, why would you possibly think they'd think twice about ripping you off?
In the case of this show 90% of it may never be released and the series creators have no issue with people circulating the episodes. In fact, they encourage it. The only rule they have is that episodes they have already out there NOT be sold and any time they release new discs the dealers take that out of circulation. So, that wasn't an issue with me in this regard.
Old 01-08-05, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian
In the case of this show 90% of it may never be released and the series creators have no issue with people circulating the episodes. In fact, they encourage it. The only rule they have is that episodes they have already out there NOT be sold and any time they release new discs the dealers take that out of circulation. So, that wasn't an issue with me in this regard.
"Circulating" is far different than "selling to people" (or promising to, anyhow) for crazy amounts of money.

I doubt there's a lobotomy strong enough to make whatever series creators these are not care that people are profiting from their hard work in this way.
Old 01-08-05, 03:09 PM
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send them a virus or trojan horse

gotta agree with stevevt don't deal with poeple you don't know, which is why I don't bother with e-bay
Old 01-08-05, 03:13 PM
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What show is it?

And - this guy sounds like he's just fucking with you. You sent him a money order which he cashed and right there he had the money to go buy discs or whatever. Fuck him if he lost his job and wife and children and truck and dog... that's no reason he should keep your money and not send you anything. Tell him to refund your money or ship the items immediately and provide shipping verification and tracking. I think the police thing is a decent idea as well.
Old 01-08-05, 03:43 PM
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I would like to have sex with your butt. But it looks like this guy already beat me to it.
Old 01-08-05, 04:03 PM
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You paid FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS for a BOOTLEG?? And all up front??

At the VERY least, if you were intent on spending that much money, you should have sent him $200 and promised the other $200 when you received the discs.

There is nothing you can do now except demand your money or goods and HOPE he is telling you the truth. If he doesn't come through, chalk it up to a very important lesson.

Last edited by Breakfast with Girls; 01-08-05 at 04:06 PM.
Old 01-08-05, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
You paid FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS for a BOOTLEG DISCS?? And all up front??

At the VERY least, if you were intent on spending that much money, you should have sent him $200 and promised the other $200 when you received the discs.

There is nothing you can do now except demand your money or goods and HOPE he is telling you the truth. If he doesn't come through, chalk it up to a very important lesson.
Yup, indeed. I was caught up in the moment of owning the entire show and clearly wasn't thinking clearly. There was a moment in November when I felt that, if I looked in the mirror, I would see a picture of a giant sucker like in those old Bugs Bunny cartoons.

If it's any consolation it WAS 200 bootlegged discs.

Last edited by ViewAskewbian; 01-08-05 at 04:10 PM.
Old 01-08-05, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I would like to have sex with your butt. But it looks like this guy already beat me to it.
What, wait...hold on a moment?

You wanted to fuck my ass?

NOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW you tell me!
Old 01-08-05, 04:16 PM
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MST3K?
Old 01-08-05, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wade Kainer
MST3K?
I was thinking that too. god I love that show
Old 01-08-05, 04:31 PM
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Must be MST3K. I'm surprised you can't fine them cheaper than that, but a quick look around makes it look like they are spendy.
Old 01-08-05, 04:38 PM
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Yeah, tough situation. If he's truely having problems, he should be quicker on the responses to the people who are helping him out with their patience.

At the very least I would've withheld sending out the covers to his partner until you received at least half the discs. Maybe that would've put a little fire to his ass.

Yeah, unless you get SOMETHING pronto, it might be time to go into dick-mode.
Old 01-08-05, 04:45 PM
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Well, I thought it was crazy to pay that kind of money for these, then I looked at the crap required to get them. Now I think it is probably a justifiable "convenience" fee.

Good luck.

If you do get them, let me know.
Old 01-08-05, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Well, I thought it was crazy to pay that kind of money for these, then I looked at the crap required to get them. Now I think it is probably a justifiable "convenience" fee.

Good luck.

If you do get them, let me know.
Yeah, it is MST3K. All epsiodes not available by RHINO. 162 epsiodes each on individual DVDs. This also included an extra 15 discs of specials and such. His discs, he said, had menus he created (he provided photos) as well as small extras here and there like hard to find commercials from the cast, original movie trailers and photo archives.

So, when I think about how I only paid $400 including free shipping to Canada it seemed like a pretty good deal especially since he claims that 85% of his discs are from original 1st generation masters (taped off TV of course) of the show. He had been trading for some time to get original tapes and such, he said, and his feedback said the quality was top-notch. If anything, he didn't make much of a profit off me as whole sets for MST3K from other dealers usually go for about $700-800 US. His partner was actually shocked I got the discs for such a low price and knew then that his partner was straped for cash.

The money I paid for the set was never an issue for me. This is by far my favorite television show and considering that Rhino sells episodes in 4 DVD box sets for $60 I end up paying only about $2 a disc for the entire set.

As for making covers for his partner...Originally, I did this out of a good gesture to him for providing fans with top notch quality episodes for lower prices then eBay scammers. He (his partner) has been in the bid'ness of trading tapes for 10 years and has gone through many bad quality dubs to get first generation tapes so making out covers for him was a way of thanking him. He ended up offereing me money anyway as well as hard to find rare items from his site. Currently, I am have no problem with him. In fact, he has wondered what is wrong with his partner and has become pretty worried about the whole thing.

There's still this part of me that feels that I'm not getting scammed here and that he's going to send out the discs or already has and the mail from US to Canada is slower then expected. But, yeah, patience is now pretty thin.

* * *

EDIT: Actually, it was exactly 163 DVDs. I confused his partner sending me the specials discs. Still, though, it equals out to about $2.50 a DVD. With the free shiping it was still a pretty great deal for each 90min show in full, commercials edited out...etc.

Last edited by ViewAskewbian; 01-08-05 at 05:01 PM.
Old 01-08-05, 04:58 PM
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If it is MST3k I can put you in touch with Barbara Tebben from Best Brains, Inc. I have contact info that should still be valid. E-mail me if you want it. I should think a complaint to them about someone scamming folks for their stuff might help you at least put a stop to the guy's dealings.
Old 01-08-05, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by QuAcKeR
If it is MST3k I can put you in touch with Barbara Tebben from Best Brains, Inc. I have contact info that should still be valid. E-mail me if you want it. I should think a complaint to them about someone scamming folks for their stuff might help you at least put a stop to the guy's dealings.
Isn't she the InfoClub Poobah? If so, I believe I already have that email from the SN.com. If not, hey, pass it along. Anything at this point is welcome.
Old 01-08-05, 05:31 PM
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When you say "partner" - do you mean "same-sex lover"?
Old 01-08-05, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Trigger
When you say "partner" - do you mean "same-sex lover"?
Between you and kvrdave wanting to bang my ass there's a lot more gay in this thread then expected. I mean, of course SOME was expected but this is MORE then expected.
Old 01-08-05, 08:00 PM
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Old 01-08-05, 08:22 PM
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Yeah, it sounds less like a "scam" and more like the guy is a complete fuck-up.

I'd demand a refund and take your business elsewhere. Seriously, this guy has gone beyond reasonable considerations.
Old 01-08-05, 09:16 PM
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I pondered how to get the entire MST3k series several years ago myself...I couldn't bring myself to deal with anyone trying to make a significant profit nor did I have anything to trade (as in 'keep trading the tapes')....fortunately I discovered a site called DAPCENTRAL (www.dapcentral.org). Their initial mission statement was to make available the highest quality episodes of MST3k they could get their hands on and distribute them via the p2p app EDONKEY. They will not distribute films that Rhino currently has available. That's how I managed to get a hold of the mst3k episodes I have now though I still try to pick up the Rhino sets as I can afford them since I want to support the creators and not feel that I'm ripping them off.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure what legal avenues you have available to you with this guy but I think you've been patient long enough.

Michael

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