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  1. #1
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    Jul 2003
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    637

    Am I being unfair to this customer? [Long Post]

    He won my car on eBay. I was delivering it to him in my city. I hit a pothole and bent a rim on the way there. He had to drive 400+ miles home. We made a temporary fix and told him I'd pay for a new rim. He sent me an email saying he bought a new rim for $313.50 and wanted me to pay for it.

    I did not think this is right, since he should have SHOWED me the price that he wanted me to pay before making the purchase. How can you expect someone to pay for something for you without first showing them the price?

    Him:

    I spent yesterday shopping for a rim and found it pretty surprising. I went first to the Chrysler dealer so that I could get a stock # or something to track it with. Their replacement was $500 but they'd let me have it for $420.09. Two other places got it down to $371.83. Then I went to the junk yards/used parts and came up empty. When I asked about a regional search, they weren't too supportive because they said you never know what you get with a used one (how bad scratches, small dents, etc. are). I finally found one near here for $300 so I picked it up today because I didn't want it to get away ($313.50). I've included scans of the bids I got; please pass these to your dad. If he just wants to send a check my address is 15719 Edgewood Dr, Dumfries, VA 22026. Sorry I couldn't find it any cheaper.
    Me:

    I looked on eBay and found that the wheels are being sold for less than $100:

    http://search.ebaymotors.com/ws/sear...=2&sotr=2&st=2

    However, I will forward this email to my dad.
    Me again:

    I spoke to my dad.

    In order to help you with the cost of the new wheel, he would liked to have known about the price it would cost him before purchasing. He said he can get you the same wheel for significantly cheaper and have it shipped directly to your doorstep. What would you like to do? Is the wheel you purchased refundable?
    Him

    At first glance, your response seems reasonable. However, when you look into it, the opposite is true. The 16" chrome wheel with dimples is not that readily available. On ebay, from your search, there is only one:

    Item 2474980591 $215

    As it is used, who can say what the actual condition is (per the advice I was given). Even so, there is shipping on top of the $215. I spent a half a day and didn't come up with much, so I bought what was the best deal I could find here. If that wheel I bought was no longer available, I didn't know how long I might have to wait to get the car in running order. As it is going to be used for a business, that time is worth more than the <$100 I "might" save by doing other things. I took your dad at his word to deal fairly with me, and I felt I've dealt fairly with you. I found the best deal I could. If you're not willing to follow through, the bottom line is that there isn't much I can do. I'm sorry for the cost and inconvenience to you, but this hasn't been without inconvenience (and additional cost) to me also, and it was your accident. Please provide this information to your dad and decide what you'd like to do. Either way, I had to get the car running in a safe condition, which is why I acted rather than coordinate prior with you.
    Me

    I forwarded your message to my dad again. You can rest assured that he is a man of his word and he will indeed help you as promised. You are right, $215+ shipping would not be very significant savings at all, and no reason to purchase a new wheel when you have already gotten the problem resolved.

    However, eBay item ( #2474646238 and #2474646628 ) both feature the original factory wheels with dimples as you need for your vehicle. It's hard to see the dimples because of the chrome in the sunlight, but a close look at the edges will reveal the same exact wheel as the one you showed me for $215. These auctions are for $66 and $63. I imagine they will go up a bit, but probably not by much.

    It's fine that you acted on your own in order to get the car running as soon as possible. However, my dad would have not paid $315+ for the wheel. He is able to get it at a much lower cost, and would be more than happy to buy it for you at an agreeable price. All it would have took was a quick email or phone call to let us know the price and we would have said no and shipped you the same product on us.

    I trust that someone with 171 feedback (100% positive) would give me an accurate description of the wheel they are selling if you would like for us to purchase one for you. If not, my dad will gladly pay 50% of the wheel you already purchased, as $150 (give or take) is what he had expected to pay for it in the first place. Let me know if this sounds fair.
    Him

    I'm not saying that your dad is not a man of his word. What I'm saying is that I spent an afternoon trying to find the best deal I could and acted on that as time was a concern; I'm starting a business and I certainly have lots of more important things I need to do. I didn't expect the dealer to have a very good deal, but wanted to get a base price. Two commercial tire/wheel shops, which offer pretty good deals here didn't provide me much of a break. I was willing to put a used rim on but after checking with a half dozen (by phone) auto yards, and them searching on their parts network turned up only this rim, I decided to act. I can't wait for several days for a rim to be shipped from another part of the country,just as I couldn't spend the night in Detroit while "Tire Discounters" brought one up from their warehouse. Your dad will certainly understand the value of time. He chose not to go with the offer from the first place we consulted. I took a risk to start my trip with the quick repair job, all due to time. If I'd chosen not to accept that, who would have covered my costs to remain in Detroit? Who would have covered my responsibilities that I had here Monday? If that tire had not made it, I would have been faced with more expensive repairs to get me home, or additional delays. Everything can be looked at as a "what if" scenario. I did the best I could on getting the car repaired with the market that is in this area, just as your dad did the best he could with his resources on Saturday. You said your dad could get the wheel for $150. Does the price of the wheel cover all the aspects of the accident your mother had? I don't think so. I'm sorry, but I had nothing to do with that. There were no offers nor ways that you could cover my responsibilities if I'd waited until the next day for Tire Discounters to get a new wheel. Also, would they have done that for $150? Do I think your covering half the cost of the wheel is fair? No. This was an accident that I had nothing to do with. I'm sorry it couldn't be fixed with a bargain price over ebay. Accidents are usually more expensive than things that can be researched and planned. I would ask, out of fairness and trust, that your dad cover the replacement cost ($313.50). If he's willing to do that, great. If not, well, then do what you're willing to do but I can't provide any better explanation for my actions. Getting another wheel isn't an option as it has been installed, the place doesn't give refunds (an indication of the law of supply and demand here), and I can't undo the business useage of the car since its been repaired so that it can be safely operated.
    What would you do in this situation? I do not think it's fair to pay the $313.50 because he did not let me know the price before ordering. I would have been fine buying him a wheel from a more affordable supplier or eBay myself.

    He's basically saying that buying the wheel on eBay would have took a long time, and since it was my accident, he shouldn't have to wait that long. However, he did drive home 400+ miles on the "temporarily fixed" wheel. I doubt a few extra days driving LOCALLY on that wheel would be any trouble if he had already driven accross the country on it. He's saying that he had to replace it right away so that it would be "safe." But that's after he just drove 400+ miles on the "unsafe" wheel. Doesn't make much sense to me.
    Last edited by Mark226; 04-21-2004 at 12:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Chandler, Arizona
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    2,564
    That's insane to py $350 (or thereabouts) for a factory wheel..

    I'd say that you dealt with him fairly and he went by his own accord to rectify the situation without first talking to you/your dad...
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2001
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    Lexington SC
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    I'd pay the high price for it on ebay; He can return his wheel and use the money gave him for a new one, or just live with paying the difference.
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  4. #4

    Re: Am I being unfair to this customer? [Long Post]

    Originally posted by azo313
    We made a temporary fix and told him I'd pay for a new rim.
    It all depends on EXACTLY how that conversation was worded and what EXACTLY was said.

    Did you specifically say YOU would get the new rim for him? Did you tell him not to look for any?

    All in all though, Yes he should have called and let you know of his progress in his search and the price before purchasing as a courtsey. However you did agree that you would pay for the new rim.
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  5. #5
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    Nov 2002
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    Under the sea
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    What kind of car?

  6. #6
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    Jul 2003
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    2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser (16" Chromes - It's the factory stock wheel). Only one.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2003
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    637
    Is this too harsh? I did not send it yet:

    The vehicle was supposed to be shipped at the cost of the buyer. We altered the guidelines we had listed in the auction to accommodate you and save you shipping costs. We offered to pick you up at the Greyhound station as a favor and to save you taxi costs. It turns out that we had the unfortunate problem of loosing a wheel in the process.

    Yes, we had an accident. Yes, we had agreed to help you buy a new wheel. No, we did not agree to pay a ridiculously high retail price to have a new wheel installed the following day.

    You are saying you had to replace it immediately due to safety concerns. However, you make this claim after you just drove a good portion of the country (about 500 miles) on the "unsafe" wheel. If the temporary wheel was such a safety issue that it could not wait a few more days to be replaced, it should not have been driven 500 miles. Not to mention, the replacement could have waited a few days because there is no guarantee that a buyer will transfer a vehicle the same few days that the auction has ended. You asked me to do it on Saturday. If I was busy or not ready to transfer the vehicle, I would have not agreed to that date and you would not have had the vehicle until the coming week. How can it be absolutely necessary to install a wheel the following day if there was no guarantee you would have had the vehicle that Saturday after winning the auction anyway? All I'm saying is that it could have waited.

    I'd say that 50% of $313.50 is fair as you went by your own accord to rectify the situation without first talking to my dad.
    Last edited by Mark226; 04-21-2004 at 01:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lima, Perú
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    164
    Looking coldly at the situation, you should pay for the rim.

    You're mixing up things which don't go together when you mention everything that was done during negotiations with what happened after the fact.

    You agreed to deliver a product in X condition for N price. But you weren't able to do that, so now you must rectify the situation.

    Imagine you buy a Television from a store, when it's delivered to your home, it's broken in some way. Who should pay for the replacement/repair of the damage, you or the store?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    Tasmania, Australia.
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    3,587
    My gosh lad...you had an accident.

    Originally posted by azo313
    Yes, we had an accident.
    And you agreed to buy a new wheel.

    Originally posted by azo313
    Yes, we had agreed to help you buy a new wheel.
    The guys has sent you scanned copies of the quotes he got. Some insurance companies don't even need that anymore. Unless there's something blatantly obvious not coming to light here, like you didn't smash the car, or you didn't promise to fix it, then pay the guy (for your damage).

    Judge Judy would have a field day with you!

  10. #10
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    Feb 2003
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    Just pay the cost of the rim and be done with the situation. I'm not sure why there is so much middle-man activity occurring. You say it was your sale, yet your copies of the exchanged messages indicate your Dad was in charge, and in one instance mentions your Mom.

    Your Dad should be the one dealing with this situation, but that is beside the point. The buyer obviously made an effort to find the cheapest solution possible in a certain time period, and went to several different locations. Just because it doesn't meet your expectations of its cost does not mean he is trying to cheat you or that he did anything wrong.

    You said that you would pay for the cost of the rim. Nowhere do I read that it had to be within a certain price range. Granted, it was an accident, but nevertheless, you said you'd pay for it and it appears time for you to deliver on your word. If he were out to find the most expensive, he would have picked the one from the dealership or the most expensive one he could find. Instead, he chose to shop around for YOUR benefit.

    Both sides of the party made sacrifices, although the buyer made a bigger sacrifice by traveling such a long distance. Pay the cost of the rim and be done with it.

    Regards,
    Waylon

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Australia
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    934
    Originally posted by Velostream
    Pay the cost of the rim and be done with it.
    Exactly. I can't beleive all the time and energy you've wasted arguing over around $150. Just pay for it and move on, regardless of who's right and who's wrong.
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  12. #12
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    The vehicle was supposed to be shipped at the cost of the buyer. We altered the guidelines we had listed in the auction to accommodate you and save you shipping costs. We offered to pick you up at the Greyhound station as a favor and to save you taxi costs. It turns out that we had the unfortunate problem of loosing a wheel in the process.
    Busted!

    I would think that by any Court in the U.S. you would be required to pay the cost -- whatever it is. By your own admission 'you' offered to pick up the Client and finalize the deal. The condition of the vehicle at that time is what counts.

    Although it was unfortunate to have had the accident on the way, if you had had the patience to wait and fix any damages yourself, this all could have been avoided.

    It's one of those "why me" situations and best thing to do is deal with it and get past it -- even if it means biting the bullet on what you might think is not fair.
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  13. #13
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    Dec 2003
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    Pay the cost. You broke the rim - and he found one suitable.. pay it.

    Anytime this happens, while he should have told you prevously, he wanted a good rim that would replace the one you bent. He found one that he liked -- not one on "ebay".

  14. #14
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    Yeah, theres not much you can do.
    You should pay him, but next time, if something breaks, let the client know, that you will handle the replacement yourself, and not to buy it with his own "expertise"

  15. #15
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    He doesn't seem like a really nasty person, but you are under no obligation to pay for the rim he bought.

    Buy your own and ship it to him and you have fulfilled your obligation to him. Anything he did outside of that is his problem. And I think, even Judge Judy would agree with that.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Andrew
    Anything he did outside of that is his problem.
    Not when there is a verbal agreement in place that the other guy go buy a replacement, and this lad will pay for it. Judge Judy is very big on verbal agreements being taken seriously!

    Gary

  17. #17
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    Was there a verbal agreement that he'd pay any amount of money for a rim this guy got without any consultation? I don't think so. It was remiss of this gentleman not to contact the seller to confirm before making a purchase he expected the seller to pay for.

    Ship him a rim and he'll learn to not make such mistakes in the future. Just looking at his shinier than usual spare tire will remind him.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    407
    You crashed his car and bent the wheel, you should just pay the price and say sorry. If you taken to court you will lose in a heartbeat as long as the person shows the receipts of what they paid for the rim.

    Sure it would of been nice if he showed you the price, but he does not have to do this and it is his right to buy the rim at any place he wants and not where you tell him.

    And the fact he drive on a wheel for so long makes it all the more important he changes it right away.
    Last edited by alvinks; 04-21-2004 at 08:38 PM.
    Alvin

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Andrew
    Was there a verbal agreement that he'd pay any amount of money for a rim this guy got without any consultation?
    Of course there was. "We made a temporary fix and told him I'd pay for a new rim." does not equate to "We made a temporary fix and told him I'd pay up to x amount of money for him to buy a new rim and return the car to the state it was agreed upon for sale".

    We're not talking 20k over 10k. It's $300 over what was hoped to be around $150. It's not uncommon to find car parts around that price doubled between 2 repair shops in the same street, let alone across the country.

    Gary

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