Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Long And Dirty Tale Of The 35" Televison

32604765.jpgShortly after my brief affair with graduate school I landed myself a well paying job. I was young. I was single. I was making a lot more money than I had ever made in my life.

I bought a large, bulky 35" Sanyo television. This was long before flat screens and wide screens and easily lift able televisions. The thing was massive, weighed a ton and because of the shape of the tube it was incredibly difficult to hold onto.

But it showed a wonderful picture and it was nice and big to look at. I loved it.

Well I loved it, until I had to move anyways, and then I cursed at its weighty bulkiness. My poor father in law has helped me move it half a dozen times and every time he threatens to drop it accidentally-on-purpose.

With the China move I decided to sell it. I was tired of moving it, we had no room to store it and I figured with the money we'd make over seas I could afford a new one when we got back.

I posted it on local boards and a few national internet places as well. I put the price low and promised I could go lower for the right story. As I am forgetful and lazy and a procrastinator, none of this happened until about three weeks before we had to move.

Desperate is the word.

About a week into it I got an odd phone call. The call was from a third party operator who told me he had someone on the other line who was making the call, but who was on a keyboard. This person would type something, and then the operator would read it to me. I then responded and the operator typed out what I said.

At the end of each statement I made I had to say "go ahead" as the signal that I was done talking.

Sounds easy enough, and it was, except I kept forgetting to say "go ahead" and there would be these long pauses interrupted by the operator asking if I was done. Or sometimes there would be a long pause where the other guy had expected more out of me and he would ask me if I was still there.

At the time I thought he was just using some internet dealie instead of calling, perhaps to save on long distance, but now I guess he was hearing impaired.

Still we agreed on a price, and we arranged to set up details via the e-mail.

I sent the pricing and instructions on how to deliver. And waited.

And waited.

Just as I was getting perturbed, he e-mailed back. It sounded like all things were go, but to be honest the e-mail was so full of spelling and grammar mistakes, I wasn't sure what he was really saying. There was something about him needing to locate his shipper and something else about Western Union. To be honest again, it started to sound like a scam, but again it was so horribly written I couldn't be sure. I wound up replying that it was all ok and to simply let me know when he was ready.

More days passed and I sent another e-mail explaining I was leaving very soon and needed to get the sale completed by the next week. He e-mailed me saying he was sorry and that I would have the payment early the upcoming week. Again all the e-mails were poorly written and didn't make a lot of sense, but again I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

I got a few other responses but ignored them as I hoped this original one would come through.

About Wednesday I gave up and offered it to the church. After much discussion they arranged to have some stout fellas pick it up. We hobbled it down the stairway, nearly dropping it twice and I was finally done with the TV.

On Saturday, after we were already in Indiana I received an e-mail from dude asking me if I had received his payment. Suddenly his words were very clear and the deal he had tried to make with me was that I would cash his check and contact his shippers. For some reason he said he was unable to get his payment to the shippers in time so he sent "extra" to me. I was supposed to then go to Western Union and make the shippers payment via that service out of my own money - the payback was already in his check to me you see.

Scam city. I'm certain his check would have later bounced and he'd be walking away with my good payment to the shippers. I even suspect he would be the shipper and the whole weird phone call is so that I would not recognize his voice when he arrived for pick up.

I decided to not respond to his e-mail. The only things I could think of to say were rude, rude and socially unacceptable. As I had already given him information about me I didn't want to piss him off and make him do something harsh or illegal to my personage. There was also a small nagging part of me that thought maybe he was hard off and on the up and up and I didn't want to crush the poor guy.

He e-mailed me again the next day and I decided to write a polite letter explaining he was too late, that I had given it away, and that I would never pay his shippers as it sounded like a scam. Then I said don't contact me again.

He hasn't, but I still feel mad and dirty.


Jamison said...

he wont contact you again, he is moving on to the next guy in line behind you. This is a common internet scam. When i was seeling my corvette, I got thie offer all the time. The idea is that they "pay you too much" and you use the "extra" to pay for the shipping of the item. She item gets to the guy in Afirca, and the money rder bounces. Ussually, they like you to ship before you get the bad check, thats why he was waiting so long, but being the smart guy that you are, you didnt ship first.

I know what you mean about CRT TVs. Of course you know the story of my LCD TV. It isnt the best quality in the world, but it is 32 inches and I can literally pick it up without so much as a whence and could likely jog down the road with it in my arms without breaking a sweat. I love that aspect. In fact, I have been wanting to get a 25 or 27 inch LCD tv for the bedroom just so I can get rid of our remaining CRT TV>

Mat Brewster said...

I know better than to fall for the scam, but I'm still kind of pissed I wasted so much time.

I'm glad the tv is gone though. That thing was such a pain to move.

Jamison said...

Now I shall tell you a story of another TV. This one belonging to my wife, before we were married. May have been dating.

It was one of those huge console TVs that sat on the floor and doubled as a peice of furniture. Worked fine, but the power "knob" (Yes, knob) had issues. All you had to do to get it to turn on was to twist it an odd way or something like that.. cant remember. In any case, the TV worked perfectly and always came on. Her and her roommate put an ad for this TV in the Bulletin Board publication. $40 I think it was. Someone called and wanted to buy it but couldnt pick it up. My wife and her roommate loaded it onto her roommates truck (I cant remember why I wasnt there to assist, work perhaps) and took it to a junky apartment complex which no longer exists anymore. Please note that the ad stated the power knob was a little fussy. Upon delivery, instructions were given on the knob oddity.

A day later, my wife calls me emotionally upset. The buyer wants their money back. I ended up calling the buyer who was a woman. The phone was quickly given to a man. I told him it worked fine and am sorry it didn;t work now and asked if he tried to do the thing with the knob to make it work. He said it would not come on and he wanted his money back. I told him it was a used TV and no warranty was implied. He then threatened to call the "Poe-Lease" (Phonic spelling) on me if I didnt give him his money back. I then told him that things sold used are Buyer Beware to which he threatened me more with calls to the Poe Lease.

My wife and I agreed to just give the moron the money.

I drove to these God-forsaken apartments, handed him 2 $20 bills. He asked if I wanted the TV back. I said no. Why would I? It was sold because it was unneeded. It was too big for me to carry and much less fit in my vehicle.

Scam story, of sorts...

CL said...

Eeeewww! That is frustrating. These scam guys are so good these days. Sorry you had to go through this...I recently dealt with a similar scam on ebay.
I was bidding on an item, didn't win it. And then was contacted by someone who supposedly had this item and would sell it to me for an agreed to price. I almost did it, we agreed to a price and then he/she sent me instructions. I got cold feet and asked for a ebay screen name to view his/her feedback. The person got irate and and told me that I was wasting their time for asking for it. I told them not to contact me anymore.
I guess its all around...

Jamison said...

Oh Chris, a fellow eBay user! Look me up, jazzmann1976.

I sold one item to a guy, and 2 months later, he wanted a refund, told me "He knew where I lived" if I didn't refund him.

Jamison said...

FYI, the ACPO video on my youtube channel has been watched over 1,200 times... and had a few comments from strangers professing their PREFERENCE to pee outdoors... the word is spreading my friends

bigsip said...


we just got back from our trip to Athens...twas a wonderful getaway. we couldn't wait to get back to the boys, though!!!

glad to be home again.

sorry to hear of your troubles, Brew. glad you'rerid of the beast, though.

Jason said...

The strangest things happen to you. Strange.

Mat Brewster said...

No real troubles sip, just aggravating. I don't think too many weird things happen to me Jason, I just blog about them when they do happen and thus it appears I live in a crazy world.

mullinz8 said...

I'm glad the TV is gone I moved it a couple of times each injuring either a wall or my back.

I know the kids in sunday School will enjoy watching those giant Veggie Tales.