Since the PO insists on injecting himself on my For Sale thread to further antagonize the situation which he created, I’d thought I’d reciprocate by sharing some the ‘greatest hits’ of his responses back to two States’ Attorneys General, which are public record and not shielded under confidentiality protections. The PO’s integrity, dignity, and future flipping earnings potential were sold for the $10K discrepancy between this vehicle’s stated and actual condition; gauging by what has transpired since, I bet he would have sold out for much less.
(mid-May 2016) “My name is __________ and I am an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of __________...(m)y response will address the allegations made by the Complainant in his informal consumer complaint against Mr. ______.
First, let it be known that Mr. ______ flatly denies any and all assertions that he breached any warranties or perpetrated any fraud of any kind in Complainant’s purchase of the Land Rover vehicle in question. In doing so, Mr. ______ further asserts that all of the allegations contained within the Complainant’s complaint are erroneous, false, and otherwise unjustified. Accordingly, Mr. ______ denies that he bears any liability whatsoever where Complainant’s interests are concerned.
Second, let the record reflect that Mr. ______ is an upstanding citizen with no prior criminal record or history. He is well respected by his peers in the automotive and Land Rover enthusiast communities where he enjoys a reputation for honesty and fair dealing. Such as evidenced by the numerous laudatory comments directed towards him publicly, many of which may be found on internet sites such as defenderssource.com, expeditionportal.com, and ebay.com (with a 100% positive rating).
…If Complainant had been up-front and honest in expressing his concerns, Mr. ______ would have been more than happy to provide him with an itemized ledger indicating all of the costs that Mr. ______ sold Complainant the vehicle at an overall $757.00 loss, due to the substantial discounts and the free shipping that Mr. ______ provided to Complainant in good faith. Please find a copy of that ledger, as well as other exhibits enclosed/attached.
...The issue of the title aside, Mr. ______ wishes to state that he finds Complainant’s actions in this matter to be regrettable. As Mr. ______ attorney, I attempted to reach out to Complainant myself via email, but unfortunately my correspondence yielded no response from Complainant in return.
Once again, the allegations levied by Complainant are erroneous, false, and otherwise unjustified. The vehicle in question sold to Complainant by Mr. ______ was used (i.e., pre-owned) with over 79,000+ documented miles showing on the odometer. While the vehicle is in exceptional condition for its age, and while Mr. ______ has receipts to evidence the maintenance and repair work that was completed to the vehicle while in his possession (e.g. paintwork, new brakes, etc.) it is, nevertheless, a used vehicle, and was sold to Complainant as-is with no warranties expressed or implied.
Given the current state of this matter, Mr. ______ once again expressly denies having any further responsibility or liability where complainant is concerned.
We do wish to express our regret that Complainant sought to involve the ______ Dept. of Justice in this matter. Mr. ______ and I wish to acknowledge our appreciation to the Attorney General’s office for its efforts in seeking to resolve this issue and we thank you for your consideration. However, we now respectfully request that this informal inquiry be dismissed and this case closed. [signed] Attorney for ___________”
The math of the claimed “loss” statement:
- $3425 (PO Purchase vehicle o/a Dec. 2015 http://m.ebay.com/itm/161907559864?_mwBanner=1
+ $17,000 (paid by buyer Apr. 2016)
- $600 (shipping eventually paid by PO when I cashed his check about a month ago)
= $ 12,975 (profit)
+ “$757.00 loss” (“sold…at an overall $757.00 loss”)
$13,732 (claimed to have been spent on the vehicle’s “restoration”)
In the interest of fairness, here is the text of my complaint to the two AGs:
(Describe the facts which have led to the complaint and be sure to include if possible, the exact dates of important events)
(mid-April, 2016) [Subsequent spelling/copy edits in brackets] “I contracted to purchase a specialty vehicle from an individual (or dealer) in ______. The vehicle is a rare example of an otherwise mundane 1996 Land Rover Discovery. I was willing to pay the premium asking price for the [vehicle] given the expressed condition of the rare vehicle made by the Seller. The Seller has traded in numerous limited edition and commonplace classic and modern Land Rovers and had a seemingly good reputation in the modestly-sized community of Land Rover sellers. The vehicle was advertised as (not exhaustive list of condition claims) “ZERO rust at all, anywhere”, “…mint example…”, “…new brakes…” Within 32 hours of receiving the vehicle, I telephoned the Seller and indicated that I was rejecting the vehicle due to the condition not being as advertised or expressed and I wish[ed] to cancel the transaction. I am somewhat embarrassed that I had entered a contract with such disastrous results and during the call to the Seller I offered to ship the vehicle back at my expense and offered to include parts that I purchased before seeing the condition of the vehicle. The Seller stated that he was not aware of any rust or any reason the vehicle was not in the condition that he stated. The Seller has responded consistently since with statements “…apparently it is not paralleling your expectations…”, “…I am not obligated to buy it back…”, “…the [vehicle] was sold as is where is with no warranty expressed o[r] implied…” I believe I have earnestly and in good faith attempted to cancel this transaction which I believe the Seller to be in breach of warranty. The research I have done since this started suggests that a Seller cannot disclaim an express warranty by words such as “No Warranties – Express or Implied”. Given the number of vehicle and parts transactions the Seller has conducted, I suspect that he is aware of the fact and is intimidating me into accepting the vehicle.”
(Please describe what resolution you are seeking for this complaint)
“Rescind/cancel the transaction and all monies, vehicle, and title appropriately returned. I paid $600 shipping of the vehicle from ______ to ______. While I think it’s appropriate for the Seller in breach of contract to reimburse all shipping, I’m willing to forego reimbursement for the initial shipping to make cancellation of the transaction easier, if that is deemed appropriate. I would rather not seek judicial relief for other damages incurred by this failed transaction, as I can’t afford the expense or time as a federal employee, it’s not fair to the already overloaded court system, and, given the gross disparity between the expressed and actual condition of the vehicle, the Seller should honor the basic principles of sales law and cancel the transaction. Additionally, I did realize another financial loss as I sold a vehicle for cash to a dealer in lieu of trading it in, in order to finance the purchase of the Land Rover. While it’s hard to calculate that loss of selling outright or trading in towards the purchase of a new car, the Toyota dealer that we sold our 2011 Ford Edge Sport to for $17K though[t] we would could have realized $19K towards the purchase of a new car. We are now in the position where we must purchase a new car due to the failure of the 1996 Land Rover being in the condition that was expressed. I am also concerned about the Title I received and the request by the Seller to send the Title back to him. Some title issues that have come to light: the vehicle never having been titled in the Seller’s name, not registered in the state of ______, yet was actively driven on the streets with a ______ license plate; make me leery to engage the Seller in any correspondence other than written/documented at this point.”
Why not litigate?: The PO resides in a State where litigation of and remedies for Breach of Warranty are some of the weakest in the country. Although the following facts seem true across all States, the veracity of each States’ court to pursue or award breach of warranty damages seems to vary greatly. Most states have good buyer protection records, a few lean towards the “caveat emptor” end of the spectrum:
- Whenever a seller makes any declaration of fact, description, or promise on which the buyer relies when deciding to make the purchase, the seller creates an express warranty.
- A seller may create an express warranty orally, in writing, or through an advertisement. Sales talk, called “puffing,” will not create an express warranty; an example is “This car runs like a dream.” Statements such as “This car needs no repairs,” or “This car has a V-8 engine,” however, will create an express warranty.
- A seller cannot disclaim an express warranty. Every car sold today in the U.S. will come with express warranties, despite the “No Warranties – Express or Implied” false disclaimer.
- “This car is made of pure steel!” is an express warranty that the automobile is made of steel. If you discover that the car is made of plastic, you can demand that the warrantor take the car back because it has breached the warranty.
- Puffing: “…basically a new D-1…”; “…mint example…”; “…had the entire Disco sanded and paint refreshed”.
- Express warranty: “ZERO rust at all, anywhere”; “…new brakes…”; “…spent it's [sic] life in Las Vegas following the event in British Columbia back in 1996”.
Since the PO voluntarily injected statements about the rust hole being “disguised with filler” that was “found…when (I) was detailing the truck”, this is just one of many liberties advanced by the PO, along with the accompanying “It escaped me and the body shop being in such a location and hidden at the time.” I personally saw the A-pillar rust hole from the ground when it was up on the transport trailer 5 minutes after arriving in front of my house (the same with the rusted-through muffler, though it took me a whole hour to notice the bulkhead rust). I mentioned both when I spoke to the PO just 32 hours after receiving the vehicle (April 5, 09:30 CDT delivery; April 7, 05:20 CDT rejection phone call). There was never any A-pillar filler disguise, or otherwise. There would be some evidence of any type of purported ‘concealer’ having been used. Also remember there was a sticker painted over on the right front fender, so I’m not sure what “…had the entire Disco sanded and paint refreshed” means, but evidently it doesn’t mean spending 5 min. to remove a sticker.
While I would want nothing more than to see the PO pay for his indiscretions, having a close friend lawyer in one of the harder states to recoup damages, were just two indicators for me to take my licks, move on (‘acceptance’ is the fifth stage of grief), and focus on safeguarding others from future predatory practices:
- A search of the PO’s name will return this post, and on other sites where the PO has injected himself on my For Sale threads.
- I’ve been IM’ed by others suggesting that people should also be aware of the ‘Oates affair’ (http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...s-46245-2.html
), another sordid tale of a flip by this vehicle’s PO, complete with similar shoddy workmanship and as a bonus, a bad engine that didn’t survive the trip to a new home. Similarly, the PO claimed this client also had expectations that far exceeded what a Land Rover could be, apparently to include making it home under its own power. He later tried to convince this community, upon being challenged for more information, that the engine was again being replaced only because of the “scuttle butt concerning Tdi’s.”
- A Google search of the PO’s first and last names in quotations returns: “Warning! _____ (______) is a CHEAT! - DiscoWeb Message Boards” The link doesn’t work anymore, because after the thread had existed on DiscoWeb since 2010, it was removed sometime after 15 Apr. of this year (when I was able to capture the full thread), presumably at the request of the PO or his lawyer and for the purpose of denying me the information.
The PO continually demonstrates his deceit to this community that he attests his admiration for, and where he claims to “enjoy…a reputation for honesty and fair dealing.” I could pick apart many of the PO’s statements made here, in email exchanges, and in responses to AGs, that it is just physically saddening to witness the level of immorality displayed.
This is a sad blight on an otherwise honorable community of men and women who love the brand and the heritage even more than the dollar. I’m sorry to the community for having to expend the bandwidth on this topic. Unless something changes, I likely won’t be the last to suffer from this member’s predatory practices. Respectfully, Bren.