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Prime responsibility re Vendors

Joined
10 April 2000
Messages
6,126
Location
Silicon Valley
folks,

like many of you, i have been a member of prime for a number of years. prime allows nsx owners to connect and share many aspects of being an nsx owner - from basic maintenance tips / tricks, offering one another guidance re high performance tuning (mechanical, audio, bling, etc) - to (in my case) just "feeling the love" :) among the very best things it does so well is also provide a marketplace for nsx owners/vendors to gather and work together - generally - to each others mutual benefit. it's about this last point that i'm writing.

today i've read (yet another) post from a prime member stating he has purchased from a vendor who has (allegedly) taken his $'s, not provided product and no longer responds to his inquiries about his order. (NOTE: this vendor has had *many* complaint threads posted on prime about this issue).

so here's my question:
since this vendor actively sells his products through nsxprime (don't know if this vendor is an "advertiser" or sponsor of prime), does nsxprime bear any responsibility to the prime user community to ensure the vendors who sell via prime are meeting their basic obligations to prime members who purchase their products? or is the prime marketplace really a caveat emptor situation?

fwiw, i've purchased *zero* from the vendor i'm referring to, have *zero* grudges going on... but i really feel for the poor sap who visits prime, sees a posting in the vendor forum (which to me, implies <at a minimum> acceptance of the vendor as a quality provider to the community), buys a product, then gets shafted...only to hear from the community "oh yeah, that vendor is **very** iffy, when we buy from them, we go COD".

i'm interested in a dialogue - not flames about the vendor (or other issues) - so, write 'em if you got 'em :)
 
How about we have a satisfaction poll for each vendor? Perhaps a bar chart that shows the percent satisfaction for each vendor, summarized in one graphic. If not a "live" chart, then at least something that could be a sticky on the vendor forum which is updated periodically.
 
Autophile said:
How about we have a satisfaction poll for each vendor? Perhaps a bar chart that shows the percent satisfaction for each vendor, summarized in one graphic. If not a "live" chart, then at least something that could be a sticky on the vendor forum which is updated periodically.
could be a good solution, but i wonder if there's a way of maintaining quality of data to filter out trolls, multiple posts, etc?
 
This is an interesting question and I would love to hear input.

The situation is not limited to vendors, either. At what point should a private seller be banned from the Marketplace? I have struggled with this more than once. Sometimes it is cut and dry, sometimes it is much more complex.

My best effort so far has been to implement the Trader Rating system, imperfect as it is.
 
I agree.... We all know who your referring to and I always wonder; "why do people still order from him?" Id rather pay more and know my stuff is on its way or lost in the mail. :wink:
 
NSX Prime said:
This is an interesting question and I would love to hear input.

The situation is not limited to vendors, either. At what point should a private seller be banned from the Marketplace? I have struggled with this more than once. Sometimes it is cut and dry, sometimes it is much more complex.

My best effort so far has been to implement the Trader Rating system, imperfect as it is.
lud,

thx for being open to both the question and receiving input.

these kinds of situations are sticky for all involved, but there's little doubt in my mind that any time there are sellers and buyers:

* there are bound to be disputes about who did/said what in the buying/selling transaction/relationship.

* sometimes the disputes can/will be resolved by the parties; sometimes there will/should be an interventing authority, such as the legal system, that will need to be involved to resolve the dispute.

* while they may be painful for all involved, disputes that reach public forums such as this can be of value to the community in that they help weed out unprofessional vendors and in doing so, strengthen support for quality vendors.

i have no personal experience with the trader rating program, but having (just now) reviewed comments/ratings of a couple of vendors, i'm somewhat surprised to note that so few negative ratings have been listed... it looks like a friggin lovefest for a particular vendor that has been named many times as having stiffed customers. uh-mazing.

in summary, it seems to me that if just one prime member files a complaint about being ripped off by another member/ vendor, that member/vendor's selling priveleges should be temporarily suspended until they respond with appropriate info to a prime query. i realize this may be in conflict with maintaining the current business model (re ads from vendors who may be suspended for bad practices), but the truth is, not all business is good business.

thx for being open to feedback, lud - i'm sure we all appreciate it a great deal.
hal
 
I like this idea...

How about a Vendor Rating tab next to FAQ? Inside the vendor tab, list all vendors with their rating (all negative/positive/netrual notes to them). If I browse this webiste, I would definitely look at the vendor section to make sure that the seller has 0 negative feedbacks on them. For the vendors who work out issues w/ the customers and try to make them happy, those are the ones that deserve our business.

Just like Dali, there are some positive feedbacks for him, but then there are some negative. Let the reader be able to make the decision to buy from that vendor or not when there's one page list dedicated to Vendors only.

Right now, I wouldn't know which vendor to go to....and I wouldn't have any history about their past experience based on thread.

For example, I ordered my rims from RP Motorsports just because I heard good things about him only. I didn't hear one bad thing. Also, I could have bought it locally, but I wanted to support the vendors in this community instead.

As a new comer to the site, I wouldn't know Dali has a bad reputation at all.

So, I vote for a Vendor Rating tab on top. In return, the vendors who benefit from an increase in sale, he/she can donate money to the website. :)


Autophile said:
How about we have a satisfaction poll for each vendor? Perhaps a bar chart that shows the percent satisfaction for each vendor, summarized in one graphic. If not a "live" chart, then at least something that could be a sticky on the vendor forum which is updated periodically.
 
I wholeheartedly agree with queenlives.

While it is not NSX Prime's job to regulate vendors, it should be something that would be beneficial to the NSX community if NSX Prime could disable a vendor's account if there was a trend of complaints, as one vendor clearly has shown.

One the other hand, I also place some blame on the buyers, the ones who knowingly place orders with the unethical vendors to save a buck or two despite knowing that the vendor has ripped others off. I have zero sympathy for these buyers. It is really sad to find that there are such selfish people out there in such a great community of fine cars.
 
For all those concerned, NSXPrime does not allow "freedom of speech" and that is why I no longer post in any of the general sections. Furthermore, if you take the time to read the "Discalimer" section you would clearly understand the position that is taken in regards to vendors. Here is the section that pertains to the discussion at hand.

Much of the content in this site has not been independently verified. Information on this web site may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information may be changed or updated without notice. If you discover something you believe to be in error, please contact the site administrator and every reasonable attempt will be made to correct the information.

NSX Prime and it's owner/administrator do not assume any legal or financial responsibility for goods or services advertised in the Marketplace (For Sale or Wanted) sections. All liability remains solely with the parties involved in the transaction. Please use common sense and caveat emptor. Read the Marketplace Rules & Guidelines before using the Marketplace section.
 
With so many well documented cases of fraud and / or negligence involving this vendor, I think it is a bit irresponsible for Prime to allow an association to exist. That association is an endorsement, whether it is meant to be or not, and trust that people develop in Prime will carry over to those which Prime endorses, even when it shouldn't. At a minimum I would restrict this vendor until all open disputes are closed.
 
DocL said:
For all those concerned, NSXPrime does not allow "freedom of speech" and that is why I no longer post in any of the general sections. Furthermore, if you take the time to read the "Discalimer" section you would clearly understand the position that is taken in regards to vendors. Here is the section that pertains to the discussion at hand.
from my perspective, lud is entitled to manage the content of prime in any way he sees fit - it's **his** baby, his work, his expense with (i'm betting) next to zero financial contribution from the "membership". (btw, i was recently participating in a thread that was cancelled and when i inquired why the cancellation, lud indicated he didn't feel it was heading in a productive direction; conversely, i can't help but note that with this thread - where the topic could *easily* be interpreted in a negative manner - lud has said, "hey, this is an issue i'd like to resolve to everyone's benefit, too - what does the membership suggest?")

as for disclaimers, i've read those (hey, i **write them** my clients) for both prime and some of the vendors here but frankly, i'm not interested in the legal responsiblity. i'm interested in the *ethical* aspect. from my perspective, when we come to prime - for whatever purpose except financial gain - we're here to share the experience of owning our nsx's... kind of like our local "clubhouse". but when the place is fouled through bad behavior like we see from time to time, it needs to be cleaned up so we can get back to "feeling the love" and enjoying the experience.

again, thanks for your comments - what are your suggestions for how we might approach this issue?
 
all,

it seems to me that this is a topic worthy of more attention / feedback from the general membership so that lud isn't yanked in another direction the *next* time bad behavior occurs. if you agree, how might we get more participation - poll, regional forum postings, pm's...?'s.

hal
 
queenlives said:
in summary, it seems to me that if just one prime member files a complaint about being ripped off by another member/ vendor, that member/vendor's selling priveleges should be temporarily suspended until they respond with appropriate info to a prime query.

One dissatisfied customer can shut down a vendor's entire business on Prime? I do not think that is reasonable. It seems like a given that you can't run any decent sized business without having dissatisfied customers unless you give away the store. Anyone who has owned a large enough business knows that some customers are just flat out unreasonable - I'm sure all the major NSX vendors have such stories. Such a "one complaint and you're suspended" policy would IMO give customers enough leverage to essentially blackmail vendors into doing whatever they wanted regardless of whether it was fair or not.

And is it fair to suspend a vendor over a $20 dispute but not a private seller over a $200, $2000, or $20000 dispute? Are you proposing that every vendor and every private seller must maintain 100% customer satisfaction or they are banned?

vtec888 said:
How about a Vendor Rating tab next to FAQ? Inside the vendor tab, list all vendors with their rating (all negative/positive/netrual notes to them).

I'm not sure I understand what you are proposing should appear on this "Vendor Rating" page. The Trader Rating data for all the vendors? I don't know how to do that offhand - it would have to be custom programmed. But why can't you just click on the Trader Rating beside a given vendor's account to get the same information?

And at what level does someone become a "Vendor" and appear on the list? Certainly the major vendors like SOS are easy. But then you have the small vendors like WhiteNSXs who is a doctor who puts together HID kits as sort of a hobby, or BrianK who just fixes circuit boards on the side? Should they be part of such a system? Is NSXTASY a vendor since he promotes NSXCA merchandise in his capacity as an NSXCA officer? Is someone organizing a group buy a vendor?

What about vendors who do not post here? Comptech certainly has a lot of customers here but nobody from Comptech posts in an official capacity so there is no account to associate Trader Ratings with. What about some place like Tire Rack? And since these vendors don't even use this forum to sell, there is certainly nothing that could be done such as the suspension queenlives suggested above no matter how serious the complaint.

I am not saying it is a bad idea, just throwing out some issues that come to mind considering it.

DocL said:
For all those concerned, NSXPrime does not allow "freedom of speech" and that is why I no longer post in any of the general sections.

That is absolutely true, this is not a free speech forum and I state many things that are not allowed here on the Registration page. I am sorry you feel that way about my policies or the way I have managed the site, but this is not the thread to discuss it. If you want to start a new thread I will be happy to discuss it to whatever level of detail you like.

DocL said:
Furthermore, if you take the time to read the "Discalimer" section you would clearly understand the position that is taken in regards to vendors. Here is the section that pertains to the discussion at hand.

Correct - I certainly will not take any legal responsibility for deals that are entirely out of my control and largely involve people I do not even know. That seems obvious...? But I am interested in ideas for policies are reasonable to implement and can help the emptors (and venditors for that matter) be more caveat.

Dave Hardy said:
With so many well documented cases of fraud and / or negligence involving this vendor...

Now we're getting into some good stuff. A lot of people seem to think this is the case, so I'll tell you what: If you send me documentation for criminal cases where a vendor has been convicted of fraud, you will make this a lot easier. I would have no problem banning a vendor in that situation. Certainly with so many well documented cases this shouldn't be a problem, right?


-------------

Keep it coming. I am just playing devils advoate here. Hopefully we can come up with a way to improve the system from this discussion.
 
thanks for the stimulating thoughts, my comments follow:

i believe that it's very difficult to maintain a marketplace (such as prime provides) that is 100% "safe" for buyers *and* sellers, even in a relatively small community such as ours.

in a perfect world, managing the issues/conflicts between parties is a trivial matter; in reality, depending on the volume of transactions, $ volume of the transactions and the temperament / expectations of the parties, it may/will be more than trivial :( in other words, i think we all accept there will be a normal level of disagreement between buyers and sellers occurring and these take time and effort to resolve through communication between the parties. based on the "give me a call to resolve" posts (usually from sellers), this seems to be working pretty well. in my post yesterday, i was really intending to focus on the exceptions, rather than the "run of the mill" buyer/seller issues.

i suggest placing a reminder sticky in each of the marketplace forums that repeats the prime disclaimer of responsibility as noted elsewhere. the sticky could also suggest reviewing the seller’s prime trader rating and conducting a search of prime for posts related to the seller.

for “they took my $’s, haven’t shipped product and won’t respond to my inquiries or return my $’s” complaints, it seems reasonable (to me) that the community should be protected from these types of sellers by prohibiting them from selling on prime. this could be done by temporarily suspending seller’s access to prime until the complaint has been reviewed and deemed valid/invalid by the moderator of the marketplace forum. if the complaint is deemed invalid, seller’s privileges are reinstated; if the complaint is deemed valid, privileges are suspended until the problem is corrected and the seller is placed on a probationary status. trader ratings should reflect these complaints. at first glance, this might seem to create a great deal of administrivia. However, based on the apparent low number of this type of complaint, it seems that volunteer moderators should be able to manage the load reasonably well. PLEASE NOTE: THIS SUGGESTION APPLIES ONLY TO “THEY TOOK MY $’S, HAVEN’T SHIPPED MY PRODUCT AND WON’T RESPOND TO MY INQUIRIES OR RETURN MY $’S” complaints.

would either/both of these suggestions be of benefit to the prime community? if not, why not? if yes, is prime able to implement either/both of these suggestions?

lud, I have created another document with some suggestions re vendor type, status and ranking suggestions - perhaps too lengthly to post here. please let me know if you would like to see it and i’ll email it over later today.

be well, all.
hal
 
NSX Prime said:
My best effort so far has been to implement the Trader Rating system, imperfect as it is.
A suggestion for the trader system. Instead of having just one number, can we have separate numbers for positive trades and one for negative trades?
 
Dave Hardy said:
That might help. This vendor has a positive number. If you dig deaper you find that most of the positives came from a single ID. :mad:
holy crap. one single user id left over 20-30 positives in ONE day?? :eek:

Those ratings should be deleted immediately. That's outrageous!! :mad:

If that's not abuse of the rating system I don't know what is.

If NSX Prime wants to preserve the integrity of the trader rating system, action must be taken with regards to excessive and obvious abuse such as this.
 
NsXMas said:
If NSX Prime wants to preserve the integrity of the trader rating system, action must be taken with regards to excessive and obvious abuse such as this.

Let's stop and take a breath before we start throwing accusations around.

As with eBay's feedback system, one user can only affect another user's Trader Rating score by one (1) point no matter how many times they rate that person.

This exact issue has been brought up before. Please review the old thread to gain an understanding of the situation, and if you want to continue debating it, please do so in that thread, not the current one. Previous thread: http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39770
 
NsXMas said:
holy crap. one single user id left over 20-30 positives in ONE day?? :eek:

Those ratings should be deleted immediately. That's outrageous!! :mad:

If that's not abuse of the rating system I don't know what is.

If NSX Prime wants to preserve the integrity of the trader rating system, action must be taken with regards to excessive and obvious abuse such as this.
yup, saw this yesterday when i rinsed through the data.

that said, i don't think the data should be deleted if, in fact, it represents actual transactions that occurred; otoh, it's like the data represents a one or two transaction situation, with multiple order/line items. one manner of limiting this type of abuse is to restrict members to a single post per vendor per day per day... along the lines of the forum post timing mechanism.

my belief is that trader rating mechanisms like this are like software licensing - they can be gamed/abused/hacked, so in practice, they really only keep honest people honest.

(lud, in case you happen to be reading this, remember no good deed goes unpunished :) seriously, we members *do* appreciate the true value of prime (hey, is that a math statement? ;) ... and (i believe) it's because of the high esteem in which we hold you/prime that we're offering our suggestions.

hal
 
NSX Prime said:
Let's stop and take a breath before we start throwing accusations around.

As with eBay's feedback system, one user can only affect another user's Trader Rating score by one (1) point no matter how many times they rate that person.
hmmm, good feedback, thx lud.
 
Dave Hardy said:
With so many well documented cases of fraud and / or negligence involving this vendor, I think it is a bit irresponsible for Prime to allow an association to exist. That association is an endorsement, whether it is meant to be or not, and trust that people develop in Prime will carry over to those which Prime endorses, even when it shouldn't. At a minimum I would restrict this vendor until all open disputes are closed.

Dave makes a good point here. The association exists since members who have not (yet) been scammed will endorse products available from this vendor. A forum's information base IS its members. For most shoppers, that's all they need to prompt them to go ahead with a purchase: a recommendation from a longtime member of a respected forum. It's irrational to suggest they do a separate search about the vendor's credibility once they receive this recommendation; that's why they asked/searched on this forum in the first place, right? Now what do members say after the shopper gets scammed? "Well, I personally haven't had a problem." "You should have done a separate search about the vendor." "You should have paid COD." I think we've seen this exact scenario enough times to know that existing safeguards are NOT working.

I think, at a minimum, there should be a sticky thread at the top of the vendor forum documenting these complaints. I've seen at least 20 or so complaints of being ripped off and then ending all communication - that's more than enough for me to say that there is a PATTERN of abuse. Allow members to post relevent information about the transaction (date, amount, communication, etc.). This way, it gives Dali the opportunity and motivation to make things right without completely restricting him.

I do hope something is done. I don't think this problem is going away.
 
NsXMas said:
holy crap. one single user id left over 20-30 positives in ONE day?? :eek:

Those ratings should be deleted immediately. That's outrageous!! :mad:

If that's not abuse of the rating system I don't know what is.

If NSX Prime wants to preserve the integrity of the trader rating system, action must be taken with regards to excessive and obvious abuse such as this.


If I bought 30 items from SOS in the past (which is probably true), and just found this website and the trader rating system. Then decided to submit feedback for that vendor all at the same time, would that be wrong?
 
Hey Lud, just my .02 :wink: : caveat emptor. NSXPrime has no responsibility whatsoever. This is just a cyber meeting place for buyers and sellers, and all buyers have the burden of due diligence and covering their own asses. It is inconcievable that Prime could provide a babysitting service for inept/uninformed buyers. Nor would it be appropriate for Prime to endorse or disparage any vendor.

That being said, certainly there is a point at which the management can/should take a proactive role in preventing known fraudulent sellers from taking advantage of Prime's marketplace. And, it is strictly up to Lud as to what constitutes such fraud.
 
queenlives said:
i suggest placing a reminder sticky in each of the marketplace forums that repeats the prime disclaimer of responsibility as noted elsewhere. the sticky could also suggest reviewing the seller’s prime trader rating and conducting a search of prime for posts related to the seller.

This is something I have been meaning to do in a few forums, I just haven't sat down and written the posts. It is a good idea and I just need to do it, probably starting with the Marketplace. Though I still wonder how many people will actually read it. You would be amazed how many people totally ignore reading any of the rules when they sign up or before they try to post to the Marketplace forums. Though I guess at that point it will be pretty much their fault if they don't read stuff written to help them and put right in front of them.

queenlives said:
for “they took my $’s, haven’t shipped product and won’t respond to my inquiries or return my $’s” complaints, it seems reasonable (to me) that the community should be protected from these types of sellers by prohibiting them from selling on prime. this could be done by temporarily suspending seller’s access to prime until the complaint has been reviewed and deemed valid/invalid by the moderator of the marketplace forum. if the complaint is deemed invalid, seller’s privileges are reinstated; if the complaint is deemed valid, privileges are suspended until the problem is corrected and the seller is placed on a probationary status. trader ratings should reflect these complaints. at first glance, this might seem to create a great deal of administrivia.

This came up years ago at the NSXCA club level. Some members wanted the club to take some sort of action against vendors club members had a bad experience with. While I have never been (nor sought to be) anything other than a regular member of the club, I was pretty concerned about the club getting into the ombudsman business without a well thought out plan - I felt that doing so had the potential to cause far more serious problems than it would solve.

My concerns are the same here. If I am going to go to that level (and I would not ask any of the other moderators to do it, so it would be me), I would first need to be comfortable that:

1. There was a good and well thought out system in place to handle any scenario

2. I had some way to actually validate claims. This is one of my biggest concerns. It does not seem like a large leap to assume that someone who was actually involved in fraud would provide false statements or even bogus evidence to support their side of the case. Say a vendor claims they did refund someone's money. A cancelled check can be photoshopped up in a matter of minutes. What do I do then when the vendor has claimed the refund has been issued and accepted and the person filing the complaint says that is a lie? I do not have the resources or authority to find out who is telling the truth - I would need to be able to get bank records. I would then be stuck in a situation I couldn't resolve.

I also have a number of concerns about the practical implentation (I will just continue the numbering to avoid confusion discussing various points later)

3. I had a conflict-of-interest concern back when someone was suggesting that the club act as ombudsman in the scenario where someone had a grievance with the club itself. Though I don't really sell much, I do sell stuff on here occasionally. What if someone has a grievance with a deal with me? Who should handle that? I guess this is kind of a silly question from a practical standpoint since I don't plan to rip anyone off, but it's still possible someone would be dissatisfied with a deal, regardless of whether or not it was a valid complaint. I did have some people get frustrated with me over the NSX Prime 3-D engraved crystals I offered briefly a while back. I got their money at the time they ordered, but because some of the crystals had quality issues it took a LONG time (months) for me to get product delivered to a few people whose crystals I had to get re-made multiple times in order for me to be satisfied with them. I certainly did not rip anyone off, and I was as frustrated about the situation as anyone, but I probably would have been in violation of any sort of useful grievance policy.

4. What if someone who has an issue with the NSXCA (there have been a number over the years) files a claim against the club? Do I ban all discussion of club activities until it is straigtened out, and ban club officers from posting?

5. How does the two-way street work? Should a vendor be able to get a member suspended from the site if the person tried to (or did) rip the vendor off?

6. Like the club issue, would this apply to Acura dealers? For example, if a member has a valid complaint against a dealer's service department, does that mean other dealer employees (we have a number on here who are NSX owners) should be banned, even though they had no direct involvement in the dispute and may not be in a position to resolve it? The same question applies to other large automotive-related companies. Take Tire Rack for example - a number of Tire Rack employees are NSX owners a members here, and a lot of members here are Tire Rack customers.

7. Am I correct in reading your proposal that effectively every vendor would have to maintain a 100% customer satisfaction rate in the long run to not risk being suspended from the site indefinitely?

8. Does this program penalize vendors who get involved in the online community? Many offer huge amounts of advice, assistance, etc. to people who are not customers. Sure this is good marketing, but some of them are also just NSX owners who want to help other owners too. Is it fair that someone like BrianK could end up getting suspended because someone's circuit board died a month after he fixed it, while there is no avenue to penalize another vendor who do not post here at all?

9. Again, who should this program cover? Who is a vendor? SOS, Dali, Comptech, sure. WhiteNSXs? BrianK? The guy who buys a couple cases of NSX models cheap at an auction and wants to unload them? What about vendors like Tire Rack who many NSX owners may do business with, but who are not "NSX vendors"?

10. If someone gets a refund through say their credit card company, the issue is resolved under this type of system since they would then have their money back, right? So someone would essentially lose their ability to file a complaint under this plan if they acted quickly and got a refund from their credit card.

Anyway as I said I am open to the idea but I am not going to go into something like this without a more solid plan than I have for anything else related to the site, because this has the potential to affect people's livelihood and cause enormous damage if not completely thought through before any action is taken. I will not create a monster I cannot control.

queenlives said:
lud, I have created another document with some suggestions re vendor type, status and ranking suggestions - perhaps too lengthly to post here. please let me know if you would like to see it and i’ll email it over later today.

I would certainly be interested in reading it. The limit on post sizes is set pretty high.. I believe it's set to allow up to 50k of text, which is a lot. Feel free to post it if you want public comment, or you can e-mail it to me at the Contact address from the top nav bar.

ANYTIME said:
Then decided to submit feedback for that vendor all at the same time, would that be wrong?

Please, let's keep that discussion in the other thread. I am going to move any further posts about that issue into the other thread.

pvmike said:
I think, at a minimum, there should be a sticky thread at the top of the vendor forum documenting these complaints.

Documenting what exactly? Why can't we just use the Trader Ratings, which appear next to every person's (or vendor's) user name?

pvmike said:
I've seen at least 20 or so complaints of being ripped off and then ending all communication - that's more than enough for me to say that there is a PATTERN of abuse.

I do not see any vendor with 20 negative Trader Rating comments. Putting that aside for the moment, at what level does it become a "pattern of abuse"? 10 negative comments ever? 10 in X number of years? A certain % of customers? I have a feeling there will be a lot of different opinions there. How many people do you think believe they have been ripped off by say Dell or Verizon or Best Buy?

I would also like someone to educate me as to why, if there are so many clear cut and well documented cases of fraud from a vendor, there is no conviction after all this time. My reply to Dave Hardy above was not as flippant as it probably comes across - I really do not understand what is going on. Perhaps I am simply ignorant of how these things work. I realize some of the people are from outside the country and it may be impractical for them to press charges, but for all the people who feel they were ripped off and live in the US, what is the deal? Several have said they were pursuing this, yet as far as I know nothing has ever come of it. I am not an attorney and (luckily) have no experience with this kind of thing, so someone please educate me as to why this is the case.

pvmike said:
Allow members to post relevent information about the transaction (date, amount, communication, etc.). This way, it gives Dali the opportunity and motivation to make things right without completely restricting him.

Again I'm not really clear on this. This is what we already have in the form of both Trader Ratings and the ability for people to post threads about vendor grievances in the Vendor forum. I'm not sure what else you are suggesting?
 
Lud,

It's entirely possible that someone has sued and won a judgment against the vendor. They'd simply sue for money damages in small claims court - there just wouldn't be enough evidence to support a criminal conviction for fraud. A money judgment would be awarded if the amount is under $5k (I'd assume most claims against said vendor are under this amount, and hence will be handled in small claims).

I understand that setting an arbitrary number of complaints before some sort of action is taken against a vendor will not work. In my eyes, however, there does seem to be a pattern of abuse. We're not talking about the occasional order lost and product not shipped. Most of these posts I read about Dali mention that the vendor would always return calls promptly until the incident, then there would be no return call at all. He is purposely avoiding the customer, cutting off all contact. Of course he will not answer - what is he going to say, I just stole your money? That's the difference: it's not a problem over the product not being shipped on time, being of substandard quality, etc. - regular problems in commerce where there is an actual dispute over the product or service. The man is simply ducking all responsibility for stealing, cut and dry. If this happens even a few times, it's a pattern.

Obviously, most of these people have NOT given Dali a negative trader rating. I don't think it crosses their minds. I'm not saying the trader rating system won't work, but it hasn't in this case. Given the limited space for comments on the trader rating, I'll bet most would rather start a thread to fully explain the problem and ask for a solution. After some time, these threads drop off the default, one-month thread listing, and their usefulness is gone.

How about this: sticky a thread in the vendor forum, objectively titled, "Problem with a vendor? List here." (or something better, it's late). State that problems that cannot be solved through PM or phone can be listed here. Allow vendors to rebut. This gives members an outlet for problems they cannot solve, and it will secondarily give notice to other members if a particular vendor is having a large number of "unsolvable" problems. You could even delete all peanut gallery type posts. Just problems asking for resolutions. Once the problem is solved, the original post can be edited to reflect that. Furthermore, it's only 1 thread that mods would have to babysit for these types of problems.

If Dali's behavior continues, then it would probably become a permanent "why is Dali not answering my calls after I sent him my money" thread, without you having to single anyone out. He would be the reason for his own undoing.

Just trying to help. :smile:

Mike
 
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