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Any redress available??

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What is the name of your state? Louisiana

In attempting to locate a hard to find part for my vehicle, a window regulator, I entered a specific request on two online "parts brokerage" websites, "parts brokerage" being the only way I know of that I can describe these two companies. These parts brokerage companies send out these parts requests that I or any other potential customer enters on their website to individual parts dealers, who then contact the cutomer via email and offer the part if available. I was contacted by several parts dealers, and did some checking o them b email and phone, admittedly only asking things such as speed of delivery, return policy, etc. After looking at the offers, I saw an offer that looked worthwhile from one person/company, and I was told via their email to call their phone number if I was interested in purchasing a part, which I did.

The fellow who answered the phone assured me that he had the part, that the part would be in my hands in 7 days max (because timeliness was a factor in my decision as to which dealer I would use...the part was necessary for me to be able to raise my driver's side window, and we are in real rainy time of year here). Since I was to pay them that day, I figured that he was simply giving his shipper an adequate time allowance, which I appreciated...I would rather someone say 7 days and mean it than 3 days and mean 7. I paid them through an online payment system owned by eBay, PayPal, on May 11, 2001, and I asked them via phone and again in email if I could return this part if it was the wrong part. The guy assured me I had 30 days (through phone and on that email...now I am SO glad that I requested that guarantee in email, too). On day ten after the payment, I emailed them asking them for a confirmation number, figuring that this merchandise surely had to be lost, the guy having promised me delivery within 7 days and me having heard nothing at all yet. I recieved no reply...I continued emailing them, getting no replies, until the parts finally arrived on day 21 (it turns out that they didn't even ship this until over two weeks from when I paid for it!!> By this time, I had already ordered the part from someone else because I had to have it, these people having refused to even answer my queries on the parts, which is a moot point anyway because when I finally recieved the part it was the wrong window regulator anyway....not even close to a match!! .....keep in mind I emailed them at least 8 times after day ten anyway trying to get some info, any info, on it!! I also called them and the guy "took my part query" and assured me that he would email me with the parts' status.

When I finally got these parts in three weeks after I paid them, I called these people again, and the guy that answered the phone told me that he couldn't tell me that I could return it, again that he "would send me an email" with an OK, "if it was OK to return the parts", and also as to where to send the part. I told him that he had already assured me that I had 30 days to return it, to which he balked, but when I told him that I kept his email stating same to me, he said that he would accept it but that he'd still have to "send me an email" with "the boss' OK" (or words to that effect). He multiply refused to tell me anything more on the phone as to how to return this, saying that I would get this email. Of course, I got no such email, so I took the parts and photographed them in the post office, showing them to and sealing them in the presence of the postal worker in case these people continued to lie as they had proven to me that they do as the norm. This was kinda silly, maybe, but only silly in that this transaction was for like 80 bucks....this obviously isn't gonna go to court...but, I wanted proof that I sent them THESE exact parts back, and not a weighted box or something. At this point I didn't trust 'em as far as I could throw 'em anyway. I was figuring that if they said that they did not receive the parts at least I could report this to Postal Inspectors if nothing else, in case they have done this to others.

I sent the parts back to the return address, Priority Mail, Insured, with Delivery Confirmation, and demanded a refund, in addition to sending them same notice in email and in the form of a PayPal bill. They have refused reciept of the parts and still will not return any of my emails, to my notion essentially stealing the money that I have spent on these parts. I have contacted PayPal and they refused to intervene, saying that it was "outside the bounds of their policy to enforce refunds. I am absolutely enraged that this can be allowed to take place, and I am at the end of my rope with this... and I just cannot explain how upset I am with this. It may only be $80.35, but it is a good deal of money to me and it is the idea that these people can be allowed to outright steal money like this that gets me, as childishly idealistic as that sounds.

Now, let me get this out of the way...I should have known better, should have known also that PayPal didn't protect purchasers like credit cards did...well, hell, I should have checked out lots of stuff, but in all honesty I never imagined this at all. Also, I know that it is stupid to even hint that I am wanting to try to haul these people into court for a 80 buck bill, but again, as idealisticly adolescent and stupid as this may sound to many of you all, I would really like to try to address this in as many practical ways as possible. Hell, if it were possible to pursue this in small claims court, I believe that I would do that if the information on how to do it correctly across state lines was available to me (I expect ridicule on this one, guys and gals, but what the hell...if I don't ask I will surely never find out anything!).

I have decided to wait until the parts are actually returned to me (I see through the USPS tracking info that they did not accept the package, but it hasn't made it back to me yet) and then start to try to sort of shake the trees and see what falls out. I figure that I would at least file a complaint with the Florida Division of Consumer Services and The Florida Attorney General Consumer Protection Division (don't recall the exact name of the latter, but both of these have online complaint forms), and maybe the BBB, for whatever good that will do. I would also surely browse the 'Net to see if there are any other individuals/entities worth contacting, and work from there.

If anyone has any ideas on how to best go about making addressing this issue in such a way that these people will be inconvenienced if nothing else, I would appreciate it. I would spend a couple hundred bucks on this if there are any routes to take that could be had for two bills or so, such as maybe small claims court, if possible...I just doubt that there are any venues to address a claim as such, mail order originated on the 'Net that crosses state lines in shipment (I live in LA and the part came from FL). It seems like I recall a post on such by someone that I have very much confidence in as far as their legal knowledge, maybe IAAL, JETX or stephenK, or similar. I don't recall who, just that I trusted their knowledge immensely, and that it seems that it had something to do with setting venue in small claims court for a "small" suit for litigants in different states, maybe...it seems that it was IAAL, and that he actually posted a copy of a motion or court doc, but I just can't recall.,

Any info or ideas is appreciated, including the standard "Forget it you moron...it isn't worth it!!", but honestly I would like to do something, so please in amongst the chastising throw a bone or two for me to chase if there is one!

Thanks in advance, everyone....
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Senior Member
Your post is pretty long, and I admit I didn't read the whole thing through, but the main point is that if you want to sue him for your money back, you'll have to do it in Florida, and you can't recover any costs associated with going to Florida for the case. That's why it is expensive to do business across state lines. Everything else is pretty much irrelevant -- if the merchant won't follow through, you need to take 'em to court, and it has to be in Florida.



I do appreciate the info. I expect that is what I will do.....is any county in Florida OK to undertake this in? I spend a significant amount of time in GA, about 30 miles north of FL, and as crazy as it sounds, I am really too pissed about this to let it slide without at least doing something.

Thanks a bunch!

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