[NOTE: you might want to read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 before you read this. It explains that John Harlan ‘returned’ a computer monitor but the FedEx box actually contained a gallon jug of water.]
When last we met, things looked bleak for our heroes. John Harlan (johnslcdrepair, johnhis11_computers, xhd3000repairman4356, computerguru43560 and lcdrepairman8733, xhd3000repairman, lcdrepairworld and lcdrepairwarehouse on eBay) had anticipated their every move, and was now in possession of The Monitor and The $353.24.
We were in possession of a gallon of water and an email from PayPal (oh, and we also seemed to owe eBay $27.45 for helping us sell the monitor and PayPal $11.88 for handling the money.):
As previously communicated to you, we received information provided by both parties and resolved the claim in the buyer’s favor. You have the right to appeal; however, an appeal will only be reviewed in the following scenarios:
- You received the item back in a condition different than what the buyer stated they received in their initial claim (beyond normal wear from shipping)
- No item was returned (empty box)
- Not all items the buyer received were returned
- The buyer returned the wrong item to you
If any of the above scenarios apply to you, please complete the following steps:
Contact your local police department and obtain a police/incident report. The police/incident report should detail how one of the above scenarios apply to you. This report should be on the law enforcement agency’s letterhead or stamped police documentation and clearly explain the details of your issue. This documentation must include the department/officer’s contact information, the reporting officer’s name, badge number and signature.
Okay, so we just have to decide which number to go with. I think you could make a strong case for 1, 2, 3 or 4. The big question is, “How do you prove it?” It would certainly have been easier if we had opened it in front of the FedEx guy. And it would have been pretty air-tight if we had videotaped the opening of the box. But we didn’t.
We did have a witness, and Lauren has had several of our Seward policemen’s children in preschool. It probably wouldn’t hurt that the Child Development Center is about 15 feet from the police station either. But even with material witnesses and Lauren’s impeccable character, would this turn out to be our word against John Harlan’s?
Well, it turns out that John made a mistake. In his haste to get our money from PayPal, he hadn’t put enough weight in his box –and we could prove it.
Exhibit A: Weight of our packages:
Exhibit B: Weight of John’s package:
Exhibit C: Weight of Monitor (from User’s Guide)
Lauren wrote up the whole thing with in exacting detail including twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against him. She took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to mention the aerial photography. It was an impressive document.
Lloyd brought it to the police station on MLK’s birthday, as he had the day off from school. He explained the situation to the officer briefly and she looked at the packet. She looked at the 30lbs then at the 41lbs then back at the 30lbs then back and the 41lbs and said, “I can’t help you, it’s out of our jurisdiction.”
But Lloyd was ready for this turn of events and replied, “I know you can’t do anything to him. I just need a police report so that PayPal will give me my money back.” To which she replied, “That won’t be a problem.”
She had the police report to Lauren later that day and we faxed the impressive document to PayPal along with the police report.
Then we waited.
Four days later we received this email:
Dear Lloyd Sommerer,
PayPal has concluded the appeal of the following buyer complaint.
Buyer’s name: Johns LCD Repair Shop
Buyer’s email: Jrhcomputerparts@aol.com
Transaction ID: 4AP629312C770533A
Transaction date: Dec 13, 2010
Transaction amount: $353.24 USD
Your transaction ID: 2RN668340Y2220703
Case number: PP-002-162-263-961
PayPal has issued you a refund in the amount of $353.24 for this claim.
The refund will be posted to your account within 3-5 business days.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation in this matter.
Protection Services Department
PayPal, an eBay Company
So, in a way, it’s over. But the principal of the whole situation irks Lauren. Let’s cut back to her and get it in her own words:
I don’t like that a dishonest person tried a scam and almost got away with it. I still want him to get in some kind of trouble for this, not just have had to pay the money he should have paid in the first place. I’ve thought about taking out ads in his hometown newspaper that tell the story, or just a link to these posts. I want his mother or grandmother to know he did this – that should really be all the punishment he needs.
But then, I remember that I should perhaps take the high road on this, and that maybe anyone buying something from John (or Jonathan) Harlan from Sylvania, Ohio – owner of johnslcdrepair – might search for his name and information and just read about our experience with him and that will be enough.
Then maybe they will wish uncontrollable diarrhea on him.
UPDATE: For you, Disappointed. A little proof about the negative feedback that disappeared. 🙂
UPDATE 2: Some other reading, if you’re interested: e-mail exchange and a little advice.
UPDATE 3: Read John Harlan’s summons to appear in small claims court (fun game: find the typos!) and read how he didn’t show up for the trial (booooooo).