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So I just got taken by the "Wahldorf Home Theater" scam.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by BTL99, May 18, 2010.

  1. smithb

    smithb Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you understand how this is working. From my understanding, they are not buying bulk quantities of reputable speakers, they are actually making their own using cheap materials. That is why they typically have evaded legal issues because they are just selling speakers they have manufactured on the street from vans. The speakers are not stolen nor are they skirting any rules from a reputable company. The fact that you recognize the name is what they are counting on, but they are not the brand you are thinking of. I once saw a list of brands they were selling and they are rip-off names with minor changes in the spelling from some very reputable companies. In fact, they even host websites for many of the brands now. The websites look fairly legit from the main page but have little beyonf that and no contact information.
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    He's a one post-poster with a fake handle. I have a feeling that people who run this scam are onto the fact that people out it, so they go into these threads and throw out fake information. They encourage people to backchannel them and ask them for information, and then tend to reply "oh no, those are likely good ones" based on completely phony metrics. Considering this same type post has appeared on several forums, I consider it a troll and a routine. This is a known, well established scam being investigated by several states. Asking a seller "are you reputable" is stupid. It ranks right up there with a Mr. Show "is a wishing well a good investment" sketch. By trying to breathe life into a fake brandname, that's all the poster did.

    In this case, a poster comes in here with 1 post and creates a fake story: "Oh, they were a reputable German speaker company" which is complete crap. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speaker_scam Wahldorf is a front that is under investigation in a single state: Florida, where they were based (West Palm Springs) they have nothing to do with anything in Germany.

    I tried to heads up mods *shrug* In the end, this is the new tactic: you realize more buyers are kind of savvy... so you chum seemingly reputable websites with bullshit, hit/post and run, in order to try and make sure your stuff isn't always connected in Google with crap. They run into this same BS on Youtube, where repeated videos come up showing "performance" of many of the white-van speaker frauds, only to later get them outted. But they work for a short while to fool people into thinking "well, these did get a mention on this website, as a company in germany that manufactures tons"

    Except all of that information is nothing but bogus crap. Sorry, I'll call it out. If the poster wants to come back and make his case, or how he arrived at this information, then fine. I tend to believe his one, single, and only post is only designed to do exactly as I thought: chum the water. That's all.
     
  3. audiogod

    audiogod Member

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    Fake Handle huh? False Name? Search my name on facebook, i am real, go to martin lightings website you will see i am a certified repairman for martin, I am not fake whatsoever, I have been in proi audio and long time, So if you know so much tell me this? Do you know how much it takes to build that stuff in the back of a van as you say and then put it in proifessionally created and printed packaging? Did you know the only way to get that style of packaging is to order it in large and i mean large quantities. Its not like you cna print that packaging on a printer, average cost would be around $100,000 if not more. Say what you want, I know from experience not from heresay. I see how you use wikipiedia for a lot of your results, DId you know wiki pedia can be modified by anoner at anytime, I could go in there and modifiy any post at anytime, hell i could put on the post that monkeys forced by their own will are required to build the speakers in exchange for bananas. Have some common sense when researching something.

    I am real and my findings are real.

    Can anyone on here actually say hey i bought them, came home, hooked them up and they completely distorted and blew up on me in my home or can they say they didnt work? I dont see anyposts saying that.

    I dont own them nor have i ever seen them except on these posts,

    There are numerous businesses out there that purchase large quantities of products and instead of selling them in a store they sell them door to door or out of their car.

    Hell my ex used to work for a company like that and she made a killing off of it, her boss was buying semi loads of goods from the same manufacturers that walmart uses and they woudl go business to business and door to door and sell the products and make a freakin killing, SO whats the difference here? If the product that is purchased does not work when the item is sold, or is basically a lemon then it is a scam, otherwise a salesperson can say what they want and put whatever price tag they want on it. If you buy it you bought it simple as that.
     
  4. Phil Taylor

    Phil Taylor Well-Known Member

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    Hey Audiodud ... the part of your first post saying you can buy an RTA at Radio Shack for $10 is all I needed to know about what you "know"....
     
  5. audiogod

    audiogod Member

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    I just checked out the scamshield forum and only one post said they hooked them up, he said they didnt sound bad at all, he also said he cranked the volume up on his stereo and the protection circuti cam on and shut the systme down, blamed it on the speakers, however if your amplifier shuts off its not because of the speakers they are a dc powered configuration, there is something wrong with your amplifier, either a short inside, improperly grounded, or a circuit overload. If it was the speakers, the stereo would still be oging strong and the speakers would have blown, as in the spiderwire would have seperated, or the the excursion ring would have seperated from the cone.

    Does this sound like someone who doesnt know shit about audio, I dont freakin think so, ask me anything about a speaker its components or the audio parameters within in it and i can give you adetailed person because i am like i said a real person.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    A quick reminder to all participants of this thread.

    From the HTF's Rulebook:



    New members need to know this. Longtime members need to be reminded.

    We've got a difference of opinion here. That's fine. That's what discussion forums are all about. But we will discuss that difference of opinion without name-calling and cheapshots.

    Everyone involved can consider themselves officially warned.
     
  7. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    Find me a reputable one. Purchasing to "sell out of a non-location" is a violation of the law in every state. If they do it as a practice as a "large business" they are openly violating tax laws and they would be violating their location agreements with every credit card company.. by not taking CC at those locations. So, you find me "white trucks" that are "WalMart" "Nebraska Furniture Mart" "Best Buy" etc. that do so without taxes, and "off the truck".

    That's the reason why I have trouble with your post. With all respect, you begin by concocting a fake history of a company that is well known and faces legal indictments, by pretending they are in Germany... and then you right it off as "people can fake Wikipedia"... um, dude, they can't fake the pressing investigations in the state of Florida. You then counter by saying lots of big companies do this - which you have to know is also false.

    The thing is, I want to give you as much respect as I can, and maybe you are a credible audio dealer hoping to help people. I'd tell you that if you join with me and point out the fraudulent nature of these sales, then all is forgiven. If you continue the defense, then you have to realize it's important for people here to make sure it is countered, so that others cannot get taken.

    Also, just to be noted, if "Her boss" took stuff off a truck and sold it door to door, using that method, then I hope he's prepared for when the IRS comes crashing down on his head.

    Most of us here are here because of the community. And, maybe this post will get me in big trouble after the warning. But you have to understand, I would much rather take the heat of being in trouble then let stand information that in any way taints this site as giving any sort of "it's OK to do this" ...
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    I guess it comes down to what each of us considers a counterfiet product and a scam.

    If a product is designed to fool someone into thinking it's something else, and props up the product with a website, etc., and has no inclination of ever selling it through traditional means then I would have very good reason to believe it to be a scam. And it happens everywhere. Even traditional retail outlets like drug stores package their products to look just like the main brands. But perhaps they're made in the same factory as those main brands.

    As for selling things out of a van or even door-to-door, most places have laws governing those activities, and most often you have to have a license to sell in each city you do business in and then there's the issue of collecting and reporting sales tax. Does anybody think these guys are following the rules? Selling anything under those conditions contitutes a scam IMO. Hey, I might even be guilty of it myself . I've bought and sold quite a few things off ebay and craigslist (todays flea market and garage sale?) but none of it was new. But I advertised my product or responded to someone elses add, I didn't go looking for customers in parking lots. To me, that's one of the biggest things that concerns me about this type of activity. You didn't go to them, they came to you.

    And of course, some people get what they deserve. But that's why we have laws. To protect those who can't, or don't, protect themselves. And to keep a level playing field. Selling stuff out of a van in a Home Depot parking lot without a license and without collecting sales tax is a scam. Doesn't matter what they're selling or where they got it from.
     
  9. CB750

    CB750 Well-Known Member

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    White Van type selling has been part of our American culture for many generations. Remember the Snake Oil Salesman who traveled our country with wagons full of worthless medicine that was able to cure any ailment. How about the carnival side show that promised a two headed man or woman. Remember that magic oil you could add to a worn out engine that would make it run like new. Some folks fall for these scams and others do not. It's part of American life of Buyer Beware.

    Another part of America that the White Van selling brings back to our culture is the missing art of negotiating a price. Years ago it was common to negotiate with a seller the price of most large purchases. I think many remember our parents and grandparents stores of how the negotiated a great price on a new car or refrigerator or TV set. Back in the 1970's Joe Garrard became the most famous car salesman in the country because he would always negotiate a price with his customers. They would always buy from Joe after he would come down a few hundred dollars on the price of that new Chevy. Buying a car in the Detroit area from Joe Garrard became a cult thing as he sold more cars by himself in a year than most entire GM dealerships did.
     
  10. audiogod

    audiogod Member

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    Lets see here, heres one for you Kirby Vacuums, SInce when do they actually have store fronts where you can walk-in browse their inventory and purchase? You cant they dont have storefronts, reputable dealers of Kirby have territories in which they send salespeople out that work on commission alone door to door and business to business and sell their product, they dont use vans emblazoned with Kirby on the side, they use their own personal vehicles, so are you calling Kirby Vacuums a scam?

    As far as you saying you are violating laws by selling out of the back of a vehicle, that is so far from riduclous, have you ever heard of a 1099 form? Go look it up at www.irs.gov its a form that an employer gives his/her employees at the end of the year, showing how much they made within that fiscal year, so they can pay the taxes they owe to the governement. Its basically saying they are sub-contractors for that company.

    YOU DONT HAVE TO HAVE A STOREFRONT TO SELL PRODUCTS LEGALLY. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
    DID YOU KNOW THAT 87% OF ALL PRODUCTS SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO THE 1970'S WERE SOLD DOOR TO DOOR AND OUT OF THE BACK OF VEHICLES OR ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, I GUESS THESE WERE ALL SCAMS ALSO?

    You have to have common sense when dealing with something or someone that is selling product out of a vehicle or door to door, iv edone it numerous times, i will check the product myself, evaluate, evaluate how the person selling to is reacting and responding to my questions. If i cant actually put my hands on the product or they wont allow to inspect it thoroughly Im not going to by it, I understand where everyone is coming from but at the sametime you have to look at both sides of the picture.

    I dont see anyone on this forum saying hey I bought this speaker system and it doesn work, hey i got screwed out of money because its not a name brand product is all Im hearing, or I bought it out of the back of a vehicle so it must be a scam, If you pruchase a product from someone in exchange for money and it is either a shell or doesnt work then it is a scam, otherwise they are doing their job making money to support themselves and you the buyer are the fool for not inspecting the product before you purchased it...........................................................................
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    But you do need to have a business license to sell in the city you're selling in. That's what I was talking about, not self income tax.

    And yes, there have always been door-to-door sales, but Kirby, Avon, etc. don't claim their products sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars more elsewhere.

    Buyer beware. Of course. But it's still a scam if you mis-represent the product you're selling. Whether this happens in a store, at your door or in a parking lot, a scam is a scam. And doing it without the proper business licenses is also illegal.
     
  12. Phil Taylor

    Phil Taylor Well-Known Member

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    Prior to 1970 - 87% of all products were not sold in stores - but rather door to door, out of the back of trucks and on the roadside?? Unless you are referring to some third-world country - instead of the US - I don't think I'm alone in seriously doubting that "statistic".
     
  13. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    A person is approached outside of any facility and told a complete fabrication, that these items were drifted off a truck, and they normally have the same line you gave originally "by a good German manufacturer" Except, of course, none of that is true.. they are made in Florida and rebadged repeatedly to sell. The scam continues by telling the buyer it's a "great buy" at somewhere around $300 to $500 with a "real value" of $2000! This same thing happens with everything from Volkh projectors, etc.
    So, they make things up... Volkh is in hot water for saying things like "1080P" when in fact, the projector is rebadged, outputs only 800x600, but it will take in 1080P sure.. just downconverts on projection.. to fool the buyer. In the case of the speaker scam, you're selling an electronic item which is being sold as a retail item with NO UL or Electrical Standards mark, no set impedence, etc.. it's just a box and stuff flung together from whatever cheap parts they have. This misrepresentation is the issue. The fact that it looks like a speaker and may even somewhat operate isn't the point.
    If I tell you I'm selling a Peel P50 mini-car, which has a value of about $30k to a collector, you show up, you see it.. you drive it.. looks good! You get home and find out the motor is actually a go-cart motor and the rest is from a kit, non-original, the fact that it looks like one thing but isn't means I still scammed you.

    There are known brands and means that are a scam. If you've been scammed, and I were her, I'd report it to the authorities as exactly that... and that's the point. People engaging in the scam prey on people by selling them false goods. If people make the mistake, they make the mistake and can live with it. But, as a forum hoping to help our members, I think all of us here have a responsibility to point out that these speakers have a real-world worth of about $30-$50, and advise people to not lose their money. That's all all of us are saying: don't get taken in an attempt to defraud you, and report it if it happens. If you pick up a set for $30, then maybe I'd feel different.
     
  14. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Its kind of hard to try the speakers in a parking lot. People got screwed because they spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on speakers that aren't worth $50 on a good day. The average person doesn't know what makes a good speaker, they are relying on what they are being told. Its not the fact that it is being sold out of a van that makes it a scam, but the fact that people are being lied to and sold a POS. Lying to people to make a sale is NOT just doing their job making money to support themselves, it is fraud.



    –noun

    1.

    deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.


    2.

    a particular instance of such deceit or trickery: mail fraud; election frauds.


    3.

    any deception, trickery, or humbug: That diet book is a fraud and a waste of time.


    4.

    a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.








    Consumers need to remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. This thread should serve as a warning.
     
  15. speakerman090

    speakerman090 New Member

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    This message is long but I suggest you read it all if you think white van speakers are a scam!

    Wow I don't know why i'm even responding to this, if you don't know what your talking about, then don't say anything at all! Kaleb, I give you props, your right on just about everything but not Germany lol, Walldorf is a town in Germany and there are a few companies with the name, but just check the spelling. The guy who is arguing with you just doesn't know what he's talking about, i'll even admit I would think buying from white vans is sketchy before I started doin it myself.. I wouldn't have bought, and I don't blame the people who don't, the dumb people who buy and don't even set it up then slander the products I blame though. I work for the company in Georgia, they scam their workers more than customers, btw they're "independent contractors." This whole idea has been going on for over thirty years across the world by many different people. Many different "pitches" and "showings" have gone on, and whats normally used today is from a learning experience over previous speakerguys, proven to be the best way to sale them. If you know what an MSRP is, you'll know most products never sells for that price, it was a made up number, they might not drop the price as much as we do (90% drop sometimes), but well known companies like Sharp and Samsung do the same thing. Making people think they're getting a good deal is in just about everybody sales tactics, not just white van speaker guys. As far as saying they're $70 dollar speakers cause that's what we pay?? You apparently don't know what buying bulk from manufacturers is, which i don't see how cause it's common sense. The Samsung UN65C8000 is a 65 inch LED 3d TV that's retails at $5,999.. You can get the SAME EXACT TV w/o name in bulk for under $500 if you want, just fly out to china with $1,000,000 plus shipping costs (which is more than people think, you have to actually think about how many it is, just 20 of them is a lot).. I don't even want to know how much Samsung is paying, but apparently they're scammers according to yall, when they're just a company trying to make money to live happy, selling to another company that has to accomplish the same thing, and a lot times there's even another company past that (This is where you'll find it pretty close to MSRP and they don't sell em often). You can even order that bulk deal online from chinese suppliers but I would suggest you not cause of all the REAL scammers (Earn your trust, say your getting a product, collect the money, disappear ... or Trademark counterfeit when they are really pieces of shit - That is a scam when you get ripped off) ... some speaker guys are true scammers, they're selling stuff for $500+ dollars that puts out like 5 watts per channel, really poorly made speakers, you'd spend like $50 prob at Best Buy for it... The brands i've sold (Wahldorf, Diamond Venus Digital) would be more at a place like best buy than what I normally sell for (average $250, which profits me like $20, I promise it's the speaker guys really getting scammed almost none of them except for the manager and his main guy make money, because they get paid off the sets .. it's very rare we walk away with $500+ in a day, it does happen sometimes tho .. happens more often to speaker guys who lie saying wired speakers are wireless or passive sets are powered, i'm not the type to lie like that, the biggest lie I say is it says $2200 on the box which isn't a lie, lol). Thats how the owner makes money, makes his own name and designs for a box, has a chinese manufacturer make a bulk order, which isn't as many as companies like Samsung so he doesn't get a good enough deal to sell to places like Best Buy ... Best Buy only represents one OEM like that, which is their own, Insignia. SO I guess best buy is a scam too lol. I'm not exactly sure how much the owner pays, but I know it's under $100.. and collects $230.. He has to pay insurance on his shops and vans, rent on the shops, his distribution center, employees (which is few cause it's usually independent contractors paid 100% commision), so forth. He does not have nearly as many expenses as a multi billion dollar corporation, which allows a shop pay in around $200 and he can still see a return from his investment substantially higher than investing in something like a bank, he did have to put his heart and soul building this company. So yes the owner pays under $100 for the set not including all the other expenses, gets $200 while the middleman (speaker guy) makes his money past that. It's a job, and a job pays money, same thing as all the major corporations on a smaller and low key scale. Some are true rip offs, most white van companies aren't though, and all of my companies products would go for quite a bit at a store. I sold a Diamond set to a friend, which I wouldn't do if they were shitty, and they sound better than my Sony home theater which I spent $400 for a year ago, Sony probably paid $20 if that but i'm not bitching online saying they're scammers. Plus that Diamond set I sold didn't have a warranty, Wahldorfs do have a warranty quit saying they don't !!! Just look inside the box, most manufacturers make a 1-3 year warranty, that's why places like Best Buy are worse than us cause they try to get you to buy their warranty when you already have one lol.. granted it is easier to just go to the store and switch it out much quicker if you buy a stores warranty.

    Also calling it a scam depends which definition you go by, the ones listed by that one guy aren't only definitions I can find... What I consider a scam is ACTUAL FRAUD which is ILLEGAL .. What we do is not illegal in the sense of fraud, otherwise I would be in jail! I've only worked for the company for a month and have had to deal with the cops three times, once they found out what we were doing we were free to leave... All they did was check to see if they were stolen and the company existed. A lot of counties require you to have a "license to sell", a lot of counties don't.... Regardless it is illegal for the simple trespassing purposes on places like Home Depot, which only lasts for a few minutes so most places don't care, and the cops sure as hell haven't, one county said we are welcome back but can't sell there unless we make an established location and only sell out of it... so we haven't been back there.

    I really could go on for a while cause i've read multiple forums since I started this job and just kept my mouth shut til now, so i'm just gonna hold it in and make a simple end
    Whoever thinks we're ripping people off is dumb (very few speaker guys do nowadays)... we might use methods of deception to make people think they're getting a better deal than they are, but the truth is most people still do get a good deal, just not $2000 off! We're known as one of the biggest scammers online though because people are too stupid to set them up! Do your research before you run your mouth about a product, at least set the thing up and hear it, receivers aren't that expensive .. go on ebay and spend $100 for a good one (Your retarded if you spend $500 for one at best buy unless you have it like that). Set it up to the RMS (not whats advertised on the box, most all companies put the max on the box - which will blow the speakers after a little while), the Diamonds had 150 watts rms to each channel, and 250 watts rms for the sub, that's 1000 watts rms you have and your complaining about spending $200-300?? (I get real sick of the people who paid $150 and whine, I don't know that speaker guys position, he could've been high up, but most likely he took a loss out of profits on other meets to meet quota so he didn't have to deal with whining from boxx) Try going to Best Buy and get 1000 watt system for much more ($500+++) and RMS is going to be a lot less than 1000 watts... plus most of the ones that do have a receiver built in dont put out near the speakers RMS).
    I'm not saying that what we do is the most ethical way of doing things, unfortunately that's business if you look into it, all companies do unethical shit.. Much are way worse than us, that Insignia brand by Best Buy I think is way worse than us, they charge so much for them and they are direct OEM speakers, but they are still pretty much the same thing as the well known brands and make a lot more money off it, so they aren't scammers they are just smart. Quit running your mouth and grow a pair and buy a bulk order of something from chinese suppliers and see how much profit it returns. I give the people props who support American manufacturers, they have my respect but not my money cause they charge way too much, all I can afford is products made by exploited little kids in China paid cents on the hour, all of yall are going to hell with me unless you've truly only bought American products. BTW anybody who said they're gonna kick the next speaker guys ass they run into, come to Georgia and run up on me during my route before I leave this company... i'm lookin forward to seeing it. I'm quitting before I write a whole book. Just if your sketched out about buying from a van, be polite and say no thanks (i'm just asking if you want a home theater, i'm not saying "HEY F***FACE, YOU WANT A HOME THEATRE??), don't be a dick and quit wasting space on the internet talking trash when we do the same thing name brand corporations do just on a smaller scale ($50 dollars for $200, instead of $300 for $6,000! Honestly I bet Samsung pays a lot less than $300 if you can get the same model number for $500 just for a 1,000 set order), and we will have a problem if you waste an officers time on me, I actually almost had two cops buy from me, one of them was actually one that was called on me cause we supposedly were either scamming or had stolen stuff cause of people who don't know what they're talking about). I promise the majority of the people who have bought have been happy with the product, people don't complain online however that they just spent $200 on a 1000 watt system and it sounds great. All you have to do is like Kaleb was saying, use common sense when your buying shit, don't buy used stuff without testing it, ours stuff is clearly new with 10 crispy sets in the van with manufacturers tape on it and everything is in original packaging. Then just ask questions, if you don't know anything about it, then you just gotta use the best judgement you can, nothing is wrong with walking away even though there is a chance your walking away from a hell of a deal, a lot of times though if it sounds too good to be true than it.
     
  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    No further comment required.
     
  17. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Michael - how on EARTH did you find that phrase in that massive block of text!?!?!?! My eyes started glazing over by the time I hit the first comma and that was all she wrote.
     
  18. smithb

    smithb Well-Known Member

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    Well Speakerman090, I read it all (as hard as it was with so little breaks in the text, I would recommend using a bit of common sense on formulating paragraphs if you want someone to read the whole thing).

    All I can say is you didn't convince me at all to your point. It still comes off as buyer beware and misrespresentation to me. It is true what you said about MSRP prices and what salesman will say to sell a product, but there is also something to be said for crossing the line. I've been appraoched before in a parking lot from the white van sales technique and found the whole thing to be way over the line. While maybe not illegal I still find it to be unethical.
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Maybe instead of the cops, representatives of the state's tax office should make a stop by the ol' white van and we'd see if a determination could be made that something illegal is happening.
     
  20. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    Gene
    Reading that was like watching a car crash. You know you shouldn't look, but you just can't turn away.

    What smiley face would you use for a migraine . I think my head's gonna explode.
     

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