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Buying an OLED online. BUYER BEWARE!! (1 Viewer)

Timothy E

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Respectfully, I don't know why you've decided to present this as a saga. I can't think of a good reason why the seller should remain anonymous. Although there appears to be an inside track where some here already know who it is, others [like me] do not and could be conceivably making a huge mistake at this very moment.

With that out of the way, here is what I did when I had a somewhat similar experience with Paypal and UPS. I won't bore you with the details but the bottom line is you'll have to shame this retailer and/or carrier into behaving honorably. In my case the item was a gorgeous pair of tower speakers that UPS destroyed. I'd originally sold them using Paypal and personally delivered them to the buyer. I offered to wait while he demo'd them but he declined. Two weeks later he filed a claim with Paypal saying the speakers were damaged. I knew they weren't damaged when I delivered them. When I pressed him he revealed the amp he was using to drive them and it was rated well below the speakers minimum power requirements.

I offered to work with him to get a new mid driver from the manufacturer, even agreeing to absorb the cost, but Paypal insisted I return his entire purchase price of $3500.00, so, being honorable myself, I reluctantly did. When I received the speakers back they had been poorly packed and thus suffered significant cabinet damage to the point of being virtually worthless. I relentlessly filed appeals with UPS and Paypal, having documented every step of the transaction. I even threatened to contact the CEO of UPS, sharing her name and contact information with the person I spoke to. It took a full year but I eventually settled with both Paypal and UPS, receiving a full refund and an apology from UPS.

This retailer needs to know you mean business and you're not going anywhere until they act in good faith.

Hang in there. You'll win if you're persistent enough.
I am glad to hear that your experience worked out due to your efforts!

You make a good point that the seller does not deserve anonymity, and the reasons that I have decided to present this in chapters will become apparent by the end of the story.

There is a possibility that VERN is a decent and honorable person who has made some mistakes and has received some bad advice in his handling of my situation. I have made some efforts to resolve this privately, which will become evident in upcoming chapters. At this moment, I cannot say for sure whether VERN normally follows the Home Theater Forum, but I have made certain that he is aware of this thread, which is my final effort to appeal to the sense of decency inside him.

It is also possible that VERN is the type of person who will give you an amazing deal if he believes that you can help him with publicity and connections, but will screw you over at the first opportunity if you are a nobody living in another state, like me. If this is the case, then I probably have not been the first one to be taken advantage of by VERN, and I will be doing a public service by sharing my experience. If anyone reading this is contemplating a large online purchase, it is for you to decide the timing of that purchase. It will also be up to anyone reading this thread to decide for yourselves which type of person VERN might be. In the next chapter, I will present every communication by VERN and me in transcript form, word for word precisely as it happened, and you may decide for yourselves.

I will tell you that there are some unexpected twists and turns in this story, and those of you who have read post #1 may be surprised by the end of chapter 2, and wonder how the end of chapter 2 can lead to the ending described in post #1.
 

Timothy E

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PART 2 (following from post #1)

(In the beginning, I was looking for a larger 3D capable OLED. This is not so easy, since they had stopped being manufactured for approximately 5 years at the time. I became aware of VERN selling an LG 77 G6P. Everything that follows is precisely as it happened in my own words and VERN's own words, except where indicated in otherwise in parentheses.)

VERN: We just sold one of our local client LG's 88" ZX 8K OLED TV and took his 77" G6 Signature Series 3D 4K HDR TV in trade. This very rare flagship Signature Series 77" 3D capable TV is in perfect condition and is available for sale. We'll ship it to any zip code in the 48 contiguous states. (2/8/2021)

TIM: (Hey VERN), What is the asking price for the LG 77 G6P? Please let me know. Thanks! (2/8/2021)

VERN: You are welcome to LG's 77" G6P Signature Series 3D OLED TV for $4,200, which includes delivery to your home. I'll build a custom pallet and strap the properly boxed OLED77GPPUA onto the skid for safe transportation to your home. We do not collect sales tax for orders delivered outside of (name of state in which VERN has his principal place of business). (2/8/2021)

TIM: Sold! I have the 65 G6P and have been extremely happy with it, so I know the 77 should be great. Please let me know your preferred method of payment. Thanks! (2/8/2021)

VERN: Thanks Tim! I just reduced it from $5k and you are the 1st person I gave the $4,200 all in delivered price to. This is a local VIP client of ours and we're delivering his 88" 8K OLED the week of February 22nd. and likely sooner. Please text or email me at (VERN.com) you full name, address, phone # and email address so we can get the shipping prepared. If you are OK, we'd prefer a personal check mailed so we don't have to pay the credit card bank processing fees. You will LOVE this beautiful TV! (2/8/2021)

TIM: I do not mind sending a check. The only drawback might be that I do not have insurance that my credit card provides in the event that damage occurs in shipping through no fault of yours. Do you routinely insure your shipments? Please let me know. I will definitely appreciate your creation of a custom pallet to avoid damage. (2/8/2021)

VERN: Yes, we insure the delivery for the full value. [Emphasis added.] Sorry to ask, but if you want to use a credit card please add 2.5% to cover part of our credit card bank processing fees or your personal check for $4,200. (2/8/2021)

TIM: No problem. I will send the check today and e-mail my information later separately.
Thanks again! (2/8/2021)

(In retrospect, this was a mistake. The reasons that I was willing to place this trust in VERN will become clear by the end of the story. Five days later, I received a message from VERN.)

VERN: Timothy, Just wanted to apologize for the delay in getting your beautiful 77" G6 TV packed and shipped to you. The 88" 8K ZX has been delayed and and is now scheduled to arrive this Thursday, February 18th and we'll get it packed properly and shipped no later than Friday and hopefully Thursday. I'll email you the tracking PRO # can carrier information when it ships. BTW, we did not deposit your check yet and I'll likely deposit it Tuesday. (2/13/2021)

(More than 2 weeks went by without any word from VERN, so I wrote him on March 2, 2021.)

TIM: (Hey VERN), Just checking in for status. Please let me know. Thanks! (3/2/2021)

VERN: Sorry this is taking longer than expected and I should have gotten back to you sooner! All is well and your beautiful 77" G6. The extra unexpected delay is due to the clients a/v cabinet being delayed and is now scheduled to be delivered early next week. I saved a 77CX box and a 85" Sony TV box so we can properly pack your 77G6 and we'll strap it onto a skid so it travels safely to your home. I'll include a couple premium HDMI cables in with your TV as a token courtesy.*. Thanks for your patience! (3/2/2021)

(*The token courtesy of a couple of premium HDMI cables was never received.)

(Another 2 weeks went by without any word from VERN, so I wrote him again on March 17, 2021.)

TIM: (Hey VERN), Just checking on status of things. Please let me know. Thanks! (3/17/2021)

VERN: Shipping to you Monday, March 22nd. Thanks for your patience! I'll PM you the tracking # and carrier information. (3/17/2021)

(On March 22, 2021, VERN contacted me.)

VERN: Tim, this will be my last update and I am sorry for this last unexpected delay! We'll be shipping your 77" G6 Signature Series 3D OLED TV this Thursday, March 25th. (3/22/2021)

(On March 27, 2021, VERN wrote me again.)

VERN: Tim, very sorry to say I'm dealing with a very difficult customer and after we spent a full day installing LG's $30k ZX 8K OLED TV with a high-end Dolby Atmos audio system and a/v cabinet and packing up his 77" G6 he called me the following day and wanted his 77" G6 back and all of the new equipment removed. He is now saying he wants Sony's new 2021 83" A90J Master Series OLED TV that will launch early June. So your choice of the following: 1.) I can Fed Ex overnight a refund check. 2.) You are welcome to buy any TV or 3D projector you like with a very nice courtesy discount. I have (brand name) beautiful (---) and (---) in stock. 3.) we can wait till early June for the 77" G6. I am so very sorry for his this well intended deal turned out and my only interest is to make this right with you in anyway that is best for you.

TIM: I do not blame you, but I can infer that you are dealing with somebody very difficult. Can you tell the customer that the G6 has already been shipped but that you can provide him with something else until June? That would be my preference. It feels like you care more about pissing him off than about irritating me. If it is not possible to do that, then my next order of preference is to wait until June (which may not actually be June at all based on the history with this customer). It is possible that this customer will not be happy either with the Sony, even assuming that it arrives in early June. Anyway, those are my preferences if I have anything to say about it. Please let me know. (3/27/2021)

VERN: Good idea and sorry I did not think of that. I'll offer him a very nice loaner TV and get back to you. (3/27/2021)

(I did not hear anything from VERN for 7 days, so I wrote him again.)

TIM: Can you offer any sort of hope that this TV will be available in the future? It is now April for a TV that was available in February. I can foresee that the next TV available in June or later will not be to this person’s satisfaction either, and the TV being released in October is the one that is wanted. I am still interested in having this 77 G6P, but I am also mindful that it will diminish in value and life of usage while the person who still owns this TV dithers around to make up his or her mind as to what they really want. (4/3/2021)

VERN: I expect we'll have a final answer from the client by the week fo (sic) April 12th or sooner as he is now considering LG's 77" C1 as a stop gap TV upgrade until the 2022 models come out next year. (4/4/2021)

(I did not hear anything from VERN for 12 days, so I wrote him again.)

TIM: Is there any news regarding the client taking possession of one of the new 77 C1 displays? Just hoping. (4/16/2021)

VERN: I'll have a final answer by mid next week. Sorry this has become more difficult that we have planned. (4/16/2021)

(I did not hear anything from VERN for 3 weeks, so I wrote him again.)

TIM: I infer from the lack of update that the VIP who still owns this TV has rejected the 77 C1. Is this person still waiting for the Sony in June or the 2022 models? (5/7/2021)

VERN: Tim, I've never worked harder with a customer before than I have with this person and it was mostly because I wanted to get this beautiful 77" 3D Signature Series OLED TV for you. Earlier this week I offer the customer $4,000 for the 77G6 and he now tells me he wants to wait for LG's next generation 88" 8K OLED, the 88Z1. Problem is LG tells me they are not bring the 88Z1 into the US and they will carryover the 2020 88ZX. Monday I'll refund you payment with our company check. If you are interested in any new TV 2021 TV or any audio equipment I am happy to sell you any equipment at my net cost. (5/7/2021)

TIM: If an LG 77 G6P becomes available in the future from this client or elsewhere, I would very much appreciate first opportunity to purchase it. I cannot express how frustrated and disgusted I am with this deal. The reason I do not have the LG 77 G6P now is that I have tried for the last 4 years to purchase one, and I have been repeatedly victimized by bait and switch dealers who offer it but never had it in the first place. I am not saying you are one of them, since I have liked you since we met in Vegas years ago, and I have given you the benefit of the doubt. One of 2 things happened in this deal: 1) You never had ownership of the TV in the first place; or 2) You had the TV but decided that you preferred to screw me over than to screw over your VIP client. Whichever the reality is, it does not make me feel very good after being strung along for 3 months. If you ever feel inclined to tell this VIP client to eat (#@*!) and die, please know that you have my blessing. (5/8/2021)

VERN: Actually the 3rd thing happened in this crazy deal. We had your 77G6P packed and ready to ship to you when this crazy client called to cancel his order and put a stop on his credit card. We had to go back to his house and reinstall the 77G6P and take back the 88ZX and the Salamander Designs cabinet. (5/8/2021)

TIM: Well, if you succeed in getting the 88Z1 imported for this ass, I would appreciate first right of refusal on the 77 G6P. (5/8/2021)

VERN: Absolutely yes! Please PM back your address. We'll get your refund check out Monday. (5/8/2021)

(This might be a confusing ending for this chapter, for those of you who read post #1 in this thread and already know the end of the story. It is possible that the twists and turns of this story as it developed are more remarkable and interesting than the ending of the story.)

TO BE CONTINUED
 
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JohnRice

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I have two takeaways (sorry, I'm at work and can't read the entire post).

He sold the TV before he actually had it, which means it was before he knew for sure that he would have it to sell? I have to wonder if that's even legal.

You already realize that not paying 2.5% for a credit card was a mistake.

I keep thinking about this, and just want to add some things. As a business owner myself and having dealt with sales for a large portion of my life, there are some very fundamental things that set off alarms for me. The biggest is making a sale for something I don't have in-hand. For him to even suggest doing the transaction by check is a huge alarm for me. I have had circumstances where a customer wanted to buy a large quantity of a product that I know we would not normally be able to sell, so it involved making a large purchase from the manufacturer that I know normally we wouldn't be able to sell. In that case, yes, I get pre-payment, but by credit card and ONLY by credit card. If the processing fee was an issue, I would include that in the price, and no way, no how would I offer or even want payment by check. All of this sounds like someone who is fast and loose with the details of reality.
 
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dpippel

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Wow, Tim, that's quite the saga. My biggest takeaway from reading the back and forth between you and "VERN" is the sheer number of excuses he threw at you about the delay in shipping your display, and that you had to chase him down so many times to get updates.

Now, obviously, I don't know who "VERN" is, but I used to work in the AV installation and low voltage wiring business, and this kind of behavior is a HUGE red flag. I was once employed by a small company owned by a guy who operated this way all of the time. It was because he was a terrible businessman, couldn't keep to a schedule, couldn't keep his promises, and was always looking for the easy way out. He would often tell clients that he needed 50% upfront before starting a job, because unbeknownst to them he wasn't solvent enough to buy the necessary materials otherwise. He was an absolutely charming individual, so he usually got away with it, even with all of his money juggling. However, in reality his cash flow was non-existent, his credit was kaput, his employee turnover was high, and after a year and a half of working in this chaotic environment, I finally resigned because I couldn't take it any longer.

Anyway, seeing "VERN" throw excuse after excuse at you about why your purchase wasn't being shipped and playing the "poor me, it's out of my control" card just raised my hackles because of my past experiences. Also, as John pointed out, if he deposited your check and took your money before he even had the item he sold you in hand, that's pretty shady.
 

Gregg Loewen

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Argh. This sucks. As a seller myself, I'd never let a situation fester like this. While I don't ship with full insurance, I ship w full cost insurance. My company also has full 2ndary private insurance that would cover loss or shipping damage. It is always the seller's responsibility to deal w damage and insurance claims never the buyer. The only exception to this would be if I put the disclaimer on the sales invoice, "shipping without insurance at buyers request".
 

Timothy E

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Wow, Tim, that's quite the saga. My biggest takeaway from reading the back and forth between you and "VERN" is the sheer number of excuses he threw at you about the delay in shipping your display, and that you had to chase him down so many times to get updates.

Now, obviously, I don't know who "VERN" is, but I used to work in the AV installation and low voltage wiring business, and this kind of behavior is a HUGE red flag.

Anyway, seeing "VERN" throw excuse after excuse at you about why your purchase wasn't being shipped and playing the "poor me, it's out of my control" card just raised my hackles because of my past experiences. Also, as John pointed out, if he deposited your check and took your money before he even had the item he sold you in hand, that's pretty shady.
You make a good point about the timing of my check being cashed. My bank statement shows that the funds left my account on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. This means that the check must have been deposited at the earliest on February 10 and at the very latest on February 16, since the funds left my account on the latter date.

In looking back at VERN’s messages provided verbatim in post # 22, I cannot tell when or if VERN actually had the item in hand during this period of time.
 

Timothy E

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Thank you to all of our members for your private PMs and your supportive comments in this thread!

The next chapter in the story, following posts # 1 and 22 in this thread, will be posted soon. In the meantime, is there anyone out there who thinks that I should accept VERN’s final offer of $200?

Please share your thoughts.
 

Josh Steinberg

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In the meantime, is there anyone out there who thinks that I should accept VERN’s final offer of $200?

Please share your thoughts.

FWIW, absolutely not.

If you had purchased this TV as an open box special from a reputable big box chain, the remedy would be absolutely clear and uncontroversial: they would have offered you your choice of full refund or a replacement of equal or greater value.

I’ve seen no reason why a smaller retailer should be held to a different standard here. If anything, a smaller retailer should be working harder to find a satisfactory solution as they’re more dependent on your business than a larger chain would be.

We’re frequently inundated with feel good advertising talking about supporting the little guy as being something more noble than merely shopping. We get pitched that it’s a moral imperative to support small businesses. If that’s indeed true, it has to work both ways: they have to hold up their end of the bargain and offering a $200 discount on a defective $4000 item doesn’t sound like a good faith negotiation, it sounds like a scam.

As a footnote, from what I understand, small vendors like VERN have, as a component of their business, in house calibration services. The pitch is essentially, let us open the box, get the TV set up properly for you, and then ship it to your home. My understanding is that that service is a big part of their livelihood, something they can offer that a big box can’t. My understanding is that doing so will void the manufacturers warranty since the store is opening the box; the manufacturer isn’t going to be held liable for shipping damage that occurs after a third party opens the box and resells it.

So as a practical measure, VERN seems to be putting his business’s reputation on the line here in a way that defies common sense. Why would I or anyone else want to buy a top priced TV from VERN with the knowledge that if anything happens to it on the way from his store to my home, I’ll lose both the item and the money?
 

dpippel

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Thank you to all of our members for your private PMs and your supportive comments in this thread!

The next chapter in the story, following posts # 1 and 22 in this thread, will be posted soon. In the meantime, is there anyone out there who thinks that I should accept VERN’s final offer of $200?

Please share your thoughts.
I'm with Josh. If I were in your shoes I'd do everything necessary to put VERN in my rearview mirror, and I'd look elsewhere to shop for a new display.
 

Timothy E

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PART 3 - Following from posts # 1 & 22

VERN had told me on May 7, 2021, that the TV was not available for him to sell to me. This is what happened next:

VERN: Well the time has come again and our client is now going ahead with Sony's 83" A90J and we're buying his 77" G6P Signature Series 3D OLED TV. I got a little beat up on the trade-in price, but I'm happy to stick with our original deal if you are still interested. [Emphasis added.] (6/29/2021)

TIM; I will take it. Thank you for remembering me on this. How soon do you expect it to be in your hands? Please let me know. (6/29/2021)

VERN: Early next week! (6/29/2021)

TIM: I will put a check in the mail this evening. Dumb question: The remote control is included? I assume yes but I had to ask. (6/29/2021)

VERN: Thank you Tim. I believe the original remote is there, but I'll confirm and if for any reason it's not I'll push the client very hard to find it. (6/29/2021)

At this point, I did not hear back from VERN for more than 2 weeks, so I contacted him again.

TIM: I sent the payment the week before last. Please let me know if you did not receive it. (7/14/2021)

VERN: Yes we received your check and thank you! We have not deposited it as we wanted to have your 77G6 in our hands before taking your money again. And the very good news is we just completed the new 83A90J installation and I now have your beautiful 77G6 in our store and it performs beautifully!! We have the original remote control too. I hope to have it properly packed for travel to your CA home and shipped tomorrow. We'll build a custom pallet and strap the properly packed 77G6 onto the skid for sale transportation to your home. I'll email or PM you the tracking PRO # and carrier information so you can call them to schedule the delivery. We'll also deposit your check tomorrow. Once you get the 77G6 set-up please get back to me with your opinions. Thank you!! (7/14/2021)

I waited a week and contacted VERN again.

TIM: Just checking in on status of shipping. (7/21/2021)

VERN: Shipping today! One thing I wanted to say is that we forgot to reset the TV so it has all of the original owners accounts still active. So please do a factory reset. (7/21/2021)

(VERN also sent me a separate email message on this date with a photograph of the pallet and skid.)

(The TV arrived on July 28, 2021, in a box for an LG 77CX. The box was not mounted on a pallet. The following is what I wrote to VERN.)

TIM: I received the TV last week, and I appreciate that you sent me a photo of the pallet on which it was mounted. You should know that someone at FedEx removed the box from that pallet somewhere between (originating state) and (destination state). I have attached a photo of the box as it arrived without pallet.

The box seemed intact but it appears that FedEx was negligent in removing it from the pallet during shipping which allowed it to be thrown around and resulting in the hinged frame being bent on the left side as one looks at the back of the TV. I have attached some photos by separate message. You can see that the metal hinge is bent, and would not be visible except that the panel on the back of the TV is now ajar. I was able to straighten the frame somewhat by moving the hinge in the direction it would go if mounted on a table. I did not want to bend it back too far at risk of damaging the components.

The FedEx delivery person said that he would open a claim, and I made a notation on the receipt that it arrived separately from the pallet.

Here is the good news: the screen is undamaged and the TV is fully functional in spite of the damage to the frame. There are 2 indentations on the front of the frame where it is visible under the screen. (See photos.). As to the back, the damage at the hinge nearly made it impossible to install the wall mount on the left side because the screw hole in the panel is no longer flush with the threads of the hole, however, I was able to make it work with help of a power drill.

I considered having the panel sit on top of a cabinet but the damage to the hinge is so great that it will not remain upright in that position. Good news again, my preference had been to mount it on the wall, and I was successful in accomplishing that, although the bent hinge and panel ajar on the rear means that there is an opening remaining at the bottom on the left side, leaving some inner components visible if looking straight up at the set from beneath it, as pictured in the photos. This is not apparent when looking at the screen while viewing, fortunately.

I want you to know that, putting the cosmetic damage aside, I am very happy with the TV. (Note: I did not know yet that internal components were damaged so that the screen freezes up every few minutes during wireless streaming. I also did not know yet that the shipment had not been insured for the full value of my payment.)

I do not blame you at all for the damage caused in shipping since it is obvious that FedEx was negligent in removing it from the pallet, in disregard for the bright red stickers directing that the pallet should not be returned.

I do think that FedEx should pay for the damage, which possibly has shortened the life usage of the set, although I hope that is not the case.

Please let me know what we can do to open an insurance claim. (8/05/2021)

(VERN did not respond to this request, and I would not hear from him at all during the next 5 months that I spent working through paperwork with FedEx Freight without any assistance from VERN.)

TO BE CONTINUED
 
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Josh Steinberg

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VERN really comes across as some sitcom’s exaggeration of a third-rate used car salesman. Sorry you’ve had to go through this ordeal.
 

Timothy E

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PART 4 - Following from posts # 1, 22 & 34

(I received no response from VERN to my message on August 5, 2021, asking him to help me pursue a claim against the shipping company. As a result, I pursued a couple of false leads with FedEx before finally obtaining the correct contact information for FedEx Freight. On September 15, 2021, I e-mailed FedEx Freight with the photographs of damage to the TV and a description of the damage. The response was exactly as follows:

FedEx Freight: Good Morning, To start a claim, please fill out the attached form and return to: [email protected]. Thank you! (09/16/2021)

(On September 17, 2021, I resubmitted my claim with my photographs and the form provided. I received the following response.)

FedEx Freight: This email channel is for FedEx Freight claims submissions only. Should you need to file a claim or check status for FedEx Express or Ground claims please refer to instructions below. If your email included supporting documentation for a claim filed through FedEx Freight My Account, we appreciate your submission and will forward the documents to the assigned agent. It may take up to 14 days for us to respond to your request. Did you know that you have the option to file your claims online? FedEx Claims Online allows you to file an Express, Ground or Freight claim for any US domestic shipment. Please go to www.FedEx.com for additional information. (09/17/2021)

(On October 6, 2021, I received the message below.)

FedEx Freight: Your claim has been received and assigned our claim number as referenced above. In order to continue processing your claim, the following information is needed in support of the claim. Is this a new or used product? National Motor Freight Classification, Item 300150 advises that when there is value in the salvage, the claimant is to accept and handle in order to reduce the carrier's loss as much as possible. It has been our experience that many times a product is not rendered completely worthless due to damages. Therefore, we would like you to explore the possibility of mitigation through repair or retaining with an allowance. Otherwise, please provide a written explanation why repairs/allowances are not possible and provide salvage contact information so that we may arrange pick up of the salvage. Once the salvage is picked up, the payment of this claim is contingent upon the loss being 100% as claimed and mitigation not being possible.

A complete copy of the seller's actual invoice, showing the value of the original shipment. This information is required per federal regulation 49 CFR 370, as outlined in the National Motor Freight Classification Principles for the Investigation and Disposition of Freight Claims, which is available upon request. Any further correspondence regarding this claim that you wish to provide should reference the above stated claim number. (10/06/2021)

(A boilerplate form was sent to me by e-mail from FedEx Freight on October 13, 2021, as an attachment to the message. The form requested information about whether I believe my damages may be mitigated by repairs or salvage, as well as a copy of the sales receipt. I did not see this message when it first arrived, as the sender was identified vaguely as "FAX SERVER" rather than from FedEx as with all of my other correspondence, so this message was misdirected to a spam folder and temporarily lost for a couple months until after I had contacted FedEx Freight further in follow-up. What follows is what I wrote next to FedEx Freight.)

TIM: This TV set is a used LG 77G6P manufactured in 2016. This year was the first and the last year that LG manufactured an OLED TV that could handle both 4K content and 3D content. It is not replaceable since this set is no longer manufactured, and may not be repairable for the same reason. Invoice from seller will follow by separate message. Please let me know if you need anything further. (12/24/2021)

(On December 30, 2021, I requested the invoice for the TV from VERN.)

TIM: (Hey, VERN) Would you please be able to send a formal receipt for the TV? FedEx is requiring it to process my damage claim. Thanks! (12/30/2021)

(I waited one week without any response from VERN, and I wrote him again.)

TIM: Can you please send me a receipt for the TV? FedEx is requiring it for processing my damages claim. (01/06/2022)

VERN: Yes, and sorry if we did not give you the receipt with your TV. We're having heavy snow today and not sure we'll be in the store today. So if we don't get the receipt today it will be Monday morning. (01/07/2022)

(After this, I waited 11 days without any response from VERN. I wrote him again.)

TIM: Just a reminder if you could please send the receipt so that I can forward it to FedEx. (01/18/2022)

VERN: Sorry for the delay in getting this to you. Attached is a copy of your receipt. Let me know if you need anything on our end. (01/18/2022)

(I forwarded the receipt to FedEx Freight. This is what I received in response.)

FedEx Freight: Thank you for selecting FedEx as your reliable, responsible LTL (less-than-truckload) service provider. We appreciate your business and are dedicated to meeting the needs of you and your customers. Please see the information below determined during the investigation. Your claim has been amended to $57.30 for the reason(s) shown below.
Per our Rules Tariff, used articles have a limited liability of $0.50 per pound.
At FedEx, we care about meeting your transportation needs. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. You may contact the claims investigator listed below with any questions or concerns. (01/21/2022)

(I wrote back to FedEx to verify what I believed to be the meaning of this message.)

TIM: I received a letter from the "Fax Server." This message is to clarify the meaning of that message. The party shipping the TV to me paid for insurance, or so I am told. My intention in making the claim was to seek reimbursement for damages to the TV during shipping after FedEx removed the skid to which the package was affixed. Does this mean that the insurance on the package covers only up to $57? Please advise. (01/24/2022)

FedEx: FedEx Freight does not offer insurance. Unfortunately, since the TV was used and not new, carrier liability is limited to $.50 per pound. Your shipper may have been unaware of this when you spoke with them. (01/24/2022)

(Shortly after receiving this message, I received a check from FedEx in the amount of $57.30. I did not deposit the check immediately.)

(During these 5 months that I wasted attempting to make an insurance claim on a non-existent insurance, I was even more disenchanted with VERN and his TV. I discovered during this period of time that the internal components of the TV were damaged so that wireless streaming would freeze up after every few minutes, and I would be forced to unplug the TV and plug it back in to continue watching programs. I believed initially that the problem was attributable to my internet provider, but this possibility was later eliminated through trial and error. Even worse, the bent hinge between the screen and the internal components began separating further so that the gap at the bottom of the TV between the screen and the internal components continued to widen, which continues to this day. I am concerned that the screen will separate entirely someday as the gap continues to widen gradually. After receiving the check for $57.30 from FedEx, I wrote again to VERN.)

TIM: Thank you for the receipt. I have provided a copy to FedEx Freight as they requested. They claim, unfortunately, that the shipment was not insured, so they are not liable for the damage that occurred during shipment. This is disappointing since you promised me that insurance was included. In my e-mail message to you on September 15, I attached a photo of the box as it arrived without pallet. The box seemed intact but it appears that FedEx was negligent in removing it from the pallet during shipping which allowed it to be thrown around and resulting in the hinged frame being bent on the left side as one looks at the back of the TV. I attached some photos by separate message on September 15. You can see that the metal hinge is bent, and would not be visible except that the panel on the back of the TV is now ajar. I was able to straighten the frame somewhat by moving the hinge in the direction it would go if mounted on a table. I did not want to bend it back too far at risk of damaging the components. The screen itself is also bent at the bottom, but this is not visible when watching the screen from the front. The TV also loses internet connection frequently, which may have resulted from the TV being removed from the pallet and being thrown around by FedEx.

There are 2 indentations on the front of the frame where it is visible under the screen. (See photos.). As to the back, the damage at the hinge nearly made it impossible to install the wall mount on the left side because the screw hole in the panel is no longer flush with the threads of the hole, however, I was able to make it work with help of a power drill. I considered having the panel sit on top of a cabinet but the damage to the hinge is so great that it will not remain upright in that position. I was successful in my efforts to mount it on the wall, although the bent hinge and panel ajar on the rear means that there is an opening remaining at the bottom on the left side, leaving some inner components visible if looking straight up at the set from beneath it, as pictured in the photos. This is not apparent when looking at the screen while viewing, fortunately.

I considered the TV to be a great deal at $4,200 in excellent condition, but not a great deal at that price, being so beat up. The good thing is the 3D is very nice, even if the internet connection is spotty due to damage to the components. I hope it will continue to work for many years, but I am not confident of that based on the external damage.

Since I cannot make an insurance claim, I ask you to consider what is fair for what I paid. Please let me know your thoughts. (02/22/2022)

(Many months passed without any response from VERN to this message.)

TO BE CONTINUED
 

Timothy E

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PART 5 - Following from posts # 1, 22, 34 & 37

(My message to VERN on February 22, 2022, had concluded as follows: )

TIM: I considered the TV to be a great deal at $4,200 in excellent condition, but not a great deal at that price, being so beat up. The good thing is the 3D is very nice, even if the internet connection is spotty due to damage to the components. I hope it will continue to work for many years, but I am not confident of that based on the external damage. Since I cannot make an insurance claim, I ask you to consider what is fair for what I paid. Please let me know your thoughts. (02/22/2022)

(I never received any response to this message of February 22, 2022, so after waiting more than 4 months without any response, I sent another e-mail message to VERN on July 9, 2022.)

TIM: I am preparing an article for the Home Theater Forum [website] regarding my experience purchasing a used TV.
Before sharing with other members, I wanted to give you an opportunity to review the facts, and let me know if you believe any of the following facts is inaccurate, so that I can provide your response in the article, or confirm that you agree with the basic facts.

(I then stated the facts set forth verbatim in this article in the exact words used by me and VERN in our communications in transcript form. I summarized the facts with the following statement in my message sent on July 9, 2022: )

VERN has not responded to my request as of the date of the article, nor offered any reimbursement for the lack of insurance on the package.

Please let me know your thoughts or comments on or before July 13. If I do not hear from you, I will proceed with publication of the article with the understanding that you do not intend to respond, and state the same in the article. (07/09/2022)

(BY July 13, 2022, I had not heard back from VERN, so I wrote to him again.)

TIM: I have emailed you a couple of times since February with no response. I can see that you are still active [online], so please let me know if you believe that you have not received my email messages in February and July. (07/13/22)

VERN: It's been a very crazy time for us. I'll reply to you tomorrow by mid-morning-early afternoon at the latest. Thank you! (07/13/2022)

VERN: Finishing my e-mail in a few minutes. Reply to the e-mail or call if you like. XXX-XXX-XXXX. No rush to reply and no need to reply if you are ok with my explanation. Thank you, [-VERN] (07/14/2022)

VERN then sent a separate message on July 14, 2022, as follows:

VERN: First and foremost I am truly sorry the TV was damaged while in-transit! Also very sorry to hear your thoughts on this. I understand and appreciate that this was not a typical transaction as the TV availability was delayed and this was an unusual circumstance. As you know this TV is a very special model being a flagship Signature series OLED that is one of the very last models with 3D originally priced at $20K, and I was very happy for it to go to someone who knew the value of it and would recognize it’s unique features and worth and to offer it to you at a very fair price.

As you may remember I was dealing with a sophisticated client and with his deep research in his 77G6P Signature Series OLED TV value I had to keep on paying him more almost every week that he delayed the delivery of his 88” ZX 8K OLED TV. Regardless of how much more we had to pay for the TV I never asked you to pay anymore. We also received several other offers for more money and the delivery would be local. I decided to keep the order with you out of personal courtesy and we packed your 77 G6P as perfectly as anyone could possibly do. Regardless of all of our good intentions and very careful packing we took some risk in getting this valuable TV delivered safely to you. In your email to me when you received the shipment, the damage described seems to be minimal and is not visible from its wall mounted position. You also had said you were very happy with the TV, putting the cosmetic damage aside.

The shipment certainly was insured per the $25/lb liability coverage per FedEx. I’m not sure why FedEx would decide on a $57 reimbursement and would be happy to look into it if you can send me communications you received from FedEx claims department.

From your August 5th report of the damage with our advice to file a freight claim [Note: what advice?] and then the next communication on Jan 7 requesting a receipt [Note: I sent an e-mail message on December 30 and did not receive any response], it is a large time gap of 5 months to have passed without hearing from you or knowing of any outstanding issue. Now hearing from you in July after another 7 months have passed since the receipt request, it is a surprise for us to receive this email of plans to write a negative, damaging post online.

[Note: After I asked VERN to help me with an insurance claim on August 5, 2022, he did nothing to help me, so I wasted the months from August through January attempting to make an insurance claim on a shipment that had no insurance. I wrote VERN in February 2022 to ask him to make things right, and he failed to respond to me at all until July 2022 when I informed him of the development of this article in this thread.]

Separate from this, I did not hear from you that HDMI cables were not included in your package and would be happy to send some to you if you let me know what size you would need. I apologize that this did not go as smoothly as we both would have liked. (07/14/2022)

TIM: Thank you for your response regarding the 77 G6P. I appreciate the fact that you were willing to honor the deal with me rather than sell to a local buyer.

At this point, the real issue is that FedEx claims that the package was not insured. Our deal was that you would insure it rather than me pay by credit card, which would have insured my purchase. Based on our contract, I am entitled to collect insurance for damage to the TV, from FedEx if it was insured. If it was not insured, as we agreed, then you, not FedEx, are liable for the damage.

I accept your offer for you to contact FedEx. Attached below is the relevant correspondence from FedEx. The $57 check they sent is good until July 24, so I will hold off depositing it until that date. Please keep me posted. I will be satisfied if FedEx pays a reasonable amount for the damage caused during shipping. If not, then you are liable for damage during transit if it was not insured as we agreed. (07/14/2022)

VERN: Two items. First, it is true that we did not know Fed Ex limits their liability when we ship a used TV. One the item class we used for your 77G6 shipment does include insurance based on $25/lb, not .50C per lb. So Fed Ex charge us at the higher rate for a new TV with the $25 per lb insurance included.

Second, although I believe what you are saying about paying with your personal check and I would cover the insurance I honestly do not remember that or see anything like that in our communications. What I do remember is that I wanted to be paid by personal check so we did not pay the credit card bank processing fees on this transaction as their was no profit in this sale and I did not want to be in the red.

I will speak with my Fed Ex rep, but I am not optimistic they will do anything as the records now show the TV was used and that will take precedence over the full rate we paid to ship the 77G6.

Personally and in my heart of hearts I do not feel responsible to pay any more on this very nice courtesy sale I extended you on a TV with a much higher value and very minor damage that is not viewable or of any issue in the operation. When I look at everything in our deal, the price you paid, the very nice 77G6 that is one of the very best I have ever seen in it’s overall very clean OLED screen performance I do not feel responsible to pay any more on this transaction. I guess this is a great example of no good deed goes unpunished.

I want you to be happy with your 77” G6 Signature Series 4K HDR 3D OLED TV and hope you appreciate everything we did to make this happen for you and all of the work that went into packing the TV very properly and professionally.

I’ll get back to you on what Fed Ex tells me. (07/14/2022)

(As of September 3, 2022, VERN never has got back to me "on what FedEx tells me." On July 22, 2022, I deposited the $57.30 check from FedEx on the 179th day after its date of issuance. The check stated on its face that it is good only for 180 days.)

(On July 26, 2022, I received a letter from my bank informing me that the check for $57.30 was not honored. The text of the letter from the bank is reproduced below.)

BANK: We're writing to notify you that the item or items listed below, which were deposited into your account, have been returned unpaid. As a result, we've deducted them from your account. You will see the adjustment on your account statement.

Number of returned items: 1
Amount of returned item(s): 57.30

(According to FedEx, the shipment had never been insured in the first place. The original statement from FedEx is reproduced below.)

FedEx: FedEx Freight does not offer insurance. Unfortunately, since the TV was used and not new, carrier liability is limited to $.50 per pound. Your shipper may have been unaware of this when you spoke with them.

(In my opinion, the check for $57.30 was grossly inadequate to cover the damage, even if the check had been honored.)

TO BE CONTINUED
 
Last edited:

JohnRice

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This Video provides some more detail regarding declared value vs. insurance. It's generally about FedEx, not just freight.

Any business that ships multi-$K breakable items I would hope knows the details of this, as well as used vs. new products.

In the end, the shipment was NOT lost or destroyed, so there is absolutely no way any sort of coverage or insurance would pay the full value that was declared or insured.
 

Timothy E

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This Video provides some more detail regarding declared value vs. insurance. It's generally about FedEx, not just freight.

Any business that ships multi-$K breakable items I would hope knows the details of this, as well as used vs. new products.

In the end, the shipment was NOT lost or destroyed, so there is absolutely no way any sort of coverage or insurance would pay the full value that was declared or insured.
It seems like this is information that should be known to a seller in the business for more than 20 years.
 

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