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Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:22 am
It is a disappointing decision that I have to post this. As you might imagine, there are two sides this story. I tried to reach and amicable resolution with Carl W3BRX, but he has decided to stop communicating. As such I must share my experience and warn others so that this doesn’t happen to you.
Permit me to give you some back ground. In August 07, I responded to a QTH For Sale listing of a FL-2100B amp from Carl W3BRX. Carl sounded nice, and claimed it was perfect 10 internally and externally, not a scratch on it. I should have insisted on a picture, but went ahead and bought the amp on his word. The amp arrived poorly packaged and damaged. It was far from the “10” that he described it as, but that is beside the point. Carl said he didn’t want to disappoint someone he considers a friend, and promised to refund all my monies AND send me an old radio he no longer needed. I thought this was a nice gesture indeed, and trusted him. After 4 months, I come to find his offer was too good to be true.
I helped Carl by convincing UPS to return the amp to him, instead of UPS keeping it for the insurance claim. Carl got his amp back and he says it is working fine, besides the dented enclosure. He sent me an FT-890. I thank him and said it would be put to good use by a friend, as I didn’t need it. Carl repeatedly said he was going to send me my monies once he was paid the insurance. UPS paid the claim in December ($350 that I paid him plus the shipping cost), but still no check from Carl. I inquired about the money, and heard nothing. After multiple attempts to contact him, he sent one LAST email, a one line response telling me to pay to ship him back the radio and then he would send a check. I explained my friend now had the rig, and at this point didn’t feel obligated to pay the shipping to return the rig.
Some might think, “What is the problem?” an FT-890 is of comparable value to the FL-2100. My friend will buy the 890 and I will recoup my $350, but W3BRX shouldn’t profit from this unfortunate event. He mislead me, and broke his word. He has his working amp along with my $350 AND the $350 in insurance plus the shipping refunded. I suggested to Carl he send half of the insurance or an amount he feels fair for both are troubles. No response!
I didn’t want it to come to write this, and even sent Carl W3BRX a copy before positng it. I felt he may realize this didn’t set well with me and offer a resolution.
Learn from my misfortune; don’t fall for gestures that are too good to be true such as sending valuable equipment and promising a refund? Odds are, it is too good to be true. Insist the seller refund your money. It is the seller’s responsibility to handle the insurance [as I learned from UPS], and they should pay off the buyer after the shipper has picked up the equipment.
I welcome Carl to respond and offer a reasonable resolution and clear his name. Until then I must warn anyone DO NOT BUY from CARL W3BRX, or be warned in any dealings with Carl W3BRX !!!
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:27 pm
First off Carl W3BRX commited fraud with UPS. If you show UPS the e-mail he sent you saying it works fine when he got it back from you thats the proof they need to show he lied.
Sceond, why should your friend who you gave the radio to pay for something Carl claims was free to you?
W3BRX lied to you from the start saying it was a 10 and it was not.
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:17 am
Are you sure there's no miscommunication going on here? To offer a free FT-890 plus all monies returned sounds very unrealistic. Would you consider posting the E-mails between you and him so we can get a better idea what's going on?
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:24 pm
SRE Tech wrote:Are you sure there's no miscommunication going on here? To offer a free FT-890 plus all monies returned sounds very unrealistic. Would you consider posting the E-mails between you and him so we can get a better idea what's going on?
I would also question anyone that wanted to refund my money AND give me a FT-890 radio.
Like the man said ... there are two sides to a story.
Actually, I would NOT be interested in hearing anymore about it.
William Lee N5WRX
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:34 pm
n9vao wrote:First off Carl W3BRX commited fraud with UPS. If you show UPS the e-mail he sent you saying it works fine when he got it back from you thats the proof they need to show he lied.
I think you misunderstood.
How do you know from what was presented here that it was working when he got it back from UPS?
All that was said was that it was working.
It is possible that he did a lot of work to get that amp working again.
Do you think the UPS claim adjusters are total goof balls that just give away money? I bet they had the amp checked out by some expert BEFORE settling the claim. But we don't know ... do we?
Since we are only getting one side of the story I would back off calling someone a criminal based on what has been presented.
William Lee N5WRX
Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:56 pm
Thank you all for your comments and support. Your support has been encouraging. I waited before replying to your comments to make sure I accurately explain this. Instead of posting the entire email thread, I’ve posted a number of quotes from Carl’s emails, and gave the appropriate background to put them in context. I asked myself similar questions that you all asked. Did the amp work from the beginning? Or was I setup? I decided I should not speculate. I trust that all hams, including Carl, are honest.
I first contacted Carl W3BRX, August 27th, to inquire about the FL-2100 amp. He replied quickly and explained that the amp was “ … IN PERFECT CONDITION. NO COSMETIC DAMAGE/SRACTHES/CORROSION OF ANY KIND ANYWHERE – INTERNALLY OR EXTERNALLY. CLEARLY A "10" IN THESE RESPECTS.” He then went on to say he last used the amp in December of 05, and that his log showed “SOME DX: HA0DU,14 MHz; VK5DP, 21 MHz; BUT I CANNOT ATTEST TO THE ‘...MEASURED POWER OUTPUT’ ON ANY BAND.” I found this to be a strange way to describe an amp, and asked him if he could power it up and verify proper HV, fan operation, etc. He said he would, but that he might not be able to verify “UNLESS [HE] CAN LOCATE A SUITABLE DUMMY LOAD.” I thought what ham doesn’t have a dummy load? Carl got back to me after a couple days and said the amp “LOADS PROPERLY ON ALL BANDS PER BIRD 200 WATT LOAD.” While he didn’t verify the output power levels, he did verify operation, and I took his word that is was working and in perfect cosmetic condition.
When the amp arrived September 17th, it was in a thin box not much bigger than the amp itself. I opened the package and noticed minimal bubble wrap and some broken Styrofoam on the bottom. Not what I would consider sufficient packaging for a 42 lb amp. The bottom plate on the amp enclosure was pushed inward, and it appeared as if the amp was dropped and it landed on its feet. I had no reason to believe this damage was not caused during shipment. I looked the amp over and saw numerous scuff marks and scratches, not what I consider a perfect 10. I opened the enclosure and inspected the tubes. The tubes where in tact and there didn’t appear to be other damage. I checked the AC wiring, and then plugged in the amp. The HV checked OK at 2.4Kv. I then put the meter in Ic position and the meter pegged the scale!! I immediately powered off the equipment as it appeared there was a short or some damage that was drawing too much plate current.
I contacted Carl WRBRX and explained the amp was damaged in shipping. He said he will “GET RIGHT ON IT… THE UPS SITE FROM WHICH THE UNIT WAS SHIPPED – [name of the UPS shipping store removed] - IS MANAGED BY A GOOD FRIEND” …“I'M UPSET BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE DISAPPOINTING PEOPLE WHO I LIKE TO CONSIDER FRIENDS. IN ADDITION TO RESTORING YOUR FUNDS, I'M SENDING YOU BY MEANS OTHER THAN UPS A 100 WATT 80 - 10 TRANSCEIVER…”
Carl told me “ACCORDING TO UPS YOU THE RECEIVER MUST FILE THE CLAIM. IF UPS'S INSPECTION VERIFIES THE CLAIM, UPS PAYS ME THE SENDER; AND I IN TURN PAY YOU. IF THE CLAIM IS DENIED I WILL RETURN THE AMOUNT YOU PAID PERSONALLY. A NO-COST-TO-YOU 80-10 XCVR WAS SHIPPED TO YOU TODAY; ITS MANUAL WAS SENT VIA US MAIL AT BOOK RATE.” …that reminds me I never did get the manual
I called UPS to place the claim as the receiving party. I explained to UPS that it was vintage radio gear that was damaged. The UPS representative turned out to be an old CBer and felt sorry about the situation. I explained it would be a shame for UPS to pickup and discard vintage equipment and convinced them to return the amp to the shipper. They agreed and picked up the amp October 5th, and returned it to the Electronics Place October 12th.
On October 14th Carl W3BRX contacted me to say the amp arrived at the shipper and that he would pick it up the next day. He hoped the FT-890 arrived ok and then went on to explain how he was moving his shack and to “BY ALL MEANS KEEP IN TOUCH.” I thanked Carl for the FT-890 and explained I was hoping to get my son to get his ticket and this would be a perfect fit for him.
I didn’t hear from Carl, and decided to call UPS November 5th. UPS lead me to believe the claim was paid. I contacted Carl and he said his shipper the Electronics Place wasn’t notified. He said “WHEN HE [his UPS shipper friend] INFORMS ME OF THE PAYMENT”S ARRIVAL I WILL IMMEDIATELY MAIL>>>EITHER A CERTIFIED CHECK OR A CASHIER”S CHECK FOR $350.00.” he then added “BTW, I FIRED UP THE AMP MINUS ITS BENT BOTTOM PLATE< EXCITED IT WITH MY FT 101EE, GOT FULL POWER, MANUAL SPECIFIED OUTPUT ON ALL BANDS INTO A 50 OHM NON-INDUCTIVE 3KW DUMMY LOAD; AND DURING ABOUT 5.0 HOURS of OPERATION OVER 2 DAYS, MAD SOLID STATESIDE CONTACTS on 75, 80 AND 40; AND EUROPEAN 20 METER DX.” …Wow, I’m glad Carl found his dummy load after all!
On December 3rd Carl sent me with a strange email. He said “IT TROUBLES ME A BIT THAT YOU CONTINUE TO REMIND ME TO DO THAY WHICH I HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID I WOULD DO. ANY NUMBER OF EMAILS I SENT TO YOU DESRIBED THE STEPS (his friend at the UPS Store) AND I WERE FOLLOWING AND WOULD FOLLOW WITH UPS TO INSURE THAT YOU WERE APPROPRIATELY COMPENSATED FOR YOUR CLAIMED LOSS. [His friend] EVEN ADISED YOU (WHICH HE DIDN”T HAVE TO) THAT THE UPS DAMAGE CLAIM CHECK HAD ARRIVED AT [his friend UPS store], THE UPS SITE FROM WHICH THE UNIT WAS ORIGINALLY SHIPPED. THE ONE THING YOU HAVE NOT DONE IS ACKOWLEDGE MY ATTEMPT TO MAKE UP FOR YOUR CLAIMED RECEIPT OF A DAMAGED AMPLIFER AND TO DEMONSTRATE MY INTEGRITY BY SENDING YOU AT NO COST A FULLY OPERATIONAL YAESU 890 TRANSCEIVER AS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION. MY OR [his friend] CHECK FOR $350. WILL GO INTO USPS 1ST CLASS MAIL NOT LATER THAN TUESDAY , DECEMBER 4. MY FAITH IN YOUR (AND MANKIND’S) ESSENTIAL INTEGRITY WILL BE AMPLY DEMONSTRATED BY YOUR RETURN OF THE 890.” I thought why the sudden change in faith? What did I do wrong to upset him? I replied and apologized and thanked him again for the FT-890.
Come December 15th, no check. I contacted Carl and he said “[UPS] CHECK WAS PAYABLE TO [his friend the UPS shipper] WHO IN TURN ENDORSED IT OVER TO ME. I DEPOSITED THE CHECK AND BECAUSE OF DUAL PAYEES ACCORDING TO MY BANK THERE'S AT LEAST A 10 DAY DELAY IN ITS CLEARANCE. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAIL YOURS MONDAY OR TUESDAY.” I explained I was hoping to get the monies before the holidays as I planned to use the money to get my boys a new puppy for Christmas. Carl then became the nicest guy again, and told me about his grandkids. I went on to explain I had one son 12, and triplets at age 9, and the money would come in handy.
Well come January 1st, still no check. I contacted his friend the UPS shipper thinking maybe something happened to Carl. His friend told me he hasn’t seen him. I then noticed that Carl had posted a want add on QTH. I asked a friend to contact him. Surprise! Carl replied to my friend within a day. Knowing he was around, and on-line, I contacted him again. On January 10th I received my last email from Carl W3BRX and he said ” I'LL SEND A CASHIER'S CHECK FOR $350.00 WHEN I RECEIVE, POSTPAID AND INSURED, THE 890 I SENT YOU AS A MEASURE OF GOOD FAITH.” I explained I gave the FT-890 to a friend, and suggested we split the funds since I did have the FT-890.
I never heard from him again. I mean no bad will to W3BRX. I’m hoping that he replies and explains himself.
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:07 pm
Now that is the story that you should have posted the first time.
It explains a lot of the questions the original post created.
Yes ... He did intend to give you a radio and refund your money.
He could not have made it any clearer.
It looks like he has had a change of heart about that and good luck on getting the refund.
It is still possible that by removing the bent bottom plate he cleared a short.
Thanks for the heads up on a questionable person.
William Lee N5WRX