[rescue] VAXstation questions

Robert Novak rnovak at indyramp.com
Wed May 14 11:19:26 CDT 2003

On Wed, May 14, 2003 at 11:15:30AM -0400, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
> >From: Robert Novak <rnovak at indyramp.com>
> >
> >Ask me about the dozen useless Indigo2 chassis 
> >in my storage locker. :-)
> Why are they useless ?  Are they incomplete, or broken ?

They are useless because they are without use. I can't use them. 
I can't sell them (I've tried several times) and I can't seem to
give them away (I've tried several times). 

More specifically, no RAM, and only 2 of them have CPUs. They sat,
stacked to the ceiling, just outside my kitchen for nearly a year
before I got some help and took them to storage. 

I'm hoping to get
them taken to an auction (pallet lot sealed bid local auction) to
see if someone else will buy them. It's an auction where you are 
allowed to open stuff up and examine it in person before bidding,
so (1) the error was my responsibility and (2) I won't feel bad
putting them back into the circulation. 

> I was bit years ago buying an untested hard drive.  I learned rapidly to
> spot the unscrupulous sellers from the ones selling truly untested
> stuff that was much more likely to work.
> In all my years I've not gotten bit yet since that day.... till last week.

I tend to be very pessimistic/pragmatist on these things. If something
is sold as "untested" or "as-is" I assume the worst and bid accordingly.
I did so on the Indigo2 pile, in fact, so while it hurt it was a managed
hurt. And in my own auctions, if something is known not to work, I usually
specify "as-is" and sometimes even "guaranteed not to work." 

> However, I think that the seller still made a good amount of money off of
> me, and I guess I just wish that the seller would be more willing to do
> more than what they have offered.

As much as it may not be a favorable opinion, I think he's gone beyond
his obligation. He's offering sort of a warranty on as-is goods, which
is relatively rare. And if he's doing this without you returning them,
it's insane of him. :)

The one time I got a partial refund from a seller was when I bought a
600MP board from a seller 3-4 years ago. He described it as having 4
CPUS, and what he referred to as CPUs were heatsinks on the mainboard.
I'd paid $100+shipping and we agreed on a $30 refund. The error was
his, but it was not malicious or intentional (some people look at a
SM100 and wonder how it's not six CPUs). And he made good on it.

> >I'm in a situation with a buyer right now--he bought an item I sold,
> >and is now disputing whether the manufacturer's label or the original
> >retailer's identification of the product is accurate. 
> If the item is not fraudulent, I agree with your position.  If the item
> is fraudulent, and you were frauded, and unkowingly passe don the fraud,
> well... that is more difficult....

Yeah, I pondered this a lot last night--He's expecting one model to have
all the features of the other. It's like buying a HP 4000N and wondering
why it doesn't have a duplexer (duplexer models have a D in the number).
And then saying that it's not a 4000N despite everything saying it is,
because it isn't a 4000DN. My Saturn isn't a Porsche, but I'm not demanding
a refund. :)

> As long as the model #s, etc were not modified, tampered with, or in any
> way such that what you sold is not really what the model #s, etc identified
> the unit as.... then you are correct.  If the item is not really what the
> #s identify it as (i.e. a remarked processor), then a bidder has contractually
> bought something that the item is not... in which case the big wonderfull
> grey area pops up.... who did the fraud, who is responsible for the fraud
> (in the context of all transactions historically since the item was made
> fradulent), etc... ugly...

Yeah, it is completely unmodified, and he even has one of his own that he
sold recently and apparently hasn't shipped yet. They both have the same
markings. He has not claimed any sort of modification, just says that this
item is not what it says it is because it's not another model. Bleh.

I sent him an email last night explaining the difference in models, pointing
out two places on the manufacturer's site where it specifies the difference
(and that the model I sold and he bought does not have the feature he's
claiming it should), telling him I'll still go to the retailer with him,
but telling him I can't/won't give a refund just because he changed his
mind after paying and taking delivery. 

If I had been in error about my description, or if there was any reason
to believe that the item was not exactly as described, I probably would
not have taken the money. I would've been in pain for a few days trying
to scramble to sell it, but I would've been honorable. In this case, I
am in the right, and I'm just unwilling to be a martyr. :)


Robert Novak, Indyramp Consulting * rnovak at indyramp.com * indyramp.com/~rnovak
	"I don't want to doubt you, Know everything about you
      I don't want to sit Across the table from you Wishing I could run."

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