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He emailed me yesterday about where were his widgets. I looked at the tracking number and it showed that they had left a notice and that someone at that address had told them no one by that name lived there and it was being returned. He told me that "Example U." was actually the name of the university where he worked and that he had not put his last name on the order form because he was trying to be friendly. I thought this was weird, but I told him I would send the package out again when it was returned.
Then I got looking at the order again and noticed that his phone number was munged. So I looked up the university. It is not located at that address.
I have had a few problems in the past with individuals buying or trying to buy poisonous widgets (which these are) to do harm to themselves or others with them instead of using them for their intended purpose. These folks have ordered multiples of the widgets in question, as he did. So I became suspicious that he had deliberately not used his last name, lied about his address being the location of a university, and munged his phone number. I decided to just refund him instead. I told him that last part, not the part about being suspicious.
Then he said he had made the purchase with a gift card and had thrown it out since. He made the purchase about 10 days ago. This made me even more suspicious. Either he had done everything he possibly could to cover his tracks, or he was just an idjit. I said I couldn't reverse the refund, which is true.
Since then he has been sending me many very long threatening emails about how he wants those widgets and about how he is going to sue me for interstate fraud and such if I don't send them to him. He is also, of course, saying he will blacken my name all over teh Internets.
My question is can he actually take me to court? He is saying he will do it just to make me spend the money to come to his state.
So I pay attention to these hunches. It's either that or quit selling these widgets, and I'm not going to do that.
someone at that address had told them no one by that name lived there and it was being returned.
I'm foggy on what happened to the original package. Did you contact the shipper for more info?
he said he had made the purchase with a gift card and had thrown it out since.
What kind of gift card would this be? Couldn't you buy him a new gift card for the same amount, or just write him a check if you're worried about a suit? How much money is involved?
he had not put his last name on the order form because he was trying to be friendly.
Eh? Did he ever supply you with his real last name?
BTW, a suit against you would probably have to be filed in a court in your state, not his.
He says it was a gift card that he has thrown out. When I look at the AVS, it has a match. It says it was issued by Visa. I thought gift cards didn't have an AVS match by definition.
Of course, the local law enforcement people from where he is will probably go "Oh no, HIM again!"
the problem with folks this dumb and dangerous is that they seem to make it through ok, but lots of people around them get hurt in the process.
And no - you are not keeping the police away from doing more important work.
Usually they can check out such things in no time. I had a case recently with two direct debit chargebacks only a few weeks apart. The same guy had ordered with two slightly different names - Joe Exampl and Joseph Exampel. When I noticed I informed the responsible police station in his city - which funny enough was only a few hundred meters away from the address and they drove by. It turned out that his real name was John Example and that I was not the only one he had ripped off.
I think that's a good idea about contacting his local police. I can give them the info and they can deal with it or not.
I usually just tell them to contact Visa or whoever the card was issued by, to get their money back.
If they don't tell you ahead of time it's a temporary card, how were you supposed to know?
Prove that you were served with notification of the court date.
If you didn't show and he got a default judgment, based on what it sounds like, it would be a small claims judgment. These (in NY state anyway) are only enforcable in the state in which the judgment is issued.
He would then have to take it to the local sheriff to enforce, who if they were not able to locate assets for your company(
not your website, but whatever your incorporated company is) in their jurisdiction, would just return it as unsatisfied.
And that's where it would end.
Thanks, MrFishGuy, for the info. I have not heard back from this wacko.
I saw that the street address and zip matched through AVS, and I can't imagine that happening on a gift card.
If memory serves, my processor returns "N/A" rather than "Match" for the AVS on a gift card. However, it is possible that this varies between processors and possibly even between issuing gift card companies.