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How to deal with a firewood ripoff?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Tom Wallace, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    I ordered some firewood last week from a guy on Craigslist. I've actually had good experience with this in the past, but this guy has turned into a real jerk. I ordered a cord. When he showed up, I immediately guessed his load was way less than a cord, and told him so. When he unloaded it and I stacked it, we measured it together. It was 7' x 3' x 3.5'. Which is 73 cubic feet. Roughly 59% of a cord.

    His fee was $225 for the cord, and I stupidly agreed to pay that along with the agreement that he'd deliver the rest of the firewood Friday of last week. You can probably guess where this is going. He didn't show on Friday. I've called him and setup times for him to delivery multiple times since then and he never shows up, never calls me to say he's not coming. He's got excuses after excuses. At this point I'm convinced he has no intention of ever bringing me more firewood.

    I know that it was a huge mistake on my part to pay for the whole cord when only 59% of a cord was delivered. But what are my options for dealing with this guy? He has many ads listed on Craigslist still: http://seattle.craigslist.org/searc...919&zoomToPosting=&srchType=A&minAsk=&maxAsk=. I only have his first name and his phone number. I've contemplated sending him on deliveries to vacant houses to waste his time and gas money. I hate being robbed, and this guy is proving himself to be a thief.
    wazzu likes this.

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  2. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Small Claims or suck it up and take the loss
  3. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    You can notify craiglist of a suspected scam:

    http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams

    I wonder what the legal implications (slander/libel) if you posted an ad in the firewood section, but title it something like "beware of this scammer" and keep doing it until he makes it right.
    Tom Wallace and Joful like this.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    +1

    I can understand you being pissed, but assuming this was just one cord (and not ten!) I'd just consider it a not-very-expensive learning experience. I'd not be wasting my time in small claims court over 41% of $225.

    I would definitely NOT monkey with the seller. It's just going to come back to bite you in the ass, at some point.

    <-- has been taken for much more than that, more than once
    Tom Wallace likes this.
  5. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Send a link to that to his craigslist email address. >>
  7. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Call the bbb
  8. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Contact Weighs and Measures and DEC and report the guy. Also, there are many posts on Craigslist of people who are scamming buyers. You can put an Ad in Craigslist allerting others to which persons are scamming.
    This crap is what makes it hard for decent wood dealers.
    Keep calling the guy also.
  9. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    Thanks, I went that route last night, regarding the Weights and Measures. I was directed to this site: http://www.seattle.gov/consumeraffairs/whenHow.htm, and I contacted them with the details.

    I've thought about placing an "ad" on Craigslist warning people not to deal with him, but my gut says that ad would just be removed since it's not an ad. I can give it a shot, though.
  10. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    I'm not sure if that would help. This guy strikes me as just some guy with access to a lot of firewood. I'd be pretty surprised if he was actually running a legitimate business.
    Joful likes this.
  11. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Then call the IRS
    Holzstapel, Joful and Applesister like this.
  12. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I read the warnings and I heed the warnings of scammers selling firewood on Craigslist. Its most likely a track cell phone number as well. With no traceable address.
    I read Ads like, "Beware!!! The person selling cords for $225.00 is scamming buyers!!"
  13. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Post an add for a free 1/2 cord with every cord purchased, free delivery and stacking included. Put his phone number on it. Then place an add for a free 32 in. LCD tv. Then place an add.....
    It works, I've done it.
  14. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm Minister of Fire

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    Just went through this last Feb or so. Simply did NOT have the experience to know that a pickup can't hold a cord. After stacking, it was 60% a cord, tops. I called this kid every other day for two weeks. I placed an ad on CL using the guy's exact ad subject line with a beware, pickups don't hold cords, and the ad was flagged and removed. But it should have been removed because I placed it in the "for sale" section. I wasn't selling anything. Look for some miscellaneous advice-type subject area, and maybe you can tag the ad so it will come up in searches for firewood. You can make the ad very general, but read specifically referencing his ad. I'm no lawyer, but I don't think it's libel if it's the truth.

    This kid did finally bring some more wood (still not what I paid for), but the relief of moving on also motivated me to really get my act together for this winter. Never again...
    Tom Wallace likes this.
  15. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    A guy in NJ does just that. Put's the name of the business and warns people that he is a scam artist. It stays up for days and he keeps reposting it lol
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  16. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    Thanks all for the advice. I've posted a warning on Craigslist about this guy: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/hss/3967910722.html

    Hope it doesn't get flagged and removed immediately. If so, I'll keep reposting it. Should I notify this guy of this warning I've posted? I feel if I do, he'll just flag it for removal. But if I don't, how will he know it's me that's putting a dent in his business (assuming it works)?

    Edit: I just realized that because I posted this in the services section, it's not showing up in search results for firewood. I'm not sure how to get around that. I can post in the for sale section, but then it's likely to be removed, since I'm not selling anything.

    Edit2: I just posted this in for sale section as well: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/for/3967923647.html.
  17. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    That sucks sorry to hear that!

    Did you get his license plate by chance when he dropped off the wood?
  18. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    Nope, I thought about it at the time. Not sure what I could do with that info anyway, though.
  19. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    It would of been nice to have it just in case.

    You can barely see it in one of his pictures but its blocked by the wheelbarrow handle.
  20. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    Yep, I saw that too. I was hoping he left it in a photo. Curse that wheel barrel!
  21. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    In one of his ads he offers "u-haul" so you should call from a different number and see if he'll give you his address! Boom!
  22. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

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    Haha, great idea.
  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Dang! You fellows come up with some great ideas!

    Good luck Tom and if nothing else, you have learned a valuable lesson and hopefully some readers of this forum will also learn from it before getting ripped off.
    NortheastAl likes this.
  24. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Most get F***ed through some point in our lives, hopefully you and all that read this and learn about this, life goes around, it's a shame things like this has to happen... Hey I had to pay $200 for a face cord to get my new insert going with decent wood, I got it with a smile, but I wasn't making a choice, I had to have it...
  25. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Fraud/theft is still against the law - file a police report. Then get a saw, and a truck, and an ax, and cut your own wood.
    red oak, HDRock and Joful like this.

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