Tuesday, February 19, 2013

That nice man? The one I gave $300 to?

Let's just start this way: I went to Catholic school in the 60s and early 70s. For 12 years. For the uninitiated, that pretty much meant you did what you were told and questioned nothing. Maybe your Catholic school wasn't like that but mine was and I can produce witnesses to back me up.

I found a used Class B motorhome on Craigslist, for sale by owner. This is the one I talked about in the last post. The seller asked me to meet him at a storage facility so I thought it was safe to assume the thing was stored there. It wasn't; he drove up in it. First red flag and as far as I'm concerned this deal was a scam from the word go:
  • I still don't know his real name. 
  • No clear Washington title, where the vehicle resides; the last title transfer was eight months ago in Florida.
  • Not for sale by owner but on consignment at a dealership.
  • Not bought from a friend but at auction in Florida.
  • Driven 20000 miles in eight months with no service recorded.
  • Telling me I was obligated to complete the deal...... just because.
  • Telling me I had to complete the deal because it was already at Evergreen RV for my requested inspection when the appointment was actually two days later.
  • and much, much, more.
With the help of the great folks at Evergreen, the owner of the dealership he was actually selling the Class B from called me and promised my money back. Time will tell because the check hasn't made an appearance in my mailbox yet.

So back to the lessons learned in 12 years of Catholic school and, as long as we're at it, the way I was raised.

I never learned to act on what my gut was telling me. I could hear it shouting and acting out many times, but because I never had practice at listening, or was never taught that what I felt was more valid than what I was told, I just dismissed it as noise. Well, not this time, buddy. I started smelling a rat as soon as I found out that while it was supposed to be for sale by owner, this seller could not have been the owner because he didn't know how different functions in the motorhome worked. Just a little sign that all was not right, but I started listening right then and there. Then all the other things listed above began to rear their heads and I started asking friends, "does this seem weird to you?" Well, yes, all of it actually did.

I knew I was at risk of losing my $300 but I canceled the inspection at Evergreen, saving more than $400 for their fee, and emailed the seller to start the argument of getting my money back.

Part dos of this story continues tomorrow.