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Your opinion please5/27
I recently purchased a machine at auction. The web page of the auction company stated that the machine came with 2 milling heads. Needless to say the milling heads were not with the machine and after investigation by the auction company, they have decided that milling heads never were with the machine and that it was a "typo" on the web page. The auction company representative has suggested that they have no intention of providing me with milling heads.
Most likely they have a disclaimer on their site to cover this. Auction companies take no responsibility for anything.
If the auction web page said that the machine came with two milking heads instead of two milling heads, that would be a "typo". To say that there were two milling heads as part of the auction package, and then to say after the auction that that was not, nor never was the offer, borders on fraud. If they say that they have no intention of including the milling heads as part of the auction, then you should be able to retract your bid, especially if you have a printout of the original auction page that shows the milling heads as included. If this were the case, you would have a legal leg to stand on if the auctioneer did not accept your bid retraction.
The fact that you want the machine anyway, without the milling heads, and then complain about the expense of the milling heads, seems like an issue that is beyond whether or not the auctioneer acted legally or ethically.
If the milling heads are in the picture of the item I would say they owe them to you, of there is a list of items and you got everything on the list but milling heads but they aren't in the picture then they were probably listed from a generic description of the machine then that is probably what they consider the "typo".
Most auctions tell you to physically inspect the machine. Can you give us a link to the site?
I purchased a planer from a large online tool broker and the description stated it had 2 additional sets of delta brand HSS knives.
Planer arrived with only the knives in head. I complained and was compensated for the cost of the knives.
You should be compensated for the cost of the heads (auction pricing) as that is what you were bidding on.
I assume they were shown in the listing photo along with the description?
Purchasing a piece of equipment (assuming it's an "arm's length" transaction, which I'm sure it is in this case) makes for a legal contractual obligation for both sides.
The auction house made an offer to sell a certain package of equipment and is legally bound to provide an accurate description, so that potential buyers have a reasonable idea of what the offer to sell contains.
You then made an offer to purchase that equipment at a certain price based on the auction house's description.
The auction house accepted your offer to purchase, at which time a formal, legally-binding contract was formed.
After that contract was formed (and after you paid for and received the equipment I presume), you found that the auction house didn't give you a "reasonable" description of the equipment in the offer for sale.
That my friend is breach of contract on the auction house's behalf. They cannot change the details of a contract after it has already been agreed upon in good faith, and most especially after you have lived up to your end of the contract (paid your money).
I think it more than reasonable on your behalf to believe that what they stated in their advertisement was accurate (would anyone ever buy anything from an on-line auction if that weren't the case?)
Personally, I would go after them HARD. Not that I'd be unprofessional about it, but I would state clearly that "this is your one chance to make this right before I sue you for breach of contract. And if I am forced to go to court, I'm going after not only the price of the equipment, but the shipping and installation for the machine and my attorney fees as well."
Maybe then the auction house will revise their thinking to "hmmm ... might be cheaper to give the guy his heads". If that's the case, make sure they are suitable for use on that particular machine, you don't want them pulling something out of a dumpster to get you off their backs.
You can go after them as hard as you want, in reality though if you read through all their legal fine print I think you'll find they've covered themselves fairly well….not their first trip to the dance;) They're going to weigh their options and I'd wager will offer to return your money….."their responsibility".
Now sounds like you want to keep the machine which of course complicates things. In this situation your going to have to try and negotiate some type of deal with them. I think the idea of them buying you new milling heads is a pipe dream, but that's just my own personal opinion.
Your fight will be easier with a lawyer, but then you will spend more on the lawyer than the milling heads. That's what the auction company is counting on right now. It's sure not going to be easy for you!
Dont spend your money on a lawyer just yet. Call your Attorney General from your state and have him look into a case of fraud. Call your local news affiliates and ask for there consumer division. No one like bad publicity on the news
I have been in the situation quite a few times with probably six different auction houses. Here is what works for me.
First they all tell you to preview the machines prior to auction. If you do and the milling heads are missing you don't bid. If they are there then there is a good chance somebody lifted them ( very common problem ). If stolen then the auctioneer has a problem since he is the legal custodian and release agent after the sale
As others have said a photo showing the heads is pretty firm evidence they were at least in the lot at one time. Another problem for the auctioneer. No picture but only text it gets a bit dicey as they guys have to cover a lot of ground putting the auction package together and many times they take the word of a shop or company source on what is what
Okay when I run into this problem I immediately voice my complaint at the auction site with their man in charge and get a phone number of who to call. I call and calmly explain the problem and almost always they will ask what do you want ?Have a financial solution in mind and be reasonable. Most good auction houses do not want bad publicity and are solvent enough to make you happy and come back again. They will of course remind you that you should have pre-inspected but this is tongue in cheek since Internet auctions and mileage make this pretty much impossible for smaller buys. If only the previewers bid they wouldn't have much of an auction.
If you have the misfortune to run into a sleazy or hard ball auctioneer like one if the big govt surplus operators ( no names ) then chances are you will have to eat it in this deal. Incurring legal expenses is certainly not worth your trouble. However if you used a credit card often they will get involved on your behalf. I tried it once but they will only go so far and if the auctioneer fights it they will fold rather than spend a lot defending you.
Robert I would post the name of the auction company right here. This way they may lose business from people on here. Even if they have it in their legal terms ,those terms may not hold up in court. Today no one holds people accountable for their mistakes so it will just happen again. So who knows maybe with a little pressure they may split the cost with you as it might of been a mistake but you have to proof read your ads before placing them.
"The web page of the auction company stated that the machine came with 2 milling heads. Needless to say the milling heads were not with the machine and after investigation by the auction company, they have decided that milling heads never were with the machine and that it was a "typo" on the web page"
I thought a typo was like spelling "stell" instead of "smell"....
"This machine has two milling heads" is a heck of a long-winded wrist slip.
Smells (stells) like a big ol mistake to me.