As a long time audiophile I have never spent time posting blogs or responding to forums but something has happened recently on Audiogon where I find it necessary to share my recent experiences.
Audiogon has been sold and the new owners are either in South Carolina or still in Michigan. The new owners made major changes to the site that we are all aware of and the implementation of the new site was the worst I have ever seen. In a regular business, the staff responsible would have had some swift assistance out the door. Having said that, their implementation was their issue, their business and really none of my concern. If they want to hurt the new company they purchased, have at er'!
Where my issue resides is not with their internal technical foul ups but with their staff. Audiogon, as any other company should mandate themselves to provide a safe haven for all to do business but their staff appear to be nothing more than inexperienced teens bordering on absolute incompetency.
I recently used buy it now and purchased an Audio Research preamplifier. The buyer had perfect feedback as I do, both +10 year members of the site. I bought it on a Monday and communicated by phone On Tuesday that I would have a bank check in a 2 day courier package by Friday. On Tuesday afternoon, my wife bought a bank check and incurred foreign exchange costs (all in $140.00) as we live in The US and work and bank in Canada.
On the Thursday, the seller cancels the ad because he decides to keep the preamp - he tells Audiogon that the unit is now broken yet he advises me that he has decided against upgrading. As Audiogon's messaging system doesn't work STILL, the expiration only goes to my Yahoo account but doesn't show up on their 2 possible areas, the buying page or the messaging page - very cumbersome and poorly integrated. On the Friday, unknowingly, we courier the bank check. I notify the seller on Audiogon with the tracking number and then he tells me that he is keeping the unit.
I file a complaint on Audiogon and they dismiss the complaint because they state the ad was cancelled. I express my concerns that I incurred costs based on a contract to purchase, offer, acceptance, consideration were all present. They disagree and will not even try to understand. I explain that I incurred costs so they email me that they have told the seller to refund me but nowhere do they post this to the seller. I follow up several times and they dismiss me again.
What has happened to Audiogon? A buy it now in the past was sacred, if either party didn't follow through, they understood contract law and would hold you to it. I now have my first negative feedback from the seller, something I prided myself on never having before this mess.
They even automatically withdraw your selling fees from Paypal, where were they authorized to do this?
I see so many ads today for way underpriced equipment from sellers that are out of country and with zero feedback, obvious scams. Audiogon still receives the $4.00 for posting the ad.
It appears that the site is becoming unsafe and the staff are not at all equipped to deal with issues.
It is sad to see this happen, I only hope that a new site, with the volume of Audiogon can provide the same professionalism as what we experienced under the old ownership.
Just my rant! I am forwarding complaints to several government agencies in both states and have spoken to consumer affairs thus far. Unfortunately, I am sure they will ban me from the site for doing so. Look me up, Gnaudio!