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Old 03-29-2019, 07:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The 'Zarks
Posts: 82
Year: 1996
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Pissed off over a lying Pig and wanna vent.

Warning, I'm in a bad and sad mood and this is a loooong rant about being gullible and giving people the benefit of the doubt. Never trust anyone. I know were supposed to keep politic out of this group, but to defend my being a sucker I need to point out that I am very right wing, law abiding, the cops are always right and all EMS are good folk on or off the job. It's also amazing how one bad apple can change someones world view.
So I am starting to feel like the law enforcement officer I bought my bus from pulled the wool over my eyes. When I went to look at the bus he would not let me drive it outside of the campground it was at, and insisted he drive it because it was not registered or insured. He would not drive it to a mechanic I found about ten miles away, his explanation was that since he was a leo he could get in serious trouble for driving it without it being registered and insured. So he had his mechanic look at it, the guy that does work for the county I think, and they said it just needs an oil change, one new dully tire and a new battery soon.
He kept insisting he had other buyers lined up and would need to get a deposit soon or would sell it to someone else. So I sent a couple of payments via paypal, he said they never arrived, but would hold the bus for me if I could come out that weekend and pay a deposit in cash. Considering this guy is a sheriff deputy I just assumed he had no reason to try to con me and that the paypal didn't go through for some reason and filed a dispute with paypal.
I go out there many times, and he's super down to earth and friendly. We chat nearly daily about the bus, traveling, mountain biking etc. But then after I pay for the bus in cash (including the amount of the deposit again because of the supposed paypal error), he blocks me from facebook where I found the ad for the bus, and stops replying to my text messages. When I go out to the bus, he literally hides in his cabin and wont answer my calls, texts or knocking on the door (the owner of the campground just says he's probably asleep because he works nights). Okay makes sense, guess the promises for helping me finish the conversion and learn to drive the bus were just to get me to feel confident in buying it?
So I try to get the bus registered but since I'm not allowed to drive it off from the campground without it being registered and insured I spend hours and days etc trying to figure out how to register it here in MO. Apparently it's impossible because you have to go to both a highway patrol, the department of licencing and a safety inspection station with the vehicle to get the registration and title transferred!!!
Okay fast forward about a month, I say explitive it I'm moving my bus. We make sure it's when he is not there so we won't get pulled over and ticked by him for driving an un plated, unregistered vehicle. My friends dad who used to drive semitrucks and school buses is going to drive it to her house for me, yay! He gets to the little town about ten miles away and says something doesn't feel right and turns around to put it back in storage at the campground. He said he thought the parking brake was still on and it would be an easy fix. I stick around the campground to confront the seller when he gets back and he swares up and down there is nothing wrong with the bus. He even insists it went 60+ on the highway when he last drove it (um is a 545 even supposed to go that fast on mountainous highways?). He says it's probably just the lever for the brake light being stuck and that we didn't know what were doing. Well I now know I have a major problem but still give him the benefit of the doubt because he's a law enforcement officer, I should trust him right?
So over the winter I don't do much about it, the gal that owns the campground is fine with it being parked in storage and my coming over to work on it. I get a lot of work done on the interior etc but don't do anything mechanical because I'm under the impression it can stay at the campground and we can camp there whenever. My plan was to use my tax refund to take it to the original diesel mechanic I found to see what is wrong with her and hopefully get it fixed. But the conversion I could work on myself for a while. Well my tax refund never arrived, apparently Turbo Tax mashed up my self employment and my regular employment and screwed something up! Anyways, I guess he got tired of my stopping buy and spending time at the campground because in February she said I needed to move the bus out of there. We agreed I had a month to move it, so I ask her to ask him to drive it now that it's registered (in VT) and insured. (you know since he sold me a running and driving cross country road trip ready vehicle why should he be afraid to drive it the next county over). No comment from him aside from too busy with work to drive out there, it ran fine on the highway for him. Then along came my constant posts on here trying to trouble shoot the brake light, dealing with towing and AAA, and now this novel of a rant.
So yeah does anyone think I just got a lemon and he didn't know about it? Or does it seem like this guy lied to me and hid behind the fact he is a leo and I can have no recourse against him being dishonest? I still want to believe he was truthful and is a good guy. I left him a message simply asking what kind of signs or symptoms of something going wrong the bus may have had since the issue is 'something he never experienced when it drove fine on the highway'. I'm going to have to work out whats wrong with my bus either way, it would be nice to know how long it's had a problem and what led up to it though.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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First, a badge and a gun doesn't make someone a model citizen.


Second, always be on your guard around a LEO - say and do as little as you possibly can around them. Investigate what SCOTUS has said with respect to what the main responsibility is of a LEO - its not what you think it is.



Third, with money, again you should always be on your guard. Think of it this way - if someone is threatening your life, you'd protect yourself, right? Well, how much of your irreplaceable life did it take to earn your money? If someone is able to con you out of some of your money, they've actually taken part of your life!



(Yes, that goes for the government, too. Chief Justice John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland said "the power to tax is the power to destroy." If you don't know who John Marshall was, look him up - he was a very, very smart person.)



Fourth, for PayPal, I believe you can email their support about any transaction and find out what happened to it from PayPal's point-of-view. If PayPal had an issue (unlikely, but possible), it can be resolved. If it wasn't PayPal's issue; well lets just say that I'd believe PayPal over a user in a heartbeat. (I would have used an escrow service in this particular case, just to keep everything on the "up-and-up".)



Fifth, whenever dealing with cash, always, always, get a signed and dated receipt as to what the cash payment was for in case you have a dispute in the future. Document, document, document. Protect yourself from any possible "he said; she said" future situations - you will loose.



Sixth, if you are buying a used vehicle, you should always have the right to take it to a mechanic you trust - remember that private party sales like this are generally legally "as-is" (look up the term). If you or someone you trust cannot drive the vehicle, then the seller should drive it. If the vehicle is not street-legal and the seller will not make it street-legal to be examined (and a tow is out of the question, or a mechanic won't come to the vehicle), then walk away - its going to be much more trouble than its worth - either the vehicle, the seller, or both (as you have found out).



All of this advice boils down to risk management and mitigation. Try to envision all the ways a situation can "go bad" and avoid going down those paths as best you can. Sometimes situations will "go bad" through no fault of your own - be ready to "cut and run" should that happen - don't get trapped by the "sunk cost fallacy".
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:37 PM   #3
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Location: Rhode Island
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Engine: Detroit 671T
First off, you need to separate who he is, from what he is. Is this guy a scumbag, yeah probably. Does that mean all Cops/FF/EMT's are scumbags, no it doesn't.

There are dirtbags like this in all walks of life, in every Police Department, Fire Department, EMS agency, construction company, and office in every state. Don't let him sour your opinion of LEO's, or any other public servants because I guarantee not only is he the exception, but I would bet his colleagues are just as sick of him and his act as you are.

I hate to say it but it sounds like you have been preyed upon here. He sold you a bus he knew had some problems. Maybe nothing catastrophic, but certainly not what he described. He knew full well you weren't equipped to deal with these issues and he pushed them on you anyway.

The "I have other buyer interested" line is as old as they get. Dirtbag seller 101. It can be hard to see through this garbage when you think you have the bus/car/truck/lawn mower of your dreams on the line but it is usually BS. So is his line about not getting the Paypal payments. Did you get them back from Paypal? Did you send them "Goods & Services" or "Friends & Family"? If its G&S you should have an easier time recovering them. Report him as a fraudulent seller at the very least.

I have't been on here a lot in the last few days, did you get the bus towed to your shop? Did you resolve the brake issue?

I'm genuinely sorry this happened to you, and I hope we can help you salvage your project.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:40 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
Maybe he is a dishonest crook and maybe not - who can say? All we know is:
1. He said he didn't receive the PayPal money. Perfectly possible. Did you get charged? Did you get reimbursed?
2. He said he'd help with the conversion and changed his mind - not surprised since it's a ton of work.
3. The bus had a mechanical issue, but you don't know what it is... without knowing the problem, there is no way to know if it was preexisting. Now that you've left it parked for months, it might be harder to know.
4. He blocked you on Facebook - no kidding, it sounds like you were pretty aggravated and sending him all kinds of messages, calling him, texting him, and knocking on his door while he slept.

So, you need to get the thing fixed - pay for the diesel mechanic to drive to your bus. Or, if you have a buddy that's mechanically inclined, bring him. Or, there might even be somebody on this forum willing to video chat with you to help you fix it.

You need to know what's wrong with the bus. Quit obsessing over the seller - that ship has sailed.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:15 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
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I'd agree that you didn't exactly find a model citizen to purchase a bus from, but I wouldn't exactly panic yet. For whatever reason, it sounds like the guy didn't really drive it very much, so it's totally possible that something in the parking brake got stuck on over time. It's not exactly an uncommon problem. The guy might be a bit of a jerk, but I wouldn't assume he sold you a lemon (yet.)
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:18 AM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The 'Zarks
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Year: 1996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
Maybe he is a dishonest crook and maybe not - who can say? All we know is:
1. He said he didn't receive the PayPal money. Perfectly possible. Did you get charged? Did you get reimbursed?
2. He said he'd help with the conversion and changed his mind - not surprised since it's a ton of work.
3. The bus had a mechanical issue, but you don't know what it is... without knowing the problem, there is no way to know if it was preexisting. Now that you've left it parked for months, it might be harder to know.
4. He blocked you on Facebook - no kidding, it sounds like you were pretty aggravated and sending him all kinds of messages, calling him, texting him, and knocking on his door while he slept.

So, you need to get the thing fixed - pay for the diesel mechanic to drive to your bus. Or, if you have a buddy that's mechanically inclined, bring him. Or, there might even be somebody on this forum willing to video chat with you to help you fix it.

You need to know what's wrong with the bus. Quit obsessing over the seller - that ship has sailed.
1. I filed an investigation with paypal and they said the money was deposited in the account. I did get charged and did not get a reimbursement. Since it was not an error on PayPals part and I did get the paperwork and vehicle there is nothing they can do.
2. He swore up and down he would help finish the conversion and show me what needed to be done etc. I initially was interested but not sure if I could do the work so this was a MAJOR selling point for me. If he hadn't said he would help with the work I probably would not have looked at it a second time.
3. My friend tried to drive it off a few weeks after I bought it (we were being sneaky to make sure he was gone but not at work as we didn't want to get pulled over and impounded). This is when I noticed something was wrong with the bus and that it had a problem. This is when I talked to the campground owner about paying to put it in storage at her place over winter for me to work on the conversion by myself. The campground owner is a nice lady and we had many hours of conversations about camping and nature conservation.
4. After buying the bus he blocked me before I called, messaged or anything. It was a couple weeks before I knew of the problem that the bus was having and tried to get ahold of him again. When I got home after buying the bus I was going to send a picture of my kids and I infront of the bus saying thank you for the new adventure. The message did not go through and I realized I was blocked. I was not harassing him, just sent a handful of messages asking what was going on that he didn't tell me, how to get a hold of 'his mechanic' I paid, if there was any print out of this so called inspection etc.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:22 AM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The 'Zarks
Posts: 82
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
I'd agree that you didn't exactly find a model citizen to purchase a bus from, but I wouldn't exactly panic yet. For whatever reason, it sounds like the guy didn't really drive it very much, so it's totally possible that something in the parking brake got stuck on over time. It's not exactly an uncommon problem. The guy might be a bit of a jerk, but I wouldn't assume he sold you a lemon (yet.)
He insisted he drove it on the highway at 60+ mph a few times. IE when he was camping and living in it, after he moved to his cabin etc. Like it was a normal thing for him to drive it on the mountainous curvy highways at a high speed. On the other hand the campground owner says the bus never left since he started camping there in the bus? So maybe his time frame was skewed and he meant before he camped at that campground?
Either way I feel that he is either lying about having no problems with it when he drove it. OR driving a AT 545 at high speeds on mountainous highways may have done the transmission in and then he left it at the same campground once realizing it.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:29 AM   #8
Almost There
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The 'Zarks
Posts: 82
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
First off, you need to separate who he is, from what he is. Is this guy a scumbag, yeah probably. Does that mean all Cops/FF/EMT's are scumbags, no it doesn't.

There are dirtbags like this in all walks of life, in every Police Department, Fire Department, EMS agency, construction company, and office in every state. Don't let him sour your opinion of LEO's, or any other public servants because I guarantee not only is he the exception, but I would bet his colleagues are just as sick of him and his act as you are.

I hate to say it but it sounds like you have been preyed upon here. He sold you a bus he knew had some problems. Maybe nothing catastrophic, but certainly not what he described. He knew full well you weren't equipped to deal with these issues and he pushed them on you anyway.

The "I have other buyer interested" line is as old as they get. Dirtbag seller 101. It can be hard to see through this garbage when you think you have the bus/car/truck/lawn mower of your dreams on the line but it is usually BS. So is his line about not getting the Paypal payments. Did you get them back from Paypal? Did you send them "Goods & Services" or "Friends & Family"? If its G&S you should have an easier time recovering them. Report him as a fraudulent seller at the very least.

I have't been on here a lot in the last few days, did you get the bus towed to your shop? Did you resolve the brake issue?

I'm genuinely sorry this happened to you, and I hope we can help you salvage your project.
I know, I know, I can't judge the bunch by one bad grape. I don't know how to edit my post title to be less offensive. Perhaps a mod can help me out with that one?
I'm pretty sure he knew just how gullible I was as he came up with a perfect rebuttal for every doubt I had. Especially his insisting he'd help finish the conversion since I initially said it would probably be too much work for me to handle on my own. So even without these major problems I would not have bought the bus if it were not for his sales pitch.
I think he sent me a friends request for money for the deposit. I did file a report with PayPal and they said the money was deposited in his account. The also said that since I had the paperwork and vehicle there was nothing they could do.
I got my bus towed to my friends farm where I can work on the conversion and hopefully find help to trouble shoot the issues she's having. I'm 90% certain it is not the breaks. The bus reverses just fine but does not drive right. The tow truck driver tried a few things to troubleshoot if it did not need towing first. See my post about AAA for another brief essay.
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I hope I can salvage my project and get her on the road someday.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:34 AM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The 'Zarks
Posts: 82
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
First, a badge and a gun doesn't make someone a model citizen.


Second, always be on your guard around a LEO - say and do as little as you possibly can around them. Investigate what SCOTUS has said with respect to what the main responsibility is of a LEO - its not what you think it is.



Third, with money, again you should always be on your guard. Think of it this way - if someone is threatening your life, you'd protect yourself, right? Well, how much of your irreplaceable life did it take to earn your money? If someone is able to con you out of some of your money, they've actually taken part of your life!



(Yes, that goes for the government, too. Chief Justice John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland said "the power to tax is the power to destroy." If you don't know who John Marshall was, look him up - he was a very, very smart person.)



Fourth, for PayPal, I believe you can email their support about any transaction and find out what happened to it from PayPal's point-of-view. If PayPal had an issue (unlikely, but possible), it can be resolved. If it wasn't PayPal's issue; well lets just say that I'd believe PayPal over a user in a heartbeat. (I would have used an escrow service in this particular case, just to keep everything on the "up-and-up".)



Fifth, whenever dealing with cash, always, always, get a signed and dated receipt as to what the cash payment was for in case you have a dispute in the future. Document, document, document. Protect yourself from any possible "he said; she said" future situations - you will loose.



Sixth, if you are buying a used vehicle, you should always have the right to take it to a mechanic you trust - remember that private party sales like this are generally legally "as-is" (look up the term). If you or someone you trust cannot drive the vehicle, then the seller should drive it. If the vehicle is not street-legal and the seller will not make it street-legal to be examined (and a tow is out of the question, or a mechanic won't come to the vehicle), then walk away - its going to be much more trouble than its worth - either the vehicle, the seller, or both (as you have found out).



All of this advice boils down to risk management and mitigation. Try to envision all the ways a situation can "go bad" and avoid going down those paths as best you can. Sometimes situations will "go bad" through no fault of your own - be ready to "cut and run" should that happen - don't get trapped by the "sunk cost fallacy".
I've always been that cautious buyer, always have test driven vehicles and either brought a mechanic with me or took them to a shop. Reading back on my post I can see how stupid I was to let my guard down because of the seller being a sheriff deputy.
Every thing I asked about or for he had a perfect rebuttal to make me think I was being sketchy and paranoid. So instead of being responsible and wary he managed to make me feel like I was being irrational wanting to take it to a garage ten miles away instead of having his mechanic look at it. Like I was somehow breaking the law if I took it for a test drive when he very well knew it could not be registered here in MO. To register a skoolie hear you have to take it to two places for inspections and it has to be running and driving properly. Yet he brought up repeatedly how it could not be driven off til it was registered and plated?!?!
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:12 AM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 600
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
Rated Cap: 35
As a LEO, I am sorry but there are a ton of dishonest people in world and they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, professions... I have been following your troubles and hoping you would get your bus running properly. I can see that there have been lessons learned here. Sometimes we fall in love with a dream and it gets our guard down. For example, I really want to take my skoolie on trips, but I am still building and had no idea how much time and energy it would take. hundreds of labor hours and doing things solo is hard. I still believe that I can do it and I use this forum as motivation. There are great people here that we can all rely on for help and support.

Lets get down to brass tacks. If you feel comfortable share us the numbers of purchase price, deposits made, how much did you over pay (because of lost deposits)? Did you write a bill of sale for this when you bought it? If he did defraud you of money and you can prove it, you have options. I am sure they have ethic standards, codes of conduct, internal affairs or an office of professional responsibility could come down on him. Even when I am off the clock I am still bound by our codes of conduct.

The bus is now at a friends farm. how close is it to you now? closer than before I hope... Now you have more time to figure things out and I know you will.

Take care, keep you head up buddy!
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