Due diligence for equipment sold
I sold a DC on ebay and everything went smoothly. The buyer, before purchasing, ased quesitions about functionality. The DC was a TSC2 with Survey Controller 12.49. His question was for me to verify if the Bluetooth worked. I had been using the unit to run VRS RTK with an R8-2. So I simply fired it up, made the connection successfully, replied in the affirmative. The DC sells. Once it is delivered he asks me about an Authorization key so he can connect it with his SPS 780. I don't know what he's talking about soI call my local Trimble dealer and the dealer starts asking me questions that I cant answer. (Serial Number of the SPS 780) Finally, I send a message (at this point all messages are through ebay because of ebay's communication rules about sales) giving the Trimble dealer's phone number and email to the buyer so he can supply all the pertinent information.
Recap. Buyer asked if the DC and Bluetooth worked. It did. It worked flawlessly with my equipment. He purchased the DC and is having problems with it working with his equipment. I do feel bad and I've tried to help him but I'm limited as to what I can do. So, my question is. When do I wash my hands of this situation? It's starting to be a hassle and it's tough being tech support for equipment you're unfamiliar with (SPS 780). Did I not dot my due diligence?
***** Side note: Is it me or is the cost of selling equipment on ebay (and then shipping it) stupid expensive? ****
Thanks in advance
You went beyond what I would have done. When he started asking questions about authorization keys, I would have said to contact the local Trimble dealer to help out with that. You verified that everything worked with the equipment you had and that should have been the end of it.
Welcome to my world. If you sell something as-is and used on eBay, you have no responsibility to support it in any way. If the customer wants support and service they should purchase new, from an authorized dealer. I would tell purchaser to 'pound sand' and file a harassment complaint against him at eBay.
Five years ago I started selling off my shelves of accumulated antenna, receivers, cables and other 'old stuff'. Initially I had two full dumpsters of 'good stuff.' I used my personal eBay id and was selling old antennas for under $20 each. I tested them prior to attempting to sell, they worked. Anyway, half the sales resulted in demands for support on old Ashtech equipment that I did not sell. So for example, Joe buys a Z-Extreme new from somebody else in 2004 for $20,000. Then in 2014 Joe purchases an antenna for $8 (plus $12 shipping) from me on eBay. Now he wants me to support getting his receiver running again.
My solution for this issue was to purchase a small drill press at Harbor Freight. Now when I throw things away (so that I don't have to store them anymore) I first drill a big hole through the guts of the device to render it fully inoperable. Reduce-reuse-recycle does not work for me in this case.
I would say you have gone above and beyond reasonable accommodation.
The buyer should have gone to Trimble. Although, I do sympathize with the dealer in this case. I spent a lot of time troubleshooting stuff like this as a support tech and trainer for a Trimble dealer - the "EBay special" calls were not my favorite for the reasons Mark mentioned. It's like someone buying a 20-year-old car from an individual and then going to the nearest dealership demanding that they troubleshoot mechanical problems under the original warranty.
It sounds like the Bluetooth was working just fine, the buyer was just having connection issues. There should be no expectation that you troubleshoot their equipment for them.
Way over the top awesome support!
After the fact, they needed to really figure out compatibility before even making a bid.