Monday, 25 May 2009

'Cause You Would Never Sue Me Baby It Wouldn't Look Good It'd Be Weird

Last week Shawn sold a pair of speakers through craigslist. There was a bit of confusion on Shawn's part about who he was selling them to and he ended up agreeing to sell the speakers to two different people. In his defence, he wasn't being malicious or sleazy - there was a genuine miscommunication between Shawn and the first person he agreed to sell them to. Shawn sold the speakers to the first person and emailed the second person to apologise and explain the situation.

The second person (hereafter referred to as Mr. D-Bag) replied that Shawn had a week to produce his speakers or he would sue him. He emailed Shawn from his work email address, identifying himself as a Realtor. He told Shawn that their email correspondence was a legal, binding contract and that Shawn had broken that contract by selling the speakers to someone else. He said that as a real estate agent, he was very knowledgeable about contracts and that he knew he would be successful in suing Shawn.

Shawn called Mr. D-Bag to try to diffuse the situation. He felt like he could talk to Mr. D-Bag to better explain the situation and make Mr. D-Bag realize that Shawn had made a mistake and felt remorse. He also offered to help Mr. D-Bag buy a new pair of speakers, using his contacts in the industry to get Mr. D-Bag a sweet discount.

Mr. D-Bag refused Shawn's help, saying that he didn't want or need new speakers; he wants Shawn's speakers. Only those speakers will do. He also reiterated his knowledge of contracts and his belief that he will be successful when he takes Shawn to small claims court. At which point Shawn asks Mr. D-Bag if this is really worth his time. Seriously. He's going to sue Shawn over speakers? And Mr. D-Bag says that yes, he is going to sue Shawn over speakers; it's not that difficult to file a claim and he can recoup the fee when he successfully sues Shawn. Shawn took this to mean that Mr. D-Bag has done this before.

Mr. D-Bag then tells Shawn that if he pays him $200 "compensation" he won't sue him. Oh yes, Mr. D-Bag throws down the extortion card. He tells Shawn he can have a few days "to think about it" and hangs up.

So of course I'm all riled up. I'm all "let's write a letter to his employer! Let's report him to the Real Estate Board of Canada!" and Shawn is all "I don't know. Maybe I should just pay him so he goes away."

Shawn's strategy is to ignore Mr. D-Bag in the hope that he will give up and disappear while my strategy is to draft stern letters that Shawn said I am allowed to send if/when Mr. D-Bag actually files a claim.

The situation is so bizarre. Using Mr. D-Bag's logic, Shawn could sue the two individuals who both agreed to buy the speakers and never showed up to actually complete the transaction. Or the idiot who agreed on the price but showed up with $200 less and pressured Shawn to still sell him the speakers because that's all he could afford to spend on them. That's what Craigslist is. It's sometimes shady and unreliable. Does that mean you should sue every time something doesn't work out in your favour?


  1. I am thinking that you can counter file for extortion, so Mr. D-Bag should shut the eff up.

    I think he's probably pulled that angle before and gotten away with it.

    Also, as a CA, we have Rules of Professional Conduct. I do believe that Realtors do as well, and as such you could file a complaint.

    Tell him to shove THAT in his pipe and smoke it.

  2. That's insane! It's not like Shawn accepted his money and then beat him up when he came to take the speakers. There are crazies out there.

    Worst he can do is try to take you guys to small claims court, and he would be laughed out. By you, and the judge. Sorry about the hassle though, yikes!!

    Some people's children....

  3. That's pure craziness. Especially the fact that Mr. D-Bag is still mad even AFTER Shawn called him to try and sort things out. Sidenote - I call Alex DB for short when I'm mad. It makes me feel better.

  4. I think you should file a police report for the extortion. That is LAME. I would probably release my fiery wrath if someone tried to sue me over something that lame.

    He did the right thing by selling the speakers to the first person - fuck that d-bag!

  5. I just learned about contract law in class. This situation is non-binding because there was a 'mututal mistake'. That's the technical word for it, I believe. Could be 'common mistake', but I think that it's 'mutual'. It refers to someone making an agreement based on false information.

    In this case, there is 'no agreement', which deems the contract void.

    So there!

    PS. I suppose this is my official delurk.

  6. This is just down right crazy! I'm pretty sure Mr. D-Bag has definitely done this before. Please DO NOT pay him! He'll just keep doing it and will want more and more money.

    I guess this effing moron has nothing better to do. What the other commentators said, call him out for extortion.

  7. Ahhhh, my best friend works for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver...but I think it would be unethical for her to do anything to his "account"...but it's nice to harbour that thought....
    That's so lame. What an arse.

  8. I can't stand craigslist. And it's not the engine itself I don't like. In fact, I think the idea behind that kind of community is really great. But the people who troll craigslist? So many of them are true fucktards. Seriously, I swear they have entirely too much time on their hands. If I were you, I'd start slamming Mr. D-bag's real estate skills ... because if he had half a brain and was actually able to sell real estate, he wouldn't be bothered by nonsense such as speakers.

  9. I realized half through the post that you were talking about speakers, not sneakers. I got all excited about having a sneakers connection.

  10. You shouldn't give him anything. And I would also call the police about the extortion. Just to have something in writing. It will benefit you in court (which will never happen) to have the documented extortion attempt.

    I assume he will do nothing though, so it doesn't matter.

  11. Like adriana said I would file a police report and print out those emails just in case. Find if this guy actulally works for who he claims to work for too! Don't let your man pay him off either! This guy is an idiot and he should pay not you!

    report him to craigslist also!

  13. what an ass! I say let him take you guys to court. fight it!

  14. Sounds to me like you've been scammed. It's actually a very easy way for people to get free craigslist things. I would call the police and report him. Fuck that douchebag hard.