Am I wrong for wanting some compensation?

  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Oct 10, 2012 7:07 PM GMT
    I agreed to purchase a vintage vehicle from a man about 1100 miles away.

    Beacuse of the high transport costs estimates; the seller agreed to drive the vehicle half way, to San Antonio, TX, where his family still is. I agreed to fly to San Antonio and drive the new purchase home.

    The plane ticket reservation was made, the date set up 3 weeks in advance.

    Two days before the plane trip/road trip the seller calls me; saying the he has a (unspecified) family emergency and cannot meet me on the arranged date.

    The airline will not refund one penny of the plane reservation.

    Am I wrong to expect the seller to reduce the price of the vehicle or refund the price to me of the unused plane ticket?
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Oct 10, 2012 7:14 PM GMT
    No. Unless it really was a family emrgency.
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    Oct 10, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
    Not really, but again depends on the "emergency" the least that should happen is a split in the cost, being compassionate and shit.
    But if he could just take it off the price of the vehicle (curious, please tell) he isn't out anything.
    ...Was on the other side of this once and it ended with me almost giving the idem I was selling away, just to make the guy happy and save my eBay rating. I wasn't out anything really so no skin off my dick.
  • robevans912

    Posts: 87

    Oct 10, 2012 10:37 PM GMT
    You're not wrong for wanting compensation, but you're wrong for truly believing you deserve it.

    There's no onus on him, only you. He had a family emergency - these things happen, the last thing he wants to hear from you is that he owes you compensation for his family emergency.

    Your mistake was that you purchased the ticket without refund protection.

    The only agreement to come out of this is a gentleman's agreement. Good luck, however. You have to approach the situation with varying degrees of empathy... the highest if someone in his family is dead or dying. Just keep in mind that he owes you nothing and can simply move on and sell the vehicle elsewhere.
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    Oct 10, 2012 10:57 PM GMT
    Can you call the airline and rebook the ticket for another date, like if you agree to meet in a month or so, instead? Then you only have to pay the change fee, not a whole new ticket.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Oct 10, 2012 11:41 PM GMT
    Sounds like a case for judge Judy
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Oct 10, 2012 11:51 PM GMT
    Yes, you are wrong.
    But, you learned a very valuable lesson.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2012 12:43 AM GMT
    The seller couldn't find someone else to drive the car and collect the money?
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    Oct 11, 2012 12:47 AM GMT
    bhp91126 saidCan you call the airline and rebook the ticket for another date, like if you agree to meet in a month or so, instead? Then you only have to pay the change fee, not a whole new ticket.
    This is what I was thinking and then discuss with the seller about picking up the $100 or $150 the airline charges to change your ticket. That seems reasonable to me if the seller is really on the up and up.
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    Oct 11, 2012 1:42 PM GMT
    This is the reason why legally binding contracts are important. Contracts define the parties' respective obligations and the remedies for nonperformance. It doesn't sound like there was any agreement at all between you and the seller on how to handle the issue you just presented. While there may be a moral obligation on his part to compensate you for your costs, there does not appear to be any contractual obligation on his part to do so.
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    Oct 11, 2012 2:18 PM GMT
    DOMINUS saidThis is the reason why legally binding contracts are important. Contracts define the parties' respective obligations and the remedies for nonperformance. It doesn't sound like there was any agreement at all between you and the seller on how to handle the issue you just presented. While there may be a moral obligation on his part to compensate you for your costs, there does not appear to be any contractual obligation on his part to do so.


    If part of the contract was that the seller would meet him in San Antonio on a specified date, why aren't there contract damages for breach of that promise? And if not, what about promissory estoppel/detrimental reliance? It's been a long time since I took a bar exam, but:

    1. Promise reasonably expected by the promissor to induce action or forbearance ("I'll meet you in San Antonio"),
    2. Action or forbearance by the promisee in justifiable reliance on the promise (rnch buys plane ticket), and
    3. Injustice can be avoided only through enforcement of the promise (rnch is out the cost of the plane ticket).

    Of course that depends on his ability to hale the guy into court and get a judge to agree.

    This is just internet chatter, not legal advice (which depends on the law of your own jurisdiction) and I am not your lawyer.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 11, 2012 2:21 PM GMT
    showme said
    DOMINUS saidThis is the reason why legally binding contracts are important. Contracts define the parties' respective obligations and the remedies for nonperformance. It doesn't sound like there was any agreement at all between you and the seller on how to handle the issue you just presented. While there may be a moral obligation on his part to compensate you for your costs, there does not appear to be any contractual obligation on his part to do so.


    If part of the contract was that the seller would meet him in San Antonio on a specified date, why aren't there contract damages for breach of that promise? And if not, what about promissory estoppel/detrimental reliance? It's been a long time since I took a bar exam, but:

    1. Promise reasonably expected by the promissor to induce action or forbearance ("I'll meet you in San Antonio"),
    2. Action or forbearance by the promisee in justifiable reliance on the promise (rnch buys plane ticket), and
    3. Injustice can be avoided only through enforcement of the promise (rnch is out the cost of the plane ticket).

    Of course that depends on his ability to hale the guy into court and get a judge to agree.

    This is just internet chatter, not legal advice (which depends on the law of your own jurisdiction) and I am not your lawyer.


    Not to mention the fact that winning a lawsuit is easy, collecting is near impossible.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:03 PM GMT
    Sorry about that happening, MCH. I had a similar problem selling a vehicle thru eBay.

    Could you not arrange with U-Ship to bid on shipping the item to you? I've found them to be reasonable. (although if you watch the show "Shipping Wars" pray you don't get that skinny, pony-tailed grouchy know-it-all from there....he seems just arrogant enough to not care what happens to your car!)

    As for your ticket: I bought a ticket on Delta thru Bookit.com 3 months ago and had to cancel plans 3 days before departure due to family illness.
    Bookit has credited me for the cost less rebooking fee for up to 1year from the date.

    I've found travel websites to be more lenient and 'workable' than any airline website.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
    showme said
    DOMINUS saidThis is the reason why legally binding contracts are important. Contracts define the parties' respective obligations and the remedies for nonperformance. It doesn't sound like there was any agreement at all between you and the seller on how to handle the issue you just presented. While there may be a moral obligation on his part to compensate you for your costs, there does not appear to be any contractual obligation on his part to do so.


    If part of the contract was that the seller would meet him in San Antonio on a specified date, why aren't there contract damages for breach of that promise? And if not, what about promissory estoppel/detrimental reliance? It's been a long time since I took a bar exam, but:

    1. Promise reasonably expected by the promissor to induce action or forbearance ("I'll meet you in San Antonio"),
    2. Action or forbearance by the promisee in justifiable reliance on the promise (rnch buys plane ticket), and
    3. Injustice can be avoided only through enforcement of the promise (rnch is out the cost of the plane ticket).

    Of course that depends on his ability to hale the guy into court and get a judge to agree.

    This is just internet chatter, not legal advice (which depends on the law of your own jurisdiction) and I am not your lawyer.


    Don't forget that the underlying agreement, to the extent that it is enforceable, is the sale and purchase of the vehicle. Based on the facts that are availlable to me, the seller has not said that he's no longer willing to sell the vehicle to the purchaser. If the situation were different--e.g., the seller decided not to sell after the purchaser had incurred the costs in justifiable reliance on the seller's promise to sell--then I would agree that promissory estoppel/detrimental reliance might apply.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Oct 11, 2012 4:49 PM GMT
    omg, u poor thing.

    I tried selling my iPod Touch on CL like last week and I got offers for handjobs instead of money. . . and they were both by women.

    No, thank u, hun.
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:53 PM GMT
    Import saidomg, u poor thing.

    I tried selling my iPod Touch on CL like last week and I got offers for handjobs instead of money. . . and they were both by women.

    No, thank u, hun.


    Lol, you were supposed to post a pic of the device in the ad, not of YOUR device.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2012 11:43 PM GMT
    robevans912 saidYou're not wrong for wanting compensation, but you're wrong for truly believing you deserve it.

    There's no onus on him, only you. He had a family emergency - these things happen, the last thing he wants to hear from you is that he owes you compensation for his family emergency.

    Your mistake was that you purchased the ticket without refund protection.

    The only agreement to come out of this is a gentleman's agreement. Good luck, however. You have to approach the situation with varying degrees of empathy... the highest if someone in his family is dead or dying. Just keep in mind that he owes you nothing and can simply move on and sell the vehicle elsewhere.


    *** This ***
  • NJVetteGuy77

    Posts: 452

    Oct 11, 2012 11:46 PM GMT
    rnch saidI agreed to purchase a vintage vehicle from a man about 1100 miles away.

    Beacuse of the high transport costs estimates; the seller agreed to drive the vehicle half way, to San Antonio, TX, where his family still is. I agreed to fly to San Antonio and drive the new purchase home.

    The plane ticket reservation was made, the date set up 3 weeks in advance.

    Two days before the plane trip/road trip the seller calls me; saying the he has a (unspecified) family emergency and cannot meet me on the arranged date.

    The airline will not refund one penny of the plane reservation.

    Am I wrong to expect the seller to reduce the price of the vehicle or refund the price to me of the unused plane ticket?


    The seller should knock the price of the ticket off the price of the car, provided you like the car. What kind of car were you going to go see?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 12, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    As harsh as it is, he's right. You have options (driving, purchasing refundable airfare, purchasing car delivery or other arrangements). Granted, those options aren't the most ideal, but they are your options and they cost more because they offer less risk (especially the refundable ticket if that was an option). I would contact the airline to see if they will give you a voucher or credit towards a different flight. Good luck.

    robevans912 saidYou're not wrong for wanting compensation, but you're wrong for truly believing you deserve it.

    There's no onus on him, only you. He had a family emergency - these things happen, the last thing he wants to hear from you is that he owes you compensation for his family emergency.

    Your mistake was that you purchased the ticket without refund protection.

    The only agreement to come out of this is a gentleman's agreement. Good luck, however. You have to approach the situation with varying degrees of empathy... the highest if someone in his family is dead or dying. Just keep in mind that he owes you nothing and can simply move on and sell the vehicle elsewhere.
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    Oct 12, 2012 1:30 AM GMT
    NO
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 12, 2012 2:05 AM GMT
    Why not just back out of the deal?
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    Oct 12, 2012 5:50 AM GMT
    You have asked a question that even most lawyers would not know the answer to. In most of the USA, your agreement (a contract) with the Seller would be governed by the Uniform Commercial Code -Article 2 - Sales. This has been adopted by all 50 states except Louisiana, which apparently prefers some civil code provisions descending from its french ancestry. There would be a clear answer to the question (I don't know what it would be) if the agreement were made entirely within Texas. There are provisions in the code for remedies for breach, and for when and where delivery is required, and what a buyer has to do when there is a breach by the seller. You could always sue the seller in Texas (small claims court), but you would have to travel there, and you really would have to find out from a Texas lawyer in advance if you had the right to the damages you are seeking, and whether you complied with the requirements of a buyer under the Texas Uniform Commercial Code.. You could sue the seller in Louisiana for damages, but you really would have to find out from a Louisiana lawyer in advance if you had the right to the damages you are seeking, and whether you complied with the requirements of a buyer under Louisiana's sales of goods law.

    What you could have done, was fly to San Antonio anyway, and then make your way to whatever Texas town the seller and the car was located in, and completed the purchase.

    Besides getting a refundable airline ticket, if you do this again, have a complete written agreement, signed by both parties, spelling out everything, not just the obvious. Maybe there is a form agreement distributed by antique car collector organizations.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 12, 2012 11:56 AM GMT
    "I'd rather be long gone, than dead wrong..."

    Just saying*
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Oct 12, 2012 12:13 PM GMT
    bhp91126 saidCan you call the airline and rebook the ticket for another date, like if you agree to meet in a month or so, instead? Then you only have to pay the change fee, not a whole new ticket.


    +1 ..... unless circumstances are entirely in your control buy trip insurance or pay the price for a refundable ticket. I do what you did all the time but I understand and accept the personal responsibility of the risk.

    I feel your pain.