The dangers of paying in advance
In my experience, this is probably the worst
that one can expect when dealing with a fellow telephone collector.
Paying in advance is the usual requirement of buying through an auction,
or sellers web page but we all understand that there are risks and more
and more we see descriptions of scams in the news and social media etc
I would normally recommend that buyers of antique
telephones deal with some-one they know of that is actively involved in
a telephone club/society. In this case though I thought I was dealing with
someone who respected telephone collectors.
A little over 6 years ago I got a quote from
Ray Kotke to make up clear cases and parts for two early Bakelite
telephones. I got the quote (at $2000 in today's value) and was given a
6 weeks delivery estimate.
I agreed to the price and then paid the money
in full in September 2010 - foolishly, I even added funds to offset his
PayPal transaction charges. If it wasn't so annoying, some of his
responses are almost comical.
After 6 months and many unanswered emails, I
asked for a refund. Ray Kotke's response was "I don't give
I also asked why he gave me a 6 weeks
estimated delivery time-frame. Ray Kotke's response was "I just say
6 weeks because buyers want an estimate".
After waiting a couple of years, there was a
period of time where Ray Kotke ignored emails so I just kept resending
them; eventually he replied with the comment that I should "Get a
life, grab a chair and sit in the sun and read the newspaper. Ray Kotke
has more to life than just telephones" - you just couldn't make
this stuff up to describe his attitude.
After about 3 years (2011), I received one of the
phones but I've been chasing him for the other one (similar to the one
pictured) ever since.
It is now nearing the beginning of 2017 and my
most recent emails remain unanswered.
I don't see much point in attaching all of the
emails from the last 6 years - it must have been close to 30 in which
his excuses have been many -
Been sick, Been busy, Been away
No funds available to do the job because of a
Problems with his compounds
I have been told that there are many others in
the same situation as me, but hopefully publishing this information
might help other collectors avoid the same trap.
In time I will be widening my distribution of Ray Kotke's details
and this story of a collector who should have an ethical approach to
doing business with fellow collectors. I am first publishing it on my
site and then to my other "Social Media" sites.
Not only that but I have the email addresses of
1. more than 700 collectors who have bought my book.
2. More than 1000 traders that I have done business with, and
3. Details from eBay handles
eventually I will personally email every one of them and alert them to the
danger of trying to do business with this thief.