Name Ray Kotke
his web http://www.telephonecreations.com/ 
eBay Handle kleenax

15566 Park Lake Road East Lansing, MI 48823 USA

Telephone (USA) 517-230-6730
email kleenax@gmail.com

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.


Briefly -

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 refunds".

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 tax bill

  • 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 own web 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.