A false debt ( buying online )

9 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I would like to ask for some suggestions regarding a false debt. 

 

I ordered a computer accessory from Bit-electronic (a seller) on Rakuten (a platform).  The seller shipped the order, using GLS service. 

 

The GLS delivered the parcel to an unknown person whose name is not found in the building I lived in. The name was clearly shown in the GLS tracking system and it was not my name. In addition, I didn't give my consent to leave the parcel to any neighbor or any other place.  I made a contact with the seller and Rakuten. The communication was just poor. They rarely responded to my emails and the issue and finally concluded with the shipment status from GLS that the delivery is successful. To me, their intention is very clear that they were not going to take any responsibility for the lost parcel (which is uncommon to my experiences in online purchasing)  Since I paid for the order by Paypal, I contacted Paypal and disputed the transaction. I have explained to Paypal what happened and submitted some evidence of communication. Within a week, Paypal decided in my favor and issued a full refund to me.

 

A few months later, Rakuten sent a bill asked for the same amount ( about 40 Euro ) for the order. I sent an email repeating the story. Of course, my explanation to Rakuten was useless as it was before, then there was a second notice. Since I cannot speak well German, I asked my boss to speak with Rakuten on the phone. To solve this problem, Rakuten finally sent me a form and asked me to fill and sign that I had returned the order to the seller. I refused to do so because obviously it is not true.

 

Weeks later, I received a letter from Coeo Inkasso asked for the order amount plus collection fee ( now about 100 Euro in total). Again, I didn't ignore it but disputed this bill by explaining for like a hundredth time.  They had gone back for a month and came back, referring to the GLS confirmation on the successful delivery which is just false. My last response to the Inkasso is an insisting that the receiver's name in GLS's record is not my name.

 

Am I going to get a court order? What should I do next? Thank you in advance for your answers.

 

 

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It doesn't matter if you get a court order. You can contest it and this halts the procedure. The onus is then on the other side to get the procedure started again, which is usually not done when the debt is quite small as it is not worth their while. 

I would ignore the ridiculous claim from the Inkasso service entirely. Since this has already been settled once by PayPal, the seller (as well as the buyer) is bound by the conditions of sale with PayPal. 

If you have personally not signed for a parcel containing that order, then you are not liable for where the goods ended up being 'lost'.

You really have more weight to your side of the argument than normal, as the parcel was not only not delivered to you and just dumped somewhere as often happens and falsely marked as delivered, but actually delivered to and signed by another person who is not you. 

The sender/seller needs to take up the claim with GLS not with you. GLS did not carry out a conform delivery - but this is not your problem.

 

It is exactly in situations like this where using PayPal is a good thing, - you get a refund - and the onus is then on the other side to try to get their money back. Here though they are looking in the wrong place. 

Doubly secure is to use a credit card on PayPal, that way if by chance the claim does not go in your favour, you can always do a charge-back with your card provider. ;)

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This is a rather common occurrence in Germany. The Inkasso is hoping you ll fold. From now on, no e mail, no phone calls. This is a trap that foreigners fall into. They ll deny that they got the e mail, and a phone call cannot be recorded.

Send a registered letter with everything that you have said here, and get them to sign that they have received the letter. Once you have done this, if you do get a court order, there will be a form that says "I contest all charges". Send that by registered mail too. In that case, they have to take you to court, which they are very unlikely to do so because of the two registered letters.

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16 hours ago, solomongrundy said:

This is a rather common occurrence in Germany.

If this is so, then isn't it about time someone put a stop to this practice. Could chasing a non-existent debt not be considered illegal - harassment at the very least?

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16 hours ago, solomongrundy said:

 a phone call cannot be recorded.

 

 

a phone call may not be recorded -- without the consent of both parties.  Ask for consent to record the call.  If they don't grant it: warning flags.

 

I agree though that sending a letter with return receipt requested is the best way to document communication.

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37 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

If this is so, then isn't it about time someone put a stop to this practice. Could chasing a non-existent debt not be considered illegal - harassment at the very least?

They do it because most people, including Germans, don t challenge it. It is very scary when you see an Inkasso letter. Then comes a lawyers letter. The biggest mistake you can do is sign something they send you, or talk to them on the phone with a native speaker and try to negotiate. They always scare you. That s the trick. they know that they don t have any legal standing but most people think why fight over a small amount. You don t have to pay anything. Just the money for registered letters. With a case this weak they ll give up.

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17 minutes ago, solomongrundy said:

They do it because most people, including Germans, don t challenge it. It is very scary when you see an Inkasso letter. Then comes a lawyers letter. The biggest mistake you can do is sign something they send you, or talk to them on the phone with a native speaker and try to negotiate. They always scare you. That s the trick. they know that they don t have any legal standing but most people think why fight over a small amount. You don t have to pay anything. Just the money for registered letters. With a case this weak they ll give up.

The entire thing is abnormal, pathetic and plainly wrong. 

Maybe someone should bill them for wasting people's time and bring charges against them for harassment.

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File a police report for a fraudulent charges send a copy to vendor and inkasso via email and registered mail. You can do this  on line and they issue a case number. I had something similar not exactly the same, when i first moved here and was freeked out. Police gave me the report and never heard anything again from inkasso. Heard back from police a year later that said they closed the case. I did it in person but he told me can be done on line and is a frequent issue.

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Good advice at last. As we say, "Don't let the bastards get you down!" I also suffered from this Inkaso nonsense once and gave up and paid because the charges were mounting up and I was afraid it would get totally out of control. At the time, I couldn't really contest it as my German wasn't good enough.

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