I am the owner of a business
that purchases used medical equipment to resell in the secondary market. Within the body of our website, with regard to an offer for an individual's used equipment it states the following "All machines purchased by our company must be in good working order. It is absolutely essential that the machine come from a smoke-free environment, and must be free of heavy odors such as Patchouli Oil, or other heavy fragrances/perfumes; If there is any question about this, please have a third party such as friend or family member evaluate the smell of the device for odor neutrality. Odors are impossible to remove from this type of medical equipment. If there is even a hint of cigarette smoke/perfume on these devices, they will be shipped back to you."
As part of the methodology of an offer, and subsequent purchase of equipment, we pay to have the equipment shipped to us, and once evaluated, we will remit payment for the equipment, or if the equipment does not meet the standards of odor neutrality, and low hours usage (quite rare), then we pay to ship the equipment back to the individual. We have been in business almost 5 years, and something like this has never happened - until now.
Well, an offer was made to this private party/individual - we arranged to have the machines picked up (via our UPS account), once the machines arrived, they clearly smelled like cigarette smoke. When we contacted the individual selling them they stated 'We don't smoke, you made an offer now pay up' and then they hung up. The machines were sent back to them, with signature required, and of course they are now refusing to sign for them. Ultimately these machines will be sent back to us; of this I have little doubt.
I attempted a second call today, in seeing UPS had attempted delivery twice, without success, to simply attempt to communicate as to why they are not accepting them, and to again state our case. After 2 minutes, the individual hung up again...you can see where this is going.
Once the machines are sent back to us, what legally can be done to bring this to a resolution? Upon their arrival back to us, we are now in possession of medical equipment that belongs to this individual, that we have unsuccessfully tried to return, because they simply will not accept it.
Appreciating that, unfortunately everything comes down to money in business - we had offered $425.00 for this equipment. If we remit payment to them, we will literally lose that money as this equipment cannot be resold because of a clear cigarette smoke smell/damage.
I am looking at the best way to approach this in a manner that is legally sound. My fear is that we are going to be forced into paying this offer amount because it is the path of least resistance (least expensive resolution). Any advice on how to proceed with this, would be appreciated.