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I am the owner of a business that purchases used medical equipment

Customer Question
to resell in the secondary...
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.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Business Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
2/1/2011
Business Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 6 years ago
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,296
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
Verified
Send them a letter (or better yet, have the lawyer send them a letter) explaining your policy, pointing out where you told them that ahead of time, and advising that you have tried to return the machine and list the dates and method. Then tell them the machine is available for pick up at your place of business and if they will let you know, in writing, when they will be sending someone then you will have it ready. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested as well as regular mail and note that on the top of the letter. That should cover you.



Thank you for allowing me to assist you. As you know, we work on the honor system here and cannot always provide you answers that you like. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. I believe in giving information that is to the point, but please remember that I can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.



Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.



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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
The challange in requesting pick up is that our business resides in Minnesota, and the individual in question here lives in Ohio.

I suppose I can have an attorney draw up a letter to be sent, with the language you mentioned here. I am surprised that something like this has not happened sooner. If this is a letter that you would consider drafting and mailing for us, I would be interested in the cost to have that done.

Thank you.
Business Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 6 years ago
Unfortunately, we aren't allowed to prepare documents, but the cost should be negligible and it would be a good idea to have it available anyway. You may want the lawyer to send it on his letterhead. My response was a little confusing, I didn't mean that they would pick it up but rather that they could arrange for it to be picked up by UPS, etc.



Thank you for allowing me to assist you. As you know, we work on the honor system here and cannot always provide you answers that you like. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. I believe in giving information that is to the point, but please remember that I can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.



Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.



Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,296
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
Verified
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