Soon I found a nice deal from a UK private seller willing to send the laptop internationally. Here is the original url, and here is a copy I made during September 2003 with Mozilla 1.4. The seller was Mr E. Howard Jones <email@example.com>, and he was offering a SONY Vaio Z1SP Centrino 1.5GHz 512 RAM 60Gb HD for just 300£ pounds (about 450€ Euros by that time), while at the same time offering a much more powerful machine in another auction. If you check the price of this laptop from Sony's website you will find that 300£ pounds price is 15% of the original price. So I talked about this with my parents and they said "go for it".
The next day I returned to that Amazon page, but the auction was cancelled. Unwilling to give up the chance of buying a nice laptop, I contacted Mr Howard Jones personally, because you can obtain from Amazon the seller's email (here's a copy of the information page from Amazon). What follows now is the email conversation which lead to the buy of the announced laptop, which during flight transformed itself into another much crappier machine which is unuseful to do any of the work I have to do with a computer. You can get here the original Unix mailbox file (164 Kb) with the conversation, or continue reading the excerpts from it I've put here for convenient reading.
Yesterday I saw your two laptops being auctioned on Amazon (the Sony Vaio and another faster one). I will be moving to another country in a few months so after discussing the buy with my father I wanted to bid 305 pounds for the Sony Vaio but you cancelled the bid. Any particular reason? Will you be auctioning again? I was interested in it because I needed a cheap laptop and this one seemed to fulfill my needs.
In fact, there's another one being auctioned that is ok, and even cheaper (just 50 pounds now), but unluckily the owner won't deliver internationally, and I live in Spain.
amazon cancelled the sale due to us not wanting to accept amazon payments. we can do you a p4 laptop for £350 inc postage to spain we accept bank transfer or chq. or fastpay.
In any case I would like to see the detailed specs of the machine. What is fastpay? Would you accept money through paypal? Are you an individual or a shop?
ENCLOSE SPECI. WE ARE A MAILORDER COMPANY CHECKOUT FASTPAY AT www.natwestfastpay.com
we dont use paypal.
Sorry, that computer doesn't interest me, too few RAM memory and too much weight. Can you sell me the Sony Vaio Z1SP Centrino 1.5 Ghz with 512 RAM and weight of 2.15 kb?
yes price is £350 inc postage
Fine, then give me the account of the bank I have to make a transference. I took a look at fastpay but it's only for UK residents.
ACCOUNT NUMBER 17949653
SORT CODE 01-01-35
ACC NAME MR.E.JONES
ON RECIPT OF MONEY WILL SEND LAPTOP OUT. PLEASE FORWARD YOUR ADDRESS.
Will send money on monday or tuesday. My address:
Grzegorz Adam Hankiewicz
Avenida Gabriel Aresti 12, 1ºD
By the way, do you have an online catalog or web page with other items you sell by mail?
Ok, today I made the transfer. Attached is the payment.
not at present
we also need a contact number.
That's a pity, I've told about you to other people and they seem interested in taking a look at the products you can offer.
If you mean a telephone number: +34 94 411 31 44.
just to let you know goods will be shipped out tuesday. due to bank holiday.
Ok. How long should it take for the shipment to arrive? One week?
By the way, I've been looking at online money services and the one at http://www.moneybrokers.com/ seems to be very easy to use, fast and cheap. You might want to check that, it's seems cheaper than the transference I made. My bank charged 8 pounds for the transference, while this service charges less than half a pound for the same action. And it's based in UK.
yes about 1 wk
There's still no notice about the shipment. Could you please send me a scanned copy of the shipment bill? With this I can go to the post office and verify what has happened.
Given that you don't answer email, and it's been a month since the time you sent the laptop, I have to presume that you are cheating me. I'm starting legal action against you. Right now I'm moving to another city, so the address I originally sent you won't work. But in november I'll be moving to england. There I'll contact the local authorities in order to find you and meet you personally.
So today the laptop arrived. Believing that I was wrong about you I opened the box and found a Compaq Armada 1592 DT instead of the Sony Vaio Z1SP Centrino 1.5 Gz with 512 RAM that we had agreed. The compaq armada is worse than my oldest desktop computer, it's unusable for the work I was going to do.
I still feel I you have cheated me. My father suggests that now the usual thing for me would to resend you the laptop, you would send another wrong one, and so on an on unendlessly. Since the compaq armada was not even mentioned on any of the emails we exchanged, I belive he is right, and you just wanted to get rid of it. This means that I will continue to seek legal action against you.
If I have misinterpreted your actions, contact me.
Well, the positive thing is that when you loose money in such a scam, you remember it for much longer than if somebody just told you about a friend of a friend... Take care!