ED Magedson – Founder
PARA-MED14803 SOUTHLAWN LN, UNIT C Rockville, Maryland USA
PARA-MED (aka. Paramed Medical Trans, Paramed Medical Transport) Ambulance Company eBay scam Rockville Maryland
TL;DR: I buy a van on eBay. Seller scams me, then scams me again. Then disappears from contact. I'm out nearly $5,000.
This began when I bought a vehicle on eBay. The eBay seller had good feedback, and I bid with confidence. The vehicle is a van (more details can be provided) and the closing bid was $4,700.
The van was in Maryland and I was in North Carolina, but I was going to be in Maryland on business anyway, so I figured I would pick it up on the way back and drive it back down. I confirmed this with the seller over the phone, and was set to go up there, do the deal, and drive the van back.
I bought the van, in full confidence based on the seller's excellent feedback and the eBay vehicle purchase program. I also inspected the van, and though I don't know a lot about cars, everything looked good: no lights on the dashboard, no weird noises, nothing irregular.
I should also note that the seller was a non-business eBay account, but he was selling the van on behalf of his ambulance company, named above. That should have probably raised a red flag, but for whatever reason, I was oblivious to it.
So I bought the van. (Dates and additional details are available.) I got in it, set my GPS to my home in NC, and started off.
After just an hour of driving, the van dies. In traffic. On I-95. I pull off the road (whew) and assess. I call the seller, he is professional. Lets figure out what's going on and deal with it. I try to restart the van, it doesn't start. I call a tow. I get the number of a reputable mechanic in the area where the van broke down. We tow the van to the mechanic. He diagnoses the problem: the oil pump wasn't pumping oil to the engine. This caused the engine to run dry. A dry engine tears itself up. The engine was completely kaput.
(What's weird about that, which I did not realize until much later. At no point did any oil pressure light come on on the dashboard. So, I speculate here, but I would guess that the seller, knowing the van had a problem, instructed his mechanic not to fix the problem, but to cloak it by tampering with the oil sensor or oil light.)
I call the seller, asking him for a refund of my money. No, he says, no refund, but he will deliver to me another van, same year model, lower miles, which he will pull out of service in his fleet.
Having no options, I accept this compromise. I thought he was doing me a service, trying to make up for the bad experience by getting me a better van.
Instead, he pulls a second scam.
He delivers to me another van. He makes various assurances to me about its age, condition, and ownership history. (I have details and written records here.)
A week later, he delivers the van, hands me over some paperwork, and skedaddles. I'm still assuming he's doing me a favor, after all, he said he would deliver me a better van. He seemed like a good guy.
Then, I start to investigate this new van that I have.
Yes, it drives, but that's about it. It has numerous hidden issues. With the help of a mechanic, I compile a list of issues with this new van. It has eight issues, all needing expensive repairs. The mechanic said that one issue alone (the turbo waste gate) would cost $3,000 to remedy.
As well as this, the seller provided me with mangled paperwork on the van. Cross-outs, amendations, unclear handwriting. The type of thing that would get you laughed out of the DMV.
And, remember the promises he made about the year and ownership history of the van? Well, when we were transferring the van, while I wasn't looking, he had crossed out the year of the van (2005) on the DMV forms and written in 2004. His claims about ownership history were also falsified.
As if that wasn't enough, the seller promised to send me some other things in the mail. The spare key, which he had forgotten. Some plastic paneling. Well, three months later and I am still waiting for even that.
Anyway, once I figured out what was going on with the van, I figured I would contact the seller. He seemed reasonable. Maybe we can discuss things and work this out, right?
Wrong. He tries to play the vanishing card. No response to calling. None to texting. None to eBay messages.
After giving him a reasonable amount of time to respond to me, I open a case with the Better Business Bureau. BBB contacts the seller, then contacts him again. Over a month. No response. To the Better Business Bureau.
I am learning more every day about this scammer and his business. Apparently, all that positive feedback on eBay was mostly from selling low value trinkets. If you search the records of WMATC, the governmental organization responsible for issuing his business its licence, you'll find that his business is perpetually in trouble for insurance violations and and for falsifications regarding its fleet.
I am now working with the Office of Consumer Protection in Montgomery County, MD, the county in which the business operates. The (helpful, amazing) people at the OPC referred me to a website where you can look up court records of a company and of private individuals. From this website, I found that my case is not isolated. This business, and particularly its principal, who scammed me, have been in trouble again and again for twenty years. Pissed off ex-customers, bad business with other companies, and even their landscaping and maintenence company sued them for not paying. What a mess!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/20/2013 07:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/PARA-MED/Rockville-Maryland-20850/PARA-MED-aka-Paramed-Medical-Trans-Paramed-Medical-Transport-Ambulance-Company-eBay-s-1108711. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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