• Report: #987152
Complaint Review:

Al Wittnebert Autographs

  • Submitted: Wed, December 26, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, December 26, 2012

  • Reported By: JamieHarris — High Ridge Montana United States of America
Al Wittnebert Autographs
140 East 4th Ave MOUNT DOR, Florida United States of America

Al Wittnebert Autographs UNCLE AL's Time Capsule PSA DNA Declares this Dealer is a Fraud MOUNT DOR, Florida

*Consumer Suggestion: Al Whittebert has been defamed repeatedly on AUTOGRAPH MAGAZINE LIVE

*Consumer Suggestion: Al is an honest man, Honest Dealer, A Gentleman

*Consumer Comment: PSA DNA is harming some autograph dealers while helping others

*Consumer Suggestion: PSA DNA Online Opinion

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: My Reputation

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This guy is an alleged UACC Dealer every Item that I was Interested in was cited to me as NOT GENUINE because I got a PSA DNA Quick Online Opinion on this dealer's autographs ..They Are All Trash !!

NONE OF HIS ITEMS ARE PSA DNA Verified , so they are all FAKE

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/26/2012 12:28 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/al-wittnebert-autographs/mount-dor-florida-32757/al-wittnebert-autographs-uncle-als-time-capsule-psa-dna-declares-this-dealer-is-a-fraud-987152. 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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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Al Whittebert has been defamed repeatedly on AUTOGRAPH MAGAZINE LIVE

AUTHOR: Gordon Wayne - ()

Al Whittebert has been defamed repeatedly on AUTOGRAPH MAGAZINE LIVE. This post was orinanally published on steve Cyrkins site AUTOGRAPH MAGAZINE LIVE. It is a site dedicated to defaming,slandering, and destroying the reutations of the best and most established autograph dealers. The Eaton Family of Amhserst NH has a vested interest in AUTOGRAPH MAGAZINE LIVE and has the financial backing of The Eaton Family

Al Whitnebert is one of the oldest autograph dealerships and one the most experienced as well. People like Al need to be put out to pasture because people like Al compete with a family in New Hampshire, stand in the way of progress such as the PSA company that is partly owned by a Family in New Hampshire


Many years ago, a family in New Hampshire began circulation of defaming letters disparaging Mr Michael Minor of Texas. 


This groupo that defames people like Al are bullies and these people are a threat to the integrity of Autograph Collecting. Autograph Magazine Live is a disgrace and should be shut down

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Al is an honest man, Honest Dealer, A Gentleman

AUTHOR: Freddor - ()

 Al is one of over one hundred dealers That I consider to be honest. He has been writing books, articles and is one of only a handfull of remaining U.A.C.C. members with excellent moral standards, integrity, and honesty.

Autograph collecting has taken a real beating by a hand full of shameful individuals, who seek to harm honest dealers and create problems for autograph collecting, dealers, the U.A.C.C. and decent honest people dedicated to this wonderful hobby.

 Autograph collecting can be a very rewarding hobby. In the mid 1980's, the U.A.C.C. (Universal Autograph Collectors Club) was very active in promoting autograph collecting and educating novice collectors. The U.A.C.C. had shows throughout the country. The U.A.C.C. had a wonderful magazine that was sent to all of their active members, and it was called THE PEN & QUILL.

Today, the U.A.C.C. is in financial trouble due to a low membership .  The PEN&QUILL has been cheapened greatly in an effort to cut costs. The main reason membership is down is due to a dimminished interest in AUTOGRAPHS as a hobby.

Despite the dimminished interest in Autograph Collecting,  there are many reliable sources for buying autographs.  I could name 125 autograph dealers that are honest and reliable. I hesitate to name them here because this is a complaint forum. I will say that Mr Al Wittnebert is high on the list of honest reliable,knowledgeable dealers. I will get to my complaint, but I need to lay out some back ground information first.

There was a time when many books were widely available to collectors. Autograph collectors used to educate themselves. It does not take a rocket scientist to authenticate an autograph. Knowledeable collectors knew what to look for and what to avoid. The pitfalls to collecting autographs were always Printed Signatures, Autopen Signatures, and Secretariarial Signatures. Forgeries always, and still do, exist primarily in autographs in the higher price ranges. If you know what to look for, forgeries can easily be avoided. There are very few skilled forgers and to practice a signature is quite time consuming and the result is never perfect enough to fool a self educated collector.

In the mid to late 1990's , a dealer (will not name him) began to point fingers at various dealers.  Fraudulently pointed out authentic items in others dealer's inventory calling them FAKE, but they were not fake. Anonymous mail began to circulate to various U.A.C.C. members , defaming a well respected dealer from Texas. ( The UACC sent out an annual book of names and addresses of UACC members). After a while a considerable amount of anonymous mail was being received by UACC members, with most of it defaming and slandering various autograph dealers. Most were post marked from Massachusettes, Connecticut,New York, and New Hampshire.There was a cry out for a so-called third party authenticator. Third Party Authentication may indeed sound like a great idea, but can never work for the very same reason that TRUE COMMUNISM can never work, HUMAN NATURE. The Roman Empire Fell due to HUMAN NATURE. Greed takes over.

In the late 1990s PSA DNA emerged. PSA DNA is a Third Party Authentication Company. Did they have problems ? Yes, from the very begining. Check out "You Tube" , Check Out HAULS OF SHAME, Check out AUTOGRAPH NEWS LIVE (not to be confused with AUTOGRAPH MAGAZINE LIVE !) To this day people complain that basballs signed in front of them, in person, at baseball card shows are frequently rejected when sent in for authentication. Lazer copies of signatures have been encapsulated and sold as authentic by PSA, for example a number of green Ty Cobb signatures from a laser printer are currently on the market (be careful with PSA encapsulated items).

Autograph Magazine Live is a site that is managed by Steven Cyrkin. Recently Mr. Cyrkin was sued for libel for an article that he wrote and published on his site, the suit was dropped when the article was removed from the site. Autograph magazine strays from the truth, supports PSA DNA , and gives accolades to no less than five dealers from the New York,Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire area, while defaming ALL OTHER AUTOGRAPH DEALERS IN EXISTANCE TODAY ! The five dealers that are praised on a daily basis on Autograph Magazine Live, as well as Mr. Cyrkin all have a vested interest in PSA ! The information presented on Autograph Magazine Live is never positive, and always very dark and depressing to read. Some information on that site has shades of truth, but most of it is slanderous and defamatory toward honest and reliable dealers and auction houses.

Autograph collecting can be fun. If you see a PSA authenticated autograph then by all means do a little research on your own and do not accept a C.O.A at face value ever. I have see both fake and authentic items with C.O.As included. Enjoy collecting and avoid Autograph Magazine Live. The U.A.C.C. still has a small site and the U.A.C.C. has a list of about a hundred U.A.C.C. recomended dealers. I also know of quite a few honest autograph dealers, who no longer belong to any organizations at all.

Thank You for taking the time to read this. I have been very careful to only present facts and opinion on this site. Dealers like Al Wittnebert are the saving grace of this wonderful hobby. I hope good will prevail and Autograph Collecting can one day return to being the great exciting hobby it once was.

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#3 Consumer Comment

PSA DNA is harming some autograph dealers while helping others

AUTHOR: GeorgeD - ()

 PSA DNA online opinions are nothing less than a very bad joke. The joke is on honest dealers. 

This report is completely tainted because from experience I know for a fact that PSA DNA is not as they represent themselves and the online opinion is less reliable than a coin toss. How can anyone make any type of examination from a distorted online image. These "ONLINE OPINIONS" are done in minutes and for ten bucks ! That is not much time spent at all. The only winner is PSA DNA because they are really raking in the cash here ! And defaming honest people in the process !!!

In September 2011,  I sold a book on eBay signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, "MEN FROM EARTH". First ed., first , Bantam Books, 1989 , signed in blue. This book was signed in front of me in Florida. I sold the book for $ 55. , the buyer paid me via Paypal. After I shipped the book, the buyer got a PSA DNA "Quick Opinion" and PSA gave the book a negative report and stated it was not authentic, this based upon an ONLINE inspection. PSA DNA charges $ 8. for the so-called "SERVICE" on eBay (and it charges $ 10 for opinions off dealer web sites).
My buyer immediatly filed a SNAD report. Per eBay's counterfeit policy, the buyer is not required to return an item if that item is determined to be counterfeit,fake,forged or otherwise not as described. I lost the SNAD case, eBay not only took the payment out of my PAYPAL account and they returned it to the buyer, BUT the buyer kept the bookas well as getting the refund from me.

Recently, this book resurfaced and was sold on R&R AUTOGRAPH AUCTIONS. It was the exact same book that I sold on eBay. It had a rectangular sticker remnant on the top right portion of corner ,significantly effect the "69" in the title. Lower left , a round sticker indicating this was part of a book signing event .  Signed in Blue Ink.  This was indeed the book I sold.

"Item 640 - Buzz Aldrin Catalog 404 (Mar 2013)    ..   From Earth[sic] . First edition, first printing. NY: Bantam Books, 1989. Hardcover with dust jacket, 6.5 x 9.5, 312 pages. Signed on the half-title page in blue felt tip. General wear and two labels affixed to dust jacket, and a clipped price, otherwise fine condition. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.

PSA DNA was WRONG, I knew this because it was signed in front of me.  R&R AUTOGRAPH AUCTIONS had Steven Zarelli authenticate it, and he found no problems with it apparently, the book sold for $ 129.
eBay needs to change it's policy and buyers should be required to RETURN ALL ITEMs for refund REGARDLESS of the reason.

I can't in good contous blame R&R Auction, as they had no idea. I did send a email to R&R but heard nothing back. My email might be in RRs spam folder because I am not on their customer list. They get high prices and back twelve years ago they had a very mouthy woman working for them, so I have not bought from them in over a decade.

 EBAY has unfair policies aimed at harming it's sellers. PSA DNA is incompetant and eBay and every autograph dealer worth his salt needs to reject PSA DNA. It is a d**n shame that inexperienced collectors rely on PSA instead of educating themselves. PSA has done a remarkable job promoting themselves but that is where the competance ends.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

PSA DNA Online Opinion

AUTHOR: Ivan555 - ()

I find this report quite interesting.  I paid more than a thousand dollars for an Abraham Lincoln autographed letter off ebay based on a PSA DNA Online Opinion.  The item turned out to  printed and not a real hand written letter. PSA DNA charged me for the initial online opinion and took my money again when I sent it in for a COA.  I was unable to file a complaint with ebay to get me any type of refund because the entire process of sending the Lincoln to PSA DNA and waiting for its return took me beyong the 45 day window set by ebay.

The original report is based on PSA DNA's online authentications that took place. PSA DNA is considered the "Final Word" on authentication by most people these days. The original Poster did post his/or her name as being Jamie Harris .  The person is not hiding . I am not saying PSA DNA is correct or incorrect , but if your items were questioned by a knowledgeable authority then such a report would prevent the sale of non authentic autographs to naive customers.

If online authentication is not reliable then PSA DNA should not be offering such a service. I relied on this service and ended up losing a small fortune based on the result of an expert opinion. This autograph dealer "Uncle Al" has either been defamed based on a PSA DNA online expert's opinion, or someone at PSA DNA found something to be inaccurate.

I can do a google search on PSA DNA and find many complaints (not just ROR) but auction bytes, Signature Arts, Hauls Of Shame, and others.  I can't honestly say anything good or bad about "Uncle Al" , but authenticators should be licensed or be made to have some measured test that proves that they are reliable. I personally was not pleased with the services of PSA DNA and I would never buy an autograph ever again because I think autographs are a great way to get swindled. I also doubt that any autograph dealer or authenticator even has any clue at all.

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

My Reputation

AUTHOR: Al Wittnebert - ()

It seems a bit bizarre that I have to defend myself to an unnamed coward who wants to libel me and my reputation.

If you are going to make these type of accusations, at least be brave enough to sign your name to it.

For the record I have been involved in the autograph business for over 40 years. (PSA since 1998) and in that time I have written over 100 articles on autograph authentication, been hired as expert witness by a number of respectable agencies including Homeland Security and the Marshall's Service. I have sat as a executive on the board of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club since 1985 and have written and taught my course on Basic Autograph Collecting around the world since 1995.

There is not a member of PSA's authentication staff I can not go toe to toe with credential wise.
As to quick opinions, these are done using scans. There is not a court in the land that would accept that practice. Examining the item in person and studying the signature and materials involved is the only accepted way to assure authenticity.

It should be noted this person never bought a thing from me and yet feels wronged. Go figure.
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