Lens dust and legal threat.

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions
Marathonianbull Contributing Member • Posts: 583
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

I'm a lawyer. Are people so scared of lawyers?

Short and sweet advice: tell him to take a flying leap...

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OP miked58 Senior Member • Posts: 1,498
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

Marathonianbull wrote:

I'm a lawyer. Are people so scared of lawyers?

Short and sweet advice: tell him to take a flying leap...

Sadly most people are terrified of lawyers. I have a rich ex-wife!

Is a flying leap the correct legal jargon? lol

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tocar Veteran Member • Posts: 4,456

No text.

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Josh152 Senior Member • Posts: 2,018
Re: Just Spoke to the Canon Service Centre

ScottD1964 wrote:

miked58 wrote:

Adrian Van wrote:

Thanks for posting the photo. Image looks clean and sharp. Your photo posted of lens itself earlier also looked clean.

Do not let this guy bother you too much. You have sufficient documented (photo) proof of the quality of your lens it would seem. He has not sent you any pictures he has taken to backup his claims of dust.

Have a great day!

Hi Adrian

I just called the only Canon service centre in New zealand and spoke to a technican regarding dust.

They said there was absolutely no way anyone can tell when dust got in. Certainly the claim that it has been in there for at least  two years is rubbish. They said the environment in which it is used is the main issue and they have lenses that are a week old returned for dust cleaning.

This makes me feel a lot more confident that the issue is something related to the purchaser.

Canon provided me with a reference number for the conversation so I can use this in court if it gets to that.

When re-reading the correspondence they state that I am to refund the money then they will send the lens. They are not prepared to give any photo evidence. So I guess that I need to be firm on this and not let it get to me.

Wait, no one caught that last line.  You are to refund the money, then they will send the lens?  Really? And do we really believe this?  What I believe is you would refund the money, they would keep the lens and claim it must have been lost in return shipping or some other lame excuse to get both the money and the lens.  Or they ship back a damaged lens and you have no leg to stand on.

Do not budge.  You don't owe this idiot anything.  He bought it.  If he doesn't want the lens (for whatever reason) he can resell it and probably for more than he paid for it if he got that good a deal.  If he trashed it in the few weeks he had it then he's S.O.L.

Good luck,


I agree 100%

tocar Veteran Member • Posts: 4,456
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

you have everything on your side, the buyer is making idle threats.

The timeline of inspecting a lens is limited say a couple of days and not weeks.  He provides no proof from a repair shop.  No evidence from pictures taken.  Will not return lens thinking you might resell this lens again!  Save all his email and contact Paypal and give your side of the whole events.  Buyers remorse for his part.  Hope you took a picture of the lens including the serial number and scratch and ding free body.  Sometimes a picture with a current edition of a newspaper for that day so he doesn't say it doctored.

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phaedin Senior Member • Posts: 1,634
Re: Just Spoke to the Canon Service Centre

I did pick up on that last line too. I would be very wary as it sounds like a scam. As previously mentioned you could end up with a "lost or damaged in shipping" claim of ignorance, leaving you with junk or nothing at all.

I have had to return a couple of online purchases (from a reputable on-line seller) and each time I had to send the product back first before they would send out a replacement (first time) or refund (second time)

I am not aware of any seller being required to return the money before the purchase item has been returned.

I have heard of some sellers or buyers requesting a third party ship option. The product is sent to a trusted third party, where it is inspected to make sure it is "as advertised" Once it has been verified then the buyer sends the money and the third party ships the product. However this costs both the buyer and the seller and is usually only used when 1 or both parties have a bad reputation.

You offers of resolution sound fair, and without any proof, the buyers claims are without merit. Their attitude of being insulted when asking for proof sounds fishy to me as well. The reason you post pics of a item you are selling is to provide proof of your statement of condition, therefore it is mot unreasonable to ask for proof to back up their claim. If I had purchased an Item that wasnt as advertised, I would have no problems providing proof.

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wacka2007 Regular Member • Posts: 352
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

miked58 wrote:

As it is a public holiday here I have no chance of contacting a lawyer. Perhaps people who can contribute ideas may point me in the right direction as to the best course of action.

I would avoid lawyers as much as possible.

It is entirely possible that the person has buyer’s regret or perhaps needs the money really badly, and is inventing the dust story simply as an excuse.

But if the buyer feels cheated, then this may have become a matter of honor for him. It doesn't matter what the facts and laws are. Be very aware that if they feel dishonored, they may be willing to pay or do anything to get their honor restored, and it could cost you far more than the price of the lens. Contemporary western culture does not take honor into much consideration, but it is a very powerful motivation and can become violent.

I would apologize, take the lens back, pay back the purchaser in full, and offer to pay for shipping. It does not matter that you sold it ‘as-is’ or whatever the implied warrantees are. Your rights mean nothing if the buyer thinks that you cheated him, and he is willing to act on it. This could get very expensive if lawyers are involved. I am sure you can sell it to someone else.

what about the sellers  honour.?

should he bend over and pull down his trousers too ?

The guy is s stiff, he should be treated as a stiff.

Tell him to go forth and multiply .

You only have one life , dont waste time on fools .

Photohobbyfun Senior Member • Posts: 1,364
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

Marathonianbull wrote:

I'm a lawyer. Are people so scared of lawyers?

Short and sweet advice: tell him to take a flying leap...

Suing someone is TOUGH. I didn't follow the whole thread but how much is this lens worth? Unless you're talking about one of those exotic telephoto lenses that sell for $10k+, no lawyer is going to touch this case without taking a $2,000 retainer. Also, chances are someone would probably end up spending $4,000 to go through the whole process. Even if he does win, he still has to go through the trouble of collecting on a judgement.

What reasonable, or dumb, person is going to put up $4,000 to maybe win a case about a lens with dust in it?

If he's suing you, the burden of proof that he's been harmed is on him. He has to prove that the dust was already in the lens and he has to prove that that is impacting the performance of the lens.

You can pull up numerous articles by people like Lens Rental's that show that dust has no noticeable impact on the performance of a lens. You can also show that dust is common and probably even expected in a "used" lens.

This is a type of case that goes to small claims court, without any lawyer involvement, and this guy probably has zero clue how the legal system in the United States works.

This guy sounds like its all bark, no bite.

Tell him to buzz off and I'd be surprised if you ever heard from him again. He'd probably have his friend pretend to be a lawyer and call you with an email that looks like sweetypiepepsi23098@yahoo.com.

Unless you get "served" with legal documents, you aren't being sued yet. Most lawyers would first send a "letter of demand" before suing someone anyways, which would cost this looney about $200 which I would guess he has zero interest in actually doing.

Scott Larson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,116
Re: Lens just before being packaged and sent off

bhollis wrote:

My guess (but it's just a guess) is that a small amount of dust is to be exptected in any used lens, and would not make an otherwise mint lens less than mint.  OTOH, a lot of dust might be a different story.

Are we not supposed to have dust in our lenses? I don't think I have a single lens that doesn't have some visible dust in it (maybe the 8-15mm fisheye I bought a few months ago). It doesn't seem to affect the image at all except maybe my forty year old 55mm f1.2 which gets a little hazy wide open.

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billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,260
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

Photohobbyfun wrote:

This is a type of case that goes to small claims court, without any lawyer involvement, and this guy probably has zero clue how the legal system in the United States works.

Probably true, since he lives in New Zealand.

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- Bill

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Limburger Veteran Member • Posts: 7,837
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

-- hide signature --

Cheers Mike

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Jay A Senior Member • Posts: 1,766
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

Not sure where you are at with this now a week later and I haven't read the entire thread (I apologize for that) but take some advice please...

1 - Unless the guy is in the same state as you, it is highly unlikely he will actually take legal action because in order to do so, he must do so in your state.

2 - It definitely sounds like buyer's remorse and he was looking for some kind of excuse to get out of the transaction after the fact.

3 - You may be totally in the right and in the clear on this but.....just refund the lousy money, move on, and rel-list it mentioning the dust, if there is indeed any. Is worrying over this, and maybe even talking to a lawyer about this really worth your time and effort? The whole thing can just go away if you just tell him to ship the lens back to you and then refund his money. Yeah, maybe he will have won at that point, but again...is this all worth the time and effort?

BTW, my advice to refund means only after he ships it back to you. I would NOT recommend refunding anything until you get it back first.

ed rader Veteran Member • Posts: 8,466
tell him to pound salt....

you are covered.  tell him if he's not happy to take his complaint to the next level because you are finished talking.

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jedinstvo Senior Member • Posts: 1,914
You're dealing with a weirdo

I don't know what the law is like in New Zealand, but this guy would have to spend more money than the lens is worth to get you to refund his money. You just have to decide whether it's important to you to maintain a good relationship with this individual. My inclination would be to refund his money and sell the lens to somebody else.

Fotogroup Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

I agree with all of the post's that recommend explaining the original position you have taken. For the sake of argument, and accepting he just maybe sees some dust on an image, and hating to open another can of worms, I wonder if the alleged dust is really on the buyer's sensor?

Having offered to send the lens into Canon for evaluation and having the buyer refuse, that fact alone should alert any Dispute Panel that this is clearly a scam artist or someone with buyers remorse.

tocar Veteran Member • Posts: 4,456
Re: You're dealing with a weirdo

The problem when taking back the lens is that it might not be in the same condition as when it was sold then you have a new problem of he said she said.

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rocky01 Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Lens dust and legal threat.

If you give this guy anything I will be tempted to fly to NZ and give you a good shake

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