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I have kept quiet about this for a long time, but after today's little self-righteous meltdown I will no longer.

I am quite weary of hearing the increasingly hostile rhetoric from folks who have been burned on an internet piano deal.

C'mon - let's increase our meager toegrip on reality here, shall we? We're adults, right? Someone offers you a piano they do not have in their posession at a price lower than is available ANYWHERE else. BUT - here's the catch - you have to pay IN FULL - UP FRONT - for an UNSPECIFIED delivery date some months into the future.

Didn't ANY alarm bells go off in your head at ALL? Not even ONE???? What did you believe the several months for delivery was about? Especially for a USED piano? At least with a new piano the salesman could have claimed they order and have them built overseas. I would never have believed it but I know more about the piano industry. Any industry actually.

In short, you can rave at the sales person all you want, call them every name in the book. They were, without question, in the wrong.

But you know what? There are dishonest people all over the place. Everyone knows that. It never could have happened if the customer was not dazzled by those dancing dollar signs of savings in their own head.

So go ahead, sue them, prosecute them, rave at them, it is warranted. But you played your part in this too, and you need to drop the self-righteousness. Con men are successful because they figure out what motivates the mark. You've been hoisted on your own petard, putting savings before common sense. So man up about it and come down off the cross. You should have seen it coming.

"The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"


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To paraphrase someone greater than I ...

"Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he does ..."

Mik,

You've been the one saying "let it rest" like a mantra. Now what have you done? laugh

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Well, PD, no one else let it rest and I decided it was time to have my say.


Michael

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Michael: Well, PD, no one else let it rest and I decided it was time to have my say.
And, you said it well wink smile .

Best regards,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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I'm with you.

As usual.


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Blaming the victim - always a popular game.

"If she hadn't dressed so provocatively, she wouldn't have been raped. She had it coming."

"If she hadn't been so greedy, she wouldn't have been conned. She had it coming."

In neither case does the behavior of the victim justify in any way the behavior of the perpetrator.

As for being self-righteous, how would you feel if, on top of losing thousands of dollars to a con artist, you were told again, and again, and again, and again, just how foolish you were to not see through the con? I personally didn't lose any money to PSS, but even I've gotten tired of being told that I'm stupid for looking at pianos online, with some posters going so far as to suggest that I should just be satisfied with whatever I can get locally (which ain't a lot) - apparently having a piano that one actually likes is something for those people in major metropolitan areas, not in smaller cities. If I'm that put out by this despite not being a victim, I can only imagine the anger that those who were actually victimized by TW can feel.

Debating whether it's foolish for victims to have sent money to PSS is, at its core, defending TW's actions. Is that really what you want to do?

Perhaps, rather than debating the wisdom of those who lost money to PSS, we should debate the wisdom of those who, in essence, attack the victims yet seem surprised when these victims don't particularly like it. Is it not foolish not to foresee this reaction? Can you honestly not imagine why your actions might provoke an angry response?

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Most successful con artists are constantly evolving and improving their con.

One of the most successful ways to gain a potential victim's confidence in the scammer is to (appear to) work within a trusted network (religious groups are another popular 'mark').

TW obviously made good use of his presence on PianoWorld (who has a good reputation and press up to and including major mention in a fairly successful book) to increase potential victim's confidence in him and his claims.

Victims had an obviously false sense of security in the fact that they "knew" him as a poster and it may have seemed like other PW posters were, in a sense, 'vouching' for him.

I have not followed this whole thing closely and I could be wrong but have not those who early-on posted warnings about this said that these warnings were not well-received by some?

I recently purchased my own piano, locally (I'm fortunate to live in a metro area but that is a fairly recent occurance in my lifetime). As a person with a great love of piano, but little knowledge of piano purchasing, and even smaller budget, it is hard to underestimate the level of paranoia that can be reached about buying a piano even from a reputable buyer. Any posts that appear to attack victims by saying "you should have known better" are not going to increase future readers' comfort level when they are trying to gain confidence in their own ability to tell the reputable dealers from the con artists.


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Aley,

If you think Mik is defending TW's actions you are sorely mistaken.

At some point people snap. There is only so much one can take of aggressiveness, and the poster who has gotten under Mik's skin has crossed some big bright lines. We can all offer condolences to someone who has lost money to a bankruptcy perhaps based on a con (we'll have to wait and see about that aspect of the case), but at some point the repetition of how wrong this situation is gets more than tedious, especially if accompanied by unfounded accusations that the whole leadership of the piano forum is in cahoots with the supposedly nefarious Christ-wrapping shyster from Rutherfordton.

To reiterate that the warning signs were ample for all to see is not the same things as telling a woman her rape was her fault. That is a bit offensive, in fact. I have been around here a while. The warning signs WERE there for any to see.

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So anyone who is duped by the Nigerian 429 scam is blameless, and pointing out the craziness of falling for it means we're defending the scammer???

When I was looking for a piano, I searched around. Found P$$ on ebay initially, then the full webpage. Never heard about his main brands, but hey, there's lots of brands (including Estonia) that I hadn't heard of initially. But The Piano Book doesn't have the brands. I mentioned said brands in passing at a Steinway dealer--never heard of it either. Suzuki was there, but I could get it through Costco, too. So I never called, or, God forbid, just order it online. I wanted more in my piano, and got it. went to a real dealer with a real store, that's been in business for a long time.


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Many posters walked the line bordering on libel in discouraging P$$ shoppers.

Several received threatening letters from TW or his attorney.

Several threads were removed because of threats from TW or his attorney made to Frank (owner of Piano World).

And keep in mind...there is another Skywalker!


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You keep sayin' that. What, does TW have a sister in the business? laugh

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Midhailoh and others - if you don't want to read people discussing TW and his ilk, just don't read the threads. Don't try to censor those who are in the conversation. It's irresponsible of you, unacceptable, and absurd. Just don't read it. If you read it, it's YOUR fault you're upset, not the fault of those who are discussing it. Just don't read it. Don't sit there on your self-righteous high-horse and try to dictate to people what they can discuss. Do you find Internet porn offensive? Does it get under your skin to the point that you start preaching to those who engage in it? Probably not. I imagine you simply don't peruse it. Try applying the same wisdom to the TW threads you so hate.


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Steve,

Your mailbox is full.

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Originally posted by Aley:
Debating whether it's foolish for victims to have sent money to PSS is, at its core, defending TW's actions. Is that really what you want to do?
I'm with Aley on this one. Yeah, if the victims hadn't sent their money to Terry, they'd still have it now. But that's a very minor point in light of the much more serious fact that Terry took their money and has not to date refunded it nor delivered their pianos. And I don't think a "they should've seen the red flags and not bought from me" defense is going to help Terry at any criminal trial that might occur down the road. wink

p.s. My, six locked threads on the main forum page at one time! eek Is that a record? And this is *after* Frank asked us to be on our good behavior... wonder what the forum would look like if we were acting up... laugh

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Interesting that the only people who have disagreed with me so far are those who dealt with the entity in question.

I guess I'd be pretty snippy if I had been foolish enough to bite on it too.

Edit: Oh, wait. Monica too, while I was posting. Well, Monica, I love ya but I think you're wrong.


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Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
Aley,

If you think Mik is defending TW's actions you are sorely mistaken.
You know, you're right, and I apologize to mikhailoh for making that inference.

Quote
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
To reiterate that the warning signs were ample for all to see is not the same things as telling a woman her rape was her fault. That is a bit offensive, in fact. I have been around here a while. The warning signs WERE there for any to see.
If you don't like that analogy, here's another: It's essentially like telling a mugging victim, "Well, what did you expect, going in THAT part of town?" It's an attempt to transfer some of the blame for the incident to the victim, and I disagree with it in the most strenuous possible terms.

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I'm not transferring anything. TW and P$$ will bear their share of the blame such as the law determines. What I have said here by no means lets them off the hook at all.

I'm pointing out the elephant in the room no one has talked about. You all had troubles because you cheaped out. You let the prospect of a few dollars override anything that even looks like wisdom.

You gambled,(and I will never believe that you did not know that) and lost. Las Vegas was built the same way.


Michael

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Originally posted by mikhailoh:
Interesting that the only people who have disagreed with me so far are those who dealt with the entity in question.

I guess I'd be pretty snippy if I had been foolish enough to bite on it too.

Edit: Oh, wait. Monica too, while I was posting. Well, Monica, I love ya but I think you're wrong.
Quite all right, Mik. My view of the situation is actually not entirely inconsistent with yours on some important points. I guess I'm just hung up on terms like "responsibility" and "blame" being attached to the P$$ victims. Should they have bought from Terry? In glaring hindsight, of course not! Heck, I'm on record here for repeatedly warning people away from P$$ and criticizing Terry for all those red flags you mentioned. But from an ethical sense, the fact that the P$$ customers erred in buying from him does not shift one iota of the blame or liability, in my opinion. And J. Mark obviously won't chime in here, but maybe there's another lawyer on the forum who could argue to the question of legal liability: In a civil or criminal case, would the presence of warning signs mitigate any of the blame for a dealer who accepted money for a product but did not deliver it?

I do believe, very strongly, in caveat emptor and the need to do due diligence before making a major purchase. But I also believe that a seller who takes money but then fails to deliver the product, and also refuses to refund the purchase price, is solely responsible for that failure.

Maybe that's inconsistent or self-contradicting. If so, I'm okay with it. laugh

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We're OK, Monica. I'm just not letting ANYBODY off the hook here.


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Originally posted by mikhailoh:
Interesting that the only people who have disagreed with me so far are those who dealt with the entity in question.

I guess I'd be pretty snippy if I had been foolish enough to bite on it too.
Perhaps you missed the part where I wrote that I hadn't lost anything to PSS?

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