The Tale of ToddBradley404 and
On June 26, 2004, I placed a bid on eBay.com
for auction 4021038168.
The item up for auction was described as “Harold
Faltermeyer – FLETCH – complete score, CD.” The seller offered this
Whoa! “Sounds awesome,” I thought. It’s a “very rare
collector’s item” and the bidding is up to a hundred bucks. Someone
must’ve gotten hold of the original recordings of the Harold Faltermeyer’s score
and finally released them! So I bid a few dollars more than the highest
bid, and ended up winning the auction. On 6/27/2004, I submitted payment
through PayPal of $107.50 for the CD, plus $2.95 for shipping & handling.
And I figured that for such an expensive, rare, new condition CD, I should pay
the extra $1.00 for shipping insurance.
Then a chain of unusual events started. On 7/7/2004, I
started getting concerned about when this CD might arrive. Eight full
business days had passed, which seems like more than enough for a CD to make it
from New York state to Colorado. I’ll tell the rest of this story by
showing you the emails I sent back and forth with the seller of the CD.
7/7/2004 10:18 PM
Hi, could you give me a status on my
eBay order for item 4021038168 Harold Faltermeyer – FLETCH – complete score,
7/8/2004 11:47 AM
your item “FLETCH” was mailed on
please let me know when you receive
Then, the CD did finally arrive in the mail on 7/12/2004. I was very
surprised to see that this “very rare collector’s item” was just a CD-R
someone burned, with a little color printout of a cheesy, handmade CD insert.
There was no CD label, just a hand-written note with a Sharpie type marker on
the CD face: Saint Stephen Studios, Fletch, Original Motion Picture
I wrote back to cd.hunter:
The CD arrived today. I have to say
I’m not satisfied with the purchase, for the following reasons:
1) First, contrary to the
description in the eBay auction, this is not a “very rare collector’s item”.
Somebody (you, perhaps?) ripped the audio track from the “Fletch” DVD to
create tracks that augment material that’s available from the widely
released “Fletch” soundtrack cassette and album. So, this CD violates the
copyrights of at least two entities – the publisher of the soundtrack album
and the publisher of the DVD of the film. In taking my money for this,
you’ve broken both US copyright law and the eBay rules of conduct.
2) The cover art on the CD isn’t the
same as the image you used to promote the auction on eBay. Bait-and-switch
violates another eBay rule of conduct.
3) The CD insert says “NOT FOR
RESALE”. So, either St. Stephen Studios (the purported licensor of this
material) is a company you made up, in which case you’re the one who broke
the copyright laws. Or, you bought this from someone else who claims to own
the license, and then violated their license by reselling it. Either way,
you obtained and/or sold this dishonestly.
4) I believe you lied to me when you
wrote that the CD was mailed “Tuesday morning”. The USPS label on the
envelope says you mailed it on July 8, which was Thursday. Not a big deal, I
suppose, but it adds up with all the others to make this a fishy deal.
5) Finally, I paid you an extra
dollar for insurance, but there is no insurance sticker on the envelope. I
think that money went into your own pocket, not to pay for USPS insurance.
What do you have to say about all
this? I’ll hold off submitting my eBay feedback until I see your
cd.hunter wrote back 7/13/2004 11:20 AM
do you know how many unofficial CD’s
sold on Ebay daily?
before you bid always ask seller a
question about the item, FLETCH never came out on CD officially, so you
should know from the beginning that is the fan club edition CD, plus I
didn’t list my CD as – “Released by MCA Records”, I didn’t list like many
seller’s do – “This is original silver pressed factory CD”
I bought this CD on ebay, so if I
broke the rule what about the guy who sold this CD to me,
always ask question before you bid –
that’s why ebay has that option. yes you paid the money for the insurance
and if your CD gets lost in the mail – I return your money back and that’s
how insurance works with me. I will leave a positive feedback to you.
So, I replied 7/13/2004 11:46 AM:
Is that your final answer – that
other people break the law and eBay’s policies and therefore it’s OK for you
to do the same? And are you saying that it’s my fault that you sold
something that doesn’t meet the advertised description?
The simple and short reply from cd.hunter on 7/13/2004 2:03 PM was:
listen TODD you’re nasty,
I suspect he was going to write more (given that most people don’t end
emails with a comma), but that was it.
Then, I got another reply at 7/13/2004 3:05 PM:
listen let me give you something for
I have very rare score by Harold
Faltermeyer from 1983 “Didi-Der Doppelganger”, released only on LP in
Germany, I will transfer the music for you on CD. email me your mailing
address again, trust me – if you Harold Faltermeyer’s fan – you will love
I wrote back 7/13/2004 5:15 PM:
You’re quite the work! I think the
right thing for you to do would be to offer a full refund of the purchase
price, plus what I paid for shipping & handling and insurance. If I accept
the Fletch CD from you, it would make me a federal criminal, also. And
accepting another CD of stolen material would add a second crime! “No,
thanks” to that!
cd.hunter replied 7/13/2004 8:34 PM:
you are a crime to ebay site Ok Todd
you need to learn how to use ebay
site before you bid for something
I did everything according to the
ebay rules, I sold over 400 CD’s on Ebay ok, your job was to ask me
questions before bidding just like other bidders did, a seller must respond
with an answer and if you don’t like the answer you don’t have to bid for
the item, please read my feedback, how come everybody is happy with me?
you know why everybody is happy with
my items because they ask questions before they buy something, 221 happy
ebay members none of them say things like you do, I respond to anyone with a
questions about my items. leave me a feedback Todd and I’ll leave one for
It’s amusing how he tried to turn this all back around on me. In
complaining about his illegal and unfair eBay sale, I’ve turned into the
criminal. He actually seems to think he “did everything according to the
Apparently, cd.hunter feels he’s above
rule that says not to sell “Pirated copies of music.”
7/14/2004 9:30 PM
I was tempted to write back to cd.hunter with something like, “Maybe you
didn’t sell those other 221 happy eBay members illegal goods!” Or, “Who
the hell are you to tell me how to use eBay? I’ve been a member for
twice as long as you (since January 1999) and have never had a single major
problem with a seller until now.”
But I figured this wasn’t going anywhere. I gave him adequate
opportunity to do the right thing and offer me my money back, but it was clear
he wasn’t going to do that.
So, I wrote up this webpage, filed a complaint to eBay about him, and
entered negative feedback. I’m not sure whether I should involve the
RIAA (they seem to like to sue people who trade illegal music), FBI (this was
illegal interstate commerce), and/or his local authorities (I’ve got
cd.hunter’s real name and home address, of course, since it was on the
envelope). That’s probably all overkill, but I’m unhappy that I got
Have any advice for me? Did I do the right thing? Did I
overreact? Was I unfair? Should I involve the legal authorities?
Want an expensive CD of “Fletch” soundtrack music?
Email me your thoughts.
Shortly after I left negative feedback for cd.hunter and
published this webpage, I’ve gotten a plethora of panicked emails from him.
All of a sudden he’s interested in offering me a refund, for some reason.
At 7/14/2004 10:02 PM, cd.hunter wrote to me:
now you went too far my
friend, if you asked me nicely from the beginning to return your money instead
of complaining, it didn’t have to be like that. please return my CD “Fletch”
and I will refund your money, and please remove all that about me, all because
of one CD, please respond ASAP
Then, at 10:07 PM, he followed that up with this:
you was nasty to me,
if you not happy with the item just
ask for refund
you went too far with this bullshit my
return my item and you’ll get your
there is sellers selling fake CD’s
daily and I sold to you The CD which I
bought on EBAY
ok you don’t like it return it, but
you have to be nice when you talk to
I was nice to you from the beginning
At 10:31 PM, yet another message:
Todd I never asked you to
leave me a positive feedback,
I said “leave me a feedback”
which meant negative since you was not happy on your site you lied about me, I
never asked you twice to leave me a
positive feedback- where does
it show word “positive”
please return my item and you
get your money back,
I will remove everything I
wrote and you do the same,
I don’t understand you Todd,
well who cares right,
I can return money only by
cash or money order
Then, at 5:46 AM on 7/15/2004, I got this. Doesn’t
this guy ever sleep?
Please return my item and
you’ll get your money back
but you have no right to put
all that against me on the internet because it’s between me and you, I can do
the same about you, I got your address.
I will report you also if you
don’t remove your website about me right now I told you I will refund your
money and I don’t know why you not responding look you went too far with this,
why you did not ask me for the money at the first place
I never said leave me a
positive feedback, all I said leave me “a feedback” which meant a negative
because you was not happy, I
don’t know why you posted on your website that I asked you twice about
positive feedback, I remember saying that “I wil leave a positive feedback to
so let’s just finish this
quick and you get your money back maybe you’ll help me to get those sellers
who got my money and never shipped my items to me, I reported them to Ebay and
nothing happend, it happened couple of times.
At 2:17 PM, I got this:
hello, about “Fletch CD” I
sent a lot of emails to you about refunding your money, do you want your money
Todd or not, email me at (address removed)
And then at 2:37, yet another message from cd.hunter:
hello, there is another
seller right now on ebay selling another full score by Faltermeyer “FLETCH”,
why don’t you create a page about him and everybodyelse in the world, his id:
(eBay ID removed)
At 8:23 PM (7/15/2004), I wrote a very long reply back to cd.hunter:
It looks like you’ve been
wanting to get in touch with me, so let me respond to a few questions in your
> please return my CD
“Fletch” and I will refund
> your money,
For the moment, I think I’ll
hold on to the CD. If I do decide to report this to any legal authorities,
they may want it for evidence. I’m still trying to decide whether I should get
anyone else involved in this issue. A few people – maybe friends of yours –
wrote to me today to tell me I over reacted to this whole thing. So I’m going
to think all this over for a few more days.
> and please remove
> all that about me,
I assume the “all that” you
mention is the webpage documenting our transaction. If you’ve done nothing
wrong, then what are you afraid of? You said yourself that you’ve followed all
> you was nasty to me,
I was nasty to you? You’re
the one who sold me illegal goods, mis-represented the product, lied to me,
and then dishonestly took the insurance money for your own pocket. On top of
it all, rather than facing up to what you did, you’ve consistently tried to
turn things around as if I’m somehow the “bad guy” in all this.
> if you not happy with the
item just ask for refund
What do you think I meant
when I wrote to you that the “right thing for you to do would be to offer a
full refund of the purchase price, plus what I paid for shipping & handling
and insurance”? Is there something unclear about that sentence?
> there is sellers selling
fake CD’s daily and I sold to you
> The CD which I
> bought on EBAY
You just don’t get it, do
you? The fact that other people break the rules is not a valid excuse for you
to break them. The eBay rules apply to all of us.
> ok you don’t like it return
it, but you have to be nice when
> you talk to
I apologize if I have been
rude or insulting in any way.
> I was nice to you from the
Do you consider lying and
talking down to people to be “nice”? I don’t.
I do find it interesting that
you were unwilling to offer to refund my money until AFTER I posted negative
feedback about the transaction. Why the change of heart? I’d like to know.
> Todd I never asked you to
leave me a positive feedback,
You’re right. My mistake. I
will correct my webpage immediately.
> I can return money only by
cash or money order
What happened to your PayPal
access? I sent you the money through PayPal, and so you should be able to
refund it the same way.
> Please return my item and
you’ll get your money back
> but you have no right to put all that against me on the
> internet because it’s between me and you, I can do the same
> about you, I got your
Don’t worry. I promise I
won’t make any of your personal information public. Your personal information
is just between you, me, eBay, PayPal, and the legal authorities.
> I will report you also if
you don’t remove your website about
> me right now
Why are you concerned about
my webpage? It’s 100% factual, isn’t it? Did I write anything that is false?
If I have made any factual errors, please point them out.
As I said before, if this
whole transaction was legitimate, you have nothing to hide. If you followed
all the rules, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, people will see
my webpage and just say, “I don’t see anything wrong here. It looks like
cd.hunter has done everything 100% correctly, so I have no concerns about
buying from him.”
> maybe you’ll help me to get
those sellers who got my money
> and never shipped
> my items to me,
> I reported them to Ebay and nothing happend, it happened
> couple of times.
It is indeed a pity when that
happens. Deadbeat bidders or sellers are pretty frustrating. Did you pay them
through PayPal? If so, there are actions you can take to get your money back.
7/15/2004 11:41 PM message from cd.hunter:
Todd there is another FLETCH
CD for sale by some seller from England on
well it’s ok for him and
others to do so I guess.
Todd I visited your website,
looks to me like you a nice guy, if I said anything extra please forgive me
I’m a good guy, my background is clean, everybody make mistakes ok I’ll send
you a money order, please email me your mailing address again, please let me
know when it arrives. I’ll remove my feedback if you remove everything about
me, I’m not affraid –
it’s not right to fight over
one CD which was a mistake. I’m planning to
cancel my ebay account anyway
because someone used my account somehow it was
a big mess
7/16/2004 8:47 AM message from cd.hunter:
I don’t think you want your
I think this transaction is
an entertainment to you,
that’s why you posting
everything I email to you on your own site, I’m talking seriously to you and
what you do – you laugh at me on your own site, it’s game you want to play,
you showing to everyone how nice you are everyone should feel bad for you
because you can’t handle problems by
well do what you wanna do,
you a crazy man,
make sure you put this email
on your website too,
and laugh at me, because you
good at it.
I guess you like to have
enemies, good for you Todd
Then, at 11 PM on Sunday 7/18/2004, cd.hunter requested
my contact information from eBay.
However, while he was doing that, I was writing an email
back to him. I sent that at 11:11 PM, and it said:
My mailing address is:
2794 W 12th Avenue Pl
Broomfield, CO 80020
If you send me a money order
for a full refund, I will return the CD. I will not, however, remove my web
page. But I do promise that I will add the fact that you gave a full refund to
the page. That way, other future buyers will see that you did the right thing
in the end. Does that seem fair?
At 6:02 AM on 7/20/2004, I got this message from cd.hunter:
I don’t know if I should
reply to you anymore, because you probably going to post this email on your
stupid website and make fun of me
You did so much damage to me
like complaining to Ebay, leaving me negative feedback, creating that stupid
website about me and now you want your money back and you teilling me you’ll
never remove your website about me, NO DEAL
I have to be out of my mind
to say yes
I told you if you want your
money back you have to remove your entertaining website about me.
Other sellers get just
negative feedbacks and I get the whole nine yards from you and plus I have to
return your money – you a crazy man, I told you we remove all that about us
and everyone must be happy.
you know what you have to do
if you want your money back and I agree to send the money first.
Oh my god that’s a good email
to post on your website and say again how bad I’m and how good you are because
you did everything by the rules. WOW Todd your website getting better and
better, soon everyoneo will talk about you. go head do what you want to do I
don’t care, but listen it’s just a CD you bought without asking
At 12:01 PM on 7/21/2004, he sent this:
I just visited your website
I went over my emails again
and again and
I don’t see words like “Todd
I will not refund your money”
from the begining it was
never about the money
it was about you trying to
show me how good you are and how bad I’m
if you not happy with the
item you ask for refund right away without telling me what’s right and what’s
I was gonna refund your money
anyway but you created that website about me and made me look like I don’t
want to refund your money and I never said that to you Todd
I’m crazy sending you all
these emails and making your website look better and better for you