Ashish Patel: - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Ashish Patel:

You should use caution and certainly deal with at your own risk. The individual is Ashish Patel, and while there is still a possibility that this gets resolved, there are issues that others should be aware of before conducting any transactions with him. Details below:

Contacted him about his listing for the COMAND unit from his '01 CLK55, since I was in the market for a US spec unit, and Steve had none available. Asked a number of extremely specific questions which he answered (condition of unit, what was included, etc) which he answered to my satisfaction. To finish the deal he provided his cell number and we came to a mutually acceptable deal. He was to ship the unit on April 12th to arrive April 14th.

He actually ended up shipping on April 20, arriving April 22nd. Unit arrived scratched, and missing a piece (plastic plate) that surrounds the right side alphanumeric keys. Manual also missing - was supposed to be shipped. Called him and emailed him on the 22nd. He didn't answer the call but replied via email on the 23rd saying that it wasn't possible. Took photos and emailed to him on the 23rd proving the issue, and called again - finally reaching him on the 24th. He said the scratches "should't be visible anyway" and that he'd send the replacement part the next day (25th). Claims he'd send the manual also. Part never arrives. On May 2nd he replies by email (never returns phone calls) saying that he "thinks he sent it on Wednesday or Thursday" (that would be the 27th or 28th). Still never arrives. I continue emailing and calling - he never replies - until I threaten legal action on the 3rd and he replies via email apologizing and actually sending the part - providing a tracking number showing that he sent it on the 3rd - not the 25th. He also promises a call later that night or the next day to explain what happened, and offers to refund some portion of the price. No call. Part finally arrives May 5th - but no manual.

Last week begin the installation to my '00 W208. In addition to finding that my W208 happens to be one of the crazy ones with the canbus connection reversed, also determine that the C2 connector port on the COMAND is defective. Based on the condition of the unit, where the scratches are, and the part that was missing, it's pretty obvious that whoever removed this unit was not experienced with MB vehicles - or is just hacking. The scratches show that the unit was removed without using the keys, and a screwdriver or blade was shoved in on the left and right sides of the unit to remove it. Pretty clear. The assumption is that that person also wasn't familiar that you needed to rotate the locking bail on the C2 connector to remove it, rather than just yanking it out - likely causing a cracked joint in the circuit board which the C2 connector is actually affixed to. If you flex the connector itself a bit, you can get it to see the D2B bus and briefly work. Otherwise, won't integrate, can't see anything else on the bus.

Called and emailed again - several times - no contact again. Bottom line? Guy didn't deliver what he advertised, failed to respond (multiple times), makes promises he doesn't keep, has unqualified people working on the vehicle, etc. I'm going to deal with him to resolve this one way or another, but advise that people take particular caution with him.

If for some reason he actually responds (a month late) and corrects this situation I'll provide an update. I can corroborate this with complete email threads and digital photos.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Ashish Patel:

An update: He called a few hours ago and we may be enroute to working this out. Based on what's happened thus far I'm unconvinced but am hopeful. I'll post if things do actually clear up.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Situation Update

Some combination of either seeing this thread, the phone calls, and the emails seem to have made a difference.

The end state, however, worked out. He agreed to refund the cost (which he did via PayPal) and I have already shipped the unit back to him. Ordered a replacement from Scorchie/Steve, which is already enroute.

Ashish had several stories, including his phone "quit working", his friends father died, etc. When he did call finally he did so from a private and blocked number. It's certainly possible that this was not intentional, however it's just not that hard to pick up a telephone. I think (based on his extremely fast refund via PayPal) that the guy is basically honest, but for whatever reason just not very responsive - as well as having some less than stellar techs working on his stuff. The only problem I've got is that he claims he packed the COMAND but didn't see any missing parts or scratches - that I just can't understand. It was REALLY noticeable. Maybe it was dark.

Anyway, it's over and I feel much better not needing to worry about it. He paid up, and deserves credit for having done so.
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