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German Shepherd Dog > Issue with buyer need advice (39 replies)

by Maverick13 on 26 November 2012 - 06:11

Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:08 pm
Hi Guys,

I am having an issue with one of my puppy buyers and would like some advice on the best way to proceed.
On the 5th of September the buyer came to pick up the puppy. She was at my place for about 2 hours and saw the puppy playing with the parents and another litter mate that was with me. On the 6th of September she sent me and email claiming the puppy was not in good condition and that she suspected the puppy had mange. I called her immediately and informed her that there was no way she could have mange as none of my dogs have ever had any problems with mange. She took the puppy to another vet and was informed that it was a small puppy rash and nothing to be worried about.
On the 7th of October she sent me another mail saying that she noticed the puppy walking funny on the 20th of September and took the puppy for an x ray and the vet confirmed that the puppy had a ‘severe’ calcium deficiency.  She wanted to renegotiate the price. Once again instead of emailing her, I called her (the reason I did not email is because I wanted to give the personal attention of calling and speaking with her but in hindsight it would have been best to have something in writing) and told her that I was willing to take the puppy back and refund the full amount. She did not want this. Then again towards the end of October she sent me another mail asking if I could refund 50% of the money to her. I do not do this for the money, as all breeders know there is no money to be made from breeding but I felt the best option was to take the puppy back and refund the full amount to the buyer. She once again did not want to do this and insulted me by saying that she did not feel that the puppy would be looked after adequately in my care. My German Shepherds are the best in my country at the moment and they receive the best care, however I did not argue with her as I felt she was taking her frustrations out on me. I delayed in contacting her this time as I was speaking with people trying to find the best solution. I finally offered to take the puppy back but she refused again.
I received another email today asking for 50% of the money and she wants to keep the puppy. I have no problem returning the money to her, but everyone I have spoken to including the vets who look after the puppy have told me not to refund half the money as it is a sign of me accepting the accusations against me. The vet has also informed me that he checked on the puppy about a week ago and she is fine. However the buyer insists I gave her a bad dog. If any of the buyers feel they have received a bad dog I am glad to refund the full amount and take the puppy back. This is the first complaint I have received. What upsets me is that she was at my house looking at the puppy playing with the litter mate and parents for a good 2 hours and was fine taking the puppy. But after some time she is complaining I sold her a bad dog.
Should I simply give her 50% of the money back or should the only alternative be that she returns the puppy to me and I give her the full amount back. I have no problem giving her the full amount back. Also please note that at no point has the buyer been aggressive or rude to me, except when she insulted me on how I take care of my dogs which I let slide once because I believed she was just taking her frustrations out on me. I do however, feel that she is trying to bully me into giving her half the money back and she gets the advantage of keeping a show quality puppy.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.


by J Basler on 26 November 2012 - 07:11

Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 05:33 pm
Return money for puppy only otherwise could be a problem later even after you return half the money.

by Hutchins on 26 November 2012 - 07:11

Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 07:34 pm
Was this puppy sold on an unlimited registration?  What did your warranty state it would cover?  Thats where I would start.  

Just for what's it worth, just because no other dog in your breeding program hasn't had mange or any other health issue before, does not mean this puppy can't get it.  There is always a first time for everything although both parents have never produced it before.  

Good luck, and keep us posted!

by Maverick13 on 26 November 2012 - 07:11

Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:08 pm
Thanks guys for the advice.

Hutchins, In my country there are no agreements/warranty when puppies are sold and this puppy was sold in good faith. That is why I am more than willing to take back the puppy and give a full refund which the buyer is refusing to do. She was sold on a full registration as we do not have limited registrations. The mange issue I am hundred percent certain the puppy did not have as the second vet confirmed it was not mange to the buyer and the puppy is free from any skin issues. Since the first complaint of mange she has not brought that up even during the conversations as she knows the puppy was misdiagnosed by the first vet. The calcium deficiency, i do understand the possibility that the puppy may have had it as Hutchins pointed out, but the vet informed me that the puppy is now fine but I am still ok to give a full refund. If someone is not happy with a puppy purchased from me, it is my opinion that I should give them a full refund and take the puppy back. However in this instance she keeps refusing to accept the full refund which is what is bothering me.

I do not want to keep dragging the issue with the buyer but if she is not willing to accept the full refund what are my options? Stand my ground on only giving the full refund or give in to the buyer's request of refunding 50% of the money?

by hexe on 26 November 2012 - 08:11

Posts: 3154
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 02:31 am
First off, the term 'mange' is a general one that basically just describes a skin condition evidencing hair loss and some degree of skin inflammation that is caused by one species of mite or other--so despite the fact that none of your dogs have ever shown any sign of the condition does NOT mean this puppy may not have broken with a case of it.  The mites of the species Demodex normally inhabit the hair follicles of all mammals, though each species of mammal has it's own specialized subspecies [we humans have our own as well], but these mites typically don't cause any adverse action to their host.  When that host--in this case, a puppy--is under stress, however, such as occurs when adjusting to their new home, it is not unusual for them to become reactive to the presence of these mites, and experience an outbreak of demodectic mange.  That's not a big deal, and it usually resolves quickly; it only becomes an issue when the outbreak expands beyond a localized condition [affecting just a small area on the dog's face, for example] and instead becomes generalized and is causing hair loss, skin inflammation and dermatitis on the face and body of the animal.  The mites are transferred from mother to puppy with after the puppy's birth, BTW, so many people mistakenly think the problem is 'inherited' from the dog's parents, or transmitted through contact with dogs other than the pup's mother.  Regarding this type of mange, while the condition itself isn't passed from parent to pup genetically, a faulty immune system CAN be inherited from one or both parents, and a weak immune system can result in a dog that DOES have adverse response to the demodex mites.  Basic rule of thumb is that localized demodex in an immature animal under stress is not a big deal; generalized demodex in an immature animal, or any form of demodectic mange in an adult animal, suggests the dog has an abnormal immune system, [in which case it should likely not be used for breeding].

Regarding the question of whether to refund the buyer's money or not--as Hutchins asks, first you have to consider what your warranty provides for, if you have one.  Not all breeders have warranties, and personally, I have no use for them as a buyer--once I've bought the dog, it's mine, for better or worse.  From this point forward, with this buyer, even if you speak to them in person on via telephone, follow up that conversation with an email documenting EVERYTHING that was discussed.  Take notes while you're talking to them so you can be specific.  You always need to keep documentation...always!

I'd want to see the veterinary report that stated the puppy had a 'severe calcium deficiency', for starters, before I'd give any consideration to refunding any money without having the pup returned to me.  If the vet did indeed make such a finding, it's worth something to you to have this information--if nothing else, it's worth the cost of the vet visit, x-ray and whatever treatment was prescribed.  But I doubt this is even true.

If you have a warranty, you and the buyer need to follow that, or both agree IN WRITING to alter that warranty to whatever you both agree is fair.  If you have no warranty or contract, personally, I think it's got to be an all-or-nothing deal: you refund the full purchase price and the buyer returns the puppy and transfers any registration paperwork, or the buyer can keep the puppy and you keep the money.  If for some reason you decide it's worth it to you to refund part of the purchase price, you better make sure you have some kind of written disclaimer drawn up that both you and the buyer sign--if your country uses notaries to witness signatures, go that route, too--indicating that the refund is NOT being made due to any defect, flaw, fault, physical, mental or medical condition affecting said puppy, and is rather a 'good will' gesture on your part.  Find out what is needed for a document such as this to hold up in court in your country, and make sure you follow those requirements to the letter.

Me, I think I'd want to get my puppy out of the buyer's hands if they are so dissatisfied as to want a partial refund...

by supakamario on 26 November 2012 - 10:11

Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 07:20 pm
full money, for full puppy return, or nuthing @ all.......... i personally feel, that puppy warrenties are a sales gymic, how many ppl actually give the puppy back, after they love it, and bond wit it. do ur research on ur breeder, and be thankful for what u get, sometimes things happen, do u put ur child up for adoption when its born sick............ starting 1/1/13, all breeders should stop offering warranties, its something ppl use to give a false sense of security, to buyers, and some use it to charge more, if ur a quality breeder, u do your best, the rest is up to God, some lemons r produced, but they shouldnt be forced back onto the breeder, these aint cars ppl

by GSDGenetics on 26 November 2012 - 11:11

Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 06:34 am
From what I read above, this person has only sent you emails complaining and claiming the puppy has this problem or that problem and is trying to get you to give her back 50 percent of the puppy's price as well as allowing her to keep the puppy.  It sounds to me like someone who's trying to "have their cake and eat it too".

I didn't see one word about the person offering or providing any kind of documentation, test results, or any other valid proof that the dog in question was ever seen by a vet or diagnosed with any of the claimed problems.

I would ask the complainant to provide me or my vet with the xray for the calcium deficiency diagnosis, proof of the skin scrapings and diagnosis of the mange, what type of mange was diagnosed, treatment recommendations for these alleged problems, proof of any medications dispensed to treat those problems and I would request that the complainant copy and send you copies of all the paperwork the veterinary clinic gave her for her dog before you can even consider whether or not the situation merits any kind of refund.

If the complainant isn't concerned enough about the situation to willingly provide you with the xray and other legitimate veterinary proof of these things, including paperwork written or typed on legitimate vet clinic forms with the clinic's name, address, phone number, etc printed on the paperwork, that strongly shows her motives are not legitimate at all.

A person can claim anything they want to claim, but its the proof that separates the lies from the truth.

by MichaelCox on 26 November 2012 - 23:11

Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 07:26 pm
FWIW, I've been in business for many years and some people are just bad customers. They accidently found out at some point they can bully businesses into doing what they want and get away with it.

You must listen to me and then repeat it several times in front of a mirror while turning in circles holding a half full glass of milk.

"They will bad mouth me even after I give them what they want!"

There is no way around this. You will eventually give in and they know this. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They have all the time in the world to send you and three other companies harassing emails and calls. You do not! They know this and will exploit it.

Stick to your guns! Do not give in! If they want to give you the dog back great but they won't! If the dog was that bad why does she want it? She simply has buyers remorse and wants to get money out of you. Offer one more time to take the dog back and then make it clear that this is your final offer and you will not reply anymore. After that stick to it. Once the word gets out (and it will) that you are a push over they will come out of the wood work.

Good luck,

by brynjulf on 27 November 2012 - 00:11

Posts: 965
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 05:20 am
Full refund and the puppy must be returned to you.  Sadly this sounds like a scammer.  The biggest reason I will never ever breed a dog.  I watch the stunts people try to pull on my breeder friends and frankly it is shocking.

by jmopaso on 27 November 2012 - 00:11

Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:04 am
I agree full refund, you get the "full"  puppy back.

by Jenni78 on 27 November 2012 - 02:11

Posts: 7406
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 03:24 pm
Sometimes they'll even claim they didn't get their refund and want double, so be sure you have VERY good proof that you gave it to them; this sort of pond scum is far more adept at scamming  money that we normal folks would ever think of.

Shocking, indeed Brynjulf. 

Michael, you are SO right. 

by beetree on 27 November 2012 - 02:11

Posts: 13215
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 04:40 pm
And that's why some people just won't show up in court, might not look good to the boss who thought it was all settled.

by Robin on 27 November 2012 - 02:11

Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 12:31 am
I agree,sounds like she has buyer's remorse,don't give in,put it in an email about giving money back if puppy is returned and also say how many phone calls you made and how many times you have offered her the money back for the puppy. PUT IT IN WRITING!!! Had a lady do that to a freind of mine,but she would not let my friend talk to the vet and told the Vet not to talk to anyone,but same thing wanted her money back,wanted to keep the puppy clamed it had mange and the  whole nine yards. didn't want to give hte puppy back because she felt he wasn't being taken care of,same thing your lady is saying to you. Stand your ground, some people are just crappy. 

by beetree on 27 November 2012 - 02:11

Posts: 13215
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 04:40 pm
I agree, the OP should stand her ground.

The inference Jenni is making however involves a dog that was returned her. The matter of funny business is yet to be resolved with a refund check that never cleared.  I know, it is a real mess to figure out and that is why the courts have it. For some reason, Jenni does not show in court to defend herself, but sends some attorney who acts all surprised when he arrives late, and breathless and pretends to feign ignorance to gain information from the utterly trusting buyer of Jenni''s awesome expertise.

by Hutchins on 27 November 2012 - 02:11

Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 07:34 pm
The buyer does not want to give up the puppy.. He only wants money back.  If I were you, I would have to put it point blank..  FULL refund and you get puppy back, or they keep puppy with NO refund AT ALL!!  Simple a that... 

Since they really dont want to give the puppy back, you really don't have any options, unless you are just a kind person that gives money when people want it...There's not much more to this tht can be considered.  JMO

by Barenfell on 27 November 2012 - 03:11

Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 09:55 pm
I agree with the other posters....the buyer should return the puppy for a refund.  But I can also hear how you are waivering on this in your want to "do the right thing" to make the buyer happy.  I'm not sure that's possible in this situation.  Bottom line, if it were me, I wouldn't want to give any sort of refund on a registered dog with full breeding rights, because lets face it, it might be too "defective" to pay full price for, but that probably won't stop the buyer from breeding the dog in the future.  So if you feel you need to do something to break the deadlock, an alternative would be to offer a partial refund with proof of spay/neuter.  Just another option if you feel the need to negotiate with the buyer.

by hexe on 27 November 2012 - 03:11

Posts: 3154
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 02:31 am
Hutchins, if the OP is indeed the kind of person who just gives money when people want it, I'll take some of it!  I'm sure I can find good uses for it....Shades Smile

Regardless of interpersonal differences between members here, surprisingly all are in agreement, Maverick--full refund ONLY if puppy is returned by such and such date, and you make sure you've got all your T's crossed and I's dotted in writing and puppy in hand before you hand over that first penny,  OR no money refunded, buyer keeps puppy, and life goes on.

That's it--you give her two, and only two, choices, and you give her a time frame by which she must decide, and you do it in writing.  If the deadline comes and no decision is made, follow up with a letter informing her that the situation is now considered to be closed by you, and while you welcome updates on how the puppy is maturing, you will give no further consideration to refunding any monies. 

You're being played; consider it one of the 'trials by fire' that you must overcome in your endeavors as a breeder, and win it.

by Blitzen on 27 November 2012 - 03:11

Posts: 12416
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 06:49 am
Thumbs Up to BeeTree.

by Maverick13 on 27 November 2012 - 08:11

Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:08 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice and support. I have just sent her a mail asking to return the puppy to me for a full refund and that this is the last time that I will make this offer to her. She has until the end of the week to get back to me otherwise the matter will be considered closed. Will keep everyone updated when I get a response. I really hope she returns the puppy as I don't want the puppy to be in a home where the people are not happy with her.

Thanks Again,

by Blitzen on 27 November 2012 - 13:11

Posts: 12416
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 06:49 am
IMO the right decision. I'm with you, I hope you can get the puppy back. Good luck........

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