Just wanted to share my experience with Koronya, Marcell Mrsan and Itamar Rosenbaum. In short, I finished up today in court trying to get my deposit back. I'll let some extracts from our email exchanges do most of the explaining, with some notes from the court date at the end. August 14 - I visited Marcell and Itamar in Brooklyn. It was a pleasant meeting and they seemed like good guys. I put down the deposit. I am promised test shoes in a month and final shoes in two months, which is consistent with Marcell's statement here. I don't hear anything for three months. November 9 - me: "Gentlemen, could you please give me a status update on my shoes?" November 10 - Marcell: "Soory my fault - I forgot to pur your shoes into the last package. I promise I will send it in the next week with the next one." December 15 - me: "Please refund this payment or reverse the charge as soon as possible. Both the original and subsequent promises of delivery have not been kept. I've lost confidence in this process." December 17 - Itamar: "Please give it another week or so, I think you will be delighted at the results." December 17 - me: "Kindly refund payment tomorrow. Thank you." December 17 - Itamar: "No problem. It will be refunded in the morning." December 26 - me: "Itamar, thanks for the email, but I still haven't seen the return processed yet. Would appreciate having it done by Monday. Thank you." January 6 - me: "Itamar, I still haven't seen the refund applied to my credit card account." January 11 - me: "I am now left to pursue court remedies. I hate to go down that route, and am making one final check with you in the hopes that you will resolve this situation voluntarily." January 12 - Marcell: "I am very sorry to hear that your payment haven't been reutrned yet. I will definitely urge Itamar to take steps, since he is in charge with the payment, I am mainly responsible for making the shoes.... Allow me to point out that an ordinary bespoke process requires at least 8-9 months, a time that all of our customer understands and respects.... Anyway, as I promised, I will make sure that you will receive the refund." January 13 - Itamar: "I have asked my front desk to check why you don't see the credit, and hope to have an answer shortly." January 15 - Itamar: "You should see the credit shortly. It did not show up because the terminal was not settled." January 18 - Itamar: "Please let me know if you see the credit to your card." January 18 - me: "It has not shown up yet. I called Amex last night. They didn't have it on their system yet, but said it may take a few business days." January 21 - me: "I still haven't seen the credit. Could you please fax the credit receipt to me so I can call Amex? .... Also, would appreciate if you could call merchant services to see what's going on and let me know what they say." January 26 - Itamar: "They cannot find it in their system. Please give us the credit card # again and we will process it again today." I filed the court claim on February 9 against Rosenbaum's (because they charged my credit card), and our court date was today, March 15. It was an arbitration. During the course of the case, I realized that I had been fed a bunch of lies: 1. Itamar brings a pair of test shoes and a shipping label of December 17, neither of which had been mentioned during the repeated promises of a refund. He says they've put a lot of work and expense into making it and that they can't afford to refund payment. 2. Itamar says that the original Rosenbaum receipt says "no refunds" and that's the store's policy, despite Marcell's statement on SF that "If you are not satisfied, you don't pay. Isn't it work like this with other brands?" 3. Itamar says that because Marcell refuses to refund my deposit money to Rosenbaum, Rosenbaum won't refund me. 4. Itamar disclaims knowledge of his emails listed above (which I brought to court) - says he doesn't keep emails. Says he doesn't remember sending them. 5. Itamar says that he doesn't own the store, that his mom does, so he's not responsible for making the refund decisions. 6. Itamar says the delay for my shoes is not unique, that 8-9 months or even later is normal for Koronya, and disavowed knowledge of the delivery dates promised by Marcell - says he wasn't there for the conversation. 7. Itamar tries to disavow responsibility for what Marcell does, and the arbitrator reminds him that as Marcell's representative, he does have some responsibility. At the end of the process, the arbitrator asked whether there was any way to reconcile the case, for example, by continuing with the shoe-making process (perhaps at a discount, which Itamar was willing to discuss), or whether I'd really be willing to risk an all or nothing decision. I told him I was willing to take the risk of getting nothing back because I could not work with people I couldn't trust. In fact, this court experience made me so angry, I wrote this post. One word of advice, if you expect to involve your credit card company, you need to file a claim within their dispute time limit, which for Amex is 60 days, otherwise they won't help you. *March 17, 2010 - Received notice of judgment, in my favor, for full refund plus interest and expenses.
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3/15/10 at 11:58pm