“DO NOT TRUST THIS AUCTION HOUSE
In 50+ years of collecting, the worst experience at auction by far. Or indeed ever.
One heavy duty cast iron road sign purchased on-line was photographed full-on and described in the catalogue as “with a little damage at the top L/H corner”
On arrival by courier, sign was - additional to the above - badly twisted with a crack at the top centre. It had obviously been severely hit whilst in situ by a passing vehicle and sustained the three lots of damage simultaneously.
TAL replied Catalogue descriptions are by necessity limited as to how much detail can be gone into to and auction lots are, by their nature, sold as seen. I attach the original picture used to make up the catalogue and, looking at it, I am satisfied that our description was appropriate. The key part is that the item is in "ex-use condition" and, after no doubt many decades of use, one must expect wear and tear.
After I had emailed details and photographs of the damage complaining that it was “hardly detail but significant damage, hardly wear and tear and impossible to miss,” and that distance customers rely on the catalogue description and photo, which was not accurate nor adequate.
TAL replied The damage you describe does not bear any relation to the condition of the item when it left our hands. May I suggest that you contact your shipping agent to discuss whether their insurance covers damage in transit?
The purchase was extremely well bubblewrapped and sturdily boxed. The box was undamaged.
I emailed again pointing out that the sign could only have sustained such damage by being clouted whilst attached to a lamp-post and that the crack WAS visible in the auction photo but was not obviously a crack owing to the considerable paint crazing and other marks.
TAL replied I’m sorry but we can’t add anything further to our previous replies.
I emailed again - a summary ending “ I am going to keep the sign but it is going to cost me to have this CI welded to ensure the crack cannot travel. I expect you to offer some compensation for this.”
At this point I was COMPLETELY BLANKED. Very professional.
MY DESCRIPTION of this auction house.....
Lot poorly and misleadingly described.
Tried to blame damage on the couriers.
No offer to return the sign.
No offer of recompense.
Failure to admit “We made a mistake – sorry.”
Failure to rectify a serious complaint affecting reputation and integrity.
Inexperienced and unknowledgable.
Completely blanked when recompense is suggested.
After leaving this review on Google reviews, they withdrew from reviews.”