If more people practiced this principle, this world would be a much happier place. Of course it isn’t always so. Far too many trusting and sincere individuals have been bilked out of their money by unscrupulous con artists and dodgy business people. Many never receive their money back either.
In my case, I nearly lost a lot of money in the summer of 1988. A fellow amateur radio operator named Hart began his own radio dealership. I had recently received my tax refund and thought I should treat myself to a top-of-the-line station.
I chose the transceiver from an Icom catalogue and visited Hart’s store on my Friday afternoon off work. I handed him two thousand dollars in cash so that it would make the sale less of a problem for him. Hart said he didn’t have the model I wanted in stock but that he’d order it for me.
I felt elated as I walked along the sunlit street to the bus stop. I would soon own a decent transceiver instead of the pathetic model that the CNIB loaned to me.
Weeks passed as I grew steadily more impatient. Whenever I called Hart, he said, “I put your order in and I’m waiting for Icom to ship it. Just be patient. These things take time.”
By late September, a number of hams became suspicious. They too had received the same answer. We decided in the first week of October to file a case in Small Claims Court. The ombudsman discovered that Hart had been paying off his own debts with our money instead of ordering merchandise.
Hart promptly refunded our purchases but nobody spoke to him afterwards. He went out of business and I heard a rumour that he moved away to somewhere in British Columbia.
If Hart dealt honestly with his customers, he would have had enough repeat business to keep his store open. Had he been prudent, he never would have had debt problems in the first place. Because he sought a quick way out of his indebtedness, he lost the respect of the entire amateur radio community in Edmonton.
I’ve written more about my love of radio and electronics in my previous memoirs as well as one which I hope to publish soon. You can read about both of them on the Bruce Atchison’s books page.