monome selling trouble, need advice

  • hi folks,

    on february 16th, 2014 i sold my monome 256 to sorryimtripping in this thread:

    today i received a message:
    "Since getting this monome ive had nothing but headaches dealing with connection drops and latency over my usb. I've tried a few different things like buying a powered usb hub and using better usb cables, but nothing seems to remedy this issue."

    and sorryimtripping requested a refund for the monome claiming that the instrument is "Significantly Not As Described" and "internally damaged"

    i need advice as to how i shall safely proceed with receiving the device back and refunding. the monome always worked for me, and i'm a bit nervous about this whole situation (for fear of them keeping the monome and taking the money for it, or if something happened to it :/ ).

    edit/update 1: i've asked that they return the monome to me, and upon my verifying that the instrument is as i shipped it, i will refund their amount paid.

    they want me to send a refund and then they'd send me the monome back. seems like a scam.
    there's no way i'm going to send a refund when i don't have the device back to verify everything is okay.

    they said they will send me a tracking # tomorrow. i'll keep you updated, open to suggestions.

  • hope this scenario has a positive conclusion

  • i think it's a good sign for the good heart of the people in this community that you even think about this. it can be a real hassle to set up a monome for rookies (i experienced the same problems and sleepless nights). sorryimtripping should invest some more time. The device might not be "Significantly Not As Described" and "internally damaged".

  • Refund when you get the device back minus the cost of shipping or else you'll be out that money also.
    You just need to confirm the device is in the same shape as shipped out. Most likely an issue between the chair and the keyboard or buyers remorse.

    Good Luck.

  • if he's on windows it wouldn't surprise me that he'd run into trouble since the setup instructions for windows are not super acurate ... i get the minimalist philosophy of monome as a style statement but for new users it's just a hassle ... i wish brian would finally release complete plug n play installers for win and osx that would make it easier to get to grips with the grid for newcomers and artists/'normal' musicians

    until that, if you tested the device before shipping and are in good faith that it's not broken: don't move ... hope you didn't use paypal ... try to set up a skype screensharing and walk him through the setup if u wanna b kind, otherwise let him sweat it out for himself .. i remember cursing for weeks until i got the first sounds out of my first monome :)

  • Re: minimalism in setup docs

    for me it was quite difficult to wrap my head around the interpretation of the docs accompanying monome related stuff. The minimalist aesthetic permeates a lot of things here, even into the "help and setup" docs accompanying user contributed apps. I remember towards the beginning being exceptionally frustrated about the whole thing "Why won't they just spell it out for me!" "What the hell does /parc mean?"
    Now I'm past the learning curve, and really appreciate the minimal design that has gone into everything (doc's, apps, the forum ect..) As a long term idea to hold onto, I think its a great decision, but a little more assistance to help kids over the learning curve would probably be good.


    as far as the dispute goes, definitely wait to refund until you get it back, that's how it works on ebay and paypal.

  • I came close to throwing my gs64 through the window when I first got it. I am not a deeply computer literate person as far as peeking under the hood goes (command line, what's that?), and therefore the set-up was not all that user friendly for me.

    I think the issue can be two-fold: The overall set-up can be tough for the uninitiated, but once that is accomplished successfully issues often arise in getting individual apps to load and work properly.

    Having said that, I stuck with it and was rewarded in the end with a functioning device and loads of apps to play around with. It never occurred to me to blame the device or the seller.

    @away: hope it all works out.

  • I had the same "that name sounds familiar; I never had a problem with him" reaction, but upon clicking a few times, we see that his only participation on the forums thus far was in trying to buy a monome.

    I don't expect new users to immediately become major contributors to the forum, but if they're struggling with the learning curve, it's not unreasonable to think they might ask the community for help getting started.

    That's not to say this is a scam, necessarily. Just that they've given us no evidence to the contrary.

  • sorry to hijack this thread - but to the few of you who posted about issues in the setup docs & instructions, it'd be great to have your specific thoughts on how this could be improved.

    i started a new thread to gather responses and will be working through these issues over the coming weeks:

    thanks & best of luck to @awaymessage. feel free to send the buyer to the forum for some initial support if you're continuing to experience grief.

  • hi monomers, thanks for your responses. i appreciate you taking the time to write to me. this situation has been stressful and it's nice to see some thought in the midst of what feels shitty.

    to cut to where this story is at:

    here's recent detailed photographs of the monome i sent him:,yuZ8Yjn#0,yuZ8Yjn#1

    and here's the monome he sent be back:,rS9dnyK,PFu7HaI,rS9dnyK,PFu7HaI#1,rS9dnyK,PFu7HaI#2

    transaction happened via paypal.

    i sent him the monome in PERFECT condition, securely shipped. he never claimed ANY issue with the unit until i received the below message:
    "Since getting this monome ive had nothing but headaches dealing with connection drops and latency over my usb. I've tried a few different things like buying a powered usb hub and using better usb cables, but nothing seems to remedy this issue."

    he requests a refund via paypal (citing: "Significantly Not As Described" and "internally damaged"), funds are automatically drained from my account.

    now i have the monome back, and it's been hurt. the monome is now externally damaged. he claimed internal damage.

    he took a basically mint condition instrument and physically harmed it. why should he be refunded (especially fully refunded)? seeking advice as for how to defend myself here...

    update: added slightly better pictures. Two of the four corners are cracking about 1mm deep. The aluminum faceplate has begun to lift off the wooden enclosure. The 10 inch side panel between the two cracking corners is extending outwards away from the grid. feels like i handed it to him, he threw it at a concrete surface, and then handed it back to me.

  • State the facts and back up your points with attached pics. I wouldn't be giving any sort of refund due to the item not being as it was sent. As stressful as it is stick to your guns. I have bought and sold on here and have found nothing but honesty and truth. Shame, feel for ya mate. I wouldn't get into any debate just state the facts. Good luck and sorry for your situation

  • I agree with fluxsta. I don't know how it will play out, but don't just roll over. I would also do my best to get higher quality pictures of the damage.

    Sucks that this didn't go well. nearly all transactions with people in the momome community are very honest.

  • slight update added to above.

    i'm going to do my best to defend myself.

    it's nice having folks to talk to instead of dwelling alone in a room freaking out about it. -_-

  • looks like he tried to pry it open to look inside


  • This is horrendous!

  • In my experience Paypal are pretty tricky to work with.

    If there's an ongoing problem here then one of the community could help to mediate, as the transaction was brokered here - I'd be happy to help - I'm happy to get in touch with both of you offline? Whilst I appreciate the anger expressed above, I'm a neutral but friendly voice.

  • is it possible that the damage happened in transit? that can happen! also the wood flex could be a product of damp conditions, also possible in transit.

  • @oootini i guess you're right

    sad to see such a beautiful instrument reduced to this condition

  • the corner cracks are indicative of the faceplate being removed by prying from one edge, rather than releasing each corner a little at a time. the gap on the edge might just be from not reassembling properly.

    i guess the question to ask yourself is what is the best outcome for you? do you want to send the device back and keep the money? do you want to accept a partial refund, and sell the unit to a different user at a discounted price? i'm assuming you don't want to keep the device yourself.

    if it's any consolation i'm confident the base could be 95% restored with a little elbow grease & a hex wrench.

  • Make a video, for Paypal's benefit, demonstrating that the unit works as described, and that there was never any internal damage. Call out the external damage in that same video, and reiterate how unnecessary it was to pry the faceplate off.

  • An aside point. I do find it interesting the person who bought it hasn't chimed in yet? If paypal also needs an intermediary I am sure members here would be a valuable source of info for any monkey business paypal may try to implement. Have you had further contact with the buyer as of yet?

  • ouch... just looked at your pictures : (
    i feel so sorry for you... such stuff should not happen to anyone...
    that's really an annoying issue.. i wish i could help somehow, but the things i have in mind are already mentioned here.....
    and yeah, fluxsta is right, i've also wondered while reading why the buyer didn't give his view on this topic yet...
    all the best for you! *hug*


    putting together evidence, video, etc. made a video demonstrating that the unit is indeed in perfect working order, no internal damage.

    also some people mentioned the username being familiar: it's a different user than 'trppng' who posted here a bunch. this is (sorryimtripping).

    i've ceased communication with the buyer at this point and am working directly with PayPal. he contacted me asking "when can I expect my refund? thank you !" ..

  • I wonder why their names are so similar?

    edit: just looked at those photos. Ouch.

  • hi morgan,
    I don't know why your not responding to my emails, but i sent this back to you via priority mail to ensure that you received your monome back by Friday (when you said you needed it back by) and you have received it Wednesday... I too have pictures of this item after I received it. All 4 sides, top and bottom. I can't believe I didn't notice the cracking, but its definitely in my pictures as well. I did not do anything crazy to this beautiful instrument, why would someone intentionally damage a piece of art such as this???

    I feel if you shipped me this item in "mint" condition as you are saying you did, you should file a claim with the post office. I thought the packaging was kind of light to be honest which is why i included some extra bubble wrap when I sent it back to you...If you need any assistance with the insurance claim let me know, i can verify that i received it damaged.

  • i'm going to follow through with PayPal in this claims dispute.

  • This is craziness. Seems odd that someone would intercept the package in transit and make attempts at prying open the device but I suppose anything is possible along the way.

  • A miserable tale... Was it shipped with insurance?

  • None of my business but the pics show that attempts have been made to open this device.

  • The crack down the side looks like something has been put in to prize it open.

  • Maybe the customs officer who thought there were drugs hidden in the device...

  • Just to clarify:
    I'm not sorryimtripping's alter ego nor his silbling or friend.

    And I'm definately not sorry for trppng ;-)
    I'm sorry for the damage shown on the pictures.
    If it wasn't sorryimtripping, my guess would be customs/dea/or any othe fancy 3-letter-org, too.

  • fwiw:
    i've seen pretty serious damage inflicted by customs agents as well as shipping agencies. once, the cabinet in a $50k buchla system had its side smashed in, side latch sheared off, enough force to dent the sheet metal and crack an oscillator board. this was inside a flight case with fitted and stress-calculated foam, so who the hell knows what they did to it. maybe tossed it off a tall loading dock onto concrete and hit a corner.

    other times, clear evidence of customs having opened the enclosure, presumably to check for drugs or whatever. ( the funniest part of that is that it's not totally crazy... have it on good authority that large batches of LSD have made their way across counties and oceans, in the guts of modular synths... of course that was the 60s...)

    so it's possible and even likely that both buyer and seller are in the clear on this one... wish i had better advice on how to proceed in that eventuality. in the case i mentioned above, full fedex insurance was purchased (standard procedure), and all this got us was a 2-year bureaucratic runaround, with all kinds of impossible hoops to jump though for the inspectors (e.g. they wanted to examine it at the delivery site, when the customer had already shipped it back weeks ago... etc, etc). in the end we never got a dime and the cabinet was a total loss.

    anyways, sorry for the pessimism, and good luck... on the bright side, as trent says, its nothing that can't be fixed. definitely take it up with the PO, they can be easier to deal with than the private outfits.

  • Looks like buyer dropped the monome

  • @away_message - where did this get to?

  • My mother in law shipped my wife and I wine glasses twice recently - insured and VERY well packed, as well as marked fragile everywhere - both times the glasses showed up in pieces.

    @zebra - the story of the Buchlas breaks my heart - I understand you have greater access to them that I might - but jesus - that's like smashing a stradivarius. i'm gonna need time to recover from that story.

    Really hope this works out - I know a monome is heavier than a typical controller - so i can imagine why someone in customs would consider what might be inside - but whatever happened to the unit is just hideous.

  • Just a comment regarding the cracks. my device suffers from the EXACT same issue (see pictures) and I know how it happened.

    One evening (late spring), while moving the 256 around on my desk, I hit a corner of the unit against one of my monitors. Right at the corner. Nothing major, there was a tiny mark in the wood (can see it in the pictures), not a chip, not a crack. that was it.

    fast forward several months later (late fall). i haven't used the unit. summer has been quite hot here (montreal). i check my unit and notice not one but 2 cracks. one exactly where i hit the unit. the other one at the next corner, and wood has began expanding outwardly as well between the 2.

    I discussed the issue with brian. he came to the conclusion that it could be the combination of the bump + wood shrinkage due to very low humidity. he kindly offered to try to fix it (or replace the enclosure if needs be) and i'll be shipping the unit shortly.

    so customs officers may have nothing to do with it at all. and i don't necessarily think that anyone tried to open the unit. i never tried to open mine and it was not shipped anywhere. i don't know the exact timeline of the sale but do you, or the buyer, remember ever bumping it?

    hope this helps

    4128 x 2322 - 1M
    4128 x 2322 - 2M
    4128 x 2322 - 2M
  • ^^ Very interesting. The cracks do look strikingly similar.

  • wood is very temperamental when you don't coat it with something that turns it into plastic!

    we'll get it replaced, don't worry.

  • i never 'bumped' the monome & i doubt customs officers opened it up. whatever the cause is, the whole sequence put me in a rather aggravating position and has taken up a fair amount of focus. lessons to be learned though :)

  • big up tehn - damn generous, as always.

    DEF not rubbing anything in - GS monomes ftw. Though, i do not get to know the magic that is varibright. so we're even.

  • yeah, tehn has been incredibly helpful with this whole situation.
    monome has gone beyond the call of duty to help me out and i sincerely appreciate it.
    everyone really, i appreciate the conversation.

  • honestly, how could people not care here? when i see those photos, my heart literally aches, bud.

    plus how am I every gonna ignore a black mage.