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plain text winter

LSU, Rathmann and still no end in sight?

I can hardly believe all of the things that have happened over the last week – I’ll list them, one after the other:

At the beginning of the 43rd calendar week, our office was approached by a Dutch customer of the LSU in Hamburg. He had ordered a watch online and, two days later, in the legally provided manner, he cancelled his order. Mr. Ulrich Rathmann promised to pay back the purchase price immediately. But nothing happened! When, after several complaints, Mr. Rathmann continued to insist that the customer should first send back the watch (which was sent but never delivered), his patience was finally at an end. I succeeded in solving the case to the customer's satisfaction - whether Mr. Rathmann (and not his son, who is apparently the managing director, and whom I have never succeeded in reaching by telephone), managed to fulfil his obligations in time, namely until the end of the 43rd calendar week, I will soon be able to report. In a telephone discussion I pointed out to him the fact that such behaviour is not only dubious, but also harbours criminal intent, and, not wishing to fully negate innate human goodness, I reserved the right to recommend a "return to the path of virtue".

The fact that he took quite so much time to consider his position, and possibly marched off in a completely different direction altogether, was indicated by an email I received at the end of the 43rd calendar week from a doctor living in Vancouver in Canada. He asked me to take on his case against the LSU regarding a watch he had ordered and paid for long ago, and which had still not been delivered. I assured him I would open every avenue possible in order to assist his case - and those who know me can vouch for the fact that these words will be followed immediately with the appropriate actions. I called the meanwhile familiar Hamburg number and left, as usual, a message on the answering machine, explaining the circumstances. I informed him that the rights entitled to my Canadian client were being asserted. As expected, Mr. Rathmann called my office at a later date to tell me something that would be highly amusing, were it not sad, absolutely implausible, and a pack of lies. He maintained that it was not he that is responsible for the problem, but rather the evil customs authorities.

Not to have managed to get a watch, bought and paid for this summer by my client, through the customs procedure displays a special quality. To try to convince a client's lawyer who has already twice uncovered Rathmann's dubious dealings, with a story as stupid and inane as this indicates a veritable distance from reality. If this unbelievable assertion were true, one would have to pose the question as to whether the LSU were at all able to send their goods abroad and follow standard customs procedures. Even if this were the case, the customer would receive appropriate notification from his own inland customs authorities, giving the customer the option of paying any customs charges themselves.

Mr. Rathmann is obviously oblivious to all of this, if you believe his story – I certainly don’t!

With reassurance I see that the Chrono.24.com watch platform, on which Rathmann still romps around, removed the LSU's Seller Award, but that doesn't detract from the fact that the LSU is still one of the largest traders on this platform. This morning I divided the number of watches on offer by the number of traders on the Chrono.24.com platform. The average number of watches on offer per trader on the platform is 129 - the LS EU, with its 544 watches, is trading at over 4 times the average, meaning that they are not simply "small fry". Whether and when Chrono.24.com intends to close down such a trader is unknown to me. One thing is certain - it doesn't show that the platform operator places much value on trust as a virtue for its customers when it continues to turn a blind eye such practices. This idleness, in my opinion, can only damage the reputation of this particular “market place“.

Herewith I ask all readers of this column to inform me (for the time being exclusively as a columnist) whether and which experiences they have had with the LSU or the Chrono.24.com platform. I will evaluate the results and then announce, as usual, my objective and legal findings.