Beware @Michael B Caro

kenryan

Solar Addict
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
190
Sadly, today I disputed the charge of $1,285.92 made to @Michael B Caro for battery cells.

The purpose of this post is to completely and accurately reflect my experience of trying to buy cells from forum member Michael B Caro, so that others might know what to expect. We have only interacted via the messaging system of this forum. What follows is a complete transcript of all of our communications:

kenryan
July 6, 2021
Hi Michael,

I want to build a 24 volt battery approximately 280 amp hours. Do you have a line on Grade A cells for accomplishing this?

Michael B Caro
July 6, 2020
Hi Ken,
To build a 24v battery you will need 8 cells.

Cells are shipped DDP (all shipping, taxes and fees are paid to your door) with bus bars and hardware. Most cells come with stud terminals, and some give you choice of M6 or M8 studs.

8 New CATL Grade A commodity cells:
271ah $1,027.40
280ah $1,062.36
302ah $1,151.60
310ah $1,183.80

8 CATL from EV packs. These cells were top quality cells that made the cut to be used in EV packs for Tesla and the like. But, the packs sat in the warehouse a bit too long, or became obsolete when a design change was made. The packs were then disassembled, and the cells thoroughly tested. The cells that passed all of the tests, which was almost all of them....a few being damaged in the process of the packs being disassembled, are wrapped in PVC wrap and studs welded on. They should be sold as "used" cells, even though they were never actually put into service. I see these as being a step above the commodity grade cells:

271ah $1,033.39
280ah $1,050.98
302ah $1,112.28

CATL cells will often come from the factory with slight swelling. This is not a problem. The cells should be in a pack under some compression and always have a BMS attached when charging or discharging them.

8 New true grade A Ganfeng 277ah cells. These will test 285ah to 290ah and are all form a batch manufactured on 5-30-21. They come with a factory test report on a random sampling of cells from that batch. Sample report attached.
$1,199.99

kenryan
July 6, 2021
Thanks Michael. Regarding the Ganfeng 277 can I assume no swelling with these cells? Do they have stud terminals? M6 or M8?

How much would shipping be to Anchorage, Alaska? (8 cells)

Michael B Caro
July 6, 2021
The Ganfeng would not have any swelling, and you can have your choice of M6 or M8 studs.
My quotes do include shipping, but I will have to check to see if there is any kind of a shipping surcharge when shipped to Alaska.
What is your specific zip code?

kenryan
July 6, 2021
Zip code is 99517

kenryan
July 7, 2021
Did you figure out Alaska shipping? Zip 99517

Michael B Caro
July 7, 2021
should have it tonight

kenryan
July 10, 2021
Don't forget about us up here in Alaska.

Michael B Caro
July 10, 2021
My main supplier does not ship to Alaska, but I have a request in for shipping rates with two of my backup suppliers. Pesky weekend getting in the way now though so it may be tomorrow night before I get answers.

kenryan
July 11, 2021
Thanks for the update.

Michael B Caro
July 12, 2021
ok, to your zup code in Alaska:

8 New CATL Grade A commodity cells:
271ah $1,047.65
280ah $1,095.25
302ah $1,155.99
310ah $1,228.65

8 New true grade A Ganfeng 277ah cells. These will test 285ah to 290ah and are all form a batch manufactured on 5-30-21. They come with a factory test report on a random sampling of cells from that batch. Sample report attached.
$1,248.32

kenryan
July 23, 2021
I'm ready to pull the trigger on 8 new true grade A Ganfeng 277 ah cells. M8 studs and busbars. What's the next step?

Michael B Caro
July 23, 2021
Send me your address to ship to, phone number, and email address.

Payment is by:

Venmo--- @Michael-Caro-19

PayPal "to a Friend"
or
PayPal Goods and Services if you pay the PayPal fee
My PayPal is cbm2@hotmail.com

I have a Square account for my advertising business and so I can take credit cards but, again if you pay the processing fee

kenryan
July 23, 2021
(name)
(street address)
Anchorage, AK 99517

(telephone number)
(email address)

I would like to pay by credit card.

Thanks.

Michael B Caro
July 23, 2021
Would you like the link to our Square account sent to you by email, by text, or both?

kenryan
July 23, 2021
Email is good.

Michael B Caro
July 23, 2021
should be sent yet this afternoon some time

[automated email with invoice for $1285.92 and link to pay received]

kenryan
July 25, 2021
I just submitted my payment. Thanks! Do you have an estimate as to when they might ship?

[automated email showing payment successful received]

Michael B Caro
July 26, 2021
I got the payment, but there is a problem.
The supplier just told me tonight that she made a mistake and they actually can not ship to Alaska. They usually ship to the Lower 48 and then the cells are reshipped to Alaska (this is the same way I did it when I had to send 160 cells to the Bahamas). Obviously, that is going to cost more for shipping than what she quoted me. However, because she made the mistake, they are going to cover whatever the extra shipping is.
So, I am going to check quick and see if there is a better way to do that than to have them come to me and then reship, but if I do not find anything in the next day or two I will have her ship them to me and then I will ship them to you.
I asked her to get them ready to ship so that they can go out as soon as I give her the first address for them to go to. I am hoping to find a forwarder in California to forward them on to you as that will be the fastest way to get them to you.

kenryan
July 27, 2021
You are a prince! Thank you.

kenryan
August 10, 2021
Michael,

Just FYI my physical location is fenced off, so I definitely must have tracking information on my package in order to open for delivery.

kenryan
September 21, 2021
It's been 2 months since I ordered. I am just checking in for an estimated arrival time.

kenryan
October 19, 2021
It has been 3 months since I ordered. I am just checking in for an estimated arrival time.

kenryan
October 20, 2021
Michael, you have to at least respond with a couple of words.

Michael B Caro
October 20, 2021
Sorry, I have personal crap that kept me from doing much of anything for a time and during that time a supplier, not the one your order was with, shipped a whole lot of cells that were not packed well at all. LOTS of shipping damage. So lots of emails and messages when I was out of touch and so .....long story short I still have over 3,000 emails/messages have not been able to get to. I finally drew a line and just started trying to keep up with the ones that came in from that day on.

Most of those that ordered the Ganfeng in the lower 48 have received them already. Let me get with that supplier tonight and see where your tracking number is and if they can get their shipping forwarder to tell us where they are right now.

kenryan
October 21, 2021
Thank you Michael.

Michael B Caro
October 21, 2021
Ok I spoke with the supplier, and they reminded me that they gave me a quote on and took the order, and then found out that they did not have a shipping channel to Alaska. They were supposed to be finding a forwarder in CA they could send the cells to and then the forwarder would ship them to Alaska. That never materialized and they canceled the order.
I have 16 Ganfeng in Michigan, and I can have my daughter check tomorrow and see how we can ship them to Alaska and what they that would cost us.
Sorry that this appears to have fallen through the cracks, but hopefully we can get it done anyway.

kenryan
October 21, 2021
FYI I ordered 8 cells.

Michael B Caro
October 21, 2021
oh ok. I thought it was 16 for some reason.
That will help only having to ship half of what I though we would have to.
I will let you know what we find asap

kenryan
October 29, 2021
Any progress?

kenryan
November 6, 2021
Any progress on finding a shipper to Alaska?

kenryan
November 10, 2021
I guess it is time to request a refund. That or place a chargeback on the transaction. Too bad things have gone so poorly.

kenryan
November 11, 2021
Michael, if you don't get back to me very soon, I will have no choice but to place a chargeback on the transaction. I really don't want to do that, nor do I want to communicate my experience publicly, but if you force me to I will. Ignoring me is simply unacceptable.

EDIT: UPDATED NOV. 20

Michael B Caro
November 19, 2021
I had not had a chance to open your last couple of messages until today.
We had no luck finding any kind of cost effective way to ship to Alaska. My daughter will push the refund through today.

Michael B Caro
November 19, 2021
It is done already but it may take 5-7 working days for the refund to show up on your card. At least that is what the processing company says but it is often faster than that

EDIT: UPDATED DEC. 26
I got a message from my credit card provider this morning telling me that @Michael B Caro had told them that my dispute is invalid, and provided them with evidence of the transaction. So, not only did he not issue a credit (he told me he did) he lied to the credit card company by saying that my dispute is invalid.

Next step is for me to respond to his claim that my dipute is invalid.

What a monumental waste of time.
 
Last edited:

houseofancients

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
1,258
hmm ..

i do see michael offering cells on facebook...


wasnt expecting this, and so sorry to read this
 
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Johncfii

Solar Addict
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
264
Sorry to read of your troubles. Thanks for sharing. It seems like you have been patient and reasonable.

I’m also waiting on a refund from Michael. I’m sure that I will get it once he digs out from under all of this mess, but his inability to keep up with communication has resulted in a lot of unfortunate drama, with many people feeling abandoned.

I ended up replacing my never-shipped Lishen 272 AH cell order with Eve 280 AH cells ordered via Ali Baba from Amy Peng at Shenzhen Qishou. They cost 35% more than the never-shipped Lishen cells, but arrived in only two weeks and are all lovely cells.

In 2020 we ordered a total of 72 Lishen 272 AH cells through Michael. Those two orders were filled and shipped smoothly, as promised.
 
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MullerEnergy-Australia

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
87
hmm ..

i do see michael offering cells on facebook...


wasnt expecting this, and so sorry to read this
I saw that pop up in a group and was a little disappointed to be honest.
As a fellow battery and cell seller, I was sympathetic to his situation first, as it can be difficult getting Chinese business partners to hold up their end of the agreement. And I do believe him that he's not the cause of many of these issues. HOWEVER, he should, in my mind, be focusing his attention to fixing the situation for so many of his customers, rather than using his precious time to try and get new business.
That's what I would do anyway. It's not nice dealing with customer issues, particularly if they're because you were let down by someone else, but it's not just the right thing to do, in the long run it's also the best thing for your business.
 

houseofancients

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
1,258
I saw that pop up in a group and was a little disappointed to be honest.
As a fellow battery and cell seller, I was sympathetic to his situation first, as it can be difficult getting Chinese business partners to hold up their end of the agreement. And I do believe him that he's not the cause of many of these issues. HOWEVER, he should, in my mind, be focusing his attention to fixing the situation for so many of his customers, rather than using his precious time to try and get new business.
That's what I would do anyway. It's not nice dealing with customer issues, particularly if they're because you were let down by someone else, but it's not just the right thing to do, in the long run it's also the best thing for your business.
exactly my sentiment
 

MullerEnergy-Australia

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
87
That group was created 2 years ago. I'm not so sure you can call that looking for new business.
My guess is that Michael got himself into a situation that he never will be able to fix.
He never set out to do anything dishonest
I agree that he never set out to do anything dishonest, however from a customer perspective, he's the responsible party here, not his suppliers.

What I referred to (assuming that you were responding to my post) as looking for new business was the Facebook post from two days ago.
 

ArthurEld

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
2,082
Location
Palm Harbor, Florida
I agree that he never set out to do anything dishonest, however from a customer perspective, he's the responsible party here, not his suppliers.

What I referred to (assuming that you were responding to my post) as looking for new business was the Facebook post from two days ago.
I am not a Facebook member so I can't see the posts.
And I don't know Michael.
I believe you when you say people who deal with you will not end up like people who dealt with Michael.
Michael thought he could make some money playing middle man. But like 99.9% of new business adventures, he failed.

Maybe since I am not one of those who lost money I am a little more forgiving. Michael tried desperately to fix this situation.
 

luckielab

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
86
HOWEVER, he should, in my mind, be focusing his attention to fixing the situation for so many of his customers, rather than using his precious time to try and get new business.
He needs Alibaba or the supplier to refund him so he can refund his customers. That's the only thing that's going to "fix the situation for so many of his customers". That process was started a awhile ago and IMO doesn't require a lot of focus.

In the meantime, if he wants to generate extra money, as long as it's used to continue the refunds for his customers that pre-paid for the Lishen cells that never shipped, I'm finding it hard to knock him for that effort.
 

ereams65

Solar Addict
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
297
Dang man, sorry you've had such a nightmare. It's a very strange and odd coincidence that he found out about a shipping problem right after you sent him a payment. Probably just that, but my hackles would've stood straight up at that precise moment. Couple that with a "fell through the cracks" excuse and it's troubling. $1200+ isn't a ton a money to some, but it's everything to others. I hope you get your funds back soon.
 

Ironman

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
103
Sorry to hear this happenned to you, and all I can say is my dealings with Michael were honest, straight forward and the price was right. I have nothing to complain about. Some things are out of a sellers control, and with the shipping bungle up that is ongoing, I expect to see lots of shortages and things disappearing.
 

Butcher

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
106
So you ordered batteries and after a long period of time, the refund looks to be happening. Right? If so, it was a long ordeal but I do not think you got screwed over. These are bad times and many times people focus on the sale vs wondering if they can even do it. Sometimes, they will make the sale and worry about the logistics in the future. Most of the time, the short comings can be resolved.

Sorry to hear but the good thing is your money is getting refunded. There are so many that the money would be gone.
 

kenryan

Solar Addict
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
190
So you ordered batteries and after a long period of time, the refund looks to be happening. Right? If so, it was a long ordeal but I do not think you got screwed over. These are bad times and many times people focus on the sale vs wondering if they can even do it. Sometimes, they will make the sale and worry about the logistics in the future. Most of the time, the short comings can be resolved.

Sorry to hear but the good thing is your money is getting refunded. There are so many that the money would be gone.
I am certainly glad that I elected to pay with a credit card.
 

Butcher

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
106
Heck yeah and did not use the gift option. So many people do that.

There is nothing wrong with a company making money but when you abuse that option and something does go wrong, I laugh at those that get screwed. Why do people make choices that limit their options when something goes wrong. It's a business transaction. There are not a lot of bad people in the world, but there are enough of them to really ruin good peoples life's.
 

sunshine_eggo

Happy Breffast!
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Oct 26, 2021
Messages
4,719
Location
USA
I am certainly glad that I elected to pay with a credit card.

Why? Did you have to engage your credit card company to get a refund? It seems to me that Michael has issued a refund, and you see evidence of it pending.

Can anyone on this site establish that Michael actually defrauded them?
 

Diysolar123

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
675
There is a lengthy list of folks who have asked for their money back and have received nothing so far (i.e., no refund or communication as to when a refund may be issued), so I guess the jury is still out on this.
yep...loooong list and I am one of them...

no refund after months of waiting and no msg from micheal of a potential refund date (order was paid for in march).
I checked and could start legal proceedings based on what he advertised when taking orders (first round of legal time and outgoing letters would run around $500).
 
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