DX Treachery – Ripped off by Radio Mates

In our DXing hobby, I make it a policy to never make a complete idiot of myself twice in the same way.  After all, there are always all kinds of new ways to make a complete idiot of myself.  Why repeat the old ones? 

I should add, however, that this personal philosophy hasn’t always been the norm and I that have faced the International Court of Freeband Idiocy (ICFI) on many occasions in the past as a repeat, repeat offender.

“So what’s your crime, Darren?” I hear you saying.  “What were you guilty of?” 

To answer that, I’d have to give you a comprehensive run down of what transpired; I believe the ICFI would call this a ‘case summary’… 

After reading that, you can either support my claims of culpability or write it off as the naivety of youth or naivety of…well…past youth.  But whichever opinion you come to, in my eyes, I will always be…GUILTY as charged!

What I’m fast learning in this world is that a ruler isn’t always straight; just as a friend isn’t always a mate and a perceived enemy isn’t always a foe.  I know that sounds a bit cynical fellas — even pessimistic — but give me some latitude and you may understand where I’m coming from.  Hell, you might even be guilty of the same offence?!?!?!

Firstly, hand up who’s ever been burnt by a radio mate?  Taken advantage of?  Ripped off?  Hands up who’s ever trusted someone without question under the guise of so called ‘friendship’ only to see it come back and smack you on the ass when you least expect it? 

Hmmm, just as I thought!  More than a few of us…

In fact, I reckon everyone in the hobby has their own stories of bad character judgement or times when they’ve invested in someone only to come off a poor last.  God knows, I’ve had my fair share of encounters with hobbyists I liken to ‘used car salesmen’ too — guys who move through life with the philosophy that the world owes them something and they’re gonna bloody well take what’s rightfully there’s — even if it means sacrificing a few friendships along the way.

The experience I want to share with you, however, is around selling radio gear to ‘friends’ and how agreeing to the “Let me take it home now and pay you later” exchange can get you into strife.

When I first moved to Queensland about 20 years ago, I met one of the local on-air characters and developed, dare I say it, a friendship of sorts.  We’d get together to talk radio, shoot some pool down at the local pub……even have family barbecues. 

All in all, it was a pretty rewarding friendship too — until a couple of transactions with the same bloke left a bitter taste in my mouth.

History tells that both dealings involved me handing over transceivers on the promise that money would be forthcoming and that on both occasions I experienced the same result…or lack thereof.

You would’ve thought I’d learned my lesson the first time, when after a couple of months, money for the rig had not been handed over.  Drunk with the feel-goodness of friendship and all the frailties that go with it (like trust and kindness etc.), however, I put on the ‘idiot hat’ again after assurances of payment in the near future were made, agreed to a similar deal and handed over another transceiver so the poor chap could get back on the airways. 

Surely I was deserved then of being ripped off and taken for a ride by the same donkey, right?  Of getting back on the same donkey cart?

Anyhow, when I eventually gathered up the courage to ask some serious questions of my radio pal regarding the amount of money owed to me which neared $1000, the phone calls started going through to the message bank and the friendship dried up quicker than a crayfish gone walk about from its local watering hole.

Even though I still feel like a complete idiot for being so easy to fleece and am certain that I will have to front the International Court of Freeband Idiocy in the future, I can safely say that I have learnt my lesson and will not make the repeat mistake thrice.

Since suffering at the hands of this shoddy character, in fact, I have had similar requests from radio friends about handing over something and taking part payments of say $5 a week over 3 years — even handing over something on the promise of payment when the next social security cheque arrives — and to my credit I have politely declined; even reciting the story of my good mate and how he ripped me off twofold to evoke some compassion from the ‘would be buyer’.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I’m the first to admit that conmen and trashy individuals exist in all walks of life — not just in the world of DXing.  This just happens to be a DX forum though and the medium of choice for my discontent with a small group of unnamed DXers over the years.

My questions to you, therefore, are “has anything similar ever happened to you during your hobby lifetime?  Has a deal or agreement ever gone bust and left you red faced and/or reaching for the tissues?  Have you ever been ripped off by a so called ‘radio mate’ and never seen it coming?”

Please comment (but no names thanks)!

73 de Darren, 43DA001

Patron—International Court of Freeband Idiocy