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Anthony Karsey and the Walter Mitty syndrome


Everyone in business comes into contact with a Walter Mitty, and for those who don’t understand the handle, Mitty is a fictional character given to grand and elaborate fantasies, a daydreamer, or a person who imagines their life is full of excitement and adventures when it is in fact, just ordinary and boring.  For those of us involved with rare & exotic bikes, cars, boats or anything truly unique, we have the pleasure of suffering Walter Mitty’s on a regular basis.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against fantasising about owning something special, like a Ducati GP17 or a luxury cruiser moored to the pier in Monaco for the F1 meetings, but my daydreaming doesn’t cause harm to anyone or cost anyone money.  Unfortunately not everyone is as considerate, and not everyone is able to restrain themselves when their fantasies get beyond the bathroom door, and in Anthony Kasey’s case, his fantasies got down-right nasty.

Most of you won’t recognise the name, Anthony Karsey, and why would you, he’s a nobody, but you will I’m sure, remember the vitriolic attack we suffered on Facebook, 18/19 July, 2017.  The attack was orchestrated by Karsey, aka Walter Mitty.Within minutes of the first post our phones started ringing with people voicing their disgust at our treatment of Anthony, and claiming “it’s obvious we’re ripping off bikers”.  Some guy claiming to be from DOC’s NSW rang to abuse me personally & ensure me “everyone in the club will know all about this”.  The slander was appalling, but like a gutter rat, Karsey was scheming enough to make sure his buddies made all the accusations, blokes who we’ve never met, spoke too or done business with, yet all were stupid enough to believe Karsey and like a bunch of Lemmings, following each other off a cliff.  Those Lemmings were; David Joness, Ryu Akbar, David du Maurier, Nick Weinmann, Craig Mason, Rabih Farhat, Dan Fenwick, Alex Best, Mau Puffe, and Ben Ashton.  If you know any of these blokes send them a link to this page.

At the time I decided their comments weren’t even worth acknowledgment, and I wasn’t going to allow a trial by social media, so I simply ignored the fuss, collected page dumps of all the slanderous comments, and handed it to my lawyer to file a case for slander.  My lawyer however, slapped me about the face and said, why?  “Why bother wasting a dime on some insignificant, pathetic troll; just how much damage could he do to you and your reputation?”  He was right of course, we’ve been around for over 30 years; we have an international client base that includes some of the wealthiest collectors on the planet, and I know most of those wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.  Similarly, I doubted anyone who actually knows us and has done business with us, would be worried about some wanker with a gripe & a band of sycophant Lemmings spewing baseless accusations.

I was prepared to forget about Walter Karsey and consign him to the forgettable memories basket, but after we were recently contacted by the DFT (NSW Gov Dept Fair Trade) I thought it was worth wasting a few minutes on telling everyone what really occurred.  

Walter Karsey’s fantasising about being a customer goes way back to 2011, and over the years I’ve lost track of the number of bikes he was “fully committed to buying”, well, fully committed to fantasising about buying is more appropriate.  Over the years, in true Mitty form, he would go through the whole gambit; negotiate on price, ask about special services, get quotes for options and go fast goodies, delivery, rego etc, and when we introduced a facility to provide finance, well, that allowed Anthony to draw the process out even longer, and make him feel even more important, as now he had someone else to feed his ego and help make the pantomime a little more exciting.

Move forward to May 2017; we were negotiating the sale of 2 bikes with a combined value of 65k.  The buyer we'd qualified as genuine, and we were arm-wrestling over a few minor inclusions, but money hadn't at that stage changed hands.  I had no sooner got off the phone with the buyer when Karsey rang, telling me he had to have the 916, it was perfect and he’d always wanted one, or something like that anyway.  Rolling my eyes in recognition of his known form I said, ‘Anthony, I’m already talking to a buyer and the only way you’re going to get this bike is to buy it immediately”; I figured that was enough to drive him back into the bathroom.  Karsey asked if any money had been paid, which it hadn't, so he said he’d pay 4k deposit subject to BCU approving his finance.  I agreed, but didn't expect to hear anything more from him.  Within a hour he emailed requesting an invoice, so I supplied him a contract for purchase, conditional upon credit from BCU and confirmation of his credit within 7 days.  I didn’t expect he’d pay, and advised the earlier buyer that another party had offered to place a deposit, but unfortunately he didn't react fast enough & Karsey sent through an EFT advice.  I went back to the first buyer as I knew he'd feel as though he'd been gazumped, which he had, but only because he didn't act, but ultimately we lost both sales as he failed to take the second bike, no doubt pay-back for missing what was a good deal on the two.  (He, the first buyer, would later prove his intentions were genuine, by sending pics of two similar bikes he's bought elsewhere)

Foolishly I thought Karsey had gone from Walter Mitty to bona fide customer, and this was further supported a day later when he sent an email stating he had a plan-B for finance, and was no longer reliant upon BCU.  Two days later he sent another email stating he would have the funds in his account by a date that exceeded the deadline by a couple of days, and therefore he wanted to be sure that was still ok; I agreed.  He had now completely removed the conditions, and was under contract to complete.

Two/Three days later he sent another email claiming his finance broker advised him against the purchase, and that he wanted his 4k back.  I was mortified; Karsey had paid his deposit deliberately to stop the first buyer, he'd specifically qualified if the first party had paid a deposit, and paid immediately to deprive the sale proceeding.  He had purposefully eliminated the first buyer, an act that cost us a $60k sale!  This was an act of bastardry that raised the Walter Mitty bar to a new level of incredulity.  However, this Mitty idiot got so wrapped up in his fantasy he’d not realised the contract was legally binding.  My first reaction was to check with BCU, but under privacy laws they couldn't devulge anything, but it was very telling that they requested we not refer him again.  Fair enough too, he’d already wasted their time on 2 or 3 other follies; everyone hates serial pests.  I then asked Mitty if he'd been declined by BCU, but he said he didn't bother with them, preferring instead to use his own broker. 

Based on what we knew I told Karsey he needed to visit a solicitor and get advice on where he stood, for as far as we were concerned he had entered into a legal contract and the deadline was fast approaching.  He came back with all sorts of pathetic dribble, first he was selling properties in Brisbane, then it was Sydney, then it was refinancing his personal home, no doubt some multimillion dollar mansion on Bondi Beach.  It’s amazing how when the Mitty’s of the world decide to back-out of their fantasy, it’s always blamed on something even more fantastic, like buying a small island or having to “keep their powder dry” for some hugely impressive take-over of something like BHP or Google, do these wankers really think the rest of the world is that stupid?  I guess they do.

Although I had no legal obligation to return this idiot a single cent, I had already passed on $500 to the 916’s owner, as he had lost the same amount on a non-refundable deposit he placed on another bike after believing the idiot Karsey was genuine.  I then placed 1,500 in credit, as he assured me he was returning to buy a bike the moment his properties settled, so if he was being truthful that shouldn’t have bothered him at all, and the remaining $2k I returned to the idiot’s bank account.  Clearly that wasn’t acceptable to someone so important as Anthony Mitty, err, I mean Karsey, so he rounded his minions and in the words of Baldrick, set about his ‘cunning plan’.  Unfortunately for Anthony his plan wasn’t very effective, nor did it last long, for within a couple of days his Lemmings had run out of bile and vile, and so in an act of desperation poor little Anthony ran off to the big scary State Gubermit’s consumer watchdog, aka the Department of Fair Trade.

In typical pro-consumer fashion, the DFT’s letter made all sorts of threat and intimidation, and gave me 5 days to respond; 5 days is ok if you live in Sydney, but Oz Post is so pathetically run nowadays, that it takes 5 days for a letter to get the 525k’s from Sydney to Coffs.  To the DFT, Antony had alleged he’d been ripped off; he’d sold the DFT as much tripe as he’d poured on us.  He claimed his purchase was subject to credit approval, which failed to be approved, and that being such a fair and honourable guy he’d generously agreed to a $250 contract cancellation fee, and if that wasn’t enough, he’d also agreed another $250 simply for messing us about, an ‘inconvenience fee’ as he so called charitably called it; I called it something else, and I told the DFT officer exactly what that was, along with a timeline of events which made clear Anthony was not the true messiah, but just a naughty little boy who made a habit of having his way with the truth.  The DFT confirmed as much, and said that under the circumstances they were surprised we bothered to return him anything, as no business is obligated to return a deposit to someone who simply changes their mind.

So there you have it; that is the real story and real outcome.  Anthony was not ripped off, unlike us, and he does have $1,500 sitting in credit for whenever he decides to become a buyer.  Hopefully sometime in the future his buddies, who he misled into insidious acts of slander, might get to read this and think about deleting their posts and reviewing their guidelines of what qualifies as a friend.  

In Latin there’s caveat emptor (buyer beware) to warn buyers of unethical sellers, I wonder if there’s something Latin for “seller beware of Anthony Karsey?