INDIVIDUAL LICENSEE ISSUES:
Background and Crux of Complaint:
Consigner Frank Hensen filed a complaint with the LALB alleging that Mr. Babb sold his dump truck for $1,000 against his wishes. He claims it was worth more like $3,500. Babb countered that Hensen told him to "get what you can" but claims Hensen changed his mind days after the auction. In the letter at the preceding link, Babb also states that, with the bidding stalled at $1,000, he inquired what Hensen wanted to do, to which Babb says Hensen responded, "Sell it." Hensen countered that he agreed to the $1,000 bid "only to get the people away from me so I could breathe."
called a "liar". This statement is an inflammatory allegation which likely has no
validity based on the flimsy excuse as to why Mr. Hensen admits to saying
"yes" to the $1,000 bid.
Point # 1 notwithstanding, what is purported to be a "contract" is downright pathetic in that it fails to specify whether the auction is being conducted absolute (regardless of price) or with reserve. That fact can't be dismissed by any claim that auctions are "understood" to be absolute in Louisiana unless specified otherwise because, by Mr. Babb's own admission, he "asked if $1,000 was acceptable" (thus inferring the auction must be WITH reserve). Therein lies the problem with an absence of a clearly-worded, written contract specifying what the parties agree to regarding the terms of the auction: it leads to just this type of "this is what I said...." type arguments.
While the inflammatory language of being called a point-blank liar would make any person upset, the intimidating language contained in Mr. Babb's letter to Mr. Hensen dated June 7, 2011 is equally appalling. That an auctioneer of Mr. Babb's caliber would stoop to such brash intimidation tactics is equally inexcusable as Mr. Hensen's complete lack of foundation for referring to Mr. Babb point-blank as a "liar."
While this complaint appears suspect (especially since
Mr. Hensen admits he
said "yes" when asked if he wanted to sell at $1,000), the
wording used by Mr. Babb is deeply troubling. The public can only be left
to question just how much similar intimidation may be used by auctioneers for more