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Eric v eBay Corp: Round 1

eBay

 

Last year I published a post on my war with eBay. Long story short, I sold my HP Touhpad on the online auction site only to have it returned to me. The buyer used eBay’s controversial money back guarantee to bypass my clearly stated no returns policy. For the record, the money back guaranteed (or mbg) is probably the most outrageous thing the online retailer could do to sellers.   In summary, it states if the buyer claims a defect or an item is not as described they can return the item within 30 DAYS of the sale. Not even Best Buy has a 30 day return window any more. And this is for new and USED items. And what proof does the buyer have to supply to bolster their claim?? Nothing. The buyer can basically lie through his or her teeth and eBay will enforce the mbg.

I had to file a claim and to my surprise Ebay sided with the buyer. The eBay representative I spoke to basically said there are almost no conditions in which they will not refund the buyer. Only if the buyer explicitly states I am sending this back because it is no longer wanted, that they will prevent a return.

So the so called resolution process is total bullshit. And the sale of my tablet turned into a net loss for me. No one in their right mind sells on eBay to lose money. I am not the only one going through this nonsense.   In the UK there are reports of sellers being outright scammed left and right.

 

So I opened a case with the BBB which laughingly gives eBay an A+ review rating. I cannot remember this last time, if any, I have used BBB for addressing issues with a company. Hell, the last time I had a complaint with a company I was doing business with was AT&T and that was 20 years ago. I filed a claim with the FCC and got a great response from AT&T. I was thinking about using Elizabeth Warren’s protection agency but decided to go with BBB.   The filing was around the holiday, I think after Thanksgiving. Mind you, I was going to let this go and move on.   But for a variety of dumb reasons on the company’s part, there was three dollars left to be paid on the claim that could not be paid using my paypal. That brought the whole incident which was now two months old, rushing back. So I filed.

My first response came pretty quickly – just before the New Years. It was a formality – eBay needed proof of who I was since the claim was from an address different from the address on my account (that lead me to a new place in the mammoth eBay website where I found all my addresses were old). After replying a new response came. I will attach it and my response below.

Some highlights:

eBay is so sorry and wants to make sure this incident does not “….deter you from future transactions;” which is nonsense of course. The could not care less if I refuse to use the site.

Next, a clarification to make it clear eBay: “… will only allow a return after all information is taken into consideration.”. This is, again, total horse shit since its clear the representatives did not read my correspondence to the buyer.

Then they begin the play semantics with the term “remorse”:
“a buyer’s remorse scenario in our eyes occurs only when there is a clear remorse being indicated by the buyer. This would include the buyer simply changing their mind, or noting no concerns with the item whatsoever. It is possible that our definition of remorse and yours may differ – though those are the situations in which we will negate the item’s return.

As confirmed above, buyers are not provided access to the Money Back Guarantee program in a remorseful situation; however, we do not find this situation to be buyer’s remorse.

 

That is the most significant statement.   The company clearly states the person must state they don’t want it any more for them to consider “remorse”.  They do not take into consideration that a person could be – I don’t know – lying.

 

Here’s the kicker “Sellers are able to specify if they accepts returns or not; though this is only for cases in which a buyer can return the item for any reason. Our eBay Money Back Guarantee will always supersede a seller’s return policy…”

I’m confused here. Is eBay saying sellers can only offer to not accept returns if the seller offers returns. Does that make any sense?   And the company will at the buyer’s behest override the stated no return policy. Does that sound like balanced customer service? Wouldn’t it just make sense to not allow a no return policy so that sellers know what they are getting into when selling USED items.

My reply is lengthy and goes into details .   Let’s see how they respond.

 

eBay:

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