Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ebay: One Buyer's Bad Experience

I liked ebay. I had purchased and sold several items without incident. I had a 100% rating. All was well in the world. Then I purchased some Bare Escentuals makeup. The seller (who shall remain nameless for fear of retribution, but she had the makeup name in her seller name...) was horrible.

I won and paid for my purchase in full on 11/18. I received an email that a shipping label was printed on 11/28 (which I consider to be an excessive amount of time after the payment). By December 4th, the item had not arrived. I made multiple (4) email attempts to contact the seller to which she did not respond. I then went through the process of obtaining her contact info through ebay. I called her and left a message. Still no response. Finally I filed a dispute with ebay. She still did not contact me! When I went ahead and gave her negative feedback, I finally had her attention. She retaliated with negative feedback for me. She said I paid for "cheap shipping" and then complained about the slow arrival. I paid for first class shipping and paid in full immediately. She finally responded, but not the way I wanted.

This is the kind of thing that is really horrible for an ebayer. Feedback is supposed to reflect the transaction, not the other person's feedback! The process for disputing feedback is convoluted and difficult. It also takes time. A lot of time. And during that time, my score was affected.

By the time the item arrived on 12/13, I was disgusted. I continued to communicate through the dispute process, but she was ridiculous. She claimed the item shipped right away and that it takes that long to get to NY from CA. Riiiight. [I made another purchase after that from a California seller that got to me within 3 days of the auction ending, weeks before my disputed item appeared.] As I was investigating, I found that another ebay buyer had left her similar negative feedback for a purchase on the same day as mine! And she gave negative feedback to that person as well! Hello?

All I was looking for was some communication along the lines of, "I screwed up and forgot to ship right away. I shipped it on (date) and it should be there soon."

I ended up having to agree to have my negative feedback removed from her score so that she would remove hers from mine. I considered continuing the fight, hoping she would get some consequences, but in the end, I needed my rating back and the dispute process seemed to be going nowhere.

So my rating is back to 100%, but I am very wary of other ebayers. Obviously I will never shop with that particular seller again.

I guess it all goes back to "Let the Buyer Beware". So be careful when you are shopping. Check the feedback of others, including feedback that was withdrawn. Comments about that feedback remain visible. Even if that item is just what you want and the price is right... The cost may be a whole lot more than you bargained for.



two crows said...

oh, Women!
was that the chaos you were experiencing? so sorry--
the anonymity of the internet can bring out the worst in people sometimes.
glad you got your 100% rating back -- and hope she gets kicked off ebay -- sellers like that they don't need.

TomCat said...

Hiya Women. If I had to guess, I'd say she is one of those that does not purchase her stock until she orders to fill. Then if she has a delay from her supplier, so do her customers.

But to a large extent here, the fault rests with eBay. You had a documented order from her to back up your negative feedback on her. She had no order from you on which to base hers, giving you unequivocal proof that her feedback was retaliatory. It would not have taken a rocket scientist at eBay to figure that out and remove her feedback.

Have you considered continuing your complaint, not against her, but against eBay for the incompetent way in which they dealt with the problem?

Women on the Verge said...

I've thought about it... but I expended so much energy dealing with it and have very little to show for it. I was going to push, but frankly I have too much on my plate to continue to try to follow the convoluted complaint process with ebay.

You would be shocked at just how ridiculous it is. I must have filled out 4 forms and retold my story on the phone twice and in at least 5 emails to ebay and paypal. My son wanted to sell his old gameboy for Christmas money, and I was afraid that the rating would hurt his chances of getting a good price, so I dropped it.

I think the woman simply forgot to ship the items purchased on that day, since the same thing happened to someone else whose purchase was from the same day. I wrote a lengthy note to ebay and paypal detailing the whole thing again and told them that if she had just answered my emails and told me the situation all of the idiocy could have been avoided.

Like I tell my kids: Sometimes you make a mistake and you have to say "I did it and I'm sorry", take your lumps, and move on... Maybe that woman will learn the lesson someday...

TomCat said...

I hope she does. Admitting errors is a good business practice. Had she just said "OOPS! I'm sorry. I'll get it right out." that would have satisfied you.

two crows said...

and then there are those who simply point the finger.
'it's not me! it's never me! it must be YOUR fault! yeah, that's right! it's your fault -- you should never have had dealings with me in the first place.'

the sad part is that, so often, they get away with it.