Monday, March 28, 2011

Sorry, I don't take bribes.

I've been a longtime user of Ebay.  During the span of twelve years, I have only left negative feedback twice.  The only reasons I leave negative feedback are poor communication, item not as described, or just my order being FUBAR otherwise, folks get positive feedback.

I've been successful in dealing with, for the most part, great assets to the Ebay community...until a few weeks ago.  Andrew had chosen an item for his Honda, and I bid on it (and won it) through Ebay.  The "seller" was a big-time seller: selling 4,000+ items per month.  To me, this said, "I'm a business."  I immediately paid for the item. The next day, I received an e-mail "item has shipped." 

A few days after the "item has shipped" e-mail, I receive an e-mail that the item is on backorder due to international shipping problems from its country of origin (China.)  Hmm - they're selling an item they don't have? They offer me a replacement item or a refund.  I chose a refund.  When they sent me the e-mail, they requested my response by the end of that day, or they would choose for me.  Isn't that convenient? What if I didn't have internet access that day? Luckily, I beat the clock.

Ten days go by, and I still don't have a refund.  I contact the company.  Within a few hours, I receive an e-mail that "item has shipped."  Huh? I thought they didn't have it? Even more confusing was an hour after that, I receive an e-mail from customer service that my refund has been processed.  Judging by the time schedule of the e-mails I'm receiving, this company is based out of China.

I log into my Ebay account, and I find a request for payment on the item that they 1) didn't have, 2) sent me a refund on, 3) never shipped.  I sent a message to the seller and to Ebay, and I cancel the request.  We never received the item, but we received the refund (after waiting a week even though I was assured it would be processed "within 48 hours.")

I left negative feedback: Buyer Beware.  Poor Communication.  Did not even have item!

It's true.  They're a large company selling items they don't have in their possession to sell, and their communication sucks.

While I was in Vegas, I received a snotty phone call from a woman wanting to "discuss the negative feedback I left for their company on Ebay."  I quickly told her I was away on business and would be unable to speak to her.  She then said she'd call back.  I return, and I find a message from the "seller" through Ebay...

"Seller requests feedback change."

That's right.  Well not only did they request feedback change to 100% positive, they sent me a note stating that if I did so, they'd immediately pay me $10 via PayPal for changing it.

So you want to bribe me to change my crappy experience to reflect positive feedback? I don't think so.  Now I know why they have a fair positive feedback rating: they bribe people to change their feedback.  I'm pretty sure Ebay would say, "you can request a feedback reversal," but I highly doubt it says, "offer them money to do so."

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