Sunday, March 13, 2005

A real eye opener on eBay

eBay item 5560940277 (Ends 06-Mar-05 18:29:36 GMT) - 25 MAIL-LITE PADDED ENVELOPES - E/2 - �6.69 inc p+p

Caveat Emptor
I bought some bubble wrap envelopes on eBay the other day and got more than I bargained for. One of those "I'll just quickly get those" jobs that turned into a monster. First off, I've been around eBay for a while now and I think I know what's what buying and selling. Anyway, back to the tale - I clicked the "buy it now" option and got an immediate "wait for our special email" advice, so I did.
I then got an email saying "Pay with Paypal" - so I did.
Then I got an email saying "Don't pay with Paypal"
So I emailed these guys and asked what was going on, just how did they want me to pay and if they don't take Paypal why send me a Paypal request?
Immediate email back telling me to withdraw it and use one of the methods advised (they told me to use Paypal!)
Unsurprisingly I was a little miffed by this but I did what was required and sent the guy an email saying he should sort out the silly automatic emails as they were contradictory.
I then tried to pay through their "secure server" well what a farce, the thing fell over three times and I thought better of putting my credit card through that one.
Bank transfer - I'll do one of those I thought, at least I know that will go, so I did.
All this was on the 3rd of the month
A week later I got an email saying my order was on it's way and it turned up on the 12th
When the postman handed me the package I thought, wow they are light and so I weighed them,the postage cost was something like £1.30 - I'd paid £3.57 to these people - on the high side but not that bad. It had taken 9 days - slow but not too bad. Their emails were terse and the whole payment fiasco was annoying and time consuming for such a silly little purchase.
I always try to give feedback and in view of the less than smooth progress on this I decided to give them a neutral feedback, not negative just neutral - my experience wasn't great and I certainly wouldn't go back to them.

Wow! What a reaction from them, immediate abusive email -

"Your feedback is grossly unfair, I you (sic) read the details before purchase you would have seen that we do not take Paypal. The postage and PACKING charges are inline with eBay policy and includes materials, postage, time and VAT, if you think that £3.57 VAT for p+p is expensive you need to live in the real world. The delivery took only 2 days, slow don't think so.

I would suggest you purchase from other sources in future as we only wish to sell to literate customers.

AJB Supplies"

There were other emails but not quite so nasty, more sarcastic - I particularly liked the comment "...this one live is a dream" - good job they are so literate :-) If only they applied their time to improving the customer experience instead of abusing their customers then perhaps they wouldn't get criticised.

So, when you see a negative (the first one) on my eBay feeback record on eBay, you can see why. Having now taken a look at all their feedback most of it is concerning their unhelpful attitude and confusing payment systems - shame they can't take it as constructive.

Right, enough of Jason's consumer watchdog sermon, back to the putting the treasures from the garage on eBay.

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