The Gripe Sweepstakes
Customer complaint letters: Pick the winner!
(Result: Brooks received a voucher for $1.46.)
9.) Say it ain't so, eBay!
Complaint ID: 16049030
Complaint Description - Posted 7/6/2010 9:39:31 AM
I purchased a memory card via eBay using Paypal. It turns out that the memory card was fake (which apparently is an ongoing eBay scheme). After receiving in writing from the seller that the item was indeed fake, I filed a complaint with Paypal. Paypal told me that they had decided the case in my favor - and that I needed to return the item to the seller at my own expense to receive my refund. Despite finding this morally inappropriate (returning a fake item to a fraudulent seller at the buyer's expense - is basically giving a thief a free pass) - but I decided that the $35 I spent on the item was more important to me than my moral indignance and the $6 in return shipping. I provided Paypal with the tracking information required in order to receive my refund (the only stipulation to receiving my refund), well before the date requested, and the claim was to remain open until July 5th. On June 27th I received an email stating the case was arbitrarily closed and decided in the seller's favor. Despite, having been GUARANTEED a refund if I return the item, paying for the item, AND RETURNING THE ITEM TO THE SELLER. Meaning the seller has his cake and ate it too, and the innocent buyer was now out $40, with NO ITEM TO SHOW FOR IT (even a fake!). I contacted Paypal to appeal the case, and I have now received an email stating that I should contact the seller and try and work it out directly with them.
I purchased an item advertised as 100% original, and it was a fake. I was guaranteed a refund by Paypal that was never received!
Refund my purchase (as any other establishment that respects itself would do) if the item was returned, as requested within the required timeframe.
(Result: Full refund and an apology from PayPal.)
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.
Illustration by Robert Neubecker.