My eBog dooshiness

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My eBog dooshiness

Post by vvv » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:53 pm

I hope this is OK, and I'm really not trying to up my blog readership.

That said, I had a very unpleasant experience with a commercial seller of electronics (a streaming video player, in this instance, altho' I in the last year made 60+ purchases of music equipment, some from commecial sellers), that I believe illustrates a hopefully rare but undeniable flaw in the eBay system that works against the consumer.

I feel so strongly about it that I have sworn to eBay not make commercial purchases on eBay, blogged about why, and am posting here about it to make others aware.

The bottom line is that a commercial seller of a defective item has all of the leverage, and your money, that they might return to you at some later date, while demanding that you pay more to get the refund.

Story here.

(And if you think I'm full of shite, feel free to say that, and why.)

EDIT: Fixed link.
2ndEDIT: fixed title
Last edited by vvv on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by kslight » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:16 pm

I'll bite (btw, your link its bad).



I didn't read the whole thing, maybe got about halfway through when he asks for your CC to send you a new one.



Truthfully the way it works with returns is that you do have to return the product in order to get a refund/return. There may be a few exceptions, but they are exceptions, not the rule, and certainly never an expectation. I have only seen replacements sent before a return from a company whom you have paid a great deal of money to and you risk significant loss of revenue without a replacement and/or you have a paid service contract with, I believe Avid does this or at least used to. To my knowledge the device you purchased does not fit into any of those categories, and you bought it off eBay, not from the manufacturer directly.


I do agree that you should not have to pay for shipping to return the defective product, that is fair to expect them to eat the cost.


I do agree that a product is not truly refurbished unless it works as new, and listing it as such but receiving something else is not acceptable.


Placing blame for less than perfect refurbish on the seller for something like this is not reasonable, as like they said, they are only an authorized reseller, they do not do the refurbishing. They don't have a QC department, they have a shipping department. It is likely in a box on a shelf in a warehouse and when someone orders something they pull that box off the shelf and shove it into another box, tape it up, and off it goes. This is normal, as far as I know. I am not aware of many resellers that claim QC, it is probably cheaper for them to accept a number of returns than have dedicated staff spend the time to do this, and that's what the manufacturer is supposed to be doing anyway.


If you are not happy with the refurbished product then frankly I say your best option is to return it to the seller and get your money back. Don't bother with a replacement. Buy another one in the interim if you must.


If you did want a replacement, and want to keep the broken one in the interim, I do think its reasonable for the seller to ask for leverage to cover their ass, in case you are a screwball (there are MANY on eBay, trust me) that wants a free product, because there is most certainly NO WAY that eBay will protect THEM if they send you an extra product, they have to get collateral.


I can't help but notice the tone of your emails, I think that you could have been a bit nicer. I firmly believe that in customer service situations, the fast road to getting what you want is usually in the hands of whatever poor underpaid soul gets your email/phone call, and if you are easy on them they will be easy on you. If you treat them like shit, they will likely drag things on and be unhelpful because you are just another bitchy customer to them, you might even have to get the supervisor to pass their road blocks. You get what you want either way, but its all about how you treat people from the bottom up.


Further, I think you would find that all sellers will disagree with your statement, I believe that eBay is very much biased in favor of the consumer, especially if you used PayPal. I have gotten wrongfully screwed over this way, as a seller, from a buyer breaking the product and then claiming that I falsely advertised it (it was a doll of my wife's), then refusing to claim shipping damage (which I doubt occurred because I used to work for FedEx and know how to box something) which is something only the recipient can do per FedEx, then they didn't want to return it, or send photos of proof. Finally they sent me the broken doll back and PayPal auto-deducted the money, so I got screwed both ways. The whole time I felt like I was dealing with some bitchy 40 year old in mom's basement that probably had a broken doll on the shelf and swapped out for the one they got so they could complete their dorky little collection. Fuck selling on eBay.

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Post by vvv » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:01 pm

kslight wrote: The whole time I felt like I was dealing with some bitchy 40 year old in mom's basement that probably had a broken doll on the shelf and swapped out for the one they got so they could complete their dorky little collection. Fuck selling on eBay.
Oh man, I'm sorry! But I'm 52 ... :twisted:

I can see your point, of course I can. The analysis fails, I think, to the extent that I have a 100% record, and am clearly not trying to rip anyone off. As a matter of fact, I chose not to return the item - which is crippled but functional - because I need it, because I don't want a gap in access to the stuff I use it for, and to make the point that it's not about the money.

And I understand the point about their lack of QC, altho' I admit I assumed they had some. But I bet they would handle the sale of a defective new item the same way. That they took my money, don't want to timely return it, and then want to freeze the same sum on my credit card is, IMNSFHO, outrageous.

Their knee-jerk handling of the issue, IMO, makes 'em jerk-offs.

As far as my tone, you did note that the eBog writer complimented me? Ha! Of course I was sarcastic - I saw where this was going to the extent that I was gonna win it all or lose it all, once the seller's drone gave me a ultimatum.

I don't ever accept ultimatums (something I probably encounter more often than most because of my field of business).

And, I s'pose, I prefer to tilt windmills.


In any event, I hope it's a useful case study of a situation where the consumer will possibly, even likely, get burned.

And so, to that extent and as regards commercial sellers thereon, fuck buying on eBay.

(Amazon is much better, and often cheaper.)
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Post by ubertar » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:24 am

I have to agree with kslight on this one. I didn't read every word of the blog, but it sounded like eventually you had the option of sending it back, at their cost, and getting a new one. Yes, there would be a time gap, but that's just how it goes. It's not a perfect world.

As far as Amazon being better and cheaper, well, Amazon sells lots of things at little or no profit, or even at a loss. The idea is to push out all their competitors and dominate the field. Once that's complete, do you think their prices are going to stay low? I guess enjoy it while you can. I buy lots of things through Amazon for the same reason-- I guess that makes me something of a hypocrite-- but I know it can't last.
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Post by vvv » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:36 am

ubertar wrote: Yes, there would be a time gap, but that's just how it goes. It's not a perfect world.
But IMO, it shouldn't. And the world should be.

So, you think that Amazon is kinda the Walmart of online, eh? The Guitar Center of the net? The McDonald's of the ether? The Pay Less of the tubes?:twisted:
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Post by ubertar » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:08 am

vvv wrote:So, you think that Amazon is kinda the Walmart of online, eh? The Guitar Center of the net? The McDonald's of the ether? The Pay Less of the tubes?:twisted:
Yes.
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Post by kslight » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:39 am

vvv wrote:
kslight wrote: The whole time I felt like I was dealing with some bitchy 40 year old in mom's basement that probably had a broken doll on the shelf and swapped out for the one they got so they could complete their dorky little collection. Fuck selling on eBay.
Oh man, I'm sorry! But I'm 52 ... :twisted:




I don't ever accept ultimatums (something I probably encounter more often than most because of my field of business).


As far as my comment about a 40 year old in Mom's basement goes, I was only implying the type of recluse that would psychotically buy a collectable on eBay just to swap it out their mutilated version and expect me to eat the cost.





As far as ultimatums go, by definition the only ultimatum I saw in your conversation was the one that you offered the seller...threatening to keep the item and leave scalding feedback if they don't send you another one without collateral. That kind of tactic never gets you what you want, it makes you APPEAR like an arrogant asshole that is bitching just for the sake of it. If this is the way you regularly treat customer service people then I am not surprised that you feel like you are given an unfair amount of ultimatums.



I don't agree that what you experienced was an eBay nightmare. It only came out as bad as you made it out to be, which it appears to have been bad because you expected it to be. I personally believe you could have been well resolved and on your merry way in much less time than you battled back and forth. Approached without rudeness I think you could probably have negotiated a slight refund for your trouble.


I feel silly having to tell someone 52 years old this. Next time, try killing them with kindness. Even if the other end appears slightly snarky (which I don't think they got snarky until you made it clear that you wanted a war), especially in email situations know that the subtle intent and concern can be lost in this time of communication, the same words spoken over the phone do not say the same thing.



Regards.

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Post by vvv » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:18 pm

Respectfully, I think you should feel silly, as well as condescending, especially when you admit you didn't fully read all of the admittedly long thread. :twisted:

And I'm not sure how you missed their ultimatum, which was:
"We are not getting anywhere arguing back and forth. These are the only options we are presenting you. They are 1 to replace the unit, 2 to refund you fully (In both option we provided you a return label to cover all cost) And we still leave the Advance replacement option on the table.
The choice is yours. If you are not satisfied with these then you may contact ebay and open a resolution center case and let them decide how to proceed." (italics mine)

The problem, as I see it, is people like you who accept the way it is based upon the i-stores' representations that it is how it should be. Of course, I don't sell things on eBay, so I don't have that prejudice/sympathy/view.

But clearly, a real-life store wouldn't have handled a similar situation like that, tho' I would have expressed my self the same way, as I do now, and always.

Finally, whether they or you think it means anything, they (all similar i-stores and eBay) have lost my business, which was a cuppla thousand dollars in the last year, anyway.

Mebbe I'll spend some more at the B/S/T forum here. :lol:
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Post by kslight » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:24 pm

vvv wrote:
And I'm not sure how you missed their ultimatum, which was:
"We are not getting anywhere arguing back and forth. These are the only options we are presenting you. They are 1 to replace the unit, 2 to refund you fully (In both option we provided you a return label to cover all cost) And we still leave the Advance replacement option on the table.
The choice is yours. If you are not satisfied with these then you may contact ebay and open a resolution center case and let them decide how to proceed." (italics mine)
That is by definition not an ultimatum, they have simply presented their common courses of action for settling a dispute. If it were an ultimatum, there would be retaliation on their part for you to not make a selection. They are essentially saying that if you do not feel like their options of return are fair, which is a reasonable assumption by your statements, then you also have the option of going through eBay support to seek alternate resolution. It sounds to me like they are trying to make you happy, within reasonable limits and eBay standards. If that is not enough to win your satisfaction in the rare circumstance that you receive a faulty product, then you are right to stop using eBay for purchases. I have to assume that Amazon's policies are not going to differ, for that matter with any particular individual selling on a forum you'd be lucky to have those options...but YMMV of course.


If you expect online merchants to get on their knees and beg you for forgiveness for their supplier's grievous error and send you free product or at least a replacement product without collateral you will find yourself waiting a long time. I have a suspicion that making an insubstantial amount of interest off of your $50ish for the brief period of time it is in their possession is at the lowest possible interest level of the seller...they just want to make you happy and move on.

Expecting a physical store to do the same is not reasonable and I challenge you to find one (with which you have not already established a significant history with). They may even give 2 fewer shits, because they do not have eBay crawling up their ass if they do not offer you choices and can really do whatever they want.

If it makes you feel empowered to bitch about this on your blog all day long, walk around commanding ultimatums when someone farts within 20 feet of your BMW, think everyone owes you something and is out to get you when they strike your path, by all means. The rest of us little people keep our nose parallel to the ground and know what is reasonable to expect for businesses and consumers to function together.




If you didn't want anyone to tell you on this issue you're full of shite, you shouldn't have left it open-ended.




Regards

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Post by vvv » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:38 pm

Thanx, you're right, you're a little person, I lose, no one will ever give a shit, I drive a '96 Ram 1500, excuse me while I fart in the face of your repeated condescension.

I did want someone without an agenda and mebbe a little respect and/or sense of humor to persuade me I'm full of shite on this issue, but that sure ain't you.

Now you may go back to selling your dollies. :roll:
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:39 pm

I luv ya, v, but with all due respect I think you're out to lunch on this one. I can only think that there's something going on that you're not telling us. Either personally, you're just fed up with jumping through hoops for corporate America and you wish the man would cut you a little slack, or in this exact deal via the email exchange, etc.

They offered you a refund or a replacement and they'd eat the return shipping, that's the best you can ever hope for. Shit happens, broken shit gets shipped. Sure, someone fucked up. But, you're wanting special treatment that they'd maybe give you if you were a huge, repeat customer or a personal friend [of theirs]. I don't think you're either of those, right?

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Post by mrpicholas » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:49 pm

You're turning TapeOp into another one of your customer service blogs. From outside it does not look like you were in the right with the seller. You posted your link to ask our opinion. The consensus seems to be that you acted a bit of a douche. Your responses to the consensus seems to confirm that.

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Post by vvv » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:54 pm

mrpicholas wrote:You're turning TapeOp into another one of your customer service blogs.
:?:
==========================
Aiight, by the infallible consensus, I'm wrong.

But I still wouldn't/won't do anything different, and I hope I made it clear why, dooshy or not.

So I changed the thread title ... :twisted:
==========================
There's nothing more to the story, Snarl - I always try and tell it like it is, else why tell it?
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:14 am

vvv wrote: There's nothing more to the story, Snarl - I always try and tell it like it is, else why tell it?
Just to clarify, I wasn't really implying a conscious decision to withhold the truth, but more of an unconscious reason why this particular misadventure was so disturbing to you. I mean I have things that don't go my way all the time, sometimes I don't give much of a shit and sometimes a fairly small "offense" will get my knickers in a twist for a week. It usually says more about me than the folks I'm dealing with. And I'm not saying this is some trait unique to you, I assume almost everyone is like this to some degree or another.
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Post by vvv » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:28 am

Hmmm...

Mebbe that's why I wasn't telling you? :lol:

Actually, I admit to a sometimes ridiculous dislike for bureaucracy, authority and lock-step, knee-jerk reactions. Corporate B.S., too.

So that undoubtedly plays a part in my suicide-dive on the issue of this thread, but again, I sincerely believe that the seller fucked up, its agents were assholes, and eBay failed to support me to the extent that they expected me to tolerate the seller's agents' snark and drivel - agents who broke eBay policy, tried to shake me down, changed the offer, etc.

Plus, the item is usable for my purposes, just not what they represented they were selling me. So, I got to have all this fun!
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