Dan and I both like eBay. Dan can’t help it, he once worked for them although he left many years ago. I have used eBay for over a decade and still think it’s the best destination site out there for buying anything and everything from quirky one off collectables to goods from general retailers.
We’re both pretty quick to moan and complain about eBay when we feel they’ve let buyers and sellers down, however there’s nothing that gets my hackles raised more than when a bad news story hits the press which really isn’t eBay’s fault. Today is one of those days.
The Telegraph has run a “My eBay ‘buyer protection’ nightmare” story, but actually it’s a nightmare for eBay caused by a seller who has only themselves to blame. The seller did the wrong thing when they buyer asked him to ship to an alternative delivery address and he chose to do so.
It’s really not that hard, if you want seller protection ship to the address that eBay and PayPal give you, ship tracked and if it’s a high ticket item ship tracked with signature required. Then you’re covered if anything goes wrong. Don’t do these things if you want to be ripped off, which is exactly what appears to have happened in this case.
The seller appears bright enough to realise that the only reason for an automatic refund is that the item isn’t in the promised condition or wasn’t delivered to the address specified by eBay. He’s bright enough to realise that having changed the delivery address he didn’t qualify for seller protection. However he seems to assert that “eBay didn’t investigate the issue as it claims to do so”. It really wouldn’t take eBay long to check if the tracking showed the correct delivery address!
I also don’t like The Telegraphs phrasing that the seller “seems to have been left out of the seller protection scheme”. More correctly it should state “the seller ruled himself out of the seller protection scheme when he changed the delivery address”.
We’re always quick to complain about eBay. This time though eBay is getting the rough end of the stick. Apparently they’ve also given up and for the sake of good will waived the chargeback. I’m not so sure that if I was eBay I’d have been quite so magnanimous. The seller was the one who did the wrong thing, admittedly they were scammed and showed how ignorant casual eBay users can be, but it’s a cruel world and you should at least be man enough to live with your mistakes instead of going crying to the press.