Ebay seller, "EJNRN" (and LOTS of other unscrupulous sellers) sell you their items, takes your shipping insurance money but doesn't put the insurance on (they claim they forgot [how convenient!]). When the items are received damaged and unusable (like mine was), the seller refuses to make good the damages, and instead refunds the shipping insurance, which is NOT an acceptable resolution. Meanwhile, the buyer (me), is stuck with damaged goods.
Although I've won my PayPal dispute (they found in my favor), they tell me I need to return the items "in original condition" in order to receive a refund from the seller. This is the part where it gets tricky, because the seller can then claim not to have to refund on the grounds that the items are not received "in original condition" (naturally, duh!), so the seller therefore doesn't have to refund on a technicality.
This also is unacceptable on a couple different levels: Besides the seller claiming the items are not in original condition, there is no enforceable guarantee in place that they will or can be made to refund at all. Neither PayPal nor ebay enforce claims under $25 (which mine happens to be). Secondly, the buyer has to pay for insurance! Now to me, this is adding insult to injury not only is it NOT the buyers fault, but now in addition to initially having paying for shipping AND INSURANCE on the item which was subsequently received damaged and unusable, buyer now also has to pay to ship it back again, pay for tracking (don't want the seller to claim it wasn't delivered!), and pay for shipping insurance (again!) on said items which will probably never get refunded anyway. It's screw you time at ebay and PayPal. Step up to the plate boys and girls, and wait your turn on the how much money can we bilk you out of Sellers Game!
I have refused to return the items. Instead, I have offered a fair and good faith compromise to the seller and gave them a couple different options: since I paid for two items and one was damaged, the seller can refund to me what it would have cost had I only bought the one item. OR, they can, at their expense, send me a new item. Fair, you say? Yes. Reasonable, you say? Absolutely.
Does the seller acknowledge the fact I'm trying to resolve the issue in an amicable and equitable manner? Hell no! They accuse ME of trying to cheat THEM! Do you believe the gall and audacity of some delusional morons??? First, they demanded pictures; I don't have a digital camera, so I have to drive 20+ miles away to borrow one, then I send the seller the pictures showing the bent and twisted container.
Bear in mind now, that since the damage consisted of one of the two bottles of lotion oozing all over my kitchen counter when I opened the outside package, I had attempted to clean part of the goopy mess up so it didn't smear and dribble the mess all over. I did not anticipate having any problems claiming the damage through the post office (thinking of course that it was insured) as it was all over the packaging and obviously not in like new condition, plus there was about 75% of the liquid gone. Imagine my surprise then when I inspected the outside packaging and the label, and noticed there was NO insurance on it. Of course I immediately contacted the seller:
****The package did arrive. It was ripped open, and a good portion of the contents of one bottle apparently oozed out (I say apparently because it was only three-quarters full). I do not see any indication that you had insurance put on the package, although I did pay extra for it. As you might imagine, I'm not very happy right now... unless you can provide me proof that you had insurance on the package, I expect you to replace the damaged bottle at your expense. If you had it insured, I will go through USPS for reimbursement if you provide me proof so I can provide them proof. Thank you for your immediate attention to this problem.****
I spend almost two days trying to get a response from her (I'd had to send several emails because she didn't respond until I threatened a ebay/PayPal dispute). When I finally did receive something back, this was her reply:
**** I am sorry for the trouble please provide me a picture of the damaged bottle
**** Thank you for responding. I do not have a digital camera, however, I will take the time and go through the expense to drive over to a friends house and obtain one, to send you a picture of the bottle as you requested, AFTER you RESPOND to my ORIGINAL request of sending me PROOF that you INSURED the package so I can file a claim with the post office. PLEASE PROVIDE THIS =NOW=. I am trying in good faith to resolve this, and at this point I feel you are trying to be evasive and not respond to my request for proof of insurance... of which I clearly paid for and also requested in an email PRIOR to my bidding on the item, to which you responded that you assured me you would put on the insurance. What do you propose to do to resolve this issue? ****
I am sorry u feel i do not respond fast enough to your message...
I am a wife,mother,work full time,& ebay. I respond to all my messages same day or the next which I think is very responsable and respectful.
Saying all that....
I checked your shiping info and I am truely sorry to say that I honestly forgot to put insurance on. Check your paypal account I refunded your insurance fee.
I asked for a picture so I can see what happened, I have sold hundreds of these bottles with out a problem. I use bubble wrap and a plastic bubble enevelope.
Once I get the picture I will see what I can do.
Oh, bahhh-waaahhh! Cry a little louder! So she's now trying the ploy of poor me, I'm an overworked Mom, blah-blah-blah. She seems to think that since she honestly forgot to put on the insurance, that refunding my insurance fee is good enough? It doesn't seem to sink in to her thick skull that it is NOT good enough, and she needs to make restitution. She at this juncture thinks she is off the hook because she's refunded my insurance fee. I continue to request she reimburse me for my loss:
**** Thanks for your response. I, too, am very busy each and every day, but I manage to answer my customers emails promptly - I don't try to excuse tardiness in answering emails due to my being too busy. I work TWO jobs (which equal more than full time), am a SINGLE mother, and I also work ebay PLUS maintain websites, but I manage to check & answer my emails frequently throughout the day. To me, answering emails is a very important priority when you are dealing with customers! So is ensuring the ebay order is placed correctly and proper shipping methods are applied, and yes, that includes adding insurance if the buyer has paid. This keeps happy customers and repeat business. And no, I do not think answering emails every day or two is responsible, and is certainly not respectable unless you are new to ebay and don't know any better - which you don't seem to have fallen into that category as you've apparently been in business over three years - at least under this seller name of ejnrn. It is important to make sure your customers know you are serious about being a good ebay Seller, and answering emails *promptly* is one way to show your good intentions. Otherwise, buyers wonder if they are being ignored, put off, or have been scammed.
Under the circumstances, I hope you can put yourself in my position... I don't know if you've ever bought on ebay, but there's a lot of scammers out there and I've had the misfortune of meeting quite a few in my many ebay dealings; as such, I've become very savvy about different tricks they pull imagine if you will that a lot of Sellers do several thousand transactions per day, collect insurance on each one, then don't put insurance on? It happens every day, all day long. I believed you might have been one of these sellers, and I am only trying to protect myself. Granted, it was only a little over a dollar, but many dollars add up - besides, it's THE POINT. To me, every penny counts, and when someone tries to take away a bunch of my hard-earned pennies, I get defensive.
Just because you were negligent in not putting on insurance, now I have had to take the time and go to the expense of driving 22 miles away to borrow a digital camera so I can take a picture of the item that was damaged and send it to you for proof that it was damaged? Do you feel that is fair and just? I do not. Besides, although the picture will provide proof the package was ripped and torn, it's difficult to take a picture down inside the bottle to see how much soap is left, but, since you insist, I will do so. While I appreciate your refunding the insurance fee and acknowledge your apology, I am still left with a less-than-full and not *new* bottle of soap. What do you think you would do in my position?
You said you've shipped many bottles before and have never had a problem. Good for you, but it was only a matter of time and there is ALWAYS a first time. This time, apparently for you, is yours. I would suggest next time you ship bottles of liquid that you first take a piece of tape, preferably electrical tape, and tape the caps to the bottle. Electrical tape is easily removed by the customer but difficult to come off during shipment. My advice on this is free - you'd be well served in taking it.
Meanwhile, I'm sending the pictures you requested; although I don't feel I should HAVE to, I'm doing so to end this in a amiable manner and show good faith. Now that you have the pictures, please refund the difference as I've requested, or send a new bottle (your choice), promptly. And please inform me which of the two options you are electing to do? I will hold off further disputing/chargeback pending your response.
So, as I said, I borrowed a camera and sent her the pictures she required. Then, I got this response:
After I e mailed u I went to my post office and asked the manager of the branch what they do when a broken bottle of any liquid is sent and is damaged, & leakage occurred what they do. His reply was they deliver it in a plastic bag which is noted for damaged. I looked at all the pictures and it shows a few dents, no soap anywhere on the bag or the bottle, which u said occurred. The bottled is sealed which I am sure u saw, I am still trying to see where the damage is besides a dent. The can looked in tact and clean no damage. ****
What this seller seems to lose sight of is the fact that the item WAS RECEIVED DAMAGED, and SHE was negligent in not ensuring the shipping insurance that I paid extra for was put on. This was her fault, not mine, and she needs to make it good regardless of the type or extent of damage that was done. It doesn't matter what the manager of HER post office has to say, it was delivered to me by MY post office DAMAGED! Hello??? Can you say delusional??? There is no can, it was a plastic bottle. The bottle was not sealed, there was lotion all over. Yes, the bottle was dented, because apparently something heavy had squished it and the liquid oozed out into the inner packaging. And had she put on insurance, I would have trotted down to MY post office and filed a claim. DUH, that's what shipping insurance is for! Here was my reply:
**** I don't care what YOUR post office said they would do, apparently OURS doesn't do the same... or they did not see the leak - it is entirely possible (I am told) that they did not observe any "leaks" and that the damage may have occurred in transit; the bottle was NOT sealed when it arrived, as a good portion of the liquid apparently oozed out. You may not have seen the total mess in the picture as I did clean up some of it - since you took so long answering me and I did not have a camera handy, I surely wasn't going to leave it laying around my home in a mess... perhaps you would leave it, but I wouldn't. And you admit that you did see the dents in the bottle, but because you can't see the wetness you don't think there was any damage??? Get real, lady! There WAS soap on the bag, on the inside of the bubblewrap which had oozed out. Just because you don't see a neat "puddle" in the pictures is no excuse to ignore what has happened. It is also possible that it wasn't a "new" bottle as you claim it was but was used... that would explain there being no seal on that bottle. Irregardless, for WHATEVER the reason, I do not have a NEW, FULL, UNOPENED bottle. Additionally, I don't know what "can" you are referring to that you say looked intact and clean, as there was no "can" in the package.
Besides which, all this is NOT the point - the point is, YOU were negligent in not having insurance placed on the package, and I am NOT going to "eat" it. I paid IN GOOD FAITH FOR TWO BOTTLES! I held up my end, you DID NOT.
Since you do not wish to either refund the difference for the damaged bottle nor ship me a new one as I proposed, I shall proceed with the dispute. Simply refunding the insurance after the fact is not right, and you are obviously trying to rip me off and not willing to take the blame for something that is wholly and totally YOUR FAULT! I will also naturally leave negative feedback in the listing as you didn't perform your end of the bargain. *****
I decide to stop trying to haggle with her and go directly to ebay. But wait! Ebay says you can't file a claim until AFTER 10 days goes by (I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this, most respectable businesses have you file a claim immediately). So, instead I send an email to their customer support. Of course, nobody responds for almost two weeks, but that's ebay for you. Johnny-on-the-spot to TAKE your money, but heaven forbid they ever have to see about a REFUND of your money for a fraudulent transaction. So much for buyer protection. What a joke. And PayPal is just as bad (one actually owns the other, by the way, did you know that?).
I then instead file a PayPal dispute. Several days go by, and they finally contact me back:
**** The seller has submitted an explanation describing the disagreement with this claim. We will evaluate all available information including the original listing, and both seller and buyer statements. A final decision
will be made on this claim per our User Agreement. ****
Know also that a copy of my claim input was sent to the Seller and viewable on the dispute record, but the Seller's explanation was not copied to me nor is it viewable on the dispute record (how fair is that??). Then, a couple more days go by, and here is what they say (attention on the * text *, added by me for emphasis):
**** We have determined that you *may* be eligible for a refund on this PayPal transaction. *To qualify for a refund, just return the item in its original
condition to the seller.* (You are responsible for shipping and handling costs for the returned merchandise.) The amount you will be eligible to
receive is determined by the terms of our buyer protection policies and *we may be unable to make a full recovery of your payment from the seller.*
Please review the buyer protection policies in our User Agreement before shipping the item back to the seller.
baltimore, MD 21209
Please log in and provide tracking information for the item you are returning within 10 calendar days. The seller will also receive the tracking information for this item. When the shipment is verified by PayPal, the refund will be issued to you. If you do not provide this
information to PayPal, the investigation will end and the claim will be cancelled.
You may also choose to cancel this claim if you wish to work directly with the seller to resolve this issue.
Thank you for your cooperation. *****
The buyer protection that they speak of does NOT cover purchases or transactions under $25.00. My transaction was $20.05. So, I respond back to PayPal:
**** I am in receipt of your notice to me regarding the above dispute stating the dispute was found in my favor. Unfortunately, you do not make any warranty as to my refund as you state in the notice: "The amount you will be eligible to receive is determined by the terms of our buyer protection policies and we may be unable to make a full recovery of your payment from the seller." I don't understand WHY you cannot? What good is buyer protection then? Buyers have no recourse from people who scam them? Why do I need to return the item if I have no reason to believe I'll get my money back, PLUS, I will have spent EXTRA money in shipping as well? This is why innocent people like me continue to get RIPPED OFF not only by ebay, but by PayPal as well. I am not satisfied with this end result - either way I am on the losing end and this is NOT acceptable. This is 100% the SELLERS fault, NOT mine; I shouldn't have to be the one who suffers the loss or has to pay. Please respond. ****
I should not waste my time or effort in going through these motions, as basically all I got is a canned response at first. More blah-blah-blah. I exchange a few more emails with them if for no other reason than to continue to show not only my displeasure with their services and protection policies, but in expectation that if I squeak loud and long enough (which I intend to do), that they will ultimately recognize that I refuse to go away quickly or quietly.
At this point I decide that this seller, EJNRN, is not going to do the right thing and neither refund any monies to me nor send me a new bottle of soap, and in effect is just a liar, cheat, and scammer a general all-around bad guy. So, I go ahead and give her negative feedback what else does she expect? And, of course, as I anticipated, this moron thinks I am trying to cheat HER, at least this is the ploy she uses in her negative feedback on me. What a ditz! Not that I care necessarily about this feedback crap because it is soooo bogus! but I guess I'm still appalled at how delusional some people (more and more every day, actually) truly are. They have absolutely NO CONCEPT of reality, and appear to live instead in their own little cocoon. Geesh. Boggles the mind.
By this time now, the 10 days has elapsed and I can now file my ebay dispute, which I do. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the back-and-forth between myself and the seller. Note: Ebay does not get involved at this time, nor will they until at least 30 days has elapsed from the time you received the item. Then, you need to let EBAY mull over your dispute claim and investigate it. BEWARE OF THIS TACTIC! It is also important to note at this same time, that most credit card/banking institutions refuse to perform chargebacks and/or credit reversals for transactions that are over 60 days (and quite a few refuse any action over 30 days). My input is in green italics; seller's response is in red (note she does not address the facts, points, or issue):
**** Item Significantly Not As Described: 2- 16oz. Yardley English Lavender Moisturizing Soap (#270040764798) Payment Method: Credit Card Payment Date: Oct-23-2006
Additional Details: Slr 'forgot' to put on shpg ins that I pd extra for; item rec'd damaged (or else Slr shpd item 'used' & almost empty). Product wasn't sealed, leaked out. Seller demanded pics; at more expense, I sent pix. I offered compromise to Seller: refund the diff for what was received vs. what was paid for I req'd a $9.15 credit, Seller gave $1.45 (amt of ins). This is NOT acceptable; Seller now req me to return item AT MY ADD'L EXPENSE; I expect not to be out any MORE money! Slr scammed me & wont mk gd. ****
**** why have u not responded to paypal dispute ****
(she apparently can't read as I had already addressed this earlier through PayPal, so I figure she's purposely evading the issue)
**** I HAVE responded to the PayPal dispute. Why haven't u admitted it's ur fault & make it right by refunding a fair amount ($7.70 more) of the damages as I asked for? It was a reasonable & good faith effort towards a fair settlement, but you're totally unwilling. I've gone out of my way & through additional effort & expense to resolve this - you've done nothing but demand this & that, & now expect me to spend even more to return the items? BE FAIR: Upay 4 shpg & refund all my $$, I'll return items.
Why don't you be fair? You keep trying to skirt the issue: this is your fault and you're trying to
make it MY problem. You're not being fair OR honest. I won't go to the expense of returning the items until/unless you pay for shipping - the alternative, as I mentioned before, is fair: you pay me the diff in what it would have cost had I only bought ONE soap; you refunded $1.45 already, the balance due is $7.70... refund that & we can both be 'winners' & I'd agree to mutually remove neg feedback. ****
**** I did not do anything wrong i think u r a liar and r cheating me of a new bottle. I check every bottle and there was a seal on the bottle. Why would I send a sealed one and one not what do I gain by it.
Do u think I like going through this. U r being unreasonable. The only thing i did wrong was the
insurance which i made right by the refund. I am human and i made a mistake. I think u dishonest and hard to deal with just like the other feedback u got. ****
I'm cheating HER??? How can she realistically *assume* that just because it was sent out in (allegedly) pristine condition without insurance that it will automatically arrive in the same (allegedly) pristine condition? What does she think insurance is FOR to put in her pocket??? What do I have to gain by falsely claiming damage? How is it that I am being unreasonable by not rolling over and playing dead, or not keeping quiet and meekly taking the hit??? Not only is she missing the point of responsibility, but she is now starting to act rather belligerent. Hmmm what's wrong with this picture? I'm the one out money and have a useless item, and she is getting pissy? And she's griping about MY feedback? That's a wee bit like the pot calling the kettle black. To continue:
****** THE POINT IS, YOU DID *NOT* PUT THE INSURANCE ON, THE BOTTLE WAS DAMAGED AND YOU REFUSE TO MAKE GOOD *YOUR* MISTAKE! YOU ARE THE DISHONEST ONE! WHY WOULD I CHEAT YOU OUT OF ONE BOTTLE OF SOAP?? IF I
WAS GOING TO DO THAT I WOULD'VE CLAIMED ALL WAS DAMAGED, NOT JUST ONE! THERE WASN'T A SEAL ON THE BOTTLE WHEN IT ARRIVED HERE, & IF YOU'RE NOT SCAMMING ME GIVE ME MY $7.70 BACK! PROVE YOU'RE NOT A CHEAT! YOUR FEEDBACK ISN'T ALL THAT GREAT EITHER SO STOP THINKING YOU'RE SO PERFECT. U R WRONG, WRONG!
How is it you think refunding my insurance money solves this? The damage is already done, you dolt! It's YOUR fault, NOT mine. If YOU would've put insurance on it like YOU were supposed to, we wouldn't have this problem. How and why should it be made MY problem when YOU screwed up? Go back to school, look up the word "responsibility", AND BE RESPONSBILE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS! STOP BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE! Why don't you ACT human and make good YOUR mistake? An HONEST person would make it right. It appears from reading YOUR feedback that you're not so perfect either, & that others think you lie & cheat also:
(feedback taken from HER ebay profile:)
'BEWARE they lie in their listings. A coupon is NOT a check!!!'
'Didn't show picture of actual item being sold--somewhat decieving. High ship $'
'glasses broken. can't understand the wrapping(two plastic bags, two papers)'
(the seller apparently does NOT pack well for any of her shipments)
'deceptive description: album only holds eight pictures back to back'
So, who's hard to deal with here? At least I offered a compromise; you = nothing. ****
I anticipate having this go back and forth between myself and the seller until the 30-day time frame comes around when I can escalate the ebay claim to get ebay involved instead of trying to communication with this deadbeat seller. Although I don't expect ebay will do anything, I am certainly not going to let them off without making them work for at least an attempt at dispute resolution. They should not get off so easy either if they willingly continue to let scammers like EJNRN continue to utilize their services.
Meanwhile, I have since contacted by credit card company. I did this now for two reasons: 1. I refuse to wait out either ebay or PayPal only to find out I've waited too long to go through my credit card company for results (chargeback/restitution); 2. I honestly do not believe that ebay or PayPal will obtain my refund for me. My credit card company was quite understanding; I had the good fortune of having a customer service person who had personally been ripped off by PayPal AND ebay, so they were more than willing to help. They will do a chargeback under fraud guidelines; the seller was paid extra money in good faith for a service they did not perform whether be by neglect, dereliction of duty, and/or oversight and the items were not received as they had been represented. a.k.a. FRAUD.
I hope I have been able to enlighten some folks by posting this. If I help prevent just one person from being defrauded or scammed, I will feel good. Be very wary of the likes of EBAY and PayPal. In the long run, it is far better to go shopping and get what you need from a store even if it means driving a ways to do so, you will be much better off. Neither company apparently takes seriously their disputes and claims processes, and they unfortunately just don't care; they are too big to care about us little guys. Granted, there's not too much we can do to try and get our money back, so it's best not to give them - or the people that use their services the opportunity to get our money in the first place.
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