Ebay grief. Buyer claiming phone doesn't work.

MoFoHo

Member
Hi all. Im just looking for some advice here, maybe even find someone who's been in the same boat, so to speak.

Sold a mobile phone on E-bay on 6th August, sent it out a few days later on the 8th. So he recieved it probably on the 9th.
Fast forward some days, and yesterday (15th)I recieved an email from the guy saying its frozen, that it wont turn on. He's adamant that it gets sent back and he has a refund.

The phone? Its an Acer DX900, a pretty unusual phone in that its dual sim. Always worked fine for me, not a powerhouse of a phone by any means, but pretty reliable, and I've ALWAYS been able to turn the thing on!

My thinking? He's either tried putting some software on it that it doesn't like, or, maybe damged occured to it in transit? Either way, if you were in my position, what would you do? Should I just accept him sending it back and refund him? Or if the item was in working order when I sold it, is it up to the buyer to claim against me or something?

Any wise words of wisdom?
 

Shared

Well-known Member
Words of wisdom ?

Bend over and drop your strides, unfortunately there isn't much you can do as Ebay will usually side with the buyer, be prepared to refund him, if he starts a dispute and you dont refund him on return of the phone Ebay will refund him and you'll owe them.

Sadly, even if he returns it broken Ebay wont be interested, unless of course he returns it using an unsigned for service and it gets lost.
 

MoFoHo

Member
Yea I figured as much.... :-(
He's pushing very hard for my postal address, so he can return said item. I spoke with Ebay this eve. They were very vague in their advice. Basically telling me to sort it out with the buyer if at all posible. They also advised that a return or refund was at my descretion until the buyer raises the issue to E-bay. I asked should I advise him to raise this issue to Ebay, they said no??
 

Shared

Well-known Member
Ebay aren't really interested is dispute resolution unless its initiated by a buyer, your options are limited i'm afraid, either ignore him, and he'll probably raise a dispute, and almost certainly win, or just refund him, its normal not to refund his costs of returning the item to you, which may annoy him further, but Ebay wont force you to refund that, only the amount he's actually paid you.

If he's particularly nasty he'll also Neg your feedback.
 

Exemplar

Banned
Similar thing happened to a colleague at work.

He sold an android phone (unwanted upgrade) on eBay. Before he sold it I advised him to take photos of the status screens etc in case anything happened after the sale.

After a few days buyer stated that phone was faulty etc etc so eBay got involved and phone was returned but it had been rooted and a different rom installed.

Upshot was even though my colleague had done the right thing he lost out. eBay were not interested.
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
Get the buyer to send the phone back to you so you can see if it is actually broken. If it is broken then the buyer should be refunded. If it isn't or it looks like the buyer broke it themselves then you will have a dispute.

In any case the phone should be returned to you.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Best bet would be to ask him to return it to you for inspection before he raises a dispute with Ebay or Paypal. That way there's an outside chance they he may send it back untracked & he will then not have a leg to stand on. If it gets to a dispute then he will be told to use a trackable service to return it & you will be stuffed.
 

MoFoHo

Member
As an update, I recieved the phone from the buyer today. Sure enough, it's well and truly bricked! Tried soft/hard resets, nothing. Zip.

What a tool.... :-(
 

phillyd1981

Well-known Member
What I usually do if I am going to sell a electric gadget and It is not worth much is class it as spares or repairs as opposed to used then put a full description the items usually sell for the same price and the seller cannot send it back claiming it is faulty as my auction classed it as a non working item.
 

golden phoenix

Distinguished Member
Hi all. Im just looking for some advice here, maybe even find someone who's been in the same boat, so to speak.

Sold a mobile phone on E-bay on 6th August, sent it out a few days later on the 8th. So he recieved it probably on the 9th.
Fast forward some days, and yesterday (15th)I recieved an email from the guy saying its frozen, that it wont turn on. He's adamant that it gets sent back and he has a refund.

The phone? Its an Acer DX900, a pretty unusual phone in that its dual sim. Always worked fine for me, not a powerhouse of a phone by any means, but pretty reliable, and I've ALWAYS been able to turn the thing on!

My thinking? He's either tried putting some software on it that it doesn't like, or, maybe damged occured to it in transit? Either way, if you were in my position, what would you do? Should I just accept him sending it back and refund him? Or if the item was in working order when I sold it, is it up to the buyer to claim against me or something?

Any wise words of wisdom?
how did you send it? if you sent it special delivery surely you can claim through royal mail and say it was damaged during transit..not sure how much that phone is worth though. ebay is totally for the buyer and not much going in the way of seller protection, I avoid it if Ii can...
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Yes, there is pretty much no seller protection at all on Ebay these days. Especially with Paypal only employing complete and utter morons who I would bet don't even know what 2+2 is. Use Ebay to buy on all day long, but I would now only ever sell very low value things on it. If it was higher value, I'd sell here if I can.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
how did you send it? if you sent it special delivery surely you can claim through royal mail and say it was damaged during transit..
Unless there is reasonable justification to reach such a conclusion then submitting a claim would be tantamount to fraud - and the information available as presented does not provide one.
 

golden phoenix

Distinguished Member
Unless there is reasonable justification to reach such a conclusion then submitting a claim would be tantamount to fraud - and the information available as presented does not provide one.
of course there would have to be physical damage to the phone..i wouldnt suggest getting involved in any fraudulent activity...i sell most of my stuff on the forums anyway..something like a phone i would probably take into CEX where you can physical show them that it is working and make the deal.
 

Sandman

Distinguished Member
As an update, I recieved the phone from the buyer today. Sure enough, it's well and truly bricked! Tried soft/hard resets, nothing. Zip.

What a tool.... :-(
Who is a tool? The poor guy who bought a bricked phone?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I think the suggestion is that the buyer bricked it trying to jailbreak it and is now trying to claim it arrived like that. :)
 

Sandman

Distinguished Member
I know it is nice to support our fellow avforum members but how would you feel if you bought a phone and within a few days it stopped working? OK if the buyer did this himself then fair enough but we dont know if that is the case or not. What would you do if you you were the buyer in this case? I would return it for a refund.
 

liamt

Member
Hi all. Im just looking for some advice here, maybe even find someone who's been in the same boat, so to speak.

Sold a mobile phone on E-bay on 6th August, sent it out a few days later on the 8th. So he recieved it probably on the 9th.
Fast forward some days, and yesterday (15th)I recieved an email from the guy saying its frozen, that it wont turn on. He's adamant that it gets sent back and he has a refund.

The phone? Its an Acer DX900, a pretty unusual phone in that its dual sim. Always worked fine for me, not a powerhouse of a phone by any means, but pretty reliable, and I've ALWAYS been able to turn the thing on!

My thinking? He's either tried putting some software on it that it doesn't like, or, maybe damged occured to it in transit? Either way, if you were in my position, what would you do? Should I just accept him sending it back and refund him? Or if the item was in working order when I sold it, is it up to the buyer to claim against me or something?

Any wise words of wisdom?
please tell me you photo'd the serial number. sounds like a swap to me. (swapping a working model for broken one)
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Yes, there is pretty much no seller protection at all on Ebay these days. Especially with Paypal only employing complete and utter morons who I would bet don't even know what 2+2 is. Use Ebay to buy on all day long, but I would now only ever sell very low value things on it. If it was higher value, I'd sell here if I can.
To be fair, in my opinion based on what I have seen in the Disputes Forum, the buyer is protected more on AVF aswell.

Had this sale been done on AVF and the buyer complained that he had received a non-functional phone, unless the seller could conclusively prove otherwise he would have been asked to issue the refund. The real difference is that eBay can sieze the refund, whereas, on AVF the seller can choose to ignore and be banned.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

MoFoHo

Member
aVdub said:
He didn't say he sold a bricked phone? Unless I've missed that part....
I would never see anything that's broken. I'm not like that. The phone was in full working order when I sent it. I'd had it over a year with no problems whatsoever.Its definitely the same phone that was returned to me as there was a tiny hairline scratch (pictured and highlighted in the listing) which is still presently visible, if you squint....

I've told the buyer I'm not going to give a refund at this time. He sent me a few emails yesterday threatening to complain to ebay. So I'll see what happens. After this, and an RC helicopter I sold a few years back, I think I'm pretty much done selling complex/expensive items on ebay. I think there seems to be a growing problem of buyers breaking things they've bought (either through stupidity or just inexperience with said item) and thinking the seller should just deal with it, and lose out.

Anybody else had similar issues selling expensive/complex items?
 

aVdub

Distinguished Member
Yeah I'm pretty much just using it for buying now and if I do sell, it is low value and well described.
 

Member 55145

Distinguished Member
liamt said:
please tell me you photo'd the serial number. sounds like a swap to me. (swapping a working model for broken one)
That was my first thought too.

Did you take any pictures of the phone working?
Always a good idea to take a picture or video of an item working on top of the days news paper then send.

Sellers have legal rights too. However eBay might be able to get around them if their Ts&Cs are worded correctly

Personally I never use eBay as it has always had a bad rep but lately a shockingly bad one
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I do agree that eBay does tend to favour the buyer when it comes to disputes, but then again so do most (if not all) organisations that provide a trading facility.

Out of interest, all those people here who are so quick to condem eBay, what would you actually do if it were you encountered this situation?

Buyer (A) says he received a non-working phone
Seller (B) says the phone was working when he sent it
No sign of any shipping damage
You don't know A or B
Both have good reputations

How would you adjudicate?

eBay and AVF would favour Buyer (A).

You guys are condemming eBay which suggests that you would favour Seller (B) - if so why, on what basis.

Choosing one over the other is equally correct and equally wrong - but you have to choose one.


On the AVF community it is very understandable that we side with the AVF member - understandable but in most cases we have no valid reason to do so other than he is one of our gang so we are going to stick with him.

So the question again, for all those that condem eBay, if you were given the job of running disputes how would you do it better?

Cheers,

Nigel
 

douki

Well-known Member
As an update, I recieved the phone from the buyer today. Sure enough, it's well and truly bricked! Tried soft/hard resets, nothing. Zip.

What a tool.... :-(
This is a bit late now but what I might have been tempted to do is refuse to refund, and then when he opens a dispute during the discussions you could try and trick/coax the truth out of him, ie get him to admit he's mistreated or modded it in someway. It would have been a long shot but the alternative is just bending over for him which is effectively what you've done. No offence.
 
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