Ebay grief. Buyer claiming phone doesn't work.

golden phoenix

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
the likely difference here though is ebay will favour the buyer and i guarantee at some stage of the dispute will formally request the seller to provide a refund..that is not impartiality..that is favouring one (ie the buyer) over the seller...as much as our avforum friend cant prove it wasnt bricked when he sold it, neither can the buyer prove it was bricked when he received it..but ebays answer is always give the buyer the refund...that is the difference.

a better way of doing it? dont use ebay for an item such as that..issue the refund, as your account will get suspended indefinitely, if you dont issue the refund.
 
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nheather

Distinguished Member
the likely difference here though is ebay will favour the buyer and i guarantee at some stage of the dispute will formally request the seller to provide a refund..that is not impartiality..that is favouring one (ie the buyer) over the seller...as much as our avforum friend cant prove it wasnt bricked when he sold it, neither can the buyer prove it was bricked when he received it..but ebays answer is always give the buyer the refund...that is the difference.
I understand that, but if the sale had been conducted on AVF (not complaining about AVF by the way), the same thing would have happened. The mods would have instructed the buyer to return the phone and the seller to issue a refund. Still a formal request. The only difference is that eBay has the means to seize the payment whereas AVF does not. With AVF the seller could refuse, he would get banned but AVF couldn't make him refund.

But otherwise, the dispute decision process is practically the same - if it is not clear who is in the right, then go with the buyer.

I can't see how it could be done fairly.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

PoochJD

Well-known Member
Hi,

I understand that, but if the sale had been conducted on AVF (not complaining about AVF by the way), the same thing would have happened. The mods would have instructed the buyer to return the phone and the seller to issue a refund.
Nigel's correct. Whether you sell something here, via eBay, Gumtree or any other such sales site, there's always going to be a problem, where an item that is claimed to be working (and I'm not suggesting that the phone wasn't working) is received by a buyer, who then claims it doesn't work (and again, I'm not suggesting that the buyer has or has not done anything with the phone).

Apart from the obvious - I'm assuming the phone's battery has been fully charged, and it's not just refusing to switch on, because the battery's depleted - then there's little the buyer and seller can do. It's going to be one person's word versus another, and ultimately, I suspect that unless the buyer ends-up confessing that he tried to do something with the phone he shouldn't have been, then the seller is going to have to refund the cost of the phone itself. :(


Pooch
 

Kebabhead

Novice Member
The only way to sell mobiles is via collection only

I know this limits the potential sale but at least the other party can see the phone is in working order
 

golden phoenix

Distinguished Member
The only way to sell mobiles is via collection only

I know this limits the potential sale but at least the other party can see the phone is in working order
yeah your right, i dont think this situation can be salvaged. so its case of biting the bullet and cutting your loses on this one and learn from it!:lesson:
 

MoFoHo

Member
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.
Thats a very good idea about the paper! Will have to remember that one...
The listing had a few pictures of the phone switched on.

It's kinda hard to understand what he's saying at times, as he seems to blurt it all out in one long sentence when he messages me. But I get the impression it was certainly working when he got it. Because he said he loved the phone! Then he says it froze, never to come on again... :(

He's also now claiming that I, myself, have said that I've had problems with it previously! Which is a complete fabrication. :confused:
I never said anything of the sort....?:confused:
 

MoFoHo

Member
yeah your right, i dont think this situation can be salvaged. so its case of biting the bullet and cutting your loses on this one and learn from it!:lesson:
Yes I guess you're right there. It's a shame for 2 reasons.
1. I'm out of pocket
2. It's one less (very useful!) dual sim phone out there....
Someone else could be really enjoying its usefulness right now. :(
 

snooloui

Distinguished Member
My advice would be to give him your address. There's always the possibility that he is hoping you will refund/part refund just to make him go away. Give him your address and see what happens.
 

DVD-Man

Well-known Member
If the buyer sends it back via non tracked delivery your in the clear! That's the only hope you have left.
 

DaveBhoy

Well-known Member
Why would the seller be in the clear if the buyer sends it that way ?

It might mean that Ebay or Paypal wouldn't automatically pay out, but the only grounds for not refunding would be by fraudulently claiming it hasn't been returned...

Assuming the phone worked when sent (and I fully believe it was) then the seller has been honest so far. Why encourage anything different ? What if the buyer were to pursue a claim in court - would you advocate that the seller should lie there too ?
 

DVD-Man

Well-known Member
Because the seller can't offer a guarantee so if the phone switched on and functioned the day it was received then afterwards is up to the seller to deal with, yes the item.should last more than one day but the seller can't be held responsible for botched rooting efforts.
 

MoFoHo

Member
drivinscool said:
Did the buyer leave feedback when he received it?
Yes he left feedback saying, simply "thankyou"
He's sent me the phone back tracked delivery, hence I know its pretty darn well bricked. Like many have said, this is just one of those things to put down to experience I suppose. I've sold a lot of things on ebay now. But every now and then you come across people like this. A year or so ago I sold a collective pitch RC helicopter. The buyer claimed the thing just suddenly fell apart in the air, and wanted to send it back for an immediate refund. I think we can all guess what had really happened...

People just try it on.

I've only ever sold 2 items of gear here on AV Forums. But both transactions were trouble free. I'd hope that my (admittedly very limited) feedback would kinda speak for itself. I'd never sell a broken item here or anywhere else. That phone was in top working order when I sent it to the buyer. I dont know how on earth its managed to end up the way it has....

Thanks for all the advice and support good people.
 

snooloui

Distinguished Member
Depending on how much you value your eBay account, you could've just told him to get stuffed. I've done it before when someone demanded a partial-refund because the disc was scratched and I knew they were trying it on because I'm very thorough when it comes to eBay to avoid situations like this. Of course they left me bad feedback, but they had been ripping off a few people at the same time and so they were banned and the feedback removed.

With regards to this issue I think Paypal should accept feedback as acceptance of the item in as described condition. What's the point in feedback if they can comeback down the line at the any time within the Paypal window and claim a refund? It encourages behaviour like this from buyers.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
If you tell eBay to get stuffed you would have to be prepared to lose your Paypal account aswell as your eBay account.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Rich Marshall

Well-known Member
Yes he left feedback saying, simply "thankyou"
He's sent me the phone back tracked delivery, hence I know its pretty darn well bricked. Like many have said, this is just one of those things to put down to experience I suppose. I've sold a lot of things on ebay now. But every now and then you come across people like this. A year or so ago I sold a collective pitch RC helicopter. The buyer claimed the thing just suddenly fell apart in the air, and wanted to send it back for an immediate refund. I think we can all guess what had really happened...

People just try it on.

I've only ever sold 2 items of gear here on AV Forums. But both transactions were trouble free. I'd hope that my (admittedly very limited) feedback would kinda speak for itself. I'd never sell a broken item here or anywhere else. That phone was in top working order when I sent it to the buyer. I dont know how on earth its managed to end up the way it has....

Thanks for all the advice and support good people.
I had a similar issue with a buyer earlier this year.
I posted a brand new handbag worth over £100, the buyer received it an left positive freedback.

Almost 2 weeks later I get an item not as described case saying it's scuffed and damaged, it was obvious to me that they had used and now thought they would scam ebay + me by using the ebay buyer protection.

I phoned the resolution centre directly and spoke to a very nice chap who sorted it all out in 48 hours n my favour.

I sell a lot on ebay and for every loss I've had I've also had a win through their system. :smashin:

Give em a call.

Edit FYI there was also a claim for item not received against me for a pair of swimming shorts I posted to Brazil, they weren't worth much (nothing to me as it happens) so I sent without tracking.
Paypal refunded the buyer and sent me a kind-of threatening invoice demanding the money, which I ignored as I was new to ebay so had nothing to lose. That was over 3 years ago and I still haven't given paypal a penny. I did get reminders every few months but they go in my spam folder now.
It's only a small amount - probably around £10-15 but I thought I'd share the info anyway.
 
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IronGiant

Moderator
Yes he left feedback saying, simply "thankyou"
Thanks for all the advice and support good people.
How long after receiving it did he leave the feedback (assuming it got there promptly).
 

MoFoHo

Member
How long after receiving it did he leave the feedback (assuming it got there promptly).
It was left 10th August, 4 days after the auction ended.
 

MoFoHo

Member
Just an update on this:

Nothings happened?!

I refused the guy a refund, he said he was going to get Ebay to refund him. But so far, nothing seems to have happened. Ive checked my Paypal account and no funds have been removed. Does it normally take so long for Ebay to get a dispute up and running? I haven't had an email from them or anything?

Has anybody else had a dispute started against them? Does it normally take a while for any notifications to come through???
 

DVD-Man

Well-known Member
You should know pretty quickly, he has 45 days from the sale date to start a dispute, how long have you got left?

I reckon he's trying it on but too dumb to know how to carry it off.

A mate sold a car radio on eBay, the buyer claimed it didn't work started a dispute then sent back the unit untracked, on receipt it was clear it had been damaged during installation so my mate claimed not to have received it back and PayPal closed the claim. I felt that was fair.
 

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