On ebay, it's very easy to assume that, as a buyer, you are protected from unscrupulous sellers. However, a bit of deft wording and large dollop of small print mean that there are plenty of barstewards selling a load of toot and happily stacking up the cash in the process. For instance, I bought a 'New Chocolate Finish Shaker Pine Double Bed' from pyramid2000ad - it cost me £49.99 plus £20 postage. It was delivered very quickly but as soon as we got it upstairs and started to unpack it, we noticed the packaging was damaged in a couple of places. There was no internal packaging so. not surprisingly, straight away I saw a large gouge in one of the pieces. It didn't take long to notice that the New Chocolate Finish only applied to certain parts of it and crucially, the top bars of the two end pieces were a totally different colour to the main end pieces - not so much chocolate as shite coloured. To finish things off nicely, the fittings bag was split and several of the fittings were missing having gone walkies out of the hole in the packaging. So, all in all, not a happy customer. So, back to the ad to find out what the returns policy is - oh, there isn't one. The actual wording is:
'PLEASE NOTE COLLECTION IS NOT AVAILABLE THANKS.PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU INSPECT YOUR DELIVERY, PRIOR TO SIGNING THE DELIVERY NOTE IN CASE OF TRASIT DAMAGE.PLEASE BE PATIENT WHEN WAITING FOR A REPLY I MAY BE AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER, THERE IS NO NEED TO RESEND YOUR QUESTION.I WILL ANSWER YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE'
This business of 'it is essential that you inspect your delivery prior to signing the delivery note' is a complete joke. There isn't a delivery-man in the land who would entertain that one. Droppit & Scarper rule in Delivery World. I always think I'm signing for the fact that the package has been delivered. I didn't realise I was signing for the fact that the package and all it's contents have been delivered in pristine condition - silly me. How many deliveries would they manage to get through in a day - about 3? So, I ordered a bed on ebay, paid up like a lamb (to the slaughter as it turns out), was here to sign for it (worse luck). had to unpack it, count the pieces, inspect the gouges, get thoroughly disappointed, pack it all up again, carry it down to the garage, email Mr Pyramid2000 and explain what's what. I offered to send him photos of the damaged bed and the different coloured pieces and the depleted fittings bag but to do that, I needed his email address as I couldn't send the photos via ebay. He ignored my request and instead, he tried the old 'my emails keep bouncing back' crepe and 'you need to check your settings'. I've sent him about five emails via ebay. He suggested I send the bed back and we'd go from there. I don't get that at all. Why should the buyer pay for return postage of damaged goods?? Who invented that one? The fact is, the bed (or a few bits of gouged, multi-coloured pieces of wood which can't be put together because half the fittings are missing) is taking up space in my garage, pyramid2000ad has still got my £69.99 and I've had to stump up for another bed.
Ebay does have a 'dispute console' but I haven't got ten years to spare to go through the whole convoluted process - not only that, my son was sleeping on the floor, I needed to get another new bed pdq. The fact is, ebay or not, when someone's selling new goods, they still have to be fit for the purpose and of reasonable quality - so these traders are breaking the law.
So, you lot - remember - in the throes of your retail excitement you must still remember to beware of these unscrupulous sellers and their shady small print
CAVEAT EMPTOR - LOTS OF UNSCRUPULOUS SELLERS OUT THERE
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12 December 2007
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