Reversing the tranaction? My £34,000 ebay debt story

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Have you ever sold something ridiculous for £1,000,000 on ebay? I did. And boy did I pay for that stunt.

My first idea was to put a piece of paper that I claimed had been 'touched by God' on ebay. After me and my friends got bored of finding this hilarious, we thought it might be even funnier if my friend made a best chance offer of £1million for it, and I accept it. So we did, and for the first 5 minutes we were killing ourselves laughing. I'd just made a sale of £1million pounds on ebay!!!

Then I checked my seller's account, and... oh dear. Where had that debt of £17,000 come from?! Then it dawned on me - ebay's cut of the £1million. Oops. Hadn't thought of that minor technicality, had I. Panic obviously followed, then more panic, then a solution finding session. Ahh! It was easy! All I had to do was tell ebay that the buyer had refused to pay, and we had decided to call off the sale, and ebay would repay my £17,000. Phew! Situation over.

So 3 days later, I FINALLY got the email telling me my debt had been revoked, and a link leading me onto victory. I read through the details (like you're meant to) and came to the end of the explanation of what had been done, where the line which will haunt me sat waiting.

'If the transaction has been resolved between you and the seller, please click here to reserve the transaction'.

Sounds simple enough to me! If I click here, it's definitely all completely finished. Thank the lawd! So I clicked it.

What followed this was a very confusing period of 'what the HECK has just happened'. Suddenly I owed... '£34,000'. Surely there had been some mistake? They must have added another £17,000 rather than take it away! Maybe?!... I emailed ebay to point out their fault in this matter, and forgot about it.

Until the next day, when I found an email from ebay sitting in my inbox. It told me I did indeed owe this £34,000, and had to pay it by the end of the month. Ooh. Right. Pardon? Email back to ebay: 'WHAT?! HELP!!! I've done something stupid and now you're going to bankrupt me for it!! I want out!!!'.

So what exactly DID I owe this money for? What had gone wrong? The answer: THAT LINE.
'If the transaction has been resolved between you and the seller, please click here to reserve the transaction'.
For you see, this line doesn't mean what it first sounds like. What this line means is:
'If you and the seller have decided that you actually DO want to go through with the transaction again, click here'.
Reserve meaning pay the money again. Makes sense now AFTER I've clicked it.

To cut a long story short, it took 2 weeks of emailling ebay to convince them that this was all an accident, I didn't HAVE this kind of money, and I was very sorry it had happened, and I'd never do it again! They eventually let me off, saying it was a 'special circumstance'. More like 'special needs'.

So, morals of this story:

(1) DO NOT CLICK REVERSE!!! Unless, of course, you actually want to carry on the cancelled transaction! Because you can't unreverse it! (except maybe in my 'special circumstance')
(2) DO NOT DO STUPID THINGS WITH MONEY + EBAY! This is an auction site, not a playground! I found out the hard way! It might seem funny at the time, but believe me, the aftermath is NOT worth it!
(3) Sorry again, ebay!! There's my sucking up for the day done...

Thanks for reading my story, and... TAKE HEED!

Mike

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