I bought a Kodak EasyShare M863 Digital Camera from eBay seller tekbrainlooy and what should have been a simple transaction turned out to be the start of a painful journey.
Despite being a delicate piece of equipment the camera arrived in an ordinary brown envelope with no protection other than a tiny piece of card wrapped round one end. It's good to see he didn't waste any of the £5.75 postage he charged on packaging - or postage for that matter!
That's £1.62 for postage, nothing for the packaging (it had all been previously used) giving him a cool £4.13 profit - a flagrant breach of eBay policy...
Miraculously the camera was in one piece.
It seemed like a nice camera in reasonable condition but was supplied without a battery, charger or charging cord.
As it takes a custom Lithium Ion battery (KLiC 7001) we ordered a couple from another eBay seller but were let down so had to buy some elsewhere. Because of the high cost of the Kodak batteries we purchased a compatible battery (uniross, a good make), charged it and took some pictures. The camera appeared to work.
We went on holiday with our children and immediately noticed a problem. The camera would not turn on. The battery which was fully charged the previous night was completely discharged this morning. Many classic 'Kodak moments' were missed that day and when you have a young family that's not something you want to happen.
The battery was charged again overnight and a test picture taken in the morning. Out and about with the family, another Kodak moment and, you guessed it, the camera would not turn on. Once again the battery was completely discharged.
We found a camera shop and bought a brand new battery. It was charged overnight and, you guessed it, after a few hours in the camera the battery was completely discharged. We went back to the camera shop they checked the battery, couldn't find anything wrong with it and were told it was most likely a fault with the camera.
We had a decision to make. Miss out on all those Kodak moments because of tekbrainlooy's faulty camera or buy a new one. Tough decision, there would be other holidays but we would never get these moments back so we blew half our holiday money on a new camera.
When we got back off our holiday we reported the fault to tekbrainlooy, explained the situation, and asked for our money back as we had been forced to buy a replacement. He refused to answer our polite message.
We sent another polite message but, yet again, no reply even though he was otherwise active on eBay.
We came to a very simple conclusion - we had been scammed by tekbrainlooy - he had supplied the camera without a battery, charger or charging lead for a very simple reason. He knew about the fault and this was his way of distancing himself from the problem, he could claim he did not know about it because he didn't have a battery for the camera.
Nice try tekbrainlooy but you can't fool us. You sell lots of cameras and several others you had on sale at the same time took the same battery so that excuse just doesn't hold water.
Further invesigation showed he was registered on eBay as a business user although the listing did not include any business details. This is a major breach of eBay rules so they were informed but, as usual, they didn't want to know.
Several days and several messages later there was still no reply from tekbrainlooy. Things were looking bleak.
PayPal and eBay were no help as more than 45 days had now passed (just!) so I hit on a plan to get our money back...
I googled tekbrainlooy and outside of eBay the only hits I got were an 'adult' site offering sexual partners and a classified listings site. A little more research and I had his full address including postcode and telephone number.
Armed with this information I sent another message asking him to confirm his details so I might forward them to H M Customs and Revenue in relation to his eBay business.
Wow! You would not believe how quickly the offer of a full refund came after that. My inbox is still shaking from the impact!
I agreed to return the camera to him at my own expense and he agreed to refund all monies paid in full. I agreed to leave positive feedback stating "The camera was defective but a full refund was given" - a perfectly accurate and truthful statement (as my feedback always is) - and he was expected to do likewise.
True to my word the camera was shipped back to him - securely packaged in bubble wrap and a padded bag, Royal Mail Registered Signed For at a cost to me of £2.16 (NOT £5.75) - so when the refund reached my PayPal account feedback was left as promised.
Showing his true colours right to the end tekbrainlooy did not leave feedback for me.
As the deadline approached I sent him a polite message reminding him I had been honourable and true to my word and had left feedback for him. I asked him politlely to leave feedback but he neither replied nor left feedback. I should have known better than to trust that guy!
Feeling hard done by I followed up my feedback with another truthful and honest statement "But only after I had threatened to report his eBay business to the Tax Man".
I have always believed in the eBay feedback system and, for that reason, my feedback is always truthful and honest. How do we know who can be trusted and, more importantly, who to avoid if eBay feedback isn't honest and truthful?
Imagine my surprise to find both my original feedback and the follow up comment had been removed.
Now I can understand why eBay might object to the follow up comment but why was the original feedback statement removed? There was nothing questionable about that whatsoever, it was a simple statement of fact "The camera was defective but a full refund was given".
Deleting My Feedback Comment Was Wrong!
Feedback is supposed to be sacrosanct!
It is supposed to be written in stone!
The Truth Will Out
Decent honest eBay users like you and I need to be warned about people like tekbrainlooy and if my feedback cannot speak for me this guide will have to take its place.Regards