beware buying phones advertised as 'new'

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I wanted to share an experience I had when buying a mobile phone on ebay, just to warn others to be careful or they may lose their money as I did.

I bought a mobile adverised as 'brand new' for my daughter for her 18th birthday. It was a specific phone that she wanted and a specific colour and hard to find in the shops. However when the phone arrived the day before her birthday it was obviously not new!  It had scratches on the casing,  downloaded songs and pictures on it, as well as photographs of the seller and her family. It was not in a fit state to give as a present so i contacted the seller to ask for a refund. SHe refused and said the phone had only been used for a few weeks and i must have scratched it myself.

Eventually I tried through paypal to get my money back and they investigated by taking a statement from me and the seller. They then gave me 10 days to take the phone to a repairer and get a written statement about its condition and the cost to make it 'like new'. If I failed to provide them with this in the 10 days then they would 'find'in favour of the seller and I would lose the claim.

There was nowhere within travelling distance of my home that could provide this service and the 10 days lapsed so the case was closed and the seller made personal comments about me on her feedback to the effect that I was a liar and not to be trusted and that the investigation had cleared her.

I find it very unfair that the onus was put on me, in very difficult circumstances to prove that the phone was not as described in the sellers advert, when she had admitted in subsequent emails, copies of which were sent to the investigation,  that the phone had been used. This is a gross infingement of the trade descriptions act and was not dealt with fairly by ebay or paypal. New is 'new' and not used for a few weeks............. buyers please beware. you may not get your money back even if the fault is obviously with the seller.

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