buyer protection

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like most longterm ebay users, i've always assumed that the 'buyer protection'  logos you find dotted about the site -along with assurances that shopping on ebay is safe, actually meant something.

perhaps naively, i somehow imagined that if something went wrong and  i got ripped off, ebay would "see me right". 

that was until last month when i bought an item for £21 [£16 plus £5 P&P] which never arrived.  the seller, who is no longer an ebay member, ripped off at least five other people in the same week s/he stole my money and received five neg feedbacks in a row.

when i was finally allowed to file a claim, i was disgusted to find out that
  • ebay would charge an admin fee of £15 to process my claim
  • i would only be entitled to a refund on the cost price of the item - not the postage and packaging
so in other words i'd be entitled to claim back £1 of the £21 i'd been swindled out of.

as if that wasn't enough of a kick in the teeth, ebay then sent me an email telling me i would have to write to my bank and ask them to send me written confirmation that the money had gone out of my account and that i would then have to post that information to ebay [and not to a freepost address either].

so, in order even to claim the pitiful £1 back, i'd have to spend 32p on a stamp to write asking my bank for proof of the transaction and a further 32p posting that information to ebay.  therefore my final refund on £21 lost, would be the majestic sum of 36 pence!

of course, if my five fellow victims of the same swindler all put in their claims as well, ebay would have made 6 x 15 = £90 in admin fees for processing the claims. isn't it good to see that whether we win or lose in our online transactions, ebay always ends up quids in!

so just bear in mind next time you see that "buyer protection"  sign on an auction - it's barely worth the pixels it's displayed on!

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