Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Underhanded eBay Trick - negative feedback?

eBay buyers, beware - there is an underhanded tactic being used by equally dastardly sellers to get around the system if you leave them negative feedback.

See, they're not allowed to leave you negative anymore. This is supposed to have us comfortable to give honest feedback - the threat of "retaliation" feedback is supposedly a thing of the past. Untrue, because a recent transaction left me irritated and once again shaking my head at eBay Customer Service - such as it is.

I purchased something. It arrived not as I expected it, and the seller wouldn't answer my messaging via the site. I was thus forced to go to Paypal's transaction center and submit a report. I made a partial mistake about the item description; it's true, so they filed against me. However, the lack of the "new" condition of the item in hand that I received and the seller's lack of communication forced me to leave a negative feedback. They seemed not to care that they did not hold up 100% of their bargain, so I stated such in my feedback.

The seller saw this feedback.

No matter that I have the item - it was shipped to me! -- they sent me an "unpaid buyer alert", claiming that I did not pay. I declared that I did and this was very "petty" of the seller, and said they were trying to "get back at" me for leaving them negative in this fashion. Very bad form, in other words.

Apparently this pissed them off further, for they declared I hadn't paid and we couldn't reach an amicable solution. This means eBay sent me an "unpaid item strike". Unlike negative feedback for sellers, I am unsure if the strikes go away - I don't think they do. Negative feedback, however, does after a certain amount of time. So I sent a copy of the Paypal email with headers and the strike was immediately removed, although the mail sent by the staff had a grave "warning" if it ever happened again.

Thanks for contacting us about the unpaid item strike you received.

Our records show this is the first time you've appealed an unpaid item
strike. Based on this and the information you gave us, we've removed the
strike from your account. Any future strikes could affect your account
status though, so take a few minutes to learn more about our unpaid item
policy. . .

[insert many URL's leading to things I already know here].

In short, be aware that this happens now and know how to appeal these disputes if this happens to you.

1.) Keep all Paypal receipts! I know it's just an email and if you purchase a lot they clog up your inbox, but keep them for a decent interval so you have it if this happens to you.

2.) Contact eBay again after the appeal. Keep at them. We want sellers to stop doing this and for the staff to be aware it is happening. They will put you off many times but they'll soon take notice if it happens to many people.

3.) Keep on leaving deserving feedback. Don't let the underhanded tactics of bad sellers cow you into abstaining or even leaving bland positive comments. Give them what they deserve. They have your money, they don't care what happens now except to make sure no one does it to them again so they can keep gulling more buyers.