OT: no delivery, claimed lost (ebay)

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The ebay website has changed since since I challenged a non-delivered purchase. The web site now in one place does tell members with problems to contact their credit card company, but in another place says that buyers must not interfere with ebay's business.
In my case I ordered an inexpensive product -- $30 -- and paid for it with my AmEx card. The item didn't arrive (although the seller claimed to have shipped it, uninsured) and I informed ebay of the problem. I got one e-mail from the seller, saying that the item had been shipped and they didn't know what to do now, but weren't going to offer a refund. Ebay said there would be a 45 day period for their investigation, but my credit card bill was due within 25 days. When it became obvious that ebay wasn't going to complete anything before my credit card bill came due, I notified AmEx that the item had never been delivered. They removed it from my bill and notified ebay.
Next, I got a tersely worded notice from Ebay that said buyers' terms of reference did not allow challenges to charges made to credit cards, that I was barred from using their site, that if I signed on under a different name they would take further action, and that if I had any further questions I should contact their legal department. This was eBay's reaction to my challenge to an undelivered $30 item. As a result, I couldn't sign on to leave a negative eval, and later I noticed that this seller had very few evals, and no negative ones.
As I read the Ebay User Agreement and Privacy Policy (located at https://scgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?RegisterEnterInfo&siteid=0&co_partnerid=2&UsingSSL=1 , I don't see any specific reference anymore banning challenging credit card charges, but several areas where that policy would be the logical result of an overall policy statement.
Maybe eBay has changed their egregious policy since my problems with it, but I don't find anything on eBay that I can't find elsewhere at comparable prices, so I've never tried to reinitiate an account.

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JimR wrote:

https://scgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?RegisterEnterInfo&siteid=0&co_partnerid=2&UsingSSL=1 , I

That's like the nightmare scenario I'd envisioned when I posted my query.
Now I can (at least) put my fears to rest, because the package arrived.
Let me just say... this seller was inaccurate in her emails, and this is what caused me all the worry. It wasn't because I thought she was a liar or anything, it was the inconsistencies between what she reported and what actually happened that led to my worries.
She claimed to have sent it out almost a week before she actually did, apparently preferring to pretend she'd done what she said she would "before my check arrived".
I had also sent an email asking if the check had arrived, long enough after having sent it that it must have gotten there a some days before. No, it hadn't, she said. She later sent an email confirming that it'd arrived that day and she was sending the item the following day (which as I said didn't happen.)
But it arrived, and I gave her a positive since I'm only judging on shipping speed (I probably would've waited this long had she opted to let the check clear first), packaging, and accuracy of the description (including omissions).
She's disorganized, and she wants to hide her little inconsequential faults. Big deal.
er
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People need to be honeset in their feedback, otherwise it's useless. You should have put that "communication was terrible, package shipped 1 week after seller said it did, ignored emails", and her a neutral.
Now that you're able to reply to feedback, if she gives you a retaliatory bad rating, you can explain why (i.e. "seller is pissed I have her a neutral for slow shipping")
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Larry Bud wrote:

I was honest.

I didn't think shipping was slow.
er
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Larry Bud wrote:

On the other hand, I think feedback ratings are absurdly at variance with what I'd imagine it to be: and average experience gets a neutral, something above and beyond the call would rate a plus.
But I'm content to do like everyone else, and analyze the feedback comments and call 98.6% marginal.
er
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Enoch Root wrote:

Yeah. What I find most useful, if I'm concerned, is to look through the old feedback until I find a couple of the non-positive entries, and see what they say -- and particularly see how the seller replies.
A few sellers, all it takes is looking at their replies to the negative feedback they get, and it's clear as daylight that I don't want to do business with them.
- Brooks
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Brooks Moses wrote:

It's true, it's a very good indicator.
er
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Enoch Root wrote:

Am I missing something here? You couldn't sign on - then you gave her positive feedback?
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

You're missing something. The top paragraph was written by JimR, and the second one by Enoch. You can tell by the differing number of ">"s in front of them that they came from different posts.
- Brooks
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Your attributions are munged.
er
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Good thing for you that you didn't accuse her of fraud.
You might direct her to this thread though. Perhaps it will instill a bit of business sense into her to see how such behavior can be perceived by others.
J.
Enoch Root wrote:

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John wrote:

I don't think I ever intimated I'd do anything like that... but who knows, I'm as likely to leave something unsaid as the next... and there is where the imagination takes wing.
er
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True, you didn't. But you were seeking advice and were strongly advised by some to do so. I guess I could have been more clear in complimenting you on the judgment you exercised. :-) Oh well. Time to make some sawdust!
J.
Enoch Root wrote:

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That offers you some other options --
Tell the seller either: 1) he makes good on the "insurance" you paid him for -or- 2) you file a _criminal_complaint_ against him with     the USPS for 'mail fraud'.
    if/when you file with the USPS, be sure to include the     fact you paid the seller for insurance against loss/damage     and he has failed to provide the goods *or* the insurance     coverage. That's *two* fraud counts, if it comes to that.
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If you sent payment via US mail, you can file a complaint on the USPS site. A call or letter from a Postal Inspector is often enough to get action.
If the seller has no proof he sent the item, you should get a complete refund. It's his responsibility, especially since his "handling" charge included "insurance".
You should also file a "safe harbor" complaint with Ebay, but they'll only let you file after a long wait and only give a partial refund if they settle in your favor.
And leave that negative feedback. You've given the seller an opportunity to make it right. At least you can help his potential future victims.
Enoch Root wrote:

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The post office gives receipts, and often they show destination information.
I've had ONE package ordered from Ebay out of about 100 that was lost in the mail for 3 months. Bought it from MJD Auctions and it was shipped media mail. Literally 3 months before it showed up with a post mark from they day they said they shipped it.
They had shipped me a new one since then, so by mutual consent it was refused and returned to sender.
A full refund is in order, and your integrity to repay it if the original item arrives eventually.
Alan
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I learned the hard way never to send anything without tracking. I sent a $180 item for upgrade via Priority Mail and didn't use the delivery notification. The addressee claimed to never have received it.
For all I know, the guy got it and just told me he never got it. Others had accused the guy of some shady stuff in the past. Delivery conmfirmation would at least prove it got to his mailbox.
Brian Elfert
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So, if you had ordered this item from Sears, for example, would you do anything differently? I suspect that you'd be fighting like hell to get the merchandise that you paid for. So why are you treating a private seller any differently? It seems to me that the SELLER has the responsibility to get the merchanndise to you since they accepted your money. Big companies (like Sears, JC Penny, etc.) don't pay for insurance since they know that the cost of the insurance is greater than the cost of the (occasional) lost item...it's just statistics. However, I believe that they ALL use some form of tracking.
BruceT

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I'm fairly certain the USPS has zero tracking on first class, priority mail, and parcel post unless you request it and pay for it.
The USPS apparently lost a shipment of mine about two years ago. I filed a lost mail form and never heard anything. If they had tracking, don't you think they could at least tell me the last place it was scanned?
Brian Elfert
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I would certainly suggest mentioning that you are considering leaving negative feedback if this is not resolved to your liking. I've only had one problem on Ebay so far. I ordered an camper oven that was listed as "brand new, never used or installed" Upon arrival, it was clearly used, there was much grease on the insides of the oven, some small rust spots, etc. Anyway, I contacted the seller who said that THEY never used it, and furthermore, bought it secondhand. That really ground my beans. To make a long story short, I emailed the seller pictures of the problems, and soon filed a complaint with Ebay. Finally, the problem still unresolved, I told the seller what I thought would be a fair market value for this used item, (for a partial refund) and I'd leave negative feedback if we couldn't resovle this soon. She quickly sent a check for the refund I suggested. I believe it was the threat of leaving negative feedback that did the trick. No one wants that! Especially for a $7 (in your case) item. At this point, it seems to me it's the SELLERS responsibility to PROVE that he did ship the item, or risk negative feedback, complaint with Ebay, etc..Communicate your course of action before you follow through, it may get your money back. --dave
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