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Why I won’t buy from eBay in the future

So, on the 13th of April my 9 year old son, who had been saving his money for a long time, decided to pull the trigger and buy an iPad with his hard saved money. It was a great thing. Here is a kid that knows how to save. He understands that if he spends his money on something, he can’t spend it on something else, so he makes sure he really wants what he spends his money on. So being the good dad, I decided I would see if I could save him some money and looked around on the internet to see if I could find him a deal. I found a retailer on eBay who was selling “New in Open Box” iPad Mini’s for $240. We discussed it and while I knew it might actually be refurbished, that comes with the same warranty as a new one so he was in. We ordered it and I paid an extra $20 to have the item shipped expedited (to arrive by the 17th of April.

Well, when the 15th rolled around and I still didn’t have a tracking number, I contacted the seller. They told me that they don’t work on weekends (that’s ok) and they had a lot of orders so that’s why I hadn’t gotten a tracking number yet. That’s fine, if it went out and I don’t have the tracking number yet, no worries. At 5 PM PST on the 16th I contacted them again. Still no tracking number so I told them if they hadn’t shipped it out yet, don’t. I paid for expedited shipping and clearly that hadn’t happened. Just refund the money and I’ll find a buyer elsewhere. I also told them if they did ship it out and it wasn’t new as per the listing I would want a refund.

Well, as you might guess, I got an email with a tracking number first thing in the morning on the 17th (the day it was supposed to arrive). The tracking information said that shipping was initiated just after 10 AM on the 17th with expected delivery on the 22nd. Thanks eBay seller for providing me with as little customer service as possible. By the way, the eBay user name is beststopdeals. If you’re going to shop on eBay I would not buy from this seller because the fact that the item was shipped out late was not the worst part of this transaction.

Well the 22nd finally came. We get the package and pull out the shrink wrapped iPad box. Looks like a new box, not refurbished, so far, so good. I cut the shrink wrap off and open the box. There is a shiny iPad with a screen protector on it. It had many bubbles on it but hey, it’s just there for shipping from the factory right? No, it’s not. Apple doesn’t put a screen protector on new iPads. I bought one for myself a while back and they come in a wrap that covers the whole device. You can’t even plug it in without taking the wrap off. Then I get to the cable, it has a twist tie on it. Again, as a person who has had a number of iPhones and an iPad Mini of my own, Apple doesn’t use twist ties. They aren’t pretty enough. But laying this all aside for now, I try to activate the iPad to our account and find out that it is still locked to a yahoo mail account. That’s awesome. I contact Apple to confirm that this is not, in fact, a new iPad and they tell me that it was originally activated in December. It has only 7 months of warranty left.

At this point I contact the seller and tell them that the item is not new and it is still locked to another account. He blames it on Apple (they must not have unlocked it properly, WTH???). I ask for him to provide a shipping label to send it back and all I get is silence. I request a refund through eBay, which he does, after a day, agree to supply. However he won’t cover shipping back to him. I don’t see why I should have to pay for his, at best, mistakes (at worst, fraud). I am told by eBay I must wait until the 28th to escalate the case. So that’s more than 2 weeks after my son spent his money. I escalate the case first thing on the 28th. On the 30th eBay (at about 1 PM PST) agrees to give me a pre-paid label to send the item back. The label is for a UPS Ground shipment. Those take 5 business days (I have enough stuff shipped to me to know) particularly when traveling across the country. The email states they will refund me the money 3 days after the seller gets the item back. So I’m looking at not getting my son’s money back until the 12th or 13th? A full month after he bought the item from this company that clearly is selling products under false descriptions? I’m not happy with that so I call eBay.

Well the first woman I spoke with couldn’t do anything about it as she wasn’t in the “escalation department” so she transferred me. The gentleman I spoke to next said that we have to follow the policy. I asked why we had to wait for the seller to receive it instead of when I send it. I don’t really care when the seller gets the item. It’s not my concern. I was lied to and it’s not my fault. The guy on the phone says that we have to follow policy. I tell him his policy protects the sellers not the customers to which he disagrees. I tell him that he’s only concerned that the seller gets it back, not that I returned it to which he says nothing. I ask to speak to his supervisor and he says that he is a supervisor. There is no one else for me to speak to. I ask him if he has a boss. “Of course I have a boss,” he says. Great, that’s who I want to talk to. He won’t transfer me though. He’ll look into it and see if there’s more they can do for me. Right… sure you will.

I’ve been an eBay member since 1998. I will never buy from an eBay seller again. Most sellers are not going to be a problem but I can’t be sure who will be. This seller had a good rating. He sold a used, second hand iPad still registered to another account as new, made excuses for bad service, and wouldn’t stand by his listings. eBay doesn’t care. He makes them money so they don’t care how bad of a seller he/they are. Their bottom line is the bottom line. If a seller makes them money that’s all they care about.

Since I can’t tell who I can trust and who I can’t on their site and I can’t trust that eBay will do the right think. I can’t spend my money there. It’s as simple as that. Neither of them will step up so I’ll never be back as a customer.

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