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Old January 10th, 2014, 11:49 PM   #16
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

After a bit more digging around via the internet, (what a wonderful low cost investigatory tool it is) and two phone calls, I have established that the package was returned by Pitney Bowes, Unless they have entered into a collusion with FedEx to deceived which is unlikely, the vendor has both the good and my payment.

Unfortunately, there is a break in the chain of evidence. That is that the package delivery required no signature.

The vendor is buried fairly deep, well detached from direct contact in the eBay environment. But for a chance disclosure of other contact details the vendor's personal identity would have remained well hid. His eBay iteration resides in one US state. His actual business resides in another state. Direct phone numbers are a harder go but can be found by convoluted means.

This is possibly why the vendor got a bit cross when I used anther email address to contact him earlier in the peace. The vendor has an apparently unblemished record on eBay since 2002 and in other occupations and storefronts so far as I can determine.

By putting it all together, the whole thing has been a cascade of small events, set off by a single innocent act. However, there now enters an element of incompetence in business or plain and simple dishonesty if the returned item has been received by the vendor and not accounted for.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 10th, 2014 at 11:51 PM. Reason: error
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Old January 11th, 2014, 12:23 AM   #17
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

Well, one of ebays and paypals "rules" is that for items under $250, you don't need a signature... just online viewable proof of delivery...

So you now can show delivery back to the vendor from the sound of it? They can't keep the item and the payment - that would be theft - if the postal service was used, perhaps a report of mail fraud, a call to the San Jose Better Business Bureau and a couple other regulatory/enforcement agencies in the US would be effective.

I'd contact the vendor again and let them know you've got proof that they got the parcel back, and you want your money - tell them to take up delivery issues with ebay and their GSP program, as that sure looks like where this thing went south.

It ain't over 'til it's over...
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Old January 11th, 2014, 03:59 AM   #18
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

Thanks bob. eBay is, here in the UK, very stacked against the seller, not the buyer. Their ad at the moment tells buyers not to worry, if they have a bad experience they will made happy. As a seller I frequently have to send out second parcels when our Royal Mail screw up, which is common, and then after three weeks, these lost items sometimes get returned. If a seller complains about a buyer nothing happens but if the buyer complains eBay find in their favour almost automatically and PayPal take the money back. As a seller you toe the line or eBay UK take away your extra tiny discounts. As a seller I have to take the word of my customers. It didn't arrive? It was damaged? And now even I don't want it and we MUST do a refund. Sometimes the people send the goods back too! If you want to sell on eBay UK sellers have to live with it.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 04:55 AM   #19
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

Cut to today. I notified the vendor that a chain of evidence determined that the item was in his possession with tracking number and a .jpg screengrab.

This morning a paypal notification came in to advise of a payment by the vendor to me. The person is immature. He still wanted to get a last snark in. He harped on the point that he was not refunding the shipping component as he had fulfilled his obligations from his side of the deal (my paraphrase).

That's not quite right but it will do. I never paid a shipping component in the second transaction. I wanted to. I am content to leave it at that.

The fine print in the ebay/PayPal/Pitney Bowes combination defines that the follow-up is the vendor's responsibility. It has been me doing the legwork. However, the refund is in full, less US$4-00 claimed as the vendor to Pitney Bowes portion of the cost.

With the tanking of the AU$, provided I do not buy anything else from offshore which is now unlikely for that reason, I am no worse off in Aussie dollar terms.

What really gets me is this guy stonewalled on the responsibility issue, put up a barrier of denial and took it right to the wire.

It was edifying just how the will to make it happen, can suddenly become motivated by apprehension of getting caught out, remarkably discovering a returned FedEx package this far past the Christmas rush?

Yeah, right. - Unthoroughness and expediency in the long haul are not a substitute for efficient business practice.

This vendor ventured very close to a serious reputational setback. His eBay enterprise is only a small iron he has in the fire of commerce and profession. I won't detail any further as dots might be successfully joined.

Anyway. There endeth the saga. It is a pyrric outcome in terms of the value of my time invested in this investigation.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 05:25 AM   #20
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

There being no responsive initiative of contacting me made by eBay/PapPal/Pitney Bowes as a result of this posting and two readings of the above draft statement of claim to EBay's quality assurance voice monitoring system;

that final resolution of this unfortunate problem occurred only by investigation of my own to establish an unbroken train of evidence which brought about appropriate redress by the vendor;

I shall neither remove this post nor seek it to be removed by the moderators of this discussion forum.

I do acknowledge the co-operation and professionalism of some of the eBay/PayPal/Pitney Bowes customer service staff members in providing information that facilitated my own further enquiries. This occurred after I finally was able to open and hold fast, sustained calls to the entities.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 11th, 2014 at 05:34 AM. Reason: added disclosure
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Old January 11th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #21
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

Bob -

No need to remove the post/thread IMO, as I said, to ebay/paypal it's spit in the ocean, BUT it has some good info in it!

As Paul has stated, ebay has become nearly brutally ANTI-seller - that might well be why your seller is "testy" - I had a return on a CLEAR buyer error recently - guy didn't know how to use a camera and got it into a setting that caused it to choke on large amounts of data while using an old, slow, or defective card - I replicated it, while scratching my head as to WHY anyone would set a camera to those settings... sigh... User malfunction, but paypal let them claim the camera was "defective" to force a return... yeah, nice...

As I said earlier, ebay is not what it used to be, it is VERY hard for sellers, and consequently as a buyer, your odds of finding a "fairly good" seller who is "happy" with ebay procedures is slim to none, and Slim just left on the 5:30 Express... I've had FAR more problems with buying since they "protected" me than I did before! MANY good sellers have left in disgust, and worse yet, ebay is purging many for "minor mistakes" or a couple "bad buyers" who ding the stars/feedback - thousands have been cut from the indications on their own ebay discussion boards - and it's not all "bad" sellers, sometimes it even appears to be in gross error!!

As a seller, you live in constant fear and frustration about the "buy and try and return" system ebay has created. If one actually uses some of their "genius" ideas (GSP being in that lot), it's even worse! I try to opt out of any "new awesome seller program" for this reason...

Glad you got most of your funds back, it's probably not worth further toll calls, but now you could press ebay/paypal to refund your shipping and they'd probably do it <wink>. And it would appear that WAS their fault, or rather their "shipping partner".


I understand where the vendor is coming from in his thinking - he did his part, and GSP dropped the ball... he probably realizes the amount of required time to call eBay's attention to it and get refunded is not worth it, and likely won't result in anything being "fixed" beyond that... keep in mind he's still on the hook for ebay Final Value Fees on the sale, INCLUDING SHIPPING, to the tune of likely around 10%!! Ebay might refund him if he calls, but he's at the end of the time limits too... so you and he both lose, and ebay/paypal "wins" (excluding the cost of all those calls to CS <wink>)..

Unfortunately, instead of the anger being directed where it belongs (ebay/paypal) and fixing all the "broken" bits of the system, it's often (mis)directed to the counterparty in the transaction. Keeping buyers and sellers angry and frustrated at each other while ebay/paypal collects fees serves the corporate bottom line. It used to be possible to make a suggestion and see it put into place fairly quickly, or to get problems addressed while on the phone, now it's hit and miss, mostly miss... I've found lately that even their employees aren't always terribly happy with the state of things!
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Old January 12th, 2014, 12:53 AM   #22
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

Dave.


By and large, I was on the side of the seller. He was perhaps a little too keen to close the deal or wanted a customer to be satisfied. I had already backed off and proposed we go our separate ways.

The vendor has been a seller since 2002 with an apparent good record. I also established in my own investigation that the vendor earns or earned a living in two other enterprises, none of which would have come about without putting in the hard yards. I did not examine if both enterprises were co-existent or sequential as it was not relevant.

It seems that in common with many vendors, the Ebay storefront is a sideline, not the prime breadwinner enterprise. It is likely only profitable when margins are squeezed, to invest as little human intervention as possible.

The shipping cost of the transaction was refunded the first time round and was not paid by me a second time so there is no loss to me in that component. On final analysis, I should have been more pro-active sooner. I had assumed that a further request for payment would come from the system once the item was confirmed landed at Pitney Bowes.

I factored the pre-Christmas rush into any delay and did not vigorously pursue the matter until after Christmas. Bad move. That' when I then discovered eBay was an impregnable fortress.

Given that it is essentially a monopoly, I am a little surprised that US anti-trust examiners have not started turning over a few leaves and stones already. It would probably take a concordance of many vendors and a class-action suit in the US to address the fairness issue. As vendors are in effect competitors with each other, eBay is pretty safe. As far as the relationship between vendors and eBay is concerned, vendors are essentially end-users of an offered product or service for which a fee is levied. That may put eBay/PayPal/Pitney Bowes in the frame of Australian consumer law as to unconscionable conduct if they become too oppressive in treatment of vendors.

There is an apparent AU portal. Whether eBay has feet on the ground in Australia or is simply doing business from common servers wherever their hosting now happens, that is another matter. It would be interesting to examine if eBay is levying an "Australia Tax" on Australian vendors by a geo-blocking technique and charging a higher percentage on locals. In that circumstance, wilful and misleading conduct could also enter the frame. However that is something for somebody else to examine. There is a very big and heavy foot that can come down on my cruit if I get too uppity.

What matters is that it has ended well and hopefully eBay will address a few concerns. I am not holding my breath on that one.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 12th, 2014 at 01:15 AM. Reason: error
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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:59 PM   #23
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Re: Unresolvable Ebay, Pitney Bowes, Paypal GSP hiccup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Thanks bob. eBay is, here in the UK, very stacked against the seller, not the buyer. Their ad at the moment tells buyers not to worry, if they have a bad experience they will made happy. As a seller I frequently have to send out second parcels when our Royal Mail screw up, which is common, and then after three weeks, these lost items sometimes get returned. If a seller complains about a buyer nothing happens but if the buyer complains eBay find in their favour almost automatically and PayPal take the money back. As a seller you toe the line or eBay UK take away your extra tiny discounts. As a seller I have to take the word of my customers. It didn't arrive? It was damaged? And now even I don't want it and we MUST do a refund. Sometimes the people send the goods back too! If you want to sell on eBay UK sellers have to live with it.
That is exactly why I closed my ebay and Paypal accounts a number of years ago - I had lots of good transactions both as a buyer and a seller , but when they tried to start forcing sellers to accept PP as a payment method I heard the alarm bells ring and left .

I managed most of my life before ebay just fine , and am now doing just fine without them .

Gumtree ( part of eBay I know ) works just fine for getting rid of unwanted items : meet up with local buyers , do cash deal , job done ; I've also used it to buy stuff locally too . Best of all - no fees of any kind :)
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