Today for my post, I’m going to focus a little thing called online shopping. Oh, we all know how fun it is and, hell, if it weren’t for online shopping we wouldn’t be able to find the kick ass stuff we always wanted like that Lollapalooza shirt, circa 1993, nor the plethora of designer perfume that you can’t find at reasonable prices anywhere on a shelf. But online shopping has its downfalls, like everything else, and in the past few days I’ve realized just why I really should try to cut back on my online shopping. Not for the obvious saving of money option but for the simple fact that people who sell things online are assholes.
Incident A: the pissy guy from Amazon
I have been wanting to buy a certain book for a while but could never find it online in a new, affordable price. When I looked on Amazon, the listing they had for one edition was from a publication date a few years ago. It was the kind you would see at Barnes and Noble (except that Barnes and Noble doesn’t have it in stock.) So I ordered the cheapest, like new condition book listed on Amazon and paid $10 for the “like new” book. When I finally get it, it’s the original, old edition of the book, which is fine in a collectible sense, but that’s not what I wanted it. It smelled old and had browning pages: I don’t read smelly books. (And you can quote me on that.) I like going into used book stores and I like what the smell represents, but I can’t stand reading a book that isn’t clean and nice — I’m a weird perfectionist about my paper products.
Anyway, so I put my feedback for the seller as 4 out of 5 stars and state that everything was fine but if I had known the copy was an original edition, I wouldn’t have bought it. True. My fault for not seeing that he had listed the book in the wrong category (there was a section for “First Edition” that is specifically for that edition’s ISBN number.) His fault for selling an old book at too high of a price in the category for the modern paperback and hoping no would would mind.
Well, after I put this feedback online yesterday, the guy emails me today, freaking out about it, saying “Why are you complaining about that?!” and that my statement makes it seem as if he mislead me. He never apologized, just instructed me on how to remove my four star feedback rating. Um…no. I actually thought about deleting it and re-posting one saying, “Don’t give him anything other than a five star feedback rating or he’ll start hounding you, even if he does charge too much for an old book that he sells under a new edition ISBN number listing.” But I won’t.
Incident B: the condom and sheet guy from Ebay
I searched on Ebay for a set of sheets to fit my bed (queen) and ordered a pretty new, high thread count set. Unfortunately, again, the listing was in the wrong category and the set was the wrong size I needed. Immediately after payment I contacted the guy asking if he had a queen size available instead and if so, could he sell that to me instead. He responded the same day with, “I sure do, no problem.” He never asked for more money or anything. A few days later when the sheets arrived, they were the same, wrong size. I emailed him again saying that I would send them back for the exchange to which his response was “Just give me a call.” Um…no. It’s bad enough that you know my mailing address, let alone my phone number and I’m not about to call some weirdo in New York. I send him another message saying that I sent the sheets back, paid for the shipping myself, to which I am responded to with “I’ll get to you after the weekend.” O…k…
Some time goes by and nothing, so I contact him. Nothing. A month goes by, nothing. I report him to Ebay to get them in on the case. I check to see if the guy even has an account on Ebay anymore and sure enough he does, selling sheets and condoms. He replies to me again with, “just give me a call.” So basically I’m dealing with a pimp of some New York adult entertainment business? Lovely. After Ebay keeps asking if I want to keep up communication with the guy or close the matter as resolved (obviously, I said “not resolved, continue communication with seller”) the condom and sheets guy asks if I want an exchange or a refund. When I say “refund” he asks “How do you want me to refund you?” (insert derogatory joke here) and said “Just through my PayPal account would be fine, thanks.” I got my thirty dollar backs but, damn, who the hell is gonna buy condoms online anyway?
Incident C: the disappearing web host
This one is simple. I bought a “Lifetime Unlimited Web Hosting” account for three domains in one package. I got a response for this site after a few days and the guy was super nice, but now I can’t get a hold of him again to set up the other two domain accounts I wanted. I contacted another buyer on Ebay who told me that this web host seller was apparently a fraud and that no one can contact him again and his account has been deleted from Ebay. Nice. So I’m thinking I’ll buy another web host service just in case, but for right now everything works fine. It was down for a bit (thanks to Geoff @ Soma Cow for alerting me of this one day) and when I emailed the web host seller, I still got no response. However, for right now I can still access my Control Panel, FTP server and the site stays up so I’m okay with it but I continually back up my site anyway since I learned my lesson the hard way a couple months ago. But, honestly, if I can’t contact him, I really should switch hosts again and transfer everything over. Big sigh…
Incident D: the guy who stole my $300 on tried to ruin my birthday
I wanted my kick ass camera for my birthday. It is number four on PC World’s list of top point and click cameras and I was so excited about getting it. I had looked online for days, trying to find the best price from a reputable seller. When I chose this seller for my camera, he had positive feedback (which I know know means nothing because by the time they get negative feedback, their account has been closed.) He sold it at a slightly lower price than the other sellers and the camera was available for “Buy it Now” so it could be shipped that week. Cool.
So I pay the $300 on PayPal and wait. The stupid thing was suppose to come from Delaware so it wasn’t like it would take a lot of time, but since something I had sent to Laura in New York took a while to get to her in the mail during the same week, I wasn’t overly anxious. But I knew something was wrong when the mouse I ordered from California after I ordered the camera, came before the camera ever did, I contacted the seller. He said it had been shipped and would be here “any day now.”
The very next day, I got an email alert from Ebay stating that the seller I bought the camera from was a fraud and that if I had already sent money to the guy, to go through the necessary process with PayPal and file a claim with them. So I do. And contact the seller and say that I had to file the claim with PayPal and I appreciated his refund. No response. Then it gets interesting.
After a week, I check back on PayPal to see how the claim is doing. This is the stupid part. Apparently even though Ebay knows that he’s a fraud and alerted me to take necessary action, PayPal has to wait for the seller to get back to them before taking any action. Right. Now, the PayPal policy said something like that I had the option to escalate the claim to a dispute at any time after I had given the seller ample time to contact me. If I could get anything out of him, do you think I would dispute this on PayPal? Anyway, so I filed a full dispute and now I still have to let PayPal wait for 20 days to hear back from the seller. Of course he hasn’t responded and by Sunday, supposedly, if they don’t hear from him, I’ll get my refund. Supposedly.
I just don’t get why I have to wait for my money when they are the ones who caught him practicing fraud. I don’t get that at all.
Nonetheless, I have all of my cool 2GB memory card (that I bought from a local seller on Ebay — very awesome!) and my camera case and my LCD screen protector and no kick ass camera a month after my birthday. At least everything else went well for my birthday though.
After reading some PayPal Horror Stories, after this camera deal is settled, I’m removing my bank information from them. If I buy anything on Ebay, I’m charging it instead. I’ve had so much fraud done unto me these past few months that I don’t want to take anymore chances on getting my much needed cash swiped. At least I don’t really have anything in my bank account to be taken anyway.
Now, that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I need to start working on my class and getting to this story idea I came up with last night. I think I can curtail it to the So You Think You Can Write? challenge, but I’m not sure. If I can write it in three single spaced pages, I have a damn good idea for how to intertwine the music lyrics. I’ll post the link when I’ve submitted it.
But instead of working I just want to run down to my car and drive around town listening to my She Wants Revenge CD. What I Want is so freaking good. I listen to it over and over. There’s a very distinct “Personal Jesus” / “I Feel You” vibe to it.
Photo credit: nosuchuserexists