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admin : Monday, December 13, 2010, 19:20

Ebay Feedback Extortion Policy Not Backed By PayPal

I purchased a portable dvd player from an ebay company, unitedaudio, for $64.99.  When the item arrived it was faulty, so I contacted them and they said “not sure what is wrong with it, but do send it back and we will swap it over”.  So I asked how they wanted me to send it back, and was told to put it in an Express Post bag and send the faulty item back to them.  I did as instructed, and when they received it I rang to find out where the replacement was.  It had been 4 days (express post in Australia takes only 1 day) and they said they were sending the replacement out that day, which was a relief to me.

However, when I got off the phone with them I decided to have a closer look at their ebay feedback. To my surprise, there were heaps of those dvd players that people had returned, so I immediately contacted the company and asked for a refund instead of the replacement.

They agreed to the refund, but only under the condition that I left them positive feedback.  I argued that I didn’t want to leave any feedback at all, but apparently this was unacceptable to them as they sent me an email stating the following-

“We have left you positive feedback on ebay, and are waiting for you to leave positive feed back in order to issue your refund”.

After receiving this email, I left negative feedback for the transaction and contacted ebay, as this is considered “feedback extortion”, and is against ebay policy.  I figured I had a perfect case, and ebay said “good news, you can get a refund because you payed through PayPal”. So I contacted PayPal and filed a dispute with the ebay seller.

I was told by one of PayPal’s operators that if the seller does not respond by a certain day and time, then the case will be closed in my favor. So I waited and waited, no response from the seller. Finally the deadline had passed, and I thought “Great, I win”. But what a dissapointment to be told that in spite of the seller not responding to PayPals emails-

“I was not eligible for a refund as I couldnt prove I sent the item back”.

PayPal had sided with the ebay seller because I neglected to note the tracking number when I sent the DVD player back.

I sent PayPal the emails I received from the seller that came via eBay, showing that they tried to extort positive feedback from me.  Apparently, this was not enough! I even sent further emails that I received from the seller but never an email saying I hadnt sent the item back.

After the case was closed, I received further emails from the seller after I sent him an email saying that the dvd player was for my 12 year old son and that they were hurting him, as I am cannot afford to buy him another one without the refund.This was the response I received from the ebay company-

“HI. AGAIN, I WAS REFUNDING YOUR FULL PAYMENT PLUS YOUR POSTAGE FEES FOR YOUR TROUBLES. BUT NO YOU WANTED TO BE A ***censored***, AND WANTED TO LEAVE YOUR TUFF FEEDBACK.  SO THERE YOU GO, NOT MY FAULT AT ALL I WAS BEING NICE ABOUT IT.

MERRY XMAS AGAIN”.

I sent copies of this email to PayPal, and they gave me a stupid $25.00 voucher for my troubles. BIG DEAL, I did nothing wrong the whole way through and provided them with all the evidence I had, and still they side with this seller!

I am still going to pursue this matter with N.S.W fair trading and then the N.S.W small claims tribunal, as well as my credit card company.  I hope that this will get me a better outcome.

My advice before you buy anything from eBay is to be sure to check the buyers feedback. And if you have a problem, CONTACT eBay and PayPal before you contact the seller, as that way they will tell you what steps to take including sending the item back registred post.

Good Luck and I hope this helps anyone not get stung like me.

Submitted By:: David

Location: Adelaide Australia


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