"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Anatomy of an eBay Transaction...

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Six years ago, when I was in better financial shape, I bought a Panasonic DVD recorder, which I used a lot and liked very much. But, lately it has been making poor recordings, with errors that make them play unreliably (if at all). I have stuff on its' hard drive, and other stuff on DVD Ram disks that are probably playable only on a similar machine.

One of the options I tried was to search eBay for an identical machine in good shape. I found one, and bought it (via PayPal) after the second email below (that replied to the first)

I have bought many things on eBay, without problems. They have a system where buyer and seller can provide feedback on the transaction (positive-neutral-negative), and a short comment. Normally, it works very well, but is no proof against someone changing after a long record of good feedback.

THIS is the result of such a change:
(His name altered to avoid preempting some of my options)
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From: paulgordon1827
To: ebaymembername
Sent Date: Dec-05-09 17:12:58 PST
Subject: You've received a question about your eBay item, Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Dear ebaymembername,

What is the condition of this item?
Has it seen extensive use?

The reason I ask is that I currently have one that I bought new six years ago, and have made hundreds of dvd-r recordings with it.

Lately, the recordings often have errors.

It may be just wearing out and I'm looking at replacement as an alternative to having it shipped somewhere for an overhaul (if that's even practical anymore).

An identical model (such as yours) would allow me to transfer stuff from its' hard drive to yours, via the dvd-ram disks I also have.

So, I guess I'm wondering how much potential life remains in yours.

Thanks.

- paulgordon1827


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From: eBay Member: ebaymembername [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 00:35
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Dear paulgordon1827,

I actually never hooked this unit up, so it's unused.

- ebaymembername


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From: payment@paypal.com [mailto:payment@paypal.com] On Behalf Of service@paypal.com
Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 11:08
To: Paul Gordon
Subject: Receipt for your PayPal payment to ebaymembername

Hello Paul Gordon,

You sent a payment of $290.79 USD to ebaymembername (**@*****.***)
Thanks for using PayPal.
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From: eBay Seller: ebaymembername [mailto:auctionwarranty@squaretrade.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 17:57
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: Your eBay DVD Player purchase: get year(s) of care-free coverage

SquareTrade is offering a limited-time 20% off your warranty. For just $31.19, you are protected from losing your $275 item if mechanical or electrical failures happen during normal use.
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From: eBay Seller: ebaymembername [mailto:auctionwarranty@squaretrade.com]
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 22:22
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: Your coverage options on your eBay item: Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

SquareTrade is offering a limited-time 20% off your warranty. For just $31.19, you are protected from losing your $275 item.

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From: eBay Member: paulgordon1827 [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 23:06
To: eBay Member: ebaymembername
Subject: Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #************

Dear ebaymembername,

I was going to ask if this item had been shipped yet, and, if so, can it be tracked.

BUT...

Today (Mon, 12/14/2009) I just received my SECOND email request for purchasing a warranty on it (the first was on Dec 6).

Is this a pre-requisite for having it shipped to me?

Does it mean it hasn't even been shipped yet, and is awaiting purchase of this warranty?

- paulgordon1827


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From: eBay Member: paulgordon1827 [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2009 23:05
To: eBay Member: ebaymembername
Subject: Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #************

Dear ebaymembername,

Do you have any idea where it is?
Can it be tracked?
Thanks.

- paulgordon1827


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From: hisrealname [mailto:hisrealemail]
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 13:17
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: Re: Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #************

I will investigate this morning and get back to you

hisrealname-via Blackberry


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From: eBay Seller: ebaymembername [mailto:auctionwarranty@squaretrade.com]
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 18:11
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: Last reminder to cover your eBay Purchase: Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Final Reminder of Warranty Purchase Option
This is your final reminder of the option to get 20% off a warranty on your recent eBay purchase.

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From: eBay Member: paulgordon1827 [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 22:49
To: eBay Member: ebaymembername
Subject: Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #************

Dear ebaymembername,

Where we are...

Dec 06 - I buy, online, the DVD Recorder described in the subject, and pay in full (via PayPal) $275.00 + $15.79 (S&H) for a total of $290.79, and am told that this item will be sent, by UPS Ground, with an estimated delivery date of Dec 10 to 17.

Dec 14 - I send you a message asking if it has been sent yet, and if it can be tracked (my UPS experience is that delivery typically occurs within in the mid-range of their estimates).

Dec 19 - I send message asking if you?ve any idea of where it is, and if it can be tracked.

Dec 20 - Got your email stating you will investigate and get back to me.

Dec 23 - So far, no item, not one word. I am trying to live on early-retirement social security, and the meager earnings of a part-time job. $290.79 is NOT pocket change to me, but I have paid it (and PayPal confirms that you have received it).

Considering what I've just laid out above, if YOU were in MY place, what would you be considering right now?

- paulgordon1827


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From: eBay Member: ebaymembername [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2009 14:58
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Dear paulgordon1827,

I regret the delay. A highly unusual set of circumstances has beset this purchase fulfillment that I won't bore you with as excuses. It's entirely my fault.

I havd two options for you-
I will issue a full refund plus $25.00 for your trouble.
I will ship the item tomorrow-it was not shipped as I thought it had been-but at half the price we agreed, plus shipping-as liquidated damages for not keeping up my end of the bargain. Please advise.

- ebaymembername


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From: eBay Member: paulgordon1827 [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2009 17:41
To: eBay Member: ebaymembername
Subject: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Dear ebaymembername,

Sir: I offer a third option to you.

If the item was only DELAYED in shipping, and has NOT been damaged; that is if it is still in the condition you originally reported to me before I bought it, then go ahead and ship it, in a manner that can be tracked, and we'll adhere to the ORIGINAL deal. No price adjustment necessary.

If the delay was caused by some event that may have damaged it, then I'll go for your first option.

If the only screw-up was failure to get it shipped, I can forgive that. (Please keep this to yourself, but I too am capable of screwing up on occasion. :-)

Merry Christmas, and please keep me informed.
Thanks.

- paulgordon1827


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From: hisrealname [mailto:hisrealemail]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2009 17:52
To: gordonp@airmail.net
Subject: Re: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Thank you-you have a deal. It will ship tomorrow. I'll upgrade the shipping speed at my expense. Happy Holidays.

hisrealname-via Blackberry


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From: Paul Gordon [mailto:gordonp@airmail.net]
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2009 18:06
To: 'hisrealname'
Subject: RE: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Message received and understood.
Over, and out.
Have a good one. :-)


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From: Paul Gordon [mailto:gordonp@airmail.net]
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 20:35
To: 'hisrealname'
Subject: RE: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

Sir: That was TEN days ago.

Questions...
1) HAS it been shipped?
2) WHEN was it shipped?
3) HOW was it shipped?
4) Have you a tracking number?


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From: eBay Member: paulgordon1827 [mailto:member@ebay.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 09:30
To: eBay Member: ebaymembername
Subject: Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #************

Dear ebaymembername,

Today (Wednesday, 01/06/2010) marks one solid MONTH since I paid in full for an item I have not received.

12 days since you acknowledged failure to ship and promised it WOULD be shipped by a faster method.

I would really appreciate at least some information today.

Thank you.

-

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From: Paul Gordon [mailto:gordonp@airmail.net]
Sent: Saturday, January 09, 2010 16:55
To: 'hisrealname'
Subject: RE: You've received an answer to your question about item Panasonic DMR-HS2 (40 GB) DVD Recorder

My patience has been exhausted.

After you acknowledged (On Dec 25, 2009) failure to ship my merchandise, I forgave you and offered you another chance; which you accepted and in which you promised to ship the item THE NEXT DAY, and BY A FASTER METHOD.

To date (Saturday, Jan 09, 2010) NOTHING. No merchandise, not one word, nada.

Repeated queries as to IF, WHEN and HOW it was shipped, and if it can be tracked, have been ignored.

Your reluctance (or inability) to answer those simple questions raises all sorts of alarms, as does the recent appearance of a negative feedback from another who also has yet to see his merchandise and still another who, while giving positive feedback, thanked you "for your honesty" making me wonder what happened there.

What the Hell has happened to you? Your behavior is completely inconsistent with your feedback record prior to this transaction. (For the money involved, you can bet I checked THAT before buying this item.)

The sum involved is not pocket change to one in my circumstances. You have hurt me, Sir, severely, and if you harbor some illusion that by simply ignoring me, I will get tired, give up, and just let it go, then Sir, you have mistaken my nature absolutely.

If I can get some solid information about when and how it was shipped, and I receive it soon and deem it satisfactory, THAT WILL BE THE END OF IT.

Or, if it has NOT been shipped, please refund (via PayPal) the full amount of $290.79 (note, at the moment, I'm not requesting a single cent more than what I am rightfully due), and when it is in my account, THAT WILL BE THE END OF IT.

Otherwise, I have not even BEGUN to consider my options. Letting go just ain't one of them.

-

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And, that's where it stands, at the moment. I DO have several options, especially since I know where he can be reached, so we'll just have to see what commences.

UPDATE - The next post ( An Ode to PayPal... ) is a follow-up to this and has the resolution.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clearly, many thanks for the information.

Paul_In_Houston said...

Although that comment appears appropriate to this post, my site meter (StatCounter) shows no trace of anyone even visiting my blog around the time the comment was put up, let alone actually reading this post.

In fact, that comment would have been far more appropriate to the follow-up posting "An Ode to PayPal...".

So, I have to conclude that it is almost certainly a spam-bot.

I'd love to learn how it accomplishes this; finding a particular post to comment upon and actually doing it without leaving a trace other than the comment itself.

And as for WHY it was done ("What's in it for them?") I suspect the answer may be because they could.
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Anonymous said...

The excellent and duly answer.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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