Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"You mean, you put down your rock and I put down my sword and we try to kill each other like civilized people? "

It starts with an auction. An auction for a god-awful, ugly-ass statue of a Pegasus and her colt getting ready to take flight. Actually, if you're into that kind of stuff, it was quite lovely--but I wasn't feeling it.

It went on eBay. Gladly.

It sold. On eBay. For $1.81. Not that I planned on retiring on this sale--don't get me wrong. The whole point is to get rid of things! And it's $1.81 more than I had before!

But then pain happened and hence, I didn't check my email for two days. This stuff happens, you know? Well, at least to me they do. Perhaps you have a better, healthier life. Who's to say?

Regardless, once I've regained my health (If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything...), I'm going through my emails, getting ready to ship those items that have sold, and I received this message about the Pegasus statue:

I did not bid on this item. I think that my aunt did and she is not here. Please don't give me a bad rating for not buying this item. I am sorry for the inconvenience. Please respond. Thank you.
Uh-huh. Okay, whatever. You are a moron--I get that. I delay response and continue going through the emails when I see this one from the very same person in regards to the very same statue:

Can you please leve me feedback and when I get the item I will be sure to do the same for you. Thank you.
Um... Ooooookaaaaaaayyy...

So I ship the item. Never mind that this person has multiple personalities all vying to spend her $1.81 (plus $7.00 S&H, insurance optional but recommended...). True to the schizophrenics wishes, I did not add insurance, packed it tightly in a thick cardboard box surrounded by newspapers and plastic bags as tightly as possible to keep the thing as safe as possible--granted, I think the thing is uglier than Bug-Blathered Beast of Trall, that doesn't mean I am an unconscientiousness shipper, ya know?

But things happen. Specifically, postal workers go postal on their packages and sometimes things arrive broken--this, my friends, is life. It's happened to me, it's happened to Rich, it's happened to everyone. That's why insurance is offered, ya know?

So I get another email from the schizo:

I have just got the item and it is broke in many pieces. I want to see if you will send me a new one. Or give me my money back. I can send it back to you if you would like. Please respond.
Issue #1: It says at the end of my auctions, No refunds or exchanges are offered! I think that's pretty clear.

Issue #2: EBay is also quite clear in the terms of service in regards to damaged items in transit: BUY INSURANCE!

So I compose what I feel is a quite reasonable response:

I'm sorry to hear that your item was damaged in transit. As this was a one-of-a-kind item, we do not have any other Pegasus statues on hand and thus, cannot offer a replacement.

Unfortunately, insurance was offered when you paid for this item and you chose not to purchase the insurance for $1.00, as stated both in the item listing and on your shipping invoice. Therefore, we can also not issue a refund. You are more than welcome to take this up with either eBay or with the Postal Service which delivered your item as the item was packed with due care and shipped accordingly. Although we cannot foresee all things that may occur while an item is in transit, we do offer you the opportunity to purchase insurance, thus guaranteeing you the opportunity to reclaim your money should something unfortunate occur.

Again, our condolences on the damage to the item, but there is nothing further we can do to rectify the situation.
What I wanted to say is "Tough shit!", but being the generally nice guy that I am, I try to say it gently and with compassion.

And I get this:

When you packed this you used plastic bags from the store. You did not pack this to where it would not break. Not only that it looks like it was broken before! If you do not return my money I will file a complaint with E-Bay!
Tell me, dear reader: How does a broken item "look like it was broken before"? Apparently she is psychic AND schizophrenic! A real seller's dream! Just my luck!

I respond again:

When we packed this item, we did indeed fill it with plastic bags to cushion the item as it traveled--we packed the box full to ensure that the item could be as safe as we could possibly make it. I resent that you imply I sold you an item that was broken previously--I have never misrepresented any item I have sold, nor have I ever had an item break in transit before. As stated before, we took all due care with packing this item as we do any item before shipping. We offer insurance to be purchased just in case any circumstance such as this were to happen.

You are more than welcome to file a complaint with eBay as I know we didn't do anything untoward, nor did we misrepresent anything about this item. While I do feel sorry that the item arrived broken as I wouldn't ship out anything I didn't think was safe enough to travel (after all, why would I want the grief??), these things do happen.

As I said, please feel free to take this up with eBay or the Postal Service, and hope that you do remember in the future to purchase insurance on items so that this unfortunate circumstance is never repeated.

I will await a letter from eBay in response to your complaint.
That's that! I think triumphantly, hitting "send." After all, I know I'm well within my bounds as a seller--I have a 100% rating of 137, have always managed to satisfy my customers. I take great pride in this.

And what do I get?

I would like to send you photos of what I recieved. Can I get and e-mail address to send them to Please
I love how "Please" is an after-thought. Someone is singing a different tune! Ha! Someone has actually started talking to eBay and learned the sad truth. I respond:

All correspondence will be maintained through eBay's mailing service, for my own protection as well as yours. I have been in contact with eBay and waiting to hear from them with regards to how to handle this situation.
I didn't hear anything back. Finally! I think, and begin doing what I actually get PAID to do--work during business hours!

But the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking about just refunding her damn money. After all, $1.81 never broke the bank, did it? Obviously this is a person who isn't playing with a full deck of cards--they don't want it, they do want it, they don't want it, they do want it... Blah, blah, blah...

So I compose one last message:

Dear _____________,

We have decided to refund your purchase price for this item. Being that you are apparently new to eBay (with a feedback score of only 11), perhaps you didn't realize all that can happen with a transaction of this type. Perhaps purchasing insurance never crossed your mind as a necessity rather then a way to get another $1.70 out of you. Rest assured that within the next two business days, you will be refunded. However, please note that this is against my own personal policy, was well within my rights concerning eBay selling guidelines to refuse the refund, and am not responsible for how a carrier handles such items once they leave my possession. I can only hope you have learned the value of insurance on such items.
There, I thought. I'm still the Nice Guy. I hate myself for it on some level, but on another, I know that this deranged person will perhaps benefit and learn from their idiocy (and hopefully never bid on another item of mine again!!)

As of right now, the refund has been claimed with nary a thank you or an apology, or even an acknowledgment--Nada! While I realize that courtesy isn't foremost on most people's lists of things to keep in mind when dealing with others, you would think she would say something, even if it's only to gloat or something, ya know?

This is simply reason Number 842 of why I hate people...


elj377 said...

love the Princess Bride quotes throughout...your life sounds like mine...full of mirth and eye rolling!

elj377 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sylvia said...

Oh Ja... as an old ebay "power seller", I can totally relate. People are morons. Whether you're dealing with face to fact, or over the internet. People suck. And they all lack common sense. Although, it's very big of you to refund this idiot's money. Good man, Ja...
Anyway, love ya loads!

Sylvia said...

Oh Ja... as an old ebay "power seller", I can totally relate. People are morons. Whether you're dealing with face to face, or over the internet. People suck. And they all lack common sense. Although, it's very big of you to refund this idiot's money. Good man, Ja...
Anyway, love ya loads!

mom said...

hello jason! i think its always important to be a nice person even when you don't feel like it. i just can't believe that this person needed $1.81 back so bad! you can find more than that in seat cushions or in your car on the floor under the seats. and to know its been broken before means this person must work in a csi lab! people! just shake your head and remember some of them are around to keep life interesting. well, have fun with your e-bay stuff. love and prayers