Friday, October 13, 2017

eBay - Guerilla Seller Protection 101




There are many articles scattered around the interweb with regards to eBay's policies favoring buyers rather than sellers. From personal experience, I have experienced the grasp of eBay's inequitable eBay Money Back Guarantee and the laughable Seller Protection Policy many times. terms like: Return Requested, Payment Reversal, New Significantly Not as Described Dispute, Your Dispute Has Been Escalated to a Claim are all part of another crappy day in the office.

This article was inspired when recently a buyer purchased a phone from me. The phone had a value of around $85. I shipped the phone to the buyer with valid USPS tracking. The USPS tracking stated the package arrived at the buyers address. The buyer then opened a dispute with eBay stated they did not receive the item. Under eBay's eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer did not get the item they purchased, so the balance was removed from my PayPal account as a result and the buyer was refunded. I lost not only the amount for the phone, but also the phone itself. Crazy right? As USPS stated the package arrived, I could not file a dispute with them to claim my money back. All was lost!

The tips in this article will enable you to protect yourself better on eBay. These are things I have put together from hours of frustrating support calls, hundreds of returns and thousands of messages with "buyers".

NOTE: Most of this article assumes that the buyer is being unjust. It is assumed you have analysed them and pegged them for somebody trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I don't want to have to write this in every paragraph, so I will put it here. Your judgement is yours an yours alone.


Handling an unjust dispute


PRO TIP: An eBay dispute from a buyer cannot exist in eBay AND PayPal. If the buyer opens a case in Paypal, ALL eBays cases will automatically close-out (Even if the case has already been opened in the eBay Resolution Center - not matter what the status is!). PayPal will ALWAYS have the final say in this instance. If somehow the case exists in both places (There is a slight bug where this can happen), PayPal will process ALL refunds and returns. eBay may tell you that YOU issued a refund, however, it is really PayPal doing this on your behalf.


Avoid paying for return shipping

- Try and get the buyer to open a dispute via PayPal. This way, the buyer will HAVE to pay for the return shipping as part of the PayPal Purchase Protection for Buyers policy. If the return is handled through eBay, you will be lumped with the cost of the buyer returning the item to you. You'll find that scammers, nonchalant-greedy-folk and generic assholes get impatient very fast when multiple message exchanges. Offering them to open a dispute in PayPal is usually quite easy to do. The entire dispute will then be MOVED over to PayPal.


Didn't get your item back?
If the wrong item is returned, or, an empty box is returned:
- You will either need to go to the police station and get an incident report within 10 days. Expect to wait a long time to see your compensation.
OR
- Print out an affidavit and get it notorized by a notary. Within 10 days. Most banks offer a free notary service. Expect to wait a long time to see your compensation.


Getting negative feedback removed


Over a decade ago, it used to be fairy easily to get feedback removed. You would just have to call eBay Customer Service, whine at them for 5-10 minutes, then the feedback magically disappears! Hooray! Today, however, it is very hard to achieve this. Any negative feedback MUST fall inside the rules of the eBay Feedback Extortion Policy. Also introduced around the same time, sellers could no longer leave negative feedback for buyers. This gives the buyer a notion that they -almost- have nothing to lose (In terms of feedback reputation on eBay). A buyer can call you names in messages, tell you everything they apparently did with your mother last night, use profane language and still leave VALID negative feedback. This doesn't leave us much wiggle room to get feedback removed, but we will cover everything we can here...

PRO TIP: eBay secretly keeps track of 'user behaviour' patterns for many things. The list includes and is not limited to: Unreasonable demands, inappropriate feedback, abused a buyer protection program, misused returns and foul and offensive language. Example: If a buyer opens 3 returns sequentially, they will receive an email stating that they are conducting irregular buying habits (Basically, eBay thinks they are trying to rip people off and puts them on close watch). We can use this to our advantage in this section.

Let's be honest, the Feedback extortion policy is crap. If there is something seriously wrong with what the buyer is doing, yes, the feedback can be removed. (I.e. The buyer is threatening to leave negative feedback if you do not ship them extra things not included in the listing). I will not cover these circumstances here.

Profanity - eBay will remove ALL negative feedback that CONTAINS profanity. The profanity HAS to be within the feedback itself. If you know the buyer will soon leave negative feedback, get them to use profane language in message exchanges. I recommend waiting hours to reply and being short with your messages. I cannot teach you to be a pain in the ass, but imagine what might be annoying. If the user has been flagged for profanity previously (See PRO TIP above), use the "Report a buyer" feature and report them for profane language.

Threats - It used to be that if the buyer threatened to leave negative feedback, then this was grounds to get the feedback removed. It's a little more intricate these days because to get feedback removed, they have to threaten you in a -certain- way (The feedback removal qualifying way they threaten you depends on the person you speak to when you call eBay and ask them to remove the feedback  - It really does! - It's worth hanging up and calling back sometimes). A good way to get a buyer to make negative feedback threats is to end your messages with "I hope you leave me good feedback" after giving them no help at all. 

Report a Buyer - You can report a buyer for many things. The "Report a buyer" page allows you to report a buyer for each of the following categories: Unreasonable demands, inappropriate feedback, abused a buyer protection program, misused returns and foul and offensive language. Reading the PRO TIP above, it's a good idea to report them for each and every category. eBay allows you to do this. If they have a prior flag with eBay, your report may lead to feedback removal. It had happened to me twice so far.

Requesting a Feedback revision - This one involves a lot of butt licking, and to be honest, rarely works. It involves grovelling to the buyer, selling your soul to them, then submitting a "Requesting a Feedback revision". Only do this if you have no morals and no pride.


How to get buyers to change their tune


You all know that feeling when a buyer messages you and you get a good idea of where the road will lead after this. The message may read something simple like this: "Item doesn't work, I demand a refund! NOT HAPPY!". A few messages later, you're on a slippery road to negative feedback and a lighter wallet. It seems like you cannot change the attitude of some people. Let's look at some tips to prevent this!

The ol' "I know your friend/neighbour!" - Recently, somebody bought an item from me and was probably one of the rudest, bigoted crap-fests I've ever had to deal with. People get away with this behaviour because they are using the internet. They do not see it as the real world. Of course, it's good idea is to send them a friendly reminder! It's very easy to place their address into Google. Websites like: zillow, redfin and spokeo provide home owner information. Pick somebody that lives down the street and say that you know them. A good conversation changer may start with something like: "I didn't realize, but do you know Bob Smith? I just noticed when handling this request that you live in Billingstown. He's my brother and he lives down the road from you. He says he knows you. Small world eh!?". 9 times out of 10, this will avoid negative feedback and get them to calm down. You can even make this more intricate and use Google Street View to describe things in their area and reminisce of good times!

Summary


Again, most of this article assumes that the buyer is being unjust. Take from it what you will. It's a not a bible nor a manifesto. I hope that it will help eBay sellers who have been treated unfairly under the eBay Seller Protection Policy.

If you would like a last laugh, read the eBay Seller Protection Policy and try to keep a straight face! :)

Good tidings to all!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Terrain Racing Review - AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!




Terrain racing are at it again!
Constantly pissing around people, up-charging runners last minute, refusing to answer their support emails/calls, cancelling races last minute... and now... a new low!

My wife and I booked the Elite Heat 10K race with them, we paid more to do this. We were told literally a week before the race that the 10K is no longer timed and there will be no rewards for this race. If you want to win, run the first 5K lap as fast as you can, and then enjoy your second lap! What the actual F****!!! I swear this company doesn't have a brain cell between them!

Here is an email I received from them the other day...

from:Terrain Racing noreply@awntx3.email.active.com
reply-to:info@terrainracing.com
to:me
date:Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 10:58 AM
subject:CHANGE: Award Money for 5k Course!
mailed-by:awntx02w.email.active.com
IMPORTANT PRIZE MONEY UPDATE:

We will be awarding prize money to the 5k distance at the Las Vegas October 7th race. The 10k will not receive prize money or rankings.

The 10k course at the Vegas race is two loops on the 5k course and only the first loop is timed. Even though you signed up the 10k, we will automatically time your first loop on the 5k course and place you in the results for the 5k. 

Due to changes with course routing at the venue, we have to make this change, thank you for your understanding. After you finish your first lap on the 5k, you can head to the start and run a second lap since you registered for this two-lap 10k option.

There is no action needed on your part for this to happen. You are all set to be timed in the 5k, eligible for prize money, and ready to run a second lap.

Thanks, we will see you soon!

-----------

"ready to run a second lap." - They MUST have been laughing when they wrote this!!

---------

The proof:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Instacart - Stolen deliveries, poor customer service - AVOID!


My advice... Use Instacart as a $50 referral scheme, or, get your introduction freebies and MOVE ON!

The first two orders I made, my groceries were never delivered. The first order, the person claimed to deliver them, but didn't. I told Instacart to ban this person from making future orders from me. Low and behold, this did not happen, and this same person re-stole my second order! This driver is now banned, so that is good, but why let it go this far?

I must have contacted Instacart over 40 times over the 4 orders I made. That's 10 emails per order. This isn't a very time saving experience that was originally advertised by Instacart. I might as well go to the store myself.

I then has issues with support providing me credit as a 'sorry that your orders were stolen' coupon. The coupon didn't work when added over $35 to my cart. I had to contact them again and spent all morning today on this. When they finally fixed this bug, my free delivery went away.

Both the website and Android apps have many issues and bugs. The 'Sort by price' filters really do not work at all! Try for yourself! The Android app has a search bug where the search is hidden after the first search, so you have to guess what you search for. There is also an issue with wrong prices and wrong quantities on the website. At Smith's a TWO GALLON milk is $2.14. They WILL NOT deliver this, they will deliver half a gallon and expect you to deal with it. I told Instacart about these issues weeks ago and nothing has been done about it. The list really goes on, I could be here all day!

The support tickets are annoying because I'll get an agent who is really good and understanding, I reply to them, then some idiot in support takes over my case EVERYTIME I reply. They DO NOT READ the entire support chain, and I go round in circles again. This happen EVERY response!

The latest order, somebody thought it would be a good idea to replace a 50lb bag of rice with a 5lb bag. The 5lb bag was also a crappy value per oz. That's 10 times smaller that I wanted. Why didnt they chat with me using the chat feature? I can appreciate Instacart targets cheap people with low ambitions as drivers as they promise the self-employment dream that some job-hunters crave.... But this detriments the entire process. Orders get stolen, drivers get annoyed and damage your property. I mean, really!

Icing on the cake... You will get many emails containing the following: "If you have any feedback on how we can make Instacart Express better, just reply to this email!". Each time, the email will be sent from a no-reply email and your nice informative response will get bounced back, or, forgotten and lost forever.

Their support service is called the "happycustomers" team. I think they call it this so you go easy on them! They promise a 2 hour response, but you WILL end up waiting over 12 hours on some occasions, and when your groceries are missing, 12 hours is a long time to wait wondering where your money and your goods have gone!

Just go to the store yourself! You'll be glad you did!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cell Phone Scam - celldays on eBay


Please be aware of user: celldays on eBay



Profile
Profile - Celldays on eBay
Store - Celldays on eBay

The Scam
The seller deals which selling cell phone. The seller will claim the IMEI is good however, the phone has NOT been paid off! So later, in a week, a month, the phone will be blacklisted by the carrier. This will deem the phone useless and it's resale value will not rock bottom. Once this has happened, it will be outside of the ebay 30 day return and feedback policy.

If you are lucky enough to catch this early... REQUEST A RETURN! - However, you will notice that when you return an item, you CANNOT leave feedback... This is why their feedback looks so good!


Here is the response I received from Celldays on eBay
celldays:
Hi,

You will not have a problem, and we will extend our warranty if this happens (but it won't).

Please see our 12,000+ feedbacks, not one problem like this.

Thanks,
Sam



My Response
Hi,

How can you guarantee I wont have a problem? I assume you, I read your feedback, which is why I purchased this.

Let's look at an example of how you are scamming people...

1. I buy a phone from AT&T on a 2 year contract.
2. I make one monthly payment of $50 and then stop making payments
3. I sell the phone on ebay
4. AT&T start sending me bill reminders, which I ignore...
5. AT&T would naturally blacklist the IMEI after x weeks have passed. Why wouldn't they? You have paid $50 for a phone, which you sold for $350 on ebay. You are $300 up!! Why would AT&T NOT blacklist this phone? Again... How can you guarantee I wont have a problem?

Now, I have visited AT&T in person, they have told me that this is a scam.... Not a great first impression. They pulled up the bill for the previous owner and said they have NOT been paying their bill. AT&T told me in person, that this phone WILL get blacklisted.

So again... How can you guarantee I wont have a problem?

I Then checked google, and it's full of these issues... Im not really full on confidence here! They ONLY person that has said I won't have a problem is the person selling me the phones... What does that tell you? Seriously?

Now... I would like TWO phones, with GOOD IMEI, which have been paid off..

Paid off, means that, you fully OWN the phone for which you are selling... You cannot legally sell a phone which is not owned by yourself (As I have explained above)... If you buy a car which has been half paid off by the previous owner, naturally, you as the new owner would pick up these payments or the car would get taken away.

Look... I'm not an idiot, so please don't throw warranty claims at me... Just give me what I ordered please.

Thank you.



Their Final Response
New message from: celldays
I am insulted.

What scam? Who is a scammer?

Who paid $50?

If you do not want it, please send everything back for a full refund. (Yes, we always back our customers)

Please send everything back for a full refund.

Sam



Seriously!? They look the only bad points and discarded my whole entire explanation! They know EXACTLY what they are doing!



AVOID! AVOID! AVOID! AVOID!