I also buy on eBay. Most of my transactions are flawless. But, occasionally, there is a problem, and I would like to think that my seller would simply handle the situation as I would.
In June I purchased an accordion for Joe for his birthday... a brand new one.... brand new because he already has a number of accordions that are of significant vintage, and which all have little age related issues. This was to be a new instrument... shiny and new... issue free.
When the accordion arrived, via UPS, Joe opened the box. Inside the cardboard shipping box was the accordion case, each corner of which was protected in shipping with only an inch thick Styrofoam corner. The "brand new case" had multiple dents, and the hinges were askew, obviously damaged in the shipping process. The accordion itself had a deep gouge in one of the face plates and was missing one of the rhinestones. If this had been a used instrument, I would have simply accepted the dings and dents, but it was not. It was supposed to be brand new, and the price reflected that.
So, I contacted the seller, alerting him to the state of the accordion and case as delivered. He requested photos, which I provided. He responded with an offer to send me a replacement rhinestone and $15. What? are you kidding me? You shipped this by UPS, you insured it ONLY for the $100 base UPS value, even though you charged me more than three times that amount for the contents of the package...and you want me to fix the instrument and the case with $15.00? No, that was unsatisfactory to me.
So on June 27, began the crazy, and I do mean crazy, three ring circus to resolve the issue.
- Seller claimed it was damaged by UPS.
- UPS arrived with a damage claim label and announced they were to pick up the accordion and case.
- I refused, on the basis that the seller had already informed me that he had no replacement. Joe likes the instrument and wants to keep it, he just wants the refund for the damage to the accordion and case. Though I refused to return the accordion and case, the UPS driver did verify the damage to his supervisor.
- Over the next two days I spoke with several "supervisors" at UPS claims, and they finally agreed to process the claim based on the photos we provided the seller, and a statement from the seller (supposedly a music store) of the value of the damaged case and the cost to repair the instrument.
- I conveyed all of this to the seller.
- On July 1 I spoke by phone with an agent of the seller who assured me the refund for the cost of the case $85 plus $15 for repairs to the instrument, would be processed on July 5, when the seller returned to the office.
- On July 11, with no refund, and no further communication from the seller, I sent an eBay message inquiring as to refund status.
- The seller responded, now telling me that before they can issue a refund, they have to get the insurance money from UPS and since I was not willing to send back the instrument, UPS would not pay on the claim, so they had canceled the claim.
- Several more phone calls to UPS supervisors and the seller, and several more trips from the UPS driver later, it was agreed that we would ship back ONLY the damaged case, and the seller would send a new one...we would eat the cost of repairing the instrument.
- Today, the UPS driver arrived to pick up the box with the case, and gave me the claims receipt.....
- Only AFTER he left, did I discover the label said "accordion and case."
- Several MORE UPS supervisor calls later, I was assured the case will be returned to the seller AFTER UPS "analyzes" the damage and the packaging.
- I sent an FYI eBay message to the seller, providing the tracking number for package, and requesting she send the replacement case ASAP
- THEN the seller informed me that she sent me a DIFFERENT UPS label to use to return the case only, and that there would not be a UPS claim at all..... I had not received the label, and actually, had no idea she'd sent it....after she informed me, I looked in my junk mail folder and there it was.... delivered nearly 18 hours after she'd sent it, but to my junk mail folder, rather than to my inbox...
- After another series of emails with the seller, I am, at this moment, sending the label she provided me, to the UPS claims guy, requesting that he ship the case directly to the seller, using the label she provided....
I don't think UPS is out to get me. I don't think the seller is out to get me. I just think I have spent an inordinate amount of time on this "thing" that should never have been my problem to start with. I purchased NEW. I paid NEW price, and I trusted the seller to securely package such a delicate instrument. I trusted the seller to properly insure the package. And, when, despite ALL of these, the instrument and case arrived damaged, I trusted the seller to refund reasonably for the damage, and then deal with UPS to recover his money from the insurance....of course I would have provided photos or inspections, etc., but I would have already been compensated for the damage.
I will find it very hard to rate this seller, both in feedback and DSR's....the experience has been ridiculously time consuming, and I still end up with a damaged accordion.