Thursday, June 15, 2006

eBay messages

At the beginning of June, the 2nd to be exact, I bought an item for less than $3 on eBay.  I paid by Paypal right away.  Eventually, I received a confirmation from the seller, and my item was mailed to me on the 9th. 

Usually (that is the few previous times I have purchased things on eBay) I get an email the same day as the auction is closed.  I didn't receive anything for about 5 days, so I figured the seller had put something up for sale and then taken a vacation or something, and then taken care of business upon her return.

I gave her a "neutral" feedback, "Item arrived as advertised, took about a week for 1st response."... what follows is the notes that resulted from my feedback.  I am amazed at 1) my inability to make myself understood without causing a fight, and 2) her complete and utter anger at me.

She said...
I think you gave me the wrong feedback. I
email as soon as you purchase something and mail within 2 days. Do we not give
time for the mail system?

I said...

Sorry, received no email from you. 1st I
heard was an acknowledgement of paypal payment, 5 days after payment cleared.
Shipping after 1st acknowledgement was fine. I usually get a response right away
after an ebay auction is closed, so was surprised not to hear. ... maybe your
email was lost in the ethernet.

She said...

Did you pay by e-check, meaning you didn't
have the money in your Ebay account so they had to transfer it to Ebay which
takes 5-7 days, then it clears on my end? I don't wait to email anyone. I would
like the negative feedback withdrawn.

I said...
1) I paid by Paypal on June 2nd.
Payment to you 'cleared' on June 2nd.
3) 'Neutral' is neither
positive nor negative.
4) I do not plan on changing my feedback, and my
understanding from eBay documentation is that I cannot change it if I wanted to.

5) I'm finished corresponding about this. I didn't harm you. 1 neutral out
of 203 positive feedbacks during the last month won't hurt you.

She said...

Please do not buy from me again. I don't need
your harrasement

Is it me, or is this lady a total bitch?


  1. I had a very simular experience buying yarn on ebay. Is your seller's name "knititems"? I bought a 2 lb lot of lovely yarn, selected the priority insured mail option, and paid with PayPal immediately after the auction ended but never received any confirmation of my payment or info on shipping. Two weeks later, when I hadn't received it, I emailed to ask when she shipped and she replied that she shipped it out the same day my payment "cleared". I emailed back that my payment "cleared" immediately, and since it was priority mail it should have arrived within 4 days. I asked her to track the package for me. She said it took "a while" for my payment to "clear" because payment is never "immediate" and she shipped the moment she was notified that my payment "cleared". She also said the package couldn't be tracked because I hadn't paid for tracking service (my only choices were parcel post with or without insurance, and priority mail with or without insurance). She told me to be patient, that she had no control over the USPS. Another 2 weeks later I emailed to say I hadn't yet received it and asked her to provide me with the shipping receipts so I could file an insurance claim with the post office. She emailed back that I was being unnecessarily demanding and my repetitive emails were bordering on harassment. Huh?! I paid her $70 a month earlier and received nothing but condescending email messages. So I filed a claim of non receipt with PayPal and ebay. The yarn arrived 6 days later by parcel post and not insured. The package was postmarked the day after I filed the claim of non receipt. Hmmm. So I emailed her to request a refund on the shipping cost ($9.25 difference between uninsured parcel post and insured priority). She emailed back "postage charges are non-refundable; this is clearly posted on the auction page". I left a neutral stating "recd parcel post 37 days after pd 4 priority". She then bombarded me with evil hateful email messages demanding that I contact ebay to retract my "lie." When I responded similarly to your response, she left me a scathing negative telling me "SHAME ON YOU hideous malicious liar!" And she followed it up with another feedback comment the next day (I didn't even know you could do this) stating "SELLERS BEWARE-EVIL LIAR BUYER". Then she emailed me and said she had banned me from bidding on any of her future items (as if I would) and marked my email address as spam so don't bother communicating with her any further.

  2. She may have been a bitch, but email communication is notoriously... weird.
    Looks to me as if she vastly overreacted---goodness, I've had emails go astray and who knows where they go? Betelgeuse? Alpha Centauri? Most of the time people send a "haven't heard from you--did you receive my last message?" and I send a "Yes, didn't you receive my reply? Here's a copy in case you didn't," and all is well. But some people are determined to be intractable. Avoid her in future!
    Years ago, I read a study that indicated that, since most of us have our monitors within the 24" area we count as our personal space, we unconsciously tend to interpret even neutral messages as hostile because they're within that sacrosanct area. That helps explain some people's penchant for flaming, perhaps, and has made me very careful, most of the time, about using smiley faces and exclamation points and things to emphasize my benign intent.
    Then, there are also people who are just plain crazy. :)