UPDATE TO MY PREVIOUS POST, ‘eBay finds in scammers favour despite overwhelming evidence’
After writing up the chain of events that have led to us being out of pocket and feeling totally disregarded by eBay, I decided the next course of action would be to get on the phone and start making noise while gathering advice.
I would like to say that the problem has been resolved – that eBay have reimbursed our losses and taken the situation seriously, after all goodness knows how many other sellers have been ripped off by scammers that are enabled/protected on the platform, but that would be untrue.
This is what has happened so far:
Spoke to Citizens Advice – Advised that the usual procedure would be to send a breach of contract letter to the buyer demanding payment/return of the phone and giving a deadline in which to respond before escalating to civil court. However, as the only name and address we have are fake there would be no point in doing this as the summons would never arrive. They also explained that they couldn’t really advise me as regards to eBay as it is not a UK based company – I needed to speak to the European Consumer Centre.
Spoke to European Consumer Centre – Spoke to a lovely lady called Lorna who advised me to report the scam to Action Fraud, ask eBay to reconsider their decision to issue the refund and also inform Paypal. Apparently Paypal are covered by the financial ombudsman while eBay isn’t so she said they may be able to help me. Lorna also explained that it would be worth looking through the terms and conditions for eBay to check for any points to raise with them – when you make an account the small print apparently states that the contract is between the seller and the buyer, meaning that eBay don’t actually have to pay anything in this situation. It would appear that while eBay are more than happy to make a shed load of money from their ‘marketplace’, they are less enthusiastic when it comes to solving disputes fairly or dipping in the kitty when they’re clearly at fault….
Spoke to Action Fraud – Reported the whole chain of events, recording the two stolen phones as separate cases. The gent I spoke to gave me a reference number and explained that the information will be collated at a national level and we should get an update in about three months time, too late to help us but hopefully in time to help prevent the scammers from ripping off some other poor sod. Also advised to speak to Paypal as they might be able to help me if they can see the transaction has been carried out by a fraudulent account.
Spoke to Paypal – Once I had explained the whole (lengthy) story to the adviser who took my call her response was a resounding: “Wow”.
Once she’d commiserated with me, the advisor said that she would have to speak to a manager as she didn’t know where to start, popping me on hold while they looked into it. I knew it wasn’t going to be good news by the tone of her voice when she came back on the line – she apologised before explaining that her manager was looking at the account as we spoke and could see what had happened, and that they could also see a name and address for said scammer. Obviously (data protection) she couldn’t give me any information – however she was able to take from me the other Paypal account details involved in the scam.
Basically, Paypal are saying that when you sign up to eBay you are giving them permission to both put in and take out cash from your Paypal account and apparently Paypal have to honour eBay’s decision regardless. The only way for us to get our money back would be if eBay reversed the decision to find in the scammers favour and issue a refund – instead if they had found in our favour (as they clearly should have) we wouldn’t have this problem.
eBay have caused the problem and they are the only ones with the capacity to fix it but they are refusing to do so.
The next course of action for me is to write it all up in a formal letter of complaint to eBay HQ in Luxembourg – recorded delivery of course, explaining exactly what has gone on and requesting that they step in to reverse the decision, refund my money and do more to stop this happening again…..