Saturday, November 15, 2008

File under "long memory"

I'm not an eBay addict. I buy through eBay or Half.Com a few times a year, usually relatively small items (books or the obsolete video game stuff that my 7-year-old is obsessed with). And the experience is almost always great. Earlier this month, I bought a Sega Dreamcast as an early Christmas present for said 7-year-old. The item didn't arrive exactly as advertised (a missing controller), but the seller took near-instant action to correct that.

I've had precisely one bad experience buying things this way, and coming up on the two-year anniversary of that experience, I figure it's a good time to put in a bad word for the seller just as the holiday season cranks up.

The item was was a mere $14.99 -- $20 and change with shipping, etc. It was an "E-Reader," a device that hooks up to the old original Nintendo GameBoy and allows games to be scanned in from cards. Kind of neat if you're a (then) 5-year-old GameBoy addict. I had purchased from the seller before. I had received the items promptly and in the advertised condition, and had left positive feedback. So I was confident in buying from them again.

It never arrived. After the "expect no later than" date, I contacted the seller. I received no response. After 10 days, I posted negative feedback on the transaction. The seller's response? They posted negative feedback on me -- although I had paid for the item promptly, waited through the entire likely receipt period, contacted them, and given them time to respond. They then proposed that they'd withdraw their negative feedback if I'd withdraw mine. No offer to actually deliver the item they'd sold me or anything like that -- just "we'll stop lying about you if you stop telling the truth about us."

I don't negotiate with terrorists. And while nearly 99% of these guys' feedback was positive, when I dug through their negative feedback I found several other such incidents.

These guys ripped me off for twenty bucks. Actually, they ripped a five-year-old kid off for twenty bucks of his Christmas money and the enjoyment of something he reasonably expected to get for it, but I reimbursed him.

So, by way of what comes around goes around: If you're doing your holiday shopping at eBay or Half.Com, I advise you to avoid bidding on or buying items from egameuniverse.

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