As I said yesterday, two pens with broken caps were delivered. One was a real heartbreaker – a Lapis Lazuli Duofold Junior in otherwise excellent condition. The other was an everyday Blackbird Self-Filling Fountpen. The first seller apologised and asked that I return the pen for a full refund. No problems there: it was a hairline crack that I, too, might have missed. The seller’s response was the appropriate one. I’ll be leaving good feedback.
The other one didn’t behave so well. In response to my initial email he replied, “I’m sorry the lid is cracked. Can you send a photo of the crack please as I was not aware of any exterior defects.” Why would you need a photo? The pen’s coming back anyway! Nevertheless I set up the mini-studio and took a photo which I reduced in the normal way, to 600 pixels on the longest side. Here’s the photo, showing a crack that you could drive a bus through.
Prince Charming’s reply was, “Thank you for the photo. The photo is very small so it is hard to see the crack in detail. Perhaps it happened in transit. I will refund the pen if you send it back. We will both be out of pocket for the postage.”
Have a look at that crack. It has worn edges and it has the same degree of fading as the rest of the pen. It didn’t happen in transit. And there’s no reason on earth that I should be out of pocket because someone tried to sell me a pen with a gaping crack in the cap! I sent Price Charming a full-size photo which I hope choked his broadband to death. I also made him aware that I expect return postage to be paid. I have yet to hear his considered reply. I suspect that this one will end up in eBay’s dispute resolution centre. And I will win, as I have before in similar cases. And then I will leave appropriate feedback.
I’m not whining about people making mistakes. I’ve made a few myself and I’ve had customers return a pen with damage that I had missed. When they did they were given a full refund including postage both ways. Even when the pen was coming back from Spain or America. That’s only fair. Why should a buyer lose the cost of returning a deficient item? No fault resides with him; he shouldn’t be penalised.