I know I’ve written about this before and I know that, calm as I’m forcing myself to be, I know I’ll be in a bug-eyed, foaming-at-the-mouth raving rant in about 90 seconds from now but I don’t care.  Things need said.
This arrived this morning and that’s the packaging it arrived in: a reused paper envelope and a wisp of bubble-wrap.  Without wishing to be unpleasant about the seller I think it’s fair to assume from the packaging alone that he hasn’t got the wits of a wool sock.  Then we move on to the pen, part of which is a fine old two-band Waterman 52.  The other bit?  Your guess is as good as mine.  It’s a cap with a crack in it and it doesn’t fit the pen.  Not by a long chalk.  The crack might have happened because of the ridiculously poor packaging though I have to say it looks older.  The inner edges of the crack are fully oxidised and quite dirty.  But let’s give the seller a break here and say that he didn’t knowingly send out a cracked cap.  He sent out a cracked cap because he’s too (a) stupid or (b) cheap to pack a pen properly.  Or it may be that he sent out a cracked cap because he’s too stupid, lazy or blind to check for a crack that you could reverse a tractor-trailer unit into.  But the fact that the cap doesn’t fit onto the pen?  We can’t excuse him that one.  He knew it didn’t fit the pen.  It wouldn’t fit the pen even if he used a hammer.  He knew about that.  And he sold it like that without disclosure.
So what happens now?  Now, I go through the ebay dispute procedure.  The seller may make an offer of refund right away but if he does he’s an exception.  Most go into full fictional mode, pouring out tales like Charles Dickens on crack, wasting my precious time by forcing me to respond to their drivel.  eBay allows this to go on for a week.  At that point I’ll get my purchase price and initial postage back but then I have to send the pen back by a signed for service at my cost.  At my cost!  That’s £3.70 that I have to fork out because some crook or cretin sent me a broken pen for the reasons discussed above.   It’s got absolutely nothing to do with me, but I have to incur the loss, not the seller.

“Boy,” you’re saying at this point, “She does make a fuss over a paltry £3.70!”  And you would be right, were it not for the fact that I have no less than three of these disputes active at the moment.  How many have I had this year?  I don’t know.  Fifteen?  Twenty?  Somewhere around there and it’s only August.

They may do things differently elsewhere but here in Britain if a seller sends out faulty goods he has to pay to have them returned, which is entirely as it should be.  The fault lies with the seller, not the buyer.  eBay is the only environment here in which this anomaly is allowed to persist.  In fact, eBay themselves seem determined to keep it that way.  It’s iniquitous.

And I didn’t swear.  Not even once.

7 thoughts on “Aaaaaargh!

  1. Fully agree with you Deborah.
    The last one was a preudo Vacumatic which cost me a lot of grief until I sent photos of the pen against a real Vacumatic and £1.90 to send back. It later resold on e-bay for £1.50.
    Didn’t bid on your pen because I thought the cap was suspect!
    My current gripe is the number of sellers charging £4 to £5 when they reuse packages and they paid £2 or less in postage. Not you Deborah. you charge pretty much what the postage is and you use new thick card board cylinders.
    Just received a standard and senior Duofold (deep grin). Makes up for the red senior you featured recently.
    Jasmina is curled up on my lap so the world is at peace…

    1. Good to hear the world is at peace somewhere. I charge exact postage these days. For two years or so in eBay I charged less than postage was costing me. For overseas sales, by time you factor in insurance I’m usually well out of pocket. I’ve never charged for packaging; that’s an overhead that becomes a cost of business. Glad to hear you got some good Duofolds. They’re hard pens to beat.

      1. Never tried to beat a Duofold, even when it refuses to open. Is that a Highland thing?
        Great pens to hold but I prefer a good Conway or Lang nib to write with.

      2. You’re unfamiliar with the construction, “You can’t beat a …” as a term of approbation? It’s common enough. As to whether it’s Highland, I would have thought it universal.

  2. Hi Deborah,

    One of the things I appreciate about your website, besides great pens at down to earth fair prices, is the honesty I get from you. Not only the pens are always as described, but they are delivered promptly and perfectly packaged.

    Thank you very mucn.


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