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.