A Bad Pen And A Worse Seller, Chapter 2.

I refer you back to the first post in this series if you haven’t already read it.  This will take a little time so you might want to pop some popcorn.

Well, folks, this saga goes ever on and on – a bit like “The Archers” or maybe “Eastenders”.  Hardly had the pen arrived back at the seller when he re-listed it, as Andy kindly informed me.  I, apparently, am a non-paying, overseas buyer, it would seem.  I’m not sure where the benefit to him in that particular lie lay but it’s perhaps because he cannot breathe without telling a porky.  He did deign to mention the fact that the barrel and cap do not screw together but he omitted the other egregious faults such as the cracked nib and multiply-cracked cap.  If you’re looking for it, it’s 251581507796 on eBay.  My advice is to stay away unless of course you’re the kind who baits bears and tigers and enjoys playing with fire.

Having received my refund of the purchase price and initial postage I was, of course, left out-of-pocket to the tune of the return postage of £3.90.  I’m not keen on having my pocket picked by shady eBay sellers so I left him a negative and the comment, “Did not list damage, cost me £3.90 return postage. Dishonest and argumentative.”  He made a formal request for me to revise the feedback and also sent the message, “I am writing to ask you to revise your feedback.  As you can see I work very hard to keep my feedback 100% positive. The pen was sold as SPARES & REPAIRS and in need of some TLC and I feel the descriptions was fair, and the pictures were a true reflection of the item. Should you not revise your feedback I will have no alternative to to report this to ebay for malicious feedback.  I will send a feedback revision request.”

I replied, “As you will see, I have declined your request.  The feedback is accurate, not malicious, and I am quite prepared to make that argument for eBay if you wish to report me.  The pen’s description was so poor as to deliberately mislead.  It’s all very well using vague terms like “needs TLC” or “for spares or repair” but it’s not anything like an accurate listing.  An accurate listing would have included the fact that the barrel and cap do not screw together (a fault it is impossible to put right), the fact that the nib was cracked on the lower part of the left tine which renders it useless, and the fact that the cap had a crack on one side and a piece missing from the lip on the other. All of these faults are very serious and any one of these faults would cost more than the pen is worth, to have repaired.  Such a description is easy to do and I can see no possible reason for the vague manner in which you described the pen other than to conceal its faults.  I am £3.90 out of pocket because you didn’t describe the pen accurately.  That cannot be allowed to pass without comment.  I am running a business as a pen restorer and I cannot accept additional postal charges which are of no benefit to me, particularly when I am not the one at fault.

I note that you have relisted the pen.  I note also that you have only mentioned the fact that the barrel and cap do not screw together, and you have omitted the other major faults.  I note also that you have blatantly lied about the reason for relisting the pen.  You wrote in red caps, “RELISTED DUE TO NON PAYING OVERSEAS BIDDER.”  I did pay – indeed I paid extra in that I had to return the pen – and I am not an overseas buyer.  What possible motive you had for that bit of fiction I do not know.  By contrast, in our communications, I have been nothing but factual.

While I was writing this, you telephoned me to discuss changing my feedback.  I see no reason to do that.”

While I was penning the above missive the telephone rang and it was – yes, you guessed right – Mr devonshire-sales.  My husband had answered the phone, and recognizing the name given, he admonished the seller to not be rude or unreasonable, to which the seller agreed.  The telephone call was, as you might imagine, an attempt to impress upon me how valuable his feedback was to him and the effort that he put into keeping it at 100% positive.  His unpleasantness in the first eBay message was blamed on “a member of staff”.  He was, he said, unable to change what had gone before but he was anxious to come to an arrangement that would remove the negative.  We did not come to such an arrangement.  Despite his wheedling tone and ingratiating manner, I suspected he was attempting to play upon my emotions since, as we all know, girls can’t be businesswomen, as we are all ruled by our hearts.  He soon discovered otherwise.  I pointed out to him his blatant lie regarding my buyer status in the relisting as well as the fact that he still had not disclosed all the faults of the pen, and he once again blamed that on “a member of staff.”  My husband said later, “Oh… I didn’t do it!  A big boy did it and ran away!”  It really was just like that.

The seller kept saying, “Of course I can’t force you to change your feedback,” as if I needed to be told.  And to his surprise, I didn’t.

This morning, in need of a laugh, I checked the seller’s feedback and mine.  In response to what I had said his reply was, “A PATHETIC AND CHILDISH BUYER, DOES NOT READ LISTINGS, USES BLACKMAIL, AVOID!!” (Shouty caps his, not mine.)  He had already given me positive feedback but had added a follow-up comment of, “VERY RUDE BUYER, USES FEEDBACK BLACKMAIL AS A TACTIC – FINDS FAULT WITH SPARES”.

It was hardly a surprise.  I had already formed the opinion that the seller is a malicious individual who won’t stop until he is stopped.  I reported the matter to eBay – it sounds easy when you say it like that, but what actually happened was that after going through a veritable Encyclopaedia Britannica’s-worth of eBay help files, I finally got hold of a number to phone.  eBay, I have to say, comes out of this with full marks.  They were able to automatically identify my account and the item/seller I wished to complain about.  They made no bones about the fact that calling me a blackmailer was going into forbidden territory and they promptly deleted both of the seller’s comments.  The kind lady also told me that he had been warned for doing this before.

This may be the end of it, and then again it may not.  I’m still waiting for the other shoe to fall, but perhaps Mr devonshire-sales has learned the virtue of caution and called it a day.

10 thoughts on “A Bad Pen And A Worse Seller, Chapter 2.

  1. It’s a shame but unfortunately there are malicious morons out there. They will never change. All you can do is be honest and polite yourself and report them when you are able.

  2. What a juicy lunch-time read! As a woman in business myself I reveled in your professional suffer no fools approach to handling this moron. Lots of applause from the audience for you on this one.

  3. I see that the listing has been ended as “the item is no longer available”

    What a shame! Here’s me with loads of TLC available…:)

  4. I use ebay a lot and to be honest i have a 80% success rate on how a pen is described on ebay and how it turns up. I now always ask a series of questions on condition so i dont get caught out – one question i have added recently is – does the pen have an engarved name anywhere on the body – people dont list this in the description yet for collectors especially its of vital importance. On a related subject my 20% fail rate recently included a pen that was described as “Mint” in the box yet when i got it it had a crack in the cap above the gold band – i also got a pen which had hairlines and scratching to the cap yet in the condition report i had asked for i was assured there were no cracks, splits etc!!

    1. I think my success rate is comparable with yours. Because I buy so many pens, I don’t really have time to ask questions in most cases. I have to depend on the seller’s description and where I find that pens have not been described accurately I use the eBay rules to get my money back. It can be a bit of a time waster but I treated as a cost of doing business through eBay.

      It is sometimes the case that sellers aren’t really knowledgeable about fountain pens and the faulty descriptions arise from ignorance rather than dishonesty. Of course, there are also out-and-out crooks who hope to get away with selling damaged pens as mint, or at least acceptable. They are what negative feedback was made for!

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