I can’t actually believe that there is no forum for eBay so hope I am in the right place for advice on my case against them.
I am sorry it is a bit long winded but hope someone can advise me what to do next.
In August (2010) I bought a bed via eBay after contacting the seller several times to explain my circumstances and what I required from a bed. Basically, I am a cancer patient and am having severe pain on my surgery side which is keeping me awake and lack of sleep is just adding to my problems. I explained that I wanted a memory foam mattress as I had been told one of these would help to alleviate pressure and ease the pain.
He gave me three alternatives to look at over two different names he used on eBay, he was actually a wholesaler from Yorkshire (or so he said). I made my choice as the picture was of a lovely bed and the description said it was the equivalent of a well known High Street retailer’s top of the range bed. I went to have a look and was shown a superb bed costing three times the eBay price.
I telephoned the seller back and told him my decision and he said I had made a good one and he would get the bed to me asap. He did keep his word on that and the bed arrived on the following Saturday but what a shock. It was nothing like the picture, the base was a cheap and nasty one, the drawers didn’t even fit the openings properly and everything was stapled together, not a screw in sight so I knew the drawers couldn’t be used or the bottoms would fall out. I didn’t even unpack the mattress, I just telephoned the seller to say the bed was nothing like the picture and I couldn’t keep it.
He was very aggressive and said he had to keep the costs down by producing the bases as cheaply as possible but this didn’t affect the sleeping experience. I wasn’t happy and insisted he take the bed back but he said I would have to send the bed back if I wanted a refund. I asked him how I was supposed to do this and he said that was my problem, I tried to point out that he had sent me a bed that was nothing like the one I thought I had bought and as far as I was concerned that was fraud. He insisted the bed was the equivalent of the High Street retailers one and I was getting nowhere.
On Monday I contacted Trading Standards and they looked at the case for me and I believe they also telephoned the seller because they told me, as his terms of trading return’s policy did not specify that returns were to be at the buyer’s expense, it was in fact up to him to collect it as he had been notified within the seven days stated in his policy.
The seller telephone me and was very aggressive to start with saying he would collect the bed but that it wouldn’t be for 3 months and I would have to pay for the mattress to be rewrapped or he couldn’t sell it on again. I told him it hadn’t been unwrapped so there wasn’t a problem with that but that I couldn’t possibly keep the bed for 3 months as I had nothing to sleep on and needed the refund to get another bed, definitely from the High Street this time. I told him that because of the cancer/surgery I was having a terrible time with pain and needed something soon.
He then became very sympathetic and said I should try the mattress as he was sure it would be suitable and if it wasn’t, he would collect it as arranged.
Like an idiot, I did give it a try, it was terrible, the memory foam as been buttoned to the mattress and is so restricted by this that it can’t do its job properly. The buttoning is so deep that it is like sleeping over rabbit holes and is more uncomfortable than my old bed was.
I was telling a friend about all this and she felt that the seller was trying to pull a fast one as eBay wouldn’t help if he didn’t collect the bed in 3 months time.
I contact eBay and was told to open a dispute in their Resolution Centre. I explained everything to them so was exasperated when I got a decision off them saying I must send the bed back for a refund. I appealed this decision on the grounds that Trading Standards had already ruled that the seller must collect the bed and that he had agreed to do so.
I sent at least 3 more emails as I heard nothing and was very angry when I got a message to say the dispute had been closed without a decision been made in my favour as I hadn’t sent a tracking number for the return of the bed.
I telephoned them and spoke at length with the operator who said she was sorry I had such a bad experience and that she would check why the case hadn’t been put on hold rather than being left to close automatically.
She said she would get back to me later that day but it would probably be by email as her shift was finishing at lunch time. When I opened my messages later that day (14th September by now) there was an email which offered me several options the third of which was to take a £200 partial refund without having to send the bed back.
I thought this would allow me to sell the bed for the balance and start again so I accepted this. However, when I rang to accept, I got a load of abuse from the operator I spoke with as she insisted I couldn’t have a refund as the case was closed. I tried explaining, repeatedly, that the offer was from eBay as an apology for closing the case instead of putting it on hold but she wouldn’t accept this and I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was told one would contact me within 24hrs.
I waited and waited (still waiting) and sent several emails asking for contact to be made, finally, last Thursday I sent one saying I was going to take legal action if I didn’t get the refund, if it shouldn’t have been offered, that was their mistake and I shouldn’t have to suffer for it.
On Friday I received an email giving a telephone number and asking me to contact them and someone would deal with my problem.
I was put through to a very nice and sympathetic lady who listened to everything and then put me on hold for quite a long time. She came back and said she had spoken with her supervisor and they were going to raise the refund and I would hear from them within 48hrs. That was 6 days ago and I am still waiting, I know to email/telephone them again would be futile, they are just going to fob me off again. I can’t believe that eBay, who state on the first page of their site Buy with Confidence, could treat a customer like this.
I can’t afford to bring a legal case against eBay either financially or emotionally, the last thing I need at this time is more stress, cancer is hard enough to cope with and all I want is a comfortable bed to sleep in L
Are there any organisations out there that would help me free of charge? I hate to do my dirty laundry in public but I have wondered about going to the press, it is just so despicable that eBay behave like this.