Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Warning About Ebay

I recently contemplated purchasing a scale, one recommended by Consumer Reports, from the Ebay store, as it seemed to be unavailable in Canada. However, after reviewing the details, I decided not to complete the purchase, as the shipping costs, about $32 U.S., were almost equal to the product's cost. I assumed, since I hadn't gotten to the parts that are common in e-commerce business practices, the review of the purchase, the payment method, and final confirmation, that I was under no obligation to complete the transaction. At the time, I could see nothing on the site to actually formally cancel the order.

What follows is the email I received from Ebay. After that, I post my response to that email:

Hi lorne,

eBay opened an unpaid item case for Taylor 7506 Lithium Digital Bath Scale w/ Glass Platfor, because wholesalepointinc either hasn't recorded your payment or didn't receive it yet.

The seller needs to receive your payment no later than Sunday, Oct 31, 2010 16:18:45 EDT.If the seller doesn't receive your payment, an unpaid item will be recorded on your account and your account privileges may be limited or suspended. Remember, when you place a winning bid or click the Buy It Now button in a listing, you've committed to paying for that item. Learn more about our policy.

If you forgot to pay, please pay now so that we can close this case and the seller can ship the item to you.

If you paid for the item already or have questions, please contact the seller.

If you have proof that you paid for the item, don't worry. You can appeal to remove the unpaid item after the case closes.

Taylor 7506 Lithium Digital Bath Scale w/ Glass Platfor
Item # 400154613774
End time: 20-Oct-10 16:28:51 EDT
Seller: wholesalepointinc
Case opened: Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 16:18:45 EDT

My Reply:

I take strong exception to the threat implied in this email. Since this was to be my first transaction with Ebay, I assumed the procedure followed by most e-merchants would attend, i.e., that there would have been a review of the purchase with all the details, followed by a confirmation of the order, with payment information, before the purchase was irrevocable. The reason I decided to cancel the order was the realization, not clear until I had the full details on the screen, that the shipping costs were highly inflated and almost equal to the price of the product I had intended to purchase.

If you are serious about keeping the item on my account as unpaid, then please remove me entirely form your database, as I will no longer even think about using your services again. As well, I will make certain I inform my friends and colleagues of your inflexible and misleading practices.

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