Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Suck down some lemonade eBay buyers!

I got my first anonymous death threat today. I've been threatened before, but usually it's in person. Nah, this one was through the glory that is eBay. See, Mr. J wanted a new phone. His phone was crap, and he'd just gotten his stimulous check. He'd been looking for months. And finally picked out the Sidekick II as the one for him. There was just one problem. He didn't want to extend his contract with his company to get the new phone. Our solution? eBay!

He found one he liked. It was a limited edition, with some really cool pictures decorating it. He was going to buy it in the "Buy It Now" section, the area for people who don't want to risk being sniped. There was just one thing keeping him from buying it. Did it have Yahoo Instant Messenger on it? All the other Sidekick II's we saw had it, but this auction didn't specify. We e-mailed the seller. The seller never responded. We decided to take a risk. Mr J bought it. He didn't have an eBay account, and I did. So I let him use my eBay account and he paid through his PayPal account. (Really, I just let him use it, because I wanted the positive feedback on mine.)

We recieved the phone in no time. But were more than a little disappointed to see that it did not come with Yahoo. In fact, it didn't come with a lot of stuff we'd assumed it would. But we figured, oh well, our mistake for not reading it closely enough (the auction didn't mention it included an owner's manual, so we shouldn't have assumed. Shame on us.).

Then, in accordance with eBay tradition, I went online to leave feedback on the item. When leaving feedback on eBay (for those of you who have never done it), you have the option of leaving one of three types of feedback. Positive, neutral and negative. Positive raises your reputation level. The higher your level, the more trustworthy potential buyers will believe you to be. Negative lowers your reputation level. Neutral doesn't lower or raise your score. I didn't want to leave positive feedback, afterall, we weren't happy with the phone. We wouldn't have bought the phone if the seller and answered our question. But I figured it would be unfair to leave negative feedback. No one forced us to buy the phone. I chose to leave neutral feedback. And trying to remain neutral, I mentioned something I liked about the transaction and something I didn't.

Here is, word for word, the comment I left:
"Quick shipping, wouldn't answer any of my questions about the phone"

About five minutes later, I got a phone call on my cell phone. It was an angry man claiming to be the seller! Demanding why I had left a "negative feedback". I was floored, and more than a little scared. EBay sellers aren't suppose to be able to have access to your personal information. How did he get my phone number? I didn't know what to say, so I stammered out, "Because you didn't answer my question about the phone." The man on phone starts telling me that I'm a "stupid" "bitch" "whore" and that he's going to "get me" & "kill me". (I'm using the quotations to show that no, I'm not making this up.)

I've contacted the authorities within eBay, and may take this the local police in the city where this rude caller lives. (Caller ID + Reverse phone directory = I know what city you live in silly.) And while I'm still more than a little shaken up about the whole thing, I have to wonder... All this over a neutral feedback that doesn't affect you one bit? Someone's a little high strung, no?

On that note, please enjoy this video, that I feel has summed up the tone of the day

Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back
Written by Jim Steinman
Performed by Meat Loaf

1 comment:

Pagan Lizard said...

i'm so sorry that happened. it's crap that it happened. you should push this on ebay and demand they find out HOW this creep got your number. they need to fix that problem. it's not something they can just sweep under the rug.