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01 October 2009 @ 12:28 pm
By far, the worst Internet sales transaction I've ever had  
Back on August 20, I ordered a $362 item, and was told that it would ship in 14 days. 14 days later, nothing had shipped, and there was no communication from the seller.

So I emailed the seller to ask about it. He said it would ship in 3-4 days.

Nothing for a week. I emailed him again. The response was that the item is ready to ship, I'd get tracking info soon.

Nothing for another week. I emailed again for a status update. The response is a song-and-dance about parts that were delayed, recalled, etc. Things had to be rebuilt, upgraded, whatever. No update on when the damn thing will actually ship, though.

Another week passed with no further word, so I emailed again. Please note, at all times I've being completely polite, saying "please" and "thank you" and not being a bitch at all. I was told that the item will ship at the end of the week.

Guess what... ANOTHER week went by with no further update. I emailed him again, and when I received no response, I decided I had better file a dispute with Paypal, because the 45-day limit for such things was almost up.

Yeah, that got him talking.

"I've sent you emails. ... Orders are shipping this weekend."

Then, a second, shortly after the first:

"im expected to recieve the final part this friday so ill be shipping the tricorders on monday. I wish you contacted me via phone if you had any concerns before you went to paypal. they now have a hold on the payment and I need it to be removed before I can ship on monday."

Playing my tiny violin now. Oh, but it gets better. In the Paypal dispute, he posts that he's going to ship the item on October 8, which is decidedly not this weekend or Monday or whatever. That's three conflicting statements from the same guy. WTF.

I decided that I would not answer his two emails, and I was sure as fuck not going to call him. I posted the following response to the Paypal dispute:
Hello [seller],

First, let me note that this is not personal. If I waited until after the 45-day mark and did not receive anything, I would have had no recourse with Paypal. Note that in our chain of dialogue since September 4- two weeks after the item was supposed to ship- I was told three times that the item would ship within the next few days. I have the emails to show this. You can therefore understand why I have been nervous about never receiving the item.

Second, let me note that I work in customer service, and I know what it is to have things get delayed that are out of my control. However, if I know that there is going to be a delay, I email my customer proactively to inform them of the problem, and I keep them updated without them having to prompt me. If you go back and check, I was the one who initiated all our conversations about updates, delays, shipping, etc., and I think I have been quite patient in this process. For your future business, I recommend that if you run into these sorts of problems, please take the initiative to let your customers know, and make a reasonable effort to keep them updated without them having to constantly ask for new information.

Third, at no point in any of the prior emails did you invite me to call and speak to you regarding the delays.

You have indicated October 8 as the ship date, so I will wait until October 9 before deliberating any further action on this dispute.


The dispute will stay open until October 21. Before that time, I may escalate it and have Paypal decide the outcome, which I am definitely going to do if this jerk doesn't produce by the end of next week. I don't think I've been rude or unreasonable here.

Blargh. That'll learn me to splurge on expensive doohickeys.
Applesapples491 on October 1st, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Ate to say it this is probably a fraudulent transaction. It happened to my brother too. Stall tactics until the 45 day limit has passed and then they disappear.
Miusheri: grim reapermiusheri on October 1st, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been feeling that vibe ever since the initial 14-day window came and went. He keeps insisting that he can't send the item while the dispute remains open, which doesn't sound right to me at all.

This may be getting escalated sooner than the 8th...
Purrsia Kat: smells like bspurrsia on October 1st, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, classic stall tactics. wtf? You've been very patient and polite. That guy is an ass and yes, guilty of bad customer service *at best*. As for lifting the dispute first, screw that. It's time for him to show some good faith in you.
Miusheri: Data_wtfmiusheri on October 2nd, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
Faith in me, eh? Well, in his last email, he says that the order's been canceled, he won't ship with the dispute open, how come 137 other people didn't have this problem, etc.

I waited almost four times as long as the original shipping estimate, but I'm the unreasonable bitch. Sure thing, champ!

So I had to escalate the dispute to a claim. Hopefully Paypal will refund my money and I can go on with my life! I have never had a transaction turn so sour. ::shakes head::
mqstout on October 6th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
You are the unreasonable bitch. How dare you want your product you paid for. In this modern society, you hand over money and PRAY! you get something in return, that may or may not be what you wanted.
a dreamer like youlutraphile on October 2nd, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Tricorders? TRICORDERS??? <3

And yeah, he's a douchenozzle. D: Hope you get your stuff!
Miusherimiusheri on October 2nd, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Sadly, not happening. He refuses to ship until I close the dispute (and effectively lose my only chance of recovering my money if he stiffs me), and I refuse to close the dispute until I get the goddamn goods I ordered a month and a half ago. So he says the order's canceled... now I have to fight through Paypal to get my money refunded. Good times!