9 - 13 -04
By Kimberly Campbell
Sometimes there is no justice. People
can be negligent in their obligations
and the good guys have to pay the price
with no recourse. A couple months ago,
I was looking at eBay for a cell phone
faceplate to "dress up" my
plain-Jane cell phone. I found one
I liked and bought it with the "Buy
it now" option. The cost…$2.99.
Of course, there is the shipping; add
another $5.95. This raised my total
to $8.94. In spite of the inflated
shipping charges, I chose to look at
$8.94 as a deal because I have priced
these things at the mall, and depending
on how fancy they get, can range from
about $20 to $25.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks. My
package comes in the mail and I am
excited to trade my boring plain-Jane
cell phone cover for a nice, new,
shiny "chrome red", as
the color was called. I opened the
box, and there was the beautiful
chrome red faceplate I was waiting
for. My joy evaporated when I found
they had sent a faceplate for the
wrong phone model. Uggghhh!!! I immediately
emailed the company and explained
the error and requested info on how
to return the purchase at no expense
to me (as it was their mistake),
and get the correct one. They emailed
the instructions for returning it,
but failed to include anything about
how I can do it at no expense to
myself. Still, I followed their instructions
and shipped it back. Add another
$3.24 shipping cost.
Fast forward 3 or 4 more weeks. I
still have no faceplate and am out
$12.18. I wanted to call a customer
service number for this company,
so I requested and received their
number from eBay. Turns out it is
a bogus phone number. I tried to
find a customer service number for
eBay. Nonexistent. Then I went to
Square Trade, which is an on-line
mediator service used by eBay customers
in this kind of situation. I went
through all the steps and even explained
in great detail what the problem
was. After going through all the
steps requested, it came time to
click the "submit" button.
It was ONLY at this point that it
said there is a $20 fee for the mediation
service and do I want to continue?
Excuse me, $20 for a $12.18 item?
That would push this “little” $2.99
faceplate purchase to $32.18!!! Of
course, I did not click "submit".
I may be wrong, but I thought that
when someone takes your money and does
not give you the goods in return, that
is called STEALING, and is illegal.
The way this eBay system is set up,
this will end up being one more case
of the good guy finishing last and
the criminal getting away with the
I should have gone to the mall.