November 10, 2006

Curious George: unscrupulous online seller. Have you been stung by an internet purchase? Is there any hope of chasing this cyberwretch?

Well, okay - it was maybe $19, including taxes and shipping, but it's the principle, damnit! Details: a magic supply place in Ontario, Canada (Google at will!) sent me a non-functioning item. They have gone incommunicado now that I've written *twice* (Oct 29, Nov 5) asking for a replacement and bringing their attention to the following on their website: "Return Policy: We will be happy to replace any item found to be defective with an identical, working item." What to do?

  • I see now that I have made this guy easily searchable, which honestly was not my intention, and which I suppose may bring up Interesting Stuff vis-a-vis religion vs magic.
  • I had the same problem. I bought the exact same item and the problem was that the sound it made was more of Pfffhhhhhtttttt rather than the Paaffffffffftttttttt sound. I tell ya, It's getting harder and harder to find a quality whoopie cushion
  • Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important, too.
  • Encyclopedia of Spells You may be tempted, but I would recommend not using one of the Unforgiveable curses.
  • It would help to know what method you paid by to see if you have any rights. If you paid by credit card or Paypal within 30 days (or 45, can't remember) then odds are you can dispute and get a chargeback successfully if you send the broken merchandise back by some form of certified/signature post and file that with your claim. If you paid by another method or waited to long, then you're out of luck.
  • Was it this? It's one of the 18.99 items. But seriously, how did you pay for the item?
  • So, youse want we should make him "disappear"?
  • islander, you're in chicago too?
  • Please to be answering helpfully!!
  • I paid by credit card, yep. The invoice has been dated Oct 6. And no, it wasn't the weinie hat, although that is very temptimg! Sure, send him to sleep with the fishes!
  • yeah disputing the payment vis a vis . uh . . Visa . . should get their attention. If not, all the better.
  • What pete said. They can ignore you. They can't ignore Visa. *secretly disappointed that the thread doesn't involve the batshit crazy Wiccan hotties at London's witch supply store* *still doesn't understand how a 'spell kit' involving relaxing scented baths and not body parts of small animals can really be at all effective*
  • Some tips if you're going to dispute through Visa: 1. Your issuing bank will require that you make an attempt to resolve the problem yourself first. That's a Visa regulation. If you have emails, dates of calls, names or the like, print them out. 2. If you're going to return the merchandise, do it in a way that's trackable. For most transactions, you're not allowed to dispute with Visa until the merchandise has been back in the merchant's hands for 30 days and you still haven't received credit. 3. "Credit not received" is a lot easier to prove than "goods not as expected". 4. You probably won't be able to recover the shipping. Sometimes, the best thing to do is threaten a chargeback. Since most merchants pay $20-$30 in fees for every chargeback they receive, they're usually not going to fight over a $19 item. Send an email or fax or message with something like "Merchandise received damage, chargeback pending" to get their attention. But don't be threatening or obnoxious. (I represented cardholders in chargebacks to Visa for several years, with a very high success rate.) P.S. Transactions where the card and merchant are in 2 different countries have different time frames. P.P.S. It doesn't work to just say "I didn't sign anything, so they can't make me pay for it." Taking delivery of the item is considered acceptance of the transaction. P.P.P.S. Sorry to go on.
  • Why not just come out and name the crooks? Aren't you enabling further fraud by protecting their identity?
  • Thanks, Lara et al - I spoke with a Visa person today and will be flinging the item back by registered mail A.S.A.P., followed by an email (after he signs for it, assuming he does?). Libertarian: you could easily find them if you really wanted to. For all I know the chap's in traction in a hospital or something. Or kneecapped.
  • Valuable advice, Lara! If the Visa thing doesn't work you could mail them an attractively wrapped box of treats from your cats litter box.
  • If he doesn't sign for it, then that means he's pre-authorized carriers to leave packages. As long as you can show delivery to the business address, you should be ok. Good luck!
  • Also, "Litter Lovins" can be sent at a moment's notice. Just say the word.
  • Hee hee - thanks, but I am not facing a shortage at the moment.
  • As a reasonably successful eBay seller, I'm going to take the optimistic route, and suggest that this may be a case of miscommunication. You reported the item was non-functional, they directed you to their policy ("we will replace non-functional items"). I think it's possible that in their minds, they have said "yes, we will replace it." They may be confused as to why you keep emailing them. "But we already said we'd replace it!" It's also possible that they have already sent you a replacement, and they're ignoring your emails because they know that this problem will solve itself when the item shows up on your doorstep. Finally, it is possible that they are having problems with their email, and have not received your last two messages. You could of course stop payment or file a dispute or whatever. But I would suggest you start by giving them a call. If this is the site that I think it is, their phone number is listed right on the main page. Skip all the history of who said what, and just ask them "Do I need to mail the bad item back in order to get a replacement, and if so, who pays shipping?"
  • Thanks for that Lara, i always wondered how the whole credit card return thing worked.
  • Well, I finally overcame my phone-o-phobia and called the guy today. He claims the refund is "going out today" - not sure what that means exactly, but with luck I'll see some money. Thanks, all!