Friday, October 5, 2007

In which I seek your advice

So, I need some feedback from you guys about something that just transpired. Mr. Daddy and I both feel that we've behaved reasonably, but I'm just curious to see what other people have to say.

On September 22nd, I purchased on eBay a Knight costume for Bubba for Halloween. The seller had an option that said "If you choose the Buy It Now" option, you will receive free shipping. GREAT! So, I chose Buy It Now, but when I went through Pay Pal it charged me $10 in shipping. I went ahead and paid it but immediately emailed the seller and asked about why this happened and asked if she would be refunding my money. By Sunday night I still had no reply to my email, so I sent a 2nd email, slightly more terse in tone asking about the refund. Monday morning I had a reply and by Monday afternoon our $10 had been refunded. GREAT!

On Tuesday of this week I realized "Hey! Where's Bubba's costume? It seems like it should have been here by now." So, we emailed the seller again. Nothing! No response. On Thursday we got an email saying that the item had been mailed and we should be receiving it any day now and in fact when we got home that afternoon the costume was waiting for us. It seemed to me that it took longer than it should have for the package to arrive -- we've always received things super fast when we've bought from eBay-- but whatever. It was here. All was right with the world.

And then we opened the box. And everything inside REEKED of cigarettes. Well, there was no getting the costume away from Bubba at that point so we let him have it, but GROSS! We've had the costume for a couple of days now and it still reeks. Mr. Daddy is an occasional smoker and even he was grossed out by it.

Of course when you buy anything on eBay you're supposed to leave feedback. We decided not to mention anything about the lack of communication or the slow shipping, but we did mention that the costume smelled like it had been made in a cigarette factory (we didn't use those exact words, but we did tell the truth). I felt that was only fair. As a buyer, I would definitely want to know that kind of thing.

And this morning we had a hateful email from the seller. She said that she was trying to raise 4 children and that we had "ruined" her business. AND she left us negative buyer feedback and said we were "difficult to work with." I say that if she's SO concerned about her business she shouldn't smoke around her "merchandise" (not to mention her KIDS! Hello!).

Were we wrong? I don't think so. But I'm curious to hear what you guys have to say.

UPDATE: The seller has emailed Mr. Daddy AGAIN saying that we shouldn't have put negative, that it should have been "Neutral." Mr. Daddy said "Well, I didn't have a NEUTRAL reaction when I smelled the cigarette smoke!" Actually, he just blocked her so he doesn't have to get any more emails from her!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this one. You had a miserable buying experience and told the truth about it. Case closed. By her trying to "guilt trip" you is her way of trying to expunge some of the responsibility that she owes the buyer.

Leslie said...

I don't think you were wrong. She's trying to "run a business," but she neglected the first rule of thumb--customer service. I don't think your response was unreasonable. Have you tried Febreeze? I don't know what the costume is made of, but running it in the dryer on air with a dryer sheet might help too, if it's made of fabric only.

Lulu said...

Oh, you're talking to the ebay queen here! I've definitely had some crazy experiences with ebay sellers. Unfortunately, she's already left the negative feedback now, so there's nothing you can do about it. Filing a complaint is virtually useless with ebay. I found that our the hard way.

GR ordered a neon clock a while back, and it totally did not work when we plugged it in. I tried contacting the seller MANY times, with no response. Finally, I left some very negative feedback for the seller, and he retaliated with VERY negative feedback for me. It sucked, but there's not much you can do.

However, there is a way that you can respond to the comment that was left for you, and it will show up under the seller's comment that she left for you.

It's sometimes a gamble dealing with these ebay sellers...

mir said...

After a similar experience, I've made sure that I NEVER purchase anything that doesn't say "smoke-free home" off of eBay anymore.

I also don't leave negative feedback until the last possible point of the feedback window, to avoid the retaliatory negative feedback. (At least now you can leave a response to feedback, so you should feel comfortable responding with "Seller is retaliating to complaint about merchandise reeking of smoke.")

Sorry that happened to you. :(

el-e-e said...

Ugh. You did the right thing. This is exactly why I don't buy from eBay. I know it can save some money, but the drama. The hassle. The uncertainty of when you're going to have an experience like this. SO not worth it to me. I guess I'm a wimp but just... ugh.

Hope the stink comes out before halloween! Hang it outside for a few days, and then febreeze the heck out of it. :)

Esme said...

I don't think you are in the wrong at all... irritating how the seller blames you for ruining her business, as if the slow shipping and the bad communication and the smelly merchendise had nothing to do with it!

Is the costume machine washable? I've had good success washing smelly things by adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle and a scoop of Oxyclean to the detergent. It seems odd, but a soak in water spiked with white vinegar can work wonders, too...

Sorry you have to deal with this! At least Bubba likes the costume?

Laurel said...

Look, there is nothing wrong with telling the truth. As a buyer I would like to know what to expect, which is why seller/buyer feed back exists in the first place. One bad comment might be sour grapes, but when I see a trend, that is when I pay attention. If my merchandise is going to come in smelling like 4 million cigarettes had been smoked while wearing it, I would really like to know.

Look, she's mad, but facts are facts. If you were disappointed, you have every right to say so.

Lauren said...

You definitely did the right thing. And like Lulu said, you have the ability to refute what she said in your feedback section (not sure how to do this, but ive seen it on other peoples feedback)

That really stinks, but by leaving the negative feedback you probably saved someone else from the same trouble. So good for you!

MacKenzie said...

OMG some people get so crazy when you leave negative feedback.

What kind of job is selling stuff on Ebay to support your kids, anyway??

Amy and Kia said...

Like Laurel said the facts are the facts. It reeked. I think you showed great restraint in not saying more. The shipping cost snafu could be a feedback point, the slow shipping, the lack of communication. You could have really lambasted her. As it is, you've just warned nonsmokers or those allergic to smoke. What a drama queen if she really believes you ruined her business!

Colleen said...

oh gross! I hate when that happens (the smoky stuff part). I also cannot stand when you try your best to NOT give someone a negative feedback in eBay, but finally do so because they and the experience with them sucked so badly. then, to have them retaliate...so unfair.

Jennifer Lee said...

You are in the right. I had a similar experience and the smell of cigarettes didn't lessen even after months--I ended up just chucking the item (it wasn't clothing.) Don't feel guilty at all about posting the negative feedback.

AndreAnna said...

Wow, she sounds like a loony toon. You totally did the right thing!