Wednesday 15 August 2007

ebay Retailers That Suck

My wife bought an MP3 player a few weeks ago and after deciding she wanted an arband for it we hunted around and finally found a workable version on ebay from Accstation ( We won the auction at $0.99 and after adding a few dollars shipping and handling, it looked like yet another successfull online transaction. Then came the payment part.

Accstation uses a third-party company to process credit card payments (they also offer payment via PayPal). I opted to use the credit card payment method, completed the online forms, and clicked the submit button: transaction failed. Okay... I thought, probably just a temporary problem with their servers or a network issue, let's try again. Same error. Well, I thought, since I'm seeing this error, the transaction surely can't be reaching the payment gateway; let's start again from the beginning and double-check all my details. Transaction failed. Okay, I'm fed up now... one last time for the fun of it and I'll call my credit card company. Transaction failed.

At this point I give MasterCard a buzz to ensure my card hasn't been blocked and I have sufficient funds to pay the lousy $0.99 + S/H. The representative tells me everything is fine with the card and my account BUT four transactions just went through for the same amount. They haven't been approved yet but there are my four failed transactions. Blow gasket now.

I email the seller directly, I send the seller a note via ebay, I email the credit card processing company. Accstation's autoresponder autoresponds with a useless email message and the credit card processing company refuses to take any responsibility for this fiasco, despite their involvement in processing my payment four times over. A day passes while I wait for a response from Accstation and then another day and another day. I browse their web site and email their accounts department, their sales department, their customer service department, and their auctions department. MasterCard tells me they can't do anything until the transactions are approved.

Someone finally replies and asks me to email them back with my credit card number, expiry date, amount, etc and they'll get back to me within three to five days. There's no way I'm going to send a mysterious bot my credit card details via email and they shouldn't require that information anyway. I never hear back from "Tammy."

In the end, ebay notifies me I won the auction and must pay up before the week is out or I'll be stricken down by the Internet gods. The four payments finally disappear from my MasterCard account and I log in to Accstation's payment system to pay my $0.99 bill, this time via PayPal. The planets align and this time everything works... a week later and my wife has her arm band.

$0.99 plus shipping and handling works out to very little profit for Accstation but I did not hesitate to leave a negative feedback rating on ebay and there's no way I'll ever buy anything from this company again. For the minimal effort it takes to reply to an email from an upset customer, the end result could have been a win-win situation.

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