Sorry I can't complete the sale – I died!

By Chris Dawson March 3, 2009 - 12:23 am

I’ve seen the excuse (very rarely!) used by buyers, but it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a seller claiming they can’t complete transactions because they’re dead! That’s just what a seller tried to get away with until it was proved otherwise when he was prosecuted.

A court sentenced the seller to 18 months in jail along with a concurrent six months for perjury for claiming he was in Canada, his mother died and even that he himself had passed away.

Small comfort to the buyers who he ripped off in what the court described as a “horrible, cynical fashion”. It’s no surprise that eBay are tightening up on payment methods with PayPal being a compulsory choice in the UK and the banning of paper payment methods in the US.

Whilst sellers may bemoan the fact that buyer protection often seems to favour the buyer, at the expense of the seller, it’s crooks like these that have made it a priority to protect buyers.

  • northumbrian
    12 years ago

    I dont think there is any distinction between buyers and sellers on ebay both groups have their good and bad

    veiled threats of negative feedback from buyers ,unless you give a partial refund are becoming very common

  • 12 years ago

    “veiled threats of negative feedback from buyers ,unless you give a partial refund are becoming very common”

    To right Norf, I normally just bung the pikey a tenner and send them on there way, it only happens with bloody silicone!!! as if it’s my fault they are out when the postman comes knocking 😆

    Bring back the birch..

  • 12 years ago

    no one is going to get proper protection until the site is paypal only and the payment transaction details from start to finish are transparent.
    cheques and other payment methods just muddy the water as far as trading on ebay are concerned.
    Amazon is all the better for having to use there system, buyer & seller protection wise.

  • 12 years ago

    95% of our buyers prefer to pay over the phone with a credit or debit card.

    There is a pattern though, low value stuff is nearly always paypal, anything over £250 is pretty much always paid for over the phone.,it would be great to intergrate our Protx account into the eBay checkout, maybe one day I will be able to.

    As for postal orders & cheques, if I never saw another one in my lifetime I would be thrilled.

  • northumbrian
    12 years ago

    the only reason we accept cheques
    is to stop the 3 page long emails
    those that wish to pay by cheque.
    saying how honest they are .and how they have paid by cheque for years. with no problem etc. etc. etc. etc.

  • northumbrian
    12 years ago

    and this latest dribble from paypal ,blithering on about how we deserve better ,and how bad cheques are ,and how slow they are, and how it effects feedback etc,
    is insulting,
    all paypal need to do to make me accept paypal only ,is to cross our palms with silver

  • Jimbo
    12 years ago

    #3 How do cheques & other payment methods muddy the water. In my opinion the water couldn’t get much muddier than a PayPal transaction review!

  • Pete
    12 years ago

    I think most people would stop using paypal if there was a viable alternative. Even if that alternative cost a little more.

    We spend a fortune with Paypal and when things go wrong get treated very badly. I think Paypal is just too automated.

  • 12 years ago

    @pete #8

    Do you really think people want an alternative? I can see that eBay sellers may want a better service or more responsive support. But I don’t see many deserting it just yet. And pay more? Pay more?

    I am predominantly a buyer and I want to see it more. I love seeing it as a payment option. PayPal has 20 million UK users. It is here to stay.

  • Kate George
    12 years ago

    #9 That might be the case Dan but in many ways Paypal is just not user friendly. For example in the last week or so they have changed their payment notifiation emails, the typeface used is now tiny and it doesn’t respond to the tex size setting in Outlook Express so I can’t make it bigger, and there are no longer clickable links to the item. How does this help anyone? Certainly doesn’t help people like me who have eyesight problems.

    And I loathe dealing with their call centre – it was OK when it was in Ireland but now it’s somewhere in Asia you may as well try to speak to an automated service.

    As for the original post – I did once have a buyer who never paid and when I gave them a negative I got an email claiming the buyer had died in a car crash and the author of the email “didn’t understand all the previous emails”. I always thought it was rather strange under the circumstances that they noticed (and understood) the negative straight away…

  • 12 years ago

    Paypal is great if your a buyer, but as a seller it’s just a cause for worry, given the choice it wouldn’t form any part of my business.

    It’s ok when its working but when something goes wrong you get treated very badly, any seller who has experienced Paypal support either by email or phone will know what I mean, sometimes its easier just to write the money off even if you are clearly being robbed, the stress and strain you endure in a 30 minute call to paypal is on a par with running out of jet fuel at 30,000 feet.

    If I had to sum up Paypal,, fantastic idea & product, pathetic support.

  • 12 years ago

    @ # 11

    It’s great if you are a buyer with a credit card. I’ve heard of many cases where PayPal’s buyer protection fell way short of the advertised protection forcing them to use a charge back.

  • 12 years ago

    Oh yeah, it isn’t so great when you are using your PayPal debit card to fill up on gas though.

    I saw a video where they played the voice mail informing him of the charge but I can’t find it now.

  • Jimbo
    12 years ago

    #9 I would never use paypal my payment method of choice as they always want to take payment from my paypal balance when I want to pay using a card (you don’t even get the option).

    As for paypal being here to stay in the short term the answer is yes. The spin may tell you otherwise but their success is at present (certainly in the UK) heavily dependant on eBay (you most probably only love seeing paypal because you want to spend using your balance).

    “PayPal has 20 million UK users” 😆

  • 12 years ago

    #11 I was speaking from personal experience, never had a problem making a claim as a buyer.

  • 12 years ago

    #9 “PayPal has 20 million UK users” 😆

    My thoughts Jimbo,

    The UK has a population of around 60 million, so 1/3 of the UK population use paypal , given that 1/5 of the population are under 16 and 1/5 are of retirement age and above, I somehow doubt it,

    I wish my accountant was as creative as the Paypal statisticians

  • northumbrian
    12 years ago

    not to mention echeques that take 10 days or more to clear .flagged as ready to post in Ebay/SMP.
    then when you check your email and paypal account it shows as a failed payment and do not ship

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