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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Slamming the Ebay Scammer

I thought I'd share an amusing piece of Ebay drama that I went through a couple of days ago with a deadbeat buyer we'll call Pinkie.

Pinkie had purchased two high-end items and then didn't pay. I sent her repeated invoices for 7 days and reported her to Eaby as a dead-beat bidder on the 8th day. 7 more days went by, with me invoicing her daily. On the 16th day, I reported her again, the sale was voided, and she was given two 'strikes' (which means it goes on her record and an accumulation of strikes can stop her from participation in Ebay).

That night, when Pinkie found out that she couldn't continue to ignore me forever, she thought she'd be clever and shoot me a PayPal payment for the items. She then wrote to me and told me that she had paid for them and still wanted them. I wrote back and politely told her that once a customer has chosen to not pay for an item and I've had to go to the trouble of waiting for two weeks and reporting her, constant invoicing, etc., I'd prefer to not do business with her.

What Pinkie didn't know is that I contacted another seller who had left her negative feedback for being a dead-beat buyer. Pinkie had pulled the same trick on her, and when the seller left truthful feedback, Pinkie left retributive feedback claiming that the seller simply hadn't seen her payment. So, I knew Pinkie was a liar and manipulative as well.

And so the fun began.

Pinkie wrote back to me:

If you have no intention of having the Unpaid Item Strike removed and of completing the transaction (which would be the PROFESSIONAL way of handling this matter, since you have several of these watches) then please refund my Paypal payment immediately. Otherwise I will have no choice but to file fraud reports with Paypal, Ebay, and law enforcement (by the way - my father is a sitting Judge and my brother is an attorney and senior partner in a law firm.) Your choice.

I replied:

Ah, that's what I like: A buyer with complete unprofessionalism, lack of conscience, lack of social graces, and the belief that everyone needs to kowtow to them. Please give your scary relatives a friendly hello from us, and wish them a Happy New Year. Unlike you, on New Year's Eve we have places to go and don't have time to babysit our business 24/7. I have a feeling His Honor might understand that. Oh, and congratulations to your most-impressive brother. Perhaps you might want to follow in his footsteps and make something of yourself as well. Don't think we'll make the same mistake that [other seller] made: We play only as nice as YOU do.

Pinkie then wrote:

No, I'm just a lowly department head in city administration with 2 university degrees, not an Ebay peddler. A formal complaint will be filed by fax on Wednesday morning, 2 January, to: Pinellas County Department of Consumer Protection 14250 49th ST. N. 2nd Floor, Clearwater, FL 33762. From there it will be processed for criminal prosecution for internet fraud, since you have obviously stolen funds with no intention of delivering the items. Full reports will be submitted to both Ebay and Paypal so that they will be aware of the criminal actions being taken against you. You have obvously made your choice, Ms PROFESSIONAL. Enjoy.

I replied:

Do threats and bullying normally work for you? I suppose there are many sheeples who fall for it. With so many relatives in law, I'd think you'd realise how well that looks with law-enforcement and what Ebay's rules are concerning bullying. Of course you've put it all in writing (thank you). As I said previously, when we get the chance, we will delve into the matter and if you paid us (in an obvious attempt to manipulate the situation) then we'll refund you the money. After we were forced to report you as a deadbeat bidder, the deal is no longer valid - as you know: We see this is a habit with you. Dropping names and addresses doesn't impress me in the least - I could certainly do the same, but I have more class than you (apparently). Perhaps you might consider Charm School or, at the very least, anger management. Surely you could excel at both, right? After all, you already have 2 degrees, so you're a quick learner.

Pinkie chewed this one over for about 15 minutes. Then she decided to let loose. At this point, her manic obsessive-compulsive side started to take over and she sent me THREE emails (one of them being a copy of her PayPal payment which I won't bother to share with you here):

Pinkie's First Response:

You're the one who's stated in writing that you have no intention of delivering items, although you've been paid. Check your email and you'll see. Also check your paypal account rather than harassing me. Best wishes to you - why didn't you simply have the Unpaid Item Strikes removed and complete the transaction, as I cordially requested that you do, rather than becoming so vicious and lying about receiving a Paypal payment? Does it give you a thrill?

Pinkie's Second Note:

No threats or bullying, [my real name here]. Simply a statement of what WILL happen.

Ahhh... So here she is using my REAL name in an attempt to show me that I'm vulnerable and she knows who I am and where I live. This type of neurotic individual is rather easy to read. So, I shot her my reply:

[Pinkie's Real Name], I am growing increasingly concerned about your mental health and well-being due to your peculiar allegations and obsessiveness. I strongly suggest you see a doctor and get a complete psychiatric work-up. Simply because you're educated doesn't mean that you can't be afflicted with mental illness and perhaps you should consider this to be a possibility. Either that, or you are poor at the game of lying and manipulations. Lying and accusing me of things that didn't happen won't make a difference to Ebay, PayPal, or any judge or jury in the land when they can see the email trail.

TO SUM IT UP: Our policy is clear - pay within three days of winning the item(s). 8 days after the auction closed, after repeated attempts to get you to pay or respond to the invoices (all documented), we reported you to Ebay. 8 days after THAT, again with repeated attempts to contact you, we finally were forced to ask Ebay to close both sales and issue us a credit. In order to issue us a credit, Ebay also gives a 'strike' to the buyer.

Tonight, when you finally discovered that ignoring your obligations wasn't working, you made the decision to pay us in the hopes that we would buy your excuses (which you've made to other sellers before).

We don't buy the excuses and we don't want business from buyers as unethical as YOU are. We didn't want your money after the sale was closed and we don't want it now. We didn't ask for it, this was YOUR decision, and we will kindly refund you anything you rashly decided to pay... WHEN we get the chance. We are busy with other things. Your repeated emails are actually delaying our chance to do anything ELSE, which will, in turn, delay your refund as well.

Pinkie didn't reply after that one. I thought she'd taken the hint. My plan was to fully refund her the following morning. However, in the belief that it's best to always know your enemies, I decided to do some research on her that night. I knew the little city in Arkansas which she lives in, and since she was kind enough to tell me about her family's pedigree, I knew to look for individuals with her same last name. I figured that with a neurotic personality like that, she couldn't be married, and it turned out that I was right!

By now I had brought the other seller into the fold and reported my findings to her:

Pinkie apparently works and lives in the little town of XXXXXX, Arkansas, population 52,000 (give or take). She suffers from, I venture to guess, big-fish-in-little-pond syndrome. She was the "Assistant to the Mayor of Community Development" there, but was (apparently) recently promoted to be Director of Community Development and works with HUD (low-income housing). She also has the dubious distinction of participation in [Amazingly Ridiculous Sounding Celebration of Some Kind]. YES! I am not kidding. Here is the link:

[a link to the Amazingly Ridiculous Sounding Celebration of Some Kind]

Since there are only 32 people who work in XXXXXX City Hall, I'm thinking she isn't half as important as she thinks she is. However, the [college name] is stationed there. They have 10,000 students there. Here at USF we have a student pop of 54,000. And, of course, we have many other colleges here as well. I'm beginning to get a picture of the size of this town.

Perhaps we can assume that XXXXXX is a suburb and give Pinkie the credit of being Queen of the Burbs. :D

Pinkie's father is (my best guess) Judge XXX XXXXX. Of course XXXXX might be her married name, but with her attitude, I somehow doubt it. So .... if Judge XXX is her dad, get a load of THIS article:

[a link to a story about his upholding the law that allows toddlers of the opposite sex to get married in Arkansas]

That would make her brother XXXX XXXXX:

[a link to the law firm her brother works for with a picture of his cherubic, smiling face]

Now, the other seller had been bullied into going along with Pinkie the last time. She had allowed Pinkie to complete the sale, and had sent her a solid gold gemstone ring. At this point, the seller discovered that Pinkie had just opened a PayPal complaint against her for non-receipt of goods. However, this seller had sent the ring with a delivery confirmation slip and when she looked it up on the USPS site, she found that Pinkie HAD received the ring.

This was getting better and better.

The next morning, I logged into PayPal to arrange the refund to Pinkie. I was almost disappointed, because she hadn't sent me any more spittle-flecked rabid commentary. But lo and behold, I discovered that she had reported me to PayPal! Here's what she wrote in her opening complaint:

Seller was paid, and after receiving payment has blatantly refused to deliver the items or refund payment. This matter will be referred to the Pinellas County Office of Consumer Affairs for criminal fraud prosecution should a full refund not be received immediately.

Now this was really to good to be true, because I knew something that Pinkie didn't know. I knew that I have the last word if I refund her the money, because at that point the case is closed and there are no new notes added to the file. So I wrote:

[Pinkie's Real Name], as you know, I have a series of your emails and everything is documented via Ebay. Lying to PayPal (an extension of Ebay) will get you nowhere and could result in a suspension of your account. You purchased two items and never paid for them despite repeated invoices from us. After 8 days, we reported you to Ebay. We continued to send daily invoices. After 8 more days, we closed the transaction, and you received two strikes against you via Ebay.

That night you realized you couldn't shirk your obligations without consequences, and you discovered the two strikes. In an attempt to manipulate the situation, you made the payment THEN, after the sale was null and void.

We told you we'd refund you when we had the opportunity. We also told you that this was unacceptable behavior on your part. You tried this same ploy on [other seller who is currently laughing hysterically over the whole scenario] and on at least one other seller (according to your feedback). How long do you think such unprofessional and scummy behavior will be tolerated?

I'll bet Judge XXX and brother XXXXX would be disappointed. Surely the board of commissioners for the tiny City of XXXXXX would be shocked, and if you behave this way all the time you undoubtedly won't be asked to continue to volunteer for the prestigious ...er, what is it called? Is this possibly correct: [Amazingly Ridiculous Sounding Celebration of Some Kind]? Strange hobbies you have up there in XXXXXX, Arkansas.


Then I refunded her the monies with a final parting shot:

Here's the money back, which you sent after the sales were voided. Again, we would never welcome the monies from such an unethical buyer. Of course with all the crazed emails you sent to us, we will be happy to forward them to anyone who is interested.

During this time, I was urging the other seller to contact Ebay or PayPal (which are sister companies) with both of our stories so that Pinkie could be dealt with effectively. The other seller couldn't figure out how to get through so I finally called and spoke to a PayPal representative. He reviewed both files and refunded the other seller the money so that she wouldn't have to continue to be, as he put it, 'harassed' by Pinkie.

I have yet to hear from Pinkie, who serves on the very prestigious committee overseeing the famous celebration in her small town, which seems to advocate a sexual act on a reptile.

21 comments:

Uncle Joe said...

ahhhhhhsome.
soooooooieeeeeeeeee!!!!

I'll talk to jamiedawn and tell her to straighten up.



(just kidding of course)

Saur♥Kraut said...

*LOL* Give all your family my best. Happy New Year!

M@ said...

I love how some people think others are going to be scared by LAWYERS. Hey, I'll get my OWN lawyer to talk to your LAWYER. I'm not destitute!

I don't get her motivation, though. Just forgetful?

krok08 said...

Saur,

You know I love you but you need a hobby girl. You can't let these things bother you so or you're going to get a wrinkly forehead.

I've only been a buyer on ebay and I'm always so excited to have won the item that I pay right away.

This is by far your best post ever. I'm still laughing.

Aunt Jo said...

Tarnations!! What a poopiefied person Pinkie is!

The Lazy Iguana said...

There is a saying in Mississippi. Thank God for Arkansas. You see, Arkansas keeps Mississippi from being #50. Mississippi usually ends up #49.

That is a hoot and a half. You should post the link to the silly festival. It can not be more silly than the Japanese penis festivals, or the Japanese "ride the big heavy log down the hill and possibly get hurt or killed in the process" festival. Or for that matter, the Japanese "hold a giant bamboo thing filled with gunpowder for as long as possible without getting burned while exploding things shoot out it to prove your manliness" festival.

Japan is responsible for at least 80% of the strange stuff on the planet.

What did this Pinkie buy?

If you really want to cause a stink, forward all the emails to the local paper for the small town in Arkansas. You know nothing ever happens there, unless Farmer Brown's pig escapes and ends up in the local shopping mall which only has 5 stores. The paper would probably run with the story.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Oh yea I hope the item sold is something that could be embarrassing in nature. Like maybe something that vibrates? That would make the news paper even more likely to run the story. I can imagine the headlines now.

green said...

That's just sad. Funny, but sad.

Happy New Year Saur.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Green, Yes it is,isn't it? Happy New Year! :D

Lazy Iguana, Unfortunately she only bought a solid gold ring and a watch. I WISH I had something better on her. :D

You know, I thought about sending the whole story to her local paper, but I thought that perhaps they wouldn't publish it (after all, the likelihood is that they're all inbred and related to Judge XXX). Until the Clintons hit office, no one ever heard of Arkansas, and obviously the Clintons wish they never had either... or they'd have moved back there.

I'd publish the name of the festival, but it will be VERY obvious who she is then. Because, I assure you, there cannot be a festival like that anywhere else in the entire universe.

Auntie Jo, Perhaps you underestimate her. Maybe she's simply adorable in a poisonous viper kind of way.

Krok :D Life IS my hobby. But yeah, I could use something a little tamer every once in a while.

m@, My best guess is that she is a procrastinator and doesn't feel others are nearly as important as SHE is, so she lacks the motivation to do what she should do.

Ed Abbey said...

You make a strong case for why I try to avoid selling stuff via ebay. I don't have the energy to deal with people like Pinkie.

Anonymous said...

Well I looked through a listing of festivals in Arkansas to see if I could pick out which one Saur might be talking about, unfortunately it is Arkansas so there is definitely more than one ridiculous festival held there. Here are a few of the interesting ones I found:
Toad Suck Daze
PurpleHull Pea Festival
World Famous Aarmadillo Festival
Alma Popeye Spinach Festival
Ding Dong Days of Dumas

Great post Saur, I was definitely laughing, sorry that it was all such a hassle.


Ange

The Lazy Iguana said...

We want to know what the festival is.

Aunt Jo said...

tell us or we'll contact Mike Huckabee's people..

krok08 said...

Felecia Rogers?

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Chuckle!!! AS a sculptor and dollmaker I have heard terrible things from some of my colleagues about selling on Ebay, though my own experience, buying and selling has been pretty pleasant. Chuckle (again)

Meow (aka Connie) said...

Oh my, you sure found yourself a sicko there !! Some people get their kicks out of being total a***wipes !!
I have mostly had only good experiences on eBay, other than my first win/buy. I won a rather nice handbag for Chicky... only 10 Aussie dollars, fortunately ... and after receiving my invoice and stuff I dutifully deposited the monies into the seller's bank account ... within a few hours of winning the item. Waiting, waiting, waiting ... after 2 weeks, and countless emails to the seller ... I reported them to eBay, only to discover that this person had unregistered themselves and removed all other items from sale. Wonder how many others were caught, like myself ??
That being said, I thoroughly enjoy eBay, and think it is an amazing place.
It's horrible, though, to hear of bad transactions .... hope you don't get too many like this Pinkie critter !!
Anyway, hope your year is starting well. Will drop by again soon.
Take care, hugs, Meow

Emma Sometimes said...

You need an award for that dealeo alone (okay, really, check your email)

Did you know she could be banned from Ebay because she threatened you with filing reports with Paypal, Ebay and law enforcement. Threatening someone with negative feedback is also an offense worthy of banning.

You did everything right Saur....what a debacle!

Saur♥Kraut said...

OK, everyone: TOAD SUCK DAZE. Kudos to Ange for her sleuthing.

And I will write more soon!

Sherry said...

As A Sometimes Lurker sent from DaveAwayFromHome, An "unemployed for reasons beyond my control" Sympathizer, A fellow "I need to get this stuff outta here and wouldn't mind some money" EBayer... and as someone who sometimes has fun handing Crazies some sanity and watching them squirm... this was great. Absolutely hilarious.

Valerie - Still Riding said...

I love the 'Bay but haven't had a transaction that bad in a long time.

Ya done good.

Night Owl said...

In amongst the feedback panic you have only mentioned the modest cut in listing fees eBay have given. Haven't you noticed the massive hike from 5.25% to 8.75% on the final value fee yet?