I had a web site that allowed me to match up with a wholesale merchandising company, directly linking their products to Ebay.
I had never used Ebay for anything before, but I had heard so much about them that I decided to give this venture a try. I looked at all the merchandise available to me and found an electronic device that seemed to have potential to make money.
I listed on Ebay through my website and waited with anticipation to see how this venture would turn out. I didn't have long to wait, I actually received an email the next day from a potential buyer. Boy! was I excited! The email asked if I could ship the product to Africa. I knew that the wholesaler only shipped into the U. S so I returned the email with this information. .
I was surprised to receive a reply from the buyer suggesting that the item could be dropped at a U. S address of a family member.
I then asked for the money to be paid into my PayPal account, and I would then alert the shipping company to go ahead. I had read that one must get the money in a secure account, before risking any shipments. I received a PayPal receipt , outlining, as they usually do , all the necessary information regarding credit card information and the name of the buyer etc etc.
I then sent my payment to the shipper to send the item on it's way. I decided to make sure that the right amount had been transferred to my paypal account as my currency is not U. S dollar, when I saw that my account did not show ANY payment, I panicked!!
I called PayPal on the telephone, and after being transferred to everyone that worked there, I think, I was asked to send them a copy of the email receipt I had received from them. I did this willingly and waited for their apology. It never came. They informed me, that the email receipt was a fraud. With my heart in my mouth I asked them to explain how I would know that, then they told me that because it did not have https://at the beginning of the email , it was a scam.
I was so angry, I asked them how would the ordinary person ever know this, why did they not have this message on their site, for everyone to see so that no one would get scammed. They dismissed this suggestion out of hand and apologized to me, but the outcome was, too bad for me!!!
I called the shipping company, they had already shipped it out but after listening to my tale of woe, they thought they might catch the item at the holding depot. They would let me know.
Meanwhile, I went back to Ebay to see what was happening with this item I had had on auction. It had been taken off as sold and therefore I thought , well that's the end of that.
Two days later, I received a call from my credit card company, asking me to verify some purchases that I had made , that they were questioning. I knew that I had not made these purchases and they promised to look into it. I knew that the only place that I had`given out my credit information to recently, was Ebay. Now my blood was boiling !!! What in the world was going on?
I waited and waited on the telephone for someone at Ebay to talk to me, after what seemed like hours, I finally got a real voice on the phone. I explained, as calmly as I could, what had happened with all of this and as I was not familiar with their system, what could possibly have transpired with the problems I was having regarding my credit card, asking to be assured that their system was secure. I was given this assurance and it was suggested to me that it had to be another source. I was made to feel rather stupid at even suggesting they could be at fault.
My bank called me back and advised me that the charges(and they were considerable) that had been made to my credit card had originated in the U. S. They suggested I investigate for my own good, but they would cancel these charges from my account.
I logged into my Ebay account and as I was a novice at this, took some time to find my personal information.
When I found my credit card address I was ASTOUNDED. !!! Instead of my address in Canada, apparently I had moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. !!!!
It took some time for this to register in my brain. Somehow, in this not so secure site of EBay, someone had managed to alter my credit card address. I phoned them again and waited again, for a live person to answer. When they did , they asked to call me back on my line to verify who I was, at this point this seemed to me ludicrous, who was I anyway? On the return call, I tried to remain calm and explain what had`happened and asked for an explanation.
The young lady on the other end, did not have one, except to say that it must have been an isolated incident, and they would look into it, and meanwhile I could continue to use my account. I told her, in not very nice language , just what she could do with the account. !
I logged into my account to cancel it and then was informed that if I took that drastic step, I may not get it back later.
I have never used Ebay since this fiasco, and I never did receive any explanation or apology from either Ebay or PayPal.
I often think that when these companies first started up, they would have been on top of this kind of customer relations problem to preserve their image, but now they are so big, that, if one customer falls, ( like in the old days in the army platoons when one soldier fell, another just took his place )they know they have another ready to sign up.
By the way, the shipping company DID manage to catch the shipment before it was picked up, so that turned out ok. Just be very careful with YOUR credit card on Ebay, or you might end up living in “goodness only knows where!!!"
Ena Clewes, Journalist and Short Story Writer - Web Site at http://www.pets-1.com .