Here's a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of messing around certain UK eBay vendors: do so at your peril, as the following transcript of a bulletin board posting shows. Certain details have been deleted/altered:
eBay, PayPal & one dim witted thicko eBayer
How we got our money back & filmed it all happening. (This is 100% true and was legal)
In Jan this year my brother sold a mobile handset that had never been used on eBay [the place we all love to hate]. The guy paid within 15 mins and lives in XXXX which is about 35 mins up the XXXX from here. Item sent via Royal Mail signed for the next day. Two weeks later this guy states in an email he has never rec'd item. I chase up with Royal Mail who kindly informed me 2 days later the item was rejected and is on it's way back to XXXX. I called the buyer on his landline number I acquired from his eBay details and asked what was going on.
He told me barefaced lies that Royal Mail had never shown up and he had waited long enough. I told him that he signed the form as unrequested parcel and to return to sender. On checking his eBay feedback [17 and 100%] he had purchased the same handset from someone in XXXX [5 miles from XXXX, how lucky ] for a £10.00 +p+p two days after purchasing from my brother. The guy who sold the handset in XXXX had an item for sale and I mailed him asking could I collect & pay & he said yes.
I did so and gained my opportunity to hopefully find out about this guy who bought the mobile from my brother. When I arrived and told him the story he tells me that the guy advised PayPal the goods were damaged and claimed his money back.
I contacted PayPal and also phoned the buyer and advised him of my course of action if he did not pay for the goods. He put the phone down on me [bad move on his part] so I arranged for my good self and 4 personnel who work the doors in XXXX and surrounding areas a trip to sunny XXXX starting out at 6.30 am. I intended nailing this bastard 100%.
We arrived at this guys house and not knowing what he looked like but I did know his voice asked a few neighbours who told us he did not work and advised us of what he looked like. This all ended up on film from my car [a bit like Roger Cook this lot] and this guy came out of his house to get into his old [car]. Myself and 3 acquaintances approached him and he looked rather pale to say the least when I announced who I was and told him about the other eBayer I had been in contact with. My 3 'henchmen' are all over 6'3" and the lightest one is nearly 18 stone, and my mate of many years XXXX advised him we aint leaving until goods are paid for, our time and the fuel costs involved and how nice of us it was to bring the parcel which remained unopened so that he would not feel 'hard done' by. This guy literally shit blue bricks and on a good day probably weighed about 11.5 stone so it was no competition.
This guy was taken to the local cash machine in central XXXX [by the way parking is shite in XXXX city centre] and made him withdraw the cash. Not being an easy man to please when someone tries to take the piss I advised him to contact eBay and get the negative comments removed and I would do the same. This was sorted about two weeks later by eBay.
We had a good day out and ventured up to the XXXX for the rest of the day. A cracking pub lunch.
For eBayers there is PayPal, for thicko eBayers thinking they are having me or my brother over there's no chance. The look on XXXX's face - Priceless!
For those of you wondering whether our vigilante vendor was indeed acting within the law, he adds in a later comment:
I must say before I ventured out on that trip I did get legal advice on what I was doing and was told my actions were legal as I/we were personally persuing a debt collection in our own right.
Well, we'll leave it to the experts among you to decide the legality of advising the buyer that "we aint leaving until goods are paid for" until he's "shit blue bricks" and is then "taken to the local cash machine", but one thing is certain: this particular chancer would be well advised in future to sign for the parcel and stump up the cash. ®
Thanks to StephenP for the tip-off.