August 5, 2014

When children sell on ebay - Part 2

OK, so — where were we.  Oh Yes. "Contempraphones" was quite helpful.  That is, until I actually asked for his help.  You see, the phone is for a prop in a new TV/Web spot I am making for Cool Telecom, LLP (LIKE us on facebook).  There's a lot of history. A little fanfare.  A booming narrator.  All the makings of an epic, in your face, next generation business telephone service ad.  Real eye-opening stuff.  But alas.  To think I could just go on ebay and buy a 10-button phone.  What was I thinking?

Why a 10-button phone you ask?  Excellent question.  You see.  If you know how to press the pound button then you know how to use our system.  Using a Cool PBX involves little more than pressing the pound key and other sequences of numbers.  You can block people, re-direct them to 'marketing' so they won't bother you with their marketing.  You can even record your calls and appear to be calling from your office — from your cell phone.

So yeah.  The pound key is kind of a big deal at Cool Telecom.  We wanted to take the viewer back to the dark ages when there was no 'pound key'.

Enter contempraphones on ebay. From Canada.

I clicked the 'Resolve a problem' link next to the item in 'My Ebay' and opened the case.  I did, in fact, inadvertently end up with an 'Item not as described' case instead of an 'item arrived damaged' case.  Apparently this upset contempraphones as he was quick to scold me with this message via the ebay messaging system:

Seller's message:
"Hi again -- could you please change the case to damaged? I have two blue sets that match your picture more closely in condition -- one is 12-button, the other is 10. This turquoise set is more greenish. That is a separate issue though. I have another problem now -- this case has triggered a hold on my PayPal account until we resolve it, so I can't access the money you just sent me for the turquoise phone. So, I need to resolve the postal insurance claim first. A heavy pallet must have fallen on it. I need your cooperation as USPS may request that you bring the phone and box to your local post office for inspection, or return it to me. Thanks again for your patience."

So, there's no way to change the case type.  So it remains an 'Item not as described' case.  I'm delighted that he has a phone that matches a 12-button I picked up from another seller.  He wants to resolve the postal claim first and sends me an email telling me that I will receive further instructions from the post office and that I may need to take the broken item to the post office for 'inspection'.

I'm cool with all of this.

Part of the problem is that contempraphones plastered 'fragile' stickers everywhere.  I remind him that this usually just attracts abuse by postal employees.  He shrugs it off as 'covering his behind'.

Seller's message:
"Yes, I was told that by a grumpy postal employee, but I always put a FRAGILE sticker on to cover my behind. Now USPS will have to pay. I could have dropped that phone down a flight of stairs unboxed and it wouldn't have cracked like that. These phones were designed to withstand falls off tables. There was a layer of peanuts and thick bubble wrap on the bottom and sides and an airbag on top around the line switch, and the handset was wrapped separately. If I ship it in a really large box, volumetric weight kicks in and the shipping charge is so high, nobody buys. Needless to say, I won't ship USPS again. Now I have to wait until I get reimbursed by USPS. I'm really upset right now -- PayPal already took the money out of my account because you just panicked and opened a case as NOT AS DESCRIBED, which isn't true. You didn't even contact me or the post office first to file a damage claim. The waybill clearly showed that it was insured against loss or damage for $100 + shipping."

Whatever. I am sure he knows what he's doing.

I apologized for incorrectly opening a case in the "Not as described" category. But, technically, the phone didn't arrive 'as described'. What I bought was an intact, good condition, 50-year-old 10-button telephone. What I received was a shattered pile of bakelite.

As a rule, I tend to trust sellers that have 100% positive feedback with no negatives during the previous 12 months. This seller had great feedback. In the 600s with no negatives. So I figure I can trust him.

To be continued...

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Oklahoma City, OK, United States
My name is Mark W. Mumma. I'm from Blackwell Oklahoma and I used to fight email spam. My fight is over and I have lost. I am making a movie about my misadventures. It should be out by 2015. I am an ISP, a telecom entrepreneur, a wedding DJ and a Data Recovery guru. Hey, its an Obummer economy and I am just trying to keep food on the table.