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Mon Apr 7 2014 18:56:07

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
In March I purchased a Galaxy Note 3 from eBay. The Note 3 is brand new and factory unlocked.

I received the Note 3 a few days later. I took this phone to a Sprint store and the tech was unable to get this phone to work saying it is not compatible with Sprint network.

I then took this phone to an AT&T store and they inserted a simm and there was no data. The phone's calling and text was working but no data. The tech said this phone is not compatible with AT&T data network.

I then preceded to take this phone to several other stores desperately trying to find someone that could get this phone to work.

I contacted the seller through eBay. Seller asked for my phone number and I gave it to him. He called and discussed my problem and I thought we came to an agreement that I file a dispute through PayPal and I would be sent a return label and get a refund.

After the dispute time ran out I lost the case and no refund. I called PayPal and told them the problem and they reopened the case. Next day I was denied again. Bottom line is seller claims item was as described but I have this $600 phone that does not work.

I called eBay but since the case is through PayPal eBay can't do anything.

Is there any way that I can get my money back?
Regards,
Brian




Comments (13) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Apr 7 21:49:08 2014

“PayPal: The safe way to pay and be paid”—LOL!

“How to complain about PayPal in the UK”

http://www.mukaumedia.co.uk/complain-paypal-uk/

On this article, (currently) 410 negative comments on “PreyPal”—well worth a read for any small merchant using, or thinking of using, “PreyPal” to accept payments and who has not as yet had a problem with “PreyPal” because, when you do eventually have that problem, it could well be a serious business-threatening problem …

“PayPal: 'Aggressive changes' coming to frozen funds policy”

http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/21/technology/paypal-frozen-funds/

Of the 368 comments currently on this article, see if you can find any that are complimentary of “PreyPal” …

And, just for fun, another story from Anna Tims of the Guardian/Observer detailing an apparent systems failure at “PreyPal” that undoubtedly affected who knows how many people
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/sep/01/paypal-refund-miss
ing-money


And another story from Anna Tims demonstrating eBay's unconscionable lack of fair transaction mediation and hard-wired bias towards buyers; 324 readers’ comments on this story; see if you can find any that are complimentary of eBay ...
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/dec/09/seller-beware-list
ing-ebay


And another story from the New York Times’ Haggler column …

“Anyone rushing out to load PayPal onto their phone might want to stop and read The New York Times Haggler column from Sunday. PayPal apparently generates a huge percentage of The Haggler’s traffic.—Tom Groenfeldt, Forbes

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/your-money/stuck-in-a-
dispute-between-paypal-and-itself.html?ref=thehaggler&_r=0


“If PayPal isn’t the most reviled online company in the country, which is? The Haggler invites reader suggestions for this unhappy title, but before you write in, consider the sheer quantity of animosity that PayPal inspires. There are anti-PayPal Facebook sites, anti-PayPal YouTube tirades, PayPal-loathing Twitter accounts and more than 550 complaints about PayPal on ConsumerAffairs.com.”

And (yet) another negative “PreyPal” story; also well worth a read

http://nrgfxit.net/2010/12/16/paypal-a-standard-bearer-for-
the-class-of-out-of-control-online-service/


“PayPal (Owned by eBay) is symptomatic of the Achilles heel of online commercial ventures today that leave users in distressed states of helplessness. An innocent trust given in good faith by a user is not reflected back by the service provider, in fact it is abused and taken advantage of.” …

And another quite typical “PreyPal” horror story

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=700733


“…
I thought what might be the way to get my money back. And I know it is child's play to get creative with a graphics program and manufacture what may apparently look like a utility bill with someone's name on it. Not that I would do such a thing which probably breaks all sorts of anti-terrorism laws and would subject the perpetrator to drone bombings and/or water-boarding. You know things have gotten out of hand when honest people have to lie just to get around the impossible [PayPal] bureaucracy. Kafka would be proud.”

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 08:31:38 2014

There are certain issues when buying higher end electronics online anywhere - eBay included.

MOST manufactorers dont recognize eBay as a legitimate place to buy their goods from. In simple eBay = NO WARRANTY.

Most sellers of major electronics are required to agree in their dealer contracts "NO EBAY".

Beyond that, I dont beleive you can open a case in both places OR "judge shop".

Beyond that, neither eBay nor Paypal are experts in deciding things (read ANYTHING). As far as they are concerned they only want to do a "reset". The seller gets back the item, you get back your money. Thats what they try to do.

Buyers run into issues when its more complicated then normal (ie like your situation) and sellers run into issues when buyers switch objects or just plain use things then decide they dont like it ...right after their trip/wedding/family gathering.

If I were you Id:

1) contact Samsung directly. Explain you RECIEVED IT AS A GIFT - dont mention you bought it off eBay since that may effect what they say (yes its called lying by omission - but we arent trying to get money from Samsung - only information).

Give them the serial number and ask them what system its SUPPOSED to be working with. That will at least put you on the right track (how can you activate it if you dont know what system its for?)

2) Id then go back to the carrier store that its supposed to work on and ask them again to try and activate it - ask them NICELY to contact Samsung while you were there in person. Be REALY nice and sweet - and ask them for help "it doesnt seem to be working - is there anything under the warranty (since its new) that you can do to help me?"

3) If nothing else works, contact Sasung again and ask about warranty work/exchange

4) If all else fails or Samsung tells you the item is fake, a clone, an oem pieve that requires special software etc - go to your CC compay. Get what Samsung tlls you IN WRITTING and submit it to them. THEY will deal with Paypal, if Paypal cant/wont help.

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: Valaset This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 08:48:26 2014

I think your first mistake was buying an unlocked phone.  I sell over 1,000 cell phones a year on EBAY and I ALWAYS encourage people to buy a phone that was designed to work with their carrier of choice.  If you wanted a Sprint phone, buy a phone that has SPRINT on it.  Then you know it works with their network.

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: sambne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 10:28:08 2014

Your only remaining option I guess is to file a charge back for item not as described via your credit card provider, if you used a credit card to pay.
 

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 10:35:17 2014

I just had to use charge back for the first time--on a camera--seller was a well-known (but not by me) scammer. So far so good. Call your credit card company!!

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Tue Apr 8 11:53:56 2014

PayPal The world's most-loved way to pay and get paid."

What a crock.

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 12:00:55 2014

Post the details of your issue over in the Trust & Safety/SafeHarbor discussion group:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Trust-Safety-Safe-Harbor/bd-p/210
7


There may be some fallback strategy that you can make use of to return the phone and get refunded. It's not clear what happened to you so far, but the seller seems knowledgeable in how to string out the process to ensure that you'd lose, so you need to stop talking to him and focus on how you can salvage this without his cooperation, since clearly he does not seem interested in taking it back.

...and regarding your original question: No, I would never buy a smartphone on eBay. I just buy one from my service provider. Any savings from an eBay purchase are quickly offset by the risk of Something Bad happening, as you have seen. If I want to gamble that much, I'll go to a casino. ;-)

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 15:58:21 2014

I only buy tech stuff from my local stores. If a problem arises, they fix it or give me a new one at no charge. That doesn't work so well when all transactions are long distance. Saving $10 or $100, doesn't mean anything if the item doesn't work. It just means you paid for a wanna be-look alike piece of junk, from a junk seller.  

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Apr 8 16:22:07 2014

If you want support... avoid eBay

If you want seamless carrier connection...avoid eBay

If you want a warranty.... avoid eBay

If you like smartphones that are Bricks or paperweights ...Buy from eBay

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 8 19:16:52 2014

Go on Craigslist, search ''unlock'' or ''rooting'' to find a knowledgeable phone tech.  The techs at the carrier's store don't know how to fix unlocked or rooted phones. However the small stores that represent all carriers usually have knowledgeable techs.

It should cost around $50 to get the problem fixed.

I buy 2nd hand phones all the time. However, I usually buy locally. Buying retail is a waste of money unless you buy refurbished by the manufacture.  

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed Apr 9 00:47:22 2014

I have never paid more than $10.00 for a new phone and have been using them for years since the old Motorola brick. I currently have a Samsung S4 and paid $0.99 for it a year and a half ago. I am sorry to say any one that pays $600 for a phone is a fool and a fool and there money are soon departed.

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Apr 9 02:54:22 2014

If you buy electronics from an dealer authorized by the manufacturer to sell their brand then warranties will be honored.

When registering simply say or write it was purchased from XYZ Co. aqnd don't mention ebay. After all you bought it from a seller NOT from ebay.

Before buying electronic items, ask the seller if they're an authorized distributor for the brand and make them submit proof if you're in doubt.

Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?   Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Wed Apr 9 14:20:08 2014

"Is eBay a Good Place to Buy Smartphones?"

Yes, if what you really want is an expensive, high tech, paperweight.



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