Ebay fees remaining despite refunding buyer

So, bit of a weird one.

Wondering if anyone has had any experience with Ebay fees, owing or not owing - so to speak! And how you contacted Ebay to get any sort of resolution. 

In August, we listed a couple of extremely heavy bits of equipment on Ebay - we’re talking over 250Kg per item stuff, collection only, of course.

Reason for the sale was that we were relocating our business and our home too, over 200 miles. We had some business equipment we didn’t need anymore, so thought best to sell them rather than pay for unneeded transport, if possible.

The items were listed elsewhere too. A buyer texted me one day wanting to buy but didn’t seem sure about buying, had lots and lots of questions not strictly related to the item but was also kinda frantic about it too. They also lived very far away and wanted me to organise and cover shipping costs but also they wanted me to get it to them within two days! We’d had the items listed for a couple of weeks but sods law says that this was happening literally the day before and the day of the move - so anyway, didn’t take it very seriously and didn’t look into any shipping, to be honest, it was never really an option anyway.

Somewhere in the process of that, that same person found the item on Ebay and purchased it, following the purchases with Ebay messages about shipping again. Admittedly I didn’t notice this happening on Ebay for two days, they had made the purchase on Ebay because I hadn’t replied back to text messages about buying and was seemingly freaked out that someone else might buy it before them. Over the course of that two days, as the purchase was a lot of money (£7000), the buyer must have freaked out further and opened a case against me for “not received item”.

By the time I noticed, I was in the new home, no real computer setup and no internet, so was using just my phone - I apologised to the buyer a lot obviously but I was also up front about the shipping. I said I could look at shipping but it certainly wouldn’t be for a while because I had no ability to do so at that time, due to the move, I also said that I would rather refund now and if the buyer still wanted it in a couple of weeks, we could sort it all out then, she agreed.

I’m not sure if it was because I was on my phone or something else but every time I tried to issue the refund through the Ebay case, it would show me an site error message OR it would sign me out. I kept her updated through the process and tried to resolve it in a couple of ways, Ebay live chat, phone etc. Nothing resolved the issue but I eventually emailed Ebay support again and asked them to issue the refund on my behalf as I couldn’t seem to do it. I got a message from an Ebay department saying they had completed my request and I could get the buyer that a refund would be in her account in a few days. The day or so after that I got a message saying the case had been found in the buyers favour and a refund issued, I didn’t think anything of it, assuming it was a generic message do with my request.

Had nothing listed on Ebay etc anymore, so didn’t go onto the account seemingly again.

A few days ago, I get a text message from DRS CO UK saying that I owed £700-ish to them for Ebay fees that I hadn’t paid. I was confused as I hadn’t sold anything on Ebay, the only thing that I could think of was the saga above and I knew that refunded items also get refunded fees, so was still confused.

It is correct, Ebay refunded items get refunded seller fees, but apparently not if a case is found against you as a buyer. All the fees remain.

I’ve tried to explain the situation to Ebay multiple times now, in different ways, live chat, phone etc. It all seems to be computer says no to that, or copy and paste scripts. Despite having the message back from the department confirming they had completed my request to refund with a Chat ID on it, they say no record of that series of chats be found and no way to send it as a screenshot to them.

I’ve also been told on the phone that there’s absolutely no way to escalate this, there’s no department to even escalate it to apparently. In fact Ebay wouldn't even really hear anything about it, the only option is to pay the debt company acting on behalf.

Wondered if anyone else had any dealings like this or if there is any form of appeals process somewhere else?

Comments

  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,909
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    Unfortunately that is a slam dunk - if a case is opened and seller does not respond to resolve, and messages don't resolve a case, and ebay step in then the seller loses all their FVFs and gets a non performing strike.

    It's easy for me, and probably others on here to tell you where you went wrong as anyone experienced with ebay will see the issue immediately but that won't help and unfortunately those fees remain payable. There isn't any appeal route and what you do now depends on whether you want to keep an ebay account going forward.

    This sale will be on a business account, but any private accounts you have or your immediate family have will also be affected , so bear that in mind when deciding what to do. If you and your immediate family can live without ebay then ebay then ignore them, there is up till now no proof on nay forum that ebay or debt collectors have taken anyone as far as court. I think though that I would express caution in your case due to the business involvement, if anyone was going to be a test case for ebay, a business would be a better target than a private seller and you might want to consider that.

    If you do opt to not pay then debt collectors will be appointed and will harass you , but they will eventually get bored, again though I would be concerned at the business involvement especially if you have business premises and staff members. Once debt collectors are involved your outstanding debt will start to increase. I would speak to your accountant as it might be worth paying the fees and writing them off against profits rather than risk any unpleasantness at business premises .
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • Actually, I should also add,

    At the time I hadn't realised but my card details had expired on my Ebay account and my Paypal wasn't linked either, so I never actually received any of the buyers money, at any point.

    If I remember rightly, as the money was on-hold due to the case, Ebay wanted me to assign a payment method to make the refund. I presume that I would refund the amount and then Ebay would have refunded me the original amount paid to the claim.... I didn't have an account with £7000 in to issue the refund. Either there was an error adding my card at the time or my card kept failing due to not being able to pay out £7000.

    I remember trying another way to refund but that would sign me out each time.
  • Interesting @soolin, thanks for your reply.

    I understand the process of what you are explaining but I can clearly see the flaw in their system, given I asked for the refund to be made, as the website wouldn't allow me to issue the refund myself - bizarre that such a large company would have a system to decide the finer details rather than a person or at least have a process to review it, if needed. 

    In that case, it's very unlikely that I will ever pay this, the item was listed on a personal account - If I was ever made to pay in some way then I'd immediately take Ebay to court and produce the evidence that shows that issuing my own refund wasn't possible due to a website error.

    Seems a pretty silly system to me!
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,909
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    Critter85 said:
    Actually, I should also add,

    At the time I hadn't realised but my card details had expired on my Ebay account and my Paypal wasn't linked either, so I never actually received any of the buyers money, at any point.

    If I remember rightly, as the money was on-hold due to the case, Ebay wanted me to assign a payment method to make the refund. I presume that I would refund the amount and then Ebay would have refunded me the original amount paid to the claim.... I didn't have an account with £7000 in to issue the refund. Either there was an error adding my card at the time or my card kept failing due to not being able to pay out £7000.

    I remember trying another way to refund but that would sign me out each time.
    The issue is if buyer pays £7000 then you get say £6300 (held due to amount as you correctly state) however even when you refund voluntarily ebay retain 30p so the £7000 paid needs an extra 30p to be refunded which was scuppered by you not having a payment method available. 

    Regardless of all that though, due to missing time limits and such like the fees are now payable unfortunately. If you were having issues at the time, then that was the time to be contacting ebay for help, unfortunately it is too late now. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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