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Advice please - AIBU - Bought an Iphone3 on Ebay and it's not as described

(26 Posts)
Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 12:04:06

I normally only use ebay for clothes and small gifts, but have been wanting an iphone for ages, so finally bought an iphone 3GS 2nd hand on ebay yesterday.
The seller only had 48 'sales' but 100% feedback, and the item description said

"This phone has sat in a drawer for a year or so unused, so is in pretty good condition. I always used a cover so there is only slight indication of wear and tear.

The phone is unlocked and ready to use. Unfortunately the charger is not available."

I paid instantly when the auction ended, and received it this morning. So far, so good. But the handset is very very scuffed around the sides and back (definitely more than 'slight wear and tear') and there is also some damage to the front (face) of the phone. Not on the screen, just above it, but very visible and the sort of thing you would expect to be mentioned.

More importantly, when it arrived this morning it barely had enough charge to turn on, so I plugged it in immediately. 3 hours later and it isn't taking a charge: it is turned on (just) but only able to show the 'make an emergency call' screen...there's no way of even seeing the rest of the set up as far as I can tell.

I've contacted the seller to tell her that I'm not happy, especially since it doesn't charge.

She has responded to say she charged it yesterday so it must be my charger at fault, and that 'wear and tear' is subjective, so I can't complain about that.

I have emailed her back to tell her that I don't agree, and requested a refund.

AIBU? It feels like an expensive (just over £60) turkey right now.

Should I go to a local phone shop and get them to check it, for example?


VivaLeBeaver Wed 25-Jun-14 12:08:03

Borrow a charger off someone else to see if it is your charger. If its not charging then she has to refund you. eBay will find in your favour and refund you.

I'd have thought they'll refund you over the scuff if you open a dispute.

Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 12:16:27

Thanks Viva

Ebay has opened a dispute automatically, because I selected 'contact the seller' and then chose the 'item not as described' box.

I wasn't being aggressive about it, because in the past I've always understood you should contact the seller first before opening a case, but I guess that's underway.

Good idea about borrowing a charger. I need to pop out in a bit, so might walk down to the phone shop and see if they can get it to charge.

hoobypickypicky Wed 25-Jun-14 12:18:02

No, it's not down to you to go to extra expense. You will be out of pocket if you do. Just borrow a charger from someone else to ensure that it's not your equipment that's at fault.

If it isn't down to your charger give her a few hours to respond to your request for a refund.

If she agrees, accept only a full refund including the P&P you paid and return the IPhone to her, very well packed and by a Royal Mail signed for service. Whatever you do, get a signature when she receives it!

If she refuses/doesn't reply file a claim with Ebay for an item not as described. Be factual, refer to the listing details and to the faults. Add photos of the damage and state that it isn't a charger problem.

State clearly the situation as it stands now between you and the buyer, i.e. "I messaged you on 24/6/14 to alert you to the damage and to tell you that the phone isn't working. You told me that the phone is working and that the damage is only minimal and have refused to refund me/declined to respond to my request for a refund".

Let her argue. Don't get stressed about it and don't capitulate. Don't accept a partial refund.

Wait until you have the chance to escalate the case to Ebay and let them decide. They will deem the item to not be as described and tell you to return it to the seller (don't forget to send it signed for upon receipt!) and, as soon as you forward them proof that it's been received by the seller, will take from the seller's Paypal account and reimburse you the cost of the item and your original P&P costs - the seller does not have to cover the cost incurred in returning the item to her.

Butterflyspring Wed 25-Jun-14 12:32:21

please don't send royal mail unless special delivery posties are rubbish at getting a signature and standard signed for won't cover you for £60 anyway - send Hermes or Collect Plus - guaranteed tracking then.

Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 12:52:39

Thanks for the feedback. I've not heard back from her following my last email, so will sit tight and wait, and in the meantime will get hold of another charger just to be on the safe side.

I think if the phone works fine (and for some reason just doesn't like my charger) then I'll live with the damage, even though I'm a bit cross that the seller wasn't entirely honest about it. But if it doesnt work properly, then I definitely need a full refund.

What annoys me about the 'wear and tear' is that they actually specified that there wasn't much and it had been looked after - I think once you add that into your description, you shouldn't really hide behind 'oh well, everyone's definition of wear and tear is different' afterwards...! (grr!)

nickstmoritz Wed 25-Jun-14 13:29:06

We bought an iphone for DD from ebay seller at xmas. Had to send back then received a replacement which didn't work either so got a full refund. Just did contract in the end. If it doesn't charge ask to send back for a refund or even if it does and you think the wear n tear is worse than described - you are totally in the right. As said above send securely (really the seller should cover return P&P if item faulty too).

Butterflyspring Wed 25-Jun-14 14:19:20

so you paid more for it than you would have had you known the condition? I would send back for full refund and leave appropriate fb and low stars. And spending on a new charger seems a waste really.

TheReluctantCountess Wed 25-Jun-14 14:28:14

If she charged it the day before, and it hasn't been used when in the post, then it is clearly faulty as it doesn't hold a charge.

Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 15:19:02

I've been out and bought a new charger for it, which does seem to work, although I don't know whether the phone is going to hold a charge, given it was completely flat.

Thing is, now I've received a refund and the seller has closed the case. What do I do now? She hasn't sent me her details in order to post the phone back to her, and I don't really want to be out of pocket by the cost of a secure return....


If it does work, I'd be happy to keep it and pay a reduced that even possible now?

Butterflyspring Wed 25-Jun-14 15:24:25

if she wants it returned she will need to send you the postage - seller is daft to refund you before it has been returned. You can't be made to send it back now and seller doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 15:36:40

Gosh, it's quite complicated isn't it? I think she's quite new to this (even newer than me!) and has probably processed the refund because she knew she'd been a bit naughty with the description. I don't want to deprive her of her phone, so would be happy to send it back to her if she pays for postage, but not really sure about getting in touch at this point to ask about it...

Bit annoyed that I went out to buy a new charger, now, but once the charger in the phone shop seemed to be working I thought I should at least give it a go.

On the other hand, there's an ebay shop that sells new/reconfigured iphone 3s for £60 (the price i paid) in great condition, with a warranty, charger etc. So I definitely feel I overpaid for something that really doesn't come close.

Is it not done to drop her a line offering to pay a smaller amount and then keep it?

TheReluctantCountess Wed 25-Jun-14 16:34:50

No, don't offer to give her money.

Butterflyspring Wed 25-Jun-14 17:25:24

no don't give her a penny - why should you. If she wants it returned ask her to give you the money or send an sae to you for you to send it back. The ball is firmly in your court here.

Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 18:08:37

Really? Isn't that a bit unfair? I feel like I should at least email her to suggest that she send me an SAE so I can return her phone?

nauticant Thu 26-Jun-14 18:54:34

If you want things to be completely fair surely the least she'd need to do is give you a payment for the phone to be returned to her* and a payment for the charger you bought (which you can send to her as well).

* If you send it back via a cheapo method and she pretends it didn't arrive, although you're in the clear with ebay and Paypal, if she wanted to cause trouble she could start something up in the Small Claims Court. If you're going to send it back you want proof she did actually receive it.

Fillybuster Fri 27-Jun-14 10:42:49

Ok, I'll sit tight, not use it and wait for her to get in touch, which I am sure she will do. I don't think she intended to send me a refund and expected me to keep the phone, and I wasn't after that outcome either. But her first message was quite rude, and I have paid for a charger, so I don't really want to contact her first!

I've looked at her history (quite short) and she's definitely a potential MNer and I don't think she was intentionally trying to diddle me: she's recently sold some Boden clothes, Philips electric breast pump, Maxi Cosi car seat....I almost expected to see her turn up on this thread...grin

Fillybuster Fri 27-Jun-14 12:52:59

Just discovered the phone isn't even unlocked as advertised (just thought I should check that it is even working) may not be working, or it might just be locked to O2, but when I put my fully paid up Voda sim in, nothing happens....

nauticant Fri 27-Jun-14 16:07:13

In that case, well done for getting a refund. My preference would be to sit tight and keep the phone with an option to return it in the future, and if she requests for it to be returned to her ask for a payment meaning that this palaver hasn't cost you a penny.

But if you do end up returning it, this should be done properly so she can't then turn around and say "we agreed you'd return my phone but I didn't receive anything so now I want the value of the phone from you".

Fillybuster Sat 28-Jun-14 23:26:32

Ok, I've now received a slightly bolshy note from her asking where the phone is and when I posted it. Does anyone have any suggestions about how I should respond? I don't have a receipt for the phone charger, although I can probably go back and get one but not until the end of the week....the main thing is how I explain to her politely that she needs to pre-pay for the cost of return postage and find a way to do that. Any suggestions please?
Thanks all!

Butterflyspring Sun 29-Jun-14 08:56:47

just reply and say you haven't returned it because she hasn't paid the cost. Ask her to send you £3 by paypal as a gift and then return by Hermes - will cost £2.98 and you will have online proof of delivery. If she refuses - then don't return it. And don't send it back without online proof of delivery - standard RM signed for is a waste of time and too unreliable tbh.

Fillybuster Sun 29-Jun-14 10:41:10

Will do...anyway, I need her address, too! How is she supposed to pay the cost? Do I just give her my PayPal username?

Butterflyspring Sun 29-Jun-14 10:44:41

she just sends the money as a gift payment (no fees) to your email address which is linked to your paypal account.

Fillybuster Mon 30-Jun-14 16:15:26

She has refused to,pay for return and got very threatening - said she was going to escalate if she didn't receive it within 48 hours. Fortunately I've now spoken to eBay and they've been very helpful: confirmed I've done nothing wrong, said they will pay return via collect plus and made it clear she can't escalate/ open a case against me.

This has all been very stressful...thanks for all your support!

Bluecarrot Mon 30-Jun-14 16:29:18

According to eBay the last time I checked, she doesn't need to pay return postage ( I've been out money twice for two v not-as-described items). As in your case, they will cover it in exceptional circumstances only.

Glad you got a good outcome eventually.

But just so you are aware, 3GS are pretty much obsolete, as are 4 from the next iOS upgrade..

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