PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY -- I have been a very trusted buyer on eBay and have done quite a lot of shopping on eBay. Due to some disappointments faced when I was a newbie on eBay, now I do a lot of review when purchasing from eBay.
Coming ahead is my 2nd Wedding Anniversary and to make the vivid memories last, I wanted to take the photography session at home since I am a passionate photographer. So I was looking for a quality lighting system and had been searching eBay for few weeks and decided to buy one on 25th May 2012. Package which made pulled my attention included 3 Strobe Lights, 2 Soft Boxes, 2 Studio umbrellas, 1 transmitter with cable, 1 barn door, 3 stands for the strobe lights, and some more necessary stuffs. All that costed just $245.90 which I thought was a superb deal. I quickly had a look at their seller rating. 99.2% positive was awesome compared to the number of feedback they had received which was close to 700 thousand.
The mistake on my side was, I was too impressed with the amount of feedback and did not wait to see how much negative feedback and neutral feedback did they receive during the last one month (which counted over 116 negatives and 152 neutrals along with 14321 positive feedback just in the past one month). I thought some stupid buyers might have given negative feedback just randomly but I turned out to be wrong. Slow Shipping, Broken Items, Non-Working Items were popular among the negative feedback. This is when I felt upset about my decision to purchase from the seller.
I purchased close to 10 items on 25th May, and by 27th May, all the items were marked as shipped, but not this lighting kit. That depressed me even more. I messaged the seller. They replied to my message after about 12 hours which said:
Thanks for your contact, sorry for this incovenience, we are check this order with our shipping dept now, and will update you once we get any details.
Thanks for your kind patience in advance.
I messaged them every night and they kept giving me the same message regardless what information I demand for, in the message. For instance, I asked why they are taking such a long time to update a tracking info, and they kept saying they are trying to contact their "shipping department". This was as I thought gone to a very frustrating level by then. I was so upset. I use a Mail Forwarding address and I kept getting notifications that all the items I bought had been delivered to my address but this very item did not get any shipping update but the same message about, which says they are contacting the shipping department.
My messages kept growing rude. But I got same old messages everyday.
On 30th May, frustrated over the fact that shipping info was not updated and seller is not helping, I wanted to check an online forum about the seller which suggested the seller may be indicating item location as "USA" but shipping from a dropshipper in the UK. This seller is indeed a renowned seller in the UK.
I noticed one thing, for all the negative and neutral feedback they received, they respond saying "We will help, neg does not, pls contact us first!" For almost all the negative feedback, this was the response from the seller. But now I am 100% sure, all those buyers would have contacted them over and over again seeking help before leaving the negative feedback.
This was a message I received from them on 30th May.
"thanks for your email. I am sorry to reply you so late. since these days are Memorial Day, our us warehouse staff may have not updated the tracking info in time. but please do not worry about it we have sent your item out on 5.26, it is still in transit. I have contracted with the shipping department. once get the tracking info, we will email back asap.
thanks for your understanding and patience in advance.
They said it was shipped on 26th May. After one day though, they "emailed" to my email address saying that they could not print the shipping label and item wasn't shipped. They offered a refund but it was too late by then and I needed the package urgently. And from then on again, they kept telling me the same old story about getting the tracking info from their shipping department.
The big picture feedback checkers will see then is, "I think this seller is great. Look they've got thousands of positives. May be these buyers didn't seek help and just left negative feedback".
On 5th June, I demanded refund. And I got a reply:
Thanks for your contact, we sincerely apologize
for this problem, we have inform one of my colleague to give you a call,
she will call you within 24 business hours.
Thanks for your kind patience
In response, nothing about the refund I demanded.
Worst communication and customer service I have ever experienced on eBay.
Customers, please beware.