EBay Complaint - Be Careful Bidding On Ebay Cell Phone Auctions
Four days ago I won an auction on eBay for a cell phone that was described by the seller as being "New, Never Opened." After the auction I tried to contact the seller to get the esn number (Equipment Serial Number) to make sure that the number was clean and that the phone wasn't stolen. I didn't ask for the esn before the auction ended because I didn't think the seller would open the box for anyone but the winner of the auction. I bid on this auction because the seller had 100% positive feedback.
When the seller didn't answer my emails after the auction, I tried contacting eBay and got a form response telling me they'd get back to me in 24 to 72 hours. I did get the seller's phone number from them but nothing else. And you guessed it!!! The seller didn't answer her phone until today. She gave me the esn number. When I checked it with Sprint, I was told that the number wasn't clean. The phone couldn't be activated. Fortunately, I hadn't paid the seller, and now she isn't answering her phone again.
I've tried contacting eBay without success, because I want to nullify the auction. All I get from them is a form email response.
Since I won this auction I've learned that thousands of cell phones that don't have clean esn's have been sold on eBay. Maybe eBay doesn't want to make rules for selling cell phones on their website because they make money on each transaction. And they certainly don't care about buyers. I'll probably never hear from them.
In the hope that what happened to me doesn't happen to anyone else who wants to buy a cell phone on eBay, I would advise the following:
1. Make sure the seller absolutely guarantees that the phone has a clean esn before you bid.
2. Make sure the seller has a fair return policy (a minimum of 5 days).
3.Don't bid on a used phone unless you are willing to risk buying a phone that has unpaid bills attached to it. This is a good reason to bid only on new, unopened phones (providing the seller guarantees a clean esn).
4. Look for auctions by power sellers that have 100% positive feedback.
5. Look for excessive shipping charges. They are a red flag.