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To All Buyers who feel inclined to give Negative or Neutral ratings

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qball

With regards to Returns policies - if a buyer is unhappy with the quality of a product, the seller should pay for the return of the item and NOT charge a restocking fee. Restocking fees should apply if the buyer simply wants to return an item with no valid reason. The buyer has several issues with the stone all relating to quality - this does not give you the right to retaliate with 7 negatives because on one issue with one stone... Janet you know the rules... !

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kyle2
With regards to Returns policies - if a buyer is unhappy with the quality of a product, the seller should pay for the return of the item and NOT charge a restocking fee. Restocking fees should apply if the buyer simply wants to return an item with no valid reason.

Reminds me of the situation I had with a certain diamond dealer, but if I am not mistaken Bob's view on restocking charges was a relayed to me a bit differently, I also had to pay for the return of the item + restocking fees, for an item clearly not as advertised. Thankfully, I got most of my money back, less return charges etc etc......grumble, grumble...........

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qball

Hi Kyle - Please re-read my response - they "should not" charge you. You did get the "restocking fee" back with our intervention. Those were the sellers terms at the time, just as Cali Craft has stated this - "no refunds on shipping". Our view is and will always be that if you send the wrong item to a buyer or the buyer is not satisfied with what they have received, you as a seller should not refuse refunds based on this, and should pay for the item to be returned and most definitely not charge a restocking fee - in your case as the item was fairly expensive, many sellers charge restocking fees to ensure they can get the stone tested to check that it has not been swopped out or removed and replaced with something less.

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lilythepink
With regards to Returns policies - if a buyer is unhappy with the quality of a product, the seller should pay for the return of the item and NOT charge a restocking fee. Restocking fees should apply if the buyer simply wants to return an item with no valid reason. The buyer has several issues with the stone all relating to quality - this does not give you the right to retaliate with 7 negatives because on one issue with one stone... Janet you know the rules... !

 

I plead "not guilty"!! :hm:

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Miss Jewels

I have never, and will never, charge restocking fee. I do however feel unhappy about the fact the we are forced to refund "if the buyer is not satisfied...". I have had a case where the buyer has notified me after a week "I don't like the ring anymore", "it does not look good on my finger", "my husband does not like the ring"....etc. In a case like this, I will not refund as my auction listings are very clear. I stipulate clearly whether it's costume jewelery or other metals, give the weight of the ring, stone sizes, etc. I cannot force buyers to read correctly (as is the general problem with some buyers). I will however give a 100% refund if the item received is not as advertised or arrived there "damaged" (not due to SAPO)e.g a loose stone. I feel this is more than adequate where returns are concerned.

Our view is and will always be that if you send the wrong item to a buyer or the buyer is not satisfied with what they have received, you as a seller should not refuse refunds based on this, and should pay for the item to be returned and most definitely not charge a restocking fee

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qball
I have never, and will never, charge restocking fee. I do however feel unhappy about the fact the we are forced to refund "if the buyer is not satisfied...". I have had a case where the buyer has notified me after a week "I don't like the ring anymore", "it does not look good on my finger", "my husband does not like the ring"....etc. In a case like this, I will not refund as my auction listings are very clear. I stipulate clearly whether it's costumer jewelery or other metals, also the weight of the ring, stone sizes, etc. I cannot force buyers to read correctly (as is the general problem with some buyers). I will however give a 100% refund if the item received is not as advertised or arrived there "damaged" (not due to SAPO)e.g a loose stone. I feel this is more than adequate where returns are concerned.

 

 

In your case, if they don't like the ring, they must pay for shipping back and you would be permitted to charge a reasonable restocking fee. The issue here is a quality issue not that the buyer simply did not like the stone. Please remember, on a Buy Now, you may have to refund.

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brands online
With regards to Returns policies - if a buyer is unhappy with the quality of a product, the seller should pay for the return of the item and NOT charge a restocking fee. Restocking fees should apply if the buyer simply wants to return an item with no valid reason. The buyer has several issues with the stone all relating to quality - this does not give you the right to retaliate with 7 negatives because on one issue with one stone... Janet you know the rules... !

 

Hi qball, while on this topic. What happens when a buyer rates negatively "not happy with quality of item", yet the item is exactly as pictured and described and literally more than a hundred previous buyers have rated positively on the same item? Surely it's not the item at fault, rather the buyer...?

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wayjen
Hi qball, while on this topic. What happens when a buyer rates negatively "not happy with quality of item", yet the item is exactly as pictured and described and literally more than a hundred previous buyers have rated positively on the same item? Surely it's not the item at fault, rather the buyer...?

 

Ain't that the truth!

 

You list something under a specific category. You take pictures left right and centre AND you give a detailed description of the item in question and they still rate you negatively cause they thought it was.........

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qball
Hi qball, while on this topic. What happens when a buyer rates negatively "not happy with quality of item", yet the item is exactly as pictured and described and literally more than a hundred previous buyers have rated positively on the same item? Surely it's not the item at fault, rather the buyer...?

 

Thanks for the question - this is the problem - the seller's perception of buyers - that the buyer is at fault or is being unreasonable. This is the wrong attitude to have, in my view. They should be seen as a customer, a paying customer and their happiness and satisfaction should be all that is important to you, not about allocating blame or fault.

 

Each buyer's perception of quality is subjective, whilst you may think you are selling a quality product, some buyers will not think so. Instead of blaming them and retaliating with negatives, try sort out the issue, after all, that's what customer service is all about. It's not about blame or that you are right and they are wrong. If any of my staff had to retaliate to any customer in the fashion and manner some seller's do - they would receive an official warning for putting the company into disrepute and further sanctions would apply.

 

I think some seller's need to re-think how they approach customers and how they respond to their buyers - yes, buyers can be difficult, but that's what we all signed up for, it's part and parcel of doing business like this, it's how you respond and resolve each situation that will determine how you will succeed.

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wayjen

But qball, what are we to do when the Buyer goes straight to the negative button without even contacting the Seller first? Once a negative rating goes up it is there for the world to see and a potential Buyer might see this and move on yet that issue could have been sorted out in a positive way turning it into a win win win situation for Bob, Seller and Buyer. In Janet's case she is lucky to still get emails from Buyers where in other cases the Buyer heads straight for the negative button.

 

Is there not a way to have Buyers contact Sellers BEFORE leaving negative or neutral ratings so things can be sorted out in a hopefully good way and if things do go pear shaped, then call Bob in as a go between?

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qball

I hear you Wayne. It would be nice to give you an opportunity to respond first and try sort the issue out before complaining, but that's human nature and no matter what you do, they won't always contact you first to voice their dissatisfaction or unhappiness.

 

What you should do is, acknowledge their issue, apologise, even if you are not at fault and offer a solution. You can respond to the negative in a polite, civil and understanding manner and take it from there.

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wayjen

Yes, that's fine but how many people have seen that negative under your name already and moved on? We all know the rating system is important for both Buyer and Seller on BoB otherwise it would not be such a big issue and that function which is always and has always been up for abuse needs a revamp so as to weed out those revenge ratings and would bring both Buyer and Seller together to sort out an issue that both sides are happy and take away unnecessary work from BoB staff.

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qball

No matter what we do, systems will always be abused, due to the human factor. The buyer has your contact details and vice versa, this can easily be resolved without implementing any further systems or procedures to resolve an issue. Either way, any system we implement will be used just like the rating system, it will be abused by both buyer and seller. Implementing a system like you suggest won't stop revenge ratings, the buyer will simply send you a response (what you would like to hear or to placate you), and then simply rate you after that negatively. What about from the sellers side? What do you suggest we put in there to stop sellers revenge rating buyers?

 

We are not going to throw in additional steps to prevent people from rating each other. It will also hamper our ability to spot dodgy sellers and buyers if we implement such a recommendation. Not only that, in all likelihood, we will still have to get involved, so it won't solve any of these issues. The problem is the actual rater, not the system. In my experience, most times, buyers and sellers don't want to deal with each other, they come running to us to sort out their issues, we will still be dragged into these issues so it won't lessen the workload on our side.

 

Ultimately it is up to the buyer and seller to resolve any issues and to sort out ratings...

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qball
Yes, that's fine but how many people have seen that negative under your name already and moved on? We all know the rating system is important for both Buyer and Seller on BoB otherwise it would not be such a big issue and that function which is always and has always been up for abuse needs a revamp so as to weed out those revenge ratings and would bring both Buyer and Seller together to sort out an issue that both sides are happy and take away unnecessary work from BoB staff.

 

You need a willing buyer and seller to work out these issues, in many cases, one party is not willing to sort it out.

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mellowred

It's more important to respond to the negative/neutral rating than to just "revenge rate". Potential buyers who check the ratings can then view your side of the story. Some sellers leave horrific responses. I'd be terrified to buy from them in case I had reason to complain. They may just hunt me down and kill me :wtf:.

 

If the response is courteous and meaningful, it creates a good impression of the seller.

 

The only real solution to all these problems though is to use tipex.

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Seeds for Africa
What do you suggest we put in there to stop sellers revenge rating buyers?

 

 

Take the option of sellers rating buyers neutral / negative away. In my opinion the only time a buyer should be rated negative is if they dont make payment. If a buyer doesnt pay and an snc is filed and completed, on completion of the snc an automatic negative should be put against the buyer for non fulfillment of sale.

 

I am not sure what posesses a seller to negative a buyer in repsonse to getting a negative. By doing this I believe you have made the possibility of resolving the issue with the buyer that much harder by getting into a *** for tat situation.

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MsPlod
Is there not a way to have Buyers contact Sellers BEFORE leaving negative or neutral ratings so things can be sorted out in a hopefully good way and if things do go pear shaped, then call Bob in as a go between?

I think this is an EXCELLENT idea - add a piece of code which requires ANY user (buyer or seller) to answer a simple "yes" or "no" question if they attempt to leave a neutral or negative comment - The question would read something such as:

"Have you made every effort to resolve the issue with the buyer/seller?"

The only real solution to all these problems though is to use tipex.

Bwah hah hah hah!!! Good one Mellowred!

I am not sure what posesses a seller to negative a buyer in repsonse to getting a negative.

A sense of helplessness and desperation maybe?

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Cali Craft and Gems

Apologies for only replying now - been as sick as a dog!

 

Re the 7 negatives I gave the buyer - I know I was in the wrong, but I was also on the receiving end of abuse and was eventually gatvol of this buyer and his c*** by the time I changed the ratings. The item he is complaining about is exactly as per the listing - it is not a sub-standard product as the marks on the gem he is having a hissy fit about are in the images - it is not my fault that he cannot see! Buyer also refuses to return the item as he does not "like" my returns policy - he got exactly what he ordered (seven times over and he'd originally rated me poorly on everything) and just because he did not go through the listing before purchasing, is blaming me for his shortfalls. At the end of the day if I had to rate this buyer on overall experience of the transaction, he would be getting red negatives through and through! (he upset me until I got sick - literally!)

 

Re the "loose" setting of the pendant - this is the norm for these gemstones - and one has to 'ruk' and pull hard on the gem to even feel if it is loose. Perhaps the buyer dropped the pendant, I do not know, but it is not a quality issue. Here again the buyer refused to return the item despite "not being happy". She emails me, rates me negative within seconds, then states that she does not want to return the item - she just wanted my info!?!? This buyer has also been lying blatantly to BoB upon them querying the matter - but I'm still seen in a bad light as BoB has taken the buyer's side.

 

A seller can only do so much! It would be a totally different story if the buyer did not get exactly what they ordered, but over the years I have insisted that the images are exactly of the item on sale and at different angles where possible so that the buyer can "see" what they're getting without fail. How can the seller still be blamed if the buyer did not go through the whole listing, did not read the info (especially sizes), or check the images? I still get poor ratings for "size" issues even though the details are in the listing!

Edited by Cali Craft and Gems
spelling

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lilythepink

Smile, Cali. At least you aren't in the portrait of Zuma which is hanging in the Goodman Gallery. One of his cronies was on TV commenting about whether the "size" of things was correct as Zuma hadn't posed for the artwork! ROFL

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qball
Apologies for only replying now - been as sick as a dog!

 

Re the 7 negatives I gave the buyer - I know I was in the wrong, but I was also on the receiving end of abuse and was eventually gatvol of this buyer and his c*** by the time I changed the ratings. The item he is complaining about is exactly as per the listing - it is not a sub-standard product as the marks on the gem he is having a hissy fit about are in the images - it is not my fault that he cannot see! Buyer also refuses to return the item as he does not "like" my returns policy - he got exactly what he ordered (seven times over and he'd originally rated me poorly on everything) and just because he did not go through the listing before purchasing, is blaming me for his shortfalls. At the end of the day if I had to rate this buyer on overall experience of the transaction, he would be getting red negatives through and through! (he upset me until I got sick - literally!)

 

Re the "loose" setting of the pendant - this is the norm for these gemstones - and one has to 'ruk' and pull hard on the gem to even feel if it is loose. Perhaps the buyer dropped the pendant, I do not know, but it is not a quality issue. Here again the buyer refused to return the item despite "not being happy". She emails me, rates me negative within seconds, then states that she does not want to return the item - she just wanted my info!?!? This buyer has also been lying blatantly to BoB upon them querying the matter - but I'm still seen in a bad light as BoB has taken the buyer's side.

 

A seller can only do so much! It would be a totally different story if the buyer did not get exactly what they ordered, but over the years I have insisted that the images are exactly of the item on sale and at different angles where possible so that the buyer can "see" what they're getting without fail. How can the seller still be blamed if the buyer did not go through the whole listing, did not read the info (especially sizes), or check the images? I still get poor ratings for "size" issues even though the details are in the listing!

 

I feel I must take the side of the buyer with the stone that you revenge rated. I don't believe he is being difficult, he has a problem with the fact that you want to charge him a 20% restocking fee, when he feels the stone is not as advertised, and quite frankly, I tend to agree with him. I have the pictures of the item and there are several noticeable discrepancies, even to the point where I think it's not even the same stone (not to mention that the size is also an issue). Instead of lashing out at the buyer which you did do and went on a long tirade in an email back to him, I think he has the right to feel offended. He has not been abusive from the correspondence I have seen, he is clearly unhappy about the stone he got, and he could be justified in feeling this way. I also received all the rating changes you made, which I feel were abusive and retaliatory... you rated him negative on all 7 items, even though he rated you negative on only the one he has a problem with, he then changed his rating to neutrals on the other items 4 days later, after you had retaliated with the negatives.

 

It is how you respond to the buyers and your willingness to listen and assist that will resolve the issue and not being retaliatory.

 

The other issue, as I said to you on the phone, put yourself in the buyer's shoes - they receive the item, it is a loose setting, this could be indicative of a quality issue in their eyes, it also increases the likelihood of the stone coming out should it be knocked or dropped, so it could be considered a quality issue from the buyer's perspective. I would recommend that you include this in your listings to cover yourself and to explain why the settings are loose, instead of always blaming the buyer.

 

We cannot allow our emotions to dictate how we respond to customers, once you lose this it is very difficult to recover from and resolve the issue amicably.

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Cali Craft and Gems

In reply to Cuan:

 

Firstly, the buyer issued 6 neutral ratings immediately after issuing the 1 negative - he did not change it "four days later" - he rated me poorly right from the start - this after I mentioned to him in a polite email that if he was not satisfied with the item, that he could make use of our returns policy. (and of course the buyer is going to portray himself and the meek, mild and innocent individual - he would never say or do anything wrong, would he? Only the seller is the "enemy")

 

Keeping in mind though that after an incident last year where I removed my returns policy entirely and stated that "no returns" were accepted, I was raked over the coals and had to alter my terms and conditions to include the policy. This was cleared with you and at that stage you had no issue with regards to my handling fee. After all, it is my terms and conditions that the buyer has to read and accept when they buy from me - not your terms and conditions!

 

With regards to the gemstone in question - one thing that I can guarantee without fail is the size / dimensions of the gemstone. In all of our listings, you will see our coding - this tells me from which supplier the gemstone is and it's "number" in my list. All items are measured at the time of the listing, and in particular the VG and PP items as the suppliers do not issue dimensions - just weights.

 

Our procedure for listing gemstones is that I pull the stock, do the listing including the images and date / time for opening and closure, then my husband does the measurements with a Mitutoyo vernier (calibrated). As he is an engineer (strict with regards to dimensions), he gives me the dimensions to the closest 0.05 of a millimeter as I type it into the listing. As mentioned to Natashja, the only way for me to check that the gemstone he is returning is actually the gemstone listed is by the dimensions which will be correct without fail!

 

I have asked the buyer to provide me with the measurements he has for the stone and to submit this info when he returns the item. If the gemstone does not measure to what the listing is, then we all know who is being dishonest - and it is not me as I have been accused. I have gone out of my way to invest in quality (and expensive) weighing and measuring equipment for my trade and it has all been calibrated to industry standards. If the buyer does not have a calibrated vernier, then he will not get the accurate measurements. I can go so far as to measure the gems I list with a micrometer as well, but that is simply a waste of time as the vernier is accurate and reliable.

 

This matter can go on and on at length, but one thing that I have discovered without fail is that I am being discredited and doubted with any query I bring up, which leads me to believe that despite me being a so-called top seller on BoB for many many years, a newbie buyer is believed lock, stock and barrel before the long-standing seller (buyer in question has been on BoB for a month). Not all sellers' in the gem industry are rotten eggs - just a certain few that have directed BoB into believing the buyer before standing by the seller who rakes in the money for BoB! And another thing I mentioned to Natashja (whilst I heard you commenting in the background on the last phone call) was that it has been done and proven before that a buyer will kick up one hell of a rumpus about an item only to return another item to the seller he or she has cornered - I stated the name of a BoB seller to whom this has already happened. BoB will always take the side of the buyer - not the seller!

 

So what can I do or how can I prove that the buyer has sent another item back to me? Only the dimensions are my proof, which has already been disregarded by yourselves as the buyer has conveniently also informed you that these are incorrect. No matter what proof I submit, the buyer has already won this round - thanks only to BoB!

 

Once bitten, twice shy. Pity BoB realises that this is my main source of income so you've got me by the short and curlies to force me to comply to your rulings and "condition" changes. The wheel turns... slowly maybe... but it will turn!

Edited by Cali Craft and Gems

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Cali Craft and Gems

PS. Just thinking... Look at it from the sellers' point of view:

 

1) buyer emails stating that there are marks on the gem that he is not pleased with.

2) buyer rates negative (1) and neutral (6) on the remaining items

3) seller responds to the buyer stating that the marks mentioned are visible in the images, but if he is not happy, he is welcome to return the items

4) buyer replies stating that he is saddened by my cold and unsympathetic response

5) seller again states that if he is not happy, he must please return the item

6) buyer replies that he refuses to return the item as he does not like my terms and conditions

7) matter is taken to BoB

8) buyer suddenly states that gem received is "nothing" like the one listed and provides images to BoB proving his point

9) buyer also conveniently highlights that the dimensions are also wrong - this was never mentioned to the seller.

 

To me, this screams one thing only - the buyer is a chancer and is trying to swop out another gem for the one the seller sent. How come the buyer never mentioned to the seller that the dimensions were wrong, etc - not just the chip on the top end and marks on the side?

 

I am waiting for the buyer to return the item and I'll do what BoB says, but no-one at BoB can answer me "what if I'm not in the wrong"? I must apparently still fork out payment to the buyer... (as per previous post, how can I the seller prove my innocence?)

 

I may be wrong, but what if I'm right? Buyer 1, BoB 1, seller -2!

 

I'll leave it at that...

Edited by Cali Craft and Gems

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Seeds for Africa

@Calicraft - Silly question - is the item that the buyer has an issue with the item he neg rated on with a sale price of R80?

Looks to me like the buyers full order was over R900? Not sure if I am correct there?

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Cali Craft and Gems

Yes - the entire order was for over R900 but he is unhappy with the R80 Labradorite. BoB stated that no-one will kick up a fuss over a "meagre R80" but you never know... I've come across and experienced many unbelievable things on BoB over the years!

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qball
In reply to Cuan:

 

Firstly, the buyer issued 6 neutral ratings immediately after issuing the 1 negative - he did not change it "four days later" - he rated me poorly right from the start - this after I mentioned to him in a polite email that if he was not satisfied with the item, that he could make use of our returns policy. (and of course the buyer is going to portray himself and the meek, mild and innocent individual - he would never say or do anything wrong, would he? Only the seller is the "enemy")

 

Keeping in mind though that after an incident last year where I removed my returns policy entirely and stated that "no returns" were accepted, I was raked over the coals and had to alter my terms and conditions to include the policy. This was cleared with you and at that stage you had no issue with regards to my handling fee. After all, it is my terms and conditions that the buyer has to read and accept when they buy from me - not your terms and conditions!

 

With regards to the gemstone in question - one thing that I can guarantee without fail is the size / dimensions of the gemstone. In all of our listings, you will see our coding - this tells me from which supplier the gemstone is and it's "number" in my list. All items are measured at the time of the listing, and in particular the VG and PP items as the suppliers do not issue dimensions - just weights.

 

Our procedure for listing gemstones is that I pull the stock, do the listing including the images and date / time for opening and closure, then my husband does the measurements with a Mitutoyo vernier (calibrated). As he is an engineer (strict with regards to dimensions), he gives me the dimensions to the closest 0.05 of a millimeter as I type it into the listing. As mentioned to Natashja, the only way for me to check that the gemstone he is returning is actually the gemstone listed is by the dimensions which will be correct without fail!

 

I have asked the buyer to provide me with the measurements he has for the stone and to submit this info when he returns the item. If the gemstone does not measure to what the listing is, then we all know who is being dishonest - and it is not me as I have been accused. I have gone out of my way to invest in quality (and expensive) weighing and measuring equipment for my trade and it has all been calibrated to industry standards. If the buyer does not have a calibrated vernier, then he will not get the accurate measurements. I can go so far as to measure the gems I list with a micrometer as well, but that is simply a waste of time as the vernier is accurate and reliable.

 

This matter can go on and on at length, but one thing that I have discovered without fail is that I am being discredited and doubted with any query I bring up, which leads me to believe that despite me being a so-called top seller on BoB for many many years, a newbie buyer is believed lock, stock and barrel before the long-standing seller (buyer in question has been on BoB for a month). Not all sellers' in the gem industry are rotten eggs - just a certain few that have directed BoB into believing the buyer before standing by the seller who rakes in the money for BoB! And another thing I mentioned to Natashja (whilst I heard you commenting in the background on the last phone call) was that it has been done and proven before that a buyer will kick up one hell of a rumpus about an item only to return another item to the seller he or she has cornered - I stated the name of a BoB seller to whom this has already happened. BoB will always take the side of the buyer - not the seller!

 

So what can I do or how can I prove that the buyer has sent another item back to me? Only the dimensions are my proof, which has already been disregarded by yourselves as the buyer has conveniently also informed you that these are incorrect. No matter what proof I submit, the buyer has already won this round - thanks only to BoB!

 

Once bitten, twice shy. Pity BoB realises that this is my main source of income so you've got me by the short and curlies to force me to comply to your rulings and "condition" changes. The wheel turns... slowly maybe... but it will turn!

 

You are missing the point completely.... he has a valid complaint in our view, based on the evidence presented to us. The buyer had a 100% buying record (not a single SNC filed against him, he pays promptly and has never from the feedback we have seen resorted to such tactics to try get his way), and buys lots of stones, more valuable than R80, it makes no logical sense for him to try "screw" you out of a measly R80 for an order over R900... come on...! Quite frankly I am getting a little tired of the "victim" role being played here. You are deliberately making this difficult and this is being conveyed by yourself to the buyer, who does not want to deal with you due to your outbursts and continual blaming the buyer issues. We reserve the right to request you to reduce the charges or change your terms and conditions if we believe these to be unreasonable, discriminatory or contravene any laws or our terms of use. I am also going to ask you to remove your web address details from your replies on the bob system.

 

Quite frankly it is not about how much money you pay us every month, we have a buyer with a valid complaint, yet you treat him like he is the criminal, I am concerned with the manner and attitude you have displayed to both us and the buyer regarding a very simple issue. From what we have seen, this is not even the same stone as advertised. Again, to "swop" a R80 stone, I mean really... I would be concerned if it was a R800 stone or an R8000 stone, but please, be reasonable here. You have essentially slandered the buyer in public, accusing him of being a liar and dishonest - I must caution you here Janet - those words can come back to bite you if he sees this and feels his rights have been infringed.

 

Sellers have obligations to try resolve buyer issues, it should not be about who is the enemy or who to blame. Just do what is right. Least we forget the countless times we have gone to bat for you over the years... but that doesn't count does it? For you, it's always about who you can blame, bob, the buyer, others etc.

 

I suggest you rethink your strategy when posting on a public forum!

Edited by qball
Changed sentence

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