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LelanieSmuts

Package suspiciously "empty"

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LelanieSmuts    10
LelanieSmuts

So, I sold an mp3 player and a couple of days later the buyer sends me an e-mail saying that when she opened her package at home it was empty, even though there are absolutely no signs of the package having been opened or tampered with.

 

According to the photo's of the envelope that I requested she send to me, firstly, it is the same envelope that I sent, complete with my handwritten addresses. Secondly, there was a rather large post office sticker that I had requested they put over the seal of the envelope, which would have removed the top layer of paper and my handwritten address underneath it if it was removed, which according to the buyer, was only the case after she had opened the package for the first time.

 

Lastly, the package was weighed when I handed it in, and this weight was written on the envelope, which i could point out to the buyer, to prove that the package was definitely not empty when I posted it.

 

The buyer's account was created about a week before any purchases were made, and then a number of electronic items were purchased, including the mp3 player from me, in the space of a couple of days.

 

This whole scenario sounds very suspicious to me, so how would I go to work to find out whether this buyer has approached any of the other seller she bought from with this same story?

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

I suggest that you contact communitywatch@bidorbuy.co.za and ask them for their assistance as it does seem necessary with this new buyer. It will be interesting to see what her transactions unfold ...

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LelanieSmuts    10
LelanieSmuts

Thanks. Did e-mail them. Hopefully I will get an answer soon. If my suspicions are confirmed I will definitely post it here before she tries this story with other sellers.

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MsPlod    10
MsPlod

If this is the buyer, then it appears that she has paid promptly for all items,

 

Neux is one of the traders she bought from who visits the forum from time to time, so maybe send him a private message to ask him to look at this thread?

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LelanieSmuts    10
LelanieSmuts
If this is the buyer, then it appears that she has paid promptly for all items,

 

Neux is one of the traders she bought from who visits the forum from time to time, so maybe send him a private message to ask him to look at this thread?

 

Yes, that is the same buyer. Payment is not the problem, since payment to me was also made promptly. The problem is that since reporting to me that the package was apparently empty, she has asked for a replacement, and either discount or a partial refund to go along with it.

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

Lelanie, I think you need to get an opinion on this from Bid or Buy. As a seller, I would find it hard to prove that I didn't send an empty package - does the buyer still have the wrapping for you to examine? The PO usually (in fact I dare to say always - even with economail) write the weight of the parcel on the package itself when it is sent. That, I think, would give you a leg to stand on here. If there was something in the parcel when you sent it then I don't see how you can be blamed if the parcel was empty on the other end.

 

Perhaps Cuan could give some advice here?

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MsPlod    10
MsPlod
Yes, that is the same buyer. Payment is not the problem, since payment to me was also made promptly. The problem is that since reporting to me that the package was apparently empty, she has asked for a replacement, and either discount or a partial refund to go along with it.

Yes, I do get that she paid promptly - what I was suggesting was that you contact Neux through the forum to see whether his parcel was also "empty".

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LelanieSmuts    10
LelanieSmuts
Lelanie, I think you need to get an opinion on this from Bid or Buy. As a seller, I would find it hard to prove that I didn't send an empty package - does the buyer still have the wrapping for you to examine? The PO usually (in fact I dare to say always - even with economail) write the weight of the parcel on the package itself when it is sent. That, I think, would give you a leg to stand on here. If there was something in the parcel when you sent it then I don't see how you can be blamed if the parcel was empty on the other end.

 

Perhaps Cuan could give some advice here?

 

Yes, I requested that the buyer send me photo's of the envelope. The buyer herself admitted that the envelope had absolutely no signs of being opened or tampered with, which is why she didn't open it at the post office to check the contents. The package was weighed, and the weight is written on the envelope, which I also pointed out to her to prove that it was not empty to start with. This information made her very defensive, saying that even though the mistake may not have been on my side, she still expected me to take some of the responsibility and and offer her a replacement, discount or partial refund, which seems more like taking all the responsibility and loss if you ask me.

 

i did contact Neux, and he has not had the same problem.

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MsPlod    10
MsPlod
Yes, I requested that the buyer send me photo's of the envelope. The buyer herself admitted that the envelope had absolutely no signs of being opened or tampered with, which is why she didn't open it at the post office to check the contents. The package was weighed, and the weight is written on the envelope, which I also pointed out to her to prove that it was not empty to start with. This information made her very defensive, saying that even though the mistake may not have been on my side, she still expected me to take some of the responsibility and and offer her a replacement, discount or partial refund, which seems more like taking all the responsibility and loss if you ask me.

 

i did contact Neux, and he has not had the same problem.

Yes, I see she is starting to give ratings to the other traders. Seems as if the postman did it! Rough one - hope you are able to resolve it without negative ratings.

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

Like Lelanie, I am not convinced that "the postman done it"!! If the package was not opened or disturbed in any way then I don't think the buyer has the right to expect Lelanie to come to the party, particularly as the weight of the parcel confirmed that Lelanie had posted the contents! Also, if the buyer didn't ask (or pay) for an insured parcel then I would be inclined to think she doesn't have a leg to stand on?!

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LelanieSmuts    10
LelanieSmuts

So, at this point in time I have received an e-mail from community watch, which includes a reply from the buyer regarding my request for assistance on this matter.

 

In her e-mail she states that she is "appalled" at the fact that I would suspect her of being dishonest, although the fact that her first instinct was to e-mail me implying that I had not put the items in the package in the first place should in no way be insulting to me.

 

She further states she would never falsely claim that the package was empty if it in fact was not, because that would be fraud and she sees herself as an honest person. Because we unfortunately live in a world were a lot of people are sneaky and dishonest, and usually deny all when confronted, I am not inclined to simply believe that she is being honest just because she says so.

 

In our e-mail correspondence I never implied or accused her of lying, and I did not only operate on the assumption that that was the case. I also included the possibility that the post office could have stolen the items, and it that regard I was polite and helpful and said that I would start phoning the post office in order to find out what our options were and what we were supposed to do to rectify the matter. I did not just turn around and tell her to sort it out on her own, because I could at least prove that the package was not empty when I sent it, while she could not prove that it was empty when she received it.

 

I don't understand how she can feel justified in immediately suspecting me, even though it was logical since the package had no sign of being opened, but when I make the exact same, logical conclusion about her, I am wrong and unfair.

 

As of this morning, I was advised by the post office that they needed the original envelope that the items were mailed in to accompany the enquiry form. Seeing as the buyer still has the envelope in her possession, hopefully, I have decided to scan and e-mail the enquiry form and all other necessary documentation to the buyer and told her that it is now up to her to submit the enquiry and sort it out further.

 

As I said, I have been nothing but polite and helpful, but she has decided to adopt the attitude of simply sitting back and demanding that I fix the problem, which I will not be doing. In the event that she can convince the post office of her story, and get them to pay out the R100 which registered parcels are automatically insured for, i will be happy to replace the item for that amount, but I will most certainly not be carrying the only loss in this situation.

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

I feel you have handled the buyer diplomatically, Lelanie. It's a tricky situation but she needs to do the necessary and sort it out with the PO as she has all the "evidence".

 

Hope it all works out well and that you and the buyer will become pals on BoB.

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LelanieSmuts    10
LelanieSmuts

I highly doubt we will become pals. but I am glad to feel that the situation has at least come to a point. I have not yet received any response from the buyer, but I doubt she will be happy with the way I have decide to handle the issue, but to be honest I am past the point of caring.

 

The worst case scenario is that she can give me a negative rating, and I am pretty sure i will be able to live with that. I refuse to give in to bullying just to avoid a negative rating.

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