Thursday, June 23, 2011

stinking machine claim denied

this is long but it is worth reading over to educate yourself if you are an ebay purchaser: this protection does not include smells or breakage if the seller calls somewhere and they are told what you think is broken is really not broken...

Dear Joyce,

Thank you for contacting eBay in regard to item #: 110699526315.

After reviewing your unique case, I see that you recently purchased a Pfaff Sewing Machine from the Seller - buttercreamdreams10. As I understand it, you purchased this sewing machine under the impression that: “it was Used, but worked fine – good working condition/no issues,” however, when you received it, you discovered that it had a strong cigarette smoke odor – This fact was not disclosed in the Seller’s original listing. I also see that you raised the concern that the machine’s faceplate is broken and easily falls off. I understand that this transaction was important to you, and I’m sorry to hear that it is not going well! Reading over the communication, I see that the Seller has called around to local sewing machine repair shops in your area to inquire about cleaning and servicing and was quoted a price of $59.00, which they refunded you. The Seller has also stated that after speaking with a Pfaff Dealer, they were told that:“the part (face plate) is not broken nor needs to be replaced but becomes loose as the machine ages.” I realize that you work with young adults with disabilities as you mentioned: “this (the smell of cigarette smoke) can kill the young adults that I work with on the machines. The majority of them have very bad asthma, respiratory conditions etc. There is no greater trigger for them to go into respiratory failure than cigarette smoke,” and you feel that the Seller did not disclose this fact in their original listing, or willfully withheld this information from you. You feel that the best solution is not a partial refund, cleaning, or repair, but a return of the machine back for a full refund. I can only imagine the frustration that you are going through as we are dealing with a very expensive sewing machine, but I wanted to take the opportunity to explain what our options are, and what actions we are taking to get this claim resolved.

I have evaluated your case, and after doing so, I have determined that the sewing machine was accurately described by your Seller. I came to this decision because as a policy, eBay Buyer Protection does not cover “Smells.” As a guideline to what is, and what is not covered, I have included some points to help you understand why this claim was decided in this particular manner:

-If the smell is part of the item being sold (ex: you purchase a rose-scented candle and you receive a peppermint-scented one), then it is covered under eBay Buyer Protection.

-If the description in the Seller’s listing states, “comes from a pet free, smoke free home” or the item is listed as “New” and you raise the concern that it smells like smoke, then this would be covered under eBay Buyer Protection.

-If the smell is evidence of something in the listing that makes it different from the listing. (ex: if a product is listed as “free of chemicals”, but smells like formaldehyde or insecticide when you it), then this would be covered under Buyer Protection.

In your specific case I have reviewed the Seller’s listing, and it does not make any mention of the sewing machine coming from a “smoke-free home,” nor did it mention anything about a smell of cigarette smoke. In addition to this, I see that the Seller was very cooperative in addressing all of your concern with regard to the broken face plate. I see that the Seller called places in your local area in an attempt to have the machine serviced and cleaned in order to resolve the smoke smell – even issued a partial refund of $59.00. Since this was not satisfactory for you, and because your primary concern was with the way the sewing machine smelled, I am not able to approve your claim at this time.

To avoid this frustrating situation in the future, please remember that bidding is meant to be fun, but remember that each bid you place enters you into a binding contract. If you win a listing, you’re obligated to purchase the item. I would also encourage you to contact the seller via the “Ask a question” link if you have any questions about an item before bidding on or buying it.

In conclusion, we are not able to approve your claim because I have determined that the Seller accurately advertised the condition of this sewing machine.

Joyce, we appreciate your membership since Feb 14, 2002. I see that you have purchased over $xxx.00 this year on our site and we really appreciate you as a Buyer. I see that your previous Sellers really appreciate your quick payments, and smooth transactions. This is the kind of behavior we really want to encourage our Sellers to have, so thank you for being such a great member! I hope that you do not let this one bad experience ruin a great buying history you’ve had with us so far. Please let me know if you have any more concerns.


Wayne R.

eBay Customer Support


Mother of Five said...

Well, that is just plain Cxxp..... I dont agree with ebay... sorry about the purchase.

Les said...

If you had it cleaned, do you think the cigarette odor would be erased? So sorry to hear they wouldn't take the machine back! I don't buy from ebay and have no desire to after reading this.

Kwilt Noob said...

This is most unfortunate! The seller should have taken that machine back, no questions asked, if you were unhappy with it. I hope you gave her/him an unfavorable rating and wrote a scathing review! I suppose Ebay's hands are tied in this case, but the seller should be flagged.

Groves said...

Boy - an education!! You were right; this letter was worth reading. I never even thought about having to make sure about smells in advance of buying on eBay.

You can have 100 great transactions, but one like this will leave a sour taste for a LONG time. I am going to be more careful because of what you've gone through!

Thanks for sharing your hard-won wisdom,

Cathy in Missouri

P.S. We sure loved hearing about your trip! Sarah, we LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Becky said...

Buying on Ebay used to be entertaining but now sometimes it really stinks. If you still like Pfaff machines, I would contact the company about your needs and see if they can supply you with legitimate sellers of reconditioned machines or if Bernina is your new thing, try them. Maybe one of those companies actually still has a heart.