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At the turn of the year my central heating boiler started to throw up an error message.
A quick call to my friendly heating engineer indicated that it was the air pressure switch and that as it was a non gas item and very easy to fit I could do it myself.
I ordered the replacement on Ebay at a "buy it now" price of just over £35.00 from
"heatingsparesdistributors" ..... actually:
the part arrived within two days but did not cure the problem.
Back to friendly heating engineer who called in a favour with the local Ariston engineer who came round fitted another air pressure switch (declaring the one just supplied to be faulty)which cured the problem...and did not charge me for the service.
At this point I am more than happy and at the end of the day not out of pocket.
I then got to thinking that,out of pocket or not,I have been supplied with a faulty item and should get a refund. The suppliers Terms and Conditions specifically stated that "Alleged faulty items would be returned to the supplier to ascertain a manufacturing fault"
The part was returned to the seller and after some weeks I pressed for an update to be told:
"Have contacted supplier,am awaiting reply,will be in touch"
This ongoing procrastination,cleverly,crept beyond the 45 day limit of raising the issue through the Ebay/Paypal customer protection scheme.
I then took it upon myself to ask Ariston if the part had been returned to them ..... and it had not!
Eventually the seller admitted that they,in order to save money!!!,had not returned it to Ariston but had tested it themselves and found it to be OK.
I obviously responded that as they had already been found to have told me a load of porkies about returning it to Ariston and had also,by not doing so,had not complied with their own T&C's,why should I give any credence to a statement referring to some totally unverified test carried out by heaven knows who?
Next stop.....Trading Standards ... who agreed that I had a case. They contacted the seller and agreed a refund.....and since then ....yup you've guessed it .... ZIP!
Trading Standards advise that my only recourse now it through the small claims court .... not worth the hassle so far as I'm concerned - but I have learned one thing from this : when looking at a sellers ratings on Ebay which are over 98%/99% positive .... make sure that you read the 1%/2% negative responses. As I discovered too late my experience is echoed by their other dissatisfied customers.
If this as happened to you, then no doubt it may have happened to others.
Have you since contacted Ebay about the problem, expressing all the details you have given. Because I am sure that they will interested, especially as it involved the trading standards.
Ebay were supplied with a full resume and were sympathetic to the situation but also quick to point out that as the 45 day time limit to raise the issue through their out dispute mechanism had elapsed there was not much that they could do.
I would be very very weary buying specialist equipment from ebay
. . . at a price you were happy with.
Despite all the rights & wrongs, you have had your boiler fixed for £35. Now you want a refund which would mean you're getting your boiler fixed for free.
OK, maybe the boiler shouldn't have broke down in the first place, but now it's all sorted at a price you would have been happy with (had it not been a suspected faulty part) so why bother?
This is almost as annoying as the people who sell stuff they get as "free upgrades" or by mistake and then want 70-90% of the retail price.
"so why bother?" .... was in fact my initial feeling about this myself.
But why,just because the boiler had been fixed at no extra expense,should I just accept,and pay for, a faulty part? .... it could just as easily have turned out that I was out of pocket at the end of the day.
By the time that I contacted Trading Standards,and I told them this at the time,I was no longer chasing the refund. (in fact I told them that I was more than happy to see any refund which may be forthcoming go to charity)
By then the seller had deliberately procrastinated to get beyond the 45 day deadline to raise the issue with Ebay .... had,shall we say,been totally economical with the truth,about the action which he had taken .... and was,and most importantly, blatantly disregarding his own Terms and Conditions.
It was that which really got my back up and Trading Standards agreed with me.
To be perfectly honest I have NEVER bought anything from Ebay and its most unlikely that I would even consider it for this type of item.
It seems to me that an awful lot of people turn to Ebay as the first port of call when they want to buy something. I don't doubt that there are bargains to be had but for certain things its surely far better to search around to make sure you get the proper item. I buy lots of things online and can usually get a good price by spending a little time shopping around.
I have to come to Ebay's defense here insofar that over the years I have bought,and sold,many items through their site and,up till this one transaction,everything has been completed to my satisfaction,and I have no doubt that had I raised this dispute with them within their 45 day limit for instigating a complaint I would most likely have got a satisfactory result this time.
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