Are you &*#@ing serious?! (Ebay scammer)
So, it finally happened--I got screwed over by someone on Ebay. I've had my account for about 9 years now, and I FINALLY have a "horror story" to tell. Trust me, it's not something I ever looked forward to.
I've had about 50 transactions completed under my username over the years (at least 20 of those were items sold). I think the last thing I sold online was at least two years ago. Heck, I RARELY use Ebay at all these days. I bought two things on that site this entire year and probably less than five items last year.
So, after sitting on the fence about Grand Theft Auto 5 and it's online problems, I caved and dropped $80 on it when I noticed the Special Edition was back in stock at Amazon.com a few weeks ago. The Special Edition includes a DLC card which has been going for $50-$65 on Ebay since the game released in September. I wanted to wait for a Black Friday sale, but I figured "Hey, if I pay $80 and can sell the DLC for at least $50, that would be pretty cool." I wasn't looking to capitalize on a profit opportunity...but I did want to capitalize on people's stupidity.
Seriously...why buy a code for $50 when you can just get the game for $80, keep the physical goodies and trade your vanilla copy to a game retailer?
Whatever...I didn't expect to use the code anyway, so I saw no reason NOT to buy the game and sell the code (I get the game and someone gets the digital goodies they want). So, I listed the auction on Ebay two weeks ago. In the auction details I posted that the code would be emailed or physically mailed (winning bidder's choice). Ebay's rules require that codes be physically mailed, but I wanted to make sure that there wouldn't be any issue if Rockstar or Microsoft needed a photo of the physical card (which would no longer be in my possession). Fast-forward a week and the winning bidder pays his money by Paypal and sends me a message asking for the code by email; I sent it to him about six hours later.
Two days pass and I don't hear anything else (no positive feedback, no messages on Ebay...nothing). In my experience (particularly with digital goods), buyers don't wait around to give feedback. I believe, out of all my Ebay transactions as a seller, only a few people left feedback after 24 hours...and the buyers who hadn't had some amount of communication with me during the auction.
I get home from work this past Sunday and I notice an email from Ebay--"[buyer] has opened a case about auction item #____." This was my expression--
I open the email--"[buyer] states that the item was not as described and is requesting a refund."
In the next-to-last sentence of the auction, I wrote "no refunds." Are you REALLY going to come at me after TWO days of no contact and pull this $&!@?! So, I read the message that was attached to this nonsense. The buyer claims that he attempted to use the code "multiple times" and, each time, the game gave him a "code is invalid" message.
Now, I CHECKED the code before I posted the auction...and it DID work. I, unfortunately, forgot to take a screen-cap of it (my "good-nature" said it "wasn't necessary").
I continue reading on--"I tried to use the code multiple times and I haven't got ANY unlocks. I contacted Rockstar and they told me to return the game back to the store I bought it from. So, I don't know what to tell you but I didn't pay $41 for nothing."
Oh...where do I begin? There at least four red flags in this scenario, so I'll break them down. First off, we have a situation where he not only didn't leave feedback after a day, but then filed a claim with Ebay without even contacting me to resolve the non-existent "situation."
So, no feedback after more than a day following the auction--RED FLAG!
Then he says he used the code "multiple times" when it's a SINGLE-USE CODE! Can you guess what the message was when *I* checked the code? "This code has already been used."
So, you used the code "multiple times" yet the message *I* got was NOT "invalid" but "code has already been used." So...you LIED. And I EXPLICITLY asked him what the message was after I replied back. He still told me "code is invalid." Now, let's break this down a bit. I already checked the code BEFORE the auction...and it DID work. Even IF he was getting an "invalid" message from the code, *I* would've gotten the same message on XBL. And I tried the dashboard AND GTA 5 in-game section. Both gave me the same message. "Invalid" means that it can't be redeemed; "this code has already been used" means just that...that YOU redeemed it.
So, you LIED about the status of the code, even after having a chance to clarify? No one confuses "invalid" with "already been used." If he wanted to be smart, he should've said "already been used" from the jump (that's at least a LITTLE plausible...even if it's morally wrong)--RED FLAG!
Then there's the b.s story about contacting Rockstar--"they said to bring it back to the store I got it from." Hmmm. Funny, because Rockstar's OWN website clearly says that it's a MICROSOFT ISSUE and that you have to contact retailers online for another code.http://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/200193318...
Why the HELL would anyone tell you to "return the game to a retailer"...and a SPECIAL EDITION copy at that. Don't you think ROCKSTAR, of all people, would know that retailers sold out of Special Edition copies on the first day? And, on top of that, retailers don't take back opened games...unless you're trading them in. Even the most clueless customer support person isn't THIS &*#@ing clueless. So, you lied about customer service and you think I'm a &*#@ing idiot too--RED FLAG!
The message ends with this stupidity--"So, I don't know what to tell you, but I didn't pay $41 for nothing." Well, considering I was expecting at least $50 for this thing, I'm already pretty miffed about the "$41 you had to pay" (the lowest auction was $60 when I listed). So, the final red flag--he went to Ebay without contacting me first to try to resolve the situation. RED FLAG!
So let's do a recap:
*He waits two days to NOT leave feedback, then files a claim with Ebay (Paypal has a 7-day hold on my money anyway, but this is so I can't "take his money and run" )
*He tries to request a refund, when the auction CLEARLY STATED that there would be no refunds.
*He lies about using a SINGLE-USE code multiple times. Anyone with half a brain would've noticed that the code prompted "this code has already been used." And if he SOMEHOW mistyped the code, he would've gotten a "please enter a valid code" message...not "this code is invalid."
*He lies about the message the code gives when redeemed (there's a VERY big difference between "invalid" and "already been used")...even after being asked again for clarification.
*He lies about Rockstar support's response (why would Rockstar tell you to return the game, when the code is on MS's end and they KNOW that...after how many game releases now?)
*And, finally, he files a claim without ever attempting to contact me to resolve the situation.
Yep, that about sums it up. I have until Wednesday (tomorrow) to resolve this issue or he can proceed with the claim and request his refund. So, my options are pretty limited at the moment. For the two people who have read this far, I'd like to ask:
*Is it possible to contact Microsoft and ask them for verification that the code was used after I sent it to him (can they pull up the date and gamertag that redeemed it)?
*Should I contact Amazon, even though I already send a ticket directly to Rockstar (I only have a day left and they could take a few days to get back to me)?
I've been pretty pissed about this since Sunday evening. I still can't believe that someone would actually try to scam me like that. I don't have a picture of the screen-cap that I would probably need to verify with Ebay, and they typically side with a buyer...regardless of the circumstances. It's just...so many lies. I feel like I'm on an episode of a bad sitcom. The lies are so blatant to me, but I don't know if Ebay will see it the same (the one I'm hoping will win me in their favor is the lie about "the code is invalid").
Anyone have any advice? Oh, and sorry for the length. I hope it was worth your time.