Monday, April 6, 2015

Customer Disservice, Part II

Hello yet again, my fellow prisoners... I figured I follow up this last post with what I'm hoping will be a three part epic describing my bad experiences with the wonderful world of eBay (AKA: That worldwide garage sale as Weird Al best referred to it as...) or maybe two and a half if I can successfully manage to edit all these daft run-on sentences of mine into a clearly logical order for the sake of all my avid readers' digestive tracts out there. And since I mentioned one of my idols, I thought it would be befitting to include an embedded video of the song in question as a sort of musical accompaniment to this here blog piece I'm about to unfold... (So please just hit play now and keep reading).

I remember a few weeks back... or maybe it was about a month ago; sorry I've seemed to lost track of time, but that tends to happen when one finds themselves without a job and the only means of survival is selling things that they consider valuable just to get by. This is what the better half of my day consists of, mind you. But enough about my sob story, you're here to read something rather amusing... and here it is. About a month ago, while driving my mother to my aunt's house, I found myself in a slight traffic jam that was caused by an accident at the corner just up ahead, which was currently being populated by a few police cars and a firetruck. Not a small fire rescue van, mind you... no, I'm talking about the big red engine trucks that have ladders and extendable hoses on them with the optional canine accessory (preferably a Dalmatian) as a visual mascot. So this truck is parked against traffic and decides to take advantage of the red traffic light that's currently holding the flow of traffic up and decides to make a U turn onto oncoming traffic and will eventually go about it's merry way. Don't ask me why it's there... I still don't have a clue 'til this very day. Of course, there was a moment just before the light turned red and the truck decided to take off where the few cars in front of me had the opportunity to go on about their merry way. But considering just how intellectually challenged most drivers are in this fair globally warmed up city of ours (AKA: Mi-fucking-ami) is, I wasn't at all surprised that out of the three cars ahead of me, only one had the balls to speed up before the light turned red, like any normal driver would have, regardless of whether or not the firetruck was there at all, because it really hadn't turned on it's sirens yet, so everything was fair game.

So, this car made it through the temporary (and supposed) emergency blockade, leaving two cars ahead of me; one which was a red God knows what halfback and a white Cubanaso flatbed powerhouse truck (with the typical tinted windows). As I found myself held up by the traffic light, I wondered why the hell hadn't these idiots ahead of me just moved? I mean... they had enough time, after all! This train of thought, of course, was derailed by the occupant of the red God knows what halfback who was now shouting at the driver of the white Cubanaso flatbed who was directly ahead of me. So now I'm thinking... I definitely have to make a note to get one of them onboard dash cams just so I can capture footage such as this and upload it to YouTube, just to illustrate to the world just how stupid and disgruntled the heat in this cesspool of a city turns all of its fair citizens into. What I can only gather is that this lady (yes, it was a female... and a very hotheaded one at that) was shouting at the Cubanaso ahead of me because he was apparently honking his horn at her like a mad man. I couldn't exactly make out what she was saying, but I know for sure it was something along the lines of: "Well, what the hell (for lack of a better word) do you want me to do? There's a firetruck there and it's an emergency!"

So after giving her brief roadside sermon just outside of red God knows what vehicle, she slams the door and gets back into her ride, and I'm just rolling my eyes at the spectacle. The light turns green, and the Cubanaso ahead of me decides that he's had enough of this woman's shit and wants to pass her, only she wises up to him pretty quick and decides to play a little game of roadblock with him at my expense. And where does she do this? Just a little up ahead, right where the two parked police cars were. So she's veering off just a bit to the left, occupying the lane that we're on and a bit of the oncoming lane of traffic, which is technically a free for all, since it's a turning lane... and this action infuriates the man in the white Cubanaso truck with the tinted windows enough to make him forget all the vital bits of knowledge that he's learned in traffic school (before and after he got his driver's license, that is) and so his ill timed swerve to the left has made him change his mind immediately, for he knows wants to get around the lady in the red God knows what halfback in the other direction (which just so happens to be the lane that I'm currently occupying!). So his front passenger side wheel nearly clips my driver side front wheel, prompting me to immediately hit the brakes, respond with the obligatory honk, and shout out: "THE FUCK IS THE MATTER WITH YOU, ASSHOLE!?!?" At this point I can feel the adrenalin kick in and the only thing that I'm focused on is driving around the white Cubanaso just so I can catch up to the lady in the red God knows what and tell her to go royally fuck herself for playing games behind the wheel like we were in a live action Mario Kart video game or something. Yes, I got news for you Princess Daisy... I ain't no motherfucking Yoshi, Toad, or a Super Mario for 'yer ass! SO STOP PLAYING GAMES!!!

Actually, what I'm mostly preoccupied with at this point was... didn't the cops see this shit?!? I even glanced over to see this cop that was built like Queen Latifah who was just staring at me with the mirrored glasses shining in the sun and nothing but her own head stuck up her own arse. Pretty useless indeed... I guess you can only count on them to beat the shit and maybe even kill innocent people while these mad fuckers are loose on the road killing everybody else. I suspect there must be some untold and pretty devious circle of life and death balance going on here, folks. Anyways, the car continues on down the road and we all wind up at another stop light further down the stretch. At this point, the white Cubanaso truck with the tinted windows decides to take a right turn and steer away from the crazy bitch with the red God knows what halfback for good, leaving me in the perfect position to get around her, flip her off, and yell some obscenities to her in the process, all the while giving my poor mother a rather stressful attack of the ole' nerves. After all, who in their right mind wants to attract bad vibes by getting all confrontational and whatnot... yours truly, that's who! If you put me in a position where I'm fending for my life behind the wheel simply because you want to play games with someone else, you best be praying that I don't get my ass out of my vehicle and beat the ever loving shit out of you! Of course, that's just the Hollywood movie wash-over version of yours truly talking out of his ass here... the real me just says: yell as loud as you can, and get the fuck out of the place as soon as you can! However, what's interesting to note here is that this lady isn't done playing games, no... far from it. She's still purposely trying to block the white Cubanaso truck with the tinted windows on purpose just to make a point. He manages to squeeze in the right turn only lane, roll down the window, and gets a couple of words into her, edgewise. She responds in kind, and he produces some type of object which he tosses into her car... which basically looked like a discarded piece of trash, like say; a used fast food wrapper of some sort. I can't say for sure, since it pretty much looked like a leaf, and it wasn't too float worthy. As a matter of fact, the thing was so lighter than air that it simply floated once it was launched and simply just flicked off her car. And when this happened, it prompted her to roll down her window so that she can hurl a bottle of water (can't tell for sure if it was Zephyrhills or Evian; which spelled backwards is naive, by the way) with pinpoint accuracy directly at his driver side door. And flung it well, she did; wasting a perfectly good bottle of water and/or beverage reserve, like any typical Republican climate change denier would!

Of course, this exercise in road rage once again held up traffic temporarily and the light had already turned green while this meta bitch was gathering herself together after chucking her water reserve out at her intended victim. This action, of course, granted me the perfect opportunity to go around the red God knows what and scream out at the top of my lungs: GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE!!! registering a near seven and a half on the Richter scale and nearly giving me a touch of laryngitis, I might add. This little "release" or unusual touch of road rage on my part (I'm usually very laid back behind the wheel, mind you) left me with my foot on the gas and my eye on the rear view mirror, simply hoping that the bitch on wheels driving the red God knows what halfback would engage me somehow. Matter of fact, I was even considering totaling the car. But again, this is the Hollywood movie wash-over. Once I sobered up and out of the rage, I realized how foolish it all was and more importantly... how lucky I was that I didn't get hurt, because technically once you engage in something as stupid as flinging objects at one another on the road, it's technically considered assault. So I'm just glad I didn't get to that point with these two idiots. But now, you may be reading all this and thinking to yourself... Well, what in the hell does road rage even have to do with eBay at all? Well nothing too immediately relative, but the principals are virtually the same. We are both responsible drivers and passengers and/or sellers and buyers, for that matter. And when I list an item, it's up to a responsible enough buyer to pay for the item (quickly enough, that is) and (hopefully) leave me some feedback upon receiving my sold goods. Of course, not in this day and age, when morons are a dime a dozen and idiotically enforced rules such as a seller not being able to leave negative feedback for a buyer are currently in existence.

I can't even begin to recall and/or recount the number of times I've wanted to leave what would otherwise be considered a very honest line of feedback, such as: "This deadbeat doesn't pay for his shit right away!" Of course, eBay will immediately step in and retract that comment and possibly even have it reflect poorly on my record, which I have very carefully managed to garnish over the past ten years or so, just a wheelin' and dealin' on this damned online storefront. Sure, it may be bad enough when they don't pay for the items they purchased from you, and refuse to respond to any of your messages asking as to the whereabouts of such said payments/moneys/etc. but sometimes it's even worse when you list your item for sale at a certain price (just to make end's meet, of course) and leave a best offer consideration up in hopes that it meets your acceptable price range, and what the potential buyer offers you is complete nonsense. Just this past month I had a few coin lots up for sale (which I eventually broke down into smaller lots, basically because I got tired of dealing with these insults) that had a for sale/best offer price of $195 and $185 and I get offered $35 and $25 for them. Now, as a seller, I know I have obligations to try and haggle to see if I can bring the potential buyer up to the leveled price that I consider fair, but sometimes it's just utterly hopeless to do this and waste your time. It's bad enough that eBay has developed a best offer/counter offer system and successfully installed it in the first place... just to cater to all these cheapo bastards, but it's another thing to have to deal with a heavily diluted buyer who doesn't understand a good enough value when they see it! And what's worse is that they sometimes even have the gall to reply to you stating that they can probably find a better price elsewhere, or already have, for that matter... which always prompts the immediate question in my head: "Well then, why the fuck did you even consider showing me this joke of a monetary number that you pulled out of your ass?" All this for my comical amusement, I suppose?

Of course, I realize that I probably should be blaming myself for not fine tuning my best offer system enough to automatically decline certain offers that fall below a certain price range just to avoid these road rage-like confrontations with these oblivious boneheads, which I'm going to give you a taste of in the transcript below... this probably ranks as number one in my list of assholes that I have to deal with sometimes. Unfortunately, there's no way (that I know of) to report a buyer as an eBay member (and not someone you've actually engaged in a transaction with) if they come across as completely insulting as this latest in a line of . Now bear in mind that the item I'm selling is a collector's set of rare historical US coinage with a cherry finish gatefold wooden box (that unfortunately has a little damage to it) that I'm trying to sell for $85.00 with a best offer price plus free shipping included. So just this afternoon, I get an offer for it for a mere twenty-five bucks (an offer I'm not even going to bother typing in numbers with a dollar sign)! So, for all of you at home, doing your math, that'll leave me with roughly about twelve or thirteen bucks once the shipping, eBay seller, and PayPal fees are all deducted. I made the ill-advised decision to respond with a counteroffer hoping to engage the potential customer in some haggling and sent out a $75.00 consideration instead of just declining the offer right on the spot, just to cut the shit with this cheap asshole, whose messages I've aptly abbreviated with an "AH" to easily reference to in the short transcript of our correspondence below. Get a load of this Oscar award winning response...

*Also note, I'm purposely leaving all the textual and grammatical errors just to highlight the sign of this person's intellect

AH: The case is junk and coins r easy to get 75 is a crazy price for this ,good luck with this sale

PS: So why waste my time then?

AH: Ur wasting ur own time with that item,deuces!!! *Allow me to interject here... but what the fuck is this supposed to mean in the ever increasing decline that is the moronic lexicon of American slang?

PS: Ur? It's pretty obvious that Hooked on Phonics didn't work for you, eh buddy?

AH: No it didn't work for me,but u must be hooked on crack,selling this lot of junk coins,u should keep ur mouth closed u crackhead,eh buddy

PS: Blow me.

AH: U sounded like a yuppie, and u like dudes,just come out of the closet already ,u fudge packer

PS: You know what? This is getting old... I've dealt with far too many cheapskates who can't afford to buy the "junk" that I'm selling and think that they can get away by offering me an insult, that is--- a joke of an offer, like you just have. Think about it, for a second, if you can fathom the notion in that little tiny childlike brain of yours for a second. If I was to accept your measly $25, I would make less than $15 in profit, what with the eBay seller fees, PayPal fees, and USPS priority shipping rate. Do you honestly for a second believe that I'm crazy for sending you a counteroffer just to avoid walking away from this potential transaction feeling like I didn't get hosed if I was to accept that from you? ind me for saying so, but you're awfully rude and are pretty stupid enough not to realize that you can send me a counteroffer in response to my counteroffer. You know... it's this thing that they've invented since the dawn of time, called haggling. Look it up in the dictionary if you got half a mind to spare, pal. And for the record, all yuppies can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned, you friggin' redneck! P.S. Thanks for being the catalyst behind my new blog piece.

AH: Redneck, I'm from Boston,ain't no rednecks up here u clown ,and I still have think your askn way to much ,lose the case you'll probly sell quicker,and maybe u should check out that phonix book ,it sounds like u need to freshen up on sum shit,cya special ed

So to put it in a nutshell... I have now become that bitch in the red halfback hurling a water bottle (AKA: my garnered reputation) at a regular motorist (who just so happens to be quite an unruly and awfully cheap asshole). Basically, these are just some more of the trivial piece of shit things that I should learn to be more mindful of before I lose my cool and blow up at someone... most of all, some random perfect stranger. Which is why it's always best to save my venting for this here blog. Stay tuned for the next post in this series, which will (hopefully) be the conclusion to this heavily disgruntled epic of a trilogy.

This has been P.S. Elliott (AKA: The Road Ragin' Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Customer Disservice, Part I

Hello, once again my fellow prisoners... today's blog post comes to you in the form of the usual complaint or major pain in the ass grievance, if you will... But to put it all into words like that, really doesn't do the air of this here blog post any justice. I'd rather say that I'm sick and tired of getting reamed a monetary corn hole only to get offered the lousiest service for it all. And by that I mean; wheeling and dealing on eBay.

So, I'd like to begin this post by thanking the geniuses behind eBay's new policies, which have been in place for well over a few years now. The first of which is something that can make any seller cringe--- and by that, I mean the seller's inability to leave negative feedback for a customer. And why would you want to leave a negative rating for someone that's literally putting food on your table? Well, it's simple, really... it's because I (like a thousand other sellers out there) always happen to come across deadbeats that have nothing else better to do than to bid on an item that someone is selling and not pay for it right away, or worse yet: PAY FOR IT AT ALL!!!

It's things like this that I really do without. And lately, it just seems like every item that I sell (without getting reamed for it---percentage value-wise, that is) always winds up running into some kind of hassle or another... be it a deadbeat payer, or some idiot that doesn't pay up right away, or just has nothing else better to do than to waste your time (and most importantly your money). Sometimes when I happen to come across these geniuses, half of me likes to think... well, they're just a couple of light bulbs short of a bright idea. And the other, more cynical side (and sometimes paranoid to the point where I think it all must be some kind of plot against me) immediately thinks that someone out there is just FUCKING WITH ME... ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

I had a few transactions that took place just this last year in which a customer buys an item and then immediately changes their mind and asks if they can cancel the order because they overlooked something in the description. Usually it's something to the extent of the item that they thought they were buying isn't exactly the item that I am selling. Well... to quote the latest Doctor Who incarnation; (and no, this is not another Doctor Who meme--- and yes, I know I still have to post more of those soon!) "Are you an idiot?"

I recall one point of sale (which abbreviated is POS, as in Piece of Shit, go figure!) instance that really had my blood boiling; to the extent that I wish the buyer was standing right in front of me so that I could easily remedy the situation via the modus operandi of strangulation. Of course, just thinking about something like that leaves me without the right amount of oxygen in my head... yes, that's right, as I get older I realize how frail my brain cells are, so I'll stop with my Frances Farmer getting her revenge on Seattle fixation and simply just recount the story to my avid followers (all one of you) and see if you'll agree with me at just how much of a grandiose asshole it was that I had the pleasure of dealing with.

So in this one instance, I had a lot of Kennedy Halves up for sale; basically giving them away for an amount agreed upon (i.e. Best Offer price) and not getting paid the full amount that I had in mind. And so the buyer sent me an offer and I agreed to it... actually, they may have one an auction which had a considerably lower starting price than a Buy It Now final price... but at any rate, let's just say the items were sold for less than what I had intended. So this jackass won the lot and time went by.

Now, in the ten plus years that I have been selling on eBay, when a buyer doesn't pay for an item right away that's a very bad sign. Because you have to be careful not to put your best foot forward (right up their ass) right away by sending them an invoice to remind them of the obvious; "Hey pal, are you going to pay or what?" No, you kind of have to handle it, seemingly professional... like for example, say something to the extent of: "Hey, the faster you pay for this, the sooner I can get it out to you!" Nine times out of ten; I get the most idiotic response imaginable, which is the usual: "Oh! I'm sorry... I hadn't realized that I had won and wasn't expecting to win this auction!" followed by the more typical bullshit excuse of... "I usually pay right away!" Yes, usually... but not today, because you just wanted to demonstrate to me just how big a fool you really take me for, correct?

Anyways... so this maggot (for lack of a better term) bought this coin lot from me and didn't pay right away, which prompted me to take the awfully diplomatic route as described above. In this case, I think I may have sent him two invoice reminders, followed by the aforementioned shipment diplomacy speech and I still didn't get a response from him. That was... until I broke out with the code orange deadbeat payer alert level response of: "Hey, are you going to pay for this, or what? I have seller fees to pay off, you know?" This is always a good thing to point out to these fuckos here; because it lets them know just how much their business is important to you; especially when eBay is siphoning off a great deal of your profits via the percentage that it gets for every sale you make, plus the percentage generated from making PayPal transactions... (a company which, in case you weren't aware, is also owned by them--- or at least was owned until they sent a notice out stating that they were going to be two separate entities both operating under the same umbrella, or something along those lines). Either way, it's really just a corporate shell game they're playing. Just figuring out a way to defraud the government in the truest white collar fashion imaginable until Congress steps in and taxes the shit out of them... which is probably going to happen. It always does, anyways, right? You can't really get away with taking a cut from these rich, white, political fat cats and not pay the pied piper, am I wrong?

Well... let's not get too political about it. Not while we're still at the diplomacy stage of this story. So the deadbeat responds and states that I would have my money by tomorrow. And this, by the way, was stated near the end of the week. I think it was on a Thursday and the tomorrow in question was a Friday. But either way, I had a couple of things that I was doing that week that kept me really busy and distracted long enough to not keep my eye on the ball with this loser. So Friday came and went, and I believe I had another sale that went off without a hitch. And the day turned into a Saturday. Now, something I forgot to make mention of earlier, but figured it best to wait until now for dramatic effect (in as far as a reader's digestive tract is concerned) is that I always state in my listings as a payment policy that I expect payments to be made no later than three days after the auctions' closing, just so I won't have to report the matter to eBay and make a federal case out of it all, which is where this was unfortunately heading now.

Anyways, since I got tired of waiting and hated the fact that I was hoping to use this buyer's payment to cover my already staggering seller fee bill (because I made a rather unprecedented sale right around that same time) I just kicked it up a notch into the code red spectrum of my self-patented deadbeat payer alert system. And since I was already seeing red, I just told this fucker (because that's what he was up until this point; a fucker, plain and simple) that I tomorrow came and went and I still hadn't received his payment, and that I demanded he pay up right now because I sure as hell wasn't going to wait another day in dealing with his deadbeat behavior. I also made it clear to him that aside from the fact that he didn't pay up right away, the other thing I couldn't stand from him (or just about any other eBayer out there) was that there was a big lack of communication going on here... mostly on his part. I, just so you know, am a very understanding person. Sometimes people get carried away buying shit they can't afford like they were binging on an all night insomniac party, and getting drunk with too many bad ideas... most of which involve buying something online and not paying for it, and probably getting the party on the other end with his blood pressure shooting through the roof. So the sobering moment comes in the form of my telling him off, of course... still in a very diplomatic way, for eBay is still playing Big Brother, you know? Monitoring every message between you and the parties involved, making sure you don't overstep the boundaries by crossing them. Of course, getting crossed is another acceptable standard. And so is having your balls in a vice if you're into S&M... however, I'm just not into that kind of kinkiness!

And so... the potential buyer responds by stating that he's very offended that I called him out for being a deadbeat (which he was, and probably still is) and that I could keep my little coins, because now all he wanted to do was simply cancel the transaction. So now, the deadbeat payer alert level has skyrocketed to a purple maroon (so you know it's serious shit now, right folks?) and I have to face that very familiar feeling once again of... oh great, your mouth has just run off again, and now you've lost out. So I just figured, well... okay, let's just end this fairly and amicably, so that this fucker can go on about his merry way and keep fucking over someone else in the meantime. And I decide to open up the cancellation process so that this asshole doesn't have to pay, but more importantly so that I can get my seller fees refunded to me... because, I'm definitely not going to fork over a percentage of a sale that didn't even exist. Of course, there's just one little, tiny, miserable pain in the ass aspect that I was overlooking here. And that was that when you open up a cancellation request, the ball is automatically in the buyer's court, and they have to respond to it, just so the case can officially close up and you can get your seller fees refunded to you and could then continue to relist your items.

But no... my friend over here decides that, in addition to raising the deadbeat payer alert level once again from a purple maroon, to a reddish magenta; he seriously wants to change his official honorary title from fucker to motherfucker by simply not closing up the case. And so, it begins... The ten day waiting period that eBay puts both parties on, as if almost certain communication was mandatory here... simply as a safeguard. The only drawback you have now is that you can't really report the buyer because your cancellation request is still open, so that gives the motherfucker enough leeway to basically twiddle his fingers and thumb his nose at you while you're stuck with a seller fee bill that might automatically be deducted from your account if you don't pay up quickly enough. So what's a disgruntled seller like me supposed to do now? Simple... now I have (or had) to get in touch with eBay and let them now that this deadbeat seller was being a complete arse (it just sounds fancier that way, doesn't it?) and that I had agreed to cancelling the purchase just as he requested, but he decided on being a complete prick about it just so that I could sweat it out for a couple of days needlessly... all because he can't be bothered enough to do the responsible thing and ACTUALLY PAY FOR THE FUCKING THING like every other sensible person does in this day and age.

But no... (in the best Steve Martin impression that I can pull off here, folks) this idiot decided that he wanted to teach me a lesson, just because he can! So anyways, that was pretty much my nightmare, and my means of diffusing my anger in dealing with pinheads such as this by blogging about it. Oh wait... I forgot, that was sort of the abridged version. The other thing I forgot to mention was eBay customer service, which is like having the best of both worlds. And by that I mean, a third world representative who hardly speaks English and is a bit difficult to understand at times, and a slightly bad phone connection, which is kind of like dinner and a show really. And did I forget to mention the long wait time of approximately one and a half hours of waiting on my cell phone and listening to the same puke inducing elevator music from hell interjected with the same boringly obvious: "All of our customer service representatives are currently busy assisting other customers, your call is very important to us, please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received." I can easily picture the lady doing this recording just making the universal wanking/jerking/whacking off gesture (depending on which side of the globe your on, that is) as she's doing this recording... since it really says a lot about my frame of my mind at the time.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that if there has ever been some sort of secret neo Nazi gathering that involved a vote to decide upon what kind of elevator music to be used for these rather impromptu calls to a customer service line that barely, I'm almost certain that the company in question has to be none other than eBay! And to that I say...

Fuck eBay Customer Service!

This has been P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII; PhD in F.U.) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

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