Please note: This is a sanitized post of a very negative experience I had with Millionsoftoys (eBay seller ID). It has become necessary as this seller has systematically attempted to erase all public record of this atrocious experience. Once posted, please do not add comment to this thread as it will be locked in order for it to remain on the forum for all to see without any more possible threats from this seller.
I won the following Palitoy boxed ESB Falcon on eBay on the 13/08/15 and excitedly awaited delivery. The box looked in amazing shape although by no means mint and the Falcon was complete although slightly yellowed. I didn't mind the discolouration given it was a Palitoy ESB box
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Palit ... true&rt=nc
The following are images taken from the listing for when the original listing disappears. I have ignored images of the ship itself as that was not in question or the source of complaint. It was the box that was to be the issue:
OK, so no instructions and damage to Cannon, but all looked otherwise fine to me.
When the Falcon arrived I was really quite excited: I had never had a complete Palitoy boxed one before. The outer packaging box was without damage. Clearly a 2nd hand box (looked like a removals box with "loft" and "toys" written on it or something but I'm all about the recycling so it never bothers me) but no external damage to it and certainly no water damage. When I opened it up things went south. At first I believed they'd sent a different box. Then I studied it and realized they'd just been "creative" with the camera work; zoomed in or even cropped images to miss the damage, water damage and parcel tape, or, worse still, photographing the same end TWICE from the left and right hand aspects to make it appear they were opposite ends of the box when in actual fact it was the same end! (See next couple of posts for photos of what showed up).
I, naturally, go bolo at the not inexperienced (100k+ feedback) seller pointing out the error of their ways. In fact, this is my message to them:
Received the Falcon. I am very disappointed with the box. Your photos appear to have been taken deliberately to deceive in respect of the condition. You've photographed the same end of the box twice, from a left hand and right hand perspective in order to make it look like both ends. In fact, the right hand side of the box is trashed: water damaged and virtually shredded with brown tape, none of which damage was shown in your dozen photos.
I look forward to your response.
The reply I got was this:
Sorry to hear you are not happy with your item
I have checked the images and the description in some detail based on your comments
We provided 12 images (maximum we can) into the listing
The images focus on as much of the item as we can to ensure the customer can see clearly the condition and the contents
In the condition description it states - .."some tape to one end flap".. ..."Some edge wear and marks"..
There was no water damage to the box and neither was it trashed, presuming you mean very damaged from this statement?
To suggest we deliberately take images to deceive our customers is rather a bold statement and not something we take kindly at all
We have over 106,000 +ve feedback for vintage toys sold and at no point have we ever deceived our customers ever... why would we?
We are a professional company employing several staff and make a living from selling genuine original vintage toys from our show room and through our internet channels and are not in the business of coning any of our customers
This item along with most of all the items we sell via eBay was started at 99p for 5 days with 12 high res images and an accurate description detailing the item - NOTE with a big statement saying "if you require further details or images PLEASE ASK" we are happy to help
It would be helpful if we could add many more images BUT at this time we cannot via eBay
Please feel free to send the complete item back with all the parts accessories in the original box it was shipped out in
Returns number 371407803122001
The Millions Group Ltd
29a High Street
Once received back we will check the item over and process a full refund including your postage
Please ensure the returns number is written on the box so it gets handled correctly
Director TMG UK Ltd"
So, the only apology in there "sorry to hear you're not happy with your item" is not even an apology. Infuriated, I send them photos of the damage (as seen in the next post by me because I don't seem to be able to add more than 5 to one post. These are not the exact photos I sent but show the box I received). And the following message:
Thank you for your response.
I stand by my initial words. If the attached is not "water damaged and trashed" I do not know what is. Cardboard does not delaminate in this way without water.
I also stand by my claim in respect of the photographs of this item were taken to deceive, or shall we say disguise, the true state of the box. If not, then why was there no image showing the attached damage? I understand the frustration of a limited number of images, but I don't understand wasting them on two photos of the same end of the box? Why not one of each end? And yes, there is tape to one end of the box. And the other one, too. The only difference is that one end (the one photographed twice) has unobtrusive tape. The one not pictured has brown parcel tape.
Rant over. I feel deceived and I think, when you receive this item back and you look at the box and compare it to the photos you will see what I mean.
That was sent in business hours but I had still not received any response by the next day so sent another message. I highlighted the original thread to them as they have been quick to defend themselves in the past but this time had failed to do so. I wanted to see if they would have the courage to respond in public if they were going to fob me off in private:
You may want to visit Star Wars Forum UK and check the "valuation" thread there:
http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopi ... =3&t=26591
Also, I did not have a reply to my previous message with pictures. I would appreciate one and I think I deserve an explanation in respect of the pictures and actual state of the box. If you'd like to reply via the above thread that would be fine. Actually, it would be preferred. Perhaps the opinion of the absolute majority of respondents to the thread will persuade you I'm not just being a difficult customer but I have a genuine grievance.
I and my wife are also business sellers. We don't have 106k feedback but then it's more of a hobby than a career (one being wound down, as it happens). We know you can't please all the customers all the time. We also accept negative feedback can be left unjustly, but if we do something wrong we admit to it. That's what's really telling in this case.
So the completely unapologetic response from these people was:
Thank you for the images
We only get the chance to go through these emails during office hours
Please get the item sent back with the returns number
Once received we will be happy to process your full refund including your postage
We will then be able to get this item listed again
We will put the Falcon with a different box we have in stock and sell this Palitoy box seperately
This way we can offer 12 images of the box so there is clarity over the condition from the images
As good as an admission the box is not in good shape at all but where the hell is the apology or the explanation of the lack of detailed photos or even mention of the damage? None whatsoever and this was to continue through our communications. Not one damned apology. The arrogance is nothing short of staggering. Then a further message as they responded to my second message (the one where I flagged up the original thread):
Thanks for this email
We can see you have decided to share your thoughts on SWFUK regarding your purchase!
When we get some time later today or tomorrow we will look at your thread
As we have said in our previous reply we are happy to have the item back for a full refund
We offer this for ALL items we sell for what ever reason the buyer has
Please let us know when the item is packed and sealed in the shipping box
We are happy to send our courier to you to collect to save you the time and hassle of going to a Post Office which may delay the reurn of this item
Let us know your collection address and we will book our courier to collect from you
No, Jim, you accept returns for whatever reason from the buyer because you are under a legal obligation to do so. It's called the Distance Selling Regulations and as such a self-declared expert in the law (as per you e-mail to this forum threatening legal action) you should be aware of that, surely?
Anyway, Jim & Co. decide not to respond to the original thread on this forum. I had posted one up asking for thoughts on the purchase as I was in two minds as to keep it. Yes the damage was bad but I thought I could repair most of it and make it good again. It was for my own collection, after all. However, every single response (and there were quite a few from new members as well as experienced SWFUKers (love that. Should be on T-shirts, Edd) had been negative and expressing disappointment as what had transpired (that's a pleasant, non-libellous way of stating what was written ).
My response to him was:
Thank for your reply.
Yes, I did put a post on the Forum (as I think I told you!), but let me explain why as it's not what you may initially think. As I stated in the thread (which you can see later) as I was packing it up I looked at the damage and thought that I could repair much of it. As it's for me, it wouldn't bother me that it had been reglued and cleaned. However, I still felt deceived and like I'd paid to much for it; two separate wrongs, both of which needed addressing. So, I turned to the Forum as I am still newly back into collecting (4th time around) since prices have gone daft and wanted an objective point of view on price from others. I was honestly hoping someone would say "yep, dodgy listing but you actually did OK". As it happens, no one did.
I wasn't aware your business was known to the forum. Had my intentions been different I would have put the thread in the "Sellers to Avoid" section. However, the thread is there now and the comments by others speak for themselves. If you choose to respond to it that's entirely up to you.
I'll let you know when I have repacked the Falcon.
This time I get a response from his partner, Lucy:
With regards to your message, once the item is packaged please email to advise and we will book the courier (Interlink Express) for collection, if you can confirm your full address for collection and a contact telephone number aswell.
Once the item has been delivered back to ourselves, we will arrange for a full refund/credit via PP
Once again, no discussion around (IMHO) well made points. At this point I was just tired of the whole thing and every e-mail I received from them annoyed me more and more. They were never going to admit fault and they clearly weren't going to respond to the thread. So I thought "blow it" and decided to return the item. My response:
Thank you, although that would be convenient I need to obtain a tracking number for the return which I will initiate through the usual procedure. It's no problem, Hermes pick up here regularly so one more parcel is neither here nor there. I'll let you know what the courier cost is once the item is packed and weighed.
As a business seller, I was well aware they were doing all they could to avoid a "defect" on their selling account by arranging the return directly as opposed to through eBay as sellers should. That, combined with the fact I did not trust them one single bit given their attitude and complete lack of apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing made me start a return through ebay which would afford me some level of protection should things deteriorate further.
Jim didn't like this:
I can see you have opened a returns case with eBay for this item
We were happy to collect the item for free with our courier without a case being opened?
However as you have opened this case you have to use either the eBay return postage label we will send you or pay for you own courier to ship it back
When a returns case is opened eBay automatically refund you ONLY the amount of the order when your item is returned
Then the case is closed
Why so upset, I wonder? Surely with so many happy, happy customers (106K+, don't you know?) one little return wouldn't cause an issue or raise any red flags with eBay? Anyway, response to Jim in which the final sentence could translate into two words only:
I am aware of the returns process having read up on it first. I am looking to protect myself in this return as you have, as yet, refused to acknowledge any fault whatsoever despite being provided with evidence. As such, I am in the unfortunate position of not being able to trust you, hence following the returns process where I know I am backed by ebay's protection if it comes down to it.
The item is being dispatched today and I look forward to receiving my refund in due course. Other than that, I think we're done.
Item was dispatched using eBay's paid return label and was duly received 3 days later:
"Reference - Returned item
Good Morning, Just to advise that the item has been received back via Royal Mail this morning.
I would like to advise that your full refund has also been processed back through Paypal to you.
At this point I left negative feedback. Harsh? No, absolutely not. How else do potential customers know that all is not as perfect at the other 106k+ "happy customers" make it appear. My feedback was very similar to:
"12 photos and none showed trashed end of box. No apology and only excuses. Full refund"
Low and behold, and consistent with at least one other SWFUK member's experience, my negative feedback comment was magicked away by ebay following an appeal by millionsoftoys! How? More importantly; why??? Well, it appears MOT have experience and success at having this done (go on Jim, how many is it?). In addition to the 3 -ve feedback they show on their account at the moment (please note: two of those have "This comment has been removed by ebay" so a degree of success there but the -ve still counts against them unlike the -ve of mine they had removed) they have an impressive 38 MODIFIED feedback comments. This is where a buyer has either voluntarily or been asked and agreed to change -ve or neutral feedback.
The feedback I left was deliberately factual and unemotional and certainly not rude but they still managed to get it removed. As such, I called ebay to express my displeasure at this and to find out how they had managed it. I spent a very enlightening 25 mins on the phone to ebay. Needless to say, with the evidence I provided it was acknowledged that this was a mistake on ebay's behalf and the action should not necessarily have been taken. My compensation? £25 worth of ebay vouchers. Personally, I'd rather have the -ve on their feedback score but beggars can't be choosers.
The eBay CS rep gave some examples of how feedback would be removed. I would like to point out she was completely unable to sell me the details in this case due to the Data Protection Act (which, Jim, applies to that sort of information. Another area of law you clearly aren't an expert in as ably demonstrated by your email threatening legal action against this forum), but I left with a clear idea of how they had achieved it this time. Let's just say the major flaw in the process is eBay; when a seller complains about -ve feedback they don't bother to speak to the buyer and, as such listen to one side of the story only. Good investigation, guys, you should go and work for a totalitarian regime with those policing skills....
From the details and evidence I provided removing the next justified piece of negative feedback will be somewhat harder for these sellers. I'll say no more but remain quietly satisfied with the overall outcome.
Anyway, please let this be a testament as to why I would recommend that you do not buy from these people on principal. I don't care if they offer me a VCJ or Trilogo Madine for a Buy it Now of 99p I will not shop with them again. Not that I could; Jim and Lucy take the precaution of blocking difficult customers from their eBay shop as other threads on this forum will testify. One customer dared question their postage charges. Outcome? Barred.
The very fact they have been quick to defend themselves here in the past but didn't on this occasion with the overwhelming weight of evidence says it all. They had plenty of chance in the original thread and didn't bother.