Ebay refuses to refund me after telling me bank transfer was safe

I recently made a purchase on eBay to buy a used e-bike for £4,550 from an individual seller. After correspondence to agree on the shipping costs, I was invoiced to make a direct bank transfer.

To convince myself that this was a genuine invoice and that the instant bank transfer was covered by the eBay money back guarantee, I contacted eBay customer service and was told it was safe.

The bike never arrived and about two weeks later I got an email from eBay saying that the seller’s account had been hacked and the item listing had been removed.

Ebay now admits it gave me the advice but refuses to refund me – how is this fair? CS, by email

An eBay customer was told he could safely make a bank transfer to one of his sellers

Grace Gausden, consumer expert at This is Money, answers: The service you received from eBay was very poor and the online bidding site refused to refund you – despite the fact that you followed the advice.

If you look at the electric bike on eBay, you say that the seller looked genuine with a good sales history and a long-standing eBay account.

When purchasing the item for £4,550, the seller requested a direct bank transfer instead of the usual PayPal or credit card route.

You asked and were told that the invoice you received was genuine and covered by the eBay money back guarantee.

Since you were not comfortable doing a direct bank transfer, you contacted the online marketplace giant to make sure everything was in order and that it was a legit seller.

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The representative assured you that you were 100 percent covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee and as a result you made the bank transfer to the seller.

However, the bike never arrived and you were then told that the seller’s account had been hacked and the listing had been removed. Ebay informed you that you were under warranty and could expect a refund.

But a few minutes after the call, you got an email from eBay saying you weren’t covered, so you called again.

Ebay said that while direct bank transfer would not normally be covered by eBay’s money-back guarantee, because you were misadvised, it would review the matter.

It added that if they confirmed the phone call with the representative where you were misinformed, it would honor the refund.

Over the next month, you made about eight phone calls to eBay, talking to several reps and trying to get things going. No one you spoke to had the authority to review the phone call.

Every once in a while you managed to move up to the next level of management or a case handling center, but you never heard from them again after talking to them.

You were then told that because the case had been open for over a month, you were now not covered by the eBay money back guarantee and received an email saying the case had been closed.

Incorrect: eBay confirmed that the rep gave the wrong advice to the customer

Incorrect: eBay confirmed that the rep gave the wrong advice to the customer

Finally you were able to speak to someone who confirmed that you had been given the wrong information, but was still told you would not get a refund.

You say throughout the process that you tried to do the right thing and took due care before making the payment, but now you have over £4,500 out of pocket and are desperately trying to get the money back.

This seemed very unfair as you were only trading on eBay’s advice, so I contacted the company.

An eBay spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about Mr S’s experience on eBay. Due to the unique circumstances of this case, we are happy to offer you a full refund.

“While most transactions on eBay go smoothly, we have policies in place to protect buyers and sellers when things don’t go according to plan.

“We encourage anyone shopping on eBay to make sure they use a payment method backed by our eBay Money Back Guarantee so they can get a quick refund if something goes wrong.”

It added that after an in-depth investigation, it was determined that you had been incorrectly informed that your payment via bank transfer would be covered by eBay’s money-back guarantee.

You have now received the full amount back in your account – it’s a shame that both a fraudster and eBay took you for a ride, but at least the company came back.

An ex-Eon client was frustrated after she continued to receive bills intended for an ex-partner

An ex-Eon client was frustrated after she continued to receive bills intended for an ex-partner

Hit and miss: this week’s naughty and fun list

Each week I look at some of the companies that have not met the expected standards, as well as companies that have gone the extra mile for customers.

To miss: This week, energy supplier, eon, has been criticized by former client Kelly.

She said: ‘I lived with my ex-partner who turned out to be violent and, because I was afraid of him, I moved out of the property we rented together.

“Everything was in my name, because his bad credit rating prevented him from opening accounts or borrowing money. The Eon account was in my name, but he continued to pay after I moved on February 7 of this year.

“I have received threatening letters from Eon which I have attached. I’ve had several phone calls with it explaining that I was leaving the property on Feb 7 and providing proof of this, as was my previous landlord, but the letters and texts keep coming.

‘The firm is after me for £172.82, but I can’t afford this and it’s not for energy I’ve used.’

An Eon spokesperson said: ‘While we now know that Kelly moved out of the property in February of last year, she didn’t tell us until October and so we have continued to issue bills in her name.

“Once we received proof that the client had moved, we assessed and reduced the outstanding balance according to her usage while she was in the property. We recently spoke with Kelly to agree on a final payment and removed her name from the bill.

“We appreciate the difficult circumstances surrounding this case and ask that customers notify us as soon as they leave a property so we can ensure their accounts are up to date.”

You have confirmed that you have paid £60 to Eon, but the remainder of the amount owed will be paid out to your ex-partner.

Fortunately, now you don’t have to worry about any future unexpected bills, but it serves as a warning to others to always check that you are clearing your name from any bills that you are no longer responsible for.

A HomeServe customer who thought she had a leak was happy when she got her money back

A HomeServe customer who thought she had a leak was happy when she got her money back

Touch: In better news, this week’s reader, Mary, praised HomeServe, an emergency repair company.

She said: ‘I joined HomeServe for 75 pence a month with a £30 deductible for a call-out if required.

“I thought I had a leak, but after a phone call and an inspection there was no problem.

‘I called HomeServe and asked if I wanted my £30 or at least part of it back. Instead, customer service offered me a total refund and even offered me a £25 goodwill gesture for a previously missed appointment.

“I was totally surprised and gladly accepted, because I only expected an apology.

“To me, HomeServe’s customer service is excellent and deserves to be commended.”

No leaky service here, HomeServe clearly offers a great customer experience.

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