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How I abused someone online

eBay/cdgjoblot.JPG

After my good friend Mike died I bought some of his karaoke gear at the charity auction. I really only wanted to get his microphones for sentimental reasons, a reminder of the days larking about doing karaoke at the Wellie and the KC in town; and maybe a CD-Mix because I love playing DJ at home and making mix disks for the car. I got a bit carried away and ended up coming away with those items, some speakers, a karaoke machine (to go with the one I already have!) and a few other odds and sods. So then the idea of perhaps doing a few events from time to time came to mind, and to others too who egged me on :) Although Mike had given me a hard disk of all 18,000 tracks he owned for safe keeping, I obviously couldn't use them because it would be illegal, and the 2000 odd tracks on the disks I did have where a somewhat eclectic selection and definitely not enough to "go out" with, so I looked to pick up some more. That;s when I found watt-laur on ebay selling a load of disks, claiming her Uncle was retiring as a DJ and had given her the disks to sell - 50 disks for £50. Not bad. The picture showed them in a folder (which was not for sale) that sort of obscured the disks, but they where colorful and had printing on them so I didn't think further.

Well I bought them, and when they turned up every single one was a CDR. She advertised them as "Used but not scratched" but in fact they were pristine - as if they'd just come out of the CD burner.

I did consider the possibility that they may have been "custom burn" disks but aside from the picture and the name of the group there was no print on the disks at all. I've bought a number of custom burn disks from Bouncing Bean and others over the years and those companies never miss the opportunity to splash their name, address. email, URL, and sometimes a track listing and copyright summary etc over the disk, but these had none of that.

I decided these where useless to me so I decided to return them. The only way that seems to be possible is to raise a case, so I did.

Here's the details:

The details you provided:

The item doesn't match the seller's description.

You paid for the item on 06 May, 2014.

Your phone number: XXXXXXXXXXX.

You didn't give permission to share this phone number with the seller.

The item is fake

Additional information:

"I'd like to return these disks for a full refund as they are copies of disks and not suitable for DJ's as you state. As a KJ I must have legal CDGs as you implied by (a) stating they were "Your uncle the DJs" disks and because copies are not allowed for sale on eBay. Please read the eBay policy on recordable media. http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/recordable.html"

You've requested:

You prefer to return the item in exchange for a full refund.

(I have subsequently discovered if I had chosen "Other" rather than "Not as advertised" I wouldn't have had to raise a case, it would have just sent a message.. eBay doesn't advertise that). I didn't really want to cause problems for the girl (or guy - I didn't know at the time), but it seemed the only way.

I got a response fairly quickly.

Note: In this sequence I have cut and pasted, and not edited the exchange in any way. Even my own mistakes,

The seller has responded to your case with another solution. 14 May, 2014 at 13:58

Seller's message:

"these cds were made at the karaoke shack they were custom made and all paid for as my uncle was a dj and ran events you have had these a long time now you could have said something before i believe you have took this long as you have copied the cds my uncle was a dj for many years and never had a problem if you not happy you should have said first day you got them rather than now just send them back"

Woah! Defensive much? So now I'm the thief. Well I missed the "just send them back" at the end, shocked as I was by vitriol. I must admit I was pissed by this so I ripped into her mercilessly (or at least, that is what she would say):

You've responded to the seller. 14 May, 2014 at 14:11

Your message to the seller:

"Before you accuse someone of theft you should consider your own position. I have not copied these tracks. I received them 2 days ago and was not able to open the package until last night. As it happens, I have a copy of my colleagues disks for safe keeping, over 18,000 tracks, so I hardly need to be ripping off kids on eBay. I am currently in the process of building my own collection of idenfiably legitimate disks. None of this alters the fact that you have sold me recordable media to which you are not the copyright holder, against the eBay policy on sales of recordable media. They would not be legal for me to use as I have no documentation from "karaoke shack" that show I am the legitimate owner. And reviewing your other sales, your uncle bought a lot of copies of that one direction CD, so I have to call into question your own honesty. If I escalate this with eBay I will get my money back and your listings will be removed, and you may lose your right to trade."

Well, OK, That was a bit "assertive". Especially if your target is really defensive with their guilty conscience.

The seller has responded to your case with another solution. 14 May, 2014 at 14:30

Seller's message:

"as i have said , my uncle ran numerous pubs and ran events for karaoke in them,when you buy cds from a shop they have the copyright and they are allowed to sell them,that is what he did,these were taken out of sleeves and put in a folder. my uncle had these all done because people were aksing for them as groups rather than mixed artists,this is becoming abusive and i did say if your not happy please return all discs back for your refund, these work out at £1 per disc is is alot cheaper than my uncle paid,you already said you have 18,000 tracks copied off your friend, all djs carry hardrives full of songs which alot have downloaded,these came from a legit karaoke shop, but again once i receive them back i will refund, so please post asap, for your refund to be given, "

Well, it was becoming abusive, She was doing the abusing. Interesting: people where "aksing" her uncle for them as groups - so he was selling disks too, not a DJ? Or did he put all the singers on together that wanted to sing songs by the same artist? I didn't pick up on this initially, so I never got to ask.

It was shortly after this I got the message from eBay saying she had actually pushed the button

The seller has agreed to issue a full refund of £57.00 when you return the item. 14 May, 2014 at 14:38

Refund information:

A full refund of £57.00 will be issued through PayPal once the item is delivered.

Seller's return address: L*ur*n W*tts XX XXXXXXX XXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXX United Kingdom

So I'd had enough of this, but I decided to thank her and give her a little advice.

You've responded to the seller. 14 May, 2014 at 14:39

Your message to the seller:

"I will return the disks and look forward to my refund. For your own sake I would read eBays policy on recordable media. You may well have a right to sell these disks, just not on eBay. Ian"

I didn't expect to hear any more, I just had to send the disks back, I suppose I should have not said the last two sentances, but my naturally abusive nature couln't resist laying into her with helpful advice. Clearly my words of concern for her future on eBay bit hard, because she fired up her Laptop again and set off to redress my cruel rebukes:

The seller has responded to your case with another solution. 14 May, 2014 at 16:22

Seller's message:

"this will be the last replt has i feel all you have done is made threats and demand these cds were bought at the karaoke shack all i am doing is selling them as there no longer needed my uncle ran many pubs and events www.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.co.uk all other buyers have been happy only you have been like this you your self have said you have songs on hardrive ?? i know my seld most dj's have songs on hard drives etc does not make it above board so please before you tell me about do and dont's look at your self i did not buy these cds my uncle did all i am doing is re selling them they were bought from a shop and he also has entertainments licence and insurance when he ran pubs and events thank you no more reply's i dont want to cross swords with some one i have never met i like you just tell you the do and donts most people are happy to get 50 cds for £1 each"

Yes! I know! I should just shut up. But now I am as bad as her, because it is easy to mistake "for safe keeping" with "for using as a DJ" when you're blinded by your insane self-righteous self belief. I should have known better, but I lashed out to correct her.

You've responded to the seller. 14 May, 2014 at 17:17

Your message to the seller:

"Well excuse me, but I have my friends files to keep them safe not to use, I was merely refutingh YOUR accusation that I was cheating you; and I have never threatened you I am merely trying to help you avoid being kicked of eBay because you havent read the rules. If you don't want advice just ignore it."

Oh the humanity. I imagine her sat sobbing at her PC at this stream of vitriol - er - advice. Sure enough I had wounded her and she lashed out in retaliation.

The seller has responded to your case with another solution. 14 May, 2014 at 17:28

Seller's message:

"if you buy a car can i resell that car ? these cds were bought from a karaoke shop my uncle has 23 year's in the business before he stopped and all cds came from him all the people that have bought them have been happy apart from you and has for you having music files on hard drive and saying you dont use them ? why even mention it then has i have said before its you that opend this you could have talked to me first i am sure has ebay rules says speak to seller first you never did send back items refund simple please no more "

Nothins like making an false analogy. Unless she has travelled to the future to buy a replicator, so she could buy a car and sell multiple clones of it. Under my savage attack she also lost sight of the fact that eBay specifically bans the sale of (non blank) recordable media, except in a very few specific circumstances. Touched with remorse at my dispicable behaviour I decided to correct that oversight.

You've responded to the seller. 14 May, 2014 at 17:40

Your message to the seller:

"http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/recordable.html

"Only copyright owners or persons authorised to sell the product by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law are permitted to list their products copied onto recordable media (includes items such as VHS tapes, audio tapes, CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, flash drives, and any other recordable media type) on eBay. When you list any type of recordable media, you must state your copyright ownership or license to resell these items in your listings."

I mentioned my tracks because YOU accused me of copying your disks, to demonstrate it would be pointless me getting your disks just to copy them. I opened the case because that is what eBay forces you to do once a sale is in progress."

That would settle it. Surely she would see I'm not a bad person? Yeah, right.

The seller has responded to your case with another solution. 14 May, 2014 at 17:54

Seller's message:

"listen i did say NO more may be you get a kick out of this you never once talked to me before opening a case i am thinking know you getting some kind of a buzz or a trip from this no more ends now you send items back i refund end of stop telling me abouts laws has all dj's work with hard drives and copied items and if you dont your the first these again were bought from a shop it states they come with no cover has they were stored in a case 50 cds at a £1 each my uncle paid £3 each for these plus there all grouped you need to stop this now had more than i can deal with thanks "

I did not respond to this email, sated as I was with orgasmic joy in this exchange. But it did occur to me that it would a great blog post.

Clearly I am a terrible person - to moral, too unable to just take any old shit from eBay if thats what the seller wants to sell.

Version 2 updated 23 May 2014, 12:26 p.m.