I have had a disappointing experience with eBay’s internal dispute resolution service.
On the morning of 4 August, I bought a $11.99 USB-C extension cable from a seller who claimed the item was located in Sydney and it would be delivered by 9 - 11 August. On 5 August (the Saturday), the seller marked the item as sent and gave a tracking reference. This tracking reference showed on the Australia Post website as shipping information received - i.e. the label had been created but the parcel had not yet been scanned at any of its mail centres. That seemed fair enough. This status did not change for the whole of the next week so I became concerned when the item had not been scanned through a mail centre by Thursday 10 August. There was no chance it would arrive on time. I wrote to the seller who told me it was in transit. I asked for details of when it had actually been put in the mail. The seller did not reply so I opened an eBay case on 12 August seeking a refund for non-delivery as the item was overdue. In my request, I advised eBay and the seller that I needed the cable so I would have to buy one at a higher price locally - i.e. in a real store where I paid $15 plus drive there and back and pay $2 for parking in the street etc etc (poor retail shopfronts with high rents and customers having to pay for parking).
The resolution process is that eBay gives the seller 7 days to respond before it will look at the case. So the item was already overdue but I had to wait 7 days (to 19 August) before eBay would look at it. The seller kept telling me to be patient even though I’d already told them that I had to buy the item elsewhere and I no longer wanted it. The seller told me the item had been delayed in customs. On 20 August, I escalated it to eBay to look into it and they said they would respond within 48 hours. On 21 August, the item arrived - 10 days after the promised delivery date and it had been sent from China using a service that Australia Post supports being a bulk courier delivery from overseas to the nearest distribution centre from where it charges a much lower fee than you and I can get for posting a parcel. The tracking showed that this item miraculously appeared at the Sunshine West mail centre on the morning it was due to be delivered. It was left on my front verandah and I saw it when I got home.
On 22 August, eBay rejected my refund case because their system showed the item had been delivered and my claim was for non-delivery. It seems no one at eBay read the notes or considered that the description of the item was false and the delivery was very late and I would have been entitled to a claim for a return of the item at the seller’s expense because it was incorrectly described. My negative feedback was also removed.
I couldn’t open a return case because a previous case had been closed on the same item.
So now I have a cable I don’t want and the crooked seller has my money. Honest Chinese sellers had the same item for delivery by 19 August for $5.99 but I went for the crook as I needed it more quickly.