eBay dispute test page

The attached photos also appear on Flickr where original sizes can be downloaded so that their associated file data can be inspected (NB DSLR Camera is not on BST).

I have used the Google url shortening service to provide links to Flickr in order to save on character count and enhance readability.

The following is also at https://goo.gl/1qMuH7 in case the eBay system truncates the message or alters it's formatting.

The following consists of 3 parts:

1) Why I believe the phone I was sent qualifies as an "Item Not As Described"

2) Why I'm concerned about returning the phone without eBay supervision

3) A brief overview of the steps taken between receiving the phone and asking for a refund

Note: In the following, the S7 Edge with MPN SM-G935FZKABTU is probably more accurately described as the International Version but I've previously called it the "UK Model" (in the sense it covers all UK frequency bands) in order to differentiate it from the SM-G935FEDAATO or "EU Model".

1) Why I believe the phone I was sent qualifies as an "Item Not As Described"

Your listing contained a specification sheet for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with MPN SM-G935FZKABTU. Underneath was writtten:

"Samsung s7 edge 32gb Black Oynx. Handset boxed and factory sealed. Factory unlocked and Checkmend imei check can be provided on successful purchase. Have these for sale elsewhere and only 14 left. You are bidding for one handset." (NB You kept one phone for yourself indicating you had 15 at the outset)

Your description would be more accurate if it said:

"Samsung S7 Edge with MPN SM-G935FEDAATO (Photo 1, also at https://goo.gl/lwPz0z ). No information is available on how this EU model's specification sheet differs from that of the SM-G935FZKABTU or UK model.

The phone is boxed but not factory sealed. The original "Do not accept if seal is broken" sticker on the side of the box has, in fact, been broken and then covered up with a larger version with similar wording (Photo 2, also at https://goo.gl/BQLbK9 ).

In addition, the IMEI sticker on the end of the box has also been replaced with a larger version (Photo 3, also at https://goo.gl/uqe4EV ).

This raises the possibility that the phone is a B Grade unit that has failed quality control for one or more reasons."

Besides yourself, other buyers of your phones can confirm the fake stickers, once they are told what to look for. In addition, by signing on to the main Samsung webite as I did, they will also be able to confirm that they have the SM-G935FEDAATO model instead of the one you advertised for sale.

In an eBay message you eventually admitted the phone was an EU model by saying "You have a working new Samsung s7 edge it's a European one. There is no UK variant."

You also wrote:

"I personally don't believe that there is significant difference to the description as it is a European variant of the s7 edge to the exact specification genuine model."

You have offered no specifications for the EU model to support your belief that it is identical to the UK model. The relationship between seller and buyer is not that of master/slave and your opinion is simply not enough: Neither Samsung or any other manufacturer change model numbers on a whim.

On the question of "new": If your protestations of innocence regarding the fake labels are to be believed then anyone could have powered up a B Grade or even an A Grade S7 Edge, confirmed or found a feature or function that was out of spec., performed a "Hard Reset" and then printed out large fake labels in order to hide their activity.

On the question of there being no "UK Variant": If you put "SM-G935FZKABTU" into Google, you will get UK websites. If you put "SM-G935FEDAATO" into Google, you will get EU websites, with an apparent preponderance of Austrian ones.

One reason a particular phone will have a different model number is because manufacturers will use software to enable or disable the scanning of different frequency bands depending on what is required in different parts of the world.

Using Austria as an example, Photo 4 (also at https://goo.gl/oJ82Ps ) shows that the coverage of 3g and 4g frequency groups in Austria is only a subset of those available in the UK.

As I said in the related eBay message:

"Even if they were the same, it doesn't mean that countries like Austria would scan all the bands within a frequency group that the UK does."


"In short, a mobile phone marketed for Austria-type countries will work in the UK. Over time, however, the user of such a phone will notice their phone reporting little or no signal strength far more often than would be the case if their phone were a genuine UK model."

Even if it had been offered, it is for this reason that a discount would not be appropriate: In the 2 or 3 years that I keep the phone, I would forever be plagued by doubts whenever I was in a poor reception area - "Is this truly the case, or is my phone simply not scanning bands that are, in fact, available?"

Further to the above, I have also included a link to a forum ( https://goo.gl/9khNqX ) in which an S7 owner announces his success at being able to manipulate the frequency bands his phone accesses.

The Samsung S7 Edge is a feature and function-rich phone and there's no telling which of these functions and features are implemented partially or wholly differently in the EU than they are in the UK.

I believe the above is sufficient to open an eBay dispute on the grounds that the item is not as described.

NB Your listing says you had these phones "on sale elsewhere".

When I used Thunderbird to click on the first thumbnails you sent me in an eBay message I was taken to a German eBay sign on page.

At first glance this might suggest that you were already selling these phones in the EU before putting them on to UK eBay.

However, I think this is unlikely because that would mean you knew they were EU models all along and would have listed them as such.

I was subsequently able to access the photos without signing on to German eBay when I clicked on the thumbnails via my eBay inbox.

Also note that the sample CheckMEND report available on their website only states that a phone is a "Possible Counterfeit" or a "Possible Clone". This doesn't prove a phone is genuine by any means. After all, they only have a serial number to go by and not the phone itself.

CheckMEND themselves only claim "...This means that you can be assured that the serial number is genuine and has not been altered or tampered with since manufacture".

2) Why I'm concerned about returning the phone without eBay supervision

In part 3) I explain why I would have been willing to accept the EU model you sent providing I could live with any compromises that had to be made. However, after being unable to find out any technical information about the EU model, and unable to exclude the possibility it was a B Grade unit, I then asked for a refund. In your reply you said:

"I'm afraid I'm not happy to accept the refund... I have lost the fact the item was new so even if I did accept the return I will want a restocking fee paid as I can only sell the item as 2nd user."

The item was not "new" even before you sent it to me. Totally excluded from your deliberations are the facts that the phone is the wrong model, has fake labels, and that it arrived in a previously opened box which - if your protestations of innocence are to be believed - an unknown number of people have had prior access to. Nor have you taken into account that it may be a B Grade unit.

Instead, you continue to claim it is a "new" unit and I am so at fault in asking for a refund that you feel justified in inflicting a financial punishment under the pretext of calling it a "restocking fee".

In response to the threat of a financial penalty, I said that if necessary I would open an eBay dispute. In the communications that followed you offered a full refund on several occasions, the last one stating:

"They [eBay] have already looked at tge [the] ebay messages" (ie our communications)


"The fact the phone has been on for 2 days shows the phone has been used. You have used the video revord option and installed 3rd party apps. Despite this i still offered a refund to you."

Anyone reading the above would assume that "despite" the listed crimes, you, as seller, are still magnanimous enough to offer a refund. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The words "no refund" have indeed been changed to "full refund" but the way you continue to distort reality in order to find faults that would "justify" imposing a financial penalty is still there.

I believe that if I return the phone without eBay's supervision then you will exaggerate any perceived imperfection in order to inflict such a penalty.

Furthermore, as the last of the following examples of finding such faults shows, I believe that you are quite capable of inventing a reason should exaggeration not prove sufficient.

As described more fully in part 3), I ran diagnostic software at a time when I was trying to establish what compromises would have to be made in order for me to keep the phone. The software threw up an anomaly by not reporting a 4K video capability and so I made a short video that confirmed it was the software that was wrong and not the phone.

By removing the context, you have been misleading in saying "You have used the video revord option and installed 3rd party apps" and turned it into a crime - I feel sure that many other sellers would have been appreciative of my efforts to keep the phone rather than ask for an immediate refund.

The allegation "the phone has been on for 2 days shows the phone has been used" is a typical instance of how you twist reality in order to find fault:

The allegation is based on one of the five photos of the phone that I sent at your request.

The photo in question is of the phone's STATUS page (Photo 5; https://goo.gl/vYhylj ) that shows an "Up time" of 46 hours (your "2 days"). The photo also shows the phone's time of 16.14.

Another of the photos is of the phone's SIM CARD STATUS page (Photo 6; https://goo.gl/Yu9419 ) that shows there was no SIM card in the phone.

This second photo was taken at 16.13 which means that there was no SIM card in the phone for the whole of the 46 hours recorded as "Up Time".

And without a SIM, you can't "use" a phone.

In my eBay reply describing the above, I also told you:

A) Being unfamiliar with the phone, I had simply forgotten to turn it off.

B) My current phone is a micro-SIM NGM Forward Endurance (photo at https://goo.gl/XLJHcl )

C) That in response to my ordering a nano-SIM card for the S7 Edge, TalkTalk sent a micro-SIM card by mistake (photo at https://goo.gl/wKqk2K )

D) That a second request for a nano-SIM appears to have been put on hold by TalkTalk's automated system until I "clear" the first SIM they sent (photo at https://goo.gl/RR7eeQ )

This covers the period before and after the 46 hour window shown in the STATUS photo. I will have no trouble at all in establishing the phone hasn't been used should we go to court.

I find it quite significant that you expect people to believe you knew nothing about the EU model and its fake labels and yet, when I tell the truth in saying I forgot to turn the phone off, you immediately - in effect - call me a liar.

Another example of finding fault where none exists:

I wrote:

"If a normal seller - whether on eBay or the High Street - sent the wrong item to a person then they would replace it with the correct one.

If, like you, the seller was unable to do so then a refund would be offered, or even a choice between a refund or a discount."

I had hoped that you would ask yourself why you haven't responded like a normal seller, specifically in offering a refund for the "mistake" that had been made.

Instead, you almost predictably seized on the one element that could be misconstrued by saying:

"So you wanted a discount this all starts to make sense".

As I have said, a discount is of no interest to me whatsoever.

Rather than using your "imagination", if you really want to know anything about my character then the opening paragraphs of https://goo.gl/prFBP0 should provide an insight.

As an aside, the above web page also indicates what can happen to a person should they be overexposed to relentlessly applied "manufactured" fault-finding at too young an age.

An artificially-created attempt to find fault:

When I first informed you that the "Do Not Accept..." sticker had not been firmly stuck down, and that there was an original, broken sticker underneath, I said:

"...if the outer sticker on your box is firmly stuck down then the gentle application of steam should reveal what I am talking about."

In actual fact, the careful use of a fingernail would probably have sufficed, but that's beside the point.  By the next day, what I had written had become twisted in your mind to the extent that you berated me by saying:

"You should not of steam opened the box."

But I never said I did...

In your listing for the phone, I consider "SM-G935FZKABTU" and "factory sealed box" to be "false statements". There are more examples than those given above, but I also consider your repeated attempts to distort reality in order to find fault, and thereby justify a financial penalty, to be equally false statements.

Quite clearly, you have changed "Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing" to "Buyer assumes all responsibility for this listing" - and quite a responsibility it is, too.

Instead of manufacturing faults with a view to imposing a financial penalty, you might have spent your time better by contacting your supplier and asking about the fake stickers and missing specifications. As it is, the phone you sent has no provenance whatsoever.

3) A brief overview of the steps taken between receiving the phone and asking for a refund

I received the phone wrapped in two thin layers of bubblewrap within a brown paper outer covering.

One corner of the "Do not accept if broken" sticker was not stuck down. Unpeeling it revealed the original sticker beneath.

I am surprised, that you didn't notice the "Do not accept..." sticker wasn't firmly stuck down as you wrapped the box up prior to posting it to me.

On the other hand, the sticker may have become unstuck during transit. It certainly unpeeled easily enough, leaving no residue on the box whatsoever, which indicates it had only recently been applied.

I then inspected the phone physically, looking for signs of "fakery" highlighted in YouTube videos and for any differences to the genuine S7/S7 Edge phones that I had closely examined in local shops. The phone appeared genuine and so I switched it on.

By the end of the of the set-up process I was convinced it was a genuine Samsung phone but I had lingering doubts over its provenance owing to the broken seals.

On visiting the Samsung website I discovered that the phone was an EU model and not the UK model that I had ordered.

Even so, because the price of the phone was so reasonable, I was prepared to accept it providing I could live with any compromises that had to be made (regarding differences in specification) and providing it wasn't a B Grade unit.

This wasn't generosity of spirit: Photo 7 (also at https://goo.gl/RR7eeQ ) is a screenshot from my account at TalkTalk showing that my mobile plan is "Essential SIM". This entitles me to 200 UK minutes, unlimited texts, and 500 MB of data per month.

In other words, I am a "light user", only interested in basic phone functions and the camera, and this, coupled with the fact that I don't use 4g (and nor does TalkTalk support it - see https://goo.gl/CCt2U7 ) made me feel I had lots of room for manoeuvre with regard to making compromises.

Before the phone arrived, I informed you I would run diagnostic software (eg CPU X) "for my own peace of mind" regarding the phone's authenticity. Already convinced that the phone was genuine, I still did so but now with the intention of seeing if it showed any obvious sign of it being a B Grade unit.

The software showed an anomaly by stating the highest video available was FULL HD and not 4K. I made a short video, transferred it to my PC, and found the diagnostic software was at fault and not the phone.

After reporting this to you, you told me I was wrong and said "As for the camera it is 4k on you x it states 12mp 4000 ( something) x 3000(something) that is 4 k res."

I don't know if you were being deliberately disingenuous but the dimensions you gave are for a 12 MP still image, not for 4K video whose dimensions are 3840 pixels × 2160.

I could prove that the diagnostic software only reports FULL HD (1920 x 1080) by either making a video or by asking S7 and S7 Edge owners to post their own results in forums dedicated to these phones.

Finally, unable to find out any information about the EU model that you sent me, and having lost confidence in the diagnostic software, I asked for a refund.

I would point out that if your other buyers knew they had purchased an EU model in an unsealed box then they might not be so accommodating as I tried to be.

The phone has not been "used" for any other purpose whatsoever and only touched when taking photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment