Ebay won’t refund me over a fraudulent stolen laptop listing

I had paid £175, the seller had disappeared and I co-operated with police but it says it can’t help

At the end of last year I bought a laptop on eBay that was being sold by a third-party seller. In February the Metropolitan police emailed me to inform me the laptop had been stolen from the NHS. I returned it, as per its instructions, about 10 days later.

I called eBay to obtain a refund, assuming fraudulent activity would be covered by its money-back guarantee. The seller had, by this time, disappeared from the site.

But eBay informed me that, since 30 days had elapsed, it would not help any further with my loss.

I then contacted American Express, my card provider, to initiate a chargeback, which it did.

However, that was later reversed by eBay because it said I had made no attempt to contact the seller. This seems ludicrous, given the seller is now the subject of a police investigation.

I then made a section 75 claim with American Express, which rejected it on the basis I had paid eBay, rather than the seller. To its credit, it did offer £50 as a goodwill gesture as full settlement.

So I have lost the £175 I paid for the laptop and feel eBay is happy to take its cut of the sale money but no responsibility for fixing the situation.

GN, Ballynahinch

It was a no-brainer that you should be refunded, and we are pleased to say eBay acted swiftly when we contacted it. However, this kind of case does little to instil confidence in its ability to protect buyers from fraudulent sellers.

EBay says: “We are sorry for your reader’s experience. We do not tolerate the sale of stolen property and have refunded them in full. In the rare instance stolen property is listed, we have dedicated teams who work closely with law enforcement to remove the listing and investigate the seller.

“We are investigating this case and will take the appropriate action if we find any evidence of fraud or criminal activity, including liaising with the relevant police force.”

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions


Zoe Wood

The GuardianTramp

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