WHAT TO DO IF YOU INADVERTENTLY BUY A NON-GENUINE PRODUCT
Is AMD taking serious market share with Threadripper?
There’s an old saying about a lumberjack who once said “I’ve changed the handle six times and the head seven times but this is still the best axe I’ve ever owned”. It’s clear after that many changes that the axe was not the one he started with. But what about when you buy a smartphone? At what point does a “refurbished” phone become a “fake”?
That’s the situation Dan found himself in when he recently purchased an iPhone on eBay. He picked up one of Apple’s handsets on Ebay but discovered it was not as it seemed.
“It’s got a genuine apple logic board inside it but that is literally the only genuine component left in it as far as I can tell. Even the casing is a poor replica with bad typefaces. Screen is dim, the casing is poor and has bad typography on it; the charger is a poor fake; the headphones are fake; the box is a bad quality reprint,” said Dan.
Dan paid for the item through PayPal. After receiving the poor quality “refurbished” unit, Dan did some research and discovered that while the seller in question had over 23,000 positive reviews, suggesting they were a legitimate seller, it’s likely the placing of the positive reviews was automated. There were a few negative reviews for the seller and all pointed to “dodgy counterfeits” said Dan. And further research found negative comments about the seller on other forums like Ozbargain and Whirlpool.
So, if this happens to you, what can you do? Ebay has a page that takes some finding with instructions for “Your item didn’t match the listing, or it arrived faulty or damaged”. The onus is on you to send it back, using tracked delivery with the issue of who pays depending on why you want to return the item. There are also instructions on printing the return label and other information.
PayPal also has a dispute resolution process. That process can take some time and if you and the seller can’t come to an agreement on how to resolve the issue then PayPal can step in and decide the outcome.
In Dan’s case, PayPal stepped up and said that they would be refunding him although he was still waiting for the money to come through.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID THE SAME SITUATION?
1. BUY FROM REPUTABLE DEALERS
This is easy to say but can be harder to do. In Dan’s case, he followed the first step we should all go through when buying online and checking the seller’s reviews. In this case, the weight of numbers passed the “sniff test” with over 23,000 positive reviews.
But it’s worth doing a secondary check of the seller’s name to ensure they aren’t flooding their account with positive reviews. And look at the negative reviews. If there’s a pattern then steering clear might be wise.
2. BUY FROM LOCAL SECOND-HAND DEALERS Many local second-hand outlets offer used gear like smartphones and computers at decent prices. And, you have the advantage of being able to go to the seller directly if there’s a problem. Good dealers will often go a step further to ensure their reputation is maintained. For example, the display on a computer I purchased from a second-hand dealer developed a fault and the they replaced it even though it was out of warranty.
3. MANY BIG-NAME BRANDS SELL REFURBISHED GEAR Although you won’t save as much as you would with used gear, Apple, Lenovo, Dell and others all offer new or factory refurbished gear at good discounts with full new-product warranties.
NEED HELP? EVER HAD AN ISSUE AS A CONSUMER? INVESTIGATOR CAN HELP.
If you’ve had an issue or had something happen and you think investigator could help, email your problem to investigator@pcandtechauthority. com.au
ANTHONY CARUANA has worked for almost every major masthead in the Australian IT press. As an experienced IT professional – having worked as the lead IT executive in several businesses, he brings a unique insight to his reporting of IT for both businesses and consumers.