Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
I was shocked this week to hear of the experience one eBay buyer had when he tried to purchase Microsoft Office 2010 Professional on eBay. It turned out that when it arrived it was clearly pirated but eBay were not helpful about it. This is what he said about his experience:
“I purchased a “Genuine” Microsoft Office 2010 Professional on eBay on 23rd April, 2013 for £120. When it arrived it was obviously counterfeit. The seller refused to accept the item was what he had sent. Microsoft requested it be sent to them as did Action Fraud.
“eBay, on five occasions, told me to return it to the seller despite my telling them that Action Fraud advised that to do so would be breaking the law by assisting in the distribution of counterfeit material.
“Ultimately I sent it to Microsoft and they have provided me with written confirmation that the disc was counterfeit. However, eBay have removed the feedback I left which said ‘Counterfeit disc supplied returned to Microsoft eBay refunded.’
“Thus two things have shaken my faith in eBay:
1.They continue to tell customers not to do what law enforcement ( Action Fraud) advise or they will not help with a refund.
2. When feedback is left in accordance with their rules they remove. The trader is now selling further Office copies with a 100 per cent rating; how can the ratings be trusted?”
Very good point. Why on earth did eBay remove that feedback? It was genuine, was backed-up by Microsoft and Actionfraud and eBay even gave the money back to him. So why did they not remove the seller from the list? Why even remove this feedback as it was honest and would protect other buyers?
The whole point of feedback is to enable buyers and sellers to trust each other. If the feedback is messed about with by eBay itself then we all lose faith.
Microsoft says (as it would say) that it’s dangerous to have pirated software on your computer – that many of these bogus versions put viruses into your machine (actually I can believe that).
If you think you have been sold a pirate, you can get in touch with Microsoft to have the code checked. You should also do, as this buyer did, and get in touch with Actionfraud. However, if you have bought it through eBay, don’t expect too much from them! I think you should certainly kick up a fuss, though, because it’s only by consumers making a stink over bad practice that companies mend their ways!