August 3, 2007

My library card, a passport to . . . revenge

I have been an eBay member since 1998, back when people still said things to me like, "You send money to strangers?" or "How do you know a personal check is legit?" This was years before PayPal was invented.

So it was a surprise to be swindled on eBay when I recently purchased a flash drive/digital voice recorder. Having difficulty getting that shoddy piece of crap to work, I showed it to a techie friend, who said he suspected it was a bootleg item made with pirated software. To my further annoyance, I paid $10.95 for postage and the thing came in a tiny padded envelope with .92 cents' imprinted.

I dutifully tried to contact the seller. "Try to resolve trading disputes by communication." That's the eBay way. The seller's phone number eBay gave me was an unlisted private landline in Louisiana and unanswered, of course.

Enter SUPER REFERENCE LIBRARIAN, Bruce, who traced the domain holder's name, email and home address to someone in England within five minutes. I emailed "John" directly and asked for a refund. Right. So I forwarded Bruce's email to eBay and my short version of the sordid tale.

Guess what! John (if that IS your real name) is not a registered eBay user ANYMORE!

That will teach him to tangle with SUPER REFERENCE LIBRARIAN. Thanks, Bruce. My hero.

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