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Thread: Odd situation. Am I in the wrong? (warning: long read)

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    Default Odd situation. Am I in the wrong? (warning: long read)

    This is about as odd a situation as I've come across since selling on eBay, although I've got another odd one that is 'in progress' and I'm just sitting on for now.

    In this case I sold a copy of Jedi Knight Jedi Academy for the PC. It was in excellent condition. From my listing, and entirely accurate:
    Quote Originally Posted by listing description
    Disc 1 has a couple fingerprints and a few very light scratches, but is shiny and new-looking. Disc 2 I don't think had ever been out of the case until I removed it to check its condition. Needless to say, it is perfect.
    That listing ended on Feb 22nd, I was paid right away and shipped right away. On April 8th I received the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by buyer
    I apologize for not contacting you sooner. I have yet to send you feedback because I was out of town on a family emergency. Upon returning home I attempted to download the game on my computer. It seems that there are missing files on the disc #1 which prompts me to insert disc #2. Upon doing this the required file is not on the disc. Also disc 2 has issues with the content being recognized on my computer. Believe me i've tried everything, blogs etc., but to no avail. My computer is windows XP plenty of memory. I know there was a seven day return on this item, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I couldn't meet that requirement. I have a very disappointed little boy over here that wants this game. Is there any way we can look for a resolution... Please Help!
    and I replied with:
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius
    Hi,
    I'm sorry I won't be able to do anything directly about getting the game working for your son, as I'm not a tech troubleshooter. While I doubt it will help his disappointment, I guess I can offer a partial refund. Please understand that the return policy is in place because I do not wish to be running a rental service. Also, please be aware that I've had to pay eBay and Paypal fees for this auction/transaction, so with shipping considered, the amount I made is significantly less than what you paid. Also, the prices these are selling for is now less than it was, so I'll also be making less if I re-sell it (plus another round of fees).
    Okay, so all that said, I'm am willing to offer a $30 partial refund upon return of the item in the same condition it was sent. As I see in the item description, disc 2 was like new, and disc 1 had only a few light scratches. If that doesn't match the condition now, please reconsider as I'll probably offer a lesser refund or simply return it to you (I only really say this because I have a son and know how hard they can be on CD discs!). That $30 looks like it will be enough to purchase a different copy of the game (since the price has dropped), which will hopefully make your son happy. Honestly, I'd expect any other copy to give you the same results, since there was no damage to the one you have now.

    Sincerely,
    Bradley
    Yes, I was pretty skeptical and maybe a bit snarky, but still serious with my offer. The original sale price was 37.50+2.85 shipping. Today (16 days later and forgotten about) I got the following reply:
    Quote Originally Posted by buyer
    Sorry I'm just getting back to you. I will chalk this up as a loss and a lesson learned. Simply because your conditions are very clear on your site. Thanks for considering the return, however I stand to loose shipping costs if I send the game back and the conditions is not to your satisfaction. The email was a bit of a sermon which was very effective because I will not be returning the game. Disk one is extremely corrupt with duplicate files, missing files etc. As far as I can tell the code had been compromised which allowed for this to happen and disk two, my computer can't read it, new looking or not it was compromised as well. You said it was in good condition but you never said it would work. So my loss. Well I had good intentions for my kid. Take care.
    The only other relevant bit of info I can think of is that I never actually installed or played this game, so it is entirely possible (though incredibly unlikely) that the problems this person is having are legitimate and not user error. My return policy states that shipping charges won't be refunded (paypal makes that kind of moot, though), but I still feel my voluntary refund offer was fair, and can't for the life of me understand why they wouldn't take it, considering the total loss they seem to be taking now.

    So, if you've made it this far, you have to leave me a comment. Am I being a douche? Is this person trying to get something for nothing? What do you think?

    Me, I think this person has a problem with their computer or something. Because of this, they think the disc(s) is corrupt and that I knowingly sold it to them that way. And since they believe I'm the internet devil, they won't return the item since I so cruelly insist that it be in the same condition that it was sent to them. Or maybe they scratched the hell out of it.

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    Default

    I can only tell you that this is why I ALWAYS inspect the discs by running software like Nero SpeedDrive (with the Scandisc feature), Isobuster (check if all files are physically readable), or simply make a 1:1 ISO copy of the disc beforehand. If the game has some stupid copy protection that makes it fail when reading the disc or trying to copy it, I simply install it.

    I once sold a copy of Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within for DOS/Windows. I didn't check the discs before listing them, and the game sold without a hitch. But when the buyer got the discs it turned out that they had NO DATA on them! They were blank! I got them back, and checked that they were original discs, but they simply had no data on them. So I gave the guy a refund. Lesson learned.

    On the other hand, maybe the guy's PC was screwy. I have a copy of Warcraft II Battle.net edition, installed it without any issues (I do this to test the key), and sold it. But then the buyer said that she couldn't get the disc to read on her PC! I got the game back and installed it fine, but I had to give her a refund because she threatened me with a negative (which turned out to be a neutral instead).

    So uh, yeah. I went too much into TL;DR territory or something.
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    I don't think you did anything wrong in this situation. It is possible that the disc went bad over the years, but it's equally possible that their CD-Rom or DVD-Rom drive needs to be cleaned or that their computer just has some issues with installing to the hard drive. I think you went out of your way to offer a significant refund and you certainly didn't overcharge for shipping in the first place, so as far as I'm concerned, you have been more than reasonable in trying to help this person.

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    Default

    They've got to have fucked up the disc somehow. I simply can't understand why they would rather accept $0 than a significant refund otherwise.

    I didn't think your reply was "a sermon," or even particularly snarky. Jesus, you've really gotta walk on eggshells with some people.

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    Default

    Your email seemed pretty reasonable, and I was unable to detect any snarkiness even after you stated you were being such. You gave them quite a reasonable offer for a refund, even after the refund period you grant. I'm pretty sure the issue lies with their CD-ROM drive(s), the cables, or the bus from the IDE connectors to their mobo. Aside from CD-R discs, I haven't ran into any PC CD-ROMs or PC DVDs yet that have "gone bad" over time. Also, the buyer may simply have felt it not worth the trouble to return it and get a refund. Some peoples' priorities are different, and it might have just been a time sensitive thing (their kid wanted it as a present for an occassion), where they came to you looking for a possible technical resolution, rather than a monetary one. At any rate, I think you did everything right. Respond with an email letting the offer stand, and if they don't bite, somehow try to encourage them to leave a positive feedback point before they get a hair up their butt or try to file a Paypal claim.

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    I wouldn't even respond to his last email as there's nothing to be gained by responding now. Sellers need to realize that no matter what you do, you can't always please the criminally stupid or insane.

    The buyer received the exact item described and it's not the seller's fault he can't make it work. Like you said, your job is not to troubleshoot, but to deliver the item purchased.

    I honestly don't see how you're being a dick in any way. Your email was maybe like 1% snarky, but it wasn't like you called him a brickhead mongoloid who should lick your balls. I don't know what these people expect. If it were me, I'd tell him (professionally of course) to either keep the item and shut up or make use of my listed return policy (which includes a 50% restocking fee).
    .

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    You're 100% in the OK here.

    CD's cannot corrupt themselves or lose files unless they are scratched or the mylar label is lifting... it just isn't possible.

    Either he has no idea what he's doing or... well, that has to be it.

    No worries man!

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    Cherry (Level 1) Starwander's Avatar
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    I purchase all my new PC games directly from Amazon.com in brand new condition. I have only encountered one or two games that have been truely defective in my time, although the CD's looked to be in perfect shape data files were missing from the CD. Needless to say until this happened to me I was quite surprised that it could happen with brand new games, although it still can happen.

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    Default

    I agree with everyone else, you were 100% right here. It sounds like you might be lucky the guy doesn't know about Paypal's ridiculous refunding though.

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    Default

    I think that you made a good choice but you could have refund the total because you weren't sure if the disk worked.

    I you full refund and they can return the item, would be great that you check the disk and just re sell it

    But if i was the buyer i would be ok with your answer and partial refund, anyway. Better recover 30 than 0
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