About

I'm an Aussie who moved to Ottawa, Canada in 2008. I'm always having a moan about something. This is where I moan and whinge about things. Enjoy.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Fucking eBay


A few months ago I found some LTE modems in the e-waste bin at work, they're a model we don't (didn't ever?) sell/use at work. They had the antennas removed from them, since they are the same antennas that can be used with the model that we actually did sell. There were also no power supplies.

I finally got around to listing them on ebay a while later. I had 8 of them, and I ran a fixed price auction accepting offers. Here's the listing:


As you can see, I clearly listed "Does not include anything other than the unit. Does not include the power supply (requires 12V 1A supply with a small barrel connector). Does not include antennas (uses RP-SMA connection)."

I sold the first 7 of them, no issues whatsoever. Each one was carefully boxed up and shipped out the same or next day. All 7 buyers gave me positive feedback. One buyer wanted his for use in Guatemala, so we had some back and forth discussion regarding the radio band compatibility, and I preinstalled OpenWRT for him, including installing the web UI module for configuring the LTE module, so it was ready to go out of the box. He was very happy.

Then I sold the 8th one, apparently to someone who cannot read.

A couple of days after shipping it out, I get an email from eBay..

"The buyer requested a return because there’s something wrong with the item. Please accept this request and provide a return shipping label as soon as possible.

If you don't resolve this request by Nov 08, 2019, you may be required to issue a refund without the item being returned to you."


WTF. 

Buyer claims "The item arrived with neither antennas nor supplier. it is not a usable item".

Uhh. I responded "The ad clearly states that those are not included."

I figured this would be the end of it. How wrong I was, and how fucking retarded eBay is.

The buyer did not respond, until 6 days later, it has been escalated to eBay.

mmbbaadd has asked us to step in and help to review the case on D-Link DWR-921 4G 3G LTE wifi Router 4-Port unlocked. The case ID is 5213102547

We'll review the case, including any messages that you and the seller sent through eBay. We'll get back to you within 48 hours.

You can view the details of this case in the Resolution Center.




I click through to view the details of the case, and it claims

"The seller refuses to admit that he sold a device with missing parts and in a non operational condition. I did not get any return instruction nor refund.
Reason for escalation: I can't work things out with the seller"


At this point, eBay very helpfully gives you no way to respond to this. I looked all over the place for support contact details, or a way to reply to the message, but there is nothing. They have done a good job on engineering things so you have no way to contact them.

I ranted on twitter at them:

@eBay Why is it so difficult to contact support? I wanted to escalate an issue immediately, but are required to wait days. Then because the customer escalated first, I get no chance to respond to their false claims? [including the URL of where I was already ranting about this on Facebag].


Eventually they responded to me:

(1/2) When a request is opened, there's a 3 business day grace period for both parties to work on a resolution. If one isn't made, then either party can ask us to step in. We'll evaluate the communication/documentation each party provides and take appropriate action.

(2/2) Please know, the action we take is the same no matter which party asks us to step in. If you don’t agree with our decision, you’re welcome to appeal the case decision> https://ebay.to/2Qe9NEA within 30 days of the case being closed. ~Kate


While I waited for this reply, I got another message from eBay:

Your case was placed on hold temporarily. We will get back to you with an update by Nov 16, 2019.

We have asked for more information from your customer to confirm the condition of the item received. If any additional information is needed from you we will request it through an email.

Ok, I think that this means they are going to be investigating this properly. They are asking the buyer to confirm that they received the unit only, as the listing says that is all that is included. Wrong.

This was the next message:

I am contacting you about the return request (5130592192) filed for D-Link DWR-921 4G 3G LTE wifi  (254254038904) by "mmbbaadd".

I've reviewed the details of the request and found that the best resolution is to ask the buyer to return the item to you for a full refund. Because the item was not as described, we're asking you to pay for the return postage.

I've placed the request on hold for 4 days to give you time to arrange the return postage with the buyer. Please note that if you don't resolve the issue by November 16,2019,we'll issue the buyer a full refund on your behalf without requiring the item to be returned


What the actual fuck eBay?

I replied to the email, expecting it to bounce as coming from an undeliverable email, but surprisingly was accepted. This was my reply:

The item I listed and sold (including 7 times previously with positive feedback) in the description clearly and specifically defines "does not include antennas or power supply". I have included a screenshot.

Customer opened a case to return the item, because it "doesn't include antennas or power supply".

The item the customer received is exactly as it was listed and described. It is unfortunate that the customer failed to read the description of the item.

The screenshots I included:

Ok, so hopefully they will review that, and realise that I clearly stated that the antennas and power supply are not included, and then it will get sorted. Wrong.

The next reply:

Thank you for your response about the D-Link DWR-921 4G 3G LTE wifi Router(254254038904). I understand that you disagree with the buyers return reason because you've been accurate with your listing. I here to assist you.

I can see that you specifically states in the listing that antennas are not included. However, your photos shows, that the antennas are included Every seller is required to post the items original photos/condition.With this, the buyer is eligible to return the item.

I suggest that you provide means of return so that you can get the item back before issuing a refund.

I trust that I was able to assist you today. Thank you and have a great day!




"Have a great day!" Yeah. I'll get right on that. You know what would make my day great? If I didn't have to continue arguing with you about this crap, and you just solved this properly.

OK, let's try this again.

Hi Shanna,

Thank you for your response to my email, addressing my concerns that I have with this transaction. I have been an eBay buyer and seller for 20 years, completing I don't know how many transactions perfectly in that time. Having a 100% positive feedback rating, and being able to resolve the couple of minor issues I've had previously directly with buyers or sellers without having to ask for assistance from eBay are things that I pride myself on.

I do understand the customer's frustration, and disappointment, that they have received less than they were expecting, however what they received is exactly what was described in the listing. I have previously sold 7 of this item, via this listing, and none of those other buyers had any issues, and all of them gave me positive feedback for all of those transactions.

I did not have physical access to the items I was selling as I was not in the same location at the time I created the listing, so I was unable to take and use my own photos, which I would normally do, and instead I used the manufacturer's images from their website. I recognise that two of three images in the listing show the non included antennas. This is why I stressed in the short, concise, and clear description of the item that they are not included.

The second image shows the item/device exactly as the customer received it, with no antennas attached. In no way was I attempting to be misleading with the images in the listing.

All that aside, the "missing" antennas, which the buyer is disputing, are optional. They are not at all required for the item which the buyer received to be functional. It works without them. I say this based on the fact that I work for a service provider with thousands of customers using these devices, across many sites, many of which do not even have the optional antennas installed.

This is why I disagree with their statement of "The seller refuses to admit that he sold a device with missing parts and in a non operational condition. I did not get any return instruction nor refund."

The device is perfectly operational. It was tested by me to make sure of that before I shipped it to the buyer, because I don't want unhappy eBay customers, and I know you don't either.

The only part the buyer can possibly claim is "missing", for the item to be fully operational, is a compatible power supply/adapter. There's no power adapter shown in any of the images in the listing, and the description also specifically says there is not one included. This adapter is any 12v 1A supply, which is also specified on the device itself. Most people have a junk drawer or box containing power adapters so they can provide this themselves, or they are buying one to replace a failed unit (which would mean they also had the antennas), which I presume the other purchasers of this listing did.

Alternatively, perhaps the other buyers did not have a compatible power supply, so they bought one, probably off eBay, like this item for example, for $5: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/12V-2A-3-5mm-Power-Supply-Adapter-for-D-Link-DIR-655-DIR-825-855-Wireless-Router/382815657700?hash=item5921975ee4:g:i5wAAOSw8KRceV9z

I would like to find a resolution to this issue which the buyer, eBay/you, and myself find acceptable. To that end, I am willing to provide a partial refund so that the the buyer can obtain a compatible power supply if they don't have one, and even the optional antennas, which I see also available on your site for around $2.

Please let me know how we would like to proceed resolving this. You can call me on [redacted] if that is preferable to corresponding via email.

Regards,
Simon

A while later I get a reply..


Thank you for getting back to eBay about the D-Link Router 4-Port. I understand that you would like to know how to proceed with this return since you were able to describe the item correctly. Rest assured that I’m here to help you on what you’ll need to do next to resolve your concern.
Simon, I really do appreciate the effort that you have exerted just to resolve the issue. At this time, we have placed the case on a temporary hold to allow time for you to arrange return shipping for your buyer, or provide a resolution such as partial refund. If you fail to do this, the claim will be closed and a refund will be issued to your buyer without requiring the item to be returned. Obviously, we don't want to go this route so we encourage that you work with your buyer through this return.

I want you to know that I find it truly amazing that you haven't received any defect for any of the 5 transactions you've had within the last 12 months. I'm particularly impressed that you promptly responded with your buyer's return request as it shows how much committed you are in providing excellent service. Kindly continue to communicate with them. I assure you that you will have our unending support in your selling endeavors.

I am glad that I was able to help you on how you’ll proceed with this return, and I wish you all the best in your future eBay transactions.



First of all, if I described the item correctly, why are we proceeding with a return at all?!

Second of all, what kind of shitty sellers does eBay have that managing all of 5 transactions in a year without one defect is "truly amazing"? Not to mention the fact that I have done closer to 20 transactions in the last year, all with no defects. Ridiculous.

I replied:

I attempted to contact the customer to offer a partial refund, however when I view the case, my only option is to issue a full refund.

How do I go about contacting the buyer and offering him a $20 refund, so that he can spend $7 to buy the power supply and optionally the antennas, in a manner that if he accepts will allow the case to be closed properly?

Reply:

Thanks for reaching us back regarding the "Router 4-Port" (254254038904) sold to "mmbbaadd". I learned that you would like to contact the buyer and offer a $20.00 refund. I appreciate how you have been professional and cordial with every intention to work things out with your buyer. Your selling practice is impressive as shown by your constant communication. Please know that the professionalism you’ve exerted in handling this concern is indeed commendable. Allow me to help you further also allow me to provide steps on how to send monkey through PayPal.

I provided you the link on how you can contact the buyer and offer a $20.00 refund, just click this link I provided and you will be redirected to the page where you can send the buyer a message: https://www.ebay.ca/contact/sendmsg?item_id=254254038904&recipient=mmbbaadd&message_type_id=14

Once the buyer agreed to accept the refund amount $20.00, simply follow the steps below on how to send money. You can use PayPal to send money to anyone with an email address, even if they don't have a PayPal account set up. (They'll need to open one to get the money, though.)


Then it falls off into canned response land..


So contacting eBay support has now pretty much become a waste of time.

I messaged the buyer and made the offer directly:

Hi Arie,

I have been corresponding with eBay trying to find a resolution to our issue. The suggested resolution is for me to give you a partial refund for the item.

Even though my listing states that the antennas and power supply are not included, eBay says that you may have mistakenly thought that the antennas were included, as they are shown in 2 of the images in the listing. I used D-Link's images from their product page, as I didn't have the devices to hand to take my own photos of for the listing.

The antennas are optional, they are not required for the device to be functional. My company has thousands of these devices deployed, and many do not have the antennas installed, and they work fine. The antennas actually make very little difference to the signal strength.

The only part required for the device to be perfectly usable is the power supply, which is not shown in the images in the listing, and the description also states that it is not included.

However, I would like for us to come to an arrangement that we both find acceptable. If I had a power supply and the antennas for these units, then I would just send them to you. Unfortunately I don't, I borrowed the power supply and antennas from a different model in order to test the devices as working before I shipped them out.

The device needs any power supply rated for 12V at 1A to work, with a 3.5mm x 1.35mm plug to fit, and any antennas with RP-SMA connectors will fit and are compatible. Looking on eBay, I see that a compatible power supply can be purchased for $5, eg item number 382815657700, or they can be found on Amazon or NewEgg etc for less than $10, and the antennas for $2, eg item number 312206376838.

As a result, I would like to offer you a refund of $20, to cover the cost of the power supply and antennas which were not included, so that you can purchase them both for $10 or so, with the other $10 because I am sorry for your inconvenience.

If this is acceptable I will send it immediately.

The buyer gives me this lovely response:

It is unacceptable! I cannot use this router without  neither the antennas nor the power supply. 
If I that the supplied is without the ante as and without the power supply I would not buy.
As a matter of fact the picture of the router in your advertising  clearly shows the antennas. For me it is very astonishing that eBay considers it as my mistake.
It was your misleading. 


Hmm, I consider that to be more than reasonable, and it is an offer that I would accept if I had not read a listing properly, and bought something erroneously, consider I would then end up with what I thought I was buying, and paying less for it than I originally did..

Frustrated, I responded again:

I am sorry that you did not read the listing properly and you purchased something other than you were expecting. The listing explicitly states that the power supply and antennas are not included.

I previously sold 7 of these to other people and they all gave me positive feedback as they received exactly what the listing described.

I am offering to refund you $20 so that you can spend $10 and buy the power supply and antennas that you incorrectly thought were included.

At that point you will have exactly what you thought you were buying. Can you please tell me why you don't find this to be an acceptable resolution?

Another lovely reply:

It is unacceptable. You were missliding and you still avoid getting me the refund. You offer arrived too late well after I had to seek and buy another solusion. 
Ebay please step in and help me to get my money back. 

 another 


You know what? Fuck this. I am done.

eBay has been completely worthless in supporting me as a seller. I have been more than reasonable, considering the buyer is not entitled to a return as far as I am concerned. Also all this squabbling is over $7 worth of non included parts, and that is only if you include the $5 power supply which explicitly says is not included, and is not pictured, so at best the buyer can argue for the $2 antennas he doesn't even need not being included. I have already offered the buyer 10x this as compensation, but he is being unreasonable.

I reply to him:

If you look at the listing, you will see that the description clearly says "Does not include anything other than the unit. Does not include the power supply (requires 12V 1A supply with a small barrel connector). Does not include antennas (uses RP-SMA connection)."

I do not appreciate you claiming that I am being misleading when I clearly stated that the power supply and antennas were not included. It is not my fault that you did not read the listing properly. The same listing that 7 other people bought and had no issues with. If you claim it is because the pictures show antennas, which is why you thought they were included.. well the pictures don't show the power supply, so you have no reason to think that is included.

I have been more than reasonable in offering you a partial refund to buy the parts that you incorrectly thought were included. It is not my fault if you bought something else before trying to resolve this, when all you had to do was spend $5 to buy a power supply. If you had done so and then told me that is what you had to do then I would have been reasonable and refunded you for the power supply, and/or the antennas, as I have already offered.

You made no attempt to resolve this after I responded to you when you first contacted me, and instead waited to escalate it to eBay.

I am really tired of this, so you know what? Put the unit back in the box, and mail it back to me. When I receive it and find that it is in the same condition as I sent it to you, I will give you a full refund. I will then sell it again to someone else who will have read the listing and will receive exactly what they bought, and be happy like the other 7 people I sold units to.

I await your reply.


He responds:

Showing the picture of the product with the antennas when you sell it without is misleading. All the rest is confusing. I request the full refund. Please send the prepaid return authorization.
EBay please step in. The seller sold me a product that is different from its advertized picture is misleading and I feel absolutely cheated.

Again, continuing to squabble about antennas that he doesn't need, which he could buy off eBay for $2, which I have already offered him a $20 refund to do.

I try again.

I told you in my previous message that I will give you a full refund, when I receive the item back and know that it is in the same condition as it was when I sent to it you, so that I can sell it again. Even after I offer you the refund to cover for your mistake, it's still not good enough?

If I pay for shipping back, how do I know you're even going to send it back? If you don't, then I end up nearly $200 out of pocket, and all because it didn't include $2 worth of antennas that you don't even need, which it clearly said in the listing are not included?

All of your messages and responses have been unreasonable when I have been trying to resolve this, and now it seems that you are attempting to scam me. I've had enough.

His response:

Send me the authorization with the prepaid return. 
It was not my mistake and that’s why I asked eBay to step in to resolve it. It does not look that you understand the damage you made and the seriousness of misleading the customer the way you did.


I try again with eBay support.

I contacted the seller [oops buyer] this morning and told him that I have had enough of this, and if he ships me back the modem I will give him a full refund.

He has just replied, not accepting this and continuing to argue and claim that I misled him. I am really frustrated because of the buyer being so unreasonable about $2 worth of antennas that are not even necessary not being included, and when the listing clearly said they were not.

At this point I feel he is being so unreasonable that if I was to prepay for the shipping, that he would not even ship it back, and then I would be left $180 out of pocket, and with no device to resell to try to get any of my money back. I now feel like the buyer is trying to scam me.

All of his messages and responses to me have been unreasonable when I have been trying to resolve this, making multiple offers of partial and full refunds, and he continues to argue. This is ridiculous.

Apparently this case is going to end tomorrow if there is no resolution and then I will get just get screwed out of both the item and the money, so I am requesting that you either extend the case and/or make a decision as to whether I will the money for the item or not, because he is just going to continue to be unreasonable, and not going to agree to any resolution.

The irrelevant reply:

Thanks for getting back to us, reading from your email I do understand that you don't believe that the buyer will return the item if ever you will send money. I'm here to assist since you have until tomorrow to facilitate the return.

Simon, I can guarantee you that once you pay for the return shipping cost and buyer failed to ship the item back we will closed the case in your favor and no refund will be give to your buyer. So I best suggest that you send money thru PayPal and ask for the buyer's PayPal email address.

I trust I was able to give you assurance that once the buyer failed to ship the item back you win the case.

I try to explain yet again.

My preference is to not pay for the shipping, as I do not believe that I should even have to accept the return.

I have been trying to compromise with the buyer, as he made a mistake by not reading the listing where I very clearly stated that the antennas are not included. These are optional antennas, not at all required, and he could have spent $2 to purchase if he wanted them. I told him that I would have sent them to him at my expense, if I had any to send. 

He continues to argue with me, continuously falsely claiming that I was misleading, which I take exception to, and refusing to accept any of the offers I make, including partial refunds to more than cover him purchasing the optional antennas, and even a full refund if he ships the item back to me at his expense, which I feel I am being very generous with, when as far as I am concerned it is not my fault that he didn't read the listing properly. 

This was not an issue for any of the 7 other buyers who all received exactly what they were buying based on the listing, and gave me positive feedback. 

My hope is that you will agree with me, and tell the buyer that it is unfortunate that they failed to read the listing properly, and that they are not entitled to return the item, as they received exactly what was described in the listing. 

If this is not the case, then my next offer is for the buyer to pay to return the item at his expense, as it was his error, and I will refund the item and original shipping cost. I think this is more than reasonable. 

I should not end up being penalised because of the buyer's mistake. Between the shipping cost I will end up being out of pocket, and the seller's fees I have had to pay, I will end up making pretty much no money, and if you close this case and refund the buyer then I will be out for my item worth $100, which would make me wonder why I should continue to sell things on ebay at all. 

I have been using ebay for 20 years and always had a 100% positive rating, so I find it very frustrating and disappointing to even have to go through this process when my listing could not have been made any clearer as to what the item did and did not include. 

To reiterate, I would like it if you could review the listing, and see where I specifically stated that antennas are not included, and consider that the buyer is requesting a refund because the antennas are not included, to which it should be obvious that the buyer is not entitled to a return or a refund. 

Here we go again with useless responses:

Thanks for getting back to us in regard to the case 5213102547. I fully understand that you listed the item that is does not come with antennas but the buyer insist on returning the item because they do not get the antenna. I know it would be a big lost for you if you will refund the buyer without getting the item back and I do not want that to happen. Let me clarify the situation and give you some option to consider.

Simon, for an update, the case hold will be released on November 16, and we need you to make an action because if you don't you will lose both money and the item. That is why my teammates are encouraging you to facilitate the return.

This is my simple suggestion, you can ask the buyer to accept a partial refund for them to buy their own antennas if it is just $2. We cannot require the buyer to return the item on their own cost because they opened a valid return. I checked the listing and see that on the description it says that the antennas are not included but on the pictures it clearly includes the antennas. Maybe that it the reason why the buyer claims that it was misleading.

I would like to highlight how accepting returns and providing immediate solution to your buyer will benefit you as a seller:

•         This won't count as a "case closed without seller resolution" towards your seller performance standards.
•         PayPal funds for the sale, which were placed on hold when the return was opened, will be released and applied to the refund.
•         Your eBay and PayPal fees will be automatically credited to your account when you issue a refund.
•         You may receive better Feedback and detailed seller ratings as a reflection of your professional behavior.
•         If you offer free returns, regardless of the reason for returning the item, you become eligible for free return protection and can issue less-than-full refunds if the item is returned damaged or with missing pieces.

I trust my communication was clear and I was able to explain the things you can do next.
Simon, your time and understanding for this process is highly commendable. Thanks for choosing eBay!

I'm really pissed off with this now.

Hello Abby,

If you review the message I sent, or any of my previous messages you will see that I have already offered the buyer a $20 refund for him to buy the $2 antennas which he does not even need. He refused this. This is one of the reasons why he is being unreasonable.

This case handling has been very disappointing. As I feel that you are not going to come to the correct conclusion, especially when an item I described correctly has been accepted as a valid return request, which it is not, and I am going to end up getting ripped off for my $100 item by the dishonest buyer, I give up.

I asked him to tell me his PayPal email address so I could send him the money for the shipping to return my item. He did not respond. Just like he did not respond to me after our initial contact, and instead waited and then escalated the case instead of trying to resolve it. Another reason he is being unreasonable. I believe he is now just wasting time so that the case will expire, you will refund him the money which you have already taken from me, and he will get to keep my item. This is theft.

A previous agent told me to use a returns dashboard to refund the shipping, but there is no such thing that I can see, and the only option I have available in the case view is to issue him a refund. I have now done this, as I want to ensure that I will be able to get my item back by responding before the case expires, so that I can sell it again to another buyer who is not dishonest and will try to scam me, and attempt to recover some of the money I will lose from having to pay the shipping on an invalid return request.

How is eBay going to make sure that I will get my item back? If the buyer does not send it back to me then I will be out of pocket for $280, as I will have no money and no item. This is unacceptable. I find it insulting that that is the situation eBay has put me in, considering that I have had a 100% positive feedback rating for the 20 years I have been using eBay, and never had any buyer make any claims against me before.

Between this whole utterly ridiculous process, by far the worst experience I have ever had in my 20 years of using eBay, the fact I have paid almost $100 in seller fees in the last 3 months alone, and it seems that eBay is now being complicit and assisting in my being ripped off for $280.. why would I choose to continue selling things on eBay?
And now I am evidently in robot responder canned response land.

Thank you for contacting eBay about the Claim#5213102547. I appreciate that you did your best to issue the refund to the buyer to settle the issue and asked them for their PayPal email address but the buyer is unresponsive. I am here to help you with this.

Simon, I really feel you because I am a seller as well, I did the same thing as well when I encounter the same situation. This is what I did when I encounter that, I contacted the buyer through eBay messages during weekends because most of the time they are busy during weekdays. I was able to get a respond during that time and sent them a return shipping cost for them to return the item. Kindly give your buyer a benefit of the doubt that they are busy so they were not able to respond to you.

As you can see, before you issue the refund, we have asked you to provide a return label or return shipping cost. The reason for this is because we always want you to be successful as a seller on eBay, so as part of an effort to build trust and engagement with potential buyers, sellers are required to pay for return shipping any time an item is not as described. Being in the selling business, online selling in particular is really tough especially if our customers complain about the item we sold them.

Paying for return shipping is a sign of good customer service. Buyers tend to go back and shop more from seller's who offer returns and pay for return shipping.

As part of our safety measure to protect our sellers, we will continue to run detection systems in the background that identify buyers who abuse the system and take action to deter them from filing returns.

I would like to highlight how accepting returns and providing immediate solution to your buyer will benefit you as a seller:

•         This would not count as a ""case closed without seller resolution"" towards your seller performance standards.
•         PayPal funds for the sale, which were placed on hold when the return was opened, will be released and applied to the refund.
•         Your eBay and PayPal fees will be automatically credited to your account when you issue a refund.
•         You may receive better Feedback and detailed seller ratings as a reflection of your professional behavior.
•         If you offer free returns, regardless of the reason for returning the item, you become eligible for free return protection and can issue less-than-full refunds if the item is returned damaged or with missing pieces.

I trust I've explained why we take this approach. Our experience is that a better returns experience for buyers will ultimately drive more sales for you as a seller.

Thank you for choosing eBay and have a great day!

Sincerely,
Maria N.

eBay Customer Support

Oh FFS. I have already said multiple times that there was no option to provide a return label. The only option the case gave me was to refund the buyer.

And what about the earlier agent who acknowledged that I had described my item correctly? That alone should have invalidated the whole claim and all of this crap.

I message the buyer and request his paypal email address so I can send the shipping cost (more money I will likely lose) so he can return the item. There is no reply.

At this point it's after 11PM and the case is going to expire, so eBay is going to refund the buyer, and just screw me. The only option I have in the case view is to offer a refund, so this is what I do. Now the buyer has the money, and the item, and I am out $40 shipping.

I email support again:

I am beginning to think that these are just all canned responses and there's actually no human reading any of these messages, as the responses are repetitive and not answering my questions. 

How is ebay going to make sure that the buyer returns my item? 

The case time limit forced me to issue the refund as I had no other options. There was no option for me to send only the return shipping cost, either through ebay nor PayPal, as the buyer will not respond to give me his PayPal email address. 

I get this back:

Good day!

Thank you for getting back to us. I understand that you have refunded the buyer even though you have not received the item yet. My name is Desiree and allow me explain how the return process works here in eBay.

When a buyer opens a return request, the seller has 3 business days to respond and provide a resolution to the buyer. If you are not able to work things out with your trading partner, after the third business day, either of you can ask eBay to step in and help.

After asking eBay to step in and help, the most likely scenario is that the seller will be instructed to facilitate the return within 4 days. If you tried to facilitate the return by sending a return label, we will notify the buyer to use the return label provided to return the item. The refund will not be issued until the item is delivered to the seller's return address.

In your situation, you opted to facilitate the return by asking the buyer for their PayPal email address. For this, if the buyer did not respond within the hold period that we have provided, then we will either provide an additional time for the buyer to respond or will notify them to return the item at their cost.

I apologize that you felt that you had no other choice but to refund the buyer due to the hold that was placed on the case. However, this hold period was for you to try and facilitate the return. If they have not responded by the end of the period, we will not hold you at fault for this and the buyer will not get their money back until you received the item.

We will only initiate the refund if you fully did not try to provide any means of return even if we have instructed you and the buyer has provided the necessary information to do so.

Since this case is already closed due to the voluntary refund that you have processed, we can only advise you to continue contacting the buyer to make arrangements for the return of the item. We will not be able to step in on this case since it is already closed.

I hope that you will be able to work things out with the buyer and that you will get your item back soon.

Thank you for choosing eBay and I wish you luck on your future transactions.

Sincerely,

Desiree D.
eBay Customer Support

Oh FFS. I give up. Can nobody read any more? How many times do I have to tell them the same things, including the fact that their case gave me no option to only refund the shipping, and the only option they gave me was to give a full refund?

The next day the buyer responds to my request for his paypal email address so I can send the funds for him to return my item, with:

Isn’t the return authorization and shipment slip down through eBay?

OYG. I am so done with this. I reply:

As the case had been escalated there was no option for me to do that. The only option I had was to issue a refund.

The eBay support agents told me to ask you for your PayPal email address so I can send you the shipping cost so that you can return the item.

He finally responds and gives me his email address. I use the USPS website and calculate that it will cost $17.25 USD to send it back via the cheapest method. Sending this to the buyer via PayPal costs me $27 CAD once the exchange rate is done and PayPal puts their BS fees on top.

So right now, I have no item, no payment, I have paid $40 to mail the item to San Diego, and have sent the buyer another $30 to send it back, which eBay will do nothing about if he does not, leaving me $70 out of pocket plus the $100 value of the item.

If I manage to get it back, and sell it again to someone who can read, and get the $100 for it, then it's down to $30, and then I have to pay eBay 10% of however much it sells for, including the shipping, which in this case was $14, so now I'm down to making $16, if the buyer returns the item, and I can sell it again.

What a great experience eBay! Have a great day!

Holy fuck. Just when I thought this was over, buyer responds..

eBay requires to send the return product insured. Please add the insurance fee to the shipping cost. Please specify the amount you want it to be insured. Also please specify the name of the recipient.

Sigh. I reply.

There is only insurance required when eBay is holding the funds. I have already released them to you, so now you just need to return the item. This is already costing me $70 in shipping so I am not interested in paying even more money to get my item back. I am also not interested in paying PayPal more fees to transfer you more money.

Please send it to me via First-Class Package International Service for $17.25 as I sent you this morning.

And the recipient's name is my name, which is on all of these messages, and my seller name, ie Simon Quigley.

So now we wait for next item of bullshit.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Thursday, November 2nd


I spent the day at home of not doing much, except working on the arduino wifi light switches I've been developing for a few weeks, using the cheap ESP8266 modules I discovered recently, along with having set up an MQTT broker (I may resurrect my techblog to go into more detail about this stuff, since anyone reading this probably has no interest..).

I decided to finally get over to the hospital to visit my friend who had been in there for 5 weeks at this point, which I had been telling myself each day I would go and visit, and not getting there. We sat and chatted for an hour and a half or so. She tossed me a stress ball when I got there, which had a smiley face on it. Had a smiley face, since during the time we spent chatting I was playing with it, and managed to almost completely rub the face off just through squashing and rolling it in my hands while we talked.

We had some interesting conversation, sarcastic and cynical at times, but almost entirely humorous. It helped me be distracted and feel a bit better, hopefully it had the same effect for her. The topic of medications came up, perhaps since I think she's been prescribed almost all of them at some point, and we talked about the trazaodone I had been prescribed, and how it wasn't working. She mentioned that she had had that issue before, and it was caused by a vitamin D deficiency.

I later "did some research" (ie googled) about trazodone and vitamin D, and found some interesting articles about how it depletes your vitamin D, so I can see how it may not work very well if you don't have any vitamin D for it to deplete.. I also found articles about vitamin D deficiency being related to depression, so perhaps if I am vitamin D deficient (which apparently most people are), this could have contributed to the depression I have been suffering from recently, more than usual.

I'm very cynical, and believe almost nothing I read on the internet without being able to find multiple sources, and proper citation of medical studies and theories etc, but I found sufficient sources to back this up that I felt it was worth more follow up, ie asking the doctor about it when I went to see them next week.

My housemate had bought 2 tickets for us to go and see Carol Burnett at the NAC, so when I realised the time, I made my way home to get them. He had been sick all week and decided not to go. I advertised the spare ticket on Facebook, but no-one saw it in time, so I ended up going on my own. It was a very funny show, and I had a good time.

Afterwards, I realised to do the laptop repair I had offered my friend, I needed an external hard drive case, which was on my desk at work. I drove to the office, and went in to get it. Opening the door caused the alarm to immediately go off for some reason, which I was able to stop and disable by putting my code in. I messaged the president and let him know I had made the alarm go off, as the alarm company would be contacting him about it. Apparently the "glass break" sensor on the door had erroneously triggered, at least this is what the alarm company reported had caused the alarm to go off when I opened the door.

I collected the external drive case I needed, and left the office. I hadn't had dinner, between the time I had spent at the hospital, and then at the show, and now realised I was pretty hungry. Being lazy, I decided to go to Burger King on the way home.

I drove there, parked, and when I tried to go inside, thinking it would be nice to sit at a table and eat, I discovered the door was locked, and then noticed a sign on the door telling me that the "dinning room" was closed.

I got back in my car, went through the drive through, which was a very confusing and frustrating experience, as due to my ordering a "whopper with cheese meal" they decided I had somehow asked for "no mayo". I wasn't bothered since I don't really like it, and usually order it that way, but wasn't wanting to be difficult or cause a delay by doing that at this time, so I just went with it, but then thye clarified what I had ordered at the window, so we went through the process of correcting it.

While I was waiting at the window for my food, a vehicle which must have contained people the staff knew entered the drive through, and placed and order, which resulted in the staff whooping and hollering and behaving in an unprofessional manner.

I eventually got my food, pulled over and parked in the parking lot and sat in the car to eat it, and then went home. I don't recall the rest of the evening's events.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Wednesday, November 1st.

Wednesday, November 1st.

I have been posting some of these things on Facebook, but I am reposting them here as I try to start journalling/blogging again. I'm also adding more things here which I didn't put on Facebook.

A friend had reached out to me, and asked me if I wanted to meet up for a coffee while she was waiting around downtown. I said that sounded good. She's a life coach, and that was some of why she reached out to me. She doesn't like having her friends ask her to help them, because they expect to not pay, and it's what she does for a living, so spending time giving people advice for free doesn't pay the bills..

I said I understood, as I used to get (ab)used to fix people's computers all the time, since it was something I was good at, but that didn't mean I wanted to do it for everyone, or for free all the time. That said, I still do it every now and then, if someone says they have a problem, but aren't asking me to help/fix it, as I choose to help them out. She didn't know I had the computer knowledge that I have, and I asked her about what her issues were, and it was that her Macbook had died, and she had been quoted $450 or more for a new motherboard and keyboard to fix her 2012 Macbook.

Someone had lent her a computer to use in the mean time, until she can get hers fixed, and I said that I would help with the data recovery/transfer if she wanted, for free, since I enjoy it, in some masochistic way. She was reluctant to accept, so I told her to go back to the repair place, and get a quote from them for transferring her data, and then she could decide if she wanted to pay them to do it, or have me do it for her.

Moving on, we started talking about me and my recent struggles. I showed her the plan that the psychiatrist and I had come up with at the hospital, which she read through, and acknowledged that it was all very short term things, and that I needed a plan for longer term.

We talked about "value" and "purpose", something I'm having a lot of issues with. I feel that my value comes from my job, and my partner. When I have a job that doesn't make me happy, which I'm not getting any satisfaction or sense of achievement from, and no partner, I feel like I am worthless.

This is the reason I got so depressed on Sunday night, as a result of being turfed out by the girl I loved, after she'd given me some false hope of perhaps getting back together, and because I just wanted to see her and talk to her, and I barely saw her for a couple of minutes before she threw me out, and I knew that the next morning I had to go back to work, to my job where I feel under-utilised, which causes me frustration, which makes me drink too much, which makes me obnoxious, and to have no memory of my actions, which was a contributing factor to why my girlfriend got fed up and left me, taking away most of what I feel gives me value.

I also don't know what my purpose is. This lead to us discussing what I would do, if I could do anything. I was hesitant to respond to that, and have been hesitant to discuss it since, including here and now, but I told her that I want to be doing something with renewable energy, like solar and wind power, in order to provide power for lighting, cooking, water purification etc, for developing areas, in order to help people to be able to get a (better) education.

My hesitation to talk about this, is because I feel it's something that's out of reach to me. I don't have any qualifications in anything to do with renewable energy, other than having played with solar stuff for Burning Man and camping trips the last few years.

She suggested I look into contacting some NGOs, applying to work for them, because the worst thing they can do is tell me no. I have spent a little bit of time recently looking into this, but not really making a proper effort, as I have a couple of concerns, namely that perhaps someone says yes, but then I realise how unqualified I am, or I discover it's not something I want to be doing at all, and then I'm back to square one, with no idea of what my purpose it.

It's a more comfortable situation to be in to know what I want to do, but not doing it, so I don't find out that I can't/don't want to etc.

We ended up chatting for a couple of hours, and then I re-iterated about her getting a quote for the data transfer from her laptop, and that I was happy to do it, especially as an exchange for the time she had given me helping me from her life coach experience and training.

While we had been drinking our coffees, the foam from mine had been getting stuck in my moustache. I really needed a haircut, as I had been very lazy about my appearance for the last few months, probably as part of the depression I had been feeling since the end of my relationship.

There's a barber shop near the coffee shop we'd been in, that I used to go to when I first moved to Ottawa almost 10 years ago. I decided to go back there, having not been there for years, since I was happy with the haircuts and beard trims they do.

After getting my hair, beard, and moustache cleaned up, I felt a little bit better, seeing a tidier version of myself in the mirror.

With conflicted thoughts (and why I haven't discussed this until now), I messaged my ex girlfriend again, and asked if she was available for us to meet somewhere like a coffee shop (rather than her apartment), so we could take for a few minutes. I wanted to discuss Sunday night, as she had messaged me very late the night before, and told me that she was upset because she may have been the last person to have ever spoken to me. Even though what she had done by escalating things and then throwing me out hadn't been fair to me, I didn't think it was fair to leave her feeling upset or guilty about it. What I did was my choice.

She messaged back a few minutes later and said she had just finished work. It was raining, so I asked her if she would like for me to pick her up at work, and drive her near home where we could go to a coffee shop, so she didn't have to walk in the rain. She agreed. I picked her up, and we drove towards her place.

On the way I told her that after consideration of what happened on Sunday night (since I had kept replaying it over and over in my mind), I understood why she had regretted her actions and told me to leave, my reason being because I thought that she realised that while we both missed each other and still loved each other, for us to get back together may not result in things being any better than they were when she broke up with me, and that she's now with someone else, who treats her better than I did, and she didn't want to jeopardise that. She told me that this was correct.

I told her that I wasn't angry with her, and that I just wanted to have this conversation so I could tell her so, and that I understood her reasons, and that I didn't want her to feel guilty or upset for her actions, primarily because it was a mutual (bad) decision for us to see each other on Sunday night, and so it was a shared responsibility.

We arrived at her building, sat in the car speaking for a few more minutes, I told her about my plans to improve things, going back to get counselling again etc, and making an active effort to stop drinking so much and as a result acting in the obnoxious way that I (apparently) do/did.

We then discussed the messaging, and agreed that she wouldn't contact me, except to respond if I contacted her. Also that when we were going to be at the same things, since we are in overlapping social circles, we would try to discuss this (something I had brought up earlier, that we would discuss, and I would perhaps not attend things she was going to be at), or we would arrive slightly earlier so that we had a chance to interact before other people got there.

We hugged, and then she got out of the car, and I left and drove over to St Paul University where I had been going about 18 months (or more, bad memory) ago to see a counsellor, to sign up to start seeing someone again. Unfortunately they don't have anyone available to see me until February :-(

I got on the waiting list anyway, even though by February I may not need the help, since I will have helped myself by then, or had another severe depressive episode and perhaps more successfully injured myself than this time. They gave me a couple of phone numbers of other places that may be able to help me sooner.

Trying to make myself feel a bit better, since between the interaction with my ex gf and the disappointing result of going over to the University, I decided I would go and buy some groceries to make myself some comfort food for dinner, even though I have not been hungry for weeks, and haven't been eating much at all. If I hadn't been drinking so much I might have lost a bit more weight than I have, which I could handle.

I headed over to the supermarket, dragged myself around picking up the things I needed, and then went to the registers. There were a couple of people in the line in front of me. As the person being served tried to finish and pay, the register screwed up. The checkout person kept saying "I've never seen this before" about whatever was on the screen facing them.

They told us to go to another register. I had only unloaded a couple of items from the basket, so I packed them up and wandered over. The woman in front of me had a large amount of things to put back in her cart, so when she came over, I motioned for her to go in front of me, since she had been in front in the other line. She unloaded some of her things onto the conveyor.

There was a guy at this register attempting to complete a transaction which he had tried earlier, but the register had crashed. They rescanned all his stuff, and then as he tried to pay, this register stuffed up. I started to lose what little patience I had. They screwed around with the register for a couple of minutes, mentioning that it seemed to happen after they scanned his airmiles card, and that had happened on the other register too.. and then told us all to go over to the one remaining working register.

The woman in front of me gave up and just left, leaving half her stuff on the conveyor, and the rest in her cart. I should have followed her. I picked up my basket, and walked all the way over to the one remaining register, with the other 10 people or so trying to buy stuff.

In perhaps a very Canadian way, they started saying "oh, you were in front of me over there" or "I just got here, you should go before me", and perhaps because people saw the dejected look I had on my face, I ended up being directed up the line to be second.

The guy who had been in front of the woman and I at the other register had been moved over here, and they scanned all his stuff again. I unpacked my basket again. It gets to the total, and while I should have said "how about you don't scan his airmiles card, in case that's what's crashing the register, and then the rest of us can buy our stuff and go home", I said nothing.

They scanned his card. It crashed the register. Oh your god. I put my arm down on the side of the conveyor. I put my head down on my arm. This was the end of my patience, and my energy. This was probably lucky or else I might have gone postal.

They started screwing with this machine. "Oh, it's done it too.. after I scanned the airmiles card again". I lifted my head up, and I said "Maybe you should have worked out after you crashed the last 2 registers with the airmiles card to not do it to the last working machine?". No response. Critical thinking is probably not one of the skills that a checkout person has.

I put my head down again. Serenity now. They started making an announcement over the PA that "all the registers are froze [sic], and we don't know how long it will be".

I sat down on the floor between the registers. I just wanted to buy some food to go home and make myself dinner after the draining, somewhat crappy afternoon I had had. I waited. I had no patience left. I knew I did not have the energy or mental capacity to drive to another supermarket and collect all the groceries again. I waited.

They made the announcement about the "registers all being froze [sic]" again. That they still didn't know how long it would be. I waited a few more minutes, still sitting on the floor, trying to hold it together. I was done. I got up and walked out, leaving all my stuff on the conveyor.

I tried to leave, but they had locked the door I went to, and just had one door unlocked and there was a staff member standing there to let people out, and not letting people in. He told me to go out that door, I walked over, past him through the door, back to my car.

As soon as I got in the car I broke down. I'd wasted an hour here now, and ended up with nothing. After feeling sorry for myself and having a sad for a few minutes, and thinking about just going home, I decided that I still should probably eat something, since I had not eaten anything since some point on Sunday, maybe, I couldn't remember, and this now being Wednesday night.

I really didn't want something crappy like McDonalds, and I thought about it for a few minutes, and decided I wanted a poutine from Smokes. I was conflicted about this though, as when I had been speaking with my ex gf, she told me that she was going to a show at the venue across the street, and I was concerned that I may somehow see her while I was walking to go into the poutine place, or while I was in there etc.

Again I started thinking about just going home to bed without eating anything, but I knew this probably wasn't a good idea to make myself feel any better after having not eaten for days, so I drove all the way back downtown again. I was feeling very negative at this point, and figured that they would probably be out of potatoes or something when I got there. In actual fact, there was no issue. I got the poutine I wanted, and quite quickly, and I sat down to eat. This almost immediately made me feel a bit better.

I looked through the paper while I ate. I got to the crossword/sudoku etc page, which has the horoscopes on it. I think horoscopes are complete nonsense, but it's my guilty pleasure to read them every now and then when I come across them, mostly so I can think "pff!".

This was the horoscope:


Sigh. On the same page was a recipe for chilli con carne, under the heading "Make it tonight", another nice irony, since that's exactly what I had been at the supermarket trying to buy the ingredients to make, before I ended up here. If I believed in a deity controlling things, I'd also believe they had a sick sense of humour.

I finished my poutine, quickly headed back to my car to limit the risk of seeing my ex gf across the street, and I went home and went to bed. I took a sleeping pill, but it didn't work, and I was up most of the night.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween.. AKA "Happy discount candy eve".

Halloween..

AKA "Happy discount candy eve".

As a result of my post from last night, which some of my coworkers saw as I have them as friends on Facebook, there was some discussion in my office regarding my welfare. This was brought to the attention of management, and I was emailed and told to take some time to work on things to make myself feel better, and to not worry about work or even checking my email for now, until I have worked to make myself feel sufficiently better. I handed over access to my email to a couple of coworkers, let them know what I had most recently been working on, so it was known and could be continued/completed etc without me, and I turned off my email notifications.

I am applying myself to make the best use of my time to work to make things better for myself, and hopefully in a short period of time. I started to work on the plan that the psychiatrist and I put together at the hospital the day before.

I drove to my doctor's office to make an appointment for next week to review my medications and things. They were replacing/upgrading their computers and software, so I couldn't book anything. They told me to call next Monday. I asked if it was likely I would get an appointment next week, "I don't know" was the response. Apparently the doctors are also working reduced schedules due to the computer upgrade so they aren't seeing as many people. Very helpful. I didn't have the energy to push the matter, so I just left, feeling a bit disappointed.

I went over to Costco to get my prescription for trazodone/sleeping pills filled, since they only charge a single $3.89 dispensing fee instead of $12 something that Shopper's charges per medication (and was double charging me for the 75mg and 150mg Venlafaxine pills I take, so I switched to getting only 75mg pills, and I take 3/day) and I'm sick of paying it. A lot of people don't know you can use the pharmacy at Costco without a membership, anyway.. I noticed that the Costco has some brilliant security going on, with a laminated sheet stuck to the computer with all the logins and passwords written on it, where customers can see it:

No automatic alt text available.

I had been trying to go and visit a friend who is in the hospital, but it took a while at Costco to get my prescription filled, and I had plans to setup my projector in the window to project some "virtual reality" ghosts from a video I downloaded recently, but I hadn't done anything about getting it setup, since I lost Monday at the hospital and sleeping, so I went over to Value Village, and picked up a sheet to stick up as a projector screen.

I was still wanting to go visit my friend, but it was getting too late for me to have time to go see her, and get home to set everything up in time. I felt a bit guilty about not going to see her, since I had been messaging for a few days and telling her I would try to get there each day, but then not.

The traffic was also atrocious, I guess everyone was trying to get home by 6pm. It took me about 4 times longer to get home than it would have if the roads hadn't all been clogged up.

I setup the projector, got the ghosts running on the screen/in the window, and then went about trying to get some Halloween music on.

This was a bit of a frustrating endeavour as both of my iPods were dead, and weren't powering up when I was charging them. My "old school" 80GB Classic has the music on it I wanted, and it was refusing to boot up properly, stuck between "please wait, battery very low", and rebooting itself, trying to boot, and going back to the battery message again.

I left it, and found my bluetooth adapter and used my phone instead while I waited. Eventually, after it had rebooted itself who knows how many times (30 something?) it finally booted up.

In the process of looking for cables and adapters to set everything up, I came across my halloween costume I'd made back in 2008 (I think) of Dexter.

So I had a pretty cool setup, with scary ghosts projected, and halloween music (by "Booootie": http://bootiemashup.com/halloween/) playing.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

I put my Dexter costume on, and we had a few groups of kids come around, but not a lot, and it was getting cold outside, so I decided to go to trivia, which I do every Tuesday, and had been thinking about skipping this week.

I went downtown in my costume, and we did trivia. Most people recognised me as Dexter, I presume because I slightly resemble Michael C Hall. Sticking to my plan, I only had 1 beer, rather than the 3 or 4 I would normally, or even more as I had been drinking recently.

The host came dressed as a sloth, which reminded me of this hilarious failed anti marijuana ad campaign from Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rHm8GbTHyE&feature=share

So that was my day. Not really getting anywhere at the doctor's office, not getting over to visit my friend in the hospital as I had been trying to, but managing to do the ghost setup for Halloween I had been hoping to, and managing to go hang out with friends and have a good time at trivia, without drinking excessively.


Monday, 30 October 2017

Depressive Episode


Recently I suffered from another severe depressive episode. My way of "dealing" with it was to post the following status on Facebook, while I sat in my car outside the mental hospital:

"Why is 3 o'clock in the morning always the hour of choice to put on Nick Cave, get depressed and kill yourself? What's wrong with the middle of the day when everyone's awake and ready to call an ambulance?"

This is a quote from the movie (and book?) "He Died With a Felafel in his Hand".

Then my phone ran out of battery and powered off. No one could reach me, and this lead to the police getting involved. After they took me to the hospital, and I made my way home again, I posted the following details of the story. I am back dating it, and reposting it here, with some slight additions:

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

TekSavvy/Rogers Idiocy


I recently had to move house, after the house I was renting was sold to a homeless shelter, who ironically asked us to move out, ie made us homeless.

Anyway, after moving to the new location, I took my cable internet modem with me, and plugged it in at the new location, just expecting the lights to flash up and down while it tried to connect, and fail. To my surprise, it connected and went online.

I called up TekSavvy this morning, to find out about cancelling the cancellation request that I put in a few weeks ago, so I could keep using the service at the new location. I was told that a cancellation can't be cancelled, and that I would need to apply for a new service activation at the new location, costing $65. I was also told that my modem won't work, and I'll need to buy a new one for $99.

When I queried this, asking why the modem that I have that is working will not work, the CSR got stuck in a loop telling me that it will stop working at the end of the month. When I would respond that I understand this, and that it is due to the service cancellation, and ask why it would no longer work on the connection that it currently does, he would repeat that it's going to stop working at the end of the month, and that it's not compatible and won't work.

It obviously is compatible, since it is connected and working. No physical changes need to be made, the service is already connected, all they need to do is update the service and billing addresses that they have on file. I refuse to pay $164 for this, and have to throw away a modem that works perfectly fine.

I know the actual reason, and that is that Rogers are refusing to connect DOCSIS 2.0 modems to the network, however there is no reason for this, especially as they would have allowed it to remain connected forever if I had not moved/cancelled the service.

I have emailed them and opened a case about this, we'll see what their response is. I suspect I'm not going to get very far, but this is ridiculous, and I refuse to pay $164 for nothing. Here's the email I wrote to them:

Hello, I have moved, and I took my cable modem with me. I plugged it in at my new residence, and it works. I called to find out if I can cancel my cancellation, as I now wish to keep the service.

Your CSR told me that a cancellation can't be undone, and so I'll need to pay for a new service activation, which is $65, and that my modem isn't compatible and won't work, so I need to buy a new one for $99.

This doesn't make any sense, as the modem is compatible, because it's working right now. I don't see why I should need to pay $164 for nothing, as the service is already connected and working at the new location. The only thing that needs to change is the billing and service address that you have on file.

Can you please explain both how and why the working modem that I have will somehow magically break at the end of the month and no longer work requiring me to buy a new one, and why I would need to pay $65 for activation of a service that is already activated?

Thanks.

Update: TekSavvy responded:

Justin M. Today at 12:13
Hello Squigley,

Thank you for reaching out to us today.

Since you have not placed a move order for your current service and it is set for cancellation, the current internet you are using is not your own but the person who was previously living at that address. Please do not utilize this connection as you may cause overage charges for someone.

Your modem likely works on the service because the connection and filters are set to work with your current modem but this is not your plan. Once we establish our internet connection to the house then your modem will not work.

Please give us a shout at 1-877-779-1575 if you wish to re-order internet through us.

Thank you and let us know if you have any other questions.

Justin
Online Requests Team
TekSavvy Solutions, Inc.
800 Richmond Street
Chatham, ON N7M 5J5
1.877.779.1575

This seems like utter lies to me. If it's not my service, then why do they require knowing the MAC address of the cable modem that the service is provisioned to, and that I am using?

Why do I have a TekSavvy netblock IP?

It's delivered via Rogers' cable, and if I was to order a new service, then the cable that is already connected would be used, so why would this stop my current connection from working?

I responded:

Hello Justin,

Thanks for your update, however I find the information you have provided very hard to believe. I am a systems engineer for a telephone company, and I have a good understanding of how these systems work.

I have not moved into a residence after the previous person left; the owner/landlord of the property still resides there, and he has Bell DSL. He has never had TekSavvy Internet. He has Rogers basic cable for TV, and this is what I connected my cable modem to, which I relocated from my previous residence.

The MAC address of the modem ties the service to my account, so the Internet connection that is online at the new location is mine, as it is provisioned in your system, and it also has an IP within the TekSavvy netblock, which it would not if it was a Rogers or some other service:

NetRange:       24.52.192.0 - 24.52.255.255
CIDR:           24.52.192.0/18
NetName:        TS1-ROGERS
NetHandle:      NET-24-52-192-0-1
Parent:         NET24 (NET-24-0-0-0-0)
NetType:        Direct Allocation
OriginAS:       AS5645
Organization:   TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TS-1)
RegDate:        2011-06-23
Updated:        2012-02-24
Ref:            http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-24-52-192-0-1

The Internet connection that you would be connecting via Rogers to the property is the connection that is already connected. There are no physical changes required in order for my connection to work. As there are no physical changes required, and the modem I have works, I would still like an explanation of why I am required to pay $164 and replace a working cable modem for no reason.

I could have relocated my cable modem to the new location without informing you of anything, and continued paying my bill each month with no interruption to my service. It seems that is what I should have done instead of trying to do things correctly, and incurring huge charges for nothing.

If you are unable to provide more information and answer my questions, then please escalate this ticket to someone who can.

Thanks.

Update 2: Another response

Leanne R. (TekSavvy Help Centre)
Oct 21, 7:59 PM

Hello Simon,

I am sorry for any inconvenience you have suffered. As a wholesaler we do not directly own the infrastructure. This is why we can not push modems to our Vendors or even complete remote activation's. Our Vendors have deemed these older modems are no longer approved since they are a known cause of congestion on the network. As well they are unable to handle the faster and newer connections.

This has been a slowly phased out but at this time all Docsis 2.0 have been completely phased out and we are no longer able to use them on the network. You can look into your own approved modem from our list on our website. Keep in mind any modem you purchase must match exactly as listed. You will still need to have the services reconnected at your new address since we can not reverse the cancellation. This is for the same reason I mentioned earlier that we do not own the infrastructure and we must follow the rules in place from our Vendors. Even if we could move the service we would still need a approved modem.

If you do decide to get services with us you will need to call in at 1-877-779-1575 to place a new request with a new modem, or have a new modem on hand.

If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Leanne
Online Requests Team
TekSavvy Solutions, Inc.
800 Richmond Street
Chatham, ON N7M 5J5

1.877.779.1575

OK, so now they're telling me what's really going on. I already knew this was the case, that Rogers are charging a ridiculous fee and TekSavvy are passing it on, and that Rogers are the ones refusing to allow my modem to be connected again.

Was that so hard to answer my questions truthfully? Why did it require telling me a bunch of lies first? Is Justin M being malicious, or is he just ignorant and likes to make things up when he doesn't know the answers?

The next question is why TekSavvy's connection fee is $65, yet Start.ca only charge $50.

Update 3: I give up. Rogers sucks.

I responded to Leanne:

Hello Leanne,

Thank you for your update; and including honest, truthful, and correct information.

Due to the high cost involved with reconnecting my service, which I understand are caused by Rogers, I will be finding another option for Internet service.

The cancellation can go through as already planned, and this ticket can be closed.

Thanks.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Thanks for nothing Comwave


I found an ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter) at Value Village recently, which is a device that's used to convert analogue phones into VoIP phones, for a few dollars. I guess I didn't learn my lesson from last time, when I bought a Linksys PAP2T that was locked to Vonage..

This one is a Linksys 2102-R, where the -R means it's locked to someone. I setup my machine to block most network traffic from it, since that was how I got screwed last time, when the Vonage locked one phoned home and set itself in a state where I couldn't unlock it..

I plugged it in, and while running a packet capture I saw it attempting to perform DNS lookups for "dmsc.comwave.net", which appears to be Comwave's provisioning server.

I googled around on how to unlock the device, and for another provider which doesn't exist anymore, someone worked out a trick of how to unlock it. I wanted to see if that might work against this one, so I allowed it out to the Internet, but once I saw that it was attempting to provision over HTTPS to Comwave's provisioning server, I knew that trick wouldn't work against this unit, since I would need Comwave's SSL certificate private key.

More googling around didn't turn up anything useful for how to unlock it, so I figured I would contact Comwave's support, and ask them to unlock it for me, since this is an old unit.

Here's the email exchange I had with Comwave's support:

(note the timestamps, so you can see they take advantage of the "up to 2 business days" response time frame)..


JUN 30, 2015  |  02:09PM UTC
Original message
Simon wrote:

I bought a Linksys SPA2102-R from Value Village and it's locked to your services. It contacts your provisioning server, are you able to unlock this adapter as I wish to use it with an Asterisk PBX?

JUL 02, 2015  |  07:13PM UTC
Comwave Technical Support replied:
Dear Simon,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We will be glad to assist you.
We would like to get more information about the device. Could you please provide us the MAC and serial number of the Linksys SPA2102-R? You can find this information at the botton of the device.
We will be looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Sincerely,
Herbert- eCare Team

JUL 02, 2015  |  07:59PM UTC
Simon replied:
Hello Herbert,

Thanks for your response. The MAC of the Linksys SPA2102-R is
00:0E:08:4C:7A:62. The S/N is FM500L882925.

Thanks very much,
Simon

JUL 06, 2015  |  04:32PM UTC
Comwave Technical Support replied:
Dear Simon,
Thank you for getting back to me.
The serial number and MAC address you provided are not linked to any Comwave account anymore. This means that we no longer have control over the device. In this case, please contact Cisco support center at 800-553-2447 or for more information you can also visit this website http://www.linksys.com/ca/support-product?pid=01t80000003K7fzAAC.
I hope this information helps. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to email us again.
Sincerely,
Herbert – eCare Team

JUL 06, 2015  |  05:44PM UTC
Simon replied:
Hello Herbert,

Thanks for your response. I understand that the device would no longer be
linked with an active account with you, and that's why the previous account
owner who was using this device with your services would have donated it to
Value Village where I purchased it.

You do still have control of the device, as it contains the profile rule(s)
to contact your provisioning server, and has been configured with a non
standard admin password, so I am unable to login to change the profile rule
to point the device at my own provisioning server.

I have attached a packet capture which shows the device booting up and
performing DNS lookups for your provisioning server, "dmsc.comwave.net",
and attempting to perform an SSL handshake in order to download the config
file.

If you were to place a config file on your provisioning server for the MAC
address of 00:0E:08:4C:7A:62 containing the following:

<Admin_Passwd>admin</Admin_Passwd>

perhaps compiled with the SPC tool if necessary, then when the device next
contacts your provisioning server it should have the admin password reset
from the currently unknown to me value, to "admin", which would allow me to
login and clear/change the profile rules in the provisioning settings of
the device. Alternatively if you have the admin password on record, or are
able to generate the device's password based on its MAC address or serial
number, and provide that to me, then I would be able to login and reset the
configuration.

The support link you provided was to a wireless router on Cisco's site. If
I search for the SPA2102 on their site, then there are some results,
however those pages have been removed, and the search results mention that
it is an end-of-life device which is not supported by them anymore, which
is why I need your assistance in unlocking the device.

Thanks,
Simon 

JUL 08, 2015  |  08:05PM UTC
Comwave Technical Support replied:
Dear Simon,
Thank you for your reply.
The Linksys SPA2102-R FM500L882925 you received no longer works on our network, unfortunately, we cannot support it. We suggest you our Comwave Home Phone VoIP service , however, you would receive another device since we do not have control over the configuration of your Linksys.
Should you have any further questions, please let me know at your earliest convenience.
Sincerely,
Herbert
eCare Team


So, that's pretty much the end of that. Even though the device boots up, performs a DNS lookup, resolves to their provisioning server, and attempts an SSL handshake, they refuse to help me to unlock the device, even though it's no longer supported on their network, so it's not like I could even use it with an account with them. Instead they expect I'll signup for their services so they can send me some other device I have to pay for, completely defeating the purpose of what I'm trying to do by reusing this perfectly workable ATA, and instead they've just created more e-waste.

I'm currently trying to brute force the password on the device, but that's probably going to be a futile effort, since most of these passwords use extended characters, making the keyspace huge. I've already gone through all the 4 character passwords using combinations of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers, and that took 2 days.

I've now moved on to attempting all 5 character passwords, and that's estimated to take 70 days at the current rate..

The other option is to desolder the flash TSOP and use a programmer to reflash it with the unlocked "NA" firmware, and then resolder the flash chip, but since that requires a microscope and soldering equipment I don't have, it's not really a viable option.