I recently made a purchase on eBay to buy a used e-bike for £4,550 from an individual seller. Following correspondence regarding postage terms, an invoice was sent to me to authorize a bank transfer.

After verifying that it was an invoice, and to confirm the eBay money back guarantee covered the bank transfer directly through eBay, I called eBay customer service. They assured me that it was secure.

Two weeks after the bike was delivered, I received an email from eBay stating that my seller account had been compromised and that the listing had been deleted.

Ebay now admits it gave me the advice but are refusing to refund me – how is this fair? C.S., via email

An eBay customer was told he would be safe to make a bank transfer to one of its sellers

A customer of eBay was assured that he could make a bank transfer and send money to any one of the sellers.

Grace Gausden is a consumer expert from This is Money. The service you received from eBay was wheelie bad with the online bidding site refusing to refund you – despite the fact you took the advice it offered.

The seller of the electric bicycle on eBay looked authentic with a solid selling record and a long-standing eBay Account.

When buying the item for £4,550, the seller asked for a direct bank transfer to be made instead of the usual route of PayPal or credit card.

After you inquired about this, the eBay Money-Back Guarantee assured that the invoice was authentic and fully covered.

Because you were uncomfortable about making a bank transfer directly, you called the internet marketplace giant to verify that it was indeed a seller.


Grace Gausden, This is Money’s consumer expert tackles readers problems and highlights companies that do good work. Grace is featured in our weekly column.

Do you need her to look into a particular problem or praise the firm that went above and beyond? Contact us:


You were assured that eBay’s money-back guarantee covered you 100%. As a result you transferred your funds to the seller.

But the bike didn’t arrive. You were then informed that seller account was hacked, and the listing was deleted. Ebay informed you that the guarantee covered your purchase and they could refund it.

You received an email from eBay within minutes advising that you weren’t covered. So you called the number again.

Ebay stated that although direct bank transfers are not covered under the eBay money back guarantee because of misadvisement, they would reconsider the matter.

They would also honor any refund if you confirmed your telephone conversation with the representative, if that was possible.

You made eight calls to eBay over the next month, speaking with different representatives to try to elevate the case. None of the representatives you spoke with had authority to listen to the phone conversation.

Sometimes you were able to be transferred to the next management level or to a case resolution center, but they never contacted you.

After being informed that the case had been closed for over a month, you weren’t covered under the eBay money back guarantee, the email sent to inform you was closing the case.

Incorrect: eBay confirmed the representative had given the wrong advice to the customer

Correct: eBay has confirmed that the representative did not give the incorrect advice to the customer

Finally, someone finally spoke with you and confirmed your incorrect information. But they still said you would not receive a full refund.

You say throughout the process you have tried to do the right thing and took due diligence before making the payment but are now over £4,500 out of pocket and desperate to get the money back.

Given that eBay was your only source of advice, this seemed extremely unfair. So I reached out to the firm.

According to an eBay spokesperson, “We’re sorry for Mr. S’s eBay experience.” Because of the circumstances, an eBay spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about Mr. S’s experience on eBay. We offer a complete refund.

Although most eBay transactions go smoothly, we do have policies to help sellers and buyers when something goes wrong.

We encourage all eBay shoppers to use payment methods that are covered under our eBay moneyback warranty so they will be reimbursed quickly.

Additionally, the eBay moneyback policy was reaffirmed after an extensive investigation revealed that you had been incorrectly informed that your bank transfer payment would be protected.

Now you have the entire amount back in your account. While it is a shame eBay scammers took you along, at least the firm has come back to its feet. 

An ex-Eon customer was frustrated after she kept receiving bills meant for an ex-partner

After receiving bills from her ex-partner, an ex-Eon customer became frustrated.

It’s not all bad: The nice and naughty lists for this week

Every week I examine companies that are not up to the mark and others that go above and beyond for customers.

Miss: Energy supplier this week EonKelly, an ex-customer, criticized.

She stated that she was living with an abusive ex-partner and was afraid of him so moved out from the rental property they rented.

“All things were in my name because he couldn’t open accounts nor borrow money due to his bad credit score. Although the Eon account was my, he paid after I moved out of home on February 7, this year.

I received threatening letters and attachments from Eon. I received several phone calls from it, explaining my departure on 7 February. I provided evidence of that fact as well as proof from my former landlord. Yet the letters keep coming.

‘The firm is chasing me for £172.82 but I can’t afford to pay this and it is not for energy I have used.’

Eon spokeswoman said that although we know Kelly left the property in February 2013, she didn’t tell us until October. We continued to send bills under her name.

“Once proof was provided that the customer moved, we reviewed the balance and adjusted it to reflect her use of the property. Kelly has been contacted to arrange a final payment.

“We are sorry for the difficulties surrounding this matter and request that customers inform us immediately after they have moved out of a property, so we can make sure their accounts are current.”

You confirmed you paid £60 to Eon but the rest of the funds due will be issued to your ex-partner.

Although you don’t now have to worry about unexpected bills in the future, it is a reminder to other people to make sure that your name is removed from any bill you no longer need.

A HomeServe customer who thought she had a leak was happy when she was refunded

HomeServe customers who believed they had a leak were happy to receive a refund 

Hit:Mary is a week-reader who has been praised for her good news. HomeServeAn emergency repair company.

She said: ‘I joined HomeServe for 75p per month with an excess of £30 for a call-out if required.

“I believed I had a leak, but it turned out that there wasn’t a problem after an inspection and call to the emergency services.

‘I phoned HomeServe and asked to have my £30 refunded or at least part of it. Instead customer service offered me a total refund and even offered me a £25 gesture of goodwill for a previously missed appointment.

“I was completely surprised, and I happily accepted it because I had only expected to hear words of apology.

HomeServe’s customer service deserves to be appreciated.

HomeServe is a top-notch customer service company.

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