Disputed seller seems to be ignoring my bank

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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:25 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Disputed seller seems to be ignoring my bank

Postby JenFid » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:00 am

Hi everyone, looking for some advice here. I'll try and keep my issue short and sweet.

Back in early October I ordered a dress from an online merchant for a custom Halloween costume. We did some back and forth regarding it's details and I was assured I'd receive the package by my party date of 10/26. On 10/17 I received my tracking #. It was going from MI to MN so a couple days tops.

When I noticed the package hadn't moved for 4 days I contacted the merchant and received no response. A couple days later I tried again with no response. On my deadline of 10/26, still no package, I told the seller if I didn't have it by Halloween I wanted a refund.

Never heard a peep. Rather than sit and wait to see if I got a refund, I did a chargeback through my bank (Wells Fargo, used their Visa CC to pay). I sent them all the stuff like the invoice, the conversations, and my attempts at getting responses regarding the item not showing up. I initiated this on 10/30.

Fast forward a month later, and the dress is suddenly in my mailbox (11/22). No warning or explanation from the seller still at this point. In the meantime I have gotten e-mails from other Etsy members who had also never received their dresses. So I'm not unique.

I open the package and sure enough the dress is in there, however it's missing the belt that was supposed to come with it, making it essentially unwearable since it's needed to hold everything together in the back. Since I haven't heard from the seller in a month I hang it up in my closet.

On 11/30 Wells Fargo e-mails me and told me they still haven't heard from the seller. At this point, both their website and Etsy account no longer exist.

Suddenly this last Saturday the seller e-mails me and tells me they have proof of delivery and that not paying for an item is stealing and a criminal offense, and if I don't pay them by 12/14 they will send me to "collections". Naturally I'm flabbergasted, so I reply, pointing out that they didn't deliver by the promised deadline, didn't contact me at all, and when they did ship it was a month later. I also mentioned that the belt was missing, so the order wasn't even complete. After all that I said my bank should have contacted them about this and they should be talking to them, not me. Then I said I'd be happy to send the dress back to them if they would give me a return address.

Their reply basically ignored all of that and simply repeated that I better pay or they'll send me to collections, and that their "buyer terms" state that they can charge me and extra 15% for legal fees. Also that "There will be no further collection from you bank" ( "you" is not a typo, they wrote that instead of "your").

I talked to Wells Fargo this morning about this, and she said if they don't provide me with a return address and I've made it clear I want to send it back, it's up to them to pick it up. I sent over the new e-mails to them to add to my dispute file. She said most likely the next step is they'll try contacting the seller again letting them know I want to return it.

I replied to the seller's last e-mail telling them they actually do have to contact my bank, and that my bank told me they haven't heard from them, and gave them the case #. If I get contact from the "collection" agency I'll tell them the same thing.

Sorry that was so long, I tried to keep it short while not leaving out important details! So I'm wondering, is the seller even allowed to send me to collections while I have a dispute in investigation? The gal I spoke to this morning from Wells Fargo told me they still haven't heard from the seller, so it sounds like they are ignoring the communication attempts from my bank and trying to collect from me directly. I just don't want a collection dinging my credit score.

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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:38 pm

This seller sounds like a cowardly scammer. I'm the sort who would send them a picture of someone mooning and tell them to KISS THIS MOFO.

Let them. In doing so, I'm sure they will be violating laws. Get a good NACA attorney and SUE the living sh1t out of them.

You are doing everything right it's almost a certainty Wells Fargo will decide in your favor. If they do anything further, get a lawyer and sic em.

Also be SURE to report the scumbag to the CFPB. They seem to have some teeth, that's how I got bogus information off my report. The bank that was illegally re-aging did not seem to want to mess with them.

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Postby DoingHomework » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:33 pm

I would send them a letter reminding them that their proof of delivery also proves they violated the agreement.

Also point out that filing a collection or other adverse action during a dispute is fraud and that you will prosecute them for it. Tell them all further communication shall be through certified mail and with your bank.

They will have to crawl out of the woodwork to report you to collections. It is not as simple as picking up a phone and reporting you. They have to sell your debt to a collection agency or convince one that the debt is legitimate. That's harder to do than they seem to think.

Basically, tell them you filed a dispute within your rights and they must now deal with your bank.

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Postby kwrxxx » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:26 pm

Hi, The use of a credit card will protect you from any so called collection scams by bad sellers. Do not communicate with the seller ever again. Send all correspondence that they send you directly to the bank that issued the credit card.
If the seller tries to ding your credit contact your state attorney general. The seller signed a contract with Visa and Mastercard to accept their decision on any charge backs for the products they sold. Your bank and Visa/Mastercard must enforce the contract or you can sue them.

In the future never accept any package shipped to you that you no longer want. Refuse it and let UPS deal with the return.

You also have a breach of contract claim against the seller for not fulfilling your order in a timely manner. Good Luck and everybody needs to know that these sellers all signed a contract with Visa and Mastercard to accept their decisions on all credit card charge backs. The banks will help you with these problems.

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Postby chas0039 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:37 pm

You could offer to return the item, at thir expense of course. Then your hands would totally clean.

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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Postby JenFid » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:16 pm

Hi all, sorry I thought I would have received e-mail notifications when people replied to my thread!

Thank you all for the helpful advice. As of today I have not heard another peep from the seller, and neither did Wells Fargo, so they closed the case in my favor and I get to keep my $. And I guess the unfinished dress since I offered to send it back and they never replied :rolleyes:

If they did go to collections, I haven't heard from them, and I don't expect to either.

I will keep an eye on my credit anyway and watch for any funny business.

It is too bad really. It was a nice dress. The business seemed legit, as they had a handful of reviews for some of their other products. Even a couple for the same dress. I wonder if they just couldn't keep up with the Halloween demand and crumbled under the pressure? The whole providing me with a tracking # and then never shipping it was pretty shady though. Never an apology throughout the whole ordeal.
It's funny, in one of their two "give us our money" e-mails, the first one was sent from someone's person Gmail account instead of the company Gmail account. They even had a Google+ account, some college looking kid dressed in a toga.


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