eBay row over ‘stolen’ goods

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VAL Huzzard claims to have been threatened by a user after following eBay rules.

Val, aged 55, paid £650 for a rare melodeon, used in English folk music, but within 24 hours she was alerted that it could be stolen.

She talked to someone claiming to be the owner in London before being interviewed by Metropolitan Police, who spoke to eBay.

She waited to be contacted about a refund under its buyer protection scheme and kept the melodeon on police advice.

But she says eBay insisted it had no record of the police files sent by the Met and refused to open a case for her unless she contacted the seller, as per site rules.

Val, of Upper Valley Road, Meersbrook, said: “Four times I questioned this as it hampered police investigations and put me in a very vulnerable position.

“But it was too much money to write off and I did. Since then I have received increasingly threatening emails from the seller. He lives fairly close to me. He knows my address, but I do not even know his name.”

AN eBay spokesman said the police were in touch in January but “the information supplied was incomplete”.

They had been back in touch with a detective and the compensation process was now in train, he added.

“We do not tolerate any criminal activity on our site, however, we do not have the authority to decide whether an item is stolen or not, which is why we ask people to report any suspected stolen items to police in the first instance.

“We will then support the police in their investigations and ensure appropriate action is taken.

“We had not received a crime reference number from either Ms Huzzard or the police, and had no confirmation that the item is stolen.

“Once we have it, we can compensate Ms Huzzard under our buyer protection policy. Our customer care team will contact her.”