Item purchased:
04 May, 2016 21:54
Jools Holland: More Friends (Promo CD) – #222078955729 – £0.99
Message from buyer:
07 May, 2016 17:53

Hi. Just to let you know that I am not happy with the CD I have received. I bought it in the belief that it contained the 22 tracks listed on the back of the sleeve. Having received it and found that it only contains 5 tracks I have read the bit in the corner of the front of the sleeve that says that it only contains 5 tracks. I believe that your listing is misleading and that I have wasted my money and time in buying this. Please let me have your comments. Thank you

Message to buyer:
08 May, 2016 09:12

I’m sorry, but in what way was the listing misleading? The title of the listing was just the title of the CD with the words ‘Promo CD’ in brackets. The first section of the listing text advised ‘see the image for more information’. The rest was of a general nature which applies to all of the DVDs and CDs I supply.

The image showed a composite picture of the front and rear covers. I had the same information you have. And I notice in fairly large lettering on the front cover it says “Exclusive Enhanced CD Sampler”, along with a list of the tracks on it. On the rear, it shows two full length albums which are available to buy and lists the tracks on each, and the words ‘Available at MVC stores and’ It’s positioned in such a way as to be obvious – to me, at least – that this refers to the two albums shown above it. I hadn’t really taken a detailed look at it before, not being a Jools Holland fan myself, and I still haven’t … but a cursory glance at the image told me all the information you’ve highlighted in your message.

There does come a point when the buyer has to look at the information provided and make a decision. There’s only so much I can do as a seller. I – somewhat naturally – have to assume that this is what you have done, and supply it in good faith on that basis.

Best regards


PS: Just for accuracy, there are 44 tracks listed on the back of the CD, not 22.

Message from buyer:
08 May, 2016 12:51

Thank you for your comments. I have many CDs which have originally been given away free with various newspapers which I have picked up from charity shops, where they ask for a donation because they are not allowed to sell them, but this is the first one I have come across one of this sort where it only contains a small selection of the tracks on the full version of the CD, so I was possibly influenced by my past experience. However, having said that, you have chosen to display copies of the two sides of the sleeve 95 percent or more of which is devoted to advertising the full Jools Holland CDs and small print. The part that relates to what is actually on the CD is shown on a 2cm banner at the bottom of the front sleeve. Yet you have decided that this is a fair way to describe the product to people who may not understand that by ‘(Promo CD)’ you mean a Sampler CD, rather than a full version one which is given away to advertise the artists, or to help sell newspapers.
I have to say, that in my opinion, a fairer way of listing this item would have been to list the five tracks that it contains, or at least to have pointed out that it was only a sampler, albeit an ‘exclusive enhanced’ one – whatever that means. Doing this would have ensured that any purchaser would have no excuse for not understanding that they were receiving a CD which only contained five tracks. (Regarding your comment that there are actually 44 tracks listed on the sleeve, not 22 as I stated, I agree, and have to admit that I did wonder if it was a two disc set, or simply a sleeve which contained a single disc, but contained room for a second disc which would become available in next week’s copy of The Times, but as I would have been happy with a single disc I felt it was fairer to you to indicate that I felt that I had been defrauded of 17 tracks, rather than 39.)
Continued . . .

Message from buyer:
08 May, 2016 12:52

. . . continuation

Obviously, if having read my comments you feel that your listing is not misleading, or cannot be made clearer by stating what is contained on the disc, rather than relying on showing photos mainly concerned with advertising what is missing from it, then I quite understand and accept why you feel unapologetic about the way you listed this item, so we will have to agree to disagree on this matter. Therefore, thank you again for letting me have your comments and I hope you will understand why I will be leaving negative feedback and agree that I explained my reasons for being a dissatisfied customer to you and gave you every opportunity to comment on the matter before proceeding to do so.


Feedback left:
08 May, 2016 (Exact time not known)

Buyer Beware! – contains 5 tracks, not 22 – I feel cheated

Message to buyer:
08 May, 2016 14:33

Again, you use the the term ‘defraud’, implying that somehow I deliberately misled you. Utter rubbish. As you will see from my feedback score I have over two and a half thousand sales under my belt (actually, nearer twice that, but not everyone leaves feedback). The vast majority of these are promo DVDs and CDs, and in just about every case the image displayed with the listing is in the same style – a compilation of the front and back cover. …. oh, I can’t be bothered to continue. You’ve already left negative feedback so there seems little point … except to add that it seems to me you are blaming me for your failings.

I was going to refund your payment, as £1 seems so important to you, but now see no reason to. I’ll be making this email conversation available to anyone who wants to read it, and leave them to decide whether I attempted to defraud you, or you are an idiot choosing to blame me for your own deficiencies. I’m fairly confident which conclusion they’ll draw.


Reply to Feedback:
08 May, 2016 14:49

Sellers Beware! Buyer is, in my opinion, an idiot. See my profile for history.

Message from buyer:
08 May, 2016 21:21

I’m heartened to learn that you are going to make our ‘email conversation’ available to anyone who wants to read it. That is very good of you and will give anyone who is considering buying from you a good idea what to look out for. I do hope that you will add this message to the ‘conversation’ as well and that you will also go that little bit further and give consideration to my suggestion that when you advertise a disc that normally contains 22 tracks, but which in the version you are selling only includes five tracks, you take steps to point this out to your prospective customers.
Regarding your assertion that you have almost 5,000 sales (over 2,500 who have left positive feedback) you do not say how many of them bought sampler CDs containing only a fraction of the tracks found on the full version CD. If any of the 2,500 who left positive feedback did so, then that is quite an accomplishment on your part selling them a CD containing five tracks for 99p when they could buy the full CD containing 22 tracks for £1.80 or less from the likes of musicmagpie and logansboxoftreasure. Incidentally, can you explain why you appear to have only received 925 five star ratings for ‘item as described’?
Regarding your observation that “Again, you use the the (sic) term ‘defraud’”, I feel that I must point out that I have not used the word defraud at all in any of my messages to you, or in my feedback. I did state that I was not happy with the CD I received and that I believed that your listing was misleading and after receiving your initial reply to my complaint I did leave feedback stating that I felt cheated. I made those comments because they correctly stated the way I felt then and still feel now.
As regards your statement that “I was going to refund your payment” – I believe you, but then, apparently, I am an idiot.

Message to buyer:
13 May, 2016 02:34

Hi Bernard

I know that it has been a few days since you last messaged me, but I’ve only just had time to publish our email exchange and prefer it to be exactly as it was between you and I without any additional comments or notes by myself, so that it can’t be construed that I’ve tried to put words in your mouth, have interpreted something you’ve written incorrectly, etc. I am therefore replying to address items raised in your last message as much for the benefit of any readers as for your own. Should you wish to respond I will, of course, add the content of any such message to what is there already.

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for my assertion that you used the term ‘defraud’. On checking back, I see that you actually said ‘misleading’. The former categorically implies intent, whilst the latter at least allows for the chance that it was unintentional. It’s also a matter of how information is received, which is not necessarily the same as how it is meant when it’s put out there. I’m quite happy (? Hmm…not the right word, but I think you’ll understand what I mean) to accept that your interpretation of the information was not as I’d expected it to be. I hope you’ll believe me when I say that in no way was it my intention to mislead.

I suspect that my initial response(s) were coloured by the fact that I’d very recently had another very negative comment left which was both unjustified and untrue. That assertion is supported by the fact that eBay removed the comment as soon as it was brought to their attention, and they’d had an opportunity to look at the facts and the message exchange.If that’s the case I’d like to apologise for that too.

‘Sampler’ type promotional CDs are – in my experience at least – fairly few and far between, which in fact is probably why I didn’t actually spot it. Just as I’m sure that someone who runs a corner shop hasn’t actually eaten, drunk or used every single item (s)he sells, I hope you’ll understand that I don’t listen to every CD or watch every DVD I get hold of. On that basis, I still maintain that all of the information I had access to was contained in the image for prospective buyers to also review. In fact, had I spotted it was a sampler for a longer purchasable CD, I would have included this information in the title. Here – just to clarify – my use of ‘Promo CD’ means ‘Promotional CD’, a commonly accepted abbreviation, not ‘Sampler CD’.. My use of a compilation image of the front and back cover is my norm. If you look at my other current listings right now – of which there are more than 1500 – you’ll see that the vast majority of them are presented this way, so that potential buyers can see exactly the same information I can, before they purchase.

I’m unable to even guess a percentage of my sales where the disc has been a sampler, rather than in the case of CDs specially created as a promo item, and in the case of DVDs the full film or episode(s). As I’ve said the number of samplers, that I’ve seen at least, is quite small so I’d imagine the percentage is pretty small too. There are a few that I HAVE spotted, and have – as you’ve suggested – made an additional effort to highlight this fact. I would do this though by adding the term ‘Sampler’ in the title, rather than detailing the content within the listing. This would be extremely time consuming, and given that I might well only sell a single copy for £1 or £2, not really make economic sense.

To address your ‘number of 5 star ratings’ point, the feedback score represents the TOTAL I’ve received since being an eBay member. The detailed feedback scores are just the number received in the last twelve months. And actually, it isn’t the number of 5 star scores received, but the number of all of them for that category. The 5 stars is the average rating. So with around a thousand ratings, there could well be a few 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s in there too, just not enough to pull it down to a 4.5 average. (THINK I’ve seen profiles with this kind of figure on them.) It’s also possible to leave textual feedback without also completing the detailed ratings info, which explains why at the time of writing I’ve had 1794 ‘recent’ ratings, but only 924 of them have added detailed ratings for description. Lastly on that subject, I’d point out that – my interpretation at least – 5 stars should not be the ‘acceptable’ target and anything below it not up to scratch. That would be 3 or 4. Rather, 5 stars implies its much more detailed than would be judged ‘acceptable’ in the case of ‘description’, or much faster than the target/promised delivery time, etc. (And I wouldn’t claim that I’m as spectacular in every field as those numbers suggest, it’s more likely that others have a less demanding view than I do, and give 5 stars more easily!)

Final point, just to be pedantic, I didn’t actually say you are an idiot in my message to you. I just said we’d leave it to readers to decide if you were one, or whether I was trying to defraud. I did, admittedly, say in my public reply to your feedback, that in my opinion you, but the wording was very deliberately an expression of opinion rather than of fact. In all honesty, I do now regret having put that. It’s very unlike me to lose my cool, and I can only conclude that the same negative comment I referred to earlier was still clouding my judgement when I did so. So, again, I’d like to apologise.

I’m now off to refund your payment. Whilst I still maintain there was nothing amiss with the listing, and that all of the information necessary to reach the correct conclusion was there for anyone to see, I can also see how it might have been misinterpreted, and indeed should I get hold of more copies of that particular CD will ensure the term ‘sampler’ is included in the title which hopefully will alert potential buyers to delve a little deeper before purchasing.

Best regards


Message from buyer:
13 May, 2016 13:48

Hi Kevin
Thank you for your latest message – and the refund, although I have to say that I did not actually ask for a refund, or open a ‘Request’ with eBay for same – but as it would be ungracious of me to do anything other than to accept it in the sincere spirit of reconciliation in which it is offered, I am happy to do so. So, thank you again, I both accept your apologies and your refund.
Before leaving Feedback, I wrote to explain why I was unhappy with the item I had bought and to give you the opportunity to react to my concerns. This was to allow you to put your point of view and had you indicated at that time that you had listed the CD in all good faith having yourself not noticed that it was a Sampler disc, then I would have been pacified and this would have coloured the feedback I left. Much as I dislike giving neutral, or negative feedback, I do feel a responsibility to other prospective buyers to give a fair assessment of my treatment and, given your previous responses to my complaint and how they made me feel, I believe that the feedback I left was fair at that time. Now, having read this latest, more considered, response of yours, I hope that it will go a long way in helping future prospective customers of yours decide positively when considering whether or not to do business with you.