Sold iPhone on Ebay - Buyer wants to return because they have Alltel - What to do?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BrittQ, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. BrittQ macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    I recently sold my iPhone on Ebay.

    The buyer just contacted me and said he wants to return it because it does not work on their network (Alltel - CDMA)

    Here is the dilemma:

    Where the carriers are listed - Alltel is listed there (which does operate a GSM network).

    But where it says technology - it has GSM

    And in the description I said very clearly:

    "Works with any GSM/Sim card Network
    Just insert sim card and enjoy!"

    My question is - what is the right thing to do? My mistake or theirs? Do I have to refund the money?:confused:
  2. MacGeek7 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2007
    I would say it's your mistake - return the money and get the iPhone back and re-list it on eBay
  3. rfrankl macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2006
    Tell him to cut/paste your auction and list it himself. You listed it accurately.
  4. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    well then you screwed up by putting Alltel in the carriers when it clearly is not supported. you have to give him his money back
  5. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    no he didnt
  6. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
  7. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I know the basic premise of eBay is caveat emptor, but in this case I would say the buyer has grounds to complain - you clearly list AllTel in the list of carriers, which is incorrect.
    You could argue with him that the GSM bit made it clear, but not everyone understands the differences between CDMA and GSM.
    You may not be obliged to take it back, but it would be the right thing to do - you can always resell it (with a more accurate description!)
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    your mistake for listing AllTel.......refund the money
  9. know-it-all5 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2006
    you very clearly wrote alltell as one of the providers. You need to take it back, and re-sell it.
  10. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    key phrase right there, give the money back
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    That is unusual. What zip code is he located?

    Alltel is listed as GSM.

    Who the heck would get that carrier if they are located in the US? Never even heard of it before, and to see what they have for phones, you have to enter a zip code (doesn't work with my zip code).
  12. WPB2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2008
    Southeast, LA
    its not that big of a deal, The guy probably didn't even know he didn't have a sim card in his phone you might as well be speaking chinese to some people, but since you put Alltel or ebay did it for you who knows. You should return the money and re-list the phone and try to get the description correct or just take the negative feedback.
  13. BrittQ thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
  14. Delegator macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I don't see how that changes anything. The phone doesn't work on that carrier, so the listing was incorrect. The fact that you found something about the "Mystery Alltel GSM Network" after the fact doesn't change the basic issue.
  15. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2006
    Yeah, you need to give him his money back. Your listing was inaccurate.
  16. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    How good was the price? Because it seems to me that you could probably get as much for it as you did by relisting. Ask him to pay shipping charges both ways as a "compromise".
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I take it you sold an unlocked iPhone on eBay? If so, you did screw up as it doesn't work on Alltel's network. The right thing to do would be to refund his money. If PayPal were investigating the claim, and they will be the second you say no to a refund, they'll just take your money and you could only hope the item is returned.

    It is going to be less ugly if you refund and relist now.
  18. BrittQ thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    Sold for $400.

    I will most likely refund it, just to keep things civil.

    But, I am not convinced I have to.

    It will work on Alltel's GSM network. Like I said many times in the listing - it will work on any gsm/sim card network. Nothing in my listing was inaccurate.
  19. ben.mcmahan macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    Unfortunately - i believe that's an error of omission rather than commission. i.e. the information that it will not work on alltel w/o some limitation.

    I would also wait to refund till you have the phone back. it sucks for both of you, but would suck more to refund the money and then be stuck waiting.

    edited to add: it appears that Alltel's GSM network is from prior acquisitions and they keep it to make money off of roaming agreements from providers that support GSM (which they do not).
  20. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  21. dylangurl21 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2005
    I don't think you need to refund the money. I can see doing it just to avoid confrontation, but you listed your auction accurately. Its the buyer's responsibility to know the difference in networks when buying a phone off ebay.
  22. drfp25 macrumors member

    May 12, 2008
    I agree. I understand that not all people are tech savvy and may not know the difference between GSM and CDMA but when buying a $400 phone, some of the responsibility has to be on the buyer for making sure they know what they are buying.
  23. ben.mcmahan macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    alltel doesn't offer GSM service to their customers, so the listing is contradictory in listing alltel as a carrier for the iphone. the customer will certainly know their carrier, they may or may not know the type of technology from their network. They should know better, which is why i still think you need to wait till you have the phone in hand to issue the refund (and make sure it is the same one). it sucks. but the right thing to do.

  24. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    The longer term harm to your ebay reputation/rating is not worth it. I'd speak with the buyer and if he/she really wants it, give the refund. You shouldn't have a problem selling it again anyway (even after Friday).
  25. upsguy27 macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2007
    I didn't even know an Alltel GSM existed. I am on Alltel right now and it's definitely CDMA. It's your fault for putting Alltel as a carrier.

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