Squirrel Baiting

Please note that this is mainly an area for us to vent and some people will find it offensive.

As with all areas where people gather, whether in person or virtually, eBay gets nut-cases.

We at Time Eclectic have a game we play around the office called “squirrel baiting”. Basically, when we are contacted by a nut-case, we poke at them until they either flame, leave, or get boring.

This is not nice. We know it is not nice. But sometimes, it can be really great for employee morale.

It is very important to note that smart squirrels are so much more fun than dumb ones.

Good Squirrel

We had a fun squirrel who actually used Latin in his messages.

Time Eclectic had several of the same item in stock and re-listed another after the end of an auction using eBay's automatic re-listing feature for sellers. For some reason, this person decided that we were committing fraud because the item had been re-listed. Yes, really. We tried explaining to him that we had more than one of these, but that went completely nowhere. Please keep in mind that this person never did buy anything from Time Eclectic.

He claimed to be US born and educated with a Ph.D. and an expertise in pet fences. Yes, really again, and we were even able to verify this. What made him so much fun was that his spelling and grammar were so bad that it was really hard figuring out what he was trying to say. “Decoding” his emails became a separate game all its own. We got several days of entertainment out of him! The only thing that set the limit on this one is that we could not spend any more time baiting him.

As a side note, his Latin spelling and grammar were just fine :-).

But then, there are the dumb squirrels...and these seem to be the majority.

Bad Squirrel

A squirrel in Florida noticed a mistake in a listing (yes, it happens). We fixed the mistake and told her we would honor the original price since it was our mistake (keep in mind this user did not actually buy anything). Her immediate response was “Your an idiot if you think that's the way to do business!!!”. That is the entire message. Now, being called an idiot would normally be at least a little irritating, but it is really hard to take an insult seriously when the grammar is so bad (possessive “your” instead of the correct contraction “you're”, etc.).

Yes! We have a squirrel! Normally the squirrel takes the bait and we get to play with it a while, but this one really was not much fun. She took the bait, but was so amazingly dense that we had to actually explain insults to her. Where is the fun in that?

For example, she had made the comment that she has an MBA. Okay. We have some too. Our response was that a mail-order MBA does not count. You would think the implication of fake mail-order degree would be clear enough, but no. Below is her complete and unedited response:

You obviously suffer from mental retardation then, because most of us know you can't mail order a n MBA. The only thing your Cracker Jack box *corpo-retard-ation* is successful of is botching up listings & preventing potential sales!
...so please block me from messaging as well as bidding, because I hope to never again ask "te2" a sales question only to receive a retards perspective.

Yes, she really did say that. Yikes! The fun is gone :'(. We are still trying to figure out if she really is that dense or was just faking it for something to do. She obviously has a lot of free time. This one really had us thinking the gene pool needs (a lot) more chlorine.

Sad Squirrel

Our original plan with this page was to keep it limited to one “good” and one “bad” squirrel example and replace an example if a better one came in. We decided to add this example in because it is a lot different from the other squirrel examples.

The first difference is that this one did actually buy something from us (total price, including shipping, under $6). The second difference is that this one ended up with us just feeling sorry for her (and her “friend” this was supposed to be a gift for). That is not fun; it is just sad.

The item purchased has natural wood components. This buyer was furious because the wood in the pictures looks different from the wood on the item. Um - okay. It is real wood; every single one will be unique.

She also claimed that the wood is chipped and questioned whether or not the item is actually new. The item is still sealed in the factory clamshell pack and obviously new. If the wood is chipped, then that is a real problem and we will deal with it.

What makes this one a bad squirrel is that her entire focus is her. The entire tone is belligerent and rude. She spends most of her time on pretentious self-righteousness in an attempt to demonstrate that she is smarter than everybody else, rather than trying to resolve the actual issue (possibly defective item).

We asked her to send a picture showing the problem and we would send a replacement next business day. She sent pictures and below is the complete and unedited email that came with the pictures:

As you can see I have not even opened the packaging yet, so this is completely visible from the outside and should have been seen if your people "inspect" the product before selling it. I understand about the wood grain thing, but on the other hand that needs to be in the description that due to the handle being real wood the grain and coloration of it may vary from product to product. And the sarcasm and hint of smart ellicness in your message is not appreciated. I circled in the second image, but you may not be able to see it 100%, but it is where the dark spot is. The wood is broken off/missing in that spot.

It looks like there may be something there in the pictures, but they are far too bad to tell for sure.

Not sure about the sarcasm remark, but it is probably in reference to our pointing out that only plastic, faux-wood items are identical. The pretentiousness completely falls apart aftwards. The made up words are bad enough, but it is (very) painfully obvious that she does not "understand about the wood grain thing" at all. Every single piece of wood is unique - before now, we mistakenly believed everybody knew that.

We asked her to stop being rude because it is not useful and just gets in the way of resolving the issue. Apparently, that was completely lost on her. Below is part of that response (again, unedited):

Ok, well obviously the most important thing to you is to tell me how I should act. That is not your responsibility. Just because you read text in a rude way doesn't mean I'm talking to you any way I shouldn't be. And having first hand experience in customer service I will tell you that you are supposed to apologize for whatever the customer rakes as rudeness and move on. So if you are done telling me what to do and would like to offer an actual solution to this problem respond back...

Obviously, hypocrisy does not bother her in the slightest... Probably also a pretty safe bet she was fired from her “customer service” job (assuming her statement is even true, which seems unlikely).

Regarding the solution to this issue, we offered two very simple options: (1) send a picture showing the problem and we will ship a replacement or (2) return the item for a refund. That is pretty easy to work with, but, apparently, this one is far more concerned with declaring how smart she is and how much she has been wronged...

Ironically, she decided to keep the item after all this!

Ultimately, we ended up just feeling sorry for her and that is really sad.

So...if it is your turn to be the “squirrel”, thank you for playing! Remember, please be a smart squirrel and do not take it (too) personally ;-).