My TradeMe or other online purchase has gone bad. What can I do?
It is most annoying when the bubble of excitement of winning an online auction is burst when the item finally arrives. What can I do? What is my recourse?
The first action should be to read this entire article and your second action should be a communication to the seller. A phone call is preferable to an email, however, this is not always possible. If you do have a contact number and are able to talk to the seller, tell them what your issue is and what you would like them to do about it. If they can't accommodate your request, then ask them what are they prepared to do to rectify the situation. Don't get heated and aggressive on the phone as this will only hinder your chances of a successful negotiation to a resolution. Should you not be able to get a satisfactory result, then you have a number of options. This is mostly dependent upon the amount of dollars you are talking about.
If the dispute is only a couple of hundred dollars or less, then the most cost effective action is to write off your loss and chalk it down to a life experience. You can give the seller bad feedback, however, that will most certainly result in them giving you the same. Any other form of action will more likely cost you more than your original purchase.
For dollar amounts greater than a few hundred dollars, and below $15,000, there is the Disputes Tribunal. You will need to have the sellers legal name or name of the company that set up the auction. You will also need a physical address for the Disputes Tribunal to serve the legal papers to. If you can not get these two items, then the Disputes Tribunal will not accept your application. Due to the nature of our work, we can not represent any person at a Disputes Tribunal hearing because lawyers and professional advocates are not permitted to do so by law, however, we can prepare your case or application for you. We have a fixed fee of $975.00 for this service. The way it works is that, you send us copies of all your paperwork for us to review and we then discuss it in a phone call. We prepare a draft application and go over this with you. More often than not, this will give cause for you to provide us with more information. The finished application is sent to you for you to lodge with your local Disputes Tribunal. You then attend a hearing and present the material we have prepared for you.
For dollar amounts greater than $15,000 then you can either commence civil proceedings through our courts system (rather expensive) or contact us to try any resolve the dispute through mediation. Please either email us, firstname.lastname@example.org or scroll to the top of this page to fill in the contact form.