mysteries and motorcycles

Monday, February 19, 2007

Change of pace

I thought I'd try moving to a new theme for a while and see if anybody has any comments. I want to tell you about an experience that I had on eBay.

I've been a member of eBay for quite a while, doing a fair amount of both buying and selling. I had always been proud of the fact that the comments in my feedback file were 100% positive.

And then one day I entered as bid on a shirt that I wanted. The auction ended about a week later with no other bids and so an invoice for the item popped up in my email. I followed the prompts in the email and paid for the shirt using my online PayPal account.

After about ten days with no response I sent a note to the seller asking if everything was okay. The woman (seller) answered that she had refunded my money because I did not include enough to cover the shipping. I checked my invoice and it said that I owed $2.00 for shipping and that's what I had paid. When I inquired the woman said that eBay had listed the wrong amount for shipping and that the actual cost was $7.00. I discovered that she had made that change the day AFTER I had placed my bid.

I wrote to eBay and asked what I should do and they told me that the seller had violated eBay policy by altering financial information after the bidding had begun therefore I was not required to complete the transaction.

Then I sent another letter to the seller explaining eBay's position and offering a compromise on the shipping cost if she wished to continue the sale. She replied in such a hostile and accusatory fashion that I decided to back out of the deal.

Then she left a highly inflammatory negative comment on my eBay feedback record.

I once again contacted eBay and they basically told me not to bother them; that negative feedback could be left by anybody with whom I had completed a transaction. I tried to tell them that it was eBay who gave me permission to withdraw from the deal but they kept responding with the same form letter.

I then demanded to speak with a supervisor and the response was just the same form letter... at least ten times.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 8:47 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


I usually try to attend at least four or five writer's conferences every year.
From mid 2006 to the early part of 2007 I was struggling with some health problems and the treatment schedule interfered with my conference activity. Now that I have a green light I intend to resume my conference activity beginning with "GenreCon" in Sarnia, Ontario in early May.
Each conference seems to offer something different but they're all valuable for their own purposes. These conferences all seem to have enticing titles.
"Sleuthfest," in south Florida is very much a "writer's" conference with intense seminars on techniques, plot evolution, character development, and so on.
In the fall, "Magna cum Murder," sponsored by Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana appeals to both writers and fans. Its party atmosphere doesn't interfere with its business mission though. It's a wonderful, fun, and informative conference. It often occurs on Halloween weekend.
"Love is Murder," is always the first weekend in Chicago and has recently combined with another Chicago standard, "Of Dark and Stormy Nights" to make it an extremely powerful event. A signature of this conference is their increasingly popular "pitch" sessions where authors can sign up for one-on-one interviews with publishers, editors, or literary agents to pitch their next project. Many writers score huge successes because of these sessions.
There are many other conferences available throughout the country like "Mayhem in the Midlands," "Left Coast Crime," and the biggest of them all, "Bouchercon."
Each conference has its own personality and addresses its own piece of the business of writing but they all share the common immeasurable benefit of networking, rubbing elbows or schmoozing with established and successful authors. The writing community is very friendly and extremely supportive, making conferences one of the most valuable tools in the fledgling authors warchest.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 9:37 AM :: 2 Comments:

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