Question: Dear Luise: I am not at all good at resolving conflicts. All I know how to do is to try and the minute I am met with any kind of nastiness I feel helpless. I can’t seem to explain myself well, or defend myself. I try but I always seem to lose. I recently bought something online at Ebay for $35. The seller paid the shipping. I didn’t bid on it but bought it in the “buy it now’ mode. It was sold as used but in “like new” condition but when it arrived it didn’t work. I didn’t trust myself because using it was new to me, so I took it to a capable friend to see if it really worked. I thought the problem might just be “operator error”. It didn’t work…it wasn’t me. So I contacted the seller with that information. He immediately sounded off via email regarding wondering what I was “up to”. I tried to stand up for myself without success. I returned it but he has not responded as to whether he found it worked or not. He returned my postage via PayPal. I’m not looking for a way to change any of that…but how can I do better in the future. This is an old story for me. Thank you. Melissa
Answer: Dear Melissa: Well, for one thing you have recourse on Ebay and can give him a rotten rating which it looks to me like he deserves.
It’s a matter of choice regarding how much you want satisfaction. For many of us, but not everyone of course, a long battle and a lot of negative energy just isn’t worth it. People like that are aware of this fact and take advantage of it on a regular basis. Still, how he treated you is about him, not you. Conversely, how you react is about you, not him.
I would suggest you find someone to councel you when something like this comes up. It isn’t a viable or healthy solution to just write problems with someone off because that person wrote you off first. Perhaps for a while you might want to go to a store and pay the lowest price you can find and leave your self the option of dealing with the return desk. Most of the time they are trained in how to do it effectively and with a modicum of courtesy.
Ebay is in the e-world and you have no face and usually no establishment to back it up…no manager to contact. Nothing. Yes, there can be great buys out there with some structure available, but there are also some folk you would rather not have anything to do with, and there’s no way to tell.
Conflict resolution can be a sticky wicket. It’s time to find an advocate that can give you some pointers and hone your skills in that department. Blessings, Luise