On Monday, eBay held its winter deals sale - with one deal in particular catching almost everyone’s eye: $99 AirPods.
Users were able to snag the second gen AirPods, which usually retail for around $250, for just $99 with a promo code - PODAIR - from an official eBay account.
But, later that day, customers took to Twitter to express their frustrations when they purchased the AirPods, only to receive this follow-up email from eBay:
“Your recent eBay transaction may be from a compromised account.”
“You were recently involved in a transaction for the following item: Brand New Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) with Charging Case (MV7N2ZA/A).”
“We’re writing to let you know that an unauthorized third party may have accessed the seller’s account to list this item. The item has been removed from the site, and the transaction was cancelled.”
“We ask that you take the following precautions:
“If you already paid for the item: Please immediately contact the payment service used to request a refund.”
“If you have not paid for your item: Consider this transaction canceled and do not send payment.”
“Good to see everyone to bought into eBay's $99 promo on Monday are now being told the deals off - *and* we have to chase a refund ourselves. How is this even legal?,” the user wrote.
@dailytelegraph @7NewsSydney @smh everyone loves a good bait and switch story; good to see everyone to bought into eBay's $99 promo on Monday are now being told the deals off - *and* we have to chase a refund ourselves. How is this even legal?— Beau 🏳️🌈 (@BeauGiles) July 17, 2019
Later that day, eBay responded to the Twitter statement advising that email was an error, and the user would receive their AirPods.
But for some, that was too little too late, having already requested a refund for the item that they still wanted, but thought they couldn’t get.
Well that's not really fair - I followed the advice of your email to seek a refund immediately, which I did, and now your support is telling me that this cannot be reverted, and I will no longer receive the item!?— Curtis K (@curtiskneisel) July 17, 2019
Another user called on Australia’s consumer watchdog, the ACCC to investigate the matter.
@ebayAU is a joke. I was lucky enough to get Apple AirPods on Monday. Only to now be told that the transaction was cancelled. Pathetic. Promoted in national media, signing up to eBay Plus at a cost and then no item. Having to chase my own refund. No compensation from eBay.— Nicholas Nakos (@nicholas_nakos) July 17, 2019
One user did manage to get their hands on a pair after multiple tries.
It works, you just have to have the purchase page already open with the code already entered and all your details/payment details entered, then you just pretty much spam click the buy button from starting from about 30 seconds before the hour.— S|S (@seesawoutsold) July 15, 2019
eBay told Yahoo Finance the deal triggered the online retailer’s security system.
“eBay’s $99 deal on AirPods seemed too good to be true. As a result, it triggered our automatic fraud detection system.”
“Some buyers may have received an email suggesting the transaction was from a compromised account and cancelled.”
“This isn’t the case. Those 800 buyers who took advantage of the AirPod deal, will receive them. Our advice to buyers is to ignore the email and its suggested actions. We apologise for any confusion caused.”
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