Update by user Aug 20, 2016
This has ended well. It was a lot of work but, thanks to eBay stepping in, I got a full refund for the item and the shipping.
I have no doubt that Drive Medical would NOT have provided a refund if it had not been for eBay stepping in. So, thanks to eBay - felling more confident again to buy via eBay.
However, the process was very cumbersome. Definitely never again buying anything from Drive Medical - not a trustworthy company, lying, sneaky, giving the run-around - not good at all.
Update by user Aug 11, 2016
Drive Medical have still not agreed to a full refund or to pay for return shipping. Instead of organising a pick-up of the stained item, they sneakily asked me to provide them with a quote from a local carrier.
By pretending that they cannot organise international pick-up, they are trying to put the cost and responsibility for return shipping of the stained item on to me. I would have to spend even more money on an unusable item and then have to try to get the return shipping cost back from them. Considering Drive Medical's behaviour thus far, there is no way I am throwing more money their way, as they are clearly not trustworthy.
This was my response to Drive Medical: "It is not my responsibility to find a carrier, pay for shipping and then try to get the shipping reimbursed from you.
I already spent almost A$200 for an item (including shipping) that is useless, and also spent a lot of time on emails with this never-ending returns process. Stop passing the buck. Drive Medical will need to organise pick-up. I had nothing to do with the delivery of this faulty item.
It is time for Drive Medical to take responsibility for having sent a faulty product to a customer who bought an item that was pictured as new and undamaged, and paid you for this item in good faith. I kept my end of the bargain by paying. Drive Medical have not kept their end of the bargain by having a misleading image of a new product on eBay and by then sending a faulty product that looks as if someone has urinated on it. It is time for Drive Medical to take responsibility for this, arrange for pick-up via one of the many international shipping companies, and to refund this product and the US-Australia shipping costs to me in the next few days.
It is not reasonable to keep stretching out this process, this time by trying to push responsibility for finding a carrier for return shipping onto me. I am sure Drive Medical are able to arrange international pick-up of a parcel and I am also sure that this attempt to push responsibility onto me for return shipping is yet another little ploys to abdicate responsibility. The way Drive medical has been handling this return so far is as disgusting as the urine-stained item they sent."
Drive Medical replied that it was eBay's request for me to organise return ship. Another lie, as there is no such message to me from eBay.
Instead, a few hours later, eBay has finally stepped in. They have advised that the item and US-Australia shipping will be refunded into my PayPal account within 48 hours. No mention that return shipping is my responsibility.
I'll post here again once the refund has gone through.
Good to see that eBay seems trustworthy, even if Drive Medical is not. Hopefully, this case will be resolved soon.
Update by user Aug 05, 2016
eBay have opened a new case and Drive Medical has offered 20% discount.
This is my response: "I did not ask for a discount.
I asked for a refund. The item looks truly awful, full of stains, like someone urinated onto it. A 20% discount offer is an insult. The image on the eBay site was misleading as it did not show stains.
Nor did the description mention that the item would be full of stains. I would never have bought the item, if it had been made clear that it may have these stains.
The seller apparently had the item shipped by the manufacturer. Now they are trying to get out of their responsibility as a seller.
It is not my problem that the manufacturer ships faulty product. Through this ridiculous refund offer, the seller is now trying to avoid providing a refund to me (for the item and for the shipping to Australia that I paid for) and they are also trying to avoid having to pay for the return shipping from Australia back to the sender. I can understand that it would be annoying to them to have double international shipping (to and from Australia) without making any profit on the item. However, this is also not my problem.
It is the problem of a seller who deals with shonky manufacturers.
The item looks like someone urinated onto it and cannot be used as it. As requested before, I would like to return the item and a receive a full refund for the item, as well as for the US-Australia shipping, and would like for the seller to arrange pick-up of the item."
Update by user Jul 31, 2016
Savio from Drive Medical sent a message via eBaysaying that "when you make a purchase from sarafankit2009, you can rest assured you will receive products and services of the highest quality". Given the photos and the refund request I sent via eBay, it appears that Savio is a robot, a parrot or illiterate.
Apparently, an "associate" will contact during the week. Let's hope he or she is able to read and generate a sensical response.
Original review posted by user Jul 30, 2016
The Bedside Assist Rail I bought from Drive Medical via e-bay was advertised as new. The picture on eBay shows clean white rails.
However, the item I received has brown stains all over it (two lots of stain are pictured below). The stains do not come off and look unhygienic, leaving the item unusable. The item I received was either not a new or it was a factory-second.
E-bay refused to help.
I opened a case, saying that the item I received was not as described, and e-bay closed the case, without prior communication, saying that receiving the item was good enough. Seemingly, a seller can just send any rubbish and e-bay will protect the seller. What happened to e-bay buyer protection?
It was disappointing to see that e-bay is as untrustworthy as Drive Medical. Needless to say that this was the last time I bought from Drive Medical or via e-bay.
Product or Service Mentioned: Drive Medical Bed Assist Rail.
Reason of review: Damaged or defective.
Monetary Loss: $99.
Preferred solution: Full refund.