Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 22/09/2004News reaches the Diary of some rum happenings not far from the IT pages of a noted national newspaper. A hackette from that department had need of a horsebox, and decided to try out this new-fangled eBay thing where she found plenty on offer, from tiny trailers best suited to Shetland ponies to enormous Mercedes capable of carting around half the Aga Khan's stable.

Wednesday 22/09/2004
News reaches the Diary of some rum happenings not far from the IT pages of a noted national newspaper. A hackette from that department had need of a horsebox, and decided to try out this new-fangled eBay thing where she found plenty on offer, from tiny trailers best suited to Shetland ponies to enormous Mercedes capable of carting around half the Aga Khan's stable. Our heroine fancied a larger model and after a spot of spirited bidding -- including, we're informed, one point where she managed to bid against herself, although we can't work out exactly how -- she won an auction.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as she imagined. She had indeed won a seven-ton horsebox -- accompanied by two others in separate auctions. "I didn't really know what I was doing, I just clicked on everything," she reportedly told our source. The sellers eagerly awaited their (not inconsiderable) dosh, but news that it had all been a horrible mistake was not taken too well. "Exactly how blonde are you?" was one person's rather ill-tempered response, while another spurned box vendor showed an even greater sense of humour failure with threats of a duffing up. Blimey!

There was hell to pay. She contacted eBay's customer services, who said "You do know that those are all valid contracts, don't you? You have agreed to the terms and conditions..." "Ah," she said. "I clicked on those but didn't actually read them."

Our intrepid eBaying equestrian ended up out of pocket, banned from the Web site after only one go, and with her home computer locked down tight with parental controls by her irate partner. Me, I'd just have bought a few more horses --- you know how highly paid they are on the nationals, but this wasn't an option.

We'd like to report that she got sympathy and support from her colleagues, but alas! The ill-tempered brutes just keep telling her to "Keep on trucking!" and have proved quite incapable of keeping their mouths shut outside the office. Now, is that fair? Neigh!

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