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Ebay Nightmare Part III
Aug. 12, 2004, 11:05 PM

Ebay Nightmare Part III:

Ebay chat rep: When exactly did you fax in the information? Oh, the 31st I think.
Ebay chat rep: Ok. Did you include your User ID on the fax? Yes.
Ebay chat rep: Ok. One moment while I try to find that for you.
Ebay chat rep: I did find your fax, and I'm going to have someone review it right now. You should be hearing from someone soon about this.


A nudge in the right direction at least...

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Scooter Roadkill
Aug. 12, 2004, 5:36 PM

Part II of our eBay nightmare first posted below.

So, eBay closed our account for no reason other than posting a regular auction. We used Live Help as asked and faxed in required docs as asked. No response. We used Live Help again. They don't know. We send a few emails in through their Help system to the suspension department. No response.

Then eBay opens our account again, saying in an email some nonsense about keeping our account paid up, even though it was wasn't unpaid, and is actually paid automatically through their system. We replied. No response. OK, whatever, at least it's working again.

Now today they send this wondrous email:

In the past 48 hours, you may have received an email from eBay indicating that your suspended account was reinstated. We regret to inform you that this email was sent in error. Your account remains suspended, due to the reasons that were communicated to you at the time your account was initially suspended.

Brilliant. That leaves us once again, over a week and half later, after numerous contacts of various forms (fax/chat/help/email) with the same-old, same-old: suspended and no response.

If you're from eBay and checking our site: Jeez Louise, let's get our act together, can we?

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Ashtray Boy
Aug. 5, 2004, 4:16 PM

“Ashtray Boy” is today's magic phrase.

We never post about music, but for some reason we really like this song and the story behind this band. Go to, launch the site, open the music list showing one song (drops open), then play no. 18, “Late Nite Mating Dance” by Ashtray Boy.

(Good site, by the way. Always has a sparkling little playlist updated regularly.)


A few sample Ashtray Boy MP3s are available for download.

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Careless drivers
Aug. 5, 2004, 3:38 PM

There is more to watch out for on a scooter than careless drivers. From a post:

Comin home from work Friday night on my P2. Just around sunset and I'm comin around a corner full speed in upper North Vancouver. As I come around I notice what appears to be a big dog pacing me along the sidewalk. I hate dogs that run after scooters so I give 'er a little more to get away. It's about this time that I realize its not a dog but a black bear!!! And he's running right at me. Im not sure who was more scared me or the bear. We passed each other with a couple feet to spare and I made it home without incident. Ive been chased by alot of things on my scooters but this one takes it. Anyone have any spare underwear!

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Scooter with GPS
Aug. 2, 2004, 11:38 AM

From Oz: a scooter with GPS and mod clothes in Hobart. Hopefully they can be combined.

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Ebay nightmare
Jul. 30, 2004, 11:15 AM

Part 1 of a series:

Damn, damn, damn. Well, forget the auction below for now.

Try the following experiment: sign up for eBay from your Western location, verifying your ID, then travel overseas and post an auction. Result?

Due to recent activity, including possible unauthorized listings, we have temporarily suspended activity on your account in order to allow us to investigate this matter further.

We really hope it ain't so, and we might be wrong, but it does seem that now that eBay owns Paypal they have adopted Paypal's stupid inflexible system of locking your account automatically if you login from overseas from certain “suspect” countries like, oh, Vietnam? Which means that when we posted the auction below last night from, quite naturally, Vietnam, eBay automatically yanked the auction and suspended our account entirely.

When this happened with Paypal a few years ago, we had to trudge through the endless muck of canned email responses then finally fax docs over to get the account restored - but then when we logged in again, they locked it again. Over and over and over again until we just gave up using it.

You would think that someone at eBay/Paypal would take the feedback given - and, boy, we gave plenty as others must have - and add the little logical check to their security system that says “also logs in from [countries],” or “agrees to accept logins from overseas,” but no. Apparently no one at eBay/Paypal has ever travelled or worked overseas. At least not in one of them there “exotic” countries. (Remember the Friends episode where they went to “exotic” England? You get the idea.)

To top it all off, adding perfect insult to injury, this type of “security” check is only harmful to good eBayers while being perfectly useless at catching real scammers. Why? Because anyone with half a computer brain - for example, a 15 year old internet scammer in Romania - knows that you can use a proxy to hide your location and avoid detection. Meanwhile anyone who works overseas is endlessly hassled until they just quit in frustration.

So then, where do things stand right now? Well, they now have chat help with canned responses instead of email with canned responses:

[....] Every time I log in my account will be closed again. So?

eBay Chat Rep: I do not know what will happen. You will need to go through that department to find out the outcome of this.
eBay Chat Rep: Do you have any other questions regarding your account security at this time? What department??? This sounds like the never-ending Paypal nightmare that just ends in being unable to continue using the account: login, locked acocunt, fax docs, restore acocunt, login, account locked, faxed docs, etc... Are you allowed to tell me why my account was closed?

eBay Chat Rep: I understand your concern regarding this situation. I do see that your account was compromised to list items without your consent.
eBay Chat Rep: To protect your account from further unauthorized use, your account was temporarily suspended.
eBay Chat Rep: Please fax in the information that I have requested. The only item listed was a scooter by me last night. Or were there others? If so, please tell me as then I know my account was hacked.

eBay Chat Rep: Our Privacy Policy prevents me from discussing these matters in this chat window. Until I can verify that you are the account owner I cannot disclose any more information to you at this time. That's not very helpful. If just the scooter listed, then my account was NOT compromised; if more were listed, then it was and I need to figure out how. That's all I want to know, but if you can't answer...

eBay Chat Rep: I am sorry that I am uanble to help you any further.


Hence, stage 2, fax docs.

To be continued...

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PWK carb float
Jul. 13, 2004, 11:43 AM

We've added a little tech tip about the float on a PWK carb. Careful opening them, they can be a little tricky. Read up first.

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PWK choke conversion kit
Jul. 6, 2004, 10:36 AM

We've added a choke and throttle conversion kit for PWK-type carbs for Lambretta and Vespa. Just in case you were wondering.

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Chicken suit
Jul. 2, 2004, 11:42 AM

Just for fun, a guy in a chicken suit. Tell him what to do and he does it for you. Try, “watch tv” for a start to see how it works. When we suggested something, shall we say, less than polite, he came up and shook his finger at us. OK, settle down chicken, just kidding.

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Jun. 27, 2004, 1:13 PM

Terry Frankland, a partner in Taffspeed Racing, one of the more renowned scooter shops in the world, has sadly passed away. Terry was a leading force in tuning and racing Vespa and Lambretta scooters since the early 1970s. Our condolences to his family and those at Taffspeed.

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