I recently bought a product on eBay, that turned out to have been directly bought from the manufacturer with stolen credit card info. A couple months after the purchase, the hardware, which "calls home" on startup, started displaying a message that read "product disabled as identified as potentially stolen".
I just checked the terms of sale:
- ANTI-FRAUD ... XXX reserves the right to make contact using details provided, and lock both XXX accounts and hardware.
Is this even legal ? This is really the question I'm asking (can't be too specific on stackexchange), but I'd like to provide more context with respect of my own case:
The company failed to implement antifraud protection on their website which is often just one optional line of code away (i'm a payment systems programmer). The company accepts payments from Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress and Paypal. They all propose anti-fraud filters and offer a zero-liability to the card owner in case of theft. This means the merchant (which turns out to be the company as well in this case) is fully responsible for handling the chargeback the financial institution imposes on the transaction (even if the goods have been sent). In other words (correct me if I'm wrong), the law consider the loss is the value of the goods sent, i.e. that it is not money theft per se, but theft of goods. Disabling the product seems to me like a way to escape their responsibility.
Also, for reasons that are too long to explain, I sent back the disabled product to get a refund (was promised so), but now the company, which probably did not want to accept a stolen product to refund/repair/re-enable it but did so in the confusion of its shitty many-people-for-one-request kind of support is just silent and I'm still waiting for my refund.
What kind of specific threats can I do to force them to perform this refund ? To me the ownership situation (they now own the product they disabled) shows that the theft has factually been transferred onto me, for an error they committed and that I would not have done (it's my job).
What kind of offices/chamber of commerce should I threaten them to reach out to, knowing the company is in Australia and I'm European customer.