I ordered a boxed set of DVDs on eBay several weeks ago using Buy-it-now, and paid immediately. The seller's website said to wait at least two weeks after payment before inquiring about an order. Well, two weeks went by, and I received no DVDs, so I sent them an e-mail. To their credit, they did respond the next day. This is what they said:
I have personally checked on the status of your order, and I apologize for the delay.
Your item has not yet shipped due to an error in our inventory stock numbers. Our systems showed us we had it in stock but when our packers went to pack it, the actual inventory was zero. We carry over 160,000 items on hand so we appreciate your understanding since this does occur on extremely RARE occasions. We are currently in the process of implementing an improved inventory system but that may take a while to integrate due to our large warehouse and the hundreds of thousands of items we carry.
Please be assured that your item will ship out as soon as it becomes available. We anticipate re-stocking within the next 1-2 weeks. You will be notified via e-mail when your item(s) re-ship. If you are not notified within 2 weeks, please re-contact me for a full refund.
If you would prefer to cancel your order immediately and receive a full refund, I would be happy to begin that process for you right now.
We appreciate your understanding and once again, apologize for our error and the inconvenience it has caused you.
Now, ok, they are very polite, and I have full confidence they will give me my refund, given their astronomical feedback rating of 200,000+. But come on. An error in the inventory system? And it isn't as "rare" as they claim - I saw several feedback comments that indicated this has happened many times before, although the company always gives full refunds.
What really irks me about this (besides the fact that it seems possible I may never see my item) is that I happened to be browsing through their items on eBay again, and lo and behold, they have put up another listing for the SAME ITEM. So some other poor sap is going to get to go through the same rigamarole. Ergh.