Allow me to tell you a story about MEDIATION. Probably stupidly, I purchased an 8GB mp3/movie player on eBay. The player itself was very cheap but the postage was £20 – the goods were coming from Hong Kong. 10 days later the seller finally advised me of dispatch – I had paid for the item using PayPal within minutes of the sale closing.

The player itself does not work. The software disc that came with it is loaded with viruses – or so my PC tells me.

When I contacted the seller, they agreed to send me a replacement player. And then I would send the faulty player back and they would reimburse the postage.

Then this morning they changed their minds, accusing me of wasting their time.

I escalated the dispute for MEDIATION with PayPal. Within hours PayPal had decided that I should send the player back to Hong Kong at my own expense and that the seller would either repair it, replace it or pay me back the money – but a full refund would be out of the question.

As a consequence, I will use PayPal even less now, and will find another way of moving money.

I am £20+ out of pocket for a piece of rubbish. The only good thing that has come of this is a really neat little charger unit which is a standard 13amp plug, to which USB cables can be attached directly…

This is MEDIATION in the real world. Let’s hope that Mbeki can do a better job than PayPal…