My ventromedial prefrontal cortex is shrinking! At least, that’s my excuse.
I recently read an article in the Globe and Mail which says that as we get older our ability to doubt is impaired because this part of the brain begins to shrink.* This means that we are more likely to believe Nigerians who want to put money in our bank accounts. We are also more likely to make questionable purchasing decisions. This explains a lot!
Way back at the end of June I bought a phone on eBay. It was a failed attempt at economy. I bought an iPhone 3GS. When it arrived I was excited because it was my first iPhone; however, I soon realized that the camera was not working, so I contacted the seller to tell him that it was not as advertised.
The seller is someone who makes a business out of selling refurbished phones, and he promised me that he would have another one available in two weeks. So I waited. Then he said it would be another two weeks, and I waited again. Then he said wait some more, then he went on vacation… Long story short, I waited long enough that I had passed the forty-five days limit for a PayPal refund.
I have been emailing back and forth with this fellow, but my last two emails have not received a response. So, yesterday I phoned eBay and spoke to someone who was very kind but ultimately not helpful. He said he couldn’t do anything because it was over forty-five days, but he did give me the contact information for the seller (Danasells). He also advised me to contact the police to report a fraud. The phone number he gave me for the seller is, unfortunately, incorrect. When I called, the person I spoke to sounded completely bewildered and said he was not the person I was looking for.
So yesterday I made a fraud report, which made me feel a bit better. That won’t get me any recompense, though. It’s just information added to the police data bank. I wanted to put a negative feedback on eBay to warn other people whose ventromedial prefrontal cortexes are also shrinking that this guy is not to be trusted. Unfortunately, it is now beyond the sixty-day window of opportunity for doing that.
It seems that among the other parts of us that shrink over time, we now have to take into account this small part of our brains. I hope someone is doing the research to make a little blue pill for this dysfunction.
Update: 22 Sept. I have returned the eBay phone to Apple and for the cost of repairing it they have instead upgraded me to a new and later model phone. Yay! I am a happy camper. (Bonus: the Apple guy was cute and charming.)