|Fri Sept 5 2014 22:09:28|
eBay to Make Reparations to Sellers for Service Disruption
By: Ina Steiner
eBay will make some reparations to sellers who were impacted by the major technical issues the site experienced on Wednesday that disrupted transactions. But it did not invite sellers to cancel auctions that were impacted by low-bidding activity caused by the incident as it did in the case of the May 21st password-reset incident.
eBay experienced major technical issues on Wednesday that left many buyers and sellers unable to login to their accounts and conduct certain tasks, a disruption noted by the BBC which called it "the eleventh such outage eBay has suffered this year." Not only were users unable to log in to the site, many people said they were unable to open auction listings, clearly impacting bidding and most likely resulting in some items selling for far less that they would have for auctions ending during the disruption.
Whereas eBay had always had a consistent outage policy in place since 1999, this year it changed the policy to be far less transparent. However, it did post messages to its announcement board for this disruption, informing sellers it would "provide them with additional information separately on possible fee adjustments and related seller protections."
That notice came in the form of an email sent to sellers on Friday. Here's what the letter, signed by Steve Boehm of eBay's Global Customer Experience, stated:
For several hours on Wednesday, September 3, some users experienced issues when visiting eBay. We acted quickly when the disruption began shortly before 10:00 AM PDT, and the issue was fixed for most users within two hours. Transactional issues were completely resolved for all users by 4:16 PM PDT.
This service interruption was the result of a technical issue that occurred during scheduled server maintenance. The personal information of our users was not compromised.
While many users were not affected, we know that any interruption for our users is frustrating. Please know that as a seller with transactions impacted by this issue, we'll be protecting you as follows:
- You'll receive a credit for all fees for auction-style listings (except those that sold for a Buy It Now price) and any fixed price listings without a sale (except 30-day and Good 'Til Cancelled listings) that ended between 9:46 AM PDT through 6:20 PM PDT on Wednesday, September 3.
- If the affected listing was a free listing, you can relist it within 7 days for free, even if you've used all your regularly allotted free listings.
- Any transaction defects we can identify as resulting from this issue will be automatically removed and will not impact your performance record.
- Your seller status and any applicable Top Rated Plus discounts will be protected if you were not able to upload tracking information to eBay within your stated handling time due to this issue.
The credits will be applied to your account by September 15 and reflected on your next invoice.
We understand that this type of service interruption has an impact on your selling activity. We're taking steps to prevent this from happening again and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay.
Global Customer Experience
After eBay disclosed the hacking incident on May 21st and required users to reset their passwords, it allowed sellers to cancel auction transactions for an 11-day period, saying it recognized the impact such disruptions had on bidding:
"Additional steps for sellers regarding auction-style listings: We recognize that the password reset may temporarily interrupt the normal bidding process for buyers. We're taking additional steps to ensure successful transactions for sellers," it wrote - and, included in the provisions: "Sellers can end any auction-style listing without penalty between 6:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, and 11:59 PM PDT on Saturday, May 31, 2014 and will receive a credit for all listing fees related to these listings on their June invoice."
eBay did not explain why it made allowances for auctions with the May password reset but not with Wednesday's technical meltdown.