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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 31 2014 13:30:11

eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
eBay sent $10 coupons to shoppers over the past few days, but buyers say eBay is not honoring the coupons. (And no, it's not April Fool's Day just yet.) Buyers trying to redeem the coupons are frustrated that they are unable to redeem the coupons for their purchases. EcommerceBytes readers described the problem on the Ecommerce EKG board.

Some coupon holders discussing the problem on the eBay boards said they were deferring purchases until the coupon would work but, as one buyer said, were afraid someone else would purchase the item before they had a chance to: "I just got transferred to 3 different people in India, they are aware of the problem, but they are not guaranteeing it will be fixed in the next few hours. This stinks because I was purchasing a BIN with the coupon, but it wasn't working. Someone may end up getting the item, and I'll be out of luck."

In that case, the eBay customer service rep told her to contact the seller - despite the fact it would appear sellers would have no way to fix eBay's glitch. (This is a case of eBay CSR compounding problems for sellers - what are sellers supposed to tell these unhappy buyers?)

Other buyers were upset because they had purchased an item and were unable to redeem the coupon to help pay for the purchase: "Yes, I am having the same problem and a little peeved right now...considering I counted on it for the purchase I just made."

Another buyer said customer service told him "this may or may not get fixed.... waste more time by contacting your seller and ask them if you can have more time to pay and then keep trying every day to see if it will work, they are sorry but they can not give me another coupon code because..... GET THIS.... they are running out of funds to give out discounts!!!! Oh my God if I treated my customers like this...."

An EcommerceBytes reader described the problem in a letter to the editor, also reporting that an eBay customer service rep said eBay had run out of money to fund the coupon campaign:

Dear Ina,
Thought you would like this one. On 3/28, eBay sent me an email stating that I have a $10 coupon. Apparently I sold an item during a promo period and won the coupon. Great!!  

Well, today, 3/31, I attempted to use the coupon on an eBay purchase and received an error message stating that the coupon was invalid. I then contacted an eBay Customer Service representative and told her about the issue. The answer I received was very interesting, to say the least.

Apparently Customer Service was made aware of the issue concerning these coupons on 3/29. The problem is that more people were opted into this promo than was originally thought, and the budget for these coupons has already been depleted.  

Therefore the coupons will no longer work until the budget team can get more money into the coupon account. They are currently working on this, but don't know when the coupons will be reactivated. Meanwhile, my coupon expires on 04/06.  I was told to keep trying from time to time to see if it goes through.
Gotta love eBay and their 5-Star Service!!!
Bob


On Monday morning, an eBay moderator went into the discussion board and asked, "Can someone please send me an example of the coupon so I can help troubleshoot this?"

We've got a question in to eBay to find out the cause of the problem and whether eBay has plans to help pacify shoppers who had a bad buying experience as a result of its coupon redemption problem.



Comments (52) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Mon Mar 31 13:47:40 2014
Oh my! From the outside-looking-in, this is hysterical. (Although I'm sure that it's truly frustrating for those involved with this snafu, who see absolutely NO humor in it at all.)

It's good to see a moderator expressing concern and a willingness to troubleshoot the situation... but it's also very revealing that the moderator relies on USERS for an example of the coupon. (Can we infer that eBay itself is of no help to the moderator's efforts?)

Running out of funds? Running. Out. Of. FUNDS?!!

Seriously?

Things really ARE worse than we thought! No hyperbole needed. Ebay writes the headlines and memes for us!
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Mon Mar 31 14:30:56 2014
I can see it now:

1 star for As Described.

(Seller didn't honor coupon.)

Yet another way for ebay to eliminate discounts and purge sellers.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 31 14:44:26 2014
NO MONEY in their account to FUND their OWN COUPONS- Oh my Gawd!!
LMAO over here.

I guess the ebay csr script-writing spin guy is off on a "thinking day" and they didn't have time to spin it.

In 2-3 weeks sellers will be explaining- I got low dsr's and a defect, and the CSR's will say "This is the first time I have EVER heard of this- sorry can't fix it".

That IS what they will say.

April Fools- Tomorrow?????1????

Watch and see......

MH

"As is our custom, we will give our sellers plenty of advance notice so they can prepare".
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Puck
       
Mon Mar 31 15:23:39 2014
"eBay, The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" - With apologies to Jimmy Breslin.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Puck
       
Mon Mar 31 15:26:53 2014
"...and the budget for these coupons has already been depleted."

Like their budget for executive brain power...
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Mon Mar 31 15:43:54 2014
There is more bullship here that you could fertilize an organic farm with.

Customer services advice to contact the seller? Bullship!!

We don't have the money to honor the coupons... More Bullship

More prople opted into the promotion than we expected... Even more Bullship!!

I guess the staff and management at eBay is so busy trying to ignore the "noise" from Carl Ichan that they are unable to do their jobs effectively.

The fact of the matter is that eBay knew how many sellers opted into the promotion and should have taken care of the funding issue as that number climbed.

eBay management and staff should listen to the one thing Carl Ichan keeps saying that is certainly no secret among sellers. eBay is in crisis mode due entirely to poor management from the CEO on down.

No wonder eBay found it necessary to revise the user agreement and prohibit users from participating in class action law suits by default. Their incompetence is exceeded only by the corporate greed and arrogance that permeates every level at eBay.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 31 15:48:59 2014
Bait and Switch is a crime - eBay isnt "running outof funds" .. they are just ouf of funds for that promo.

They are such liars. Contact your local BBB office, Attorney General or your family lawyer.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       
Mon Mar 31 17:01:06 2014
If a buyer does ask a question, the paranoid eBay sellers will block them.

Blocked Buyer Lists need to be abolished. I need to call Griff and ask for a better buyer experience.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Mon Mar 31 17:12:45 2014
The old "Amateur Hour" radio show lives on and is now being produced in the studios of Radio eBay; only now it not just for an hour but forever—LOL ...

It really is all too funny; eBay should be running their ads on the Comedy Channel ...
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 31 17:38:03 2014
Ok guys, I am READY to make my APRIL FOOLS PREDICTION.

Ebay will tomorrow announce that for sellers who OPT-IN to managed returns- they will be 100% PROTECTED from "DEFECTS" on their seller account.

This is my prediction.

This will happen in the next week, may not happen on the actual day.

Mass howler
(I also KNOW that ebay makes $$$ from us on those shipping labels they freely issue and charge us gor when buyers return- just another "opportunity" for ebay, on the sellers dime).

Follow the money, and follow Ming's rule).
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear
       
Mon Mar 31 18:49:10 2014
Well, I just tried to use mine again, and it still comes up as "invalid" due to "zero balance".  What I was trying to buy earlier has already been sold (thanks ALOT eBay!!!) Maybe they will be able to replenish the coupon account after the start of the new month... maybe not.  Either way, I just as well may get the item from Amazon now.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 31 21:08:50 2014
Windsorbear, I feel your pain.

This is EXACTLY what will happen, correct me if anything else happens and I will chew up my mustache, while it is on my face, and I will SWALLOW it:

Your "coupon" expires on the 4th, right- just like MINE.

On the 5th the "problem" will be corrected- you will TRY to use said coupon- and the csr's will say- "SORRY-THAT COUPON IS EXPIRED- you should have used it before it expired".

This is EXACTLY, PRECISELY what WILL occur.

I have tried to use ebays "coupons" 4 times now, and I have never had 1 work- either the window is NOT THERE for me to enter the code, or it reads "invalid", every single time.

And.... each and every time I call-they say "It is expired, you should have used it before it expired".

I ASK: Should we TRUST ebay with out "loss Prevention" or ANYTHING ELSE folks????

Ebay- CUSTOMERS DEMAND BETTER.

Mass Howler
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear
       
Mon Mar 31 21:39:40 2014
Mass, mine expires on the 6th.  What is really getting under my skin is that the items I'm looking at STILL have an eBay blurb on them telling me to use the coupon to get $10 off the purchase price.  STILL showing up even though the coupon doesn't work.  Why not just give a starving dog a rubber bone, eBay????????
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear
       
Mon Mar 31 21:48:33 2014
Just went to the eBay boards on this... the moderator that Ina spoke of states that we will be receiving replacement coupons from eBay within the next few days.  She didn't say if the expiration date would be extended or not.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: odona This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Mar 31 22:56:06 2014
I just had the same thing happen to me...I usually avoid ebay's gimmicks but thought I'd try it...overbid on something (which I actually wanted, BTW) by the coupon amount, was high bidder and, when I went to pay was told pretty much the same thing everyone else was...they did give me an inside alert # - 7283 which can be used when contacting CS - maybe this will help, maybe not. Maybe my seller will wait, maybe she won't, BUT imagine if I offered coupons on my site and then couldn't honor them? How long would I stay in biz?
I've been wondering if ebay hasn't been setting itself up for a US Gov buyout before being offered to, say, Alibaba for 10c on the dollar? They're certainly acting like they're practicing for the job...
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Mon Mar 31 23:42:09 2014
Here is the strategy behind eBay's latest fiasco....

ebay issued the coupons then intentionally underfunded the account with the expectation that buyers would complete purchases before discovering the coupon would not work.

Note that this is all happening at the end of the first quarter - showing how desperate eBay is to boost sales!!

People were duped into making purchases they might not otherwise have made and in the process inflated eBay's first quarter GMV.

Now, they will get a replacement coupon which of course will be redeemed in the second quarter.

eBay intentionally designed this mess solely because they can not generate genuine growth in GMV without deceiving buyers in the process!!
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 1 00:06:43 2014
Ric wrote, "eBay intentionally designed this mess solely because they can not generate genuine growth in GMV without deceiving buyers in the process!!"

I think your onto something there. They have run out of ways to deceive the sellers, so now they are working on deceiving the buyer...

Ebay keeps sinking to new lows.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 1 00:15:57 2014
I thought I had a coupon--but it is nowhere to be found in my INBOX or TRASH---which is apparently where it BELONGS!  
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
by: dasw This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 1 01:16:03 2014
Our promotion is underfunded because we had to donate it towards eBay CEO John Donahoe's 14 Million dollar 2013 compensation.
Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers   eBay Fails to Honor Coupons It Gave Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Tue Apr 1 01:21:53 2014
This is the PERFECT scam to report to the FTC:

(877) 382-4357

Perhaps there's double secret ebafia software that has the capability of recalling emails which would explain disappearing coupons.

Using recall software to retrieve a legitimately issued coupon from your inbox is THEFT.

Don't get mad; get even.
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