|Wed May 28 2014 20:15:37|
eBay Gives Buyers Mixed Messages on How Cases Impact Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
eBay must have a case of whipklash due to its changing stance on "open cases" and how they affect sellers' performance standards, and it's now giving buyers mixed messages.
In July 2012, eBay announced it would require buyers to contact sellers before filing a claim.
In April 2013, eBay began requiring buyers to open cases in the Resolution Center in order to contact sellers - but on the plus side, eBay promised sellers that opened cases would no longer count against them.
A year later, March 2014, eBay announced that open cases would count against sellers. So if a buyer tries to "contact seller" in their My eBay account to check on the status of their delivery, that action alone will count against the seller.
An eBay seller tweeted me yesterday, "@EcommerceBytes what about a blog on how eBay are lying to buyers about the effects of cases on sellers...." with a link to eBay UK's FAQs on the eBay Money Back Guarantee.
Under, "Problem with your purchase?" a FAQ explains:
I haven't received an item - what should I do?
The amount of time that it takes for an item to arrive often depends on the postage method that you selected when you bought the item. You can review the estimated delivery time on the Order Details page.
To find this page, look up the item you ordered in your Purchase history in My eBay and click on More actions and then View order details.
If the estimated delivery time has already passed, you should contact the seller. To do so, go back to your Purchase history in My eBay and click Contact Seller next to the item you ordered. When you contact your seller in this way, we open a case so we can track your seller's response and help when needed.
On the same page was this FAQ:
What does a "case" mean - are there any consequences for the seller?
If you haven't received an item or received an item that isn't as described, the first step is to contact the seller. When you do this, it opens a case so we can track progress and help when needed. If the seller resolves the issue to your satisfaction, then there are no consequences for his or her performance rating.
Please be aware that as of the 1 May, open cases will count as defects in new evaluation standards that starting on 20 August. This first evaluation will include May, June and July.
We know that issues like these sometimes happen and are happy that most sellers resolve them quickly. If a seller doesn't resolve a case and you ask eBay to step in, we do take this as an indicator of seller performance. We track how often this happens and if it is more than expected take appropriate action against the seller. You can get more information on how unresolved cases affect seller performance standards.
So eBay advises sellers to open a case and that there will be no consequences for the seller's performance rating, but says open cases will count as defects in the seller's evaluation standards.
This contradictory message is clear as mud for buyers who simply wants to check in with sellers about their packages.
Sellers are also getting mixed message - take a look at this email I received from a seller this week.
Suddenly, I noticed I had 46 counts of Opened Cases Item Not as Described Opened Cases for Item not Received. By August 20, I will surely be below standard. The CS said don't worry, this is not final yet. I am sure she would not be there when shit hits the fan for this seller.
Today, I have only 1 opened case and all buyers gave me good feedback after cases were resolved. A lot of buyers want to ask technical question. Ebay tricked them to Open Case under Item Not as Described. Other buyers just want to ask where is their package.
We had 3 months of grueling freezing roads and USPS were late each time and buyers wanted to email sellers. But eBay hijacked buyers communication to sellers and tricked them to Open Case under Item Not Received.
Everytime, I ask why the buyer opened a case, 100% said they only wanted to email me. The CS said it is my communication problem. How could that be? EBay hijacked buyers communication to sellers and tricked them to open a case?
If sellers asked buyer to sign that they were somehow tricked or misled by eBay to Open Cases against their sellers, will FTC take action against eBay?
At the rate this is going, I would get kicked out of eBay as a seller.. so I won't be able to call eBay to resolve the problems.
Are other sellers on the same boat? Should we NOT Worry like the CS told me today?
Please help all us now before it is too late. I will have over $30k inventory in my shop.
I receive other emails from sellers that say their buyers are apologizing for opening a case against them, that they simply wanted to inquire about their package.
Perhaps sellers should start telling those buyers to lodge a complaint with eBay.