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Sat Apr 28 2012 11:38:26

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
Well, it appears now that eBay won't help out sellers even if a buyer blatantly violates their rules and policies.

I had a problem buyer some time ago who I blocked from bidding on my items. Even blocked, this buyer has been sending me several emails a week demanding that I let him bid again on my items. This is a guy who makes constant unreasonable demands when he buys things, and I just don't want to deal with him anymore.

On Thursday, he decided to buy (fixed price) an item from me, using a new eBay id. It was clearly him because the name and shipping address are identical. Since purchasing this item, he has sent me several messages demanding a discount, and special shipping.

I had this happen once before (with a different buyer) about 7-8 years ago, and upon reporting it that time - the sale was reversed, and the buyer was actually kicked off of eBay. So, I presumed, that it would be relatively easy to get this taken care of.

I sent eBay an email asking that the sale be canceled as he was violating their policy of not attempting to bid on items once blocked. I got back an automated response asking me to call them.

I've now had three phone calls with eBay:

Call 1: I'm told that I'm responsible for the sale regardless of what the bidder has done. The agent doesn't seem to know anything about a policy blocking bidders. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she puts me on hold. About 10 minutes later, I am disconnected.

Call 2: I immediately call back and speak to someone else, I have to go through and explain the situation to him again, and he goes off to "investigate". Twenty minutes later, he's back and says that he'll get it taken care of by the end of the night. Great, I think.. Unfortunately not. As of this morning, no change.

Call 3: I speak to another agent who goes back to the original line that I am responsible for the transaction, and that there's nothing he can do about it. I point out that the previous guy said it would be taken care of, and that the policy is pretty clear. He tries to convince me that I should just send the item and if the buyer files a claim or leaves a negative, that he "personally" will take care of it... But he wont give me a way to contact him - only his first name and last initial. After some more argument, he claims he'll look into it and get back to me. I'm not holding my breath...

The trend on eBay of allowing buyers to do whatever they want, is very disturbing. It's been clear for a while that they no longer consider sellers to be their customers.
Yours,
Steve
Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
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Readers Comments

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Apr 28 12:27:05 2012
Op..I am sprry you are foprced to endure this NIGHTMARE with the "buyer" and ebay.

I see several things wrong here.  1. Once a person is blocked they are or even their friends or family are NOT supposed to buy from you, changing the account and buying when they know they are block IS a violation.
1.buying one thing and then demanding something else can be EXTORTION. especially if he takes it out on your feedback.

As for ebay CS, as we all know, it is a CRAP SHOOT as to who you will gt and what they will actually do/

Oh and the famous HOLD and disconnect when you ask for a supervisor is a CLASSIC!  

However, my advice to you is do NOT send the item to thisw guy and keep calling and emailing ebay about thisw issue until it is resolved.  I say call ande email so that you have record of it. 99% of the time the CS do NOT note the account, which is why we have to repeat our issues 1000X to everyone we talk to.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep
       
Sat Apr 28 14:18:03 2012
I'd refund the purchase immediately, and not communicate with the guy any further.

It's a shame that it is so difficult to get anything productive out of an Ebay CS rep, however - It's pretty obvious that they will side with you and remove feedback once you get a chance to talk with somebody that "cares" enough to do their job...

In the meantime, respond to the neg something like : "Blocked Bidder - Thief / Scammer.

gl
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sat Apr 28 15:31:43 2012
Try this... even if you're just bluffing them. -- Tell the CSR that you're also recording the conversation.

Your ''excuse'' (if you need one) is because it will help you remember everything that was said. -- The effect may be that the CSR will be on his/her best behavior, and will be more inclined to do the right thing if they know that someone is documenting their actions (words, and promises) or their inaction as well.

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sat Apr 28 17:26:22 2012
Blocking bidders is the ebay equivalent of issuing a No Trespassing order in the brick and mortar world.

By not assisting you, ebay is aiding and abetting the following CRIMES:

1. Trespassing
2. Attempted fraud
3. Stalking

You now know where this creep lives. Call his local PD and report that he's stalking you on ebay, and that ebay refuses to help you. Do NOT accept the "we can't help" excuse. They can help but you may have to be persistent.

Then make 20 calls to ebay if necessary to get them to enforce their Blocked Bidder policy, and do NOT tell them you've reported him to the police so they'll have more excuses not to help you.

It's a real shame that ebay can't afford to hire and properly train CSRs instead of relying on middle school interns.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sat Apr 28 17:31:29 2012
It appears that these CSR's have only read the ''Welcome to eBay'' pamphlet... and they're using that one bi-fold page as the basis for ALL of their decisions and actions.

Would it help the OP if he were to be prepared to cite chapter and verse of eBay's published ''unwelcome bidders/buyers'' policy?

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Apr 28 17:46:56 2012
"The trend on eBay of allowing buyers to do whatever they want, is very disturbing. It's been clear for a while that they no longer consider sellers to be their customers."

Seems pretty obvious to me....they have plenty of sellers but not enough buyers...so they are willing to toss sellers under the bus in bunches if need be....anything to keep that buyer.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit
       
Sat Apr 28 19:44:11 2012
I hate eBay.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 29 13:35:15 2012
OP. I would cancel the sale and block this account as well.  

I also agree with Ming about the police report.

I would also put the buyer on notice that he is in VIOLATION of ebay policy by using a different account to buy from you when he knows he is blocked and that you have reprted him and that if he does not leave you alone you will go to his local police station and file a STALKING/HARRASMENT report (via email).
But, do not say if you do not intend to.

Inform him to CEASE AND DESIST from contacting you again EVER in any form which includes but is not limited to purchasing from your store and if he insists, not only will you file a police report you may take CIVIL actions against him as well.

You need to let him know that he CANNOT bully you and that this is not a game.

I would send a copy of your email to ebay as well and DEMAND they deal with this guy IMMEDIATELY!

Remind them that they have a DUTY to protect you from UNWANTED and HARRSSING buyers.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Sun Apr 29 21:27:23 2012
OP, as you are more than aware, this is a serious problem and Ebay is failing your tremedously.

Now as some other posters have told you, you need to keep calling.  And honestly that is what you need to do.  You need to get to the Trust and Safety department.  They can and WILL fix this.  I've been in your position.  While not easy to get to a good CSR sometimes, it can be fixed.

I don't know where you are located, but while Ebay does outsource a lot of their customer service.  Try to call during business hours for the West Coast.  That will up your chances of getting to a good trained CSR.  Not a guarantee, but it will help.

Also, go to Ebay RAdio.  There you will find two email address on screen for you.  Send your story to both the addresses.  You will get a response from one of them.  There is help out there, it is however very unfortunate that you have to work so hard to get to them.  Especially since we pay a lot of money for it.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Sun Apr 29 21:29:38 2012
OH, and VERY VERY VERY important.  DO NOT cancel that transaction or try to cancel the transaction.  You need to make sure you do the things you are suppose to do as a seller.  If you were to refund and refuse to ship or if you were to TRY [it's a mutual cancellation, the buyer can refuse] chances are the buyer would just hit your FB hard.

Your best resolution to this problem is to continue to try and get Ebay to do their job.  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 00:52:53 2012
You know it is IRONIC how hard sellers have to work to FORCE ebay to help them but yet ebay INSISTS that sellers take IMMEDIATE action to assist their customers.

As for canceling the order.  The FACT that the buyer bought the item in CLEAR VIOLATION when he KNEW you blocked him and no longer wanted to do business with him, you have every right to CANCEL the sale WITHOUT worry of FB and DSR retaliation.

Once you do get a GOOD CSR to help they will also deal with any FB and DSRS he might leave in retaliation.

The fact that the guy keeps buying and then demanding you give him additional discounts is also a VIOLATION.

Even if he was not a STALKER and just an average Joe who bought from you, he CANNOT buy and agree to your selling price then deamand additional discounts.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Mon Apr 30 02:29:29 2012
@justthefacts

A seller can't just cancel a transaction on Ebay on their own for any reason.  While certainly there are situations that may come along that this would be a reasonable solution, Ebay does not allow for it.

I know it's not the easiest thing to deal with Ebay's CSRs and trying to get them to do the right thing.  I've talked to many untrained and plain lazy CSRs over the years.  But as soon as you get to a good one that knows what they are doing, you will know it as the problem described by the OP is one that Ebay normally reacts to in favor of the seller.  But it's a matter of getting to the right person in Ebay.  I stand by what I suggested above.  I have personal knowledge that it works and the OP should not accept anything less.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Mon Apr 30 08:12:57 2012
I would forward all of his emails to eBay, along with your explanation that you've blocked this bidder before. Forward one of his emails demanding to be allowed to buy from you, too. You have followed the rules and this guy is circumventing them. You have every right not to sell to him. I would certainly refund his purchase and block this new ID, since you have a valid reason for doing so. Keep reporting him to eBay until they give you a reasonable answer.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Mon Apr 30 10:40:11 2012
Patricia says "It's been clear for a while that they no longer consider sellers to be their customers."

Bingo!  Who runs a business like that?  A good thing doesn't last for ever eBay.  Just ask Blockbuster and MySpace.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Apr 30 10:44:11 2012
I have no advice, but I do think the situation is sad and I feel sorry for the original poster. This is not at all in the spirit of ebay as it started out as. I also think the stalker is a very sad person and most likely mentally disturbed (you would have to be to be doing what they are doing) and there is no dealing with people like that svae perhaps a good long stay at an inpatient facility.

Might I encourage some of you that are sick of ebay and it's screwy customer service reps to please join a bunch of good sellers at ecrater? Things really do sell there and none of this crap to deal with!
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: 16mmfilmseller This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 10:48:05 2012
I'm the original poster here -- just to clarify a few things:

1) The buyer is in Italy, so there's not much I can do about calling the police or anything like that.

2) I've now spoken to customer service a 4th and 5th time, including a "supervisor" - they insist that there's nothing they can do unless/until the buyer leaves me a negative feedback. I pointed out how stupid this was, and they even accepted the fact (they found the notes) that they had dealt with a similar situation for me about 7 years ago - but they claimed it was "Different" this time because the other buyer who did this, had a pattern of doing it to many sellers...

3) Buyer has not paid yet - he's demanding that I repackage and ship the item a special way to save him money on the shipping. What he wants me to do requires about 30-45 minutes of work on my part (removing a film from reels and putting it on plastic cores). This is partly why he was blocked in the first place - he demanded this in the past, and then demanded a discount (which I didn't give him) because the reels (which he asked me to remove) were not included..

4) If he decides to pay for it with the full price, I guess I'm stuck having to ship it (so says ebay), but, if he doesn't, I'm going to file an NPB tonight (4 days).  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:06:37 2012
The OP is probably the only seller with the 16mm films the buyer in Italy wants.  That's a heck of a category.  

If you blocked one bidder id and he created another to buy from you specifically to get around the blocks, that is a violation of ebay's own rules.  

Ebay should stand up for you in this case, it's the only reasonable thing to do.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: 16mmfilmseller This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:14:08 2012
@Steevo -
You are probably correct - films are collectibles and are in very limited supply...  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Here We Go Again This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:14:13 2012
Sorry this is happening to you but not surprised. I had a similar situation recently, here's what worked for me.
1.  Call eBay CS in the evening, after 8PM EST.  When you go to the help center, enter "fraud" as your reason for contacting eBay. You'll get someone who speaks English and most times they will be able to help you. This buyer violated an eBay policy, this should be very simple to fix. His account should be suspended at least, and the transaction should be cancelled. Since the transaction did not complete because THE BUYER violated eBay's policy, if he should leave negative feedback it should be easy to have it removed. Write down the names of everyone you speak to, and let them know you are keeping your own little file regarding this transaction so you remember all the details.  Do not hang up the phone until you are satisfied that something has been done, tell them you'll hold on as long as necessary to make sure this is corrected.
I agree with the poster that told you to file a police report. Sometimes that's all it takes to get a buyer to back off. Yes this is harassment, and should be reported.If the police show up at his door he won't be happy.
Send a transaction cancellation request to the buyer (no explanation is necessary here) if he denies the cancellation, email through eBay messages and tell him you will not be completing this or any other transactions with him/her and to stop harassing you.  Do not have any contact with this buyer outside of eBay messages.  
Continue to call eBay until you get the CORRECT result. I would also report him to Paypal.
Best of luck to you please let us know the outcome.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:28:49 2012
For what it's worth I have heard that IF you call ebay and tell them that you are HARD OF HEARING and NEED someone who speaks English with an AMERICAN ACCENT that you will be sent to the call center in UTAH.

Those people seem to have some common sense and actually do speak English and are POLITE and I have gotten more help from them (when I have gotten a hold of them that is!) than any other source.

Ebays latest call centers are in Israel and from living there I know that even tho they are taught English from early days some of them are VERY hard to understand and get your needs across to them.  

Then there is India and the Phillipines---not so much either.

Good luck and keep calling.

Oh---one more thought---are you using a translation program to communicate?  Does this person speak or write English?  Might be part of the issue----
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