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eBay Lax in Reporting Technical Issues

Some eBay users were having problems connecting to eBay’s website or accessing certain features on Friday morning, including the homepage and the homepage feed. But the company failed to report the technical issue on the Systems Announcement Board or through its social networking accounts.

A reader who wrote to EcommereBytes to report she was unable to connect to eBay said, “Is it just me or has eBay crashed? I’ve tried using Explorer and Chrome on two different computers and I can’t get on eBay. I can get on your site and many others that I’ve tested, just not eBay.” She later wrote, “I’m getting emails notifying me I have a sale, but I still can’t access the site.”

Other users turned to eBay’s discussion boards to report problems. “Where is the Feed on my Homepage?? Has eBay eliminated the Feed? I certainly hope not – my custom Feed is the only way that I purchase items. It better be just a glitch. Anyone else having problems? eBay??”

Another eBay user echoed the complaint, writing, “Yes, I am having the same problem. And I too purchase most everything this way.”

We later learned, thanks to eBay UK and eBay Australia, eBay was indeed having problems on its site, with both marketplaces reporting the issue on their respective announcement boards.

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eBay UK first reported a technical problem on its announcement board at about 6:30 am EST Friday morning. “Due to a technical issue, some eBay customers may notice a problem with key areas of the eBay site. We’re working to solve this problem and apologise for any inconvenience. Please try to complete your transaction at a later time.”

Over an hour later, it reported, “Due to a technical issue, some eBay customers may have noticed a problem accessing the eBay home page. The issue was identified, and the home page is now accessible. Some customers may find the eBay Feed is unavailable. We’re working to solve this issue and apologise for any inconvenience.”

Four hours later, eBay UK updated the announcement, writing, “As a result of an issue, the eBay home page and eBay Feed were intermittently unavailable for a short period during the morning of Friday 9 May. As a result of this issue, some customers may have had difficulty accessing the eBay home page. The issue was identified and fixed, and the eBay home page and eBay Feed are restored and available. Throughout this time, all other eBay pages were available, and no listings were affected. The issue is now fully resolved. Rest assured we take these situations very seriously. Our teams have been hard at work to rectify this quickly, and prevent any reoccurrence. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused. As always, thank you for selling on eBay.”

eBay Australia also reported the technical issue on Friday with a follow-up on Saturday.

However, eBay.com and eBay.ca (Canada) failed to report the issues, leaving those unable to connect to waste valuable time troubleshooting the issue.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.