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eBay to Credit Fees for Transactions Impacted by Lockout

eBay promised to provide sellers with information about possible fee adjustments and protections after an incident left many buyers and sellers unable to sign in to their eBay accounts last Wednesday. eBay sent emails on Fridays to some sellers it identified as having been impacted by the service disruption.

“While many users were not affected,” eBay wrote, “we know that any interruption for our users is frustrating.” The incident received widespread attention last week, including an article from the BBC in England.

Many eBay sellers said they were unable to ship orders or upload tracking information as a result of the lockout and feared it would result in defects against their accounts and loss of Top Rated Seller status. eBay said the disruption began shortly before 10:00 AM PDT on September 3rd (its 19-year anniversary) and was resolved for all users by 4:16 PM PDT.

Only sellers whom eBay identified as having transactions impacted by the issue received the email. The protections promised by eBay include automatic removal of any defects received that it can identify as resulting from the account lockout issue, and eBay said sellers’ TRS status and discounts would be protected.

It also promised to provide a credit for all fees for auction 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.

Some sellers felt the reparations didn’t go far enough, especially for auctions that might have sold for far less than they would have had bidders been able to place bid at the ending moments of the auction.

A seller on the eBay discussion boards wrote, “What about the auctions that ended hundereds (sic) if not thousands of dollars less than what they should have ended at because of the outage? Notice there is no mention of compensation for THAT, or for letting the seller cancel because of that.”

Another seller writing a comment on the AuctionBytes Blog said she received the email, which also promised the ability to relist listings for free if the affected listing had been a free listing. But, she said, she was afraid to list because there was nothing in her account indicated she could list for free.

Were you impacted by Wednesday’s “service interruption”? Read the full letter available on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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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.