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eBay Frustrates UK Shoppers with Coupon Glitch

eBay sent an invitation to shoppers in the UK with a coupon to receive a 20 percent discount on purchases made by midnight on Monday. However, the promotion backfired when the coupon redemption code would not work, and complaints flooded in to EcommerceBytes, Twitter, and the eBay boards.

The promotion invited sellers to receive 20% off when they spent 20 pounds or more on eBay UK, with a maximum coupon value of 50 pounds.

But when shoppers entered the coupon code CTWENTY, it would not work. The error message received stated, “The redemption code can’t be used for your purchase. There is no balance left on this redemption code.”

One shopper told EcommerceBytes there was a 50-minute wait for customer service when eBay rejected the code for their purchase. Others complained of long wait times as well, and many grew impatient, as the coupon expired at midnight.

A shopper tweeted, “@AskeBay you stopped looking into this? You seem to be ignoring questions about the CTWENTY code still not working.”

Another shopper wrote, “@AskeBay any ideas on the CTWENTY issue? I’m trying to spend money here!!”

And one shopper asked @AskeBay, “will you refund the 20% for people who haven’t been able to use the code?”

eBay acknowledged the issue on Twitter (“We are aware of issues with redeeming the CTWENTY code right now, Jamie. We’re looking into it,” eBay responded to one user), and on the eBay UK discussion boards. “Our team are aware of this issue and are working hard to resolve it. We apologise for any frustration caused.”

But shoppers criticized the company for not providing updates, and the company posted nothing about the problem on the eBay UK announcement board.

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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.