A seller reported that an eBay customer service rep greatly overstepped his or her bounds by allowing a blocked buyer to purchase an item from them last night.
Blocking buyers is not uncommon on eBay, and overriding a block can result in consequences ranging from the annoying, to the costly, to the dangerous.
The seller in question said returns had exploded since June, costing them time and money. But he or she also said the incident was disturbing given the fact they had experienced an abusive buyer this year who called and left violent homophobic telephone messages.
Referring to Thursday's incident in which eBay unblocked a buyer, the seller wrote, "It made me sick to my stomach. This is my store and I pay a lot to do business here. I follow eBay's rules even when they are getting really bad. Apparently I don't have the right to protect myself from harm in one of the last ways that exists."
The seller wondered if it was a one-off, or if it was a new eBay policy. Last year, we published a column about an eBay change in the *enforcement* of its BBL policy, well worth reviewing.
Thanks to the reader who sent us a link to the eBay discussion board post
where the seller reported the incident. Have you ever had a case where eBay Customer Service unblocked someone you had added to your blocked buyer list?
We noticed that eBay's Brian Burke went into the thread and indicated it was not eBay's policy to allow buyers to override sellers' blocked buyer lists (BBL). Here's his response (page 4 of the thread, message number 66
We do not intentionally remove active buyers from seller blocked bidder lists.
Please send me the User ID of the buyer who is on your BBL and the confirmation from the buyer that this occurred. I'm making the assumption they stated this occurred via email. And if you have it, the agent who spoke with the buyer. If not, I'll get it from the buyer when I speak to them.
You can message me or email it to me at email@example.com
Brian Burke, Director Community Development