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Mon Apr 27 2009 09:21:28

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

By: Ina Steiner

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Reports are surfacing from buyers who have encountered eBay's new dispute resolution process announced on April 14, 2009. eBay said the process will apply to cases where buyers claim an item was not received or the item they received was different than described in the listing.

The process is initiated when a buyer goes to file a PayPal claim against a seller. Buyers are exposed to a screen that gives them a phone number to call (one buyer called it a pop up, another a banner, and another called it a redirect. Tamebay has a screenshot of what one buyer saw. Shown above is a screenshot that another buyer posted on a discussion board after logging in to PayPal.) 

A buyer who described his experience with the new dispute process in a thread on an industry discussion board on April 15th said was generally satisfied with the experience but had two major complaints. There was no documentation showing that the transaction was refunded in PayPal, he said, and "eBay wants me to keep the money and the item. That's just wrong." A participant on the discussion board thread wrote that they believed Bay was attempting to replicate Amazon's A-Z guarantee program.




In another case described by an AuctionBytes reader in an email, he had purchased an item in which the seller was unresponsive about when he would ship the item. When he clicked on a link to file a complaint, this is what happened:

"I clicked what I thought to be the Paypal link and a "Call Ebay first at this 800 number" window popped up. A very nice young man listened to my story and took notes. After hearing it, I asked what is next. He said, "Ebay is going to refund your payment". They then suggested I not have any dialog with the seller. They promptly did refund.

"Later that night the seller wrote and said he was prepared for 2 day expedited shipping. I wrote back that the deal was off as Ebay was refunding my payment. My money arrived in my Paypal account and the seller is no longer registered."

When going through the dispute process, both buyers said they explained the situation to an eBay representative by phone and were immediately refunded, and the sellers suspended.

Since the eBay reps are looking at these cases and making an immediate decision in the buyer's favor, it makes sense for sellers to be more diligent not only about responding to buyer complaints - but about documenting them through the eBay system so the reps can see they've responded to buyers.




Comments (64) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Now You Beieve ebay IS ANTISELLER?

Mon Apr 27 09:24:57 2009

What more do you need. Money Refunded, seller is blamed, maybe even taken off ebay. SELLERS PLEASE PLEASE do NOT spend youe money on ebay. THEY do NOT want you there.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: MsFish213

Mon Apr 27 09:38:57 2009

If this is the way the new policy is going to work, I do think that even my few (and far between) sales on Ebay are going to be gone.   This is total BS.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Lee

Mon Apr 27 09:54:36 2009

Can ebay make it any harder for sellers.The barrage of Flak keeps Coming and Coming at Sellers..Ebay has no intentions of making things better for sellers..I got off this circus ride awhile back.Then they wonder why people don't want to Sell and Buy.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: RicRoe

Mon Apr 27 09:57:48 2009

Just what eBay needed to demonstrate to small sellers how much their business is appreciated, an escalation in the war against them conducted by eBay.

Like buyers, not every seller is online every day or even every other day.

eBay did in fact need to improve their customer service, but this new process sounds like it does so at the expense of sellers, as is ebay's typical process.

Buyers getting instant gratification from eBay is one thing, sanctioning sellers with suspensions on the basis of a single complaint is the usual eBay overkill solution to a problem.

But by using the new resolution process as a weapon to enable instant seller suspensions eBay has brought new meaning to the term guilty before charged.

It's likely the effected seller will see their listings pulled and no refunds offered when eBay takes action.

Who is going to subsidize all the Diamond Seller free listings when the ranks of small sellers are decimated yet again?

I took an 10 month vacation from selling on eBay when DSR's rolled out. Looks like it's time to rely on the other smaller and more seller friendly venue's again until eBay gets done fine tuning their new seller killing toy.

Seems the thinking at eBay is along the lines if the DSR's don't get you, the new resolution process will.

eBay....we're not happy until your not happy.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Kristoffer

Mon Apr 27 09:57:53 2009

Of course this is how ebay is going to work things. They are going to always find in favor of the buyer and leave the seller holding the bag in all cases. Paypal for the most part was the same way so why would ebay do anything differently.  

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: FRED

Mon Apr 27 10:03:59 2009

Sounds like a great way to get rid of your competition. Make a purchase, complain, they get kicked off.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Absolutely ABSURD

Mon Apr 27 10:04:26 2009

My gosh, what do they have to do before sellers wake up?

This is absurd and almost beyond words.
(w/o using profanity, that is)

God help any sellers who are still paying ebay for this "service".

Ebay is gone people.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: buriedbybooks

Mon Apr 27 10:10:39 2009

eBay is attempting to copy Amazon's A-Z guarantee without any of the protections for sellers that Amazon has.

The 3 day late window is copied from Amazon. BUT Amazon makes the buyer return the merchandise. Or will refund the buyer the shipping fees only. They do not get to keep both the item and the money.

Add that to the % of transactions that result in claims formula eBay and Paypal use to determine fraud (vs. Amazon's 5 lifetime claims) and it makes eBay even less appealing as a sales venue.

Buyer fraud is going to explode exponentially because eBay does not have the staff to actually look at the disputes. And what staff they do have will have talking points that require them to make the buyers happy no matter what.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Pinchrosemary

Mon Apr 27 10:15:37 2009

I was on the other side, (the seller side) of this new dispute process.  I had a buyer who received a pair of shoes in the wrong size... I communicated back within three minutes of her email. I apologized and admitted my mistake. I told her I would immediately send a label for her convience to return them and I would send her the correct size or refund her, entirely left to her preference. All communication was directly through My Messages in Ebay and still remains in My Messages.

The label was sent the same day the person emailed me, Thursday, April 16. On the 17th, she opened a PayPal dispute and I again communicated through the PayPal process that I would be happy to refund and again, a label was sent USPS for the return of the incorrect shoes. Again, I apologized.

On Saturday night, at 7:51 p.m. I received a call on my cell phone while I was dining. Ebay? Saturday night! I was told that my buyer is waiting for a label and has checked her email everyday and there was no label from me.  I told the Ebay employee to look at my messages and the PayPal dispute process and see there were three messages in response to her.  He said, I can't see that and I just want to be fair to your buyer.

Give me a break Ebay... Every few months, something new, something implemented half-as**d. Am I angry? You bet.  Yes, I admit it. I have grown to completely despise Ebay's executive management's direction.  

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Scriptorical

Mon Apr 27 10:18:45 2009

Here I was hoping that Monday was going to be an uneventful day. So much for that. We no longer sell on eBay, and decided to open our own website.  Anyone who collects old documents, letters and genealogical history stop by our website www.scriptorical.com

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: nancy

Mon Apr 27 10:22:20 2009

Of course we don't know the BUYERS situation. It could be that the seller has not shipped the item a WEEK after taking the money.

I agree that for eBay to decide on the basis of ONE telephone call to refund the buyer and suspend the seller indicates that there's BIG trouble coming for sellers on eBay.

Good news is that Bonanzle is now moving to number three, and will soon pass eBid.

http://www.powersellersunite.com/auctionsitewatch.php

T
hey
have steadily moved up the ladder, if you promote them a little bit, they will gain ground even faster. (and try a search over at Bonanzle, you'd be surprised at what a nice selection they have already. You'll soon NEED an alternative site if this stuff is all true, anyway.)

I have to agree that paying someone to not even ASK me my side of the story is going to be the death knell for eBay.  For ME anyway.

This is why I told them I will NOT participate in them resolving my returns and exhcanges.  If they insist on getting involved, I am gone.

Also, thanks to their retarded policy, I just changed my return policy from 30 days to 20 days on every auction. If they're going to FORCE me to participate, it goes to THREE DAYS. And that is NOT good for the buyers. I don't think they really care about buyers OR sellers, they're using a desperate last gasp attempt to stay alive. Traffic doesn't MATTER--the stock price is all that really counts.

They are starting to crawl up my pants leg like a bug.

That is NOT why I sell on eBay.  

Typical dopes at eBay punish ALL the sellers for a couple bad apples. SOS.

What's the collective IQ over there? 16?

Most people aren't going to see this as the beginning of the end, but I bet it is!

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Pinchrosemary

Mon Apr 27 10:23:10 2009

I was on the other side, (the seller side) of this new dispute process.  I had a buyer who received a pair of shoes in the wrong size... I communicated back within three minutes of her email. I apologized and admitted my mistake. I told her I would immediately send a label for her convience to return them and I would send her the correct size or refund her, entirely left to her preference. All communication was directly through My Messages in Ebay and still remains in My Messages.

The label was sent the same day the person emailed me, Thursday, April 16. On the 17th, she opened a PayPal dispute and I again communicated through the PayPal process that I would be happy to refund and again, a label was sent USPS for the return of the incorrect shoes. Again, I apologized.

On Saturday night, at 7:51 p.m. I received a call on my cell phone while I was dining. Ebay? Saturday night? I was told that my buyer is waiting for a label and has checked her email everyday and there was no label from me. I asked the ebay employee to provide me with directions to send a label through Ebay's My Messages. I told him to send the directions in an email to me through Ebay. Then, I told him to check before calling to see the communications from me to my customer. Ebay employee to look at my messages   He said, "I can't see that, I don't have access and I just want to be fair to your buyer." It doesn't surprise me that Ebay implemented a new process without giving employees the proper training and tools, but just how incompetent can one company be?

Give me a break Ebay... Every few months, something new, something implemented half-as**d. Am I angry? You bet.  Yes, I admit it. I have grown to completely despise Ebay and the direction it's executive management is taking.  

Writing my Ebay Account Manager about this did nothing. I was told the call was part of the new process.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: tedo

Mon Apr 27 10:34:09 2009

It sounds more like a Spanish Inquisition for sellers. But I still think there are legal issues here. Ebay has made themselves judge, jusry and executioner. Thats one thing, but they do not have any legal rights to confiscate merchandise unless it is counterfeit or somehow violates the law and the law allows them to take and destory it.

Taking my money and Telling a customer to keep my merchandise because the customer files a claim that is not even represented in any type of court to verify the validity of the persons word against mine is more than just wrong.

If they return the cusotmers money then the merchandise is the property of the seller again.

and normally these claims also are the opinion of the customers and not even always fact. Someone would have to physically look at the merchandise against photo's and witnesses of before it was shipped to really determine if the customers claims are valid.

This simply cant be done and this is why they just give the money back.

There is just no way to properly investigate a complaint by a customer properly without spending more money, people and time that the item is probably worth.

So based on that the whole process just get's railroaded with a out of the box instant court and execution. Your presence isn't even required for a verdict.

But on the part about telling the customer to keep merchandise based on some mock trial by a $8 clerk is simple stealing, and it encourages customers to do exactly that.

As long as their smart enough not to abuse it they can get away with some free merchandise every now and then at the sellers expense and reputation.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: fedup

Mon Apr 27 10:59:03 2009

well I guess this is the death nell of Ebay. Who is going to sell there with this going on

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Another Wronged Seller

Mon Apr 27 11:18:34 2009

Unbelievable!

At least with a paypal complaint there was a wait for a decision to be made so a package could have time to arrive.

As an east coast seller, I have many problems related to long transit times to the west coast. west coast buyer chooses parcel post to save money than complains that it takes a week to get. my shipping time DSR is already slammed by what I attribute to west coast buyers. Now, under this new ''plan'' I see an unscrupulous buyer picking parcel post deliberately, complaining about transit time, getting a full refund, keeping the product and getting the seller suspended!!!

Whatever questions I had about the intelligence of ebay management have now been answered.. There is NO intelligence in San Jose.

If this program operates as reported here, I can't believe this wouldn't be illegal. I agree with the poster above who says that ownership of the property reverts to the seller once a refund has been issued. I would view this as postal fraud as well. If a seller is suspended with this new program with no oversite, I can't help but think ebay could have their butts sued off!

I would encourage every seller who gets ruled against by ebay, to file a complaint with the district attorneys office, the postal inspectors, the better business bureau in San Jose and to contact an attorney.

Every time I think it CAN'T possibly get any worse, the brain trust at ebay proves me wrong yet again!

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Rhonda

Mon Apr 27 11:26:28 2009

First it's the feedback that gives unethical buyers an open door to scam sellers, now this.

Why, in the 2 buyer examples, were they not told eBay would investigate and ebay then call the sellers to find out the other side of the story? When I first read about this, it was my understanding that's what would happen. This is just more ebay stupidity.

I no longer sell on ebay (after 11 years), but I did buy alot until recently. It used to be if there was a problem, I could communicate with the seller and work things out amincably 99% of the time. Now, the seller has to wonder if I'm a scammer out to get their widget for free. It doesn't put a good start to the communication.

I used to think, like someone else mentioned, that eBay was trying to become like Amazon. But Amazon is not like this at all! As a seller, I can leave poor feedback for a buyer (not that it matters any more than it did on eBay) and Amazon will not side with the buyer without talking to the seller if things even get that far. The way Amazon is set up, it encourages communication between buyers and sellers. I've never had to go through Amazon, as a buyer or seller, to solve a problem because Amazon doesn't hold their sellers over a barrel.

What IS ebay trying to emulate?

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: Patricia

Mon Apr 27 11:40:50 2009

"When going through the dispute process, both buyers said they explained the situation to an eBay representative by phone and were immediately refunded, and the sellers suspended. "

Its obvious that Ebay still sees Sellers as a bottomless resource - they'll just keep a coming no matter what we do to them.  This is yet another ridiculous ham-fisted and stupid Ebay policy that will lose them even more buyers and even more honest sellers!  Chip away Ebay...your story is coming to an end!

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: nancy

Mon Apr 27 12:09:44 2009

Okay, see the link Industry Discussion Board??  Let's go there, and READ what happened.

This case was a seller who had not shipped the item for 26 DAYS!!! So any of you who STILL want to stick up for this seller, it's just as well that you quit eBay. It's sellers like this who made all these rules happen to start with.

I SELL on eBay for a LIVING, and if I didn't have my item after 26 days, YEP I'd file a claim.

I would be demanding tracking numbers after SIX days.

In the case above, the seller was shipping it over three weeks after the fact, just to CYA, so it's his/her own fault for doing that.

EBay is STILL wrong for telling that person to keep the item, period. ANY time a person keeps something they haven't paid for it's theft.

But COME ON.. 26 days??

Unfortunately the other cases mentioned here, are nowhere near that drastic.  And YEP eBay's gonna have their 19-yr-old first-job-at-8-bucks-an-hour clerks deciding what happens with our merchandise.

I'll take a wait-and-see approach to this, but it looks like major trouble for eBay. Smart sellers have set up accounts elsewhere so if it becomes necessary, they can move their listings TODAY.

And all of you who are so surprised you should have seen this coming, they're desperate, and if it doesn't cost THEM anything, who CARES??????????????

They know perfectly good and well that we can't afford lawyers.  Anymore.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: where is the baseball bat

Mon Apr 27 12:43:47 2009

Gee folks what does it take to wake you people up.

What part of sell free, ship free, give it away don't you understand.

Must have been behind the door when brains were passed out.

Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action   Reports of eBay's New Dispute Process in Action

by: former ebay seller

Mon Apr 27 12:56:54 2009

Scammers will be flocking to ebay even more now. They cannot be everything to everyone. They can't be Amazon.
LOL!

Are the operators/customer service reps going to be Americans? (or natives of the callers' respective countries) or will they be some shysters in a far off foreign land with a fake  American/Anglicized name trying to hoodwink everyone the way they do with LiveHelp?

What about items, such as repair parts, used items, one-of-a-kind etc, which are sold "as-is"?
(not that good ol' PayPal doesn't override that anyway)
How is this fair to folks who sell such items? I guess now the scammers don't even have to send back switched out items/components or boxes of rocks.

Are they going to make that retroactive and refund all the people whom have been scammed in the past?
I doubt it. Think this makes any difference to them? I doubt it. Think anyone in that category will stop making bad word-of-mouth about ebay and PP? I doubt it.

How about a guarantee for sellers who have been victims of buyer fraud in all it's many forms? Are they going to start paying back all the BS Paypal chargebacks? I doubt it.

Ebay just has too many hare-brained schemes. Too many reasons to NOT use them any longer. Throw another wrench in the gears, why dontya? LOL.

When looking for brand new items, ebay is a place I never considered to look. There are real companies where I don't have to worry about buying something stolen anyway, or supporting the filth, dishonesty, arrogance & idiocy that is ebay management.

The way I see this is that ebay is trying desperately to be able to claim it has a real guarantee and that is about all it is good for, unless you are a scammer.

One complaint and the seller is gone? Is that a little overkill?

Want to get rid of your competition? Want to start your own inventory? Here's your chance! Get free items to sell courtesy of ebay. Sign up a few fake IDs and have at it! This has nothing to do with making anything any better, just more parlour tricks and sleezy e-speak weasel words. A cheap trick, sleight-of-hand PR stunt.

BTW, this was supposed to start in June 2009, right? So once again, ebay LIES! How can anyone rely upon them to have a stable business plan when they change everything like they have corporate, chronic OCBD?

Just like some of the other changes, it looks like something they should have started a long time ago with some of their items/sellers or to some degree, but the roots causes of their own troubles are some things deeper, more basic, more obvious and cannot be undone at this point. Too little. Too late. Too lame.  It seems they are inventing new rules to make up for old rules/policies/common sense which were not/are not implemented - not properly enforced/adhered to.

Ebay must be purposefully starting/escalating this war between buyers and sellers for some reason, but I feel that the precious Diamond level sellers will be immune from any ill effects. Everyone else will be the casualties. (or refugees to other sites)

For those who chose to stay, I agree with the above poster who states to start legal complaints when & if wronged or harmed by this and/or any of ebay-PP's policies. This miserable sham of a corp needs to be investigated and regulated for so many reasons.

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