|Fri May 14 2010 16:10:12|
Is Juvenile Behavior Becoming the Norm on eBay?
By: Ina Steiner
Earlier this week, I published a letter from a reader about a case in which they had received a low DSR feedback rating from a seven-year-old child. There was much discussion about the case and about how both the seller and eBay handled the matter.
The author of the letter posted in the comments a response they had received from eBay's customer support that included the sentence, "Parents are able to leave feedback on a transaction when they allow the child to use their account."
Since it was my understanding that eBay did not allow minors to buy or sell on the site, I asked spokesperson Johnna Hoff whether eBay allowed parents to let their children use their accounts. She answered:
eBay requires users to be at least 18 years old to transact on the site. If the seller will allow us to look further into his/her situation, we will review and take appropriate action.
It’s important to stress that if sellers believe buyers are inappropriately using the feedback system, we want them to report it to us. Sellers can review help options at http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/report_problem.html. We will remove feedback that violates our policies, and buyers are subject to a range of actions to include buyer account restrictions and suspensions.
Can you provide me with the seller’s name/ID so we can look into it?
Problems like these arise due to the anonymity of DSRs and one-sided feedback system and eBay's carrot-and-stick approach to fees and search exposure, causing sellers to be on edge, compounded by inconsistent and incorrect answers from eBay's customer service reps.
Despite all of eBay CEO John Donahoe's efforts to make eBay into a more retail-like experience, eBay has gotten much more contentious, pitting buyer against seller. It's difficult to imagine this scenario playing out on any other ecommerce website.