Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 22 2013 12:17:37

eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers are experiencing a dramatic rise in the number of opened cases filed against them by buyers, thanks to a major change eBay implemented as part of the Spring Seller Release. Similarly, eBay buyers are reporting that when they simply try to ask their trading partners a question, they discover to their surprise that eBay immediately opens a case against the seller on their behalf.

Sellers have sent emails to EcommerceBytes and have opened threads on eBay discussion boards reporting the problem. "As of April 9th the "Contact the seller" option automatically opens a case if you don't choose Other," wrote a seller. "It doesn't escalate the case to the resolution center, but it's an automatic case. Lots of threads about it in the past few days!"

Another seller wrote, "WHAT A MESS THIS IS GOING TO BE!  eBAY fooled around with the Contact Seller function really screwed it up. Now thousands and thousands of buyers who just wanted to ask a question will find themselves in the middle of INR Disputes! What is even worse is that thousands of sellers will then file UID's (Unpaid Items)."

Buyers and sellers say eBay has not provided any explanation telling buyers they are going through the Resolution Center when they click try to contact the seller.

An eBay seller who had never had a case opened against him until two days prior to writing to EcommerceBytes wrote, "So I guess eBay started their new turn everything into a Case Report 2 days ago. I have customers sending me questions after purchasing items and cases are being opened left and right. I have contacted the customers about opening the cases and they all told me they had no idea any kind of case was opened. All they were doing was sending me a message. So all of the buyers had to go in and close the cases." He said he received multiple cases over the past few days.

Previously eBay had counted all open cases against a seller, and last year, the company told sellers it would require buyers to contact them before opening a case. But in March, eBay announced it would reverse both policies: opened cases will not necessarily count against a seller, and buyers will have to open a case in the Resolution Center rather than contacting sellers via My Messages.

One person saw a possible positive outcome: "I think this new process will help protect sellers against scamming buyers. A person will be far less likely to make unreasonable demands if the have to go through a "dispute" process."

But another said, "at least in some cases, funds are being automatically frozen, too" whenever a case is opened - and that can put a serious crimp in sellers' operating cash flow.

Sellers say their buyers are confused by the new process. A reader said one of his buyers closed his case within minutes after he found the answer. "He regretted filing the case and said it is very weird he has to file a case. All he wanted is to email me."

Have you seen an uptick in cases filed against you? In those cases, does eBay/PayPal freeze your funds? Are there positives to this new process?

Comments (60) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Mercy the Mingless

Tue Apr 23 01:26:30 2013

Ina

Ebay's head of Seller Protection, Rich Matsuura lied to you when you interviewed him December 12, 2012.

He said;

''Beginning next year, eBay will require buyers to contact sellers before opening a case.''

This was a lie.

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Tue Apr 23 01:26:52 2013

The real key here to all of this is that this idiotic thing that eBay is doing is a another really big thing that will turn off more buyers on eBay.
Most buyers on eBay want the item quick and then be done with the transaction. If they find that by asking a question they have potentially opened up a case against a seller and then are harassed with emails from eBay that in itself is enough to turn them off completely to anything that eBay does. They will never be back again and buyers on eBay are getting very hard to find.

What ever idiot working for eBay came up with this lame brain idea should be fired immediately with NO compensation. The whole idea is totally absurd.

Bill

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Apr 23 01:52:02 2013

...contact sellers before opening a case..

Heaven forbid ebay makes life any way easier for sellers. Contacting sellers BEFORE opening a case actually would make sense. Much better to have buyers angry at sellers by having cases opened up for ANY communications between buyers and sellers. How many buyers are going to know to use OTHER to contact a seller? I have a feeling that even if a buyer uses OTHER to message a seller, a case will probably be opened.
 ''Hi Thank you'' - Case opened by ebay
 ''Can you combine more sales? - Case opened by ebay
 ''Can you send me the tracking number'' - Case opened by ebay
 ''Do you have more of this lovely item?  - Case opened by ebay

It is only a matter of time before ebay's a&& backwards policies bite them in their a&&.

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Apr 23 02:34:07 2013

What the heck did Ebay expect.  Or course the number of claims probably went through the roof.  And I'd bet money on that a large number of them are just a time waster.  

For example, Ebay buyer protection does NOT cover buyer that send MOs to sellers.  It clearly states that.  However apparently Ebay allows them to open INR claims even when they haven't sent the proper MO.  Happened to me.  A very problematic buyer that just wanted what whe wanted when she wanted it, payment and following the rules was secondary to her.  Anyways, I had to spend a lot of time on this silly claim which never should have been opened in the first place.

Then to add to the stupidity, the buyer escalated the claim on day 4 and Ebay ruled in her favor.  There was a message on the claim [no email came for a few hours] stating they refunded the buyer XX and I now owe Ebay for the money.

Oh no I don't.  I called and appealed the ruling.  The CSR I got seemed to be actually a bit embarassed this happened.  I insisted that whatever CSR closed this claim orginally should get a bit more training, or feel free to have them call me.  OMG really !!

They of course reversed it and pulled back their money.  The poor buyer was mad as heck.  They almost has some free money.

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by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 04:04:10 2013

Not only is this possibly the most egregious of ebay's many insanities, the fact that they don't reverse it is beyond comprehension. All to freeze more funds/create more float.

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

by: nsc This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 05:15:52 2013

FYI: I have not seen any uptick in opened cases, and I have had customers contact me post-sale in the last few days. But I sell mostly in Antiques. This may be a category-specific change. From the comments, it sounds like most of the people affected sell in CSA.

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by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 06:54:56 2013

Yup! This automatic re embersment policy some are targeted with is ebay way of testing. im sure it will be mandatory for all  one day. Im OUT if that happens

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

by: Reds This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 07:15:13 2013

Refunded a customer because of an item that was listed as a pre-order. E-bay site update reverted my ad to an earlier time and when buyer purchased the addition of pre-order to the listing was gone. Refunded customer as soon as they let me know they did not want to wait for the item. Got a negative and no removal of the negative from ebay customer service. Now they want to extort me for an item for free to remove the feedback? I will let you know if the wizard at ebay removes it but 600+ feedbacks are hard to come buy. Ebay rep says suck it up big boy.
Not what it used to be. Anyone use http://www.ebuyer-feedback.com/    ? Great place to leave a buyer a deserving rating and check buyers out.

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: silent anarchy

Tue Apr 23 07:22:44 2013

Back in march i had ebay/paypal refund a buyer without emailing me or opening as case.On 3-14 I sold an item for $50 to ebay member ID '' popculture1977'' , the buyer never responded until i opened a NPB case. The buyer paid 10 days later and ebay automaticly closed the case on3-24 saying  payment recorded. April 10 as i was looking at my sold items i see a small black arrow/triangle next to payment reading payment refunded. I then logged on to paypal and saw the same. I checked both ebay and paypal for any open/closed cases and found none, not even any emails.After 2 days of waiting off and on hold i got through to paypal that said it was a fraud case due to stolen credit card. The fruad section of paypal didnt care that i was never notified about it and even after i confirmed the tracking number and address that matched up they still didnt care that the buyer was commiting fruad and said they werent going to investigate further but did assure me that i would get $50 credited to my account. Still nothing yet. but what gets me as i explained to paypal, why would a stolen card still have item delivered to the correct owners address? And the buyer left me positive feedback before opening this secret case. Paypal had no explaination why i never got an email or any notice about this.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Tue Apr 23 07:24:00 2013

Daddy Ming ''it correct'' once again (quote):

''Ina, Ebay's head of Seller Protection, Rich Matsuura lied to you when you interviewed him December 12, 2012. He said;
''Beginning next year, eBay will require buyers to contact sellers before opening a case.''This was a lie.


@ INA: Well Ina, what'cha gotta' say about that now? You interviewed him (for us) and now he must either eat that interview or spit out balls of fire with what is now happening. If ebay is your platform then you owe us and your readers a follow up ASAP so that ebay sellers will be saved from these strategies starting to surface. You provided a can from the ham and now we hand you the can opener to feed us a healthy filling.

Daddy Ming ''it correct'' once again!

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Tue Apr 23 07:44:33 2013

@ REDS: http://www.ebuyer-feedback.com/

The only MAJOR disadvantages to using that free site is:

1. They notify the buyer from the information you provide to that site AND eb also monitors that site and then suspends the seller because they've violated their EB-TERMS and its not really a good idea UNLESS you either leave or stop selling on there.

2. That site is run by volunteer attorneys and you become an open book online leaving you open for lawsuit leaving you in need of a ''attorney'' to defend your situation.

3. You have only 30 (or 45 days) to add your side of the story. There is a time limit to use that site.

The ADVANTAGE to that site is:

1. A good way to find (and BLOCK) those ID buyers to your own eb list too!

Tell us: How you used that site?

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 08:29:18 2013

@Sandymenu I have been trying to understand your logic behind this statement "Ebay SELLERS can and will ruin other good EB sellers too. Let's all remember that so that we just don't blame the non-selling Buyers!" and just can't find it. You claim that this problem is ebay sellers trying to ruin  other sellers. The only 'example' you give is YOUR experience buying something. The only thing I got out of the experience you related is that ebay caused a case to be open, not the seller nor did you. How does that become a seller trying to ruin other sellers or were you trying to ruin the seller you had made a purchase from?

I no longer sell on ebay, but from the many posts I have read here and elsewhere about this situation, it has nothing to do with whether the buyer is an ebay seller or not, ebay is as always the fly in the ointment, not your trading partner. Perhaps if you truly believe the problem is ebay sellers as buyers causing difficulties you can explain the problem or how this is happening. I just don't see it.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 23 08:31:10 2013

Yes, please interview Rich Matsura again Ina.  My guess is he won't return your call.

Of course this is just what I have come to expect from eBay.  If it makes absolutely no sense, it is eBay.  Someone used the word "inept".  That just about sums it up.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Apr 23 10:00:32 2013

Words fail me.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Apr 23 10:13:15 2013

@silent anarchy

"On 3-14 I sold an item for $50 to ebay member ID ....., the buyer never responded until i opened a NPB case. The buyer paid 10 days later and ebay automaticly closed the case on3-24 saying  payment recorded."

This is how the UID program works.  The Unpaid Item dispute would have no reason to continue to be open if the buyer has paid. So it is proper for it to close.  

"April 10 as i was looking at my sold items i see a small black arrow/triangle next to payment reading payment refunded. I then logged on to paypal and saw the same. I checked both ebay and paypal for any open/closed cases and found none, not even any emails.After 2 days of waiting off and on hold i got through to paypal that said it was a fraud case due to stolen credit card."

I've been around a long time and I have never heard of this happening.  I'm not saying it didn't happen to you, I'm just saying I've never seen or heard of this before.  

I have known a lack of email notification from PP. PP would be the one handling this as Ebay does not handle the money in any way EVER.  So this is all PP.  And to pull the money from you is normal, but there would have been a chargeback created.  On the upper right side of the first page you come to when you log into PP, it would show the chargeback.  And yes, they do pull the money from you when this happens while it is under investigation.

"The fruad section of paypal didnt care that i was never notified about it and even after i confirmed the tracking number and address that matched up they still didnt care that the buyer was commiting fruad and said they werent going to investigate further but did assure me that i would get $50 credited to my account."

Not sure what this is all about. PP does investigate. I don't know if you ticked this CSR off and they just didn't want to deal with you or the CSR was just having a bad day.  Either way, PP absolutely investigates these.  They get too many, if they don't, they would lose too much money.

"...why would a stolen card still have item delivered to the correct owners address?"

The address has nothing to do with the credit card. A member can have an item shipped to any address they desire. It doesn't have to match the address on file with the CC company. There is no requirement that the Ebay and/or PP have to verify that the address on the CC matches the ship to address on a PP payment. That would cause such issues and would be one hot mess if they did that.

"And the buyer left me positive feedback before opening this secret case."

It's doubtful it was a secret case.  I understand you didn't get an email, but the case would show up on your PP account as I previously described.  

And if this was truly about a stolen CC, you can be confident that the buyer did NOT notify the CC company and start this claim. Why in the world would they contact the CC company and tell them they stole the card and they should not pay for the charge.

"Paypal had no explaination why i never got an email or any notice about this."

They never do. It is a glitch that pops up every now and again.  Not often at all, but when it happens, it is annoying.

Now with all this said, I think you have some misunderstandings about what is actually going on with this claim.

First go and look at your PP account.  Look at the page VERY closely when you log in.  On the right any currently opened claim will appear there.  Read through everything carefully.  Once you've done that, respond to the claim.  Log in your tracking number, note that FB has been received.  And then call PP again.

You can get them to give you back the money right away IF you followed PP's rules for seller protection.  If you did NOT follow the rules, then you are at the mercy of PP on any claim that gets filed.  Their seller protection rules are not hard to follow for most sellers [not those that currently ship regular FC mail] so you should always make sure you are in adherance with them.

Perminate Link for eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers   eBay Sees Dramatic Rise in Opened Cases Against Sellers

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 10:37:52 2013

''Beginning next year, eBay will require buyers to contact sellers before opening a case.'' True statement.
The part omitted was contact seller and a case will ''automatically'' open.
I ordered an item and the color was different. I contacted the seller to just to make sure what was going on. Did NOT want to use something if the seller came back with - sorry sent wrong item - please return and correct will be sent. No big deal..Case opened.
IMO this is going to come back and bite any seller this has happened to in the A**. Meanwhile, RM just a got a bonus for this move. Possibly a quicker way to get rid of small sellers quickly.
It's also like copying amazon. If you file an a-z claim-pretty good chances are that you will get reimbursed immediately. Get a couple of those and your amazon for good.

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by: LadyElizabeth This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 10:55:01 2013

I've been selling on ebay for almost 6 years, and have been a consistent TRS, with over 1,000 positive feedback. I've never  received a negative, and have never had a buyer open a case against me.  

In the past, if a buyer contacted me, for any reason, I made it right, so I was shocked, when I received an email last night, telling me that a case had been opened by a buyer.

In this instance, I made a stupid mistake on the listing, which the buyer stated in her comments, that she understood, and acknowledged that it was easy to do.

I immediately responded to the case, telling the buyer to return the item for a full refund and, since it was my error, told them I would refund return postage, too.

As it's been done before, this could have easily been handled via messages. There is nothing in my past history to indicate that I wouldn't have handled it in the right an proper way.

If other honest sellers are having the same thing happen to them, it's no wonder, that ebay is seeing a ''dramatic rise in opened cases.''

Very disturbing.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 23 12:07:45 2013

just another unjustified policy resulting in angry buyers, confused sellers, miscommunication and an overall black mark against sellers as the claims rise and rise. The managers are idiots.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Apr 23 12:40:40 2013

While I absolutely hate this change and it feels really insulting, the cases do not count against the seller unless the seller doesn't take care of the buyer.

The original way this was announced IMHO was wonderful, but they saw fit to change that.  Awhile back I had an article on ecommercebytes regarding this subject.  Here is a link in case anyone is interested.

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/letters/blog.pl?/pl
/2013/2/1361849441.html

.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Apr 23 14:01:10 2013

Is the trigger for an ''open case'' a sequence of a buyer choosing ''contact seller'' after an item is purchased. Then are they choosing either the first INR or second INAD choices? Do any of the other choices trigger an open case?

For example, If I buy something & need to contact the seller with a minor question: If I choose ''other'' at the bottom of the choices will a ''case'' open?

I have (knock on wood) not had this happen yet but I am curious what triggers it. I have had buyers contact me recently to chat, ask about buying other items, advice on where to find a related item, etc…. but so far this has not turned into open cases.

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