Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 11 2021 09:46:10

With Billions of Dollars, eBay Shortchanges Payments Support

By: Ina Steiner

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What eBay chooses to do with its money is one thing, but now that it plays in the payment-processing game, how it handles sellers' funds is a different story.

Here's what eBay tells sellers seeking answers on how eBay is handling their money:

Author: eBay for Business
Hello Dawn - Thank you for address your concerns with us. This is definitely not the experience we'd like for our sellers to have. Currently our managed payments specialists are having a longer than usual wait time. We do suggest requesting your call back as soon as possible since call back spots to do fill up quickly. Your feedback is always appreciated and we're hoping to get this call back issue resolved in the future. ~Gabriel (Facebook post, February 9, 2021 at 3:24 pm)

That response from an eBay moderator on its Facebook page from February 9, 2021 is not an aberration. eBay itself has acknowledged hours-long wait times on July 15, 2020 - that was 7 months ago.

This is not a start-up company, or a company that is having cashflow issues and struggling to fund proper customer support for its customers. 

On the contrary, eBay recently shared that in 2020, it paid $447 million in cash dividends to shareholders.

It also took $5.1 billion in cash and bought back shares of eBay stock. ("A company might buy back its shares to boost the value of the stock and to improve the financial statements," according to Investopedia.)

eBay management made the decision to leave what sellers describe as inadequate customer support for those experiencing problems accessing their funds, despite the over $5 billion it had in its coffers last year.

This leaves sellers scrambling when they can't get answers about things like disbursements (payouts) and potentially impacts the cash flow of small businesses. It's hard to imagine a company like PayPal not getting called out if it provided the kind of service eBay sellers describe.

The thread on the Facebook post is eye-opening for anyone not already familiar with the issues with which sellers are struggling. It may be tempting to dismiss comments left by anonymous posters on industry boards. But Facebook doesn't allow anonymous posts - these are sellers using their real names to lodge their concerns.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 10:40:32 2021

OK so now does every one realize how BAD eBay is?

Or should we just blame Covid-19 and move on ?

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by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 10:46:58 2021

Looks like the facebook links are restricted or deleted.

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by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 11:11:47 2021

@ AddyUp - the links are working for me, but you do have to be logged in to Facebook.

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by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 11:31:58 2021

If you want to get more insight into eBay's social support ''performance'', I personally find Twitter to be much more enlightening and easier to navigate than Facbeook.  You don't have to be logged in and can easily search or browse through AskeBay's responses.

And there's no lack of real people using real names experiencing the same lack of support there - sometimes even verified, blue check mark accounts.

Even Marsha Collier, who literally wrote the books on selling on eBay, hit a brick wall when trying to get any kind of support for a Managed Payments issue.

https://twitter.com/MarshaCollier/status/135486211168431
7185

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 13:40:28 2021

“... call back spots to do fill up quickly.”

Wade through the mollifying bovine scat weaved into that whole response and see the root: why do those slots overflow? Is it just because there are not enough hired fingers to plug the holes? To be sure, with no profit to it, ‘service’ will never be served by those crooks.

Or might it be because the dike itself is a shoddy, spit and twig tossed dam they cobbled together so to siphon off as much cash flow as fast as those beavers could spew out the sawdust platitudes and assurances of ‘busily working on it’?

Either way, you want to trust eBay enough and erect your camp downstream of all that? Good luck.

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by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 13:48:10 2021

@acc756 logged in no joy. I expect it's a regional thing as I'm across the pond.

But I don't really need to see it to know there is little support given.

It's a shame paypal seem to be playing catch up with ebay. Time was if you had a chargeback all you needed was proof of posting to address. My ''seller protection'' failed even though I also had email admissions that it was just a mistake.

If you think, in that case, you can't lose with a proof of delivery think again. In their latest TOS is a whole new lot of ifs and buts including one ebay would be proud of ''PayPal determines, in its sole discretion, whether your claim is eligible for PayPal Seller Protection''.

As seems to be the norm online now, win win for them and lose lose for you.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 13:53:52 2021

Once again using their infinite wisdom, Ebay has transferred customer service to their offshore non Ebay employees to handle.  As we all know they are inadequately trained and many barely speak English at all, or at least so a caller can understand what they are trying to lie about.  To do this they also had to have given them access to our personal banking information as well as almost all other information that those in Mangled Payments have been forced to provide to Ebay.

All Ebay cares about is how much more money can they squeeze out of their Sellers and how much less service can they provide Sellers for that ever moving target of Revenue they can steal from us.  I really didn't think that Ebay could get any worse under Iannone than they were under Wenig, but Ebay has definitely proven that assumption to be incorrect.  I guess that is why it took so long to fill the CEO position.  They had to find a candidate who could actually be more devious than Wenig and have no problem ripping the Sellers off all while maintaining that incessant Used Car Salesman smile.  All Iannone does is fly all over the world to try and keep Ebay afloat and operational in those other countries while knowing full well that Ebay will do everything in its power to not have to comply with other countries laws because they are  Ebay and not subject to the same laws as everybody else, only the ones we want to follow.

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by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 17:28:58 2021

Great Article Ina!

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by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 18:01:49 2021

Been trying to call ebay about an MP account problem all week, not taking calls, slots filled up. Finally this morning I put in a call back at 9am, 154 mins to call me back, here its 5PM and still no call back.  

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 11 20:24:29 2021

There is only one excuse for a company as seasoned and cash rich as eBay to ignore the basic needs of their PAYING customers; eBay DOES NOT CARE.

This is what has come of the culture that was hatched under John Donohoe and brought to full maturity under Devin Wenig.  If eBay cared, they would have retained half of that 5 Billion and could completely build a new functioning, current platform; begin to build out a fulfillment infrastructure; and alas, provide ample staff to answer customer questions accurately and timely.

People know when someone that they deal with does not care. Sellers know that eBay does not care. Their priorities, actions and focus are the proof.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Feb 12 09:26:56 2021

eBay Priority #1   The top executives enriching themselves.

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by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 19:37:22 2021

I spoke to a woman from the payments department on Monday.  She called me and asked if I requested a call.  I said I did not, and she was dumbfounded.  Still, I followed up by saying that I was having many issues that were not being resolved through prior phone calls, e-mails, and social media contact.  I went over quite a few problems with her (overcharging of sales tax resulting in higher FVFs, no total balance displayed for my account, claims and refunds (at least initially) being deducted twice, statements that payouts were made when payouts were not actually made, and on and on...)  I must say, she treated me with respect and seemed to understand the issues I was having.  She did not blame me as so many do (saying it was my computer, browser, cookies, etc., or worse yet, that I'm just making it up).  She even said that she had heard some of those same issues before (a nice change from "we can't replicate the issue").  This was unlike and eBay associate I have spoken to in literally years.  She did not actually get anything resolved on the call, but she said she would followup within 72 hours.  I told her that in the past, I have been promised followups countless times and then never get a followup.  She said that this time, she herself would followup with me.  She would not pawn it off to another department who would ignore the request.  How refreshing!  Well, yesterday was 72 hours, and I've heard nothing.  So much for refreshing!

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 12 21:38:40 2021

So I assume the article on Amazon (with 20 times the money Ebay has and 1/20 of the quality of Ebay support on ANY issue) will be next week?

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by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 13 09:00:39 2021

@mjr55 -

I must have missed all of the Amazon sellers who can't get a hold of support for weeks or months? Or all of those reports that Amazon just completely turns off support channels within an hour of ''opening''?

I'm not saying Amazon support is great by any means, but in order to compare quality, there would have to be something to compare.  The entire point of this blog post is that when it comes to eBay support, ''there's no there, there.''

In some cases, especially about anything regarding Managed Payments, the option to actually talk to someone at eBay quite literally doesn't exist right now.

Support ''opens'' at 5 AM, seller tries to request a callback at 5:05 AM and gets message saying ''this contact channel will be closed before an agent is available to speak with you today. please try again tomorrow''. And of course tomorrow gets the same message, and on and on and on.

Does anyone honestly think if Amazon did this we wouldn't see immediate media coverage about it?

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sat Feb 13 12:31:15 2021

Well I have had an alarming experience. I sold an item on Thursday and my husband shipped it on yesterday. I didn't go on the computer until this morning when I noticed a cancellation message from eBay. Not only was the transaction cancelled, they clawed back the money out of my bank when there was adequate monies processing in my lousy payment system account they forced me on.

So, in a nutshell I was hacked. I called eBay and even though this is a trust and security issue, I was still had to wait a half hour for a callback. In another world, years ago, you would have immediately gotten through to trust and security. Why would I even think they'd do anything to help me these days.

The CS I spoke to obviously didn't know eBay's strict "never ask a buyer for their PayPal address, but her solution was for me to ask the  buyer for her email address and send an invoice through PayPal?????? As for security.....well let's say that doesn't exist anymore.

Ironic...I never had this happen before mangled payments. So much for security with eBay period.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 13 15:23:52 2021

@acc756

Wait, you missed where people don't get replies from Amazon when their accounts are suspended and their income ends overnight (some of these sellers doing millions PER MONTH in sales)?

Just go to their forums...you will literally see 10-20 posts PER DAY of this.

Surely, you jest....

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 13 15:30:04 2021

We are not in managed payments yet....and I know they have been having issues there. I think that is obvious.

However, to sit here and compare Ebay versus Amazon customer service for sellers tells me you just don't sell on Amazon or are plain ignorant.

It's obvious this site has a bone to pick with Ebay and we have all known this for 10 years or so now. I like AB but I also take what Ina writes with a grain of salt knowing there has been an agenda (this was even before the whole legal situation involving those Ebay employees).

My whole point is this isn't a site called Ebaysucks...it's supposed to be a site about all e-commerce and unfortunately it misses the boat on about 75% of what is really going on with these sites (and, again, look at the Amazon forums...it's not like it's hidden).

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by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 13 17:37:24 2021

@ mjr55  - You are the one trying to compare eBay and Amazon here. I was just suggesting that in reference to this particular blog post you are commenting on, it may not be exactly an apples to apples comparison at the moment for the specific issues being raised.

Again, that's not to say Amazon doesn't have issues, it just wasn't really relevant to this post, in my opinion.

If you feel the coverage here is lopsided, I'm sure if you were to submit a well written letter to the editor all about the issues you are seeing with Amazon, it would be given just as much consideration as any letter submitted regarding issues with eBay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sat Feb 13 18:15:19 2021

@mjr55

As yooi are not in managed payments yet, I suppose I will also take what you say with a grain of salt....or maybe a bucket.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 13 20:03:54 2021

@acc

Fair enough, but it's quite relevant. The whole sensationalized title was to imply that since Ebay has billions of dollars that they should have better support (which they should if you are talking to overseas people about anything concerning EBAY). However, again, that is ignoring the huge herd of elephants in the room overall....

However, again,  

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