|Mon Aug 13 2012 20:59:46|
Meltdown Monday? Numerous Glitches Cause Chaos on eBay
By: Ina Steiner
Glitches began plaguing the eBay marketplace on Monday, from suspicious pop-up boxes to disappearing photos and missing data - yet eBay has yet to announce the problem on the systems board. Some sellers who called in to eBay customer service report they've been told not to list for 24 hours - one said a rep told him not to list for 5 - 6 days.
Despite the widespread nature of the problems, eBay failed to announce the issues on its Systems Announcement board, which is designed to communicate with users when there are technical issues.
The top three problems reported by eBay sellers through numerous emails to EcommerceBytes, the Ecommerce EKG board, and on eBay's own discussion boards include:
- Difficulty uploading photos during the listing process
- Photos disappearing from live listings
- Suspicious pop-ups requesting username and password
Other problems reported include:
- Missing data, such as item specifics
- Top Rated Sellers showing as "Standard"
- Some listings not accessible or viewable
- Missing PayPal payment email notifications
eBay experienced similar problems recently - critical information disappeared from product listings, including shipping information and item specifics.
eBay failed to use the Systems Announcement board in that case as well. It ultimately canceled the listings affected by the glitch and issued double-refunds to sellers because sellers had to edit their listings to put back the information eBay's glitch had deleted.
The cost of the glitches on eBay is high - not only in lost revenue thanks to missing information in listings, but in time spent by sellers trying to resolve the problem. "I'm using firefox," wrote one seller. "I just scheduled 2 auctions for tonight. Took me forever to get the pics to load. Now when I look at them the pics aren't showing. This is really getting to be a chore."
Since there is no notice of the problems on the eBay Systems Announcement board, sellers are also spending time waiting to speak to customer service reps. Currently there is a flag on the "Contact eBay" page warning of "High phone volume leading to extended wait times: We are currently experiencing high call volumes and apologize in advance for extended wait times you may experience. Thank you for your patience and your call will be handled as quickly as possible."
Sellers suspect that what is making matters worse is a promotion eBay is running allowing sellers without Store subscriptions to list up to 5,000 fixed-price listings - the promotion began on August 8 and runs through August 18.
Update 8/13/12 10:55 pm EST: eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore responded to our questions with the following statement: "We experienced a technical issue with images today that prompted the pop-ups. The issue was resolved around 4:30 this afternoon. We apologize for any inconvenience." We've asked further questions and will update the story as we learn more.