|Mon Feb 25 2013 23:35:31|
eBay Changes to User Agreement Raise Questions from Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
Earlier this month, I wrote about eBay changes to its User Agreement, and the ramifications of some of the new provisions are starting to sink in with sellers. The one I find most interesting is the requirement that buyers must contact sellers before filing a claim - at least, that's what eBay had originally promised last July.
Sellers are realizing that what eBay is now doing is requiring buyers to open cases in the Resolution Center rather than contacting sellers via My Messages. In the February 5th EcommerceBytes article, eBay's Ryan Moore confirmed this and said sellers would receive a notification in My Messages when a buyer had opened a case, which would also show up in the Resolution Center.
This decision to change the requirement of buyers using My Messages to using the Resolution Center instead must have happened quite recently, because in mid-December, eBay's Director of Seller Protections had reiterated eBay's July announcement that it was going to require the buyer to contact the seller through the member to member communication.
In a discussion about the issue on the eBay boards, someone wrote yesterday, "This is the exact OPPOSITE of what they promised 6 months ago, which anyone with a brain should have been anticipating. Instead of requiring contact BEFORE opening a dispute, they're going to have everyone open disputes first, and the "dispute console" is GOING TO BE the contact - buyer must "contact" the seller before they can ESCALATE the dispute for an eBay decision."
And, on this EcommerceBytes Letter to the Editor published today, a reader noted that the changes appear to give sellers only 3 days to respond to an opened case instead of the current 7 days.
On this eBay board where users discussed the new changes, one seller wrote, "I'm not looking for problems before they actually happen, but ... The majority of my customers (95%), who contact me about a problem, just want to make an exchange for a different size." The seller went on to explain the process can take several back and forth letters to make the customer happy. "This type of customer service creates VERY happy and returning customers. I suspect that doing this through the eBay "dispute console" will not work as seamlessly."
Another wrote they believed the new policy "it will result in hundreds or thousands of unnecessarily opened cases - over simple issues that could have been easily resolved by contacting the sellers."
The changes to the eBay User Agreement are found here, let us know if you spot anything else of interest to sellers!