|Thu Aug 29 2013 09:09:40|
eBay Drags Heels in Fixing Automatic Five-Star DSRs
By: Ina Steiner
The feedback system eBay created to provide sellers with an incentive to offer fast and free shipping appears to be broken, and the marketplace seems to be in no hurry to fix it. Sellers are reporting that eBay's Detailed Seller Rating system is allowing their customers to leave them low scores on certain criteria for which they should receive automatic high ratings.
eBay added automatic 5-star ratings because some buyers who received free shipping were leaving sellers low scores for shipping costs - defeating some of sellers' incentives for offering free shipping in the first place. eBay expanded automatic 5-stars to additional criteria for similar reasons.
But sellers say the automatic ratings are not always working and that buyers are still able to leave low scores for them. In this recent discussion thread on eBay, a seller who reported the problem to eBay posted a letter she received from customer service:
"I wanted to follow up with you about the conversation we had earlier regarding transactions qualifying for automatic 5 stars still allowing buyers to leave lower detailed seller ratings.
"It turns out this is a problem already identified and currently being worked on. I have added the information you gave me to the ticket. Thank you so much for following up with this and providing examples of this happening. With all site issues, the more information and examples we have, the easier it is to resolve the problem."
But a perusal of EcommerceBytes shows sellers have reported this problem going back at least to January. This letter from a reader reports the identical problem occurring in January and for which eBay customer service reps acknowledged a glitch with the program.
In this April blog post, I reported the problem, writing, "I've also received reports from readers that eBay's automatic 5-star DSR program meant to ensure that buyers can't ding sellers who conform to some of its mandatory requirements to maintain TRS status is not working" - and I quoted a seller experiencing the problem who was unable to get eBay to fix their account.
eBay set up the DSR system to be anonymous at a time when sellers could leave buyers negative ratings. Now there is no reason buyers should be able to leave sellers detailed seller ratings anonymously, and that anonymity makes it difficult for sellers to identify buys and glitches like the one described in this post.
Sellers who do identify a problem are not always able to get customer service to fix their accounts, and while eBay now says sellers can appeal negative feedback ratings, a) that doesn't apply to low DSRs if the buyer left a positive; and b) sellers are reporting difficulty getting eBay customer service reps to help with appeals.
Ultimately sellers who are on the fence about offering fast and free shipping may decide it's not worth it if their DSRs can still get dinged by their customers.