|Wed Jan 8 2014 20:22:13|
eBay System Mistake Allows Buyers to Ding Sellers Unfairly
By: Ina Steiner
Buyers can be excused for being impatient for their orders, but eBay should not be excused for allowing black marks to be placed on a seller's account because its own automated systems can't detect days that the post office is closed.
A seller on the eBay discussion board explained how she tried unsuccessfully to get eBay to remove a low mark on her shipping time DSR in October. Recently she finally realized that the buyer and eBay were both counting the Columbus Day holiday as a valid shipping day.
The buyer had purchased the item on a Sunday and expected the seller to get the package in the mail the next day - when in fact the post office was closed thanks to the holiday.
The seller said she then tried again and was able to get through to a Trust & Safety supervisor who acknowledged the problem and removed the low DSR from her account. The seller said the supervisor told her eBay's system was at fault in not recognizing Columbus Day as a postal holiday.
One has to wonder how many times this happens where eBay's system fails to protect sellers, and even when shown a mistake, likely doesn't take action to proactively investigate other sellers who may have been impacted by the same error.
The other thing about this story that makes one want to bang one's head against the wall is the fact that this seller spent hours of her time before she was finally able to get the bad mark removed from her account. How many sellers spend fruitless hours trying to get an eBay problem resolved?
While to the casual observer it may seem like a small point and hardly worth the effort, I continue to get emails from frantic sellers whom eBay has suspended indefinitely while having what looks like pretty good feedback. While one such case had a happy ending after a hue and cry on the eBay discussion boards, that's the exception to the rule. And I've been told suspended sellers are no longer able to make a case for themselves on the boards after that fiasco was exposed through discussion threads.
The other part of this story: if eBay's system fails to account for days when the post office is closed, it could also be displaying unrealistic delivery estimates in sellers' listings - something sellers have often complained about. (eBay has yet to respond to numerous inquiries about just such an issue that arose in December.)
Is there anyone at eBay who can make sure software programmers have accounted for Sundays and postal holidays when it comes to delivery estimates and shipping-time DSRs?