|Sun July 27 2014 20:07:10|
eBay Expands Definition of Defects as Deadline Looms
By: Ina Steiner
eBay appears to be broadening its definition of "defects" as sellers await the arrival of its new Defect Rate policy which takes effect in less than 4 weeks. The defect rate policy is eBay's new way of measuring seller performance. Announced as part of the Spring Seller Release, sellers will begin to feel its effect on August 20th.
An eBay manager told sellers that the company could classify late shipments as an "Item Not as Described" claim. eBay's Director of Community Jeff Terrell said that "just because a buyer makes a not as described claim, the seller is not helpless to defend themselves. Uploading tracking showing that you did ship within your stated handling time is a great way to prove your side of the issue."
Terrell's post was in response to a seller who said eBay had added a new option in the eBay Money back guarantee policy, "I have received my item but it arrived late."
The seller wrote, "Click on it and this is what it reads. If an item was shipped much later than promised, eBay considers it "not as described". Contact the seller via My eBay and select item not as described. We will track the resolution and help if you ask us to step in."
The fact that eBay either added a new condition for defect rates or is allowing employees to broadly interpret its policies in ways sellers never imagined is troubling. In the same thread, Terrell told sellers they could contact customer service to "correct" (or "descore) undeserved defects. But some sellers have expressed frustration with eBay customer support.
This email came from a seller today:
"I used to have top care privileges with eBay customer support, now all calls are routed to the Philippines with 30 + minute hold times and huge language and knowledge barriers. I was told all customer service calls will now be sent to Philippines, is this true?"
One can imagine an enormous increase in calls to eBay customer service as sellers cope with the new defects they're seeing on their accounts.
Terrell pointed to two resources with information about how eBay protects sellers with regard to the new defect rating, here and here.
I asked eBay for clarification on this new defect scenario, let us know if you're seeing it.