|Tue July 29 2014 10:50:40|
eBay Penalizes Sellers for Late Deliveries
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is advising buyers who receive their orders "late" to open cases against sellers, which will result in defects against the sellers. This came as a surprise to sellers who read about the practice in EcommerceBytes this week, since eBay had led sellers to believe they would only receive a defect for late deliveries if a buyer left them a DSR score of 1 for shipping time. eBay has never previously considered late delivery as an "Item Not as Described."
It's especially surprising given that late shipments are often due to factors outside of sellers' control - even Amazon couldn't get shipping carriers to get all of their orders to shoppers in time for Christmas during the 2013 holiday shopping season.
Many sellers also say eBay displays unrealistic "estimated delivery" dates, especially around the holidays.
The practice is not conjecture or the opinion of a few eBay employees - a seller pointed us to the eBay Money Back Guarantee where eBay sends dissatisfied buyers. Here's what it states:
I have received my item but it arrived late
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.
It's also troubling since there are many reports that sellers are unable to get eBay to remove defects on their accounts for situations where defects were not warranted. There are some rumors that eBay will make new tools available to help customer service reps deal with claims disputes - but only after the new defect policy goes into effect on August 20th.
On page two of this thread discussing the new defect system, one seller offered some interesting advice on dealing with eBay customer service reps (message #36).
"First the word "descore" and "remove the defect" send the reps into a endless loop of "we can't help you, there is nothing I can do, etc"... If it's a case say CASE, if it's feedback say feedback, if it's tracking say tracking... the rest confuse the reps and can get them in a "stupid" loop of "we aren't going to help you".
"IF what the buyer is complaining about is listed in your title, condition, or the item specs then yes call in point that out, and get the case closed in your favor... If there is the slightest doubt come to the boards before you do anything. CSR's will lie to you... we won't. (well at least most of us won't)"
She then went on to offer four tips on contacting eBay customer service regarding cases. Among the advice: be prepared when you call, keep it short and simple, stay calm, and if you are on hold for a long time or get passed around to several other reps, hang up and call back.
Interestingly eBay appears to be censoring sellers who discuss the issue of counting late deliveries as Item Not as Described defects - a reader said eBay moderators deleted this thread where sellers were discussing the issue.