eBay changed its Item Not Received claims policy without any notice to sellers. When a seller posted about having received a strike against their account, an eBay moderator responded, calling the new policy a "test."
That was no consolation to the seller who said eBay had given them little opportunity to make things right for the buyer. The seller called eBay and was told it was a new policy and was unable to get customer service to remove the strike.
The seller explained he had sold a 99-cent item to a buyer in Japan. The buyer opened up an Item Not Received case on Saturday, and exactly 24 hours later, eBay refunded the buyer and gave the seller a "non-resolution" strike.
The heart of the problem from the perspective of sellers commenting on the case: instead of giving sellers 3 days from the time a buyer files a case to upload tracking information or make things right for the customer, eBay provided the seller with only 24 hours, which goes against its stated policy.
Under "eBay Money Back Guarantee timelines - Item not received," eBay includes this provision
: "The seller has 3 business days from the report to respond to the buyer or offer a solution. If the seller does not respond or offer a solution, the buyer can ask us to step in and help."
The seller said they called eBay and was told the automatic 24-hour case closure was a new policy. "What is going on with eBay?? Are they going nuts? The buyer open up a case during the weekend and the case closed during the weekend?"
The eBay moderator responded:
"It sounds like this situation may have triggered a faster resolution process that we are testing out. If an item not received case is opened more than 5 days after the estimated delivery date, no tracking is provided and the seller does not respond then the case will actually be escalated for a refund after 24 hours have passed, instead of the standard 3 business days. We are testing the impact of this change and while these specific triggers represent a rarer set of criteria, you may see this from time to time being reported. If a seller has concerns with the timeframe provided, we recommend they reach out to customer service to discuss the details."
You can read the full thread
where the moderator answered some additional questions from sellers, who say they'll be less willing to sell certain types of items as a result of the change.
An EcommerceBytes reader pointed us to the thread this evening and explained why it's of concern to sellers like himself. "They are now escalating refunds in 24 hours if a tracking number is not entered, but their system already cannot determine the tracking number information if a case is opened. The seller has to re-enter it or the case closes against them in 3 days. Well now it's going to be 24 hours including weekends. So if a seller is on vacation or takes the weekend off, they may come back to eBay having issued refunds AND also receive a Seller Unresolved Case defect for it.
"It really looks like eBay is trying to eliminate all sellers who are not working 7 days a week as the Unresolved Seller Case has a 0.3% limit before account is closed."
Let us know what you think of this new policy (or "test").