Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed June 3 2020 16:35:36

Did eBay Pare Down CSR Access to Customer Info?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers are discussing the state of the company's customer service in a Reddit post, which a reader forwarded to us. A user kicked off the discussion stating that eBay had significantly pared down customer service reps' access to information about customers' accounts when contacting them for help. 

The seller claims reps can no longer access information to help with problems involving invoices, listings, and checkout issues. "Additionally they have an expectation of getting you off the phone in under 8 minutes. 8 minutes after taking away their ability to see what you're seeing."

Some posters theorized that now customer service reps are working from home (due to the pandemic), "eBay is not comfortable with giving complete access to all their processes and info under these circumstances." But another user debunked that theory, saying it was possible but not likely: "One VPNs into the system and logs in using ones employee PW, so any and everything you do is tracked, just as if you were sitting at a desk in an office building. Many companies were operating this way years before Covid came along," the user wrote.

In mid-March, eBay had warned users of customer service delays and encouraged them to use its online resources and community boards.

eBay's COVID-19 resource page continues to warn of customer service delays.

Eleven weeks after eBay's initial advisory, are you finding it easier to get answers from eBay customer service? Are you able to get through by phone, and if so, do you feel you have adequate time to speak to a rep, and are they able to solve your problems?



Comments (19) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 3 16:56:54 2020

Ebay says customers should use their community boards...It would be a good idea, except all of the helpful people have been banned for dare questioning eBay's Dear Leader or his sycophants. The only people left are people spamming for likes and paid trolls.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 3 18:35:26 2020

Haven't had a problem with them. Called yesterday and today. Call took about a minute to answer and problem was solved in a few minutes. But then again I have a premium store which isn't cheap. I read somewhere that if your not paying for phone support is almost non existent.

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 00:39:06 2020

As an anchor store owner I have had no trouble reaching eBay CS by phone, with very short wait times.

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by: flybuy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 01:23:44 2020

I do not have a store because of working full time and also because of trying to sell as much as possible on Instagram rather than Ebay because that works for the things I sell. Ebay did send an email asking about my experience as a seller which is the first time I can remember in a long time if ever they have done that . Here is what it says:

Hello,
Here at eBay, we continue to be focused on delivering the best possible seller experience. In order to help design with you and your needs as a seller in mind, we’re asking for your input on a survey that should take about 20 minutes for you to complete.

As a thank you for completing this survey, you will have the chance to win one of 20 Visa gift cards worth $250.

Your responses will be kept entirely confidential, and will not be used for any sales or solicitation purposes.

I would like to think they are getting worried about a mass exodus once managed payments are rolled out. Plus they have Poshmark and Mercari taking business away and then there is the news about Walmart getting on the selling used clothing band wagon. And on top of that people sell on IG and FB Marketplace. It is very hard to believe anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together does not see this as an issue.

I have no luck getting in touch with Ebay and they closed a case because of no recent activity when they know it is about something I purchased from Australia so of course there would not be much activity since it takes forever to get something from other countries now.
Lastly it would not be surprising if they are thinking about using AI to cover some of the customer service. I hate AI and will do whatever is necessary to get a live person on the phone because it will eliminate jobs. Also it is not my job to train AI for Bank of America or Comcast or whoever. When I get the AI on the phone or the bot on the their chat line it is like saying " We don't care about you. Just give us your money and keep your thoughts to yourself."
Does it occur to anyone the majority in this country want jobs and want to make enough to be independent and maybe develop their own ideas for a service or an invention. We do NOT want an Universal Income every month and it has not worked out well where it was rolled out for research purposes. If people are wound up because of shelter in place due to COVID -19 can you IMAGINE if you have almost an entire nation of people with no meaningful work or education living like this indefinitely?

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 02:51:26 2020

I find it interesting that this far into the lock-down/stay at home, just how many businesses are blaming the pandemic on long times for dealing with customers. Such as when you call a company that does not have a B&M presence, why are they having so much long wait times? What is so different about what people would be calling for? I've had to call endicia twice within the last two weeks (sadly to cancel my account) for issues that arose long before the pandemic but I was too busy to call and get it taken care of earlier. But every company I call, including the phone line I call to use to pay a credit care. I was told that the wait would be longer due to blah, blah, blah. It is like every company got handed a get out of jail free card and a perfect answer to why such long waits. Why would a credit card company have a longer phone wait pre- during and post-pandemic? I could see if the company itself had run into problems such as a lot of sick employees or even ones had died and new ones needed hired and oriented to the job.

This is the puzzle going through my head every time I make a phone call to a business and get the current standard recital of why the wait will be longer. Three months now of longer waits no matter who you call.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 03:29:52 2020

Um.....Anchor Support has been great as usual. No wait times and they are able to help just as much as before. They have been working from home for months at this point and it doesn't appear they are going back to the office until September.....

No clue what the OP is talking about......it doesn't seem based in fact, that's for sure.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 07:04:30 2020

If your not paying for phone support with at least an anchor store at 350.00 + a month you get exactly what your paying for. ie Nothing. If you check the subscriptions it will tell your right there if you have phone support but I can tell you anything less than an anchor store you get nothing,

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by: Bparty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 08:56:41 2020

I have an anchor store, they answered the phone right away and assisted. However, It was early on a Sunday morning memorial day weekend so could be just lucky no one else was calling.

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by: Bparty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 09:52:55 2020

Moonwishes - why are the phone lines so long for places that didn't have long holds before?  My side job is a phone agent and I can tell you that when this first began, every other call was a person who waited for an hour or more to ask questions that they were admittedly saying they were bored and just thought of this question to ask and basically had the time on their hands to put the phone on hold and wait.  Many were people who had Online banking and could have just looked at it for their answer. Many of these questions are research based and time consuming.  Some just wanted to know how some aspect of the banking system works because they "always wanted to know". Basically no consideration for people who have actual needs in real time and not 4 year old research peeves.  You can add to that the lonely who can't go out and call instead.  Not once did I see any media person tell people not to call banks or places with long waits with non essential questions right now. This is not to mention those who just leave the phone open and are not there, you still have to wait minutes for them to come back before you can hang up. Lots of those, one after another sometimes. Then you have those who purposefully called the wrong department because the hold was too long for the one they wanted so they figured you can help (no you can't).
Then you have those who have a 2 min issue that they spend 10 yelling at you first because they were on hold. Then of course are the lovely folks who need a manager to complain about the hold so you have to stay on the phone with them another 30 min to get a manager who already knows there is a hold.  Of course, after dealing with these folks for hours constantly talking so much that your voice is going out, the last thing you want to do is volunteer for overtime.

Oh and paypal not answering the phone for months now, they call their bank for help. Paypal owes me some bucks for helping their customers. I wonder if they know that there are already at home and contact center type companies who they could have hired to get help for their customers. Of course they do. It is a cheap choice to not provide support for their customers.

Hope my vent was entertaining.  LOL

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Jun 4 09:56:06 2020

No issues whatsoever. Yesterday I sighed with relief when an American-born rep picked up. I had a complicated issue and didn’t need a language barrier mucking things up.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jun 4 10:21:52 2020

@Moonwishes - What problem did you have with Endicia? I have them as well, and for the most part they are great, except I find it impossible to print out a scan sheet. Two days ago I tried and failed, and then went to their site and got the message "cannot connect to remote computer." Then I was locked out of their site altogether which suddenly wouldn't recognize my log-in information. The postal clerk didn't want to hear about my problem and was furious about scanning twenty packages (even though there was no one else in the post office).

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 11:13:31 2020

Ha! I can get in touch with them. But the problems I dont have answers to or cant fix myself neither can CS. And that is 95% of the time. So why bother calling them. In the end it will just be a "we will get back to you in less than 72 hrs.".....after spending an hour or two with them on the phone. After all of thet they will never call or email you back. Try and call them agin asking them why they didnt get back to you......The same answer "we will get back to you in less than 72 hrs". Dan time goes by slow, that feels like it was 3-4 years ago.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 4 11:15:29 2020

Does having an Anchor Store render you clueless to the plight of those who do not, and therefore have no favored status when calling in?
There's glaring evidence from a couple posters above.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 4 12:40:03 2020

@FeelingFroggy

I'm a little confused by your two post.  The first post you said "Haven't had a problem with them. Called yesterday and today. Call took about a minute to answer and problem was solved in a few minutes. But then again I have a premium store..."

Then the second post you said "If your not paying for phone support with at least an anchor store at 350.00 + a month you get exactly what your paying for. ie Nothing."

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 4 12:43:11 2020

Personally I don't think CS is as available as they should be or could be.  The current methods of getting some help often takes too long and leaves a seller hanging for extended periods of time that would otherwise not be necessary if the call in CS was more accessible.  I too think Ebay could do far better on this subject and should.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 6 17:06:06 2020

@ebayout....sorry, don't have that much sympathy for you. The monthly payment alone is worth being able to talk to someone in the US. Otherwise, are you guys stil calling India or the Phillipines like before they had anchor support? No thank you. You get what you pay for.

By the way, try to get someone in the US if you need to speak to Amazon as a seller....ha, you have a better chance of winning the lottery.

Ebay is way above and beyond what other sites offer in terms of CS.  

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 6 17:08:07 2020

@iheartjacksparrow

I am about fed up with Endicia. Their new layout sucks. I can't search by half the parameters I used to be able to under the old one (I can't search and get all tracking numbers from a particular scan sheet, etc.).

Their software is slow and outdated.....Dazzle.

Scan sheets.....yep, issue there, too. We have to finagle ways to get those done.

Only reason I am staying with them is familiarity......but I am about done with them.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 7 01:12:19 2020

@mjr55...I have no sympathy for anyone who can't distinguish sympathy from empathy.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 7 19:09:36 2020

@ebayout

Oh, I know the difference.....and I used the correct word. People who pay for cheap CS (or, don't pay at all) get what they pay for.  



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