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Mon June 9 2014 11:07:42

New eBay Defect Rating System Counts Buyer Mistakes

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have been going back and forth with my "dedicated" eBay sales rep over the new ODR (order defect rate) system implementing. At first I was trying to see if they would remove unwarranted defects from my account which they will not no matter how obvious they are.

"eBay is allowing a 2% buffer for errors" is what I was told so I quickly did the math. 8 out of the newest 20 defects were all mistakes by the buyer or eBay having an awful system. This equates to 40% and the reasons that I tried removing are:

One customer opened 2 claims "I am sorry but I gave you guys the wrong address can you please re ship to the new one."

This was 2 defective orders eBay would not remove.

We would normally go out of the way to pay out of pocket to re-ship for the customer but now with the new system we have no incentive - we might as well tell the customer, sorry you messed up and can't reverse the defect, contact eBay for help.

That one is the most absurd but the rest of the 7 included "hey can I get a tracking update" ... Or, "all I wanted to do was email you but when I followed the contact seller directions on eBay it steered me towards opening a case sorry."

We have 58 out of 60 "item not arrived" claims showing as delivered ahead of schedule. eBay's system would be fine if they just counted actual defects and non-arrivals and not anyone who wants to email us.

My 2.2% defect rate (going to lose TRS) would be down to under .50% if the unjustified defects where cleared up. They need to make changes immediately.
Jordan

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Readers Comments

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by: JT&A This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 00:28:44 2014

@Puck
Ya can bet your bottom dollar (about all I've got left)that eBay will jump right on it! With the net result,,,,it will be worse then it was before they jumped right on it! I'm a tenacious bever give up kinda person - it's served me well. But, a good fighter also knows when they're just depleting energy & it's time to throw the game.

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by: fvh This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 00:46:27 2014

@RIC  You state that "To my complete shock, the agent agreed the case should not count against me as a defect and promises the case will be de-scored from my defect rating."

Has the defect indeed been removed from your rating? Is a PROMISE truly enough? For your sake, I'm certainly hoping they do remove it but am left wondering if they actually did/will. Please update when you can.

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by: ErictheOwl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 01:58:13 2014

This is just all part and parcel of the most horrible Spring Update ever!  The whole defect thing is patent and utter nonsense, but if eBay want to remove TRS and the resulting discount, why on earth go through this ghastly, tortuous process.  Just do it!

I've had TRS for as long as it's been around, but probably not for much longer, as I refuse to mess about and waste time with this asinine system.  I will continue to give the excellent customer service that has kept me at 100% for most of my 12 years on eBay, and carry on building my own website.

As for 90 day returns over the Christmas period, wouldn't even consider it, in the unlikely event that I am still around on eBay by then.

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by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jun 10 02:13:23 2014

I suppose these continued sagas need to be reported in order to point out the absolute ridiculous eBay feed back policy and the egregious name they chose for the micro management policy considering the largest "defect" is eBay itself.

Those left floundering trying to deal with eBay - for the life of me I can not understand why your even selling there let alone sharing with the rest of the world that you are there at all.

No good deed goes unpunished at eBay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jun 10 02:41:48 2014

The two defects that the OP received because a buyer opened two claim due to the buyer giving the seller the wrong address could have been reverse.  But to do so, the seller would have to escalate and win the claim.  Which they could have done.  Not overly good customer service, but to avoid the defects, it is what the sellers need to do.

Once the seller wins the case, you can then contact your buyer and try to fix things for them.  But the first priority now for sellers is to protect your backside.  NOT customer service.

Ebay says they do certain things to enhance the buying experience but if you really look at the policy closely, it is the exact opposite.

Sellers need to learn that they do not have to take all returns.  They do not have to allow buyers to win every claim.  Sellers need to stand up and fight the claims whenever possible.  It won't always be a claim that is winnable, but when there is any chance at all, to protect yourself, you must fight.  This of course is providing that you have a desire to keep your defect rate down.

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by: TIDSdp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 03:49:54 2014

Yes, we'll be 2.2% from "buyer cancellations" - They say "if out of stock and cannot ship....", Yet all but one of our cancellations are "buyer's" mis-orders or changed mind.

So isn't it good customer service to cancel and refund at customer request?

Apparently not for Ebay - Their metrics are an outright LIE saying on seller caused cancellations - And I have personally reviewed all staffs entries on canceled orders.

:(  

Will lose ranking for their intentional error - I guess they figure the % increase in commission justifies the lie.

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by: jaydee This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 05:05:27 2014

There is absolutely Nothing about this that makes any sense, it is being done on purpose to PERMENANTLY TERMINATE SELLERS, and make a few million bucks in the process.

No way on earth that any normal company in their right mind would do this.

Stop and really think about it.

Ebay is NOT listening not going to change, and not going to help, it's not worth the time and effort to keep asking them, this is EXACTLY what they PLANNED and WILL EXECUTE.

You are the only one that can help yourself, move / add your items to other venues NOW, and if they ever terminate you from ebay, Make sure you NEVER buy a single item from ebay ever.






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by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 09:18:26 2014

Exactly.  I've gone out of my way to help buyers over the ten + years I've been selling. Now that eBay is slamming you with that silly defect thing--it doesn't matter what I do-I'm taking a hit-so why be helpful?

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by: DebraD This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 09:32:05 2014

I contacted Ebay several times in the past week about these so called defects. The first, a package was returned undeliverable. The customer failed to update her shipping address after a move. I do not ship to alternate addresses, so we (buyer/seller) agreed to cancel transaction. There is no choice for cancelling transactions for undeliverable address, so I was told to choose ''other'' as the reason for cancelling. Consequently, I was hit with an ''out of stock'' defect. I called Ebay, and was told there is no way to amend this defect. This is why we are given a generous 2% defect buffer.

Second return, customer claims SND, I ask Ebay to review, and am told by customer service- definitely buyers remorse. Now, I have no problem accepting the return, I do have a return policy. However, I do object to the defect for the inappropriate SND. Ebay is supposed to back sellers on these types of claims. First, I am told by customer service, since I do have a return policy, Ebay will never side with me in a review. The customer will be permitted to return the item no matter what because I offer a 14 day window for returns. After vigorously complaining about this policy the rep consults with someone else, agrees to drop the defect, and states Ebay is going to refund the customer at no cost to me. WOW! how generous is that! Ya right! A couple of hours later I find Ebay refunded my Paypal payment in the amount of $50.00, and told the customer to just keep the product. So far I do not see a defect for this transaction, but it could still show up when the June cycle starts and I am out 50 bucks.

By the way, I have a message from Ebay stating I am not at fault for this claim, and that I do not need to reimburse the customer, or Ebay for the refund. No kidding, Ebay refunded on my behalf, out of my pocket, and basically stole my product. Now that's the way to treat a TRS!  

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 09:32:58 2014

ebay will not just drop the 15% from TRS. How would that look to Wall Street???  After all that is what ebay is interested in and only that.  So, they will use a dull knife and keep cutting away till it accomplishes it's goal. That would be to kill off all the noise.
The 90 day return policy will be a joke.  I imagine a good number of sellers will just drop ebay all together once the refunds start going out. Sounds like someone is so desperate for business that they make insane promises to all the crooks in the world.

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by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 10:22:32 2014

I don't mess with all the garbage and games, I just let the chips fall where ever they land as a top rated seller and just process 'whatever' orders I can get which are few now that they really messed with the system again... However, I don't list as much as I used to anymore because I have discovered that almost ALL of my profit margin is gone! No matter what price I list at they get too much back for it compared to what I get. Plus the fewer listings I list then I get even less visibility; if that's possible. I used to think that I could use my shop to drive sales to my other shops but I do not think that's even possible anymore due to the lack of sales. And now they are going to end the discounts and affect our ratings; where's the incentive to stay? What's left? Nothing. I can get low visibility at a better price somewhere else without going through all of this. I sell not for the ratings but the sales so even though the nice ratings have been great they don't pay the bills. I am sure eBay will continue to exist because people will continue to buy no matter what happens, and some sellers will continue to put up with it all. Originally I decided to sell on eBay because they were good for what I wanted to do and sell. They no longer fit under 'my' guidelines as to what I need to best sell what I have to offer so why not find a host that does? eBay's name and what it represents is no longer what it used to represent. When I think of all the time and money I have wasted; do I really want to continue wasting my time and money, especially when there's no return; not to mention now at the risk of my good reputation being ruined as they destroy us? That's just bad business practice, I need to move on. It is no longer supplying what I need. The only way I can see staying in order to afford it if they drop our discount etc is to first see if I lose my top rated status re what they are now going to do. If this happens then I will drop my shop payment and just sell the free 50 listings or whatever they allow. Then I will no longer have the shop expense which will make up the difference for the loss of some of their discounts. And I would only take advantage of their free listing offers and anything else free they offer selling that way. If that all ends up to be too much of a hassle I'll just quite all together; if not before. It's bad enough I would lose my top rated status and 100% positive feedback; maybe it is too much of a price to pay to stay after all the blood sweat and tears that went into it to get there. To be demoted so to speak in order to make it work is sad but I have to keep perspective. It's not about the FB etc, it's about sales and expense. At this point I could sell just about anywhere else and be happier so why not.

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by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 11:09:51 2014

To RCL: I did the bulk changes and EBay charged me $1.00 to do it.  lol.  Nothing for free on EBay.

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by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 11:19:49 2014

To DebraD:  Did you check the bottom of the returned package? Recently I received a box that was returned with "REFUSED" written on the top of the box where the label was (the shipping label was across the seem of the box so it appeared to have never been opened). I contacted the buyer asking if they gave me the wrong address and they never responded so I refunded their money.  Then I put the box in my storage and re-listed the item, but I never opened the box because it looked like it had never been opened and it would be easier for me to ship it considering it was already all packaged up.  But then I looked on the bottom of the box and realized that the box had been slit open on the bottom and was indeed opened and looked at.  Then the buyer simply taped the bottom back up and wrote "refused" on the top and sent it back without having to pay for return shipping. Watch for this scam everyone.

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by: Redlion This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 11:29:34 2014

Defect #1
Buyer opens an item not received case because they didn't bother to fully open the package and doesn't realize the two items they ordered together were actually shipped in the same package. When the buyer closed the case they even pleaded with eBay to not hold the case against me.

Defect #2
Buyer from Belgium orders an item and asks for it to be shipped to Brazil. I don't ship to Brazil so I cancel the sale using the "buyer asked me to ship to a country I don't ship to" option.

Defect #3
Buyer from the UK opens a not as described claim because I sent them 2 free items and they didn't order them. We do have a buyer 5 and buyer gets a free item, buyer ordered 10 items so got 2 free items.

For defect #1, according to the CSR rep I could have avoided this defect by instructing the buyer to NOT close the case and calling eBay and escalate the case myself and closing it in my favor. Never mind the fact that the admission and plea with eBay was actually in the comments when the buyer closed the case.

For defect #2 according to the CSR rep I used the wrong option. Naturally using the "Buyer requested I ship to a country I don't ship to" was NOT the correct choice when a buyer requested I ship to a country I don't ship to. I was SUPPOSED to use the "buyer and I disagree over terms" option.

My Global "defective" rate is a total of 9, in other words 30% of my "defects" are "defective" buyer problems.... 30%, not 2%. I have not yet exceeded a total of 1% defects in any region, but I have no doubt that will change. When the program was introduced I stated that we had 7 chances to get it wrong and only 1 to get it right, obviously my calculation were a bit skewed.

This whole "defect" program is supposed to "improve the buyer experience". The reality is that once I receive a "defect" I have no incentive to work with the buyer and they most likely will end up on my blocked bidder list. How's that for an improved experience when they realize that by asking a simple question they can't buy from my any more?

Heaven help us.

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by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 12:11:59 2014

I must say that the EBay customer service that is provided to sellers is not only extremely inept, they are destructive and dangerous, to EBay and to the sellers. Ebay execs must have no idea the problems that their customer service reps cause their company because I experience the same ridiculous excuses and mistreatment almost every time that I call them and nothing ever changes.  An EBay customer service rep can make or break a seller's business on EBay and it sounds like they do a lot of "breaking".  

Some of the things that EBay customer service reps say to sellers is grounds for being fired, seriously. With the job market the way it is I don't understand how or why many of them have jobs.  One time when I got scammed by a buyer from Singapore (I mailed the package to an address in USA and have no idea how the item got to Singapore) one customer service rep said to me "if you returned something to Walmart they would gladly refund your money" and "it's Business 101 that you should expect to lose money to theft."  Hmmmmm.  Not only that but it took me 3 weeks and 5 reps, including 3 supervisors, before they actually did the right thing, even though ALL of the evidence was clearly in EBay's own message system!  The buyer clearly said that he had used "alternative" shipping methods to get the item to Singapore, yet I was expected to provide the buyer "EBay Buyer Protection?"  It took 3 weeks, 5 reps, 3 supervisors, and each time I told them that I was going to close my store on EBay if they didn't stand by me and do the right thing.  I posted my story all over Ecommercebytes and proceeded to move my store to Amazon when in a last ditch effort I called EBay one last time asking them for a "feedback" form so that I could rate their horrible customer service, (hey I figured that if they keep telling me to "suck it up and take it in the shorts" than they had better be prepared to take their own negative feedback in the shorts.) :)  

That is when they finally did the right thing and removed the negative feedback that the dirty buyer had left in an attempt to extort money from me.  Extortion is a successful tool of buyers and EBay needs to get a grip on that.  Right now at this very moment I could go onto EBay and easily get something for free.  Because I am a seller I know all the scams and tricks and if I wanted to I could use those tricks on other sellers with no problem because I know that the EBay reps always side with the buyer.  EBay makes it so easy for the buyers and so hard for the sellers.  EBay doesn't deserve all the money that the sellers give them that is for sure.

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by: tiastreasures This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jun 10 12:27:06 2014

I haven't sold on eBay for a long time, but I can't resist reading some of these horror stories.  My opinion is that eBay is trying to get rid of small sellers.  They can't just say that, of course, so they are creating policies to make it  happen.  For a large seller, with thousands of sales a month, the 2% defect rate is probably acceptable.  For a small seller? ''Go away and leave us alone.''  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 12:49:18 2014

Right now it has gotten so bad that sellers on OTHER venues than ebay are using the ebay NAME as a device to ACCUSE buyers of bad practices!

I bought an item on ETSY that was NOT AS DESCRIBED.  Never having bought or sold on ETSY I DID read the sellers TOS in advance.  The seller came back to my polite email---there is no auto claim system-with a vicious attack and proceeded multiple times to say that I MUST BE AN EBAY BUYER OR SELLER to dare to think that an item Not As Described should be accepted as a return even tho the buyer misrepresented the item completely.

This was used in the sellers emails to Me and also several times in their emails to the CSR that was allegedly handling the "Case".

Oh and BTW--the only place WORSE to deal with than ebay???   ETSY.  (If any of you sell or buy there please let me know would love to chat!)  

IF you pay with Paypal you MUST first file a CASE with PP.  This is the corporate ETSY rule!!!     Then THAT is used AGAINST you! And apparently IF you dare to leave a "Negative" (I don't know what this was called I closed my account as I was not ALLOWED to leave a "Review") then apparently you get a demand to "Kiss and Make Up" and if you DON'T agree to revise  this there are severe consequences.

So we might kvetch and kvell over ebays bad treatment of us--as well we SHOULD---but imagine the CUSTOMERS (Buyers) who have run into the bizarro world of ETSY and their insane practices and NEVER return.  

I know I will never go back there.  All over a $20 item that was not described properly and that SHOULD have been a simple return/refund.  In the end I had to wait over 3 WEEKS to get a refund---from Paypal--and after THAT I got a VERY nasty email from the seller calling me all sorts of names including "Uneducable" and a "Liar" and attempting to commit "fraud" and costing "Them"  (ie ETSY and  the seller) "Revenue".  

Now I hate ebays practices as well as the next person but in SOME limited cases their flawed system might just be better than some other venues.

Why this is NOT being made public is beyond me.  

And yes I did send this to Ina.

There SHOULD be a company that looks at all of these practices and picks the BEST ones to use.  That might make for a pleasant and honest selling and buying platform.

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by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 10 12:56:46 2014

many have suggested writing in the listing or follow-up emails that the customer select one option over another if they wish to make contact via ebay after the sale.
1. 90% of customers never read the listing
2. customers are going to contact you the easiest way possible, they aren't going to read back to your instructions
3. 90% of customers won't read your follow-up emails
So, in the end....while it's a great idea, but it depends on lazy customers actually READING your pleas.  

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by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jun 10 13:41:11 2014

First, let me confirm what others have said: eBay tricks buyers into opening cases. If you look at your Purchase History, then click ''Contact Seller'', which leads to ''Find Answers from [Seller]'', which leads to a list of possible topics such as ''I haven't received the item'' -- it all opens a Case.

Secondly, we are probably dealing with a combination of incompetence and malice on the part of eBay, as usual.

There can be little doubt they changed the defect system to try to kick sellers out of the TRS system. But management is probably not aware of the extent to which they are creating Cases out of simple post-transaction questions. Not that it matters to them. They regard such things as bargaining chips.

If we keep complaining, they will probably allow buyers to ask a question without opening a case -- but leave the rest of the system intact. Thus they get most of what they want. This has been the eBay pattern in the past.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 10 14:42:07 2014

nsc says: "But management is probably not aware of the extent to which they are creating Cases out of simple post-transaction questions."

I guarantee they are. Besides eBay minions reading our posts here, I'm sure this subject has been covered extensively on their own discussion boards.

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