|Mon July 4 2011 09:18:44|
eBay Seller DSRs at Risk Thanks to PayPal Delays
By: Ina Steiner
On July 1, I experienced yet another "glitch" with delayed PayPal payment notifications after receiving a PayPal payment email a full 5 hours after the payment was actually made.
Annoyed because I missed being able to ship the buyers order based on terms posted in my listing ( I offer same day shipping when payments are received before 11:00 am), I called PayPal customer support.
The agent I spoke with stated that PayPal was aware that notices were running 5 to 6 hours late and that the issue had been ongoing for 2 days. I was struck by three points which demonstrate the indifference and causal disregard that eBay and PayPal has for their sellers.
First was the lack of any announcement either on PayPal or on eBay advising sellers of a prolonged lag between the time buyers complete payments and sellers are sent email notices. Common sense would dictate that when a significant outage such as payment notification emails are not being sent on time ( and had not been for more than 48 hours ), announcements should be posted on PayPal and even eBay advising sellers to check their accounts for any recent payments.
Second was the complete lack of concern regarding how sellers can be negatively impacted when PayPal fails to perform it's responsibility and notify sellers on a timely basis.
Third was the fact that the issue was happening before the start of a holiday weekend, whereby many sellers could potentially be unable to process orders and ship before carriers close for the long holiday weekend, resulting in even longer delays.
Sure the agent apologized for the inconvenience yadda...yadda...yadda.
An apology from a PayPal Customer Support Agent in no way compensates for the issues sellers face when they fail to deliver service as promised in their listings.
eBay knows sellers are left to suffer lower DSR scores because of eBay/PayPal system failures which is fine with the company, and may even point to a deliberate delay given the timing of the system failure. Obviously, eBay increases their fee revenue every time a seller loses their hard earned discounts. Clearly there is a financial incentive for eBay/PayPal to turn a blind eye to the issue or delaying repairs.
Glitches such as this highlight the deficiencies of eBay's DSR system, whereby small sellers effected by an eBay/PayPal service glitch are left hanging to suffer the wrath of buyers without recourse.
Given that small sellers are only allowed 2 low DSR scores before they suffer the loss of their Top Rated Status and 20 % discounts, there should be some form of protection offered by eBay when sellers are unable to meet their commitments to buyers because of an eBay/PayPal system failure. Since some sellers could be effected by system outages in the form of account restriction or suspension, eBay/PayPal's lack of urgency is appalling and unconscionable.
eBay wonders why sellers perception is that eBay deliberately constructs road blocks to prevent success thereby setting their sellers for failure. They need look no further than their onerous DSR rating system and how their own inability to maintain their internal infrastructure in consistently working order leads to sellers being hit with low ratings.
eBay demands unparalleled excellence from sellers. At the same time, eBay clearly fails to execute at the same level of performance where sellers are concerned.
Given all the fee increases and the recent imposition of Final Value fees on shipping costs, sellers should be entitled to a reasonable expectation that systems will work as they should and enable them to perform to the exacting standards eBay demands.
One solution would be to issue automatic 5 stars for shipping time for every transaction which took place during the system outage.
Another possible solution would be to make the thresholds for low ratings more reasonable by increasing the number of low ratings a smaller seller can receive.
The most effective and fair solution would be to eliminate the DSR system in it's entirety since 2 out of 4 categories can be negatively influenced by circumstances the seller is powerless to control. This renders the DSR system completely useless as ratings do not fully and completely reflect actual seller performance.
eBay Sets Me Up To Fail