|Sat Dec 7 2013 14:30:11|
eBay Allows Some Top Rated Sellers to Flaunt Rules
I had an interesting conversation with eBay regarding the 14 day return policy. I had called eBay at least twice to report a member for having a contradictory return policy as well as watermarking their pictures with a web address. They had a 14-day return policy listed. However, when you looked at the return policy details, it stated:
"RETURN ACCEPTED ONLY IF ITEM IS NOT AS DESCRIBED AND IF I AM ALERTED THE SAME DAY THE GUITAR WAS DELIVERED, FAILURE TO ALERT THE DAY OF DELIVERY WILL RESULT IN REFUSAL OF RETURN! GUITAR MUST BE SHIPPED BACK WITHIN 3 DAYS!"
Beyond the obvious time limits and hoops needed to jump through to qualify the return, the biggest red flag was stating that they would only accept returns if the item was not as described.
It's just plain offensive to me that someone could have this wishy washy fake return policy that appeared to violate eBay's rules and also get a 20% discount. As it turns out, it appears to be completely within eBay's rules. And this seller will continue to get top rated status.
I have spoke to eBay 3 times about this. For what it's worth, the first agent I talked to said that this seller's return policy details WERE a violation and they would do something about it. After checking a week later and noticing the listings were still up, I called again and was told he broke no rules. A seller can basically make up rules in the return policy details including stating that they would only take a return if the item was not as described.
As that was extremely surprising, I requested an email be sent to me summarizing what we had discussed and putting this policy into writing. I then called again a few hours later to see if another rep would confirm what the earlier rep had said. He did and assured me an email would be sent. So far, a week later, and nothing has come in.
Here's a link to the listing that set me off: (redacted by EcommerceBytes editor)
All of the seller's items are set up this way. Returns accepted only if the item is not as described.
That runs completely opposite of how the 14 day return period was presented when it was basically forced on sellers. Not to mention the spirit and intent of offering a return policy.
When 14 day return periods were rolled out, I spent several hours on the phone clarifying the policy. I was basically told that we could impose restock fees and put in some language regarding shipping costs but otherwise this was a regular 14 day no questions asked return period. You couldn't limit who could return or why. I wasn't happy about it but went ahead, like many sellers, and added it to my listings with the promise of better exposure and a 20% discount.
As it turns, the eBay reps now say you can come up with your own rules. And we'll reward you for being a scum bag.
So what's the point of having a return period? If I can state that I will only take a return if I screwed up and the item is not as I stated, what's the point of buyer protection and a significantly not as described case? There's already a buyer protection program in place to take care of customers and basically offer a return avenue. Why allow sellers, like the one in my example, to basically offer a meaningless and frankly dishonest service?
It's really, really made me angry to see how I was ignored by eBay on this issue as another seller basically advertises his website in listings and offers a BS return period and gets his 20% discount.