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Mon Apr 20 2015 12:05:51

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Just thought you might like to make all your readers aware of the following issue I encountered on eBay today.

I have been a seller for 15+ years on the site, and have a very good understanding of the policies and practices they use, and have normally been ok with most decisions they have made, even though I have disagreed with them.

This morning's encounter is in my opinion too far and honestly makes no sense.

The facts of the case;

1- Buyer purchased a widget.
2- Buyer received widget.
3- 3 weeks after receipt buyer claimed they just opened the package and widget didn't work.
4- Seller offered to replace the product as a courtesy, and supplied the buyer with a full 1 year manufacturers warranty where it could also be replaced.
5- Buyer refused to accept anything but a full refund.
6- Seller refused to offer a refund as the request and issue arose after the 14 day return policy had expired.
7- Seller called eBay and was told that they were not obligated to accept the return passed their terms.
8- Buyer opened an eBay case.
9- Seller contacted eBay and again explained the situation. eBay advised that the case should be escalated as soon as the 3 day period expired and that the seller was in the right, no cause for concern they would not be forced to take the product back. The case could not be escalated till 3 days passed.
10- Buyer escalated the case before the seller could due to time zone issues.
11- eBay closed the case with the following:

Hi SELLER,
eBay opened a case because of an issue with an item purchased from you. We reviewed the case and have decided to issue the buyer a refund of $xx.xx without any impact to you. The refund includes the purchase price plus original shipping.

This case is now closed. You are not required to reimburse the buyer or eBay, and this case will not be counted in your seller performance evaluation.

You can view the details of the case in the Resolution Center.

12- Buyer, still not happy leaves seller negative feedback.
13- Seller calls eBay and is told "The buyer left his opinion on the case, and that FB is not eligible for removal. Had the case been decided in the sellers favor it would be eligible for removal. However, as the eBay automated system closed the case with no one at fault the buyer can still leave negative FB that will count against you and it is not eligible for removal."

eBay says specifically "eBay decided to issue a refund with no impact on you", and "this case will not be counted in your seller performance evaluation" yet when I do a seller report, there is the case and it is counting against us.

They state "no impact on you" yet the fact is because they decided to give a refund there is an impact. The impact is simply that the case was not decided correctly and so the buyer can still leave negative FB that counts against you. They state "It will not count" and yet it does count.

In the past whenever a case was closed in this manner any negative FB was removed. It appears that now they are claiming it can not be removed. 

I'm totally ok with them issuing a refund and doing whatever they want with their money and reputation. I am not ok with being penalized for it and I think people should be aware of what is perceived as an unadvertised change in policy.

If you publish this or use it please do not include our seller name, or other identifying information.

I just want others to be aware that it is now important to insure you escalate the case and you speak with a live human to do so, and make sure the case is ruled in your favor, otherwise you can get stuck with a defect and negative FB and eBay will do nothing.




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 12:31:51 2015

Welcome to the wonderful world of Ebay feedback..Thats exactly what happen to me.

Except I was told that any return policy mentioned in my auctions is null and void when ebay gets involved.

The money paid to the buyer came out of Ebays pocket hence buyer is allowed to leave any and all feedback they want.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Apr 20 14:37:09 2015

Every system has it's flaws and eBay is no exception.

eBay kind of reminds me of the health care system here in America.

Got to have it but it doesn't quite work as it should.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 20 18:15:28 2015

sasikat9 - I'm curious: Did your buyer know the money came from eBay and not you, or, thinking the refund was from you, left you a negative because they thought you took to long to refund?  

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 19:25:05 2015

In all honesty, %90+ of all negative feedbacks are "revenge feedbacks".

eBay tells buyers that "sellers suck" go "have at it".

Items late - sellers fault.
Item doesnt work after 3+ weeks - sellers fault.
You bought the wrong size - sellers fault.

Instead of a smooth flow of information and discussion - its become adversarial.

So, buyers go back and "punish" the bad sellers with a negative, eBay then goes and does so with a defect and then drops you in ratings.

There are those few times where you DONT get a defect - but those are the exceptions and NOT the rule.

eBay wont look at your general selling account and the other %99.9 of your feedbacks to see if the last one was warranted - they just dont care.

PLEASE dont wake Uncle Good Greif from his nap (aka mr seller advocate) as hes tired from counting all the JD CASH he got as a bonus.

You could try reaching Rich Matsura and his seller protection team - except that load of BS is long gone.

Its a shame that one insect can ruin so much grain, but eBay likes it - defects and negatives are PORN to eBay - they just love it.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 07:53:00 2015

@iheartjacksparrow

I have no idea if the buyer knows that it was Ebay that refunded them or not.

When it happens we no longer care as we aren't a small business nor do we participate in the carrot jumping.  We just block and move on.

We have found our time is better spend on other things that trying to convince the customer service jerks....Time is money and Fleecebay isn't worth a couple of hours of our time.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 08:01:51 2015

I think this happens all the time. Here's where you went wrong: ''Seller refused to offer a refund''. Take back the item then refund the money--save yourself a lot of grief. You'll stand a better chance of positive feedback or at least getting a negative one reversed. It's a cost of doing business in the wild west.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: Magster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 08:50:16 2015

A lot of EBay sellers I know and myself have quit selling on EBay for that reason. They breed scammer buyers unfortunately.  

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: Surplus This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 08:52:42 2015

It's happened to me before.  There is nothing you can do about it so accept the fact that there will be a certain number of negatives as a percentage of items sold.  Don't take it personally as for all you know the person who left the feedback may be not playing with a full deck of cards or may be off their meds.  I do take the following actions against ALL bad buyers: (1) They are put on my banned buyers list immediately.  I will never do business with bad buyers twice.  (2) I will leave them feedback that states ''Bad Buyer Sellers Beware Proceed with Caution with this buyer''  Trust me sellers do check out buyer feedback especially when accepting offers or on high dollar items. My feedback has been a deal killer in several cases where I was contacted by the seller asking about the comments I left.  

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: stevel This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 09:11:41 2015

I had two scenarios like this, one just as the seller described, where the buyer broke the item and a month later wanted a refund  and the second was an "item not received" when tracking showed it was. Both cases I was told no human even looks at the dispute, it is decided automatically, it really is never reviewed. In both cases, Ebay did removed the negative feedback. I must have got lucky and got customer service in a more empathetic country.
Where I disagree with the seller, is they should care that the refund was made. It comes, ultimately, out of higher fees. Ebay is never going to absorb the cost without passing it on to us sellers. Also, it promotes dishonest activity as unscrupulous buyers understand they can game the system and get refunds without even returning the item. I have been an eBay seller for 18 years and just began moving more of my items to Amazon FBA.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: DebraD This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 09:12:23 2015

I am not surprised to hear of the incorrect information you were given by the first Ebay customer service agents, but I am a bit surprised that after 15 years of selling on Ebay, you do not understand the buyer/seller protection policy. This was a case of item significantly not as described. Your 14 day return policy does not govern in this situation unless it is more generous then Ebay's buyer protection policy. This customer had 45 days to file this claim and request either a replacement or a refund. You refused to accept a return for full refund as requested (or to refund without return). Ebay generously paid the claim on your behalf anyway, you received a negative feedback as a result. I would not have expected Ebay to pay the claim, However, although you did attempt to resolve the issue, I am not surprised by the negative feedback. No reason it should be removed under Ebay's policy.  

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 09:15:39 2015

I am a seller on eBay but I'm also a long-time buyer.  I have found that not all sellers have morals and a fair business sense as I have.  With that said, I do not agree with the person who stated 90% of negative feedback is revenge. Many sellers are liars and thieves and rightly deserve the negative feedback they're given. Unfortunately, sometimes we reputable sellers suffer from the fallout.

But I DO agree that eBay's feedback system has gone haywire, and that they are defending only the mega sellers or the foreign sellers.

As a side note, sellers might want to consider moving their stores to Bonanza, where they totally back the seller even though the seller is pushing  obviously counterfeit merchandise.  The only issue about selling on Bonanza is that they only get a third as much traffic as eBay. So while your feedback may be stellar, your sales volume will suffer.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: ebaighsucks This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 09:40:53 2015

I have had 3 buyers in the past year fail to pay for an item and then left negative feedback. All 3 requested I 'cancel' the sale (I DON'T accept paypal) since they only pay via paypal. In all 3 instances ebay claimed they could not remove feedback even though the sale was not consummated.
I filed complaints against ebay with my states Attorney Generals office as well as the AG in California.
Each time I filed the complaint, the negative feedback was removed, subsequently receiving an email from ebay stating how they are protecting me.

When you have a problem with ebay or a buyer, it is imperative you file complaints with your states AG office! It may take 7 to 30 days, but you will have a satisfactory resolution!

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 10:23:36 2015

I don't know if you have any appeal options that you haven't already attempted. It might be worth getting them on the phone and walking them through a reading of their own statement to you about no harm to your account.

You didn't say what the content of the Negative comment was, but I assume that it wasn't something actionable...? (e.g. Referring to a dispute filed)

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: MovinOn This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 11:08:00 2015

Ebay continues to perpetuate buyer fraud and punishing sellers for it. That's one of the reasons I quit selling on ebay on 8/20/14, when ebay gave me many defects that were entirely beyond my control, took away my Top Rated Seller status, reduced my rankings in search results and charged me higher seller fees. I won't deal with that unscrupulous company any more. I sleep much better at night now, and my blood pressure has returned to the normal range.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: Enough Is Enough! This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 11:10:06 2015

This same type of scenario occurs on Amazon. Buyers request refunds on every item just to see what type of reaction they get.

Unfortunately, the only solution when a buyer wants a refund is to say ''Please send the item back''. If you don't do this, they will keep the item and your money.

Yes, you will to pay for return shipping, but at least there would be an attempt shown to rectify the problem, and have the item back in your hands. In essence, this would be ''calling the buyers bluff''.

In many cases, you will never hear from the buyer again. And ebay will not refund their money without them returning the item (at least I would hope so, but you never know nowadays).

This likely would have saved you the grief of a negative feedback. If the buyer was out to scam or cyber shoplift, they would probably not raise a red flag on their ebay account by creating conflict.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 11:39:44 2015

I just dealt with this too, for an item where tracking shows delivered and buyer claims it wasn't, but I'm still punished.

The "case" isn't counted against you.  The Negative feedback is though.  If the left hand doesn't get you, the right one will.  

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 12:00:28 2015

People like the OP got ARE scammers plain and simple. Honest people do not react like this.

When HONEST people get a defective or wrong item they are usually pretty nice about it, yes some people get testy but just a kind apologetic  email is usually all it takes even for angry buyers. However, when they demand more than a return, exchange or even a refund, then you know you have an actual SCAMMER!

Honest people do not expect to get refunded and keep the item because they know that is not right or how the world works. They just want a FREE item. By returning it they do not get the FREE item and depending on the type of item, it will expose them as a fraud.

As for ebay, they do not care about scammers because it does not cost them anything and with sales dwindling everyday, they are going to make it even easier for the scammers.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 12:07:51 2015

To the writer, there are some important things that you will definitely want to follow up on.  A couple of months ago I was told by EBay that a "courtesy" refund was given to a dirty buyer (I believed EBay because the item went from my "paid and shipped" queue to my "awaiting payment" queue), yet when 3 weeks later the item was tracked as returned to me Paypal gave an automatic refund out of my account. When I called Paypal I found out that EBay NEVER gave a "courtesy" refund like they told me they did.  I should clarify that I did not misunderstand EBay when they told me over the phone that they had given a "courtesy" refund to the buyer because I asked them multiple times and they responded that I shouldn't worry about anything because they handled it.  I even went so far as to ask if I could resell the item if it was ever returned to me and they said "yes".  I even asked them if I would have to pay them back for their supposed "courtesy" refund and they said "no."  That turned out to be a blatant lie and I was the one who issued the refund, NOT Freebay.

And recently I had another typical experienced EBay buyer crook who played the same game, wanting a refund without having to return the item, leaving negative feedback, opening cases and giving me defects, and using all the typical tricks that the EBay crooks easily use, and EBay went right along with it as usual.  I did some research and found that this seasoned EBay buyer had complained and filed cases that he had received broken half of his items purchased on EBay in the past month alone. Not only that but the buyer had already been suspended before for playing dirty on EBay and was now doing it again.

So don't trust anything that EBay customer service tells you because they lie through their teeth every single day and they have absolutely no qualms about it.  Clearly there is no management in the customer service center because they are extremely dishonest and corrupt.  I am shocked about how any business can have such despicable and corrupt customer service.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: Baubles This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 12:42:54 2015

EVEN if you had escalated the case to ebay, the decision would have been the same.
Ebay CSRs LIE all the time just to get you off the phone.

I had a similar case happen to me.  Buyer claimed item broken in shipping.  I offered refund upon sending item back.  Customer never sent back item.  They never even contacted me again. After almost a month I contacted ebay. They told me to escalate the case 1 day prior to its expiration date. I did as requested, and ebay supposedly 'ruled' in my favor. The refund did not come out of my account, it was paid by ebay.  When a case is closed in this manner, it just means it is not held against the seller, but it really isn't ruled in your favor either.  (Regardless of what the automated email they send you says!!!)

So the customer has the item, and they have a full refund as well.

The next month, the customer left me a neutral feedback which states 'good transaction'. I called ebay to have the feedback removed as their site clearly states this type of feedback will be removed if the case is ruled in the sellers favor. That's when I found out the case was not really ruled in my favor. I even brought up the email that is sent out stating the case was ruled in my favor.
They just told me no that's not really true.  The defect stands as is and feedback will not be removed.

I've learned from previous experience that if you contact ebay multiple times on the same issue you might be able to get some corrective action on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time around, so I called them again.  The next CSR told me yes, the case was ruled in my favor, but no they will not remove the neutral feedback because the customer left ''good transaction'.  I was told to send the customer a feedback revision form and have them change the feedback.  Well, guess what?!? After I hung up with support and tried to send the customer the feedback revision form I got the error msg that you cannot send a feedback revision for a 'neutral' comment.  

SERIOUSLY. There are some major issues over there with ebay.  They make up stuff as they go along just to get you off the phone.

In hindsight, if something like this were to happen in the future, the correct response would have been to let the customer case expire.  It would have then been ruled in the sellers favor as the customer would not have followed up on it.

Ebay is seriously deficient in the customer service department. They might as well not have it.  It's totally useless.

Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?   Is This How eBay Feedback Is Supposed to Work?

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 12:52:49 2015

Typical E**y Torture
make a seller call 55 times spin around 22 times hold for 30 minutes be transferred to another rep, dial 2 six times and bark loud like a dog.... still no results... they just tell you what they think you wish to hear the new defect rate will be the end of e**y we had same issues so we moved our business to SpeediTrade we are content there no stress Venue and no reps that lie loving it now!!  

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