EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Mon May 25 2015 19:55:58

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I would like to start by letting you know of a recent issue we had with eBay. It started more than a week ago, a buyer emailed us asking if one of our saddles would fit a specific guitar. I said I did not know.

The buyer then order two different saddles from us (small and medium).

We shipped the product, the buyer sent a note yesterday stating that both did not fit, but choose defective or does not fit as the return option.

We called eBay and ask how this could be a defect. We were assured by the eBay CSR that this would be removed once everything processed and gave us a service number to refer to when we called in to have this done.

The buyer shipped the product, we issued an immediate credit once we saw the tracking was in the USPS system (yes we paid two shipping costs back as well).

Like clockwork the defects showed up today, we called the first CSR told us that they could not be removed, because we must have sent a wrong part (these are molded plastic). We ask for a supervisor, the supervisor stated, the CSR from yesterday was clearly wrong and the defect was our fault for not sending the right part. I hung up.

We called back a few minutes later, talked to a different CSR, she processed and took care of the defects. (both).

Somebody at eBay simply needs to get on the same page. First off, if someone buys two different sizes and returns both, something else is wrong. Secondly, why product is defective and does not fit are the same selection on the eBay's returns seems very calculated. Third, how one CSR can assure you that something will happen, sets a service number (I am assuming their system can see the notes), two others cannot agree with the first CSR and the fourth CSR agrees with the first. Something is really fishy in Ebayville.

Look I am a big boy and can handle negative responses, eBay system is still broken. I am dealing with more than twice as many issues today with fewer sales on eBay, than I have in 14 years of being there. 

eBay continues to want to step in between the seller and the buyer in contrast to UCC law, but does not get challenged simply because it's their playground. Some of us have invested a lot of monies and time in this venue and yet they still pretty much see the seller as the one that did the "crime". In all other markets, simply taking care of the customer (We would have refunded the parts anyway, regardless of eBay), just is not good enough.

If eBay wants to remove the TSR's, fine, remove the discount, take away the symbol, but quit beating people with sticks.

We have move more than 50% of our business from eBay. I really felt today liking, just simply saying, fine, I will hold on the phone while your IT guys get the tape of yesterday's conversation and let's see what was said.
Regards,
John

PS: I forgot to mention in my message, we also were contacted by the buyer with a question on the fit for the product and we told them before they purchased that it would not fit it was too narrow.




Comments (43) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon May 25 20:35:23 2015

eBay corp should be ashamed that their customer service is both inconsistent and woefully uninformed.

The OP has experienced both the lack of quality and consistency and was correct to make multiple contacts with the company to achieve satisfaction.

When a CSR provides a solution and promise of future action, that should be it - especially when the promised action was backed up with a service ticket number.

eBay customer service all too often attempts to overturn previous commitments made to their sellers by employing the excuse that the previous agent did not know what they were talking about.

Among the plethora of self created issues that plague eBay and are causes both buyers and sellers to abandon the marketplace is the shamefully inadequate process eBay attempts to pawn off as 'customer service'.

A quality company concerned with buyer and seller satisfaction would have an internal policy in place where by when a service ticket and a promise of outcome and action is issued, the next customer service agent simply reviews that ticket and says " let me take care of this for you" instead of saying " the previous agent did not know what they were talking about"

Of course, eBay is not a seller satisfaction oriented quality company, so the process is as the OP describes.

If the new CEO wants to fix something, here is yet another good place to start.  Sadly it does not appear Mr Wenig is properly motivated to fix issues such as customer service inconsistency, so it is likely the hit or miss process will continue.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon May 25 21:49:36 2015

I always got the impression that eBay telephone representatives have never undergone any official training.

No classrooms. No videos. No quizzes. No tests. No reviews. No ongoing updates. No feedback. No continuing education. Nothing.

Instead, my belief is that it's all ''self-study'' OJT. It seems that they're simply given a pamphlet and a three-ring binder with a poorly cross-referenced index, and and outdated table of contents.

It seems to me that very few have the experience necessary to provide the level of customer service that's even HALF of the level eBay expects of sellers. In my opinion, they're just making it up as they go along and bluffing their way through situations they haven't had the time to read about.

Based on my own experience, I'm convinced that many of eBay's reps work from home... and are essentially ''self-supervised'' and have no ON SITE supervisor to monitor their effectiveness, or their competence, or to simply be available to offer advice, guidance and answer questions.

How do I know? (I'm glad you asked.)

Because for one call, I heard DOGS BARKING IN THE BACKGROUND and a SCREEN DOOR SLAMMING and A MOTORCYCLE ENGINE REVVING.

On another call, I heard an infant crying and a toddler's ''Mommy-mommy-can-I...'' before the CSR pressed the mute button on her phone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of telecommuting and working from home (I do that myself) but not all types of work are suitable candidates for telecommuting.

Being an eBay CSR is one of those jobs. Seriously. I'm just sayin'.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 23:25:32 2015

I have read around several Ebay forums, including Ebay's own forums, that Ebay's CS reps are telling sellers some very disturbing things. I have heard reports of sellers being accused of changing photos to add tags on NWT items not returned with the tags attached, sellers being accused of lying, the parts are defective or broken (like the OP). This is not an isolated case.  

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 25 23:53:04 2015

The bottom line to all of eBays problems is simple and constant - eBay has NO SKIN in the "game" and therefore doesnt care what happens in ANY senario.

The Filipino CS agents are poor downtrodden females - married and unmarried who work for the meager crumbs eBay feeds them.

They dont care what the out come of any issue issue is. They script read and are monitored via chat and notes on how they perform.

Most of them are nice people who in real life would act different, but eBay tells them what to say and how to get rid of sellers when they call in.

Inconsistent results occur when people deviate from the script. "I'm sorry sir/maam eBay rules say XXXXXX will/wont happen, there isnt anything I can do".

That especially goes when theres money involved.

eBay doesnt loose anything when YOU get a defect. In some cases, they MAKE money and "for sure" retain customers (the all important buyers) on the sellers dime. THAT is profit - "FREE customer acquisition" which is a platforms "wet dream".

eBay also wants anger and animosity between buyer and seller, since angry people wont do business "off eBay" from each other.

The system is just rotten from the inside out (as RIC says so well) - so you cant expect more then what you currently "get" from eBay.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: salukisal This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:11:26 2015

PLEASE people....wake up... dump Ebay and sell elsewhere.  Why drive yourself crazy putting up with their BS.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: AuctionMonkey This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:17:17 2015

I could have written this exact letter myself!!

Poor support, lying buyers, unfair system, lower sales and huge levels of scammer returns resulting in lost time, money and profit. AND moving my business away from it all.

It really has become a sales slum. They just want your fees.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:17:18 2015

Pace306 is racist and disgusting. A very good friend of mine has a cousin who lives in the Phillipines and works for eBay.  She makes fairly good money for the work she does.  She is NOT a ''poor downtrodden'' female.  And whether she is married or not has nothing to do with anything. After reading comments like those, I wouldn't believe anything Pace306 said.  

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: sfnkol This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue May 26 00:19:38 2015

In dubio pro seller.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

This user has validated their user name. by: MJRock

Tue May 26 00:22:52 2015

Know how we avoid situations like this?  When customers ask us a question (especially ones that are answered in the description) we block them without hesitation.  

We noticed long ago that 80% of our problems on eBay come from 20% who ask too many questions, so we block most customers who ask questions rather than read the description.  It has saved us so many headaches!  

Don't think that every sale is worth it on eBay, or that you can make customers happy by answering their questions on eBay.  When customers on eBay ask questions, they are just seeing if the line of communication is open.  When they know you reply to questions, then they know they can manipulate you once they buy your product . . . eBay is notorious for this . . . .

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: flybuy This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:41:16 2015

I sell vintage items and just a few a month at that.  I agree one should use other platforms (Etsy, Instagram, Fb,etc.) and not rely on Ebay.
As for the Ebay CS my impression is they are very polite but they do not have access to the information customers want (seller or buyer) nor do they have the discretion to make decisions to help.  I think they would like to help but do not have the tools they need to do so. When I ask for a supervisor there is usally a long wait and sometimes the CS person seems terrified of having to transfer to a supervisor. Personally I am not interested in seeing anyone in CS get fired but I agree with an earlier poster that my impression is Ebay does not invest in their CS (such as training) as much as they should.
As a result these people probably listen to a lot of yelling and rude buyers/sellers venting on them which has to be frustrating for the ones who genuinely would like to resolve issues.
Is Ebay trying to drive sellers away?  Because all this business about defects is just going to antagonize good sellers and push them to other venues.  

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:42:03 2015

Moon - lay off the Flacka, there was no RACIST comment anywhere.

You OBVIOUSLY missed "Most of them are nice people".

I've had MORE then a few discussions with eBays overseas staff - 1) they arent getting paid alot 2) they are HEAVILY monitored and can NOT say ANYTHING beyond the script 3) are TOTALLY ignored by US staff in both UT & CA.

Theres of course MORE to the story but this is neither the place nor the time.

Is it a sweatshop circa "the triangle waistshirt co?" NO.

Is it the paradise that the CS agents have in the US - CERTAINLY not in any way shape or form.

As for their marriage status .... its irrelevant - which is why BOTH are mentioned. HOWEVER, those that need to provide for their families are more concerned and follow the script to the Nth degree as apposed to the single CS agents, who have less ridding on their performance.

Instead of making up BS and trying to make me into the bad guy here - learn something about eBay and how it treats it workers before you open your big mouth.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:51:56 2015

After many,many years of selling and 100% FB and 5 stars I let all my items ehd and have not listed ANYTHING since all the BS with eBay. WHat a relief to not have to constantly worry anymore :)

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:53:54 2015

They have no real policies that are in writing.When you call they have nothing that anyone with more than a few sales would not know like "How do I print a label". Recently I had a customer who REALLY wanted to leave feedback & couldn't nor could I provide thel link. One CSR said that is because they are guest buyers who can neither leave negative or positive (in case they are enemies or friends I guess who have time for such antics) so that explains the cryptic ids. Then I was talking to a CSR about another topic & guest ID came up because feedback count is how we get our DSRs and dashboard number, this CSR said no that's not true that they can't leave feedback, they can leave feedback if they confirm their IDs by clicking on a link since eBay has all their information anyway, it really would not matter. Okay typical eBay inconsistent and make no sense response. Guests often had IDs with eBay but they never re-upped after the breach, don't recall password etc and have 0 feedback & one positive from me because they have paid.

The defect percentage goes up as the feedback goes down,even if you have more sales with new or those that are coming back to eBay, even sporadically. Very sporadically at that. One week hot the next week cold...

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 00:56:20 2015

One CSR said that you have to reference the CSR who gave the information also because the notes are kept under the CSRs name not the ID of the buyer or seller....

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: drewmark This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 01:04:51 2015

lol eBay is a lost cause. Sell on Bonanza and eCrater since they show up in Google Shopping and they let you advertise on both platforms. (eCrater gives you options to advertise on Yahoo, Bing and Google. Bonanza gives you options to advertise on Google, Pricegrabber, Bing, Nextag, AND others). For the expensive price you pay to sell on eBay, might as well  spend that money on advertising. eBay buyers are low grade and are looking for a way to get free stuff from sellers. Divorce eBay and never go back!  

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 01:37:36 2015

eBay of course wants cs to fail. It was better when there was no phone contact possible, only emailing cs. But eBay ended this because we could prove what had been written- way too much accountability for cs promises. eBay created and likes ths cs sham. We need to stop expecting this thug company to be reasonable or fair. eBay execs act like thugs because they are thugs.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 02:42:09 2015

pace306 - I also didn't read past ''poor downtrodden females - married and unmarried... '' It wasn't until I saw Moonmyst's remarks that I took the time to go back and read your entire post.

Maybe you should have placed ''Most of them are nice people who in real life would act different'' a little higher in your message. It reaffirms the start of your second paragraph ''They dont care what the out come of any issue issue is.'' Or, put another way... the phones are manned by poor females with no scrupples.

Maybe you could confirm this... Does that mean there are no poor males with no scrupples, only rich males with no scrupples, or does it mean all the males, rich or poor, have scrupples? I'm confused...

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 03:35:45 2015

I managed to get an AMERICAN CSR recently when I noticed a "Defect"  that was NOT supossed to be there--on a sale where there should not have even BEEN a way FOR the buyer to have gotten the ebay system to GENERATE one.

Even the several off shore CSR's agreed--this should NOT be able to happen.  And FINALLY passed me--after almost an hours HOLD--to the American CSR--who claimed to "Feel my pain"  and claimed that she was conferring with several "Higher level"  Supervisors of hers --one of whom is allegedly in charge of a  "Focus Group"  on exactly these sort of things--but NO SORRY STFU AND GO THE HELL AWAY we don't CARE if the defect was not possible you got it now SUCK IT UP.  All in a very sweet Utah sort of butter wouldn't melt in her mouth way.  Bless her heart.

So--ebays internal system managed--gee how shocking---to give me a DEFECT--when what happened was NOT a defect-worthy occurance according to ebays OWN RULES.  But--this also CANNOT be removed--for at LEAST A YEAR.  One of the CSR's INSISTED that I was complaining about Feedbackl--nope;  none given;  none left;  Not a FB issue.  But--ya gotta wonder-what DID the ebay system find TO call a defect if there WAS no such action possible?  Is there some sort of hidden generator of defects on ANY sort of a problem?  They refused to TELL me what exactly CAUSED the defect.  

I am sure that Devil is reading this and chorteling to himself over the devious and unspeakably damaging ways he has managed to destroy  small sellers reputations--thru NO fault of our own.

Can YOU say sociopath?  

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 07:20:36 2015

@auction monkey

You are right -- I could have written this letter too.

@ mjrock

Yes, I do the same. If a potential buyer is already negative before the sale it's time to block them.

My old feedback is 99.8% and in 3 months I will be at 100%. Yet my defect rating is always between 3 and 4% for my one year feedback. It's getting better now because instead of asking sellers to leave feedback that I have asked to cancel orders rather than I can't fulfill the order (I had lots of one off pieces that I might sell after a couple of years in the listings and I usually had 2 or so a month that I couldn't find). This saves 1 or 2 defects out of 70 sales a month and no one has complained yet. The worse that happens is that the customer disagrees and actually does leave a defect for not being able to ship!

Based on my new system I may actually be a top rated seller again if I ever get enough sales in 3 months (400) to be qualified on 3 month sales rather than yearly.

In the interim, I'm not counting on Ebay not making some more ridiculous rules that cause me time and money so I've already wiped out over 50% of my listings and I'm down one lower level store and keep it on a monthly basis so I can keep my options open and get out quickly, especially if Ebay ever downgrades me because I'm at less than 5% in defect rating (believe me it could happen). Then, I can no longer have a store and I'd have to pay $.40 a listing for my good 'til cancel listings or get rid of all my listings at once for that month and then if I re-qualify for a store I would to restock my store.

Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says   Something Is Fishy in eBayville, Seller Says

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 26 07:27:32 2015

@ Rachel,

Actually, I think all the sales are counted in the defect ratings whether people leave feedback or not. They use the total amount of sales. However, if a customer buys 4 different listings and pays with one payment, then it's counted as one sale. If they pay with 4 different payments, it's counted as 4 sales. So, if you want to boost the # of sales you have because you're on the cusp of meeting the less than 2% for the TSR then you can ask the seller to pay separately and pay the extra
$.30 Paypal fee for each payment.

You are correct that the old feedback rating (now basically only used by customers to ascertain whether you're a good seller) is dependent on how much feedback has been left. The only feedback that is used for the defect rating is negative feedback -- that counts as one defect.

Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with the Defect system Ebay has in place. It stinks!

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.