Over the past year or two, I have gotten used to repeatedly entering my password on eBay even when I'm already logged in. It happens most days more than once, and normally happens when I am trying to edit a listing, end a listing, or create a new listing.
However, over the past week or two, there has been an addition to entering my password. Now there are "puzzles" to solve, similar to some other sites, particularly ticketing sites and other sites that are selling high-demand items.
However, in typical eBay fashion, the eBay "puzzles" are far more problematic than any I've come across before. Last night it took me just short of 30 minutes to solve them. They are not making me solve just 1 or 2 (like most sites), but as many as 10 to 15. To make matters worse (far worse), they are (at least in some cases) nearly impossible to solve. One asked for me to select all the images with bridges, but the images were literally SO blurry that I couldn't tell what I was looking at.
Another asked me to check off all the images with hills or mountains. I can't count the number of times I had to attempt that one. It seemed that every picture was either a hill, a mountain, or a very flat landscape, so it should be easy enough to solve, right? Wrong! I kept trying (probably nearly 50 times, if not more) before it finally accepted what I did.
In another test, I had to drag a puzzle piece into a hole that was the same shape as the puzzle piece but smaller. You guessed it - it wouldn't accept what I did for that one either! On every attempt, I completely covered the hole with the puzzle piece, but maybe it was off-center by a hundredth of a millimeter or something!
Yes, my time is valuable, and 25+ minutes to log in to a site that I pay hundreds of dollars a month to use is quite frustrating, but that's not where my concern ends. As stated earlier, these puzzles frequently show up when I am attempting to end a listing. I usually end a listing when I sell out of an item on another site or otherwise no longer have the item available.
As sellers know, eBay and PayPal (at least in many/most cases) do not refund seller fees when a seller is unable to fulfill an order (and that's not to mention the defect the seller will get). So, if an item I'm trying to end was to sell in the time I am solving these mind games, eBay and PayPal would both stand to profit. So, it is in their best interest financially to make it as difficult as possible for me to log in when I am trying to end a listing, and they are doing just that!
I contacted "eBay for Business" on Facebook, and they talked about this issue like it was a positive thing, referencing the need for added security. When I countered by asking why they couldn't make just one or two puzzles that were easily able to be solved like other sites where I've encountered similar tests, I was told, "[...]we also do not create the Captchas, so we're not able to change their content."
These "Captchas," as she calls them, are on eBay's site. So, while eBay may not be the ones "creating" them, they no doubt have the power to change them, even if it would require them to get them "created" by a different company.
My feeling (as I expressed to eBay in the above referenced Facebook communication) is that eBay WANTS these puzzles to be difficult and time consuming to solve so that items oversell, and eBay can pad their quarterly earnings reports with even more ill-gotten gains!