View Full Version : eBay: We don't care, we don't have to!

08-06-2002, 07:55 PM
I have come to have a great respect for the SirSteves Guide Community. It is in defference to this fact that I now post the following thread. For the second time in the last two years, eBay has proven that they have no concept of customer service, nor do they have any desire to seek after as much. They have simply grown so large that they have become a faceless and monolithic entity, secure in the knowledge that the loss of one or two customers here and there will be as nothing to the droves that arrive daily based solely on thier current reputation.

I will begin with the most recent incident and follow iwth the pror one, as the most recent is very fresh in my mind. I will thien follow with the second, from last year, as the former reflects a lack of respect on eBay's part for their sellers, the latter the same in regard to buyers.

I spent last weekend (off and on) posting about 30 different auctions. As I post from time to time on eBay, I had long ago created a statement of shpping charge and payment instructions that I could cut and paste to speed up the posting process. Within this statement was an invitation to buyers to send me a want list of any items they may be seeking as I may have them available. This statement had appeared on over 100 prior auctions, possibly as many as 300. It appears that said statment is considered "circumvnting eBay fees" in the eyes of the auction giant. This is as may be, and I fully respect eBay's right to set such policy and duly enforce it as well, such is thier right. However, they simply cancelled all of my auctions sumarrily with no prior notice, thusly erradicating all evidence of thier existance from my account history. The end result is that I must now remake hours of previous work when a simple notice via email from eBay would have served the same purpose as I could have easily revised each of the auctions removing the unauthorized statement. That eBay favors a kind of ham-fisted, push-button approach to correcting perceived slights illustrates their total lack of interest in maintaining favorable customer relations.

Now, to show their lack of regard for buyers, I will recount a tale of a near rip-off that I nearly suffered. Last year I came upon an auction for all five of the Riddell Star Wars Mini-Helmets. Needless to say, I won the auction, sent my payment and awaited the arrival of my helmets. Two weeks passed and nothing, so I wrote the seller who replied that the helmets were being sent. To make a long story short, soon the seller proved unreachable by email and had since been removed from eBay as a seller due to excessive negative feedback. I sought to exercise eBay's proported insurance of all auctions. If you have never had to utilize this so-called service, count yourself lucky. You cannot file a claim until 30 days after the auction closes, and then you can only do so after you have registered a complaint to eBay about the seller and an additional 30 days have passed. So, roughly 60 days after the auction ended, I finally posted my claim on their fraud insurance offer. However, when I did, I was told that I did not file the claim in time, within 60 days of auction close. In other words, I was told that I could not file a claim until after 60 days had passed, yet I could not file a claim after 60 days! After running the gauntlet of links that one must navigate to find the well hidden email link to eBay's customer service department, I wrote asking eBay if they truly had the insurance coverage the web site touts. The reply was a form letter with links to various FAQ pages and general information that I had already read. Again, eBay encorporates a simple "push-button" policy, favoring form letter replies over addressing the issues at hand. My hightly detailed email (and those of you who have read my posts in the past know how concise I can be when I want to make a point) was read and promptly ignored. The customer service representative charged with fielding my complaint simply zeroed in on some portion of my email that would be addressed instantly by directing me to pages on thier site that I already knew intimatly. It took an additional email to get a response from someone who could not only read the English language, but comprehend the meaining of the words. What followed was a correspondence that ultimatly revealed that the time limit for filing a fraud claim (monitarily) was in fact 90 days (or within 30 days of the point wheere fling said claim was allowed). However, eBay's delay tactics put me within 2 days of missing the deadline! And I was forced to mail in documents via next-day mail to meet the deadline. And then it was almost 30 days more before eBay wrote to confirm that the claim was processed and approved and they needed only to confirm that I was still without my purchased items. As luck would have it, exactly 95 days after the auction ended, and quite out of the blue and unannounced, the helmets had arrived, the day before eBay's final e-mail! And this was only due to my own personal dilligence in officially filing mail fraud charges against the seller through the U.S. Postal Inspector's office! I have no doubt that eBay did not lift a finger in an attempt to resolve the situation. Needless to say, I informed eBAy that after the long odyssey, I no longer needed their insurance money.

I really just needed to blow off a little steam to day as eBay had me quite riled, and not for the first time. I also wanted to share the above as it is just another example of an alarming trend in American business, the loss of concern for the customer base. Comfortable in the might of their business empires, the larger companies of this country have jettisoned even the slightest hints of customer service.

Exhaust Port
08-06-2002, 08:08 PM
I personally have never had any problems and I do consider myself extremely lucky. The face of eBay has changed over the last couple years and it's becoming less inviting to both sellers and buyers. I tread very carefully through the auctions before I decide to bid. Horror stories like your's have made me very gun shy.

08-06-2002, 08:47 PM
JediCole, I had a similar experience with the last part you posted about the 30 days then 60 days and last but not least the 90 day B.S. They have no intention of backing up their insurance claims and do nothing to help out anybody, that includes sellers and buyers alike. Needless to say I no longer use E-bay at all because if they don't back you up and you end up doing the work then that's not a company I wish to do business with at all. The 75 dollars American I got taken for because I got the run around was enough for me to make that decision.:)

P.S. When I wrote E-bay and told them how I felt, they never even replied back and that was a year ago. They are a p*** poor company to deal with plain and simple. We need another form of buying and selling items that is better than Evil-bay.:)

08-06-2002, 09:29 PM
I have never had any problems with ebay, and I hope I don't. I am very careful, but anyone can get burned.

08-06-2002, 10:55 PM
The only time I got screwed on E-Bay was wehn I won two C-3p0s from a seller for $1.00 and the other for a penny. The guy started with trying to cahrge me $7.00 shipping. He had $5.00 listed and I was ok with that. Well after negotiating I agreed to pay a total of $7.51. Well package came and there was only one figure in the box and the box was too small to fit a carded figure. I e-mailed the guy back to no avail, I have his business phone, which I will use tomorrow. If he keeps up the BS, I'm leaving the N-bomb on him. I still have a good month untill the auction page is wiped out.

08-06-2002, 11:02 PM
Ive had numerous problems with eBay, unfortunately I've had to use them still to get some hard to find items. Im hoping one day someone will come up with a better site.

Exhaust Port
08-07-2002, 12:45 AM
I would like to see the site broken down into seperate divisions such as Toy Collectibles. This would allow for better control over the auctions. The size of the site now makes it impossible to police every auction. I'm sure they spend their time putting out fires rather than keeping the peace.

I would also like to see some online company similar to Paypal that would handle the shipping charges. They would have different options such as UPS, USMail, FedEx, Ground, Air and the cost would be calculated and charged through that system. A lot of the auctions now charge these flat rates of $10 or more no matter where you live and how you want it shipped. I spend more time calculating in their shipping charges than I care to. Why go online and save $5 but have to pay twice that to ship it one state away?

08-07-2002, 04:06 AM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
I would also like to see some online company similar to Paypal that would handle the shipping charges.

I'm pretty sure eBay just bought Paypal. (More ways for them to soak you for another dollar here and there.)

JediCole, I'm sorry to hear about your problems with eBay ... I think I would probably snap if I had to deal with that situation. It does sound like you got lucky in the end. Perhaps they (eBay) did end up putting a little pressure on the seller (though I doubt it) to get him to come through.

I as a rule these days I am suuuuper paranoid about spending any "real" money on auctions. Not that I've been ripped off (well once or twice), but mainly because there are so many more people out to turn a fast buck lately. I've never looked at eBay like anything other than a glorified garage sale ... and in this case it's a bit more anonymous than a garage sale.

Don't forget, eBay's main purpose as a business is to ... make money ... and it's apparently (from what I've heard) not easy to make money from a dot com these days. Well, they do make money ... lots of money and that has happened for a reason. They charge for their service and resist giving refunds (or whatever) for as long as they possibly can.

I love the comments ... "I'm hoping one day someone will come up with a better site." Seriously, isn't it surprising that no one has really tried to get in on the action and succeeded? I think the idea of a toy collector's online auction site is brilliant! Come on ... all it takes is someone with a little knowledge and ability. From what I know, eBay didn't start from much ... and I can imagine that if enough people ask for something better, it'll come along eventually.


08-07-2002, 04:28 AM
Cole, do you think you were reported by someone? It's likely, because I doubt eBay checks everything that's posted - regardless, I'm very sorry for your hassle. Myself, I've been burned only once, in the amount of 2 or 3 dollars. And I'm currently in the middle of an "issue", but it's nothing major . . .

Mandalorian Candidat
08-07-2002, 09:57 AM
I haven't had the extreme problem like JC, but I have had problems with buyers and sellers. Sometimes finding the links for refunds or to report problems on their website is excruciating. It's like touch-tone phone menus. You have to navigate through 5 different menus until you stumble upon the choice to speak to a customer service rep.