More Stupidity from eBay Inc.
More eBay Sanctioned Censorship:
"It's eBay's site, they can do as they see fit." I've seen that line posted so much by eBay huggers over the past few years that I've grown numb and no longer even argue on the eBay forums when I hear it. I've reported before about eBay seeing fit to censor things that are not really policy violations, and even molding their policy to give them broad ranging censorship power over their users. The story I want to relay today deals with the Trust & Safety discussion board thread, help with frau?!!!!!!!!! You can read the whole thing in about five minutes if you want, it isn't long, and it surely won't get any longer - since eBay moderators have locked the thread, preventing any more posts. I give eBay kudos for not deleting the thread entirely, but locking a thread with valuable information about fraud is not only unproductive, but just plain stupid.
They original poster on that thread starts off by revealing that they really have no idea about how the Paypal Buyer Protection program works, and that they had bought an item but the same identical item was still up and running without a BIN price. It appears the listing had an immediate redirect to a website based in the Czech Republic to a page that mirrored the eBay listing page - complete with fake eBay sign-in page when the BIN button was clicked. Buyers need to learn about these, you can't always just blame eBay for this....that said, it can be very hard to spot, as you almost have to watch your address bar constantly. To make matters worse for the buyer (and in defense of the buyer's actions that lead to handing over their password), the buyer contacted eBay Live Help about the listing and the Buyer Protection Program. The Live Help rep looked at the auction and replied to the buyer's concern:
Should you need a refund for this transaction, the insured amount will be taken from the seller's purchase protection account and sent to you. The refund is sent to your bank account, or by check or money order. The way you are refunded is at your choice. You have 30 days from the purchase date to request a refund. Refund requests are processed within 3 days.
That post, as well as several others from the "rep" that was posted by the buyer on the eBay T&S forum shows one of two things....1) That eBay employee is completely devoid of any knowledge about eBay & Paypal Policy.....or.....2) The scammer set up a fake Live Help link and is actually using "Live Help" to talk buyers into "purchasing" fraudulent items. My guess is the former, as the chances that a buyer will click the three links necessary to get from a listing to Live Help is low, and the amount of programming it would require for such a low chance of use is probably not a very efficient way to run a scam......but who knows - so be careful. By the way, if you read the paragraph from the eBay Live Help rep above, and don't notice any problems, you NEED to read up on buyer protection.
In Defense of eBay:
I must note that the seller of the item discussed above was suspended. Although it took multiple referrals from T&S Board users, it got done. When trying to view that seller's other items, you get an error message from eBay: Feature Unavailable. We are unable to return search results because this seller's account has been suspended. We apologize for any inconvenience. eBay has seen fit to actually use the word "suspended" and remove all of the ads from these pages. There have been numerous critics of eBay for posting ads on these NARU alert pages and for the vague nature of the message.
Now let me suggest that eBay go even further and post a reason why the account was suspended along with a warning about completing transactions with the seller in question and also a request that anyone with information about the seller should contact eBay T&S team. It could say simply: Feature Unavailable. We are unable to return search results because this seller's account has been suspended because of alleged fraudulent activity. We suggest that you do not complete any transactions with the eBay user in question at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and gladly accept tips and information about this seller and other instances of fraud on the site (and then give a link). Doesn't seem so difficult.
More Live Help Incompetence:
This one actually happened to me. I use Live Help from time to time, but have NEVER had a Live Help representative actually answer my question correctly or resolve the problem I'm having. A few weeks ago, I tried to list an antique Tiffany & Co. item. The listing would not go through TurboLister. I assumed that it was because I used the keyword Tiffany & Co., and recent listing restrictions on designer items have been put in place. I checked with Live Help to see if that was the case (because TL didn't identify the error). Here are the explanations Live Help gave me for error.
1. The first thing that needs to be done to ensure the listing will go through is that you link your PayPal account to your eBay account. Yeah, I'd already done that one and sold on the account in the past.
2. Second step to do is add a credit card on file and or get ID verified so that your account is set up to sell. Yep, done and done, weeks before.
I suggested that the error might have been due to a lawsuit against eBay by Tiffany & Co. The rep assured me that I just needed to put a CC on file or get ID verified, repeatedly, even though I kept telling him that I had done so a long time ago. I listed the item on a different account while I was chatting with him, and it uploaded fine. I then listed another item on the account in question while chatting with him, and it uploaded fine.
The Bottom 2%:
Think you have a good eBay business? Think you are a reliable seller who exhibits excellence in your selling practices? Do you have exemplary feedback? Think again! That's right, just because you have great feedback and happy customers doesn't mean you are a good seller, not according to eBay anymore. Some sellers have been reporting receiving emails from eBay and having their accounts shut down because they fall in the bottom 1 or 2% of eBay sellers. One such seller's story made the ABC news, story in this video. The video tells the story of a seller with 99.3% feedback that was NARU'd and had all her listings canceled because of what eBay says was ONE complaint. Yet eBayMotorsSucks.com routinely shows instances of fraudulent sellers who have been repeatedly reported for scam listings and no action is taken by eBay for days or weeks.
Threads are popping up all over the eBay Community Forums about this issue. Like this one seller who has a 99.5% feedback rating. The seller received this email from eBay:
eBay requires sellers to maintain minimum standards in buyer satisfaction. Our goal is to ensure that the marketplace is a safe and reputable place for our community to buy and sell.
When a seller lists an item and a buyer places a winning bid for that item, they have formed a contract. When a seller fails to fulfill the obligation in their contract, they are in violation of eBay’s Seller Non-Performance policy . If more than 5% of a seller’s buyers are dissatisfied, as measured by negative and neutral Feedback left or Item Not Received complaints, the seller is in violation of the Seller Non-Performance policy. It is important for you to understand the following information regarding your performance:
Based upon inputs from the buyers over the past 90 days, your level of performance resulted in >5% buyer dissatisfaction. This account falls into the bottom 2% of all eBay sellers with regard to buyer satisfaction.
Not only is eBay shutting down accounts in the bottom 2% of customer satisfaction, eBay has been reported to have shut down a number of sellers accounts for no reason whatsoever. eBay has called this a mistake and has reinstated the users' accounts and put their items back into their MyeBay (in the unsold section) where the seller then has to relist everything - which is sometimes thousands of items. eBay has reportedly compensated some of these sellers financially, a very good indication that eBay screwed up big time, but the compensation was very very low and did not even amount to a small fraction of the sales lost during the down-time....not to mention those lost while having to relist thousands of items.