Rant: Don’t Treat Your Customers Like eBay Does

Since 2004, I have been an eBay customer with an online store. On November 7, 2012 I closed my Great Garbs eBay store.

Here is the reason….

A template I purchased in 2004 which was being hosted by the ReallDesigns and their website has been flagged by Google as an unsafe site and is blacklisted. The graphics of my template are hosted at ReallDesigns.

ReallDesigns prohibits changes to their templates without permission. If and when ReallDesigns corrects the problem and resubmit their site to Google for review, it can take up to 10 days to come off the black list. I have contacted the owner of ReallDesigns through her website and Facebook – no response.

Since all my listings (340) have their code embedded, eBay said they would start to put sanctions and negative strikes against my account within 48 hours. If the listings were not revised within 4 days, eBay would take them down.

On average, a single listing takes 10 minutes to revise because the entire template has to be modified. Do the math – that’s over 3400 minutes or 56 hours of work – and Great Garbs is not my day job! eBay’s request was physically impossible to get done.

I spent over 4 hours on the phone with eBay pleading my case because I am a victim. I did not cause the problem.

Poor eBay Customer Service

My interaction with eBay’s customer service department was frustrating. I wasted time hopping from one customer representative to another.

Each person used an eBay scripted response and told me they “understood”. The fact is, they did not understand. Any business that believes telling an angry customer that they understand without listening and trying to problem solve their problem only pisses off the customer more.

I realize that customer service is a company’s first line of defense. Their job is to solve problems that may be uncomplicated or are clear cut. My problem was complicated and required someone with critical thinking skills to help solve it.

When I asked to talk to the department who flagged my listing, I was told no one was available by phone and to send an internal message. They would respond in 24-48 hours. Do the math again – I think we both know I am screwed.

If you want to speak to someone – you have to ask the customer service representative to elevate the problem and ask to speak to their supervisor.

Finally, I am put in touch with a department manager only to learn it is her first day on the job. To be honest, I could not believe my bad luck. No manager on their first day is going to be of help.

Surprisingly, once she and I spoke, she listened and understood the situation. Maybe it was because she was not steeped into protocols, rules and regulations of the job yet or perhaps it is her management style.

eBay Rejects Reasonable Solutions

My approach to problem-solving is to offer solutions that address both parties concerns. Here are options I suggested:

  1. Give me adequate time to comply.
  2. Put the Great Garbs store on vacation while I fixed all the changes and no one could be harmed.

eBay refused both options.

I am disappointed in how eBay handled my situation. I know that there are many more sellers who have been victims.

It is clear – eBay doesn’t apply the same philosophy to their customers that they expect from their sellers.

It’s time to move on. Good-bye eBay.

About Lynn Dessert (426 Posts)

Lynn Dessert is an ICF trained certified NLP Coach specializing in Executive, Career and Life coaching based in Rochester, N.Y. She works with individuals and organizations to maximize personal effectiveness skills—a cornerstone to career advancement. Lynn is the author of What To Do After Being Fired and The Secerts to Successful Job On-Boarding. Start your discovery process by contacting her at 585.249.5149 today.


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