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Follow up: Trained Monkeys Running eBay?

Updated on January 17, 2012

Trained Monkeys Running eBay?

I’m not sure but I think so.

My previous hub talked about getting restricted in October due to poor performance on my Detailed Seller Ratings. I admit it, I had a really bad year for shipping time. I was getting better when they changed their business over to using the Detailed Seller Ratings as a way to withhold a seller’s money. People who were on restriction had to prove they shipped the item or wait a minimum of 21 for the money to be available. REMEMBER, users can only “legally” pay for items bought on eBay with Paypal (which I’m also sure is against the law – sorry eBay but cash in the mail, while dangerous, is still legal since it’s legal tender in the US – in fact, sellers HAVE to accept cash in brick-and-mortar stores).

So in October I started using eBay Shipping which automatically provides tracking with Delivery Confirmation. Of course, since I sell sports cards, the package I would normally ship doesn’t technically fit the postal office standards for Delivery Confirmation (the package needs to be ¾” thick). So I’m selling on eBay and now I’m forced to use eBay Shipping and PayPal (you could argue that I’m NOT forced but if I want my money in a normal amount of time – I really am forced to use their system). I’m sure we’re breaking some antitrust laws here as well but I’ll move on.

So I get partially restricted in October, continue to do business and do not have further issues since I’m tracking everything. On December 7 I get a message that I am now COMPLETELY restricted from selling on eBay. Why? Because I couldn’t get my percentages up, I guess they mean for the year. How was I supposed to do that in a month and only allowed to sell a certain amount of items (I think it was 50)?

So after 13 years and 6300 positive feedback (still sitting at 100%, by the way) and even with the “terrible” year and not having even one Negative feedback, I am no longer allowed to sell on eBay. So I waited through the holidays – took some time off. I called Customer Support to talk to a person about this restriction which, in my mind, really doesn’t make sense. Either I was really bad before and I should be completely restricted or, after a month and a half of showing improvement I should be allowed to continue to sell and prove that my issues were fixed. However, showing improvement and then being COMPLETELY restricted doesn’t make any sense.

I spoke to several people in their Trust and Safety division on a day that just was terrible for phone issues. I constantly was getting hung up on – not by people, but by their phone system. I spoke to four representatives, going through this story and made some headway talking to a supervisor, just to again get cut off. I called back and the new person was trying to find who I had just spoken to. A promise of a follow up email was made but never came during the next week.

Today I called again to figure out if I can get some answers and the guy I spoke to today simply read me the standard “well we reviewed your account and restricted you from selling” idiocy. I explained that I understood the original partial restriction but not the complete restriction I was under now. Rob, the automaton told me the same thing over again. When I asked for a better explanation, since it seemed I was making some progress last week, he apologized for that person misleading me and not getting back to me. And then he quoted the same stupid “review policy” that didn’t make sense the first two times he said it. I wish I could have reached through the phone and shook some sense into this guy.

That person I spoke to a week ago had the right idea – she was doing her job. This guy just wanted to tell me there was no chance of getting my selling account running again, but I was certainly able to BUY products on eBay.

Gee, thanks Rob – you are a trained monkey.

Not because my account is restricted, I screwed up and had some extenuating circumstances throughout the past year so I deserved it. But seriously, you couldn’t scrape together 2 brain cells and allow the spark of intelligence to take over?!? The policy doesn’t make sense. If I had a low feedback number – maybe it would make more sense but I’ve been selling on eBay since 1998, I’m hardly the big problem this policy would like to address. Maybe, just maybe, Rob should have really looked at my total history and reinstate my selling account – even limited the way it was the first time would make sense but to simply read me the same stupid policy that didn’t make sense in the first place??

What a waste of time and energy.

This trained monkey did nothing to improve the vision of eBay’s Customer Service which is suspect at best even in good times. I’ve talked with MANY people at eBay over the years and they usually have some sharp people working in the background but this first line of support isn’t it. At least it wasn’t this time. How difficult is it to see my long history of success, my 100% positive feedback – despite the issues I had, the 0 Negative feedback, my recent improvements and talk to me about the account in a way that would have made some sense. At one time I was a Powerseller on eBay with an eBay store.

Now I’m selling in other places on the internet because eBay isn’t eBay anymore….

For my regular readers, please forgive my ranting... sometimes you just come across something that makes you so angry you have to say something.

If you are reading this and work for eBay, please review your policy a bit further and amend it with "Please use common sense when determining a seller's status." Thank you.


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    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 5 years ago

      God I love this hub. Everything you're saying is right on the money from my experiences as well. I love ebay and amazon, but i get frustrated by lots of these same restrictive (and odd) policy twists.

      "...sorry eBay but cash in the mail, while dangerous, is still legal since it’s legal tender in the US – in fact, sellers HAVE to accept cash in brick-and-mortar stores)."

      Couldn't agree more with this point, and it had me laughing off my seat.

      Best, Matt D.

    • dblyn profile image

      dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      And you are correct - contacting eBay is extremely difficult to begin with and ALL of their policies favor the buyer.

    • dblyn profile image

      dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      I certianly agree with you there. By their actions, you would think I have all these negatives and I don't have even 1. It's a bit ridiculous. The DSRs are just about the dumbest things I've ever seen since they are completely anonymous and can be given in any situation.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Oh my. With that kind of feedback, you would have expected them to look into it! It is very hard to make contact with ebay and as a power seller myself I feel that ebay favor the clients way more then the seller.