My experience is that EBAY sucks. I don't use it, and I don't think it is especially cool as a tool for getting things. Now, I am clearly aware that the vast majority of people disagree with me. These people number in the millions. My problem with EBAY is that their customer service sucks (or does not exist), and their ratings system is stupid.
I tried to deal with an EBAY situation for my father. He had a 100% good rating. Then he contracted to buy some item from an antique shop somewhere in North Carolina. He sent his money via Paypal (a good idea), and did not receive his item for over three months. After several phone messages and e-mails to the antique dealer that did not get a response, he wrote that if the dealer did not respond to him he would be forced to leave negative feedback. He ultimately received no response, and they did not return his money to him. At that point he contacted Paypal, and after an investigation, they got him his money back and he left negative feedback for the antique dealer.
It was only at that point that he heard back from the antique dealer, who left negative feed back for my father in response to his negative feedback (You are starting to see how stupid the system is)
. The dealer requested arbitration and mutual removal of the feedback from both parties, in fact, there was a clear pattern of this antiques dealer doing just that several times - however, until you are involved in a dispute, it is a difficult pattern to recognize, so even if you did due dilligence, nothing seemed untowards unless you were familiar with the process of complaining through EBAY. Anyway, my father said he was not interested in arbitration. He was also unwilling to remove his negative feedback - he never got his items and lost some small amount of money in charges associated with the refund he received from PayPal.
My father requested that EBAY remove the negative feedback from his account. As a matter of principle, it was important for him to have 100% good feedback. His contention was that the dealer was guilty of feedback abuse - that is, the dealer did not fulfill their part of the bargain, and then used its ability to give negative feedback as leverage to try and get both sides to erase the feedback. Essentially, you cannot give negative feedback unless you yourself are willing to take a negative feedback hit - even if you did nothing wrong.
So, my father requests that EBAY investigate the matter, which he did by e-mail. Apparently, EBAY will not have a live human speak with you on the telephone.
It was literally impossible for me to speak with anyone on the telephone. Moreover, their e-mail arbitration system was useless. They would never respond with actual findings. Finally, I e-mailed them about a month after the initial complaint. The next day he received an e-mail saying that EBAY thought he was guilty of feedback abuse - no reasoning was provided. The next day there was a strange e-mail that said they were investigating - it was as if they kept starting over but never getting anywhere. The worst part about the whole thing was that if they had let us speak with a real person (by phone or e-mail) they could have settled the whole thing. Instead, my father just cancelled his account (over 250 transactions without a complaint), and EBAY lost his business. He could have sued the antique dealer for fraud or defamation, but it really wasn't worth it to him to go through a court battle over a $300.00 item. Still, the whole thing could have been dealt with by even the least remotely qualified customer service department. Instead, all we ever dealt with were automated e-mails.
Having been through that, it is with some considerable glee that I read this article about how Law Enforcement is getting sick of all the fraud and theft reports that are generated by EBAY:
EBay is also under fire from law enforcement officials and manufacturers
over levels of crime on the site and the levels of cooperation they receive.
Trading standards officers who regularly investigate crimes perpetrated
on the site have accused eBay of being "obstructive" in the way it shares
information. North Yorkshire Trading Standards says eBay can take up to two
months to provide the names and addresses of suspects it is pursuing.
EBay is suffering because their business plan doesn't include, to my knowledge, an even remotely effective plan for customer service. Serves them right. In fact, in my opinion their complete negligence with respect to monitoring their accounts or providing any customer service makes them complicit in what they can't deny is likely tens of thousands of fraud cases. Still, EBAY blames you for that fraud.
eBay blames its account holders for not installing proper security on their home
computers and for replying to so-called "phishing" emails.
But the thing is, even if you recognize fraud on your account it takes too long for EBAY to do anything about it. That is because, in order to maximize its profits, EBAY said, effectively, "screw the customer." If a mistake is made, let them deal with it. Normally, I don't complain about this attitude, but that assumes that EBAY allows their customers the tools to correct the problems on their own - EBAY doesn't. Instead it has a half-assed "Feedback" system that doesn't work to deter people who are dishonest or who hijack accounts. It only serves to harm people who are honest merchants.
Adidas told the BBC that it monitored up to 12,000 auctions involving its
goods every day on the British site - yet it estimated that up to 40% of all
Adidas products available were counterfeit.
Many big brands are far from happy with eBay's response eBay says it has a special relationship with brand owners, who can notify the site of auctions involving counterfeit goods which will then be taken down within hours. However, the Ben Sherman clothing brand says it recently took eBay five days to take down an auction of counterfeit clothing - by which time much of it had been sold. "I think one must say that it's highly unsatisfactory," said Barry Ditchfield, Ben Sherman's brand
"With all the amount of profits that eBay makes, then there is ample scope for additional staff. Frankly, it is totally unsatisfactory, not just for Ben Sherman but for all brand holders. EBay have rejected the accusations, saying that the company has a good relationship with law enforcement officials.
Like I said, I don't use EBAY, but my experiences with them lead me to believe that they sacrificed customer service in the name of profit. Hopefully, the market will make that a decision that backfires - and allows competitors to come in and force EBAY to put out a better product.
Until then, I hope they keep taking hits to their reputation. Say it with me now, EBAY sucks! Cancel my account!