eBay Community Chat 1-26-22 - Where's The Customer Service?

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


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Another week, another Wednesday chat with eBay community staff and this week while there were a wide range of topics discussed, many of them shared a common frustration with a lack of customer service.

Managed Payments

Question:

I have a ebay account that is under my SS# and I would like to move it to my Tax ID LLC. Will this impact my business in any way, I am keeping the bank account the same.

I tried calling CS and they could NOT help. I even tried the ebay FB portal that you have recommenced in the past the turned me back to CS.

How can I ensure this is handled properly and without interruption in my service,

Answer:

Hey there, sorry to hear you're having trouble. When it comes to payments you have to work specifically with the payments team for security reasons. This is why our social teams will route you back as well. On your payments page you'll see a HELP box on the right. From there you can request a call back from them directly to help get your account set up properly. Thanks!

The same seller responded:

im not tyring to be mean, but your sending me into a black hole, I have tried and tried again to find things within this HELP menu and cannot. i just hunt and peck which is not productive of my time, can you please provide me the URL for that part of CS that can help?

A fellow community member gave a more detailed, helpful answer:

For payments it's better to go through the payments page than through the help portal. Go to this page-

https://www.ebay.com/sh/fin

On the right side where the scroll bar is you'll see a little phone icon. As long as it's blue that means you can request a call back from Payments CS.

Question:

A couple of days ago a payout contained more than 350 lines. About two hours were required to process the report and obtain totals for income, final value fees, eBay postage insertion fees and monthly fees and verify that they added up to the payout amount. Excel functions like SUMIFS were needed to untangle the report, categorize, and rollup transaction amounts. The time spent was taken away from creating new listings...

...My takeaway is to simplify life by limiting each listing to one category and consider moving postage printing to a third party like Pirate Ship to simplify accounting.

Would it be possible to ask the Payments group to act faster. The present situation is like the London bus that never left the end of the line. The bus could not leave until all fares were collected and riders were arriving faster than the conductor could make change.

Answer:

I'll pass this additional info along to our payments team. I know they've been looking into reporting and addressing other concerns we've recently sent their way.


Listings Removed

Question:

I asked about this in last week's chat and was unable to get anywhere regarding a couple of my listings being removed. It's been over two weeks now and I haven't heard back from anyone letting me know why! I've heard nothing from the customer service rep or eBay Facebook for business.

I received an email from an upset customer due to an email they had received from eBay regarding a purchase they made from one of the removed listings.

The email stated:
We take product safety very seriously. We’re reaching out to you because an item you purchased may have been recalled or pose a safety hazard...

...So now eBay is giving buyers false information. This product is not a safety hazard when purchased by an authorized user, it's FDA approved, and I had the documentation in the listing for this as required by eBay. This product is registered with each state when a doctor makes a purchase. The doctor must have a radiation number to register the product with their state. It's not like just anyone can purchase this item. It is very regulated by each state.

Also, we are an authorized dealer for these products and there is NO recall on them. Each dealer and the manufacture track all these products via serial numbers.
If there is a recall, the manufacture will contact each dealer that purchased the products, and by LAW, the dealer must contact each office that bought one from them. What is going on here??? I would really like some answers sooner than later!

There are still a bunch of listings for this product on eBay and some don't even have the legal disclaimer in their listings. I had everything eBay required of me in my listings. If there's something new they are requiring sellers to add, let me know so I can rectify the problem, but silence isn't helping anyone!

Answer:

I have no insight into this situation at all, but I'm happy to look into what I can do from my end. I'll reach out for a bit more information privately (keep an eye on your email inbox).

In general, it's best to work with CS directly on listing removals as there are a host of factors that could go into it that wouldn't be visible from my end. That goes doubly so in your field, where there are stricter regulations at play. Thanks for your patience!


Authenticity Guaranteed

Question:

How can ebay or the authenticator NOT be solely responsible for handling a complaint for AFTER the item has been handled, inspected, authenticated, shipped to the buyer and received by the buyer? There seem to be a lot of posts about complaints falling back onto the lister.

Answer:

The Authenticity Guarantee program is to ensure that items are authentic. If the condition of the item or any other outstanding issues come up, then those would be treated like any other sale/Return.

If you have a situation where you believe a claim wasn't handled correctly, we'd encourage you to contact Customer Support to appeal the outcome. At the very least, you can get more info as to why the claim was handled the way it was if the appeal is denied.

This answer from Velvet@eBay is completely wrong and it is absolutely unacceptable that eBay appears to be attempting to weasel out of their responsibilities per the terms of the authentication programs.

I responded to provide Velvet the correct information.

velvet@ebay this is not correct - the terms of the authentication programs specifically state the authentication is not only checking for authenticity, but to confirm condition and that the item matches the listing.


2022-01-26_16-36-19

After the chat closed, preventing any further responses, Velvet said:

Thanks for the follow-up @valueaddedresource. While the primary function of the Authenticity Guarantee is to confirm the item is authentic, we do check to make sure the item matches the listing to the best of our ability. This includes confirming any additional accessories, packaging, etc. are received along with the item purchased as stated in the listing, and that all pieces are genuine. Each category has a unique authentication process and will vary depending on the type of item received.

Ultimately, the responsibility for the condition of the item is the sellers. Just like any other listing on the site, sellers need to be accurate with their titles, descriptions, and item specifics. Our authentication teams will, to the best of their ability, compare the condition to the listing. If the the buyer has concerns upon receiving the item then they are able to open a return. This is to facilitate communication between buyer and seller, allowing them to reach a resolution. Either member can also ask ebay to step in if needed.

I find the emphasis on "facilitating communication" laughable considering eBay blocks messaging between buyers and sellers on authenticated sneaker purchases.

It is very troubling to see continuing examples of eBay not living up to the protection promises they so heavily marketed as being part of these authentication programs.


Presale Violations

I requested help on behalf of a buyer who had posted in the community about a serial pre-sale violating seller.

There is a very concerning post about a serial pre-sale violator here:

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Buying/ebay-Preorders-Never-Fulfuilled-amp-No-Refund/td-p/32649715

The seller has been reported repeatedly but has still been allowed to continuing violating the presale policy, with many current listings showing pre-sales as far out as April.

The buyer on that thread has been unable to get any assistance from the regular support channels in getting their money back because it is after the MBG timeline. However, as you know, community staff have previously confirmed support can still assist in these situations, even after that deadline.

Since regular support has failed to both assist the buyer and take appropriate action against the violating listings, what is the best course of action for this buyer to get assistance?

Jasmen@eBay responded:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention @valueaddedresource based on the time frame it may be way to old to do anything. It would be best for the member to reach out to eBay for Business so they can take a deeper dive.

As far as the seller goes, I'm not sure how they are getting their post through so I'll get them in the right hands for review. My assumption on why nothings been done yet is that buyers are not opening the cases so our system isn't catching it. I'll get them looked into for sure!

Thank you jasmen@ebay but please review the other link I provided - eBay staff here in the community has confirmed in the past that support can still assist buyers on pre-sale violations even after the MBG timeframe.

I know that eBay can and does have the ability to provide courtesy credits in these situations - so again, what is the best course for that buyer to escalate the issue to support personnel who can assist?

Jasmen again stated the best course of action would be for the buyer to reach out to the eBay for Business Facebook page - apparently missing the memo about the ongoing strategic blunder of eBay directing users off site to a competing marketplace for support.

Is eBay Concerned About Facebook Poaching Sellers?
A shift in eBay’s social support strategy raises eyebrows - have they finally acknowledged the competitor in the room?
eBay Redirects Users From Facebook Back To The Community
eBay for Business on Facebook directs sellers to community for support in attempt to reverse strategic mis-step.

My response:

jasmen@ebay thank you but based on recent issues reported with the eBay for Business Facebook page, I don't believe that is the best option.

eBay should be providing direct, secure support to this buyer on eBay's own site not requiring them to jump through hoops on a 3rd party site (which also happens to run a competing marketplace). What would be the best direct support option for this buyer to escalate this issue to a level that can actually assist them?

Jasmen simply reiterated the buyer should contact support and if they aren't comfortable doing so through social channels, they should use "regular customer service channels" without actually giving any specific answer as to how the buyer could reach someone actually empowered to assist them.


Returns

Question:

On a remorse return where I do not refund the initial postage paid by the buyer, do I then forfeit the final value fees on the whole transaction by doing this?

Answer:

At this time, you are correct. The Final Value Fee would not be credited with a partial refund like that.

Again, a seller stepped in to correct what appears to be either incorrect information or an unannounced change to policy.

Since when velvet@ebay? I know FVF aren't credited on partial refunds- but in the event of a remorse return when original shipping was charged separately- refunding less original shipping has always been considered a "full" refund and triggered an automatic fee credit.

And another seller confirmed that experience.

I agree this has also always been my experience too. In fact I believe that if the refund is 80% or more of what was originally paid by the buyer a FVF charged the seller is refunded. I think I learned that years ago from Trinton. This of course may have changed.

After chat close, preventing further responses, Velvet said:

At one point partial refunds allowed for FVF credits if certain stipulations were met, but since moving to managing our own payments, it's not something we currently offer. You can go here for more on Fee credits and I'll include a screen shot as well:
velvetebay_0-1643234996906

A follow up post was made, but so far Velvet has not responded to it.

Re: Chat Follow Up / Fee Credits
I saw Velvet’s follow-up and that’s why I posted here. In a remorse situation with separate ship costs- refunding item cost minus original shipping is considered a full refund. Buyer’s can’t appeal it. They can complain to CS and they might get a courtesy coupon or something- but as far as I’m awa…

Media Mail

Question:

A few months back we communicating with the Shipping dept in regards to some addition categories or sub categories that they needed to add to the Media Mail approval list. I've shared this information more times than I can count directly with the Shipping dept.

I've tried over the past month to communicate with them but I do not get a response from them. Last November or so they told me that the stuff I was asking to be added would not get added until their next update that was slated for February of 2022. I'm just trying to verify that this is really going to happen as they had a few updates last year, I was also told then that they would get added, but they never did.

Answer:

I've consistently heard the same thing from the Shipping team re: implementation dates in February. I'm sorry you haven't heard back from them with regards to specifics but I'll make sure that this gets passed to them!

The seller responded:

Maybe we could get someone from the Shipping team to come HERE next Wednesday before they do the update so we can make sure all the categories and sub categories that need to be added get in on the update.

For many of us we have been fighting this battle for almost a year and it is very frustrating. And it simply doesn't need to be this if we could just communicate. I haven't been able to do most of my shipping labels in Ebay for almost a year. So Ebay is losing income too.


Community Membership & Customer Service

I asked about the possibility for users who have been banned from the community in the past to have read-only access and for an update on the fate of the eBay Concierge support program.

Over on the eBay for Business Facebook page I noticed they recently posted something recruiting volunteers for the community mentor program.

A couple observations:

Several people commented on that post referencing how many previously active contributors here in the community have been banned or run off over the years. Is it maybe time to re-visit this old suggestion?

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Discussion-with-eBay/Community-Chat-November-25-1-00-pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/31374325/highlight/true#M25243

*Apparently, there are many long-time, and still active sellers that for whatever reason have been permanently banned from the eBay community boards...

...If nothing else, every eBay seller should be allowed to ‘read’ the critical announcement boards (even if the user is otherwise banned), if eBay still allows them to sell (or buy) on the site.*

Also, I noticed a question on that eBay for Business post asking about phone support for anchor stores - which reminded me that there was never any real resolution to the question about the fate of the Concierge support program.

Any other updates about Concierge since this weekly chat back in June 2021? https://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Discussion-with-eBay/Community-Chat-June-9-1-00-pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/31951077/highlight/true#M27041

Tyler responded

When it comes to login restrictions the answer I gave in November is still the most applicable (link here).

As to your question about Concierge - I don't have much more input than Brittanie provided. Is there a specific, recent, concern or question about it that I can address?

Another seller added:

I heard from a seller that was banned from the Community discussion boards that even while logged out they could not access the boards to read- meaning they didn't even have access to eBay Announcements.

Is there something I can suggest to them- or is there a way for you to allow all banned members read-only access so they don't miss out on important eBay Announcements?

Jasmen apparently didn't read that full post to see the part that said
"even while logged out" before responding:

They'll need to be logged out for a read-only view. Using an incognito browser will usually do the trick!


Various Updates

The last few I'll just quote multiple questions asked looking for updates on various features or issues.

Can we get an ETA for the stores About page feature, which will make it easy for buyers to sign up for our Store Newsletters? This was promised in 2021, and we are now almost through January of 2022, with no word on this.

The betting pool is saying Feb or March for the Spring Seller Update. Can you tell us when it will be?

Can we get a status report on the roll out of video-in-listings? It has obviously begun, but what is the date by which everyone should expect to have this feature? And when can we expect some sort of tutorial?

Now that eBay has introduced an authentication program for trading cards, any updates on when the Scan To List tool will include sports cards and other trading cards?

The answers to every one of these questions was either "sorry, no updates to share" or "I'll pass this along to the team and let you know if I hear anything back" - with the exception of the question about the Spring update which received a very definitive, but not helpful, answer from Tyler:

Even if I knew the date of an upcoming Seller Update I definitely wouldn't be able to confirm or give you specifics (or even generalities). Sorry!


If you've made it this far, like me you're probably wondering why eBay even bothers to have a weekly "discussion" with community staff who are clearly either not knowledgeable or not empowered enough to provide the most basic answers to most questions.

By way of credit where it is due and encouraging positive engagement, I do want to call out one bright spot in the eBay community staff - Marlin@collectibles. Marlin does an excellent job of communicating with sellers on trading card topics.

Marlin is limited to topics within his purview, but the weekly chat staff could learn a lot from him about what authentic seller engagement looks like!

Until then, join us next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel for another weekly chat that is sure to be full of more important, business impacting questions and issues raised by users and very little help or answers provided by eBay community staff.

CMO & VP of Seller Community Andrea Stairs - is this really the best you can do?

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