eBay admitted Friday that sellers were seeing an incorrect, extended shipping date for buyer returns, suggesting the marketplace might have changed its returns policy without sellers’ knowledge.
In a community announcement, eBay clarified this was only on the seller side and “Buyers are not seeing the incorrect dates, and they will not have additional time to ship their returns.”
But did this not stop sellers from commenting on the problem on the company’s eBay for Business Facebook page. Here are a few comments from sellers:
“So after reading the article, I’m thinking this has been a problem for more than a year. There’s a stated return date but then the case doesn’t close for a while after that date, beyond a month in some cases. I hope this is the issue that’s going to be resolved.”
“Thanks for acknowledging that it is an issue.” says another seller. “Yesterday, I was told by EBay for Business that this is not a new policy and has been in effect since covid started and that eBay never reverted back to normal return times.”
But another seller suggested that eBay’s own customer service team was not understanding the problem and offered up different answers when asked about it.
“Meanwhile when contacting customer service through eBay for Business through Facebook Messenger, they tell you that this is normal and it’s because of COVID-19. Then another rep through eBay for Business through Facebook Messenger tells you that it depends on the reason for the return. Three different responses to the same issue. Would be helpful if you picked one so we know how to manage the process.”
Technical Issues Fosters Distrust
Unfortunately, one of the problems with the way eBay at times addresses technical glitches or bugs fosters much distrust among sellers, especially those that have been on the platform for a long time.
eBay rarely gets ahead of problems by ensuring its customer service teams are aware of problems as they happen.
Sellers have complained of inconsistent responses many times, and eBay has appeared to hide the issue by slowly acknowledging technical issues in a community area that few people know about.
A System Status page is offered by eBay, but often that doesn’t include smaller issues like returns problems, only systemwide serious issues.
Earlier this year, eBay used a banner notice to alert sellers to a problem with eBay Managed Payments payouts. That was an uncommonly candid move by eBay and one the company should continue to use.
Communication is crucial for business! eBay, for some reason, has a tough time getting it right. There is no reason for poor or delayed communication as it only fosters distrust in its marketplace.
Iannone has brought several changes to the marketplace since taking over as CEO, including a focus on preowned or unique products, and updating legacy technology. All these changes were desperately needed.
But as for eBay’s buyer and seller communication process, especially with technical issues, it appears to be stuck in the past.
Is the Problem Fixed?
In the community announcement informing sellers about the incorrect extended shipping dates for buyer returns, eBay stated that the issue should be resolved in the “coming hours” and that eBay would update the post if there were further delays.
Since eBay has not updated its post as of Saturday morning, this issue should be resolved considering “coming hours” shouldn’t mean almost a full day, but we cannot be sure.
This just highlights the problem eBay has with good communications practices.
Wouldn’t it make sense for the company to say the technical issue is fixed or provide another status update if that is not the case?
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