Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

eBay experiences

A few days ago I bought one item from a seller on eBay. Seller looked good. But two days after I sent my payment I got an eBay warning message telling me the seller's account has been canceled and advising me not to send any money. Unfortunately the money was already sent so there was not much I could do.

Checking the seller's account feedback page revealed that the flow of feedback messages had stopped as users cannot leave feedback on a canceled account (not sure this is a good idea) even if buyers are already getting what they paid for (or a brick in a box). Let me elaborate on this: Blocking a seller account should prevent the seller to do "any more harm" (ie. to sell any new item) but the feedback information is useful mostly for buyers, so you are here punishing the buyers if they cannot post feedback for a blocked account.

Some days later my product arrived ok and I was surprised when I can see I can leave feedback for this seller. In fact, it seems the seller is back to business with the same userid. Maybe there was some sort of misunderstanding that was cleared out. Good for the seller I guess.

However I found pretty annoying that eBay failed to let me know this too. They were capable of warning me about a seller I was buying from who got his account locked, but they failed to tell me the same account was reinstated later. I am not happy with this behavior. To tell the truth I've got the feeling eBay is running downhill in customer service. I hope you do not have to deal with the silly automated answers they use to provide.

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