Ginny Magers

Talk to the robotic hand: how ebay keeps sellers at bay…

Posted on: September 13, 2011

Apparently, after  SEVEN years of online selling on ebay (auctions, not a store), and 100% approval rating, I am-to borrow from the line in movie Animal House, “on double secret probation.” It seems ebay has flagged my PayPal account as a “risk” and puts a hold on my funds for up to 21 days in case of a dispute. Rage is the word that came to mind  as I was attempting to transfer a measy $25 to my checking account, and saw the notice above my account history in PayPal. I went to the contact us page and clicked on a link-surprise-to “talk” to a robot with a woman’s name who “wishes she could be human” or some crap like that, but isn’t, so I made the mistake of trying to explain myself and “she” said I was being too complicated for a relationship with her as she is pre-programed to answer only questions that EBAY dreams up. If my question or problem has not been preprogramed for a canned response, the question or answer can not possible exist, so I do not exist in essence.  I called the toll free number and spoke to a man (human) in a far-flung country who only could tell me-after I pointed out my feedback is steller-that “if I continue to receive positive feedback into the future my account will be reviewed in 35 days…blah, blah, blah.” If seven years isn’t enough to convince the robotrons running the place that I am worthly of my funds before some dispute that may occur into the distant future..I guess they are now clairvoyant robotrons.. then what is a small potatoes seller to do? I am relieved that my sole income does not come from ebay.  I enjoy (or used to) selling small items at low cost at a good value. I ship fast, often the same day. This does not please the robotrons at ebay. I do not want to pay USPS extra for tracking numbers as I barely clear any profit as it is. I can not  afford to print pre-printed labels offered either. UPS is no bargain as I tend to ship small light weight items. The buyer considers the cost of shipping in the purchase. Paying $12 extra to buy a pair of used, but cool, shoes on top of the auction, or  Buy It Now price, does not sit so well with many a bargain shopper. Almost nothing I sell fits into those one-price boxes so popular with many a seller. I have 20 years plus in retail experience and deliver excellent customer service. Lately, all ebay wants from me is to rate every tiny transaction with a survey. I did get a call one day, from a live person telling me about new features-like the extra characters in the listing header. Somehow this was supposed to make me do cartwheels while on the phone. Never was I asked anything that was not a targeted question, then later I receive emails asking for more of my precious time, to rate the call (code for rate the PERSON-which I will not do), and these do not go away quietly. I do not go away quietly either.  So this is my rant  at the outrageous, arbitrary new rules to make ebay a better experience.  Like the post office, ebay fails to remember there are other online options outthere in cyber selling space.




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