Another Example of eBay's Flawed Feedback System

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Another Example of eBay's Flawed Feedback System
It is too easy for somebody to give negative feedback for no good reason, perhaps by mistake, and almost impossible to correct it once given. In our opinion eBay should build a little more flexibility into their system.

On 14th February 2005, we received 2 negative feedbacks from the same person:

Sent my payment, wish they'd give me an indication if they even got it.
Buyer   xxx (217)          Item # 3950288148     
Follow-up by xxx: I was totally wrong, I apologize to chard for messing up our transaction.          02-Mar-05 12:06     

No response to emails, can't find out if they received payment.
Buyer   xxx  (217)          Item # 3950252356     
Follow-up by xxx: They Were getting in touch, I was in the wrong. Bars arrived and are beautiful!!

What Happened
We can't remember the precise details after all this time, but we seem to recall that our buyer was not using the same e-mail account he had registered with eBay, and although we sent him e-mails with invoice, and how to pay, he was not reading our replies. Anybody can make this sort of human error. I think we also needed confirmation of the correct shipping address.
We received numerous e-mails, which we answered, but our replies were not getting read. Only after responding to a non-received item claim, did we manage to establish two-way contact. We then sent him copies of our previous e-mails, and his goods. Although he apologised for his errors, by this time it was too late, and the negative feedbacks could not be withdrawn, even though it is clearly obvious from his follow-ups that they were posted in error, and should be reversed.
We were very happy when he eventually got in touch, and even happier when he posted the follow-ups which made it clear the negatives were not our fault. Not everybody would own up to their mistakes or apologise for them publicly.

Another Similar Example (Different Member)
Where are my coins and why will you not contact me for payment? Poor Ebayer
Buyer   xxx (110)          31-May-04 09:39         Item # 3912840606     
Reply by chardcoins: We sent an invoice and are waiting patiently for your payment          01-Jun-04 00:10     
Follow-up by xxx: A missunderstanding over communication, No problems with this ebayer! A+
This guy sent us about three e-mails within an hour of the auction closing, when our office was closed (we do not open 24/7).
Our Response:-
"We sent an invoice and are waiting patiently for your payment"
We feel so strongly about this that we telephoned him. We were also puzzled as to why he felt it necessary to post negative:-
His main complaint seemed to be that he sent us two or three e-mails without getting a reply. We do state on all our ebay items and our about us page that we get thousands of emails daily (mainly spam), and to telephone us rather than email, he does not seem to have read this.
Why he could not follow the idiot proof guidelines, and post us a cheque, we do not know.
He also mentioned that we relisted the item, and thought it might have been because we did not get a high enough price from him. The items we sell on eBay are almot always items which we have more than adequate stocks. This person made the same mistake that others have made, assuming, despite the wording of our listing, that we relisted "his" item, rather than another one from our large stocks. What surprised us is that despite sounding happy on the telephone, he then failed to complete the transaction, obliging us to file a NPB report to get our eBay fees refunded.
Result - no sale, considerable wasted time, and a negative feedback for our troubles. Despite his obvious recantation of his negative, eBay will not remove it.

eBay Faults
There are numerous faults and flaws in eBay's systems, some of which they do eventually fix or improve, but others still continue. It seems pretty clear to us that eBay will fix problems which negatively impact on their revenue and profit flow, but will not use resources to fix problems which do not increase their own profits. We believe this is short-sighted, as it is likely to build up long-term resentment of eBay. We ourselves would fully support any effective competition for eBay which does not exist because they have bought up all major competitors in most countries, and now have a worldwide near-monopoly.
eBay's feedback tutorial states "You may not remove feedback comments you have left... Once you leave feedback for another member you may not edit the comment, change the rating or remove the rating and comment... Feedback comments cannot be edited or changed after being left"

As often, eBay's rules and guides contradict themselves, and eBay can and will remove feedback comments, but not necessarily the actual negative point:
" eBay will remove feedback comments if any of the following are true:
    * eBay is provided with a valid court order requesting removal
    * The feedback comment contains profane, vulgar, obscene, or racist language
    * The feedback comment contains personal identifying information about a member
    * The feedback references an eBay, PayPal or law enforcement investigation
    * The feedback comment contains links or scripts
    * Negative feedback was intended for another member. This may only happen after the member responsible has already placed the same feedback for the correct member
    * Feedback was left by a person ineligible to participate in eBay transactions at the time of the transaction or the time the feedback was left
    * Feedback was left by a member who provided eBay with false contact information
    * Feedback was left by a member who bid on or purchased an item solely to have the opportunity to leave negative feedback for the seller, with no intention of completing the transaction"

We believe that eBay could add to the above list something along these lines:
The negative comments were clearly made by mistake.

Why Don't They
Time and money. It would encourage members to ask for negative feedback or comments to be removed, this would take time on the part of eBay who would have to employ people to review each request. This would cost eBay money, and they would get very little out of it. They would actually get more satisfied and happy users, but it does not look like they care enough about us users to bother. eBay love our money more than they love us users. If you agree or sympathise with

Our buyer made a simple mistake which many of us could make, owned up to his error, apologised for the negative comments which would otherwise have been fair. Despite the fact that it is perfectly clear that the negatives and comments were made in error, eBay will not reverse them, so our record we gets tainted, and there is nothing else we can do about it. Thanks eBay!

Author & Copyright Notice
Any images shown are our own copyright images. Our text and description is also copyright, Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins.

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