Suspended from buying from eBay for 90 days!

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Suspended from buying from eBay for 90 days!

Just had a message from eBay saying that my account has been suspended from buying for 90 days from today (Wednesday 5th December 2012) for:
-- Consistent and harsh use of low detailed seller ratings for sellers, resulting in an unfair reflection of the sellers' performance.
Because of this eBay have:
--Removed my account from the eBay Buyer Protection programme indefinitely.
--Restricted my ability to buy items or place bids for the next 90 days.
--Removed from related seller profiles any neutral or negative Feedback and low detailed seller ratings I have left within the past year.
What I don't understand is that if you do something wrong in a job you get a verbal warning, written warning and then a final written warning (if you continue to do something wrong).
But with eBay if you do something wrong you don't receive a warning, they just go straight in with a suspension which is not right at all!
The first thing you will know if you have been deemed to have been naughty is a suspension and why can't eBay send a message to their members beforehand?
I am 100% sure that if eBay members were contacted first and given a warning then they would listen to this warning and there would be alot fewer suspensions!
I think that this is very unfair as I only leave detailed sellers ratings that are accurate and only leave low ratings if I feel the seller deserves them for example if the seller charges high postage but fails to ensure that the item is well packaged or if the seller doesn't notify me when my purchase has been posted to me.
I don't feel that a seller should be left high seller ratings when they don't deliver a good, decent service!
Yes I do admit that I probably leave a fair amount of low sellers ratings but I feel justified in doing so.
Just like feedback sellers ratings have to be earned and those that do give a really good service always get 5 star ratings from me.
If a buyer can't leave honest sellers ratings whether high or low then what is the point in having them?
Why I am being punished for leaving truthful sellers ratings is wrong and I don't leave low ratings just for the fun of it and I don't abuse the system.
One of my eBay guides I have written is all about detailed seller ratings!
I am also a seller as well as a buyer so I do know about the impact of low sellers ratings and the effect it has on search results.
As I was made an eBay Star on 13/03/08 I have a direct phone number for eBay Customer Support so I gave them a phone.
I spoke to 3 staff members including a Supervisor plus I spoke to Ben the manager of eBay Customer Support to see if there was any way of appealing against this decision,but they all said that there isn't!
Ben the manager said that I could try emailing and they may look at their decision on my account suspension again.
I did want to try speaking to someone further up the chain of command but as it was after 5pm thought that this wouldn't help as they would have probably gone home.
Looking through the eBay help pages I found this:
Appeal your account suspension
If you want to appeal your account suspension, reply directly to the suspension notice and include any relevant information, or contact us.
Customer Support also said that I had opened too many 'Items not received' and 'Not as described' disputes.
Not sure what would be classed as 'many' and if an item isn't as described then of course I will open a dispute and return the item to the seller for a refund.
Having checked in the Resolution Centre in the past 12 months I have opened 7 disputes (out of well in excess of over 400 purchases) against sellers:
3x This item doesn't match the seller's description.
1x You want to return this item.
3x  You haven't received this item yet.(1 was received during the dispute so I closed it).
There was 7 disputes against my buyers in the past 12 months:
5x Non payment disputes against buyers.
2x Transactions cancelled at the request of buyers.
There was just 1 dispute against me:
1x The buyer hasn't received this item yet.(Newbie eBayer who the couriers tried to make 4 delivery attempts to and then refused to collect from the courier depot).They left me negative feedback but agreed to revise it to positive once I had refunded them and to their credit they did.
So I guess that 7 disputes against sellers in a year must be over the limit!
Buyer protection is meant to help you when you have a problem and in a very small amount of purchases I have had a problem.
Due to the fact that I live in a very small town and have health problems I use eBay alot for buying things that aren't always available in my local shops.
I recently bought a PS3 game from a Top Rated Seller with over 45,000 feedback.
I sent a message to the seller asking if it was a Region 1 or Region 2 game.
The seller replied that it was a Region 2 game so I went ahead and bought it.
A few days later the game arrived and it was Region 1 which I wasn't to happy about and I feel that the seller misled me although they said that they had just made a 'mistake'.
Not the best time to make mistakes just before Christmas and I could understand if he sold lots of different items but he only sells console games!
He said that I could return it for a refund and that he would send me a pre-payed postal envelope but after being told the wrong information I declined as I no longer trusted the seller.
I opened a 'not as described' dispute and posted the game back by trackable means as per eBay rules.
The seller refunded my payment within a couple of days and I left the following neutral feedback:
Said it was Region 2 and it wasn't! Returned & refunded but a waste of my time!
I very rarely leave neutral or even negative feedback unless I feel that it is really justified and I felt that in this case it was.
I suspect that this 'Top Rated' Seller has reported me to eBay for the neutral that I left them and this is the reason my account has been suspended.
Not going to name them as it will cause more problems and it seems that Powersellers do have alot of power! lol
In all cases I will always try and resolve whatever the problem is first and only leave bad feedback as a last resort and again only if it is justified.
Hardly any purchases don't turn up so I don't open very many 'Items Not Received' disputes and have only opened 3 in the past year.
Out of those 3 disputes only 2 weren't received and one item did turn up during the dispute and had been delayed in the post.
As eBay have now restricted my account from buying for 90 days they have also removed all neutral and negative feedback that I have left in the past year which wasn't very many but again I feel that this is totally wrong and unfair and beyond belief.
All low seller ratings that I have left have also been removed from sellers feedback pages which is unbelievable.
Feedback is there to let others know about your buying experience and to let sellers know how they can improve their service (I have also written an eBay guide about feedback).
If you do something wrong then you should receive a warning first from eBay but not suspension!
Sure in the past I have done a couple of things wrong and had listings removed and I fully accept that I did break the rules and took my slap on the wrist (or Pink Slap as it is also known as).
I have learnt from those mistakes and didn't break the rules again.
I thought that I would still be able to purchase items with another account but also found this in the eBay help pages:
Can I or a family member open a new account while my account is suspended?
No, you can't register a new account or use an existing account while your account is suspended.
We may also suspend new or existing accounts that were opened by anyone in the same household as, or associated with, a suspended user.
So unless I can successfully appeal against my account restriction for buying then I won't be buying anything off eBay in the next 3 months.
Unfortunately there is no-one else who could buy things for me off eBay.
I feel that eBay are discriminating against me for leaving truthful sellers ratings and my only crime is that I buy too much off eBay!
Over the past 12 months I have bought over 400 items off eBay and only had problems with 7 of those which isn't very many.(I estimate my purchases to be 450-500 as not everyone leaves feedback).
Due to my health problems eBay is a lifeline and now this lifeline has just been cut for the next 3 months.
No restriction has been placed on me selling so I am free to sell without a problem.
This eBay guide has been written on my experience of what has happened today in regards to my account being suspended from buying for 90 days.
It will be updated once I have any further information.
I hope that you have found this guide useful and please don't forget to vote as it is free to do so and only takes a moment.
The more votes I receive the more inclined I am to spend my valuable free time writing more eBay Guides and Reviews for you.
Many thanks.
If you have less than 5 feedback unfortunately you won't be able to vote (Sorry eBay rules and not mine!)


** DECEMBER 2012 UPDATE **
I have sent a message to Clive Curtis who is the Senior Director of eBay Customer Services, eBay Europe today (06/12/12) via Customer Support appealling against my ban in the hope that he will lift my buying restrictions so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
I have been a loyal buyer on eBay for 8 years and a loyal seller for the past 6 years and have spent many hours of my valuable time writing a total of 23 eBay guides and have been the very first to submit 2 reviews for a couple of PS2 games.
254 out of 312 people have found these guides / reviews helpful.
I have also spent many hours on the eBay Community Forum helping other members to sort out their problems on eBay.
There have been no messages,emails or phone calls at all from eBay about my buying restrictions before they were enforced so eBay deserves 1 star out of 5 for communication!
Over the many years I have received two things from eBay:
An eBay Mouse Mat when I was made an eBay Star in 2008 and Account Restrictions from buying for 90 days in 2012, so well done eBay you have done yourself proud for being so heavy handed in your approach to an honest member leaving truthful and accurate sellers ratings!
Give yourselves a pat on the back and you really know how to win loyal customers hearts!


** MARCH 2013 UPDATE **
My 3 month buying restriction ban is now up and I am free to bid again (eBay don't notify you when the ban is lifted so please be aware of this if you are in the same boat and write it down on a calendar).
I never did receive a reply back from Clive Curtis (who is the Senior Director of eBay Customer Services) for an appeal against my ban.
Even though eBay state: "These detailed seller ratings are anonymous, so please feel free to leave honest ratings about your buying experience" I am now very reluctant to leave low sellers ratings.
eBay has said to me: "Please be aware that if this activity continues, you may be subject to a range of other actions, including suspension of your eBay account."
So now if I feel a seller deserves less than a five star rating I won't leave a rating even if it is a 3 or 4 for fear of being suspended again!
My eBay guide: 'Detailed sellers star ratings guide (DSR's)' has been voted helpful by 11 out of 11 people so please read this first before judging me on leaving low sellers ratings.
Give yourselves a pat on the back and you really know how to win loyal customers hearts!
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