Thursday, August 7, 2008
I Hate EBay! For Real!
(Note: Yea, my ebay handle Silentwarrior is totally lame. But I opened this account in '99. So give me a break)
I was all sorts of fired up today. Firing on all cylinders. I even woke up at 7. I never wake up at seven. I don't think I've seen the 7 hour from this side of night since '85. Yea, my sleep was crappy, but that wasn't from a lack of it. It had everything to do with a guest staying over who decided it was cool to turn the washing machine on at 4:45am. "I didn't think it would make any noise". Um. Ok. That guest is banned. For being an idiot.
I start checking my email and low and behold there's an urgent message from ebay: eBay Registration Suspension: NonPayment. Oh no, not this again. Talk about a time drain. It's not like I don't have anything else to do with my time.
As you know, someone hacked into my ebay account and listed items for sale. They sold a ton of them and accrued quite a large amount in listing fees. Ebay said they would cancel all the fees. They didn't. I received a bill. Spent hours talking to their shitty customer support via chat (they have NO phone support) and they told me next billing cycle, all would be handled. I assumed the ten hours I spent on their silly little chat customer service meant they got their story right.
Well, after that email this morning, I logged in, and my account was locked. Shut down. Incapacitated. Now I was livid. I had spent, literally, hours upon hours on the chat program several days ago getting this resolved. They had sent me back and forth from billing to fraud so many different times that my head is still spinning (in a chat window too! And every time I was shuttled back and forth, I was queued up again, having to wait to speak, er, chat, with the next available idiot). When I would begin to raise my voice to tell them they had been doing this 6 times already...you know, by CAPITALIZING WHAT I WAS SAYING, they wouldn't answer me and they would just send me back and forth between fraud and billing. It was a nightmare. That's when I was finally assured next billing cycle the charges would be dropped...no problem.
So today I get on chat to resolve this. I'm so angry I can barely type. This is such a nuisance I don't even know what to say about it. But it makes me realize when a company just doesn't get it. I write a lot about companies not getting it. And while in good times, this can be ok, because everybody is happily spending money, it is not a sustainable practice, either when the economy turns or when alternatives begin to pop up. With eBay, it'll be more about competition than about the economy. It will be about customer backlash and their own mistakes. A big error they already made was dropping 3.5 billion dollars for Skype. Man. That was dumb. But another is alienating customers. Last year they made some changes to feedback ratings and listing fees which put the eBay community on the offensive. Customers left in droves. They held boycotts (great story). I hate eBay so much right now. But I'm sure I'll still use them for things. At least until the next auction site starts competing.
The worst part of this whole thing is that I can't even complain to ebay. I've sent emails...I get a canned response back. There's no phone number. No management on the chat program you can talk to. It's a nightmare! And their partner company, PayPal, is no different.