Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ebay Sucks - Continued

After my ebay fiasco several weeks ago (here), I got in touch with a friend, who is a VP at ebay, because I was really at wits end with this whole ordeal. He, in turn, had people from both ebay and paypal contact me about the issues I had with ebay fraud and their crappy customer support. I had two vastly different experiences with the paypal and ebay representatives that contacted me. Here's what transpired.


I received a call from the office of the president of PayPal. We went through my entire ordeal, him interrupting me with apologies left and right. It was nice, maybe a little too nice, but hey, at least I was speaking with a real person at this point in time. While he assured me that ebay was doing something about my specific case, he couldn't tell me what they were doing. In addition, even though I had contacted the police and FBI myself - they still couldn't engage law enforcement on their end. It had to come from law enforcement. There were lots of useless reasons behind this. But it was apparent that it wasn't changing anytime soon.

While the call was cordial. I actually felt better after speaking to him. Not because anything was changing or going to change - but because he admitted that their situation certainly was in a less than perfect state.

According to this person, they are constantly revisiting their procedures for dealing with situations regarding fraud. And they're happy to take my advice into account. While it felt good to hear that, I just don't buy it. Nonetheless, he left me his phone number, asked me not to give it out (which I won't), and told me to get in touch again with any issues I had in the future. span style="font-weight:bold;">Ebay

I was expecting a similar discussion when ebay contacted me. Well, wrong again. Ebay, while courteous, kept our discussion to email. It was also a very defensive exchange rather than a how can we be helpful to our customers. In fact, several times in the email, the woman explained how and why ebay couldn't do anything about my situation. She said something along the lines of, well, since it wasn't ebay's servers that were compromised, and it was your account, there's nothing we can do. Some people who aren't computer literate may take that comment and say. Oh, ok. But I don't buy that. Just because ebay doesn't think their servers were compromised, certainly doesn't mean that. A simple password attack could have compromised the servers. Or, like old Unix servers, a password file may have been left encrypted somewhere for someone to hack. Whatever the case, she was dead wrong. For some background on Vladuz - a Romanian hacker who compromised ebay's site without them knowing... here.

She responded that she was wrong and babbled breathlessly for the rest of the email. I had already stopped listening. I just hope ebay doesn't stop listening to its customers.


Anonymous said...

There's a site Random Plaza that is designed to fix all problems with eBay and other community marketplace websites. randomplaza.com

Read the features. The site will be good if I can actually get other people to actually post listings on it, which despite it being free is by far the hardest part, harder than anything. As it is I can't buy advertising till I have a lot of products and I don't have time to list tens of thousands items myself.

Lefty said...

@Anonymous - it's very difficult to build a community. In fact, as you said, that's the single most difficult component of building a website that relies on a community. We're going to face that same issue. You need something to draw the user in and then retain them. I checked out your site and while I like your ideas, you're not ready for prime time. Follow ebays presentation model - there's nothing wrong with it. It's tough to browse your site. Keep up the good work, I hope ebay's demise is imminent.

vBay said...

Hi there
If you or anyone with a substantiated report of fraud or other wrongdoing on eBay (not just a rant, though I understand the need for this too), please publish these on vBay me

Anonymous said...

I totally agreed. Ebay sells too many fake stuff. I remember I bought a blue shirt on ebay and ended up with a red one. Now I use http://www.123exchanges.com to sell my used stuff. 123exchanges required people to use video to list their products. Video is a much better way to showcase your stuff online. Although 123exchanges.com is new but they're actually making a difference on how people buy and sell online. It's actually fun, cool, and it’s free, no listing or selling fees. I barely sell stuff on ebay and craigslist now because there are too many scams.