The Observer’s letter page becomes the latest Sunday paper to feature eBay, and as usual, it’s not good news. “CC” was unable to use an eBay coupon, and has had no joy from eBay customer services. Neither has the reporter from The Observer: “When companies stop communicating with the press, we can only assume they have something to hide.”
Personally, I’d assume that the lack of comment is due to the fact that non-working coupons don’t cost eBay money, and that the coupon’s not working is down to eBay’s habitual site problems. eBay have made a decision about how their “customer service” is going to work: as Seth Godin puts it:
Three cheers for the organization that says, “In order to keep prices low and traffic moving, we’re unable to discuss our policies with you. We’re very sorry if this inconveniences you.” It’s far better than the charade that so many large companies go through.
And yes, I’d rather rely largely on peer to peer support, than have my fees multiplied by ten to pay for the support staff that eBay would need just to deal with those who are complaining about negative feedbacks. But when it comes to dealing with the press, especially for something like a promotional coupon which might be expected to bring new users on to the site, I’d expect a lot better than this.