eBay encourage buyers to file PayPal claims

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Been a little slow in leaving feedback for a seller recently? Then you’ll already have seen eBay’s outrageous new addition to the buyer feedback page: “eBay Note: You haven’t left feedback yet. Problem with the item? Don’t miss the deadline for filing a dispute.” The link takes buyers to the page that explains how to file an item not received or significantly not as described claim.

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Click for full screenshot

Making it easy for buyers to find out how to make a claim when they need to know is one thing, but eBay seem here to have crossed the line into encouraging buyers to claim. Not everyone leaves feedback the second that a parcel drops through their letter box – it often takes me a month or longer to be bothered to do so, and I’m on eBay all day every day, so buyers who pop in less frequently can be forgiven for taking a while to leave their “A+++”. The fact that it’s been a while since the transaction has taken place in no way suggests that there is a problem, and eBay should not be encouraging buyers to put in claims like this.

Sadly for sellers, I think things can only get worse. As websites get easier to set up, and search engines and shopping directories get better at indexing them, eBay’s draw that it brought such a huge range of goods to one place becomes less unique. Buyers no longer rely on eBay to find that rare or obscure widget: the whole internet now does the same job. eBay’s unique selling point becomes more and more about security: already every communication they send to buyers seems to emphasise that “you’re safe with us”. Sometimes it seems like this is the only message eBay has left.

As promised, my undying gratitude to Biggles’ girlfriend for the screenshot.

8 Responses

  1. I have to say that this is poor on ebays behalf, I have nothing to fear as a seller, as so far I have always done everything I can and more to satisfy customers. What worries me is that some lazy peeps, will now automatically start disputes, simply because ebay have made it easier than to simply open a dialogue. This is a little worrying.

  2. It’s not just the lazy peeps, Jade: it’s the dishonest peeps. We *all* have something to fear as sellers from this bit of nonsense.

  3. Well I guess if someone intentionally set out to pull some kind on INR or similar stunt, then they wont need ebay to make it easier for them as they will be already familiar with the process. I’m worried about the people who may have received something that was damaged in the post and rather than bother to contact us, would simply file some kind of dispute simply because all they have to do is a click few well placed links. It won’t help foster cordial relationships if you are on the receiving end of an unfair dispute that could have been settled by a quick email or phone call.

  4. From my experience, I don’t think this will stop those people – people who are going to file disputes out of the blue will still continue to do it. After all, they’ll need to be on the feedback screen to see it – so maybe they were just going to neg you, and now they’ll start a dispute as well? ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m concerned about the people who’ll see the link, click it to see what it is, think “hmm, this wasn’t signed for was it”, and file the dispute “to see what happens”. It can put an idea in people’s heads that wasn’t there before.

    In any case, I’m not sure we need to make up scenarios: the point is that the link shouldn’t be there!!

  5. I dont like it, but i know I will have to live with it,

    ebays buyer slanted ethos is quite obvious and if it keeps buyers buying, I will learn to love it

  6. If they wanted to deal with “is there a problem?” on the feedback page, of course the obvious thing to do would be to make it an “email your seller” link.

    Or is that too easy? ๐Ÿ™„

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