Hijacked account: eBay emails are useless

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I’ve received an email today from eBay informing me that one of the buyers I may have traded with has had their account hijacked and it is now in the process of being restored to it’s original owner. However it’s possibly one of the most unhelpful emails eBay send.

Firstly it gives no indication of which transaction it refers to. Was it an exisiting bid that’s been cancelled? Was it a completed item? How long ago was the bid/purchase? Was in fact the bidder a winning bidder or a losing bidder?

Telling me I can relist the item is useless as I have no idea which item is in question. Even worse telling me I can “request a credit for the Final Value Fee” is ridiculous, as again I don’t know which transaction the email is refering to.

Lower down the email it tells me I can “You may file a “friendly” unpaid item dispute (UPI) remark in order to request the fees for your auction.” I’m guessing that’s refering to a mutual cancellation, that relies on the account owner agreeing to cancel the transaction and still leaves the possibility of both parties leaving feedback. Should they disagree I won’t get my fees back and even worse it leaves the possibility of the buyer leaving less than glowing feedback and negatively impacting my DSR stars.

Personally I believe eBay should be automatically refunding any applicable Final Value fees AND the Listing Fees with Listing Enhancement Fees. With no transaction reference to refer to I can’t apply for fee credits. Back in March last year we highlighted the difficulty of reclaiming fees from hijacked accounts. It appears nothing much has changed. Why should I pay eBay for the privilege of a hijacked account bidding on my auctions if they’re not even willing to let me know which transactions were affected?

Currently I don’t even know if it’s a shop item with multiple purchases which would probably mean previous legitimate buyers have also been emailed stating that the transactions have been cancelled, or a live item again with exisiting buyers being informed that their bids are null and void.

The entire hijacked account process needs reviewing. At the very least sellers need to be informed of the affected item numbers so that they can action the fee refunds. Informing sellers that there’s an issue which needs addressing without the information to act upon it is useless and it’s a total waste of time and effort on the sellers part attempting to locate a transaction which is no longer on the site.

If eBay cancel a transaction then the seller should be informed which item number is affected and ALL fees relating to that transaction should be automatically refunded.

Hello mountcomp,

This email is to inform you that any recent bids placed by xxxxxxxx may have been by an unauthorized third party. We are now in the process of restoring the account to its true owner.

If this person was the winning bidder for the transaction then the transaction in question should be considered null and void. You may relist the item and request a credit for the Final Value Fee. When a seller submits a final value fee credit request, unpaid Items are automatically identified by our system. Our system will then keep records of the credit requests that are received from sellers regarding transactions that were not completed.

You may file a “friendly” unpaid item dispute (UPI) remark in order to request the fees for your auction and this will not negatively affect this member’s account. You can request a Final Value Fee credit through Unpaid Item Disputes by following the steps below:

1. Go to the eBay home page
2. Log in to your My eBay page
3. Under the “Related Links” box on the left side of the page, click the “Unpaid Item Disputes” link

For more information on how to request a credit, I encourage you to view our Frequently Asked Questions page below:


Thank you for being an asset to the eBay trading community. We wish you continued success with your transactions on eBay.


Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
eBay International AG

4 Responses

  1. If you have the user name, can’t you look at the recent bidding history of this person? Yes I know it’s time consuming and very annoying, but it’s how I found the item when I had the same (useless) email. And even though it said I could claim the fees back, I had to go all through the UPI process.
    I agree that ebay should refund ALL relevant fees automatically – it’s no good saying you can “relist” as you don’t get anything back if it’s a shop item or a relist already.

  2. hi chris,

    this has happened to me before! basically the item in question will drop into your unsold item in SMP, so you just need to work out which one ( i know it would be so much handier to have item number), if it doesnt stand out str8 away, a simple call to PS support line will sort that out.

    as the bidders account was hacked into they will be fearful of receiving a neg from the seller too, so i found a quick call to user in question clears up that fear of any neg and a upi can be refunded without hassle, also i believe if a neg is left eBay will consider removing it as the acc was hacked into. just my thoughts, but i do argee with you eBay really needs to give us more info on this and they need to tidy up the potential repurcussions that something like this can cause. anyways keep up the great work.

    Abs 😛

  3. Hi Kate, recent bidding history doesn’t reveal an item sold by me, but then if eBay have removed the item from the site it wouldn’t show any more would it? 🙁 That’s the big problem

    Hi Abs, I use SMP but not very much, certainly not to track unsold items hence it currently has literally hundreds of unsold items sat there. Some have been relisted, some haven’t, regardless I haven’t a clue and I don’t actually know if the item has sold or not, nor whether there were multiple bids/BINs on the item in question.

    As for calling someone who has allowed their account to be hacked… to be perfectly honest I don’t have the time nor the inclination to identify who the hell they are.

    I just think it’s piss poor service from eBay not to at least have the courtesy of letting me know which item it is so that I can at least get my fees back.


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