eBay wipe feedback and fees for blackout auctions

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We’ve been forwarded an email sent from eBay to one of the sellers affected by this weekend’s outage. Here’s the text of the mail:

By now you may be aware that between 4:45pm GMT on Saturday, 21 November and 8:00am GMT on Sunday, 22 November eBay search was unavailable with searches returning limited or no results.

We know this was a very serious disruption, especially as you look to increase your sales for the Christmas shopping season. Because you had listings ending during or within an hour after the outage, I wanted to let you know, personally, what we’ll be doing to support your business and protect your eBay reputation.

First of all, this outage will not negatively impact your feedback or detailed seller ratings (DSRs) in any way. All Auction-style listings completed during this time will be protected from negative and neutral feedback as well as DSRs below a five star rating.

In addition, we’ll not expect you to fulfill Auction-style orders completed during this time if you feel the search outage prevented you from realising the full expected price from your auction-style listings that closed during the outage or within an hour after the outage. It’s up to you whether you want to fulfill the item in the interest of good relations with your buyer or cancel the transaction.

If you do plan to cancel a transaction, we ask that you contact your buyer by end of day Tuesday, 24 November. For your convenience, we’ve drafted some language below that you can use in your emails to inform the buyer of your intention and let them know this cancellation was due entirely to an eBay issue and not you as a seller.

If you had Fixed Price listings completed during this time period, you would of course be expected to fulfill sold items as usual.

Second, in keeping with eBay’s Outage Policy and doing what’s right for sellers and buyers, we are taking the following actions for listings that ended during or within an hour after the outage (4:45pm GMT Saturday, 21 November – 9:00am Sunday, 22 November GMT):

We’ll refund all associated fees for Auction-style listings and refund pro-rated fees for all active Fixed Price listings during the outage. This refund should be reflected in your next eBay invoice.
We’ll remove negative/neutral Feedback and detailed seller ratings (DSRs) lower than 5 stars given by buyers for affected Auction-style listings.
We’ll alert the eBay and PayPal resolutions team in the event that a claim of item not received is filed for an affected listing.
We’ll be sending a 10% off coupon to buyers who won Auction-style listings during the outage for any inconvenience, up to a maximum value of £70.
We fully understand the impact of an outage of this scope on you, our valued partners. We sincerely apologise for the disruption to your business. I want you to know that we are continuing to focus our teams and resources to ensure a smooth and rewarding Christmas selling season for you.

Sincerely,

Jody Ford
Senior Director Seller Experience Europe

———————————-

Suggested email for notifying your buyer of cancelled Auction-style transactions:

Dear Buyer:

As you may know, for a period of time from Saturday, 21 November to Sunday, 22 November, eBay search was returning limited or no results. See the official eBay report. Unfortunately, the item you purchased from me on [date] was offered through an Auction-style listing affected by this technical disruption.

I wanted you to know that as a result of this issue, I will not fulfill this transaction and any payment you made will be fully refunded. In addition, eBay will be sending you a 10%-off coupon for your next purchase up to a maximum of £70 for the inconvenience. Now that eBay search is fully restored, I will be relisting this auction [today]. I sincerely hope you will bid again – and win!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact eBay via the “Contact us” link at the top of the eBay homepage. Thank you for your understanding. I look forward to your future business.

Sincerely,
XXX

The Brews News has the text of the similar email sent out to US sellers.

A number of issues, particularly with regards to just how feedback will be removed, are not clear from the above; no doubt further clarification will be forthcoming at some point.

Update:

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