RM strikes may lead to seller penalties after all

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eBay UK have announced that the suspension of the dispatch time DSR star is to end on 23rd November. Dispatch time was removed on 22nd October as one of the four criteria on which buyers can rate sellers, due to industrial action by the postal workers’ union. eBay say that this “industrial action is now over and we have been informed by Royal Mail that deliveries are now back to normal”.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of problems caused by the postal strike. When eBay UK suspended the dispatch time DSR star last month in response to the Royal Mail strikes, many sellers – including myself – applauded their action as protecting us. Turns out, we were wrong.

We’ve heard from a few sellers who have seen their dispatch DSR score drop like a stone over the last few days. This isn’t surprising: as older scores fall out of the 3-month window but are not replaced by new scores, older low scores assume a greater significance when calculating averages. And with localised RM strikes ongoing throughout the UK for months before the national strike was announced, there were plenty of low DSR scores to take into account. Several sellers have told us they’re facing losing TRS status purely on this criterion.

We asked eBay for clarification on this: surely the company that’s suspended the dispatch DSR for the last month wouldn’t, now, penalise sellers due to this same DSR score? eBay said:

When we re-instate we will be enforcing low DSRs as normal. However if a seller believes that they have a valid case their first port of call should be their account manager.

If you are one of those affected, then do contact your account manager if you have one and PowerSeller support if you don’t. Kick up a fuss. eBay could be flexible on this if they chose to be: we don’t need to create a whole new pod of dolphins due to circumstances outside everybody’s control.

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