Would you like a dispute with that?

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unpaid item assistant
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We heard from the lovely Jane, eBay Anorak and Demon Bead Lady, of an issue with eBay’s Unpaid Item Assistant. Jane quite sensibly had turned this off, preferring to handle her unpaid items on a case by case basis rather than potentially annoying buyers with automated emails about non-payment. Then eBay turned it back on again. Jane told us: “I turned off my eBay UPI assistant, it’s now turned itself back on giving 23 days to NPBs”. It seems that Jane isn’t the only one: some sellers on Seller Central were reporting a similar problem last month, so if yours is supposed to be turned off too, it’s worth checking it still is.

eBay seem to be doing their level best right now to encourage disputes. Auctionbytes covers an issue a couple of US sellers have had, where refunding buyers also results in a “dispute” being recorded against the seller. This seller, for example, refunded a buyer who had underpaid postage, requesting the correct amount be paid, which resulted in a message on her PayPal transaction page that “eBay decided in favor of the buyer in a dispute filed with the eBay Resolution Center and authorized PayPal to debit your account for this refund.”

Another seller refunded part of a buyer’s shipping payment, and is now being given that same message by PayPal. Both sellers say that no dispute has been opened by any party.

It would be bad enough if this was just a mistaken message on PayPal’s part, but of course, it’s not. From this week (on eBay UK), opened buyer protection cases will count against sellers’ performance. And though I have little doubt that the PayPal messaging is “just” a glitch, it’s a glitch that’s going to put fear into some sellers’ hearts, AND it’s going to put people off treating buyers correctly and refunding over-paid postage.

17 Responses

  1. Thanks for this, went to check (as we have NEVER had UIA turned on) and yes, it was on. I would not have thought to check, as you can’t even see what it is turned to without deliberately clicking on the “show” button.

    I have turned it off, as we have quite a few good customers who stack up wins over a period of time until they have a full box. Now off to check nobody has been caught in this latest net.. ๐Ÿ™

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no case should be counted unless it hasn’t been dealt with by the seller.

    I would encourage buyers to use the dispute process if it weren’t for the open cases count. This would flag to eBay any habitual INR (may have wrong address details of course) and SNAD claimants who generally ask via ASQ and normally slip under the radar.

    As it stands it’s better with an ASQ but I do think all disputes/returns should be dealt with via the console either manually or automatically as the seller sees fit. Only outstanding cases not dealt with should be counted.

  3. Same here , always had it turned off , and its mysteriously switched to yes.

    We’ve had an opened buyer case this week. The buyer opened it as he hadn’t received his goods in the U.S. He had not received them , because he hadn’t paid any shipping fees , and hadn’t responded to a polite email notifying him of this.

    When he finally did reply, he accepted it was his error , apologised , paid the fees , received his goods , loved them , sent a message thanking the seller for their excellent service , left positive feedback , closed his dispute. Everybody happy you’d think.

    Except for the seller who now has an opened buyer protection case against his name.

  4. In every business I’ve ever been involved with, this has been true: a customer who has had a complaint dealt with **satisfactorily** is a much, much more loyal customer than one who has never had a chance to complain, because they know they can trust you to do the right thing by them.

    Only eBay’s management think that no one should ever have an issue with anything. It breaks my heart.

  5. we usually know when its switched on ,every single sale has a big yellow line saying a dispute is being opened
    the instant its made lol

  6. partial refunds are a way of life to many ebay buyers a partial refund
    is now the new combined shipping discount

  7. Oh God!
    We constantly part refund buyers postage when they do not combine their postage. Thought we were doing the right thing by refunding overpaid postage without even being asked.

    We also had a dispute, Well it was odd like the buyer did a charge back but she didn’t
    Though the money was held until we sent in tracking info though only had 1 lot of tracking details as combined the sales into one so we only sent 1 parcel.
    Seriously worried.

    Also ebay doesn’t seem to want buyers and sellers having any communication with each other at all.
    We received an email last week (assume you all did) saying how many Q’s we had last month compared to average in the same sector. + How to reduce questions.
    Is it yet again ebay think we are naughty children?
    Or rogues who will sell off ebay if we speak to our buyers?

    Getting worried that we only sell on ebay can anyone tell me where i can find info on selling on amazon in health and beauty section i have done a search online but its alluding me, as HBA is locked on amazon.
    Keep reading on here that its maddness to only sell on ebay?
    Thanks so much

  8. The thing about disputes is that they are seen as confrontational processes. The dispute resolution centre is seen by buyers as a “I’ll take it up with eBay and see you in court!”.

    This can leave a feeling of grumpiness remaining after a successful result.

    The same happens the other way. I had to wrote an apology email this morning to a loyal customer who hadn’t paid (problems with Paypal account) and who therefore had a UPI dispute opened. It was closed without a strike but she was still affronted.

    The move towards the anonymised “members” email addresses, requiring a complex email reference thread is a step backwards in improving the informal communications that can stop things having to come to a formal complaint. For this reason we publish our CS email and phone number as clearly as we can in the listing so that we can deal with problems like humans.

  9. we also have had to apologise to buyers who have receive a reminder from ebay.
    It is seen by my buyers as threating email.

  10. we sometimes think we are expected by ebay to apologise for making a profit and living

  11. Thanks Sue, our had gone from off as we dont want to ebays c**p to been switched back on.

    BAD BAD EBAY – Ebay gets 1 DSR Star for communication from us and a negative feedback

  12. I opted out on my german account. Last week a buyer asked if the money did not arrive because she got a message from ebay about a UPI. It is not showing up in the resolution center.
    I apologized told her that ebay has a problem with that. The seller risks always a negative feedback of course.

  13. Ours had been turned on by eBay but was set to 33 days, if we wanted to shorten the time we would have to amend our postage options, what ever the hell that means. It’s off now, cheeky gits.



eBay Seller Update 21.1 โ€“ End of unpaid item claims


EU agree to rein in unfair marketplace practices


New Dispute Resolution requirements for all online sellers


Computers rule on some eBay UK disputes


New eBay UK Seller dashboard coming in Feb

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