Neg feedback when the seller shipped too fast!

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Negative FeatUnbelievably, The Telegraph carries a story of a buyer who forgot to update her street address on eBay and then wanted to leave negative feedback because the seller shipped before she emailed an address change.

There’s also no one to blame but the buyer herself and sadly sellers can’t leave negative feedback for buyers these days. I’m on the side of the seller, they shipped fast, they shipped to the address on the payments page, if the item didn’t require a signature it’ll probably be delivered in which case PayPal will also back the seller.

I can understand the buyer’s frustration, but I can’t understand why they’re so mad that they think the seller deserves negative feedback for the buyer’s mistake. Fortunately she was “surprised” that eBay protect sellers from deadbeat buyers and wouldn’t let her leave a negative until seven days had passed.

Some sellers richly deserve the negatives they earned. Others such as in this case definitely don’t deserve a negative. Sometimes I just despair of buyers, if they don’t know their own address how the heck is the seller meant to know?

Of course the thing that’s really surprising is that The Telegraph thought a daft buyer prevented from leaving vindictive feedback for her own mistake was newsworthy!

Edited to add: eBay have supplied the following statement

eBay has reviewed this case and was reassured to see that the seller replied to Ms Watt promptly, explaining that the order could not be changed to a different address because it had already been processed, apologising and highlighting that they process thousands of orders and unfortunately are not able to alter an order once it has been sent to the warehouse. They explained the item would most likely be returned as undeliverable as she no longer lived there, a refund would be issued as soon as that happened, and apologised for any inconvenience. It is important to check the address before purchasing an item.”

31 Responses

  1. Holly Watt. Winner of this years Darwin Awards?

    I do love the quote… “instantly realised that it was going to be sent to the wrong address… shortly after, Ms Watt sent an email to the seller explaining the situation”.

    If only The Torygraph had been more helpful and published her eBay user ID so we could all block this idiot.

  2. ive experienced this myself on a few occasions where the buyer has got back to us after a few days asking where the goods are. We always check the address with them and then were told it’s the wrong address and they haven’t lived there for ages and so it becomes our fault??? eBay should make it automatic requirement for buyers to confirm all details every 6 months as we also find email addresses and phone numbers are quite often wrong too.

  3. I don’t understand why eBay doesn’t invest in some address checking software. The amount of addresses with street names missing or incorrect post codes is shocking.

    Even a 0 where it should be an O in the postcode causes hassle when importing into Royal Mail’s system.

  4. im confused isn’t it down to the seller to get it to the buyer? We had a similar case and ebay refunded the customer out of our pocket!

  5. I had a “buyer forgot to change address” purchase 2 weeks ago and buyer kept sending messages asking where the item was. Then 2 days ago package arrived back with RM “addressee gone away” sticker attached. Sent photo of this to buyer with demand for a further payment to cover cost of shipment number two. Buyer responded with an apology as he had not ammended his address 6 months after a move! fortunately the buyer had paid by cheque so no “buyer protection” available else I can fully picture how the likely scenario would pan out. As it is buyer is sending a further cheque.

  6. The only good thing about that article are the comments from the readers.
    Sellers should not have to tolerate or put up with numpties. Far too many organisations pander to the stupid.
    In life and on ebay there are far too many people that do not take responsibility for there actions.

    That article is stupid and the journalist and buyer need a good shake. The person that ok’d the article should be sacked.

  7. Yeah – The Telegraph will print any old drivel rather than actually reporting on the HSBC tax avoidance scandal

  8. Good Morning

    “if the item didn’t require a signature it’ll probably be delivered in which case PayPal will also back the seller.”

    I have to take issue with the above quote, in our experience paypal still refund buyers with incorrect addresses. I have many examples of this. Usually we appeal the case and get our cost refunded on most occasions, however the buyer is away scott free with little or no incentive to change ways. quite often not worth the fuss challenging paypal and I am certain they know this.

    Keep up the good work!


  9. I have also experienced the customers who give wrong details then complain that they did not get their order.

    I also love the customers who fail to put a house number on the address, we cannot be checking addresses all day trying to spot the missing house number.

    As far as i am concerned it is the buyers responsibility to provide accurate details. I have not as of yet found any legal position on this when i looked, i just look at it as common sense.

    If i could telepathically know where my customers live then i would not be in ecommerce, i would probably be very rich if i did have telepathic powers.

    There are two things that do frustrate me here

    Firstly that people do not take the care to check their address when they place an order.

    Secondly the expectation that i can open their email instantly and make a change to their order, i feel like i must be on guard 24-7 against stupid people, ok maybe they are not stupid, we all leave busy lives, but people that are careless, they know they moved address so they should be taking more care.

    I too dispatch orders very quickly like the example in the paper, i see nothing wrong with offering exceptional service, but its very frustrating that customers expect us to be in our inbox 24-7 and watching for the next email to come in so that we can process their request of address change or cancellation, if i spent my day watching my inbox for these types of people my business would not be sustainable, it is simply not possible to give instant responses, one of the key elements of eCommerce is that the customers serve themselves, Amazon, a company with large resources and customer service teams do not reply instantly to all emails so they must face similar problems but on a larger scale, i wonder how they handle this, i know that customers have a window to edit an order but after this?

    I do feel that there should be some legal legislation which confirms who is responsible for an incorrect address being provided as customers believe that we should just bend over and give them another order for free.

  10. i get this ALL THE TIME.
    like three times a week minimum.

    ebay always side with the buyer when i appeal it
    (ebay CS barely eben bother with a reason any more, i think the last was “well thats the buyers opinion”), i dont appeal to ebay CS anymore, they’re a waste of my valuable time and oxygen.

    ebay are just as guilty as the customer, not long ago i ordered from ebay & amazon at the same time –

    amazon checked my address TWICE, the second time being “your address is slightly different than the postcode records, please confirm against the Royal Mail database here” or suchlike.

    ebay had “post to me” or “collect from argos”.
    when i presed “post to me” there wasnt even a choice of which address (i have a few held on ebay) or even a confirmation of address, just “this item will be posted to you”, which is an absolute disgrace.

  11. Spooky:

    Just had this in the last half hour for an Amazon order placed on the evening of the 17th and dispatched yesterday:

    (order info and personal info removed)


    We’ve been contacted by one of our mutual customers regarding an order placed with you.

    Below is the information provided by the customer:

    Order number:
    Reason for contact: Redirection of parcel

    Details: customer no longer stays at the given order address. I request you to redirect the delivery to the following address :

    To respond to this customer, please reply to this e-mail or visit your seller account at the following link:

    We hope you’re able to work this out with this customer.


    Customer Service Department

    I have replied, and waiting to see if the buyer accepts responsibility or not, fingers crossed!!


  12. Under the eBay protection rules, BUYERS cannot submit via eMail a change of address after the sale, the seller MUST ship to the address on record on the user account.

  13. I feel all your pain….. A issue of mine again on ebay…
    customer buys a paddling pool. pays for next day delivery ( note from buyer ‘its urgent!’.)
    many months later i get a message… wheres my item?!
    I tell them it was delivered to their address and signed for on time. buyer denies it. I send tracking number etc. Customer says thats not my address! I show him his ebay and paypal details…. he says its not a house its a block of houses so how ddid they know which was his?!
    I reply with the house number he provided and a screen shot of google earth showing a small detached house and number!
    he says but ive moved and then strangely his ebay details change. I state that this was the address he gave me and if it was so urgent that you paid an extra £9 for 24hr delivery why leave it till end of summer to ask where it is?
    I get a load of abuse, etc etc….. ebay refuse to remove his neg comment and still refund him out of goodwill despite me sharing the messages etc.
    Ebay…. your c.s is pointless!

  14. eBay, simply avoid inconvenient stories like this in future by increasing your ad spend with the us.

  15. We too have had enough of the total and utter waste of time and space that is the eBAY CS Department
    Like many who write to Tamebay , we ship out thousands of orders from all our sites on a daily basis, and make it clear in the confirmation email , that the order will be dispatched to the address you the customer placed at the time of the order, and we also advise what time limit you have to amend or cancel order.

    A Customer recently chased order as non delivered, review of order history shows item dispatched to this address placed by customer

    Post code provided

    When advised to contact his local sorting office to enquire how they deal with omitted street addresses, we were informed by him that everybody knows the street, he always addresses his online orders this way, our fault .etc etc.

    Refused to go to local sorting office to enquire, eBay issue refund as we did not provide tracking number.

    Worst example year to date , concerns a “ customer “ who asked to cancel order 8hrs after it was uploaded , picked , packed and sent to postal carrier. We advised customer , too late, on receipt, please instigate eBay return procedure.
    Lots of messages back and forth, all available to ebay CS for review, did they read them , nope.
    Turns out , he found a similar item cheaper, hence wanting to cancel. Advised us he was refusing delivery

    I reprint his comments when he opened a case

    “Hi, the item was refused delivery by me and was still in the hands of the royal mail and being returned to you”

    When we responded that he was not following the ebay return procedure, he then posted this message

    “ i was assuming that the item i refused delivery of was your item going by the time of delivery and the size of the box, but i am not sure, so its item not received to me.”

    Ebay gave a refund, as we could not provide a tracking number !!!!!!!!!

    Appeal pending on both cases , not holding my breath. Negative feedback left by both. Excellent examples of the type of wasters that are allowed to get away with “daylight robbery “ on eBay, by the Patronizing and we hate sellers eBay Customer Service “Team”

  16. Natural justice, balanced common sense, seems to be an alien concept to ebay customer support if your a seller

  17. Maybe a eBay spokesperson could make a statement as why its the sellers responsibility to make sure the buyer enters the correct and valid address, the blaming the seller for what is clearly a buyer and eBay’s lack of checking mistake is morally and ethically wrong on all counts.

    Come on Tamebay get eBay to explain their crazy policy

  18. The most silly thing apart from the fact that the seller was meant to automatically retrieve the item from RM magically to correct the address was that the buyer was angry at not being able to leave feedback because she might not feel as angry in a week to leave a neg
    Just shows how subjective the whole feedback thing is. If you find them in a bad mood, then you’re f*’d


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