A Tamebay reader has some interesting background information regarding eBay and Royal Mail tracking. It appears likely that eBay might be exposing themselves to a larger number of claims under the eBay Money Back Guarantee than in the past.
To understand what’s changing we need to look at how the sellers ships with Royal Mail and what’s changing. In the past this particular seller shipped the majority of their mail as Royal Mail Large Letters paying for postage and using PPI labels. This is an untracked service so if an item was reported as lost, with tracking they had to foot the expense of a refund or swallow the cost of replacing the item.
The seller recently switched to DMO which although sold as an untracked service comes with a 2D barcode so Royal Mail know if the item was scanned when delivered. Now, when the seller gets a customer say they haven’t received an item, they forward the details, including the 21 digit code, to their Royal Mail account manager who happily obliges with a report if delivered. They then screenshot this delivery proof and upload it to eBay messages.
The last time they did this they instantly won the case and the eBay resolution was closed in their favour – they kept their money and didn’t have to replace the item. However the buyer then got in touch to say that eBay were refunding them (eBay previously announced they’d make it right in edge cases with no impact on the buyer in such cases which is great news for sellers).
Our reader wonders what will happen when Royal Mail make the delivery confirmation for large letter items live and publicly accessible. More sellers will find that they’re protected as eBay will be able to access the tracking but will eBay suddenly see a huge rise in ‘lost’ untracked items which previously sellers were left footing the bill for?
Royal Mail are to be fair a fantastic service and it’s rare that they misdeliver. If they say an item was popped in a letter box you can be pretty certain that it was, especially if they scanned it at the door step. It would appear more likely, buyers (or someone in their household) simply put the item aside and forget it arrived or in rarer cases simply try it on to get products for free.
This begs the question, how many ‘lost’ untracked items do you have in a year and will you be switching to 2D barcodes or have already done so. It’s great to know that Royal Mail can already provide delivery confirmation if you have an account manager, but once the delivery confirmation information is publicly accessible it appears that you’ll be covered.
Where once you were hung out to dry if you used PPI and an item went missin, in the very near future when all post items carry a barcode it looks like the eBay will be stiffed with footing the loss. If Royal Mail lose an item that’s one thing, but if they say it’s delivered then the seller shouldn’t be held liable, but will eBay suddenly start getting tougher on buyers or will they continue to refund when they think the buyer is genuine and really hasn’t got their item?