Yesterday I had what will possibly be my last ever fantastic customer service experience on eBay. I’m always astounded at the service many small businesses provide and the levels of service that they give but this is about to end as eBay dictate that sellers remove contact information from listings and ban them from including it in messages.
It’s hard enough running an online business without the deluge of customer queries that come in post sale that have to be dealt with and eBay sellers are second to none, partly just because the are great businesses run extraordinarily well but also because eBay sellers know that defects, poor feedback and sanctions are always just a couple of buyer clicks away. The best businesses don’t focus on feedback however, they just are amazing businesses and it’s one of those businesses I’ve just received world class service from.
Everyone knows that eBay generates more questions and contacts with sellers than selling on just about any other venue, but the key to managing these is to get a system in place that works for you. The seller in question knows that making it easy for buyers to contact them is key and they display their mobile telephone number in their listing descriptions. Sadly they’ll have to remove this next month which is why I doubt I’ll ever experience the same level of customer service again.
So, what happened? I purchased a product on eBay, it arrived via Parcelforce with the packaging intact but when opened it the product was damaged. Seeing the mobile number displayed on the listing it was way easier to ring the retailer than go through eBay messages. They answered the phone, asked for a picture of the damaged item which I sent by text message (we are after all living in a mobile age) and instantly got a reply:
“Hi Chris, Thanks for sending that [the picture] over. I will ensure a replacement is dispatched as soon as possible so please let me know once it is with you. Apologies again”
Now I know I’m breaking all the rules here. I didn’t open a resolution case so eBay won’t have a record that an item arrived damaged and there is zero possibility that the seller can get a defect. I also won’t be able to leave a detailed seller rating star for the fantastic service that the seller gave and I’m well aware that eBay won’t be able to support me if the replacement doesn’t arrive safely. Frankly I don’t care! I’m a customer, I received a damaged item. The seller is putting it right and all it took was one quick phone call and a text message photo. What’s not to like? The seller didn’t care either, they just want to make things right and didn’t even ask for my eBay User Name, all they wanted was my post code and they’ll locate the shipment and despatch a replacement from that information.
I love eBay sellers. They put up with so much and sometimes we forget just how much effort goes into getting items purchased, listed, sold and despatched in the first place let alone fixing issues when something goes wrong. eBay are just going to make it more tedious for both buyers and sellers in the future with their insistence that all contact details are eradicated from the site.
I shall remember this eBay purchase for a very long time. I’ll probably never again enjoy this level of customer service from an eBay seller and it won’t be because sellers aren’t fantastic. I’ll be because eBay is cutting off their ability to provide great customer service.