eBay's live chat - the new way to lose the will to live

17 August 2010

bitterwallet - ebay logoDo a search on eBay for 'crocs' - those ghastly plastic shoes worn by holiday makers and imbeciles - and you'll find about 50,000 items. Many are the garish charms that are fixed to the footwear, but nevertheless there are still thousands of pairs of shoes on sale.

Which is why avid Bitterwallet reader Claire isn't sure why her listing for a pair of crocs was removed by eBay - even after spending two hours on eBay live chat with three of their customer service reps. Initially the listing was flagged up as fraudulent, but then it transpired there was another reason:

eBay: We had to remove you item because, SNB-REACT Netherlands, an intellectual property rights owner, sent us a signed legal statement telling us that your item infringed their copyright, trademark or other rights.

Claire: What does that mean? Are you not allowed to sell Crocs on Ebay any more?

eBay: The rights Owners had issue with you selling their item.

Claire: And...?

eBay: If you think your listing was wrongly removed (or if the rights owner doesn't have an About Me page), you can contact them directly at their email address. If you're able to resolve the issue with the rights owner, and they grant you permission to relist the item, then just ask them to write back to us and we will surely reinstate your item.

Claire: There are thousands of pairs of crocs on ebay - you're telling me that every one of those has emailed some bloke in the Netherlands and they've sent you the explicit permission??

eBay: They are the actual Rights Owners of the item that you are selling.

Claire: And...?

eBay: So, you need to contact them in order to sort this issue as they would be in a better position to make you understand the reason why your item breached their policy.

Claire: But my item hasn't breached any policy!

eBay: In that case you can surely contact the Rights Owners and discuss the issue with them. If your item is reported again and removed repeatedly then it might affect your account status.

Claire: So let me confirm... Some bloke says he doesn't like my listing, but won't say why. You end it, but won't tell me why either. I get threatened that my account status will be 'affected' if I ignore the non-warning, and I'm the one who has to mess around emailing people in Holland to try and work out what is going on? And then when I eventually sort it out, you guys get money for all my hard work?

eBay: I do understand your frustration in this matter. However, you need to contact the Rights owners to sort this issue.

We suspect after the first hour Claire was continuing the conversation purely for shits and giggles, but eventually the supervisor joined the conversation to answer Claire's questions:

Supervisor: The information about the About Me page was provided by the previous representative just to give you further details of the Rights Owner.

Claire: What 'about me' page?! There was no info provided!!

Supervisor: Also, at present, we're not in a position to provide you with the exact details of the breach.

Claire: Why? Because you don't know? Or because you can clearly see there wasn't one?

Supervisor: I'm looking for this Rights Owner's website.

Supervisor: We normally suggests members to check the About Me page of the Rights Owner.

Claire: Which is where?

Supervisor: There is no About me page for this Rights Owner.

The conversation continues for another hour, and only ends when the operator disconnects because Claire becomes suspicious of the staff's command of the English language, since they flatly refuse to answer any of her questions, the sort that any customer would think to ask in the same situation. Furthermore, Claire's account still has a black mark against it, until the 'breach' is resolved with the rights owners. There can't be many better ways to spend a Sunday evening, surely?


  • Daniel Z.
    By GF got the exact same 5h1tty service from fleaBay... Can't someone start bitterwalletBay.com?
  • Nobby
    > Can’t someone start bitterwalletBay.com? FO.LK
  • PokeHerPete
  • Daniel Z.
    Cheers Nobby!
  • Ben
    FeeBay have been getting increasingly disgusting for years, as have paypal (owned by the same folk - nice they charge you each for every item sold, isn't it?) They are a perfect example of how online brand recognition can be lazily manipulated for maximum profit.
  • Real D.
    FO.LK Sucks so Ebay
  • Jimbo
    ebid, gumtree are but a few alternatives. I'v eeven gone back to listing my ps3 in the local paper for 50p because ebay wanted around £40 of what i was asking for it and everyting else that comes with it.
  • Darren
    gumtree is now owned by ebay... lol.. .their empire grows...
  • Jimbo
    your kidding. fuck me.
  • Mark P.
    SNB-React are a Dutch anti counterfeiting organisation. Maybe that's why. http://www.snbreact.nl/snb-react/EN/Abo_AboutUs.htm Ebay are still fucktards through.
  • Scarborian
    They also own a significant lump of Craigslist...
  • james d.
    can we PLEASE have a new auction site. Ebay is now a pile of shite. This sadly is why capitalism works. Ebay have no competition, now they suck. They have no real motivation to not suck because they have no real competition.
  • darkspark88
    It's the consumer that has given eBay the power they currently hold. eBay will purchase every new start up that can possible challenge them, so there is little chance of change unless Google does something that ties in with their Google Checkout Service which is quite good, and probably better with fees than paypal.
  • akiss
    Not on live, but I guess I spoke to the same monkeys as them. I was the seller, and I had a problem with a certain buyer. So I emailed ebay. (Im the seller, he's the buyer-easy enough for a small primate to understand) here's my problem - blah blah blah + hes a complete fuckwit I say, a bit like you but perhaps has a mother who's also his sister. Ebay reply: please email the seller your problem first. Me: noooooo, Im the seller Ebay: sorry, have you tried contacting the seller yet? Me: wtf is dis real? Ebay: What did the seller say? Me: Jesus H Christ. He said "wtf is dis real" just now. Can I speak to the complaints monkey please? Ebay: Hi, my names George, Im from the Jungle Complaints Dept, please try contacting the seller before proceeding. Cross my palm with 3 bananas. Me: Oooooo look, a noose hanging from the ceiling! Ebay: Hello? Hellooooo aaah aaaa aaaaahh oooooooo ooooooo. True Story.
  • RTB
    I had a book I was selling on Ebay pulled because it was about Hells Angels and they apparently "objected" to my use of their apparently copyrighted group name in the item listing. Twats.
  • [email protected]
    ebay cuntew i had some fuck tard use the buy it now ( despite having it set for no neg feedback more than 10 + feedback ) new user with no feedback with no intention of paying and ebay charged me to re list the fucking itme - wankers and then they tried to freeze my account on some bollock money laundering shit to get access to my bank account - - some bullshit about euro laws on money laundering - the could check the transaxtions for fucks sake - Google get your shit togethor and give us some competition for F sake
  • whooshter
    I am in the middle of a really perplexing super messed up row with eBay and PayPal. I sold a few higher value coins (as I have done in the past). FWIW I have over 500 feedback with 100% positive ratings. As soon as I sold the coins I put the special delivery tracking numbers into EBAY'S site, all but one paid via PayPal. I didn't see the need to put the tracking numbers into PayPal too. After a couple of days I got an email from eBay saying due to some unspecified concerns I had to log onto PayPal and do as they required. Until such time my ability to list auctions would be restricted. So I log in to PayPal and they limited my account (with £500 in it) and are demanding that I go to the 'resolution centre' to give them the information they require to 'remove the limitation' based on concerns on my ebay sales. So what do they want to know? You guessed it, the tracking numbers from the eBay sales - which have already been entered into eBay's site. So I duly enter all the details and I wait. A week later I am still waiting. I should add after a few days glowing positive feedback (as well as the tracking showing delivery) has been received on all my recent sales. My call centre experience is precisely the same as above eBay and PayPal both say they don't have access to each other's information yet both are relying on one another to remove restrictions. Both say the department's concerned don't take phone calls and neither can explain what the issue or risk is. Just what does it take to get through to these people. If I send an email message I get a nonsense reply. Both tell me to go to PayPal's resolution centre and complete steps I have already taken. Help!
  • Dangerous D.
    Anti-Monopoly laws anybody? It should be impossible for a company to acquire any other businesses in a sector that they already dominate. You people need to write to your MPs/Governors
  • getitdone
    Ebay is so keen on getting buyers and sellers to provide feedback, but there is no way to provide feedback in using any of EBAY services. My experience of using EBAY LIVE CHAT for avery minor issue reduced to a nervous wreck.
  • anne.marie
    I personnally don't believe the live chat is real...here's why: I contacted them concerning a nonreceived item claim from a guy that lives 2 hrs from me...the guy was new when he purchased my stuff and was no longer registered at the time of the claim -- suspicious. I was then contacted by another seller who investigated and who found out that 5-6 sellers received a dispute from that guy during the same month. So I used the live chat to expose that buyer so that my seller account wouldn't be affected by that loser. Since there was no tracking number paypal couldn't do much for me but promised me a $20 credit, which is nice. But the ebay 'chatter' kept asking me for the tracking number, even tho I wrote there was none, she said I could ask a revision of their decision. I then replied that I wanted to deal with that issue now, she replied I could report the buyer....hello?? that's what I'm trying to do RIGHT NOW. I asked with all due respect if she was a real person or a machine because I had to repeat myself a lot....never got an answer. anybody knows what to do? thank you! Healing_rain
  • Philingengland
    I think its a computer you speak to, not human. The answers I get to my phrases are always slightly "left field" - they just don't seem like the kind of responses you'd get from human beings. Also, it's incredibly slow. Also if you ask a question that requires effort, it seems the system crashes and closes the chat session. Either extremely stupid, slightly odd and lazy people or mediocre software being passed off as customer assistance. Take your pick.
  • Dicey
    Agreed, ebay chat support is shockingly awful. Once you actually get to chat to someone you have to wait ages for each answer, for the most part they just ignore you. I have to keep typing 'Are you still there' over and over as they just disappear for ages. Other than that their responses are always useless and no doubt scripted, they don't know anything and can't resolve anything. All they've done is create a new way to offer useless customer 'support'. Ebay is by far the undisputable champion of utterly pointless and useless customer service on planet earth, it's embarrassing and shameful in fact.

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