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eBay Steps In and Saves My Perfect Feedback Rating From Nearly Being Ruined

September 2, 2012

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“I just bought myself some Rob Blake toilet paper, yay!”

That message, along with the predictable red circle with a (-) inside it, was what greeted me in my eBay feedback profile about 12 days ago.

To make matters worse, my Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) showed that I had received a low rating (a 1 or a 2) in the areas of “Item as Described” and “Communication”.  Despite the fact that DSRs are anonymous, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who those ratings came from.

I have been on eBay for over a decade and have never been given negative feedback.  In fact, the only time I have ever received anything but positive feedback was when a buyer left me a neutral rating in error, an issue that he quickly resolved by changing it to the intended positive rating immediately after I contacted him questioning his initial feedback.

So I’m sure you can imagine my dismay when I saw the above noted comment staring back at me from my computer screen.

The message came with absolutely no warning or communication from a first-time customer and was related to a 1990-91 Upper Deck Rob Blake Rookie Card that I had sold to him earlier in the month.

My hard-earned perfect feedback status was suddenly ruined over something that I was completely blindsided by.

Knowing that eBay allows buyers to revise feedback, I immediately sent the customer a very calm and professional message asking why he left the negative feedback and why he didn’t try to contact me to try to find a resolution before he took the leap to leaving negative feedback.

That message was met with a response that can only be described as inaccurate, unreasonable, and smart-assed.

The customer basically implied that I sold him a card that had gone through the laundry (lie #1), that I was trying to scam him (lie #2), and that there was no possible way I could fix the problem (lie #3).

Despite my desire to blast him for thinking I would be stupid enough to risk a perfect feedback rating for a $1 sale (along with my PowerSeller and Top-Rated Seller statuses), I knew I had to take the high road if I wanted to come to a positive resolution.

I knew that I wasn’t going to get anywhere by arguing about the condition of the card or his implications about my motives as a seller, I chose to focus on the fact that I easily could have refunded his money or sent him a replacement of that exact same card that I have in my inventory.

While awaiting a response, I started looking into whether or not I could use anything he has been doing to other sellers against him if things got to the point that I needed to attempt to get eBay involved.

After a number of days with no response I took the step of contacting eBay to get them involved.  I sent an email outlining my concerns about the frivolousness of his accusations against me, along with my concerns about some of the feedback he has left for other sellers and some information included on his “About Me” page that show a level of disdain for sellers that I find troubling.

eBay sent a response asking me to call them to discuss things in more detail, which I did yesterday.

eBay’s policies related to feedback do not make it very easy to have it withdrawn or altered, so I went in knowing that there may not be much that they could do.

As it turns out my expectations were more than exceeded, led by a pair of very helpful customer service reps who I spoke to.  

I first spoke to a person in the general inquiries area who agreed that my concerns about this buyer’s abuse of the feedback system were valid.  She then transferred me over to the customer service area that deals strictly with the feedback system.

That person had a look at the transaction in question, my attempts to reach a resolution with the buyer, and the buyer’s inappropriate response to my attempt at fixing his alleged problem.

The customer service rep completely agreed that I couldn’t possibly have become a PowerSeller and Top-Rated Seller by doing what this person was alleging and that I had taken every reasonable step to fix the supposed problem.

I fully expected that to be the case, as any reasonable person would have been firmly in my corner.

What I wasn’t expecting was what he said next: “I have gone ahead and removed the negative feedback and DSRs as they do not accurately reflect this transaction”.

I was almost as shocked to hear that as I was to see the negative feedback in the first place.

As is evidenced in the Fall Seller Update and this example in particular, I am finally feeling like eBay has been listening to the concerns of sellers and is willing to protect them in addition to the buyers they focussed so much attention on protecting over the past few years.

Not only is my reputation and feedback rating intact, but eBay even went so far as to flag this users account to monitor and address any potential abuses of the system in the future.

So to eBay and the customer service reps who not only heard me out, but helped me out too, I wanted to say THANK YOU!  A potentially damaging incident has been handled as I hoped it would be and my eBay experience can continue in a positive way.

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Do you have any examples on eBay that are similar to what I have recently encountered?  If so, how did eBay help you?  Did they help at all?

Let me know by emailing me at bb_bros@hotmail.com, connecting on Facebook and Twitter, or posting a comment in area below.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | My eBay Store | My Want List | RSS Feed

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