eBay’s Defect Rate is too high: Not as described, bad comms & fails to deliver #ebaydown

First, an apology and a vote of thanks.

Due to eBay’s 5+ hour long full outage yesterday, Tamebay was overwhelmed with traffic. We’re sorry that some of you couldn’t access Tamebay at times yesterday and we apologise for that. We’ll see what we can do to improve our capacity for future eBay meltdowns. We’ll keep you posted.

And Thanks. Dozens of you emailed in to say eBay was down and we did our best to ensure people knew that: here on the site, using Twitter and via Facebook too. We also replied to dozens of emails. But your tip-offs were vital and we’re very grateful. You’re the stars.

And that’s kind of why eBay’s performance is put into such bleak relief. At Tamebay we were aware eBay wasn’t accessible at all for most of the time between 11am BST and 16:30BST in the UK. We also knew international friends could not access the site either: Germany, Philippines, US, Australia to name but a few.

eBay must have received emails too, and they have a vast army of employees. Even so: Tamebay managed to alert eBay users before eBay themselves that there was a problem using the marketplace. Certainly Chris and I both couldn’t access the site and we used external sites to ascertain there was a problem.

We feel strongly that eBay let buyers and sellers down by offering little in the way of information. We also believe that such a lack lustre performance shows a great deal of disrespect to eBay buyers and sellers – paying customers.

So, what next?

Compo?
There should be. But remember that they haven’t emailed sellers as promised after the 3rd September meltdown yet. I think there needs to be something quite generous for all sellers affected by this long outage, auction sellers in partic, as well as Shop subscribers. Watch this space. We’ll be pressing eBay for clear info on what fee payers should expect after the second boo-boo this month. We don’t hold our breath, sadly.

Comms?
Why has eBay proved itself to be so poor at telling sellers when something so serious is going on? Don’t forget that in the UK, Europe and US there are plenty of highly paid eBay executives employed in communications. It’s hard to see that they have done their job these past few days when there have been several serious customer impacting fecal fan interface incidents.

Cojones?
Come on Devin Wenig. Step forward Tanya Lawler. You get paid the big bucks, pocket the options and probably don’t weep when you see that bonus cheque. When things go wrong customers deserve a real apology. So far eBay has not addressed genuine seller annoyance. And people have faced genuine failure in the eBay service. Where is the explanation?

eBay needs to step up. Not least because they have asked sellers to do just that with new, tough, testing Defect Rates introduced in August with only minimal opportunity to appeal.

Dear eBay: you’ve lost your TRS. Your defect rate is too high. Since the start of September, the product you’re selling isn’t as described, you have failed to communicate and also failed to deliver on time. How will you be raising your game?

Edited to add: A senior eBay Exec has stepped up with an apology and explanation of what went wrong

A Message From Sri Shivananda, VP of eBay’s Global Platform & Infrastructure Group

As the person responsible for managing eBay’s technology team, I would like to take this opportunity to address the technical issues that occurred early Sunday morning Pacific Time.

First, on behalf of the company and our team, I apologize to the eBay customers affected by this incident. As a marketplace, we understand how important it is that we maintain a reliable platform for our buyers and sellers. We regret that today we didn’t meet the high expectations our customers have for us.

We are currently examining the details around today’s disruption. Based on our investigation so far, we believe it may have been the result of unexpected power issues with storage arrays linked to some of our databases. These issues caused a limited number of databases to go offline, interrupting site functionality for some users.

Over the years, eBay has enjoyed an excellent track record for system uptime and reliability. But we recognize that we’ve experienced multiple issues in recent months related to our infrastructure. As a technology company, we take these issues very seriously.

We are working now to put in place additional measures to keep disruptions to an absolute minimum. Also, in recent months, we have been working to implement additional layers of security and improvements to site performance to make our marketplace more robust than ever. We’re confident we are making the right changes to ensure we have the people, process and infrastructure in place to lead in commerce.

Nothing is more important than the trust of our customers. We are committed to making sure our infrastructure maintains that trust every day.