More on eBay UK’s 20% discount coupon CTWENTY fiasco

On Monday we heard from a number of people about a coupon eBay sent out offering 20% off if you used the CTWENTY code on Buy it Now sales.

Some people did bag a bargain. Many, however, did not.

CTWENTY did the rounds on social media and, needless to say, was an attractive offer that plenty of folks wanted to to take up. But it turned out to be too good to be true for many people who simply couldn’t redeem the code. An eBay staffer repeatedly replied to disgruntled customers who expected the promised offer on Twitter.

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Additionally, an eBay message was displayed to some users that read: “Our coupon campaign today has proven to be hugely successful with customers and the promotion exceeded all our expectations. Due to huge customer demand, this discount coupon is no longer available and we apologise to any customers who have been unable to participate. We know our buyers love to shop and we regularly offer discount promotions so there will be more opportunities in future.”

Naturally, good deals start to to go viral quickly these days. But it does seem rather shoddy that people who were emailled directly, with the offer and the code, couldn’t take advantage of the deal they were promised. What went wrong?

eBay has yet to make any formal statement on the issue via the Announcement Board. But several Tamebay corespondents have said they are keen to take the issue to Trading Standards or the Advertising Standards Authority. This thread on eBay discussion boards considers the ASA option.

We reckon that eBay should make good on the coupon for anyone they emailed directly with the code. And one Tamebay commenter seems to have had success there after contacting eBay support. They report that eBay CS said of their complaint: “I can assure you that this is being reviewed and we will reimburse your Paypal account with the 20% discount on the item we spoke about. Please allow 14 days for this reimbursement to go back to your Paypal account.” So it may well be worth having a grumble.

We share the frustrations many people have had with the CTWENTY coupon. It just seems incompetent that eBay can’t even get something so seemingly simple as this right. And yet again, when eBay cocks up, they can’t get that right either with reassurance, certainty and clarity. What should be good news for sellers and buyers alike has turned into yet another situation that reinforces negative stereotypes of eBay as untrustworthy.

And this isn’t the first eBay coupon howler we’ve seen of late. Only a few weeks ago we reported on the £100 off eBay coupon that turned out to just be £10.

What do you think? Did you manage to use the coupon or were you rebuffed?

Amended to add this comment from an eBay spokesperson 17:00 on 17th June 2015:

“Our coupon campaign on June 15th proved to be hugely popular with customers and the promotion exceeded all our expectations. Due to huge customer demand, the promotion was suspended. We apologise to any customers who were unable to participate. We will contact and reimburse any UK customer who processed a transaction on June 15th and tried to redeem the coupon but didn’t receive the 20% discount. We know our buyers love to shop and those customers who attempted to redeem the coupon code but were unable to do so on June 15th, will receive an additional voucher in July.”