PayPal apologises – eBay glitch was their fault

PayPal have written to their merchants saying “We’re sorry for the inconvenience” regarding the glitch where eBay transactions were being paid, but not marked as sold on eBay.

The email says PayPal want to “express our sincere apologies for the technical issue we experienced between 14 January and 20 January that prevented us from correctly completing some transactions on eBay” and tells sellers that PayPal will be refunding all buyers out of PayPals own funds and sellers are free to keep the money.

This means that for sellers who noticed the issue and sent the goods anyway, the buyers will have the product and a free refund so the buyers will be quids in. For sellers who didn’t notice the issue, then the seller is getting some free money.

The real issue here isn’t a bit of free money for sellers however, which is great for sellers who didn’t notice that anything was wrong. The biggest pain point from this glitch was for the sellers who did notice something was wrong and have been assiduously cross checking PayPal payments with their eBay sales just in case there was another transaction that they’d missed.

It’s especially galling that PayPal customer support were denying the issue was their fault, we’ve seen PayPal support emails saying “our system would automatically update eBay with regard to that and eBay should also update your Sold notification. PayPal is not the one who is going to make the notification through the eBay website since we are two separate entities and we do not have access to your eBay account. I assure you that there are no problems with your account with PayPal and this issue should be communicated clearly with eBay“. It turns out that this was baloney and it was a PayPal glitch.

The time it takes to keep cross checking for missing transactions and then adjusting stock levels is significant, especially as PayPal have effectively told sellers they might as well have not bothered to ship any items as they could have ignored the transactions and kept the money anyway.

We know that the last thing that PayPal want is issues like this, eBay don’t need them either. They shouldn’t happen but unfortunately they do. How did you handle the situation? Did you ship items sold or did you not even notice you may have some extra unaccounted for payments in PayPal?