eBay contact sellers affected by Sunday outage

By Chris Dawson September 16, 2014 - 1:04 pm

eBay have written to sellers who had items ending during the technical issue on the 14th September laying out how they will be protected and associated fee credits. They emphasise that no personal data was compromised by the incident.

We’ve had many enquiries from sellers as to how eBay should compensate sellers who believe they’ve lost money due to the five or so hours outage. Whilst it would be nice to be compensated for sales that didn’t happen or for auctions that you believe should have sold for a higher price, it’s worth remembering that almost every company does (and every company should!) have a no consequential damages clause in their user agreements.

If you check, your courier, software suppliers, product suppliers and probably every company you do business with will have a consequential damages waiver in the contract you agreed to and eBay is no different. eBay’s user agreement lays this out, stating that shall not be liable for consequential losses and that this specifically also applies to delays or disruptions in their services.

As a side note, you should be receiving credits for any affected listings from the incident on the 3rd of September by today. eBay said the credits will be applied to your account by 16th of September and will be reflected on your next invoice.

Here’s the message from eBay in full:

A message regarding eBay’s 14 September technical issue

I’m writing to you today about the recent technical issues that have affected our platform and to let you know that we’re protecting you.

On Sunday 14 September, a number of eBay sites and customer service platforms around the world experienced intermittent issues. When the disruption began—at 11:15am BST—our eBay Technology Team immediately began work towards resolving it. By 6:45pm BST that day, they had restored the vast majority of site functionality.

The personal information of our customers was not compromised by this incident.

We know how much it matters to your livelihood that eBay functions properly and that lately our performance hasn’t met your expectations. We apologise for this, and we’re taking steps to make sure that we exceed your expectations going forward.

As a seller with transactions impacted by this issue, we’ll protect you in the following ways:

  • We’ll automatically credit all fees for certain listings that ended between 11:15am BST and 8:45pm BST on Sunday 14 September. The additional 2 hours will help make sure we assist all of our sellers who may have been affected.
    • The fee credit will apply to auction-style listings that ended (except those that sold for a Buy it now price) and any fixed price listings that ended without a sale (except 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings). If the affected listing was a free listing, it can be relisted for free within 7 days, even if you’ve used all allotted free listings.
  • Any transaction defects we can identify as resulting from this issue will be removed and will not impact your performance record.

The credits will be applied to your account by 23 September and will be reflected on your October invoice.

Nothing is more important to us than our customers, and we’re committed to maintaining your trust.

As always, thank you for selling on eBay.

  • Tony
    6 years ago

    Does that include the 10% postage premium they Greedily apply to the final Sale value I listed 10 items ended sunday about 8pm 6 sold yes sold!!! 4 did not although I suspect I would have got more bids & more sales,second time I have been caught out this month Ebay outage.

    Interestingly I was out at my local boot sale bargain hunting & tried Ebay from about 9am till around 11am nothing worked I do like to search ebay to see if I can buy something & sell for a profit or bag a bargain, researching the sold items or checking my ebay did not work at all.

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    Ebay know that 75% or more of auction bidding takes place in the last few minutes of an auction. Have ebay indicated that they will permit sellers who had auctions ending during outage time to cancel auction transactions if the seller wishes without any penalty? If not this is worrying for the future.

  • john
    6 years ago

    There would have been lost revenue to sellers for the downtime period on buy now’s. But as ebay has next to no PR for sellers the liability disclaimer in there user agreement takes care of that lol

    just love the statement ” we’re taking steps to make sure that we exceed your expectations going forward.”

    That’s not going to be hard lol

    • oldhand
      6 years ago

      Today they call it spin, I remember when they used to call it lying.

      “The additional 2 hours will help make sure we assist all of our sellers who may have been affected.” No that’s false, and they know it, they are expert at psychology.

      Some of my relatively high value items (many tens but not hundreds of pounds) didn’t get any more bids from the early morning/previous evening. Just as the psychology of a bidder is that they feel a kind of ‘ownership’ of an item they have bid on when they can’t bid, especially after trying multiple times, they give up, view the item as lost. I suspect at least a couple of items of mine that ended just past the two hour ‘addition’ would have garnered more bids.

      I have made it my policy throughout life to avoid dealing with morons, unfortunately eBay has a de facto monopoly.

  • Martin
    6 years ago

    There is a substantial difference between what ebay are legally required to do, and what might make sense from a PR standpoint. I believe the recent outages have severely damaged the ebay brand, and the trust and confidence of their users.

    I suspect that ebay won’t do anything about this, because they are arrogant and market dominant.

    If the market was more competitive then they would be stupid to do nothing.

    Almost every company that has had poor attitudes to customers suffers in the end. Pride cometh before the fall.

    • Gerry007
      6 years ago

      Pride = Arrogance in ebay’s case……

    • Wiseowl
      6 years ago

      Face it folks, ebay doesn’t give a shit about you, me, Tamebay, or even itself. It will carry on doing whatever it likes cos the cash still flows in whatever it does.

  • Michael G
    6 years ago

    More pro-eBay shilling from Tamebay. Whatever contracts might say about consequential damage, if eBay were an honourable company, they would do more to compensate sellers for their shitty service. Collectively, sellers will have lost hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds because of the outage; even if eBay didn’t pay direct cash compensation, they could easily offer to waive £50 / £100 of future fees per seller (or an appropriate individual amount based on sales data) in recognition of their terrible technical record in the last month or so.

    But of course, they’re not an honourable company. In fact, I can’t think of many other companies in the history of commerce who hold their customers – many of whom spend several thousand pounds a month on fees – in lower regard.

  • Gemma
    6 years ago

    Just been doing our accounts for discovered two orders from Sunday that we didn’t know we had, and consequently they haven’t been sent. Have just emailed the customers to explain and let them know we will send their orders on a Next Day service on Monday and hopefully they will understand but am furious with eBay. We never received the above message from eBay, and once again because we only list GTC Fixed price listings, they deem us to be unaffected and not entitled to anything. If you only have GTC listings and they were available for sale when the outage occurred, I would advise to go back and reconcile your sales against your Paypal payments. I will be contacting eBay to let them know, and requesting recompense on behalf of ourselves and our customers, but not holding out much hope…

  • Dave from Trumpton
    6 years ago

    Year by Year Ebay becomes more repulsive

  • JD
    6 years ago

    Not a total eBay outage (so far) today but lots of sellers are reporting on the PSB that clicking on a shops link brings up an error message stating that the eBay shop does not exist. Both the new and classic style shops are affected.
    PSB thread (log in required):

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