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How long are you waiting to get through to eBay UK Customer support?

By Dan Wilson October 6, 2014 - 9:31 am

We get a lot of emails from readers. Keep ’em coming. You’re our most vital source of stories and we love to hear from you.

But sometimes it’s difficult to pin down whether there might be a general, universal issue or if some eBay sellers are just experiencing isolated problems. We like to verify tip-offs we get (because relying on hearsay would be dodgy) and we look for multiple reports of eBay glitches. We also like to give eBay the right of reply too, where we can, so they can give their side of the story.

eBay Customer SupportIn the past few days we’ve received quite a few reports of long, long waiting times on eBay’s phone Customer Support lines and we wanted to open up the discussion to find out whether you’ve been experiencing delays. Some of the reports we’ve had have said that waiting times on the customer support lines were between 300 and 500 minutes. That does seem like a long wait.

We’ve also received (but not verified) several reports saying that on Saturday and Sunday this weekend that CS wasn’t taking non-urgent calls at all. The pre-recorded message is said to have alerted callers to long waits and to stay on the line for things that were urgent.

We’ve asked eBay about this and they have helpfully given us a statement for which we’re grateful:

We apologise that due to exceptionally high levels of calls, some members are experiencing an unacceptable delay in their calls being answered in the last 48 hours. We are sorry about this and have made changes to improve the situation significantly. We will continue to do all we can to keep delays to an absolute minimum.”

They have also noted that their records show that noone has been hanging on for anything like 500 minutes. The average wait time for TRS callers has been five minutes although some isolated callers have had longer waits.

eBay Phone Waiting TimesThere’s a lot of change on eBay for sellers right now and there have been glitches too that will add to the volumes. Servicing a large body of users properly for any organisation is a large endeavour. But it would be interesting to hear more views.

So how long have you been waiting recently on the CS lines?

Updated to add: Just checked the wait time as a buyer… it’s currently 37 minutes for a call back. Not unlike the call back times sometimes for my gas and leccy company. What do you think, good, bad or indifferent, at least if nothing else I know I’ve time for lunch before I’ll get a call back.

  • paddy
    3 years ago

    I would say that 70 to 80% of the time the wait only a minute or so. Occasionally the queues are very long but that tends to tie in with an outage or update to the site.

    • Steve
      3 years ago

      I agree, usually only a few minutes waiting but sometimes they are busy so if longer select the “call back” option and they will call you back which is usually pretty quick (normally within a few minutes).

      If it takes longer then its probably because of me bytching about Defects or something similar! :)

  • Tim
    3 years ago

    We used to get about 8minutes average wait time a few months ago which was absolutely fine. After the newest September update wait times have gone up considerably to a few hours every time. There’s been times where there are 100+ people in the queue. I envy anyone who is able to speak with someone within 30 minutes.

    This is for the live chat, have not tried phoning in.

  • Kieran
    3 years ago

    I have experienced call waiting times of one hour on average in the past week.

    I believe it relates to the new seller performance / defect system coming into force.

    We ourselves were hit with a “below average” performance calculation for ebay DE and ebay US.

    I would consider ourselves to be excellent sellers on ebay, we have been on ebay since 2002 and we do reasonable business on the platform.

    We ship orders same day using Priority Airmail and cannot do anything more than this in my opinion, yet we are being hit on “item not received” cases on these international platforms because the priority airmail does not reach the customer within EBAY’s estimates, the cases are in most cases closed a few days after they are opened because the customer receives the goods but the damage is already done on our account.

    We cannot using a tracked shipping service because the cost of our goods is so low, and even if we did i doubt that it would meet ebay’s 3-5 day delivery to Germany.

    I do not know what we can do to become above standard for these international platforms when ebay set such short delivery times which cause our “not received defects”, ebay support had no solutions for us.

    I imagine we are not the only sellers who now have more limited accounts now that the defect system has come in, it just seems too much of a coincidence that on the day we got an email telling us that our selling privileges have been limited we experienced the longest ever call time to support, and support were as much use as a chocolate tea pot when we did get through.

    Ebay have essentially encouraged us to focus more time on Amazon with their broken systems.

    I can only hope that the new systems fails across the board and they lose a lot of money so that they might rethink the requirements of the defects system, the waiting time for the call center might then go back to more normal waiting times.

    Why did any one else call ebay support recently? Did it relate to seller performance / your account status?

  • john
    3 years ago

    I avoid dealing with custard support. Its a waste of time in my opinion they hardly ever solve problems. (And if they do chances are it is a very simple problem that should not have happened in the first place lol )

    And further more its a very serious situation when customer support knows less about the workings of ebay than many of the sellers do. Many times we have had to point them to there own help pages.

    Unless its cut and dry its not worth calling them. You will either get stone walled or or if you are lucky it gets escalated to a department that will look over the problem.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      obstuctive and patroniseing is our experiance , the seller cant always be in the wrong surely?

  • Rich
    3 years ago

    Gave up using customer support, long waiting times and often came off feeling humiliated. A disgrace.

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Compare buyer and seller call waiting times. Could make for interesting reading.

  • Chris Mc
    3 years ago

    I was TRS for around 10 years and was always surprised at complaints about ebay customer services waiting time as it was always quick for me. After the new defect system came into play we lost TRS status as our defect rate was 2.03%. Since then, the call waiting times have increased to over 1 hour for me. Now that there is hardly any TRS’s left, i assume ebay have gotten rid of the extra phone staff. Now i have an extra £500 per month in ebay fee’s, reduced sales and long waiting times on the phone. Not at all happy

  • bunchy
    3 years ago

    Can I ask if the quality of help available on the phone is better than the one on live help?
    I spent over an hour waiting to be connected last week, only to be transferred 4 times and eventually cut off. Complete and utter waste of time.

    Do the staff on the phone know anything, or is it just a case of pass-the-customer?

  • 3 years ago

    We are giving up on ebay. We have two options: either try keep selling on it and increase the fees, or stop selling. If we stop selling how we will make an income. Can’t speak to them, no one knows really what is happening, I don;t even want to waste my time calling them. Where else to sell? Really not happy with ebay for the last one year.

  • JSuica
    3 years ago

    Disconnected 2 times today after a 25 minute wait each time. 2 random unresolved technical problems regarding selling manager scheduled listings. NO follow-up on either problem that could not be resolved by over an hour prior chat sessions, the customer service reps do not refer to prior chat information but simply waste time asking the same question. NOW WHAT? I suggest that we send all transcripts of problems to the corporate office.

  • Paula
    3 years ago

    phoned last week, initial wait time said 22 minutes, 63 minutes later managed to get through, was being transferred to another department message said wait would be 38 minutes so requested call back. Call back said 243 minutes, phone rang after 280 minutes, twice, then received email that call back was unanswered!
    I’m a TRS / powerseller with 1 defect (from a customer that took 3 attempts to deliver to because he wasn’t in when delivery attempted and then decided to leave 3* for delivery).

  • Ann Jones
    3 years ago

    Ebay CS call waiting times as of today on ebay UK is 116minutes!
    We have a petioion taking off, please support
    Please join this campaign: http://www.change.org/p/ebay-uk-ebay-will-you-listen-to-the-sellers-who-are-your-customers?recruiter=161686649&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

    • TWseller
      3 years ago

      Sorry Ann, but the petition isn’t good enough. It may be a good idea, but the execution isn’t up to scratch.

      Grammar is poor, it sounds like a rant, with a lack of evidence to support the points made..

      To attach my company name to such a petition I would really want a more professional presentation of the issues.

      If I was ebay I’d probably ignore this petition.

  • LJ
    3 years ago

    I find that call waiting times on my eBay business account is vastly different than my personal eBay account. I just got through to CS in 9 minutes on my personal account, yet waited for well over an hour for a call back on my business account.

    • Ian A
      3 years ago

      Business sellers are mistreated. I put some auctions on my private and they have got nearly twice the bids they have on my business account. Its like once you go business you’re rated by the same criteria as the big sellers and if you dont have the sell through rate of Toys R Us you get zero to bugger-all visibility.

    • Jon
      3 years ago

      I always use my business account to call eBay. If my call is relating to my non business account I just tell them to log into my non business account. You don’t have to call up the Philippines ever again if you have business account.

  • Andy R
    3 years ago

    Tried unsuccessfully last week.

    Was stuck in a queue and was offered the ring-back option, which I took.

    Waited a couple of hours and the ring back never came, so we went out.

    Got back later and did the 1471 on the phone: an international number (presumably Ebay) had called. The waiting time had been 3 hours and 45 minutes. A brief message had been left by an Irish woman, saying she was sorry to have missed me and to call back if I needed further help!

    Why the ***ing heck did they withdraw the email contact?

    I noticed it came back briefly on one of their meltdown days (there have been so many, I forget which one it was).

    As for the online chat, it is complete pants.

    The quality of CS there is abysmally low.

    Still going on about deleting browser cookies, no matter was the question is about.

    GAAAAAAARGHHH!

    • Wheeze
      3 years ago

      Ha ha, yes it’s always clear your cookies and cache no matter what the problem is. I’ve given up calling them, it’s always your fault no matter what the problem is, technically, customer or otherwise, I just don’t bother now.

  • Louise James
    3 years ago

    Just tried to call them to be told they are on an emergency shut down.

    • 3 years ago

      Louise,

      Can you clarify what was said and how it was communicated?

      dw

  • Louise James
    3 years ago

    It was a voice recorded message saying along the lines of ‘Thank you for calling ebay, we are sorry but we cannot take your call due to an emergency shut down. Please try again later’.

    It is reported on the .com ebay forum also as early as last night. Didn’t realise it was here too.

    • 3 years ago

      Thanks. And “emergency shutdown” was the phrase used?

      Just got to be sure.

  • Louise James
    3 years ago

    The exact phrase used. It’s what made me panic and look for an announcement so I checked e-mails – nothing, I went to the forums, found that on .com but nothing on .co.uk and then came here.

  • 3 years ago

    Call waiting was 2 hours at 3pm today and live chat was 20 mins, tried the live chat and the eBay operator was absolutely useless. They offered no solution and asked me to try and call back when it was less busy.

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    Ebay would get a lot more sympathy if they were honest.

    “The average wait time for TRS callers has been five minutes although some isolated callers have had longer waits.”

    This just isn’t true. I have had to make 3 calls myself in the last week and I am TRS. The lowest wait has been stated as 35 minutes, although it took well over an hour for the promised call back to arrive. Look at the other comments. these are not isolated in any conceivable way.

    Their system hasn’t been working properly. I have twice been told the average wait was “2 100 43” minutes whatever that means.

    If ebay has had glitches that have caused this call volume then lets discuss a few basic ideas.

    1. Freeze system development until faults can be corrected
    2. Effectively develop and test changes before releasing
    3. Listen to your customers. If you believe the customer comments here and elsewhere ebay are alerted to a lot of the problems, before changes are released, by their customer consultation process, yet ignore the feedback they are given. They then have to change again after 6 months to correct the very errors they were warned about.

    This is a defective process, and it must cost a fortune in extra support staff and loss of customer goodwill.

    There is currently an error on the system incorrectly stating an item doesn’t meet the requirements for Premium Service discount, when it does. This has been reported also on other blogs in the UK and USA. There has been no announcement from ebay, no stated correction time, no correction, CS don’t even seem to be informed about it.

    No wonder they receive so many calls.

  • jon
    3 years ago

    I have had to ring numerous times over the last few weeks as I had 450 auctions caught up in the 14th September outage (I still have a defect rate of over 7% which will allegedly automatically come off but I am very nervous as we were 0.88% and fear the ban hammer for no fault of our own) and we have never had a wait time of less than hour; the staff sound harassed and stressed, being prickly with us sometimes, but I don’t blame them given the strain they have been under for months.

    Obviously something has gone very wrong at ebay as we noticed a significant increase from the start of May when the defects started to count (3 month evaluations) and we started ringing and fighting every one as we have to protect our business. This ill thought out, rushed policy has been an absolute disaster. You have dolphins beings caught up in it, CS melt down is complete with the phone lines “emergency downtime” and an arrogant higher management that won’t admit they got it wrong and roll back. Could you imagine if small business trying to trade on ebay acting in this way; the defect rate they would receive would see them booted off in no time. Couple that with hacks, sales plumetting and is it 12 outages this year? This has to be ebays worst year ever, sadly.

  • Ian A
    3 years ago

    Was quoted a waiting time of 39 minutes when I logged on yesterday. Have they fired half their staff?! If not its surely as you say above, people trying to protect their businesses from this unfair rating system. I used to be able to get on to support in 5-10 mins max

  • john
    3 years ago

    Even if you do get CS to escalate a site Bug/fault its not been unknown for it to take over a year to get it fixed.

    You really could not make this carp up lol

    The inept handling of things by ebay has been going on for so long you have to be accepting off the situation.

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    If these cases of long waits are “isolated” affecting a few callers according to ebay, why does their recorded message say “We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes”? Even their own message shows they are not being honest.

    To speak to someone 45 minutes. Call back 33 minutes. I’ll report back on actual performance.

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    I said I would report back, and to be fair this time ebay hit their call back promise. Approx 35 minutes from placing the request.

    Amazingly I also got them to remove a neg as well from a rather unpleasant buyer.

    A word of warning. Any seller who lists in Toys and Games and offers products internationally, may wish to check their listing on ebay.it. The transfer of products into Italian categories appears haphazard, and I discovered all kinds on products from many international sellers incorrectly classified by ebay.it into static models (Modellismo Statico), moving models like Radio Control (Modellismo Dinamico), and already made model vehicles (Macchinine e miniature). Consequently there are static plastic kits wrongly listed as Radio Control type products or already made model cars, diecast cars with no motor also wrongly listed in Radio Control models. There are so many models from international sellers wrongly classified by ebay Italy in this way it is no surprise when a buyer makes an error.

  • Kay
    3 years ago

    I have spent four and a half hours on hold to various departments to resolve one problem.
    Sunday I was told that it needed to be resolved by ebay.com and was promised a call in 24 hours – No call received.
    Today I phoned again, spoke to a CS rep who said that she would call me and put me through to the US at 1pm – No call received.
    CS at ebay UK is in complete meltdown and they are unable to cope with the number of calls being received.
    It is appalling customer service and, if I ran my business like they do, I wouldn’t expect to be around for long.
    Sadly it seems that eBay has lost touch with reality

  • Alan
    3 years ago

    I was informed there was an 87 minute wait, too long for me. I will put up with everything ebay do, without complaint, right up to the point I leave. Why moan? They are what they are.

  • John Pemberton
    3 years ago

    I have always had a good experience with eBay support, both on the phone support in Ireland, Account management and on line chat. Problems are sorted first time and I have had call backs if a problem is more complex.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      we think hobbits are real too

  • Jon
    3 years ago

    The wait is normally quite acceptable being 6 minutes today. But on Saturday the predicted wait was 389 minutes. Twice I had to wait over 80 mins last week. What I do find annoying though is eBay stating that “noone has been hanging on for anything like 500 minutes”. Obviously not! We have lives to live. Who is going to wait all day for eBay support? As soon as I heard 389 mins I hung up. Twice in the last 3 weeks I waited over an hour for a callback only to be greeted with total silence…. & I never received an email stating they tried to call me. eBay often drag their tail in the dirt….deliberately wiping out their tracks.

  • Dave P
    3 years ago

    Waits have been upwards of 30 mins every time recently however with the call me back feature it hasn’t bothered me much. I can imagine if I had an immediate issue that needed dealing with then I would feel very different

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Reported a serial “bid withdrawn” offender using ebay report message system and auto generated reply asked me to phone in! Sorry but the serial offender (38 withdrawn bids in 4 months including 2 on one of my sales with an incremental rise each time) will keep on offending however it is now on my banned list. ebay must know anyway but don’t do anything about it.

  • Simon M
    3 years ago

    Although I’m generally satisfied with eBay (I am a TSR), I no longer have any positive expectations from their Customer Services team. If I have a problem, I will e-mail them, and then I will forget about it unless they reply – after 8 years with them, experience has taught me most of the time they will not resolve an issue to my (not unreasonable) satisfaction.

    Indeed, my latest dispute with them has left me out of pocket to the tune of around £100 (eBay have incorrectly been invoicing me – and admitted it too – but seem unable to refund me correctly, even after 12 weeks). However, I refuse to waste additional time and resources getting the fair result – a bitter pill to swallow, but I was brought up to expect life not to be fair.

    And as for waiting on hold for 4+ hours? Are you kidding me!? I’m sorry – my time is worth much more than that, and I will use those 4 hours to list some more stock on Amazon.

    S.

  • Merlo
    3 years ago

    It’s currently so bad it’s a joke. Always transferred, always cut off. Gave up on the phone and tried chat. Cut off twice. Amazon are 10x better. The joke is that I am trying to solve a problem that would allow me to sell more internationally which they are desperate to promote.

  • Chris
    3 years ago

    i have had cause to ring 7 or 8 times over 7 days and wait times have been from 15 minutes to 50 minutes. Ebay saying average wait is 5 minutes is, in my recent experience, far from the truth. Their service is awful and as such I have moved over to Amazon and ended all ebay listings

  • Darrin
    3 years ago

    One day last week one of my part time staff requested a call back at 11am and was quoted 80 minutes. eBay called back at 3:30 after she had gone home.
    I’m not happy with the new managed returns policy. If a customer uses returns to exchange for a different product then eBay say we have to refund them and ask them to repurchase. Also we are being charged return postage by eBay but they say I am unable to view these charges until next months bill

  • Pete Loxham
    3 years ago

    Hugely frustrating, getting through to customer service isn’t too bad, but trying to get through to the resolution team that remove defects is a disgrace.

    I called CS today, which was fine, asked to be put through to remove a couple of defects, I was told the wait time was 15 minutes, 51 minutes later I managed to get through to resolution team. The guy on the other end is now back to scripting, I advised that the first defect I would like to be considered for removal was for a customer who opened a case for item not received and then within a few minutes closed it with an apology that he had received the item and had made a mistake. I would have thought this a relatively easy case to establish however the rep (I believe based in India) went away for 10 minutes to investigate, he came back and said the rectification would be removed but then started asking if I had contacxted the customer etc,, very strange, Case 2 the buyer opened a return as item defective and then appologiesed and closed the return saying he had purchased the wrong part number (I sell technical parts) again I would have thought this quite easy but again it took the cs a while to establish and get mixed up.

    In all the call tool 1hour and 10 minutes to remove two defects, do ebay think we really have the time to spend trying to iron out the flaws in their awful system?

    Unfortunately this is poor design, poor support and counterproductive for all involved

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    were simply not chaseing or begging unjust and unfair defect removal
    its upto ebay to have a realistic and fair policy ,if they cant its their loss

  • Adam
    3 years ago

    47 Mins and counting! Totally unacceptable

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