eBay SNAD and INR defects: Will they be removed?

By Chris Dawson November 4, 2014 - 8:01 am

Kristina wrote to Tamebay to share her experience of these returns through the new managed returns system.

She supplies costumes where any number of claims can be made for SNAD and so was very worried about the effect on her defect rate. Here’s what she had to say:

I recently had a case where the buyer bought a Costume and claimed it looked slightly darker than the picture and there were loose threads. These come in packaging and so I checked when it arrived. The colour was as expected and the stitching was fine. I did not want to dispute the buyers claims as heard so may horror stories about eBay siding with the buyer plus the big fat negative feedback on my page. I was happy to return buyers full costs including return postage but did not want the defect on my account. I opened a chat with eBay and they kindly confirmed that as long as I refunded the buyer, they would remove the defect – Happy days!

It is not all good though. I recently had an INR case opened. the same day, the buyer popped to the post office and it was there awaiting collection due to buyer not being home. I asked eBay if they could remove this and they replied “Kindly understand that we cannot remove defect for opened cases. Note that the mere fact that the buyer opened a case shows that there was a dissatisfaction on how the transaction went. Did you upload tracking with your stated handling time? If not, make sure you follow through on that promise“.

I do not offer tracking on lower items and asked how this would be different as the buyer still would have had to follow the same actions. she replied “We want sellers to inform buyers about the tracking information and delivery details as we want buyers to avoid opening a case and for you to get a defect“.

The reason we do not send as tracked is because of the price of our items and the items that we do send tracked do not always get signed for at the other end either. There will come a time when eBay is no longer a cheap alternative to the high street as sellers will be covering for their tracking costs to avoid defects.

It is a shame that on the one hand eBay are happy to keep sellers happy who keep customers happy but then they are pushing sellers to conform to a unified way of selling or be pushed out.

Editors Note:

It’s great to see that the first defect was removed. We’ve seen this before, especially if a product has a history of great feedback and it’s simply one buyer who’s not happy with the merchandise but the rest of the buying experience was great.

For the second instance Kristina is right, eBay want buyers to be informed where their package is and sadly this generally means offering a tracked service. It’s too easy for a “While you were out” card to go missing. There’s a cost for this of course which simply doesn’t make sense for light weight items so seller have the difficult choice of weighing costs against defect rates. This is less of an impact for letter box sized items, but for larger packages that don’t fit through the door.

Have you changed your shipping methods since eBay introduced defects? Have you increased the number of items you send tracked?

  • 3 years ago

    What do I have to do for eBay remove a defect for an item “not as described” if I refund the buyer? In my experience, and according to the Customer Support staff I have talked to, the defect is there whatever I do. Can someone please let me know how they have managed to have these defects removed? Who do I talk to, or preferably write to?

    As far as I know (it is difficult to know sometimes), the only defects I have had removed so far have to do with revised feedback.

    I had a very long conversation to a member of Customer support recently, over one hour on the phone. He was very keen to understand all my queries and equally keen to not respond positively to any of them, defending eBay’s defect system and lack of an appeal procedure as if they were his personal brainchild (maybe they are!). It ended up with him arguing that it was a case of the view of a small seller against the view of the corporation and there would never be an agreement (obviously the view of the corporation is carved in stone and my reasoning simply bounced off it).

    The most blatant of the defects I was trying to contest is a case where, more than 30 days after buying my product, a customer from Spain opened a Paypal dispute because he had not received it. I, as Kristina, do not use “Signed” postage, as it would impact highly the total price of our products, even more so for international sales (our average price is around £5.50). I refunded the buyer, as I always do. I could not open a case to cancel the sale and have the final value fee refunded because it was too late.
    Three days later, I received the letter returned by the Spanish postal service with a stamped form saying that the details were “Unknown”. I have this proof that I sent the letter, in time, etc. and that the problem originated with the customer not giving me the correct details. I asked Customer Support: where can I send this proof of posting so that the defect is removed? Nowhere, apparently. No one, at least not this guy, will move a finger to protect my seller status.

    I have, by the way, written to Customer Support about defects two or three times, without even an automated email acknowledging that they had received my message as a response. No response at all to written queries. This is, at the very least, rude.

    Is eBay not harming its own reputation with buyers by making it look like sellers of low value items, like Katrina and me, are always getting it wrong?

    • Jon
      3 years ago

      If the buyer leaves a positive feedback & a low DSR score it can not be reviewed by the buyer. I was left a low DSR for SNAD for an item that I accidentally sent to the wrong person. A case was opened for SNAD prompted by eBay. When the person received the correct item they were happy but the low DSR sticks with me for a year. The DSR system is flawed.

    • 3 years ago

      Jon, it is also the case that eBay considers a three star DSR a “LOW” rating and a defect. We have cases of buyers leaving glowing feedback comments and a positive feedback but a three star DSR for maybe speed of dispatch, or description. The thing is, to many people a three star rating is a positive rating, or neutral at worst. This is a typical situation with buyers from Germany (we sell quite a bit to Germany). The item arrived in the expected timeframe, nothing to report: three star rating for dispatch time. The item is a boring piece of kit that does not blow anybody’s mind and is exactly as described: three star rating. This has been a positive experience for the buyer, as the positive feedback reflects. Nevertheless eBay records a defect.

    • Jon
      3 years ago

      Exactly. In most sane human brains the number 3 being the middle of No 1 & 5 would be considered average. Not good but not bad. In other words Neutral. Another pair of the same socks you always buy for work would be considered pretty much an average purchase by most folks. The fact eBay frown on a 3 rating is so obviously flawed & unfair it reeks of very very old socks indeed! But then what do we expect, when on Planet eBay even a Neutral Feedback is considered as bad as a Negative Feedback! eBay need to use a dictionay & look up what Nuetral means & change it to a more appropiate word so that buyers are not unwittingly crippling some poor traders business.

  • Jono
    3 years ago

    “Have you increased the number of items you send tracked?”

    Too right we have. eBay will soon be re-named freeBay. I have myself heard 3 times in the past two weeks people talking about getting free items from eBay. As a seller myself I linger to hear more. All comment about if there is no tracking, claim for INR as you will always win. eBay have made it so easy. I even heard two well dressed polite women saying, well eBay is a huge company, they can afford it!! Err it’s not eBay that foots the bill it’s us sellers!

    They don’t even think it’s fraud. All three were completely different ages and from different backgrounds.

    For us, selling clothing we have already changed half of our items to Royal Mail Tracked 24/48. This is a lot more secure than simple signed for and has 5 stages of tracking – you do need to do the volumes though to get the better prices.

    I posted the huge increase in INR in the eBay Powerseller forums and so many sellers were shocked by how many they were getting if they sat down and worked it out. One seller was loosing more money monthly due to eBay INR than they paid in business rent – crazy! It won’t be long that unless you send tracked you will set yourself up to fail. Defects, loss in profits etc.

    Why is it just eBay? Amazon and our own website has none of these issues. Oh hang on, eBay advertise on every page how they can get their money back if they don’t get your item – what serious website says that!

    We have decided to drastically change the type of items we sell on eBay, and by this time in 6 months, nothing leaves the building without tracking!

    It’s a real shame but word is getting out that eBay buying is a soft touch and free! grrr

  • Karl Baxter
    3 years ago

    I tried to get a defect removed today for a item we sold that the customer opened up a “Item not received” case, now the thing is we upload the tracking number at the point of dispatch to eBay via Linnworks so the customer had the delivery details and tracking number.

    The transaction was paid for on the 13/10/14 we dispatched on the 13/10/14 and Parcel Force is showing attempted delivery on the 14/10/14 the tracking number is PBTI1566260001 .

    The buyer had received automatic tracking details from parcel force via Text and email that included a 1 hour delivery time slot on the 14. The buyer opened a case to request we rearrange the delivery for them as they wanted it to go to a new address Parcel Force will not redirect to new address. We stated we can not do this and told them the parcel can be collected from there local Post office or we can rearrange delivery. This was free delivery from a 1p start auction the item number is 331336037381 .

    Now I think we have done everything request as a seller but Ebay today refused to remove the defect and told me ” That’s why there’s a 2% margin for cases like this” Does anyone know if this should be removed

    Kind Regards

    • Jon
      3 years ago

      Karl. What does it say in your T&C’s about this situation? If I were you I would review your T&C’s if you are not covering yourself here. If you are covered then point it out to eBay that the buyer has ignored your T&C’s.

  • Jon
    3 years ago

    Hey eBay…. How about a feedback score to rate experienced sellers ability to actually resolve a problem without eBay mediation!

    If an item goes missing in transit every decent seller will refund the buyer. This should be all that happens. A low DSR for dispatch should not be used for non delivery. It should be greyed out to match the grey area eBay have created. It doesn’t even mean the same thing. Dispatch/Delivery. NOT the same.

    Royal Mail will compensate for lost/damaged mail that has been sent with “proof of postage” so why should eBay enforce a signed for delivery for low cost sales? If “proof of postage” is good enough for Royal Mail to compensate (after 20 days) why should experienced sellers be held responsible when they have proof of postage?

    How can it be considered reasonable for the seller to be held responsible for Royal Mail not doing their job properly? Why are eBay punnishing sellers for something beyond their control? Do eBay want to push up costs & drive buyers away to the high street due to higher postage costs?

    The feedback system should be considered by eBay to assess how well the seller is doing. Not to be used to hold a seller to ransom for a situation created by the underperformance of a delivery company. I’m sure the percentage of extra work & time wasted dealing with such situations would be better invested by quickly coming to more sane conclusion.

    Seriously…the loss of a sale & the hassle filling in claims forms for lost mail is enough pain for a seller to actually want do want to do their best without the extra slap in the face from eBay.

    It’s mostly Private sellers who don’t know the law & claim they are not responsible to refund for for lost items. Not experienced sellers. Why not use the feedback data to reward good sellers who bend over backwards to help their buyers. How about sellers with a 98% positive feedback score have a chance to receive a feedback score that rates their ability to resolve a problem without eBay any mediation

    • Garry
      3 years ago

      My last 3 INR’s were fortunately not opened as cases but the 1st had a replacement sent out the day before the original came back as not collected, despite asking if they had checked their sorting office.
      2nd put a 4th digit on his address, only found out because I phoned to double check for his replacement. He chuckled and said there aren’t that many houses on the road.
      3rd was asked if they could check the sorting office and quelle surprise they had been that very morning to pick a parcel up and asked about it and got a no from RM. Replacement sent tracked so kiss goodbye on any hint of profit from that one.
      I am beginning to think they know they will get a replacement if they do it with a discreet email. Hey presto eBay gets lots more BOGOF than Tesco

  • john
    3 years ago

    Ebay defect system does not take into consideration stupid or awkward buyers. if it was a high street shop you could boot them out. Ebay encourage stupid or dishonest buyers they make them money in the long run and sellers have to deal with them and pay for the privilege.

    And whilst on the subject, I am seeing a larger number of buyers when they have a problem starting there e-mails with “I am disappointed….bla bla” . is this a new ebay propaganda drive?

  • Rich
    3 years ago

    The best thing is to try and prevent as many complaints as possible and it should be possible to stay in the safe zone. Don’t expect any help from ebay, if you think about it there are way too many sellers anyway and small sellers are not really wanted either, so keep your head down. Not a nice place to trade, but needs be.

    • Rich
      3 years ago

      Eating humble pie as eBay just removed 2 bits of bad FBI and associated ratings.

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    I think there is a big difference between items going missing and items where delivery was attempted and no one is at home.

    If there is a genuine problem such as a lost item , sent to the wrong address, INR, then it is a defect. It is the sellers choice what service they offered, and if your service is not providing the perfect solution for the customer and it goes wrong, then it is a defect.

    However, in Kristina’s case I think ebay are totally wrong. In effect with the buyer not being there is tracking of attempted delivery. The package will have been dated when delivery was attempted. The seller has fulfilled all their commitments and can never be responsible if the customer is not at home.

    Similarly ebay are wrong with the inaccurate address in Spain. The seller can not be responsible for a customer who provides incorrect details.

    Incidentally I have had negative FB removed by ebay for this. I even questioned the customer at the time about the security of his address after I looked at it on Google Earth – huge site , multiple businesses, and customer did not provide a company name. Once the package was returned to me from Australia (actually 2 packages because I also tried a resend) I photographed the package, sent to a named customer service rep, and the FB was taken down.

    It is still a defect though.

    I still find it inconceivable that any company thinks it acceptable to tell any “seller customer” that a 2% leeway is OK to allow for errors when the “seller customer” has done nothing wrong. It is zero respect, and unethical. If the seller is not to blame there should be absolutely no negative score of any type attached to their account.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    the biggest defect with the defect system is the paranoia plus tail chasing administration time wasting contacting ebay
    if what we do is defective in ebays eyes thats hard luck we use ebay to make money

  • Terry
    3 years ago

    Stop moaming about ebay ignorance and arrogance, lets set up ebay seller association to ASK for our rights as sellers not beg them from ebay cs who live in dreamland

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