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Have you lost your eBay UK Account Manager?

By Dan Wilson March 23, 2015 - 12:49 am

To say that we’ve been inundated with concerns and complaints here at Tamebay recently from eBay sellers losing vital Acccount Manager customer support would be an understatement.

And aside from what eBay have told us and from what we’ve heard from you, we can’t offer any more than speculation as to what the situation is and how it will benefit sellers (Ahem – Ed.).

It seems to be part of eBay’s cost-cutting staff reduction drive in advance of the eBay/PayPal split to significantly reduce Customer Support personnel. We’ve already noted how customer support staff including account managers have been laid off at eBay UK. The communication with sellers has been shoddy.

We’ve heard from really big sellers, with really big eBay sales (in the region of £2m per annum, for example) who are losing their account managers. These sellers will in future be required to deal with what eBay is calling the “eBay Customer Experience team”. The official line seems to suggest that this is a good thing but we can’t help think the contrary will be true. We suspect that big retail partners, High Street names, will be getting preferential treatment.

Below find the generic email that has gone out to sellers affected by the changes from eBay’s Nicholas Illidge who is Vice President of eBay Merchant Development. We share the email below verbatim and one line leaps out: “We also need to highlight that prior agreements made with your account manager verbally or by email will end on 1st April.”

It seems that many of those sellers who have received the services of an Account Manager in the past have valued that facility. And whilst we have some double-speak on how the new service is superior or at least equal, we can only suspect that it is not considering the widely reported staff cuts at eBay UK.

Here’s the email:

“We’re writing to you to inform you about upcoming changes to how your eBay account will be managed for the remainder of 2015.

Each year eBay merchant operations reviews the portfolio of account managed accounts and, based on a mixture of previous year’s sales performance, your growth potential and available inventory, accounts are allocated to selected support teams.

As a result of this review, from 1st April 2015 your account will now be managed by the eBay Customer Experience team based in Dublin, Ireland. This team of highly experienced agents supports our top 1% of clients and is available to you 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 6pm Saturday to Sunday providing reactive account support for you on such topics as feedback queries, general business development and technical issues.

From 1st April we’ll be transferring your account management to the eBay Customer experience team. This will also be the case for the support you receive from the merchant support team. In addition, the way you contact eBay will be slightly different as calls to the eBay Customer Experience team are routed to specialist teams. Details of the process are listed in the box below.

We also need to highlight that prior agreements made with your account manager verbally or by email will end on 1st April.

Please pass this message on to all your management and team members connected to the eBay account so that they are aware of how your account will be managed and how to contact eBay support from now on.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your custom to date and wish you all the best for your continued trading on eBay

Kind regards
Nicholas Illidge, Vice President, eBay Merchant Development”

  • JD
    2 years ago

    Nicholas Illidge, Vice President, eBay Merchant Development?

    Sounds like Nicholas Illidge, Vice President, eBay Merchant Retrogression to me.

    • 2 years ago

      Mr Illidge is certainly welcome to offer his views on Tamebay any time. :o)

  • Steve
    2 years ago

    Account Manager? Vital? Highly experienced agents? Service? “eBay Customer Experience team”. Reactive account support? etc,…… Are they serious? Cmon…. What thickos believe that crap?

    We all know that none of these terms are anything that remotely describes or can be associated with eBay.

    Shit service and fleecing sellers on a drip by drip basis is the order of the day and a much better description. Driving profit and shareholder value regardless is exact.

    Service? Changes? OK, its a nice concept and what we all want but I won’t hold my breath.

    BTW, how much will more shit service cost us all in the future?

    Long live The Revolution! :)

  • Merlo
    2 years ago

    Amazon has few, if any, account managers. The difference is that there is a clear and simple way to raise and resolve issues by email. Generally the team are fast to respond and knowledgeable. Ebay could do worse than copy their system for professional sellers.

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    experience tells us its more effective to avoid contact with ebay support staff, our ebay business than goes much better with less stress, annoyance, and frustration,

  • 2 years ago

    We sell over £4m per annum on eBay and lost our account manager last year. eBay have been distancing themselves for some time. Unsure if it is a cost exercise or strategic. Agree with the comments above about Amazon’s support – we may not have an account manager but we know where we stand with them. Trading on eBay has many more variables (Non Paying Bidders, NFF returns, debates over item condition, more INR etc) which, in our opinion, requires more support. It would appear eBay believe differently.

  • LJ
    2 years ago

    Something much bigger is going on in eBay customer support, and the result is it’s going to the dogs!

    We have never had an eBay account manager, but we have always been relatively happy with their eBay “Top Customer Support” department. Yes you do get the odd clueless agent, but overall, in the past, we have found them to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

    But in the past 2-3 weeks, getting them to do anything has been like getting blood out of a stone! We have been trying to get an unfair case decision reversed and the defect removed but it has proved impossible. I have been promised 6 times that it will be 100% removed and nothing! I have been promised E-Mails to confirm this, and call backs several times, and not once has this been done. 3 hours 10 mins of my time, and 2 weeks so far, for a simple 5 minute process!

    They also owe us a fee credit and again after 4 phone calls, we still don’t have this! I think they hope we’re going to go away and they get to keep the money!

    Something at eBay Customer support has changed big time.

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      That matches my experience too. What used to be straightforward is now near impossible, even when you provide CS agents with links to eBay policy, they still refuse to take action, and hide behind the ‘buyer’s opinion’ mantra.

      Something has definitely changed in how they’re instructed to ‘help’ sellers, and for the worse.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      we have heard nothing from our account manager since we got an out of office response “5 years ago” LOL

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Get with the program guys.

      Do you really think its a coincidence that getting a defect removed is suddenly a drawn out trial? Back in the DSR days it was easy, why not now? Its simple, the purpose of Defects is to strip TRS status and any associated financial benefits/discounts. This is all totally deliberate.

      Personally, I have been trying to get an “incorrect” defect from October removed and despite calling at least 8 times and on every call being assured it will get removed its still there. In addition I have 2 more stating slow delivery when both received the item within the ststed delivery window – both of these should have been auto removed. When I speak with CS they say the issue is the software and make loads of promises like “we will come back to you in a couple of days” but they never do. Over 8 calls? 5 months of BS? Cmon…. At this rate the defects will be removed quicker by simply dropping off the system after 12 months.

      eBay want defects. By removing TRS and associated discounts eBay increase revenue.

      I am amazed so many people are so nieve about this – the shitty timewasting CS support and excuses is very deliberate and part of an endless strategy to increase profits.

      I pridicted the above last summer. Few believed me.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • LJ
      2 years ago

      This has only got worse recently. I have seen numerous threads and comments such as this on eBay forums, but it seems to have happened in the past 2-4 weeks from what I can see. I doubt problems you have had since October are directly related to this sudden upsurge. Getting defects removed, appealing cases, and general customer support has been fairly good until recently. Not perfect but nowhere near as bad as it is now!

      We all have our own theory’s, and we will probably never know, but it seems to me, that a memo has been passed round CS at eBay instructing them not to remove defects, and to generally be as unhelpful as possible. I agree with Steve that this does stop them having to offer discounts and remove TRS, but their is more to it than that. I am sure the HUGE volume of calls they will now receive back and forth trying to get a defect removed, wont outweigh the benefits. If it was simply a case of not wanting to offer discounts, then why not remove the discounts altogether? Much simpler and much less hassle for eBay.

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      There’s this little gem on a recent community chat hour, from someone called Matt;

      “We found that with the old system that a small number of sellers benefitted from defect removal and these were also more often than not larger sellers who know our processes inside out. We wanted to ensure that theres was is a level playing field and so are focusing our efforts on defect removals that we can automate so all sellers benefit equally from our policies and do not need to contact us to get these removed. This does mean there may be occassions where we no longer remove a defect where we would previously.”

      Taken from http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Community-Board-Chats/18-Feb-Community-Chat-Hour/td-p/4159622/page/2

      So experienced sellers who know the rules get an unfair advantage according to him.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Interesting thread. It then goes on to mention the “Watch out for the “you’ve been protected” which will tell you more about the protections you have recieved from eBay”.

      So how is it that an item delivered withing stated delivery window (we know this by BOTH tracking and also the buyer leaving Feedback before the delivery window has expired) has accrued a defect and despite 5 months of repeated calls it is neither being manually removed nor automatically getting removed. eBay blame “software” issues well if so how come its taking so long to fix? Never o problem with the billing system!

      This is all very deliberate. eBay don’t care that millions more people are calling. They employ a CS team who work set hours and if the phones are busy, so what, it doesn’t cost more it’s the same cost to eBay. Service suffers? So what, again it’s the same cost to eBay. With more people joining the site than leaving, and 7% of staff being got rid of, profits are up. This uncaring and negligent approach to defects only adds to their bottom line.

  • Alan
    2 years ago

    I guess we’re in the top few percent of sellers with £6m sales pa. I think that for us, the communication was a two way street benefiting both eBay and ourselves. When we spot technical flaws with the site we had a direct line to notify the impending doom. We never received any thanks but stopped our sales tanking more than they might have otherwise done (along with other sellers).
    They will be missed and I believe their benefit, although possibly unquantifiable will now cost eBay in the long term.

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    Realism is needed when dealing with ebay support, expect nothing then you wont be disappointed

  • Hereford United Fan
    2 years ago

    I lost my account manager about 3 years ago. Since then my sales have dropped 75%. No one told me I was losing him. He just disappeared.

    I am sure it is not just related to my account manager but life was so much easier when I had one.

  • Bunchy
    2 years ago

    ALL ebay sellers should be getting decent support in equal measure. We aren’t getting ANY support in my experience.
    I’ve had to wait 1 week for responses ro queries, I was told this was becuase of “higher than normal volume”.

    Some of this “higher than normal volume” must be coming from repeat enquiries when original enquiries are responded to ineffectively or not in a timely manner.

    Seems to me it’s a complete mess and only going to get worse.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Yep, +1

      Exactly right.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • derek Duavl
    2 years ago

    At least us small sellers wont get a Ebay Fee Rise as Ebay has taken its extra profit from the big sucker number crunching sellers.

    Customer account manager, get reel you lot :-)

    • leanne
      2 years ago

      The account managers ARE instrumental in taking hungry small sellers and helping them become big sucker number crunchers!

      Ebay is a great game if you want to play it. It’s helpful to have someone (account managers) help with some of the rules. They will be sadly missed.

    • derek Duavl
      2 years ago

      Help you with the rules.

      Its very simple find something that’s unique and sell at good margins or be a number crunching idio* who tries to undercut everybody else and operates at 5p profits.

  • leanne
    2 years ago

    Ebay is clearly just cutting costs ahead of the company sale. The account managers are 100% necessary for the long term growth of ebay. This is all about a short term boost to profits ahead of a sale. You heard it here first!

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Exactly, ebay are doing nothing for the long term. Sellers will suffer until the split/sale happens and someone else takes control

    • James
      2 years ago

      …and this would be prime time for Rakuten or Game or any of the other players in the market to steal marketshare.

      Unfortunately they’re all suck in this stupidity loop of wanting to charge the same or similar monthly fees as eBay/Amazon instead of going for a landgrab and this will mean they will achieve nothing.

  • Adam
    2 years ago

    Thankfully, we have an account manager going forward. No details on what they can and can’t do as yet. We’ll find out in April apparently.

  • paul
    2 years ago

    Same has happened to me in AUSTRALIA.

    they have done exactly the same thing.

    I sell about 2 million dollars per year, and they have taken my account manager off me also.

    the customer experience team is useless.

    all we can do is email them, no phone calls

    perfetic.

    I pay approx. 150,000 per year in ebay fee’s enough to cover approx. 10 workers in the philipines where my account manager was based, yes they don’t let me call them once a month for about 20 minutes each time

    WHAT A JOKE

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