eBay UK suspended a “small number” of sellers by mistake this week

By Dan Wilson August 29, 2015 - 12:52 am

Here’s what happened, according to one eBay seller who got in touch with Tamebay: “On Tuesday we discovered that eBay had accidentally suspended our account. They admitted as much when we called them to ask what was going on. Technical difficulties and significant human error, we were told.

We list around 120,000 items and all were removed. After three days they have reinstated these listings – but only to the Unsold listings category as they have said that they cannot relist. For me to manually relist these items will take weeks.”

Here’s the eBay message the seller received:

Incorrectly Suspended Account Apology

We asked eBay UK for a comment and they obliged: “A small number of eBay members received a message advising them that their accounts had been suspended. The account suspension and corresponding removal of the members’ active listings were done in error. Upon identifying this problem, we moved quickly to reinstate the affected accounts. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Inconvenience this may have caused? Dear eBay, you may have reinstated the accounts. But not the listings. Inconvenience has been caused. Know that.

We don’t know how many sellers were affected. We asked. All they are saying is a “small number”. Several hundreds? More? We don’t know. A tinkle in the ocean for eBay in any case judging by their concern but a pain in the backside for anyone affected. And also a real blow for the sellers because they lose any Best Match juice they had on those ended listings. And they have to relist everything too. Sounds like quite a lot more than a little inconvenience.

And it took three days. eBay didn’t “move quickly” in our book. Three days of lost sales. Inconvenience much?

Reading over both the email from eBay and the statement they sent, it seems that eBay doesn’t really understand the impact this little niggle (as they consider it) had on real life businesses.

Some people will have a pretty dull Bank Holiday weekend sorting this stuff out now and none of them are on the eBay payroll. There is no sniff of a goodwill bit of compo from eBay either. The tone of the email and statement is, quite frankly, cold.

The whole business is infuriating. And eBay’s dismissive attitude and lack of contrition is the thing that irks most of all.

Have you been affected by this glitch?

  • Ross
    2 years ago

    I was on the last round of their canceling account errors. That was about two years ago now. The mistake was just forgivable, their handling of it was not. It sounds as though this is exactly the same.
    After that ‘event’, Ebay was never the same to me and I started winding my account back down.
    I haven’t sold on Ebay for nearly 12 months, incidents like this don’t make me want to go back. Prior to that I was a loyal and profitable seller.

  • john
    2 years ago

    “There is no sniff of a goodwill” I like that bit chuckle…

  • Toby
    2 years ago

    2 years ago [March 2013] the same happened to us & another large group of sellers.

    We lost 2 weeks of trade sorting everything out, ensuring stock levels on the listings where correct & we’ve still not recovered the sales on our best sellers, after losing our position & item numbers where changed from the ones that buyers had posted on forums about our products.

    • Ross
      2 years ago

      Mine are at a much better level now, I switched them all to Amazon!

  • Neil
    2 years ago

    Given the value of lost sales would be easy to demonstrate, and given that, if relisted, a down turn in sales vs previous sales would also be easy to demonstrate, and with the admissions in that email – eBay have left themselves wide open to legal action from any seller down more than a small amount on this.

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      Any legal action and they will suspend you again…….out of spite!!

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      your arse belongs to ebay as soon as you agree to their terms and conditions ,
      dont be surprised if they even own your house ,
      so a legal action would be business suicide

      2 years ago

      “business suicide” I don’t have a business thanks to ebay! 2, yes two 30 day bans, “Selling privileges have been temporarily restricted. You won’t be able to list new items for 30 days!”
      I sell adult magazines and have done for over a year, quite successfully… then out of the blue (no pun intended) listing violations with NO logical explanation apart from, “There are some exceptions when listing adult magazines. Issues of Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair and Penthouse may be listed in an appropriate category. However, the listing must not include nude images or sexually explicit content.”
      Playboy and all the magazines have “NUDE IMAGES” in them and they know this.
      They have been MORE THAN HAPPY TO TAKE THE FEES… my 60 day ban has cost me approximately £800.
      Amazon did the same to me about 3 years ago.
      They break their own terms and conditions and stab you in the back and get away with it… endlessly.

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      Were first to agree ebays methods and ethos can be frustrating and awkward
      But its ebays business and their ball, we use them with our eyes wide open expecting complications and problems

  • AgathaB
    2 years ago

    Fortunately I have not been affected by this. As a business seller myself I feel so sorry for those affected. I am disgusted by eBay’s response and lack of the offer of compensation. I agree with Neil, I would advise eBay that legal action will follow. eBay have admitted in the letter that some listings had bids and so the seller should be compensated for not just that, but loss of selling position and the time for re-listing etc. At least!

  • Ian A
    2 years ago

    ebays dismissive attitude:

    I was on the phone to barclays. They couldnt update my details right away and it dragged on, so they put £10 in my account for the phone call. I wasn’t even complaining they just did it as a gesture of goodwill and because it was their system error.

    ebay’s attitude is ‘its our system, we reserve the right for it to break and if you still choose to use it that’s your own fault, we don’t owe you anything.’

  • Roger C
    2 years ago

    This is why all computers should be called “FRED”, stands for “F**king Ridiculous Electronic Device” for, whilst a human makes mistakes, only a computer has the true power to “f**k it up totally”!

    For those affected this is sickening “customer service”, yet what can they do? I’ll bet here and now that somewhere within eBay T&C’s is the right to do anything they wish and not be found liable!

    Would any affected traders get any different attitude from the competition? I doubt it. The “big boys” look down on SME’s almost as if they’re not really a business, just playing at it. This level of “customer service” rather says that, doesn’t it? If eBay actions damaged the selling of a multi-million pound trader using eBay they would probably have a team on a plane within minutes to sort it out. Small seller? They come, they go . . .

    • Brian Badonde
      2 years ago

      No, they shouldn’t. The glitch was obviously caused by improper programming, not by the computers. Computers don’t make mistakes – only the people who programme them.

  • richbkk
    2 years ago

    A couple of years ago the thought of something like this happening would have mortified me. Now, well it would be upsetting but part of me might recognize it as a blessing in disguise. Sales are well down. Ebay going nowhere for me.

  • Gerry007
    2 years ago

    A rogue CS agent decided to close (suspend) the accounts & ebay would not admit it…….

    Oh, the pleasure of being on ebay, NOT.

    • Paula
      2 years ago

      In November 2013, as US eBay’s Tech Dept. was programming changes in advance of the implementation of the Defect System, there were some glitches which caused numerous large Sellers to be erroneously suspended.

      These Sellers were given no reason, and were told that there business model did not match eBay’s … go sell somewhere else … don’t call back; don’t bother to try to appeal.

      I worked with a group of Sellers, who helped some of the suspended Sellers get reinstated. But it was a long hard road. Many of them had to list 1000’s of items again from scratch.

      Many of them had photos in their FP-GTC listings which had been grandfathered in, and did not meet the new Photo size requirements. Before they could relist, they had to retake 1000’s of photographs.

      One Seller with whom I became friends, is still relisting her inventory to this day.

      Yes, she got smart, and has also moved part of her business to Amazon, and local markets.

      This is a totally unacceptable way to manage a “Managed Marketplace” … to have no back-up plan in the case where a Seller becomes suspended due to an error in eBay’s system.

      Ebay expects us Sellers to be perfect, and yet THEY have no system in place by which to do the simple task of rebooting a seller’s account?

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      Goose and gander come’s to mind……

  • Oliver
    2 years ago

    They are suspending a lot of users day by day. 90% of them without a real reason.
    I was one of them, i had almost perfect DSR and no disputes or chargebacks.
    They just said, that my activity is associated with high risk.
    High risk?
    I asked them, what they mean by that, and yeah, no explanation.
    After that i done a lot of mistakes – tried to create new accounts, of course they linked them and banned as well.
    After that, i found site where you can buy a real established ebay accounts. I though, oh well, let’s go and try and you know i don’t regret. It’ was so worth, now i am back on selling for almost 2 months. No issues, and i have even better account with higher selling limits than before..
    Oh if you wonder, i got account from this site:

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