Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grrrr Auction!

Once again, eBay pulled my auction. I understand why they pulled it the first time. They just don't want unethical people saying the auction is for charity and then pocketing the money. I understand that. When I went to relist it, Make a Wish Foundation didn't come up on their alphabetized list or under the categories of charities helping children. Because it didn't appear to be part of eBay's Giving Works, I listed it again and didn't write in my auction that I was going to donate the money, yet I still tried to make it clear to potential bidders that I really was going to donate the funds.

Apparently you can't say you're going to donate your earnings to charity, but you also can't say that you're not going to say you're going to donate your earnings to charity. I did get a very helpful (and by "helpful", I mean "lame" letter that didn't really explain anything to me. I wrote back to eBay to see just what their problem was and received the following wonderful answer to my question. Don't you just love companies who don't take the time to address your questions and instead send you autoresponders? Autoresponders that pretty much say, "We're not going to answer your question. Do not respond to this letter. We don't really care about your question. Buh-bye." This is really not a complaint specifically about eBay, but against every company who sadly lacks in the customer service department. I honestly don't have anything against eBay. I mean, if it weren't for my auction last year, I wouldn't be where I am right now. That said, I abhor stinky customer service from any company.

(Oooo Oooo! I have a really good customer service story though! I went to Best Buy the other day to check out cameras. I walked to the camera department and began looking around. Very soon, a friendly person asked, "Can I help you with anything?"
At this point, I declined and said that I was just looking.
"No problem. Let me know if you have any questions."
After a few more minutes, I approached this same woman and told her I had a few questions. And then the strangest thing happened. She answered my questions. With intelligence too! She knew what she was talking about! Not only that, but she seemed genuinely pleased to help find the right camera for me. When I told her I was thinking about taking a photography class, she even wrote down the names of a couple photography magazines she thought I might enjoy. It is so rare to find a customer service rep who not only knows what she's talking about, but is willing to share that information with you. And in a pleasant manner, at that! I was thoroughly impressed.

OK, back to the not so great side of customer service.
I hate these autoresponders. Let's see why. Here is the one I got from eBay. Again, I don't really have anything against eBay in particular. I just hate these stupid autoresponders. I've translated it for you so you know what it really says.

*****THIS IS AN AUTORESPONDER. PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE*****Thank you for writing to eBay Customer Support.

Why are you bugging us? We won't read your mail. We won't bother to respond to you. We will, however, send this stupid form letter in response to your inquiry because, quite frankly, you aren't worth our time.

We sincerely value you as a member of our trading community and understand your concern regarding your recently removed listing(s).

Ha ha! You lose. We win. You suck. We just took 2 listing fees from you and you have nothing to show for it. Hee hee hee!

We realize that there are times when you may have additional questions.

Unfortunately we don't have time to answer them.

When your listings were removed by eBay, we sent you a Removed Listing Notice, which explained why we removed your listings and provided helpful information about eBay's policies and guidelines.

OK, so maybe it didn't really contain an explanation and much information after all, but it looked official, no?

Should you have further questions or concerns, please review the information below.

which won't answer your questions, but will give you a lot more senseless drivel to read. You know, in case this letter isn't enough for you.

To ensure that eBay remains a safe and fun venue to buy and sell, all listings must meet certain guidelines. When a listing does not meet these guidelines, eBay may have to remove the listing early.

We must protect buyers from the horrors of people like you who offer to donate their money to charity.

For more information on why eBay removes listings please visit (blah blah blah) eBay may remove listings when the item or listing potentially infringes a third party's copyright or trademark, is prohibited on eBay, or when the item or listing otherwise violates eBay's listing policies. More detailed information explaining these policies is provided below:

1. Potentially infringing items violations: "Potentially infringing" means that items may be in violation of certain copyrights, trademarks, or other rights. For your protection, some items here are not allowed (i.e. are "prohibited"), regardless of their legality, because they almost always violate copyright or trademark laws. Some examples of potential copyright infringement are copies of music on CD-R, counterfeit software (including software that has been pre-loaded onto a computer hard drive), and copies of video recorded from TV or other sources. Examples of potential trademark infringement are replica watches, or counterfeit handbags and accessories, and the inappropriate use of brandnames in the title of a listing title that offers an item made by another company. To read more detailed information on eBay's potentially infringing policies please visit (blah blah blah).

Yeah, because "two shirts and a necklace" was really code for "pirated copies of the latest movies".

2. Prohibited items: The listing is for an item which eBay does not allow to be listed on our web site. This means that the item listed may violate a particular law or eBay has deemed it inappropriate for listing. Some examples of these prohibited items would be improperly listed Event Tickets, Offensive materials (such as Nazi or KKK items), as well as certain scanners, cable and satellite descramblers, transceivers, or linear amplifiers.For more information on the regulations on these types of items (listed respectively), please refer to (blah blah blah). Our complete list of Prohibited and Questionable Items policies may be found at (blah blah blah).

Although I don't especially like the Horton Hears a Who t-shirt, I don't think it's particularly offensive. I'm pretty sure it isn't illegal to dress like a dork.

3. A listing violation: the listing fails to meet the appropriate formator guidelines for listing on eBay. To view these guidelines, please visit (blah blah blah). Also, be aware that eBay members are not allowed to use another eBay user's images or descriptions in their listings or About Me page without the owner's permission.

Gotta make sure I didn't steal the pictures or descriptions from anyone else. You know, because there are so many people out there selling these same two shirts and necklace.

If you are a bidder and received a notice about a listing you were participating in, please keep in mind that we are unable to provide you with contact information for the seller. Since the listing was removed by eBay, the results are null and void. We do not recommend that you proceed with a transaction for a listing that has been removed early. Doing so would be at your own risk and without eBay insurance coverage or use of the feedback forum. If you should have additional questions after reading the polices on our site, please use the links provided on this page to contact us.

not that we'll answer you or anything

include your user ID, the item number(s) in question, and a detailed explanation of your situation. This will ensure that the appropriate department addresses your concerns

so we can send you the same generic autoresponder.

Thank you for taking the time to write to eBay


So, I think I'll give up on the auction. I thought it might be a fun way to raise funds, but it's turning out to be more of a headache than it's worth. I just paid Make A Wish Foundation $75.00 instead.


Kristi said...

Forget ebay...how bout' just auctioning stuff here on your site? Or selling it for a certain price here and donate it. Much easier and hey! NO listing fees! LOL!

Shari said...

That stinks! I understand if people were pocketing the money, but sheesh! You aren't like that! Dawn, I appreciate you! And BTW--how do I join Blogher?

Missy said...

Way to go Dawn!

B&K said...

OMG I LOVE Best Buy! 99% of the time we get GREAT customer service in there. They don't work on commission, they're trained and knowledgeable, and obviously customer service is part of their company culture. We absolutely buy all of our electronics there. We're one of their biggest supporters -- I can prove it; just look at our Best Buy credit card statement!! YIKES!! LOL

And a pox on E-Bay; Shame on them. Phooey. I hate those form letters. We care about your business . . . yeah right.

Anonymous said...

I had ebay pull an auction once because I used the words "like new" in the title. Nice. Can I say how much I don't love ebay?

Paula71 said...

I have sworn off e-bay. I follow many CarePage and CaringBridge sites.I know how much a gift can help truly make wishes come true. You are teaching your children a wonderful lesson about helping others.

May God continue to richly bless you and yours.
Thank You
Paula Thompson

(My mentally challenged son has a Caring Bridge site.) CB Name: zacharyathompson

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank GOODNESS you translated the autorespond letter. For some reason, I thought all those words and paragraphs of babble speak were saying, "GO AWAYYYY!!!! NOW!! GO AWAY FASTER!!!!!" Now I know better.

I'll make a donation to Make A Wish myself just because of the aggravation you've experienced. And because Make a Wish is a worthwhile cause, of course.

Sandy in Tucson

chantal said...

LOL..I got this exact same email at least a dozen times when ebay pulled my pecan listings...they actually ended up kicking me off and blocking me from ever opening another ebay account!! Sheesh..they were pecans for crying out loud!!

J said...

Wow! that sucks!! I can't believe it! What about if you just didn't put anything up there at all about any charities, anyone who bids will probably look at your blog anyway, so they'd all know. :) that's just awful...I'm disappointed in Ebay.

Anonymous said...

I'm leaving my comment anonymously because I can never, ever remember my stupid password.
Anyway, I was impressed with the Best Buy employee's level of commitment. Unfortunately, you just don't see that too often. At least she earned her commission.
Having worked customer service (specifically call centers) for almost 10 years, I have to say I'm right there with you. Nothing irks me more than working for a company that doesn't really care about its customers.
Here's my customer service horror story: I was taking a call from a gentleman whose service wasn't working. During the call, the doorbell began to ring furiously. He asked me to wait a moment while he found out who it was. A few seconds later, I heard a door slam open, two loud bangs, a scream, a thud, and then the line went dead. I freaked. I ran to my supervisor and told him what happened. I told him I may have just heard someone get killed. What was the response from no less than three different supervisors? I was to get back on the phone and continue taking calls or I could find myself a new job. I went and found myself a new job.

Brenda said...

That is aggravating....How about selling raffle tickets for it at some function?

Jen said...

I have had 2 crap customer service experiences this week and it's only Tuesday. Target and Linens N Things are sooo on my list right now! It took everything I had not to unleash pregnancy hormones on those butts! E-bay should be thankful you aren't pregnant. Make A Wish is one of my favorite charities. I'm happy they still got the $75.

Michelle said...

Wow. That's a bummer. I didn't realize that you lost your listing fees on top of everything else. But yeah, I think we're all unanimous on the detestation of auto responses. I have to wonder if there's anyone or anytime that they're effective.

Lizzie said...

I just wanted to say thankyou for posting about your good experience at Best Buy. I work at Best Buy, and it's so sad to see that most of the stories that are online are bad ones. Makes me feel better that someone notices when we try to help customers. :) So thank you, and I'm very happy you got the camera you needed.

Jan Scholl said...

your Best Buy is a heck of a lot different than mine-I ended up registering a complaint with my state attorney general and won a 100 dollar judgement against them. I spent it and never went back.

my mother in law willed me some salt and pepper shakers to sell/auction with the proceeds going to respite care which is what she used for her last months. All the crap from Ebay I have heard about, I just can't list them as a charity thing since the charity is local and not on Ebay's list. So what to do? I contacted an antique dealer who told me they weren't worth much bla bla bla. They are almost all pre world war 2. From occupied China etc. I know they are worth plenty. so here I am with boxes of these and I have no idea what to do.

Anonymous said...

How come all the celebs put their stuff on Ebay to raise money for charity but you can't??
I wonder if they would pull it if you had just said the money recvd from auction would go to charity and if anyone had any ?'s about which charity, they could check out your blog??
That would probably in some way offend them also?

Cookie said...

That's a shame! I gave up on ebay a while ago too. I had an issue with a buyer who recieved an item, left positive feedback and then a month later they forgot and asked for their money back and ebay took the buyer's side. yeah, i was thrilled. Like you, I was also out of my ebay and paypal fees and of course the time and headache to deal with ebay.

Momma Bear said...

Ebay is getting out of hand! I used to love to sell my unused things there, but there are so many people have issues with ebay now that I'm afraid to start selling again.

Mandy said...

Now just re-list it and not say ANYTHING about charity. Although you know in your own heart that it will go there. (or now, replenish the money that already went there) and then any additional funds can be sent to MAWF too.

Outnumbered2to1 said...

I <3 Best Buy. It is totally my happy place and we've even befriended a manager who, I'm pretty sure, is convinced we toot money. Bwahaha. If he only knew, we eat ramen every day so we can spend money there.

I'm kidding...about just eating ramen.

Good luck with the Ebay thing. I wish there was another option for you.

Cort said...

I, too, am glad to see a nice customer service story about Best Buy. My husband worked there for 10 years -- actually, he still technically works there, but only goes in about once a month -- from the age of 17 to 27, until he got his current job as a mechanical engineer (bachelor's degree in Physics. Smarty-pants). He was a fantastic salesperson and wonderful at customer service. I can tell you from first-hand experience that Best Buy stresses customer service over and over again while training and re-training their employees, and it's so sad to me to hear that the majority of their employees aren't putting it into practice. Please know that they are a fantastic company and offer the best training, as well as great compensation for their employees when they follow that training. They strive to provide fabulous customer service.

As far as Ebay goes, I think if "celebrities" can post their items and donate the funds to charity, as someone else pointed out, then you should be able to do the same. As far as I'm concerned, you're a celebrity!

thumper6423 said...

I stopped using Ebay a long time ago. My account got hacked 2x in the span of just a couple months. The people selling have started to charge outrageous shipping fees as well. I'm just done.

And for he record, Yahoo! has HORRIFIC customer service as well. I've been trying to get a white pages listing off of there for months. They even show a map to my house. Nice.

Anonymous said...

I agree...list your items here, sizes and lowest accepted bid and I KNOW you'll get a decent amount for those items.

Good luck-ebay's loss! Chris in PA

Mabunny said...

Now I know why I don't mess with e-bay even though there is some great stuff on there!

Shadowydeamer said...

e-Bay is right behind PayPal on my "don't give a crap about customer service" list!

Super Blogger Girl! said...

I had a problem with ebay once, I called them, they were helpful and took care of it. Maybe I just got lucky.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you tried using craigslist.org? It isn't an auction site but you can easily sell stuff to people in your local area. This doesn't help a lot with getting people to bid up so that the money can go to charity, but for plain old selling it is good. Just a thought.

AuntyM said...

Ebay should have credited your account for the listing fee. Check your account.

Michelle said...

Try ePier. There are no listing fees with this site.

Anonymous said...

I read your relisted posting, and I can see why they removed it. You were too obvious in your denials. It was like,"the proceeds will not go to charity (wink wink)." And not just once but multiple times, almost like you were teasing them. Say what you will about customer service but clearly the ebay people who read your relisted posting are not clueless. Since you're famous through them, maybe they keep up with your blog, which clearly said the proceeds were going to charity.

Sometimes ebay is a pain, but I'd hate to go back to the days of garage sales.

Amy said...

I haven't used ebay since I got mailed an empty box. I tried to get my money back from paypal but after a month of e-mails, I was still out $50. What a PIA. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

~Jenifer~ said...

This is an awesome story/video clip from youtube check it out. It will bring tears to the eyes.

Rick said...

It's funny that they had the time and personnel available to read the text on your auction, but nothing but a computer to respond to your questions.

Please Note: This was an automated comment to your blog. The parties responsible for placing the comment are not responsible for its content.

snippity1 said...

How awesome of that Best Buy lady! I don't have one very near here, or I'd probably spend mucho $$$ there...
I totally relate to the autoresponder thing though. It is kind of like my issue with a popular social networking site. When I registered (a long time ago), I used an email address that I no longer have access to. In trying to fix the problem, they kept auto responding to the newly entered correct email address a bunch of garbage that essentially said you can NEVER change this unless you cancel and start over, too bad! Anyway, good luck deciding what to do with the goods...

Trish said...

I can't believe you posted this because I had the exact same thing happen to me last week! I had listed a Kindergarten Teacher's Guide for a math book. And, I had also listed another item and had put the words "Like new" on the subject line. They pulled both...6 DAYS INTO THE AUCTIONS! No warning or explanation. I finally got a response from a real person a week later that said their new policy is that you can't list something as "like new" because it's "misleading" the buyer!! You know...because buyers are so stupid. And, it is also a new policy to not sell teachers' guides becasue college and highschool students could buy them and cheat. I emailed the gal back and told her I thought it was interesting that they allowed anyone with a password to buy pornography, but heaven forbid someone get the answers to a Kindergarten math book!! It's just ridiculous!!

Diane B said...

Welcome to the Desensitization of America! I am a medical provider who once worked in a corporate owned clinic. The day I knew it was time to go? When my district manager referred to the employees as "Human Labor Units" and patients as "Productivity Numbers". And yes, he said that TO my face WITH a straight face.

Let's just not accept that huh? I know own my own little mom and pop shop and I love it thank you very much.

What if we all just did one nice thing to cancel out the yucky? Everytime someone/thing (hi e-bay!) is a butthead or does a butthead thing we do something positive?

When someone is rude, give your next waitress a little extra tip. Saleslady doesn't help; hold the door for someone when leaving the store.

Me: I will be donating $50 to Make a Wish today to negate the stupid of e-bay.

Peace and love.

Anonymous said...

I understand about Ebay. I have gone round and round with them several times. I too hate the email problems with customer services....

But I do have a ? for you
what would you do in this situation?
my little one makes me laugh.
Jenn T. AK

Michelle said...

I would never bother emailing ebay about anything - however, when I was having some issues with understanding how their post-auction system worked my first time around, I found a link to their live help - its a free service that hooks you up on an IM platform so you can directly talk to an ebay rep. They were really helpful that way! I'd just do that if you encounter issues like that again. I'd want to ask them why in the world Make a Wish isn't on their charity list.

Anonymous said...

I HATE ebay! No need to go into it, but I HATE them! (I hate Target too!!) Customer Service is awful!
Craigslist.com is wonderful!! and FREE!!! The only drawback is that it's only local..unless you want to drive. I have sold TONS of stuff on there and bought TONS of stuff on there!!

jc said...

eBay get worse all the time. They raise their fees regularly. They make it very difficult for the occasional seller to sell anything. I had a listing pulled because they said I was charging too much for shipping. But I had already calculated the shipping based on their own shipping calculator. I relisted the item with free shipping and haven't sold anything on eBay since.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, have you thought about listing your things through hyenacart.com? Check it out, it's much better then "fee" bay!

TheHMC said...

I agree.. do your own auction here.

And 'Holla in regards to the Best Buy thing. I went there about 5 years ago to get a new TV and the guy bent over backwards to help me and give me advice. Since hubby and I were looking for a good deal(we're frugal) we went to Sears also. Hubby was met by a nice boy when he got there, and when I showed up, said boy tried to help me before his rude associate butted in and literally yelled at him to go home because his shift was over. She then tried to sell us a TV and when I asked her questions, she had NO clue what I was talking about(in regards to picture tubes, etc. I mean, God forbid you work in the TV dept and actually KNOW HOW A TV WORKS!). Then she got all sad and upset when we refused to pay upfront for an entertainment center that we liked, that they didn't have in stock and we'd have to wait up to a month to recieve. Um. No. We left and never went back. We went back to Best Buy for the TV's I had orginally looked at. When we got there, we found another incredibly helpful associate who was just as knowledgable as the first guy I'd talked to. When we'd settled on a TV that we liked, he went in the back to get everything ready for us. Low and behold, the TV we wanted wasn't in stock. He offered to give us a better name TV(same TV, same size, same features, just a different name and a price difference of over $150) for the price of the one we wanted that they didn't have. Knowledgable associate, killer deal making? Sold. Plain and simple. Unfortunately that particular store closed, but I'll always shop from Best Buy, as I've never had a bad experience there.

How do you like MY book there. I hate it when I ramble on like that. Sorry!

Jessi said...

Oh Dawn. Ebay has become very bad. Do craigslist or Amazon or something else.

jes8 said...

Oh I'm so sorry it didn't work out. I did enjoy reading it while it was up though. So, on the topic of Ebay, I have a SSO question for you: My 12 year old recently decided to spend his hard saved money on an XBOX 360. We went the Ebay route to buy a new, unopened set to save him some money so he'd still have enough to actually buy some games for this system. When we bought it, the seller's feedback was 100% positive. Over the last three days his feedback has dipped to 55% because people who bought the same item I did have not received it. If it does turn out to be a scam or whatever, I am protected through Paypal, but how do I break my poor kid's heart who has been eagerly awaiting the mail every single day?

korkie said...

Hey Dawn
This is so unlike you, giving up.
YOU are the 'LADY. You do not let some peon group like Ebay get the best of you girl!

Okay ...... so, put those items back on line.
Your first line should read, 'Pursuant to Ebay's rule on auctioning on their site for charity(paste the rule here), I would like to assure you I will not donate the profits from this auction to a charity.

Give any profits you make to Savannah. Let us donate the money with a certified bank check under her name. You have not donated, you lovely daughter has.

Okay maybe a little sneaky, but...Hey, it's for the kids!!

Peggy said...

THank you sooooo much for donating in honor of Coleman. It made me cry, and we will be forever grateful...
what an awesome thing to do- please know how much it means to us.
God bless you.

Laura Benjamin said...

You crack me up! I loved this Ebay Customer Service post! Goes to show you that we each have had an "experience" being treated like a transaction rather than like a real person. Keep up the good work Dawn! Love your humor!

Anonymous said...

Just got suspended from ebay. Could,t get anyone in charge to plead my case. Talk about an auction dictatorship. My son sent them a spoof email that I didn't know it was fake and since he was suspended 2 years ago for selling 10 items he bought on ebay back on ebay. All he was trying to do was let them know. I got supended because he lives at the same residence as me.
Anyone know a good new auction site?

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