Interesting Electronics "The Trouble With ebay" Page

This is an archive page to retain what was used as the front page of one of my ebay shops during its closing down period.  There is more background information on the related page
Ebay, and Invisible Sales Throttling, Caps, or Limits Statistically Related to the UK VAT Threshold.

Updated 8th November 2019: Please scroll down for the latest news. Warning! It's a long way down.

23rd August 2019, 21:31

After no response to a total of four letters, Interesting Electronics is now closed, and this account will be removed as soon as the system allows me to do so.  Other online marketplaces are available.  As a last ditch attempt, and to make my intentions clear, I made yet another telephone call to ebay seller "support" today.  Joseph tried hard, and will, as ever, try to "take it further."  I'm afraid I've been there before.  That call is also available to listen to at the links at the bottom of the page. 

So, Goodbye then!

There is no point running this shop which sells bulkier items when any sales made here contribute to an overall sales cap, along with my other ebay shop selling smaller items.  These shops are both limited to an overall summed sales cap of £85K per annum despite my being VAT registered for several months now.  Every time total sales hit £232 a day, they are severely restricted for about a week before the process repeats.  Other longer-term capping behaviour is equally obvious.  You don't need a mathematics degree with a statistics major to show it beyond any doubt.  I have battled on the seller "support" telephone line for hours.  When they finally dismissed my complaint, I was instructed to send in a pointless letter to the ebay customer complaints address in Dublin.  I have the delivery receipt.  This has been ignored for eight weeks, without even a courtesy response or a dismissive denial.  Here is the letter:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                          Henry J. Walmsley,
                                          14 Anderby Road,
                                          Southampton,
                                          Hampshire,
                                          SO16 9PN

                                          02381 785329
                                          VAT No. 318 3816 95

                                          24-JUN-2019

Ebay business user account usernames:

vila_restor,
jenna_stannis,

Personal user account usernames:

james_from_space
tel_varon

UK / Europe Accs
Ebay Administration,
Ebay Europe,
P.O. Box 9473,
Dublin 15,
Ireland.

Dear Sir,

Since approximately April 2017 I have been aware of a general system operating within Ebay that invisibly limits total yearly sales across all accounts registered to the same real name to the UK VAT threshold of £85000.  I do not refer to email warnings or listing restrictions of which the user is informed.  I refer to an invisible sales cap about which the user is not informed.  I have proved this beyond any doubt, and quite easily.  Using amalgamated 12 month sales totals and integrating under a curve with an £85K offset for those two years, this shows that the resultant equals zero to within +/- 5% at any given time, despite substantial modulation of products available and shop holidays.  This is impossible by chance.  I imagine that this is achieved by reducing listing visibility, reducing listing visibility on international sites, or by straightforward denial of purchase to a customer, followed by the message "This item is no longer available."  I have had direct reports of this occurring.  The exact process is not important.  While I do not expect to receive full details of the process, please do not issue a denial.  I understand that this is to protect Ebay from being liable for unpaid VAT by sellers under HMRC rules and UK law.

Up until the date of 6th April 2019, this was not a problem for me.  Indeed, it was rather helpful as I was not VAT registered prior to that time.  However, I have been VAT registered since that date.  The VAT number is in the ebay system on both business accounts and is showing on listings.  I have spent many hours on the seller telephone helpline ensuring that all these details are correct.  They assure me that I am a valued customer with all accounts in good standing.
This does not fill me with much reassurance however, for while all these discussions were ongoing, none of the many representatives and supervisors with whom I spoke were able to inform me that this number had been entered incorrectly in the standard HMRC display format.  When this is passed to VIES for checking, it returns a 'not recognised' response.  I have since detected and corrected this myself.  All these calls have been recorded for future reference.  The number has been correctly entered for many weeks now.

Unfortunately, day-to-day statistical sales analysis clearly shows that the capping algorithm is still very much running across my business accounts.  This is particularly obvious as an approximate eight-day cyclic  'tick' where sales cross a threshold of approximately £234 every eight days before being restricted.  This is inexplicable by any seasonal, random, or other effect, other than the one already stated.  It has been proven mathematically.  Please use whatever words you wish, but do not issue a denial.

This is cause for complaint.  The many calls to the telephone helpline constitute the first complaint, and I made this clear at the time.  This email constitutes the second complaint.  The complaint is that Ebay systems are restricting my sales across two business accounts to the UK VAT threshold of £85000, a restriction about which I have not been informed and which in any case, should have been removed upon VAT registration and correct entry of business details.

* What can be done to address the complaint?

* The capping system must be removed from these business accounts.

* What will occur if this does not happen?

* I will escalate the situation in stages starting in ten working days from the date of this letter.  This is the second opportunity given to Ebay to avoid this.  I wish to avoid this action.

It may be the case that I need to make some technical change to the entry of business details, or make some technical change on the Ebay site.  Having spent many hours attempting to do this via telephone support, You need to tell Me exactly what is required.  Be assured, that the moment the situation is correctly resolved, it will be unmistakable in my analysis plots within 48 hours.

I expect prompt action.

Yours Sincerely,


Henry J. Walmsley.
--------------------------------------------------------------

No such action has occurred.  So, that's approximately £2000 in ebay fees every year, for the last eight years and 100% seller feedback on my account.  Sixteen Thousand Pounds.  Ebay; This clearly means nothing to you.  If only I could say the same myself.

15th August 2019

After another telephone call today I was given two different addresses to write to, and no explanation for the lack of response to date.  So I did write to them.  Here is the letter.  The telephone call, as ever, is linked at the bottom of the page.

------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Henry J. Walmsley,
                                                14 Anderby Road,
                                                Southampton,
                                                Hampshire,
                                                SO16 9PN

                                                02381 785329
                                                VAT No. 318 3816 95

                                                15-AUG-2019

Ebay business user account usernames:
vila_restor,
jenna_stannis,
Personal user account usernames:
james_from_space
tel_varon

UK / Europe Accs / Account Closures
Ebay Administration,
Ebay Europe,
P.O. Box 9473,
Dublin 15,
Ireland.

cc:
Office of President, Ebay Account Closures
2145 Hamilton Avenue,
San Hose,
USA
95125

cc:
Ebay Account Closures
Hotham House,
1 Heron Square,
Richmond
TW9 1EJ

Dear Sir,

Enclosed is a copy of a letter sent to Ebay at Dublin 15 on 24th June 2019.  It was signed for at 09:15 on 28th June by Sigita Gud.  I was advised that writing to this address was my only recourse regarding the problem outlined in the letter.  I have received not even a courtesy response and would like to know why.  In a telephone call today I was given two different addresses to write to, as shown above.  This communication represents the third complaint on the issue.  The letter, further details, and links to recordings of relevant telephone calls can be seen on the front page of my ebay shop at the following url:

http://www.ebaystores.co.uk/interestingelectronics

A written response and prompt action would be appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,

Henry J. Walmsley.


Signed for in Richmond by Filipe at 09:36 16-AUG-2019
Signed for in Dublin by Sigita Gud at 10:00 19-AUG-2019
Signed for in San Hose at 13:47 21-AUG-2019

-------------------------------------------------


Telephone Calls

Here are links to recordings of the three ebay seller "support" calls, 14th August 2019, and more will be added as they occur.  It seems that even the tape recorder was losing the will to live on the last one.  They could not care less about a letter that they know nothing about, yet will gladly insist that you write it, after they have refused to do anything other than read aloud from a card or, "look into it further." (i.e. do nothing for two weeks then send a dismissive site message)

1) Gabriel in the USA tries to be helpful, but as ever, "Oh dear. Never heard of that before. Can't do anything."

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/gabriel_usa_14082019.mp3

2) Mumel overseas somewhere has difficulty understanding and reading, tries a bit but,
"Oh dear. Never heard of that before. Can't do anything."

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/mumel_14082019.mp3

3)
Katrina overseas somewhere also has difficulty understanding and reading, tries precious little and guess what?  "Oh dear. Never heard of that before. Can't do anything."

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/karina_14082019.mp3

Telephone Call 15th August 2019

Lou provides me with two new addresses to write to, and I ask her how many more possibilities there might be.  Do I have to try all of them or just some of them at random?  How many times?  Can I expect a response?

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/lou_15082019.mp3


Final (?) Telephone Call 23rd August 2019

Joseph tries quite hard by the sound of it, contacting every element of support at his disposal.  I've actually edited out some of the longer silences and sounds of typing for brevity.  Joseph calls me back on the wrong number, as usual, at the end.  My apologies for the sound quality on that portion of the recording on the mobile.  All to no avail.  Unless Joseph can convince some higher power and sort out the issue, I'm shut for good on this particular outlet.

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/joseph_23082019.mp3

Page Update 24th September 2019

Tuesday 27th August 2019

I receive a site message from Kunjan K, team manager of ebay UK department:

_______________________________

Complain - Sales drop SR# 1-224894687646


Hello Henry,

 

This is the follow up email with regards to the letter you have sent us.

 

Henry, this is Kunjan - Team Manager of eBay UK department. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. I thoroughly checked your account and I confirm that there is no restriction on your account due to VAT registration. Your sales has nothing to do VAT registration. However, I will provide some insights on how you can improve.

 

I will explain current market trending and the best practices to improve the sales. First of all, we appreciate your partnership with us for last 9 years. Please understand within this gross competition in the market, the seller must be competitive and keep on updating the strategies to be the pro. Rest assured that at eBay, we donít stop or start the sales of any seller. It totally depends upon item demand, item price and seller performance.

 

I see checked your Growth tab and I found that some of your items needs improvement which you can check through the below link:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sh/grw/listings-improvements

 

Moreover, being a top rated sellers, we always advise to keep rotating your inventory to include the hottest items which will keep you up in the competition. For example, if it is a Christmas or New Year, people buy gifts, clothing and accessories. In Winter, people buy warm clothes a lot. This was just an idea.

 

Also, you can include all the inventory to offer the eBay premium service which will give a boost your items search standing.

 

Also, I see that  you have offered eBay Premium Services for 97 item and you can also offer to other 870 which will give a boost into your search standing and will also give 10% discount on Final Value Fee.

 

Furthermore, nowadays social media is trending a lot. So, you may invest some of your time sharing the items or shop link to Facebook, Instagram, etc. which will divert the traffic to your shop and items, and you may see a boost in the sales.

 

I am sure that the above information will help you take the business to the next level.  

 

Kind regards,

 

Kunjan K.

eBay Customer Support.

 

[THREAD ID: 1-224894687646]

__________________________



I reply as follows via a site message with words to the effect of: 

"This was not a complaint about a sales drop.  It was a complaint about obvious and unnecessarily applied invisible sales capping.  You have addressed none of the points in my letter.  Also, this site message is not a response in writing.  Please respond in writing."


Sunday 1st September 2019
 
I receive the following response from Bholanath S. via a site message:
___________________________

RE: Complain - Sales drop SR# 1-224894687646


Hello Henry,

 

Thank you for writing back to eBay Customer Support regarding the issue related to the restriction and account status.

 

Henry, I am sorry for the inconvenience caused in this regard and we want to make sure that you get the correct information in regards to VAT.

 

First of all, I would like to assure you that there is no restriction placed on both your account "vila_restor" and "jenna_stannis". The sales limit threshold of £85k is the limit set by HMRC and not eBay. Here the best would be to contact HMRC so as to get complete information related to VAT from below link:

 

https://www..gov.uk/contact-hmrc

 

I trust this is helpful. Thank you for choosing eBay!

 

Kind regards,

 

Bholanath S.

eBay Customer Support.

[THREAD ID: 1-2VIOVAZK]

___________________________

I reply via this site message with words to the effect of:

"This was not a complaint about a sales drop.  You have addressed none of the points in my letter.  Also, this site message is not a response in writing.  Please respond in writing."


18th September 2019

I receive the following via a site message:

___________________________

Complain letter - VAT SR# 1-227656368516


Hello Henry,

 

This is a follow up with regards to the complaint letter you had sent us regarding VAT threshold and sales limits.

 

This is Kunjan - Team manager of eBay UK department. I have reviewed the account and can certainly understand that you are still facing issues. For further assistance, I would suggest to contact the HMRC team directly as they will be able to provider you support and clarify your concerns in the best possible way.

 

Please try to understand that we have provided all the information that we can in our previous emails and for your further information, I would recommend to go through our terms and conditions policy as well as user agreements.

 

I hope you can understand our case here and appreciate your kind cooperation and patience regarding this matter

 

Kind regards,

 

Kunjan K.

eBay Customer Support

[THREAD ID: 1-227656368516]

_____________
I respond via a site message:

"This is not a response in writing and will be ignored."

As a separate note here, I would like to add that while communicating in writing, it is normal business practice to use full names.  I have no more interest in communicating with "Kunjan K," or "Bohlonath S," than I would with communicating with "Homer S." or "Captain K."  I see no reason for either of you to hide behind partial names.  You have my full name.  It is unprofessional not to use yours.

However, "This is not a response in writing and will be ignored," could be seen as a bit unhelpful.  Kunjan K. in his site message suggests that I contact the HMRC team directly.  As it is described as a team, I assume that this means some specific team in ebay seller support.  That's strange, because I didn't know that such thing existed.  I'd better check that out on the telephone!  To summarize this call, I was correct; No such team exists.  I am informed that Kunjan K. was referring to HMRC itself, not an HMRC team.  I point out that this is...

a) Incorrect information.
b) This issue clearly has absolutely nothing to do with HMRC, and it is misleading to suggest that it has.
c) Having being forced down this paper-bound route by ebay, I expect a proper response in writing.
d) This issue is still open.

Here is the recording of that telephone call, where the line starts conveniently breaking up and the ebay seller support operative, "Joven," actually starts laughing:

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/written_letter_23092019.mp3


As of Tuesday 24th September, I still await a written response, on paper, from someone with a full name.

Some Meanwhiles

In an attempt to clean this up myself somehow, and to protest by moving some business elsewhere, I needed to close some accounts.  Closing of ebay accounts is not as simple as you might imagine, though.  I know that any account needs to be cleaned-down before it can be fully closed.  However, it seems that ebay has a series of hidden tricks to avoid this for some reason.  This includes mysterious non-existant subscriptions, mysterious invisible subscriptions that occur when you close a shop,  refunds supposedly made via e-cheques taking seven whole days to "clear," and a series of incompetent seller support operatives giving misleading information.

Here is the series of telephone calls that are still resulting from this, and a brief summary of each.


6th September 2019 Call No. 1

Christian and I discuss items preventing the closing of account jenna_stannis, and we engage in a discussion over straightforward refunds and the pure obfuscation of e-cheque clearance times.  "It's Paypal's fault," he says.  Ridiculous.


https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/christian_nick_06092019.mp3


6th September 2019 Call No. 2 

I go back to the telephone and try to clear up some other mysterious jenna_stannis subscriptions which seem to exist when trying to close the account, but which the site tells me do not exist.  After speaking to "Boy Wonder," I get put through to Kaly who is actually very helpful, discerning that a certain subscription suddenly occurs automatically when you close a shop.  Yes, Really.  Closing one subscription makes another invisible one occur!  And yes, you keep getting charged fees for the pleasure.


https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/boy_kaly_06092019.mp3


6th September 2019 Call No. 3 

I start the closure process of account james_from_space which has been completely unused for months.  I am told that the account will be monitored for seven days and then closed.  Was this too easy do you think?  Yes, that would be far too easy...

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/jfs_closing_06092019.mp3

...because on the 16th September, this account is still very much present.  I get the name of the previous person that I spoke to wrong in this call, it was not Kaly.  Perhaps the original person should have said, "The process of closing the account will be started in seven days, after which it will take a further thirty days for no good reason."

https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/jfs_not_closed_16092019.mp3

8th October 2019

On Tuesday 8th October I thought that I would just check-up with seller support to make sure that the closing of jenna_stannis was in progress, if not already completed.  This is bearing in mind that I was told that all subscriptions were completely removed on 6th September during call No. 2 with Kaly.  Right?  Wronnng!  Oh, what a surprise.  A subscription to selling manager pro is still 'active' somehow and this blocks closing the account.  It's almost as if ebay will do anything to stop accounts being closed and looking bad on their numbers.  Here is the telephone call where we note that it might take five to seven days to start the thirty to sixty day process of putting the account through 'term pending' and finally kill it off.  During that five to seven days, a cynical individual might imagine that a magic subscription to selling manager might re-appear.  However, the subscription disappears from the ebay account closure page and I get in on the 'close account' button before it has a chance to come back.  Note that there is no way on the website to remove this so-called subscription, nor even to see that it is active.

Ebay telephone call with Glen who removes the selling manager pro subscription 08-OCT-2019

I am finally presented with this page, which you can click on to read it properly:

ebay account closing page

I see that there's yet another potential trick embedded in this, that being the -£0.01 (way to go on the £ sign, web monkeys) credit on the account and that despite what I was told on the telephone, I'm supposed to claim it.  That would involve a payment, and yet another thirty day wait before the account can be put into a further thirty day 'term pending' closure period.  I wonder if the 1pee account balance will turn out to be a problem with closing the account?  How did Kaly on the telephone get the refund amount so slightly wrong a month ago?  Surely you can add-up.

If you can bear the suspense, tune in for next month's exciting episode of, "The Ebay Account Of Doom."  (alternatively, Planet Of The Liars.)

18th October 2019: "Planet Of The Liars"

It turns out that you didn't need to be kept in suspense so long, because when I checked my records, I noted that my account james_from_space should have been closed on 16th October.  I'd better just try logging in, on the outside chance that it hasn't been closed as agreed.  Oh look.  It hasn't!  Time for a quick Friday evening call to ebay seller support, I think:

Call to Ebay Seller Support 18th October 2019 20:13 Regarding Failure of Account Closure

Summary

First I speak to a young lady who tries to tell me that it can take thirty, sixty, or ninety days to close an account, depending on which options you select while closing it. 
"Bing!  Lie Detected!"  (Sorry about that noise just there; That's just my automatic Ebay lie detector going off again.)
I direct the young lady to the relevant site message from 16th September 2019 which clearly states that the account will be closed in thirty days.
She tries to suggest that she doesn't have access to that site message.
"Bing!  Lie Detected!"
I assure her that she can see anything in my inbox, which I know as a fact.  I get moved over to an 'account specialist' who is better at lieing without being caught out so easily.
After a very long wait I am told that the account should indeed have been closed two days ago.  The excuse given is that account closures sometimes get stuck in the system because of a hyphen or odd character in my telephone number, email, or physical address.  (Which there isn't)  There are several words for that, but they're not acceptable on a public web-page.  I am assured that it will be fixed over the weekend and that I won't need to call back on Monday.

Well, let's wait and see, shall we?

21st October 2019: Naomi and Eric

All completed?  Account closed?  Can I uncross all my appendages and undo the knot?  Don't be silly.  At 18:10 the account is still very much fully accessible.  So it's onto the ebay seller support telephone line.

Summary Call 1: 

I get through to Naomi who, after some time, tells me that the account is still open because I have been logging into it to see if it has been closed yet. 
"Bing!  Lie Detected!"
Not true.  Logging in to the account is not account activity that should stop closure, and I draw this to her attention
.  An argument ensues where I invoke the spectre of the UK Data Protection Act.  Naomi tries to persuade me that the terms and conditions state that it might take sixty days to close an account.  I draw her attention back to the site message sent by ebay that clearly states that sixty days only applies if a sale has been made, which it hasn't.  I decided to be taken through the ebay terms and conditions on the site which involves me logging into the account.  I was about to say, "But would that not stop my account being closed as you stated five minutes ago?" when I am rather rudely cut off.  Cutting me off when you've been caught in a lie is cheating.  Naughty!  Oh Dear.  I'd better call back. 

Naomi from Ebay Seller Support Tells Me Lies About the Account Closure Procedure, Then Cuts Me Off, 21-OCT-2019 18:30 hrs

Summary Call 2:

Ron initially can't see my data back very far as he is a buyer support person.  I get put through to Eric who is a seller support person.  We carefully track back the whole story of trying to enable the relatively simple procedure of closing an account, fully within the scope of ebay's terms and conditions.  After it is agreed once more that the account should be closed already, I am offered a call back within 24 hours.  I suggest that's not an answer to when the account will be closed, and suggest that seven days is a fair time before opening a complaint with the UK trading standards organizations, citing data protection law.  There are very big silent gaps edited out in this recording, and one almost might have assumed after twenty minutes that the call had been dropped.  I have more patience than that, though.

Poor Eric on Ebay Seller Support Is Told to Fob-Off the Caller Again, 21-OCT-2019 19:30 hrs

Let's wait and see again, Shall we?  Tune in tomorrow, for the next exciting pile of... "Pathetic... Ebay... Excuses!"

I'm not sure how much an ebay call operative earns for a thirty minute call, but the economics of this situation are surely looking foolish.  Just close the account.


22nd October 2019

I speak to Ronald and Emma as a follow-up to the call on the 21st.  They give me the same old story.

Ronald and Emma from Ebay Seller Support Repeat the Same Story 22-OCT-2019 10:40 hrs

23rd October 2019

I speak to an Indian lady who again insists that just logging into the account is stopping it from being closed.  No it is not.  We hear this spelled-out quite clearly from Jacob in Ireland in the second part of the call who promises to send the entire staff of the overseas call centre for retraining on such matters.  Jacob checks out all the account closure requirements as passed, puts in yet another manual request for closure and assures me that it will be completed in seven days time.  I say that I will check it out after eight days, next Thursday 31st October.

Also, the Indian lady gave me the email address of ebay's Data Protection Officer, and while we're on the line I check that email to see if it actually exists.  I have been caught out with non-existant ebay email addresses before.  To my surprise, ebaydpo@ebay.com does actually exist and sends back an automated courtesy response.  I may be needing that email address in the not so distant future.

Indian Lady and Jacob from Ebay Seller Support Give Me More Untruths and Delays 23-OCT-2019 08:41 hrs


Let's call back on Thursday 31st October shall we?  Maybe I won't have to.

1st November 2019

I give ebay an additional day and check back on the 1st November.  Oh dear.  Guess what?  The account still isn't closed.

Summary Call 1, 1st November 2019: 

The usual discussion ensues with the first line operative about not logging into the account.  This ends in a stalemate where I refuse to end the call and get put through to a second line operative, after about forty-five minutes of discussion.  His line is initially the same, until I again refuse to end the call and sit in silence for about fifteen minutes.  He then comes back, full of apologies, with a completely different story.  The story now is that because there was a purchase on the account on 16th August and the request for closure was instigated on the 16th September, there was not a full thirty days between the last purchase and the closure request.  This is why the account will only be closed after sixty days from 16th September, because the initial thirty day condition had not been met.
Foolishly, I accept this explanation.  I get an acceptance that simply logging into the account will not prevent it from being fully closed. 
My apologies for the extreme length of this recording, but it seemed for a while that persistence had finally paid off.  The long pauses are important.

JFS Account Closure Ebay Seller Support A, 01-NOV-2019 09:50 hrs


Summary Call 2, 1st November 2019:

Later on in the day, I decide to check something.  I was sure that there were thirty completely clear days between the 16th August purchase and the 16th September closure request.  I was right!  Back on the telephone to clarify why I was told that the account was not closed due to not fulfilling the initial thirty day clear period.  I am careful to establish the thirty days first by doing some counting on fingers with the first call operative.  We get nowhere.  The supervisor tells me that the account will be closed on the 16th November, because it will take sixty days this time for no good reason.  Further discussions ensue including a mention of the UK Data Protection Act, and ebay not fulfilling its stated terms and conditions in site messages and live on the website.  I nearly lose the will to live when one-hundred and eighty days is mentioned earlier in the call.  This ends in a stalemate and I force the supervisor to end the call, making it quite clear that my problem has not in any way been resolved, and that the answers given are unsatisfactory.

JFS Account Closure Ebay Seller Support B, 01-NOV-2019 19:00 hrs

See you on the 17th, if not before.  (Before, as it happens)

8th November 2019 - Closing The jenna_stannis Account

If you've been paying attention, you'll remember that the original point of this page was to document the closing of the Interesting Electronics ebay shop which used the ebay account jenna_stannis, and that closing the old james_from_space account was a bit of a side-track.  So today we're back to the main point then, as a full thirty days have passed since I successfully clicked on 'close my account' on jenna_stannis, after much painful tracking down of mystery subscriptions and weird payments etc.  Very close observers will note that in the telephone call on 8th October I was assured beyond any possibility of a doubt, that a mysterious £0.01 credit balance left on the account by Kaly could not possibly stop it being closed.  So, the account is obviously closed then?

Now, you already know the answer to that one, don't you?  Phone call time!

Summary Call 1, 8th November 2019:

All of ebays telephone lines were apparantly down for three hours so it takes until after mid-day and several aborted attempts to get a call-back.  I wonder why?  I get the usual useless individual and then get put through to someone who knows something about accounts.  After some slightly ascerbic banter, I realise that I may have actually found someone helpful and we get on with business.  Why isn't the account closed? etc. etc.  Will the 1pee balance stop the account being closed? 

Helpful Robert: "Yes." 
Henry: 'Oh.  Well that's not what I was told on 8th October'

We agree that the way forward is that I follow H.R.s advice and get an 'account rebalancing' done, as this will be quicker than paying 1pee into my Paypal account, if that were even possible.  Why a paypal payment could possibly take up to ten days is beyond my comprehension, but let's do it the way he suggests.  HR says that he may be able to call back with the result today.

Helpful Robert Ebay Seller Support Call 1, 08-NOV-2019 13:25


Summary Call 2, 8th November 2019:

Helpful Robert does indeed call back, and at 17:25 he informs me that the account rebalancing has resulted in a zero account balance.  He says that we can now close the account.  OK Robert, take me through the procedure.  (Yes, I know.  I've done this already, otherwise the account would not already be in 'term pending' status,' but let's go through it again anyway.)  It's worth listening to this labarynthine procedure, including clicking on what seems to me to be a hidden link, and one which takes you back to the 'classic' / supposedly redundant ebay pages.  What next, a door in an unlit basement marked, "Beware of the leopard?"  Oh surprise.  I get a message saying that, 'We can not close your account at this time because it is already in the process of being closed.'  Robert is slightly vexed.  He is not alone.  I point out to him that I successfully went through this procedure more than thirty days ago, despite the 1pee.  It would help if you would listen to what the caller said
originally, rather than engaging him a near argument.  We part on sensible terms with promises of weekend investigations at higher levels. 

Helpful Robert Ebay Seller Support Call 2, 08-NOV-2019 17:25

Here are screenshots of the account before and after today's activities, noting that in the second shot, I have incurred a transaction, that being  'New activity not yet invoiced : £0.01' 

Mysterious 0.01 ebay account
                        balance designed to stop you closing the
                        account

Ebay account balance zero, but
                        you're going to invoice me for £0.01 causing a
                        transaction that prevents account closure,
                        possibly ad infinitum


So I now have to wait n days to be 'invoiced' for 1pee owed to me, and as invoices generally work in the opposite direction, this could result in a 1pee account balance yet again.  "Quelle Surprise."  So does that mean another thirty days, sixty days, one-hundred and eighty days before the account is closed?  That 1pee that might be below a paypal transaction threshold could be bounced around forever.  A cynical individual might assume that this was the actual intention in the first instance.  But Tune In...:)

18th November 2019 - Closing the james_from_space ebay account

Good grief, it's finally gone.  It is actually possible!  We now know that no-one on the telephone has the slightest clue as to how this really works, and that ebay consider their stated terms and conditions to be of no consequence whatsoever to their customers.  But there it is.  A tiny, minor success.  I can no longer log into that account.  We shall see if there are any flies in this ointment as time progresses.

A rare ebay account is finally
                        closed and maybe deleted email

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