Interesting Electronics "The Trouble With ebay" Page

Updated 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

--------------------
If you really have time to waste, or are forced into it like myself, the whole series of
"Oh dear. Never heard of that before. Can't do anything." phone calls can be heard in the same directory:

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

This page will be permanently archived here:


https://www.interestingelectronics.com/old/henrys_interesting_electronics/customer_service/ebay/ebay_main_page.html