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On Thursday 27th February 2020 at 20:40 I received an order from a customer for ten mixed colour radio knobs. The idea is that the buyer can add a note to the purchase saying which particular mix of colours they want, or send the same information in a site message. This is slightly clumsy, but it is the only way to make the offer of varied colours of the customers' choice in a purchase of ten items. The ebay user interface for adding the note to the purchase discourages the buyer to remember to hit 'save,' and sometimes they forget, and a brief exchange of site messages ensues so that I can send the right colours. Easy, Yes? No. Not if the system loses the response from the customer. Here is the full message exchange.
21:29 Me to buyer: Hello, Which colours
would you like?
Now I know that these messages have a habit of
going missing, so the next day I pop another one off.
28-FEB-2020 12:47 Me to buyer: Hello,
Which colours would you like?
28-FEB-2020 20:37 Buyer to Me:
Hi. I was wondering why you have cancelled my order as
it does not give a reason. I thought I would check
before I re-order from someone else.
28-FEB-2020 22:00 Me to Buyer:
Hello, I didn't get an answer to the question of if you wanted
any particular colours, or a message in the first
instance. The ebay messaging system routinely loses
messages, which is infuriating. Still, I had to cancel
it before it got marked as a late dispatch. Henry.
28-FEB-2020 22:07 Me to Buyer: By the
way, if you've not seen any messages from me, could you
confirm that. I sent two, and if the system is that bad
I will add it as one of my ebay customer support telephone
complaint webpages like these: (link to the page above
28-FEB-2020: 23:15 Buyer to Me:
I replied "any" to that message. I just checked my sent
items to make sure.
18:40 Me to Buyer:
Hello, Ah. That's the message that I never
got. I've been on the telephone to ebay about it
and you will be able to hear the call at the following
link in a couple of hours:
(link to this page) That's not much help now, but at least someone at ebay central has been sent home with a flea in their ear today. Sorry about the confusion. Henry.
This is the type of confusion that results from
one lost message. You would have thought that in an
online marketplace, being able to communicate clearly with
your customers is as essential as the system not randomly
losing orders. (See previous issues) It
appears that neither is considered terribly important by
ebay management or their customer support. It's just
one more ongoing fault in their toy-town website for which
the sellers pay dearly, and which I guarantee will
be ignored. Here's my telephone call with ebay
seller "support" from this morning. I'm not happy,
and this is made clear.
Click to hear a recording of eBay's usual dismissive telephone support response to proof that site messages go missing.
We'll be having more on this issue every time it
comes up, meanwhile I'll have to bother customers with
multiple messages and try to get details of what messages
they actually sent to me every time. Ridiculous.