On 7th April 2020 I was alerted by a very
helpful customer that when he had purchased four items,
the discount for buying four had not been applied.
Helpful Customer: E-Bay has given a
postage discount but hasn't given a quantity
discount. Listing shows UKL3.28 each for four off.
He is correct. A UK buyer has seen an advertised price of £3.28, used all the ebay shopping cart systems correctly, got the postage 'discount,' and has still been charged £3.45 each.
Henry: Hello H.C.
I will look into this and give the telephone seller "support" line some bashing about this, as it amounts to retail fraud. Right now, all I can do is either cancel the order and refund, or send it. Or, I could cancel it and send you a paypal money request for the correct amount. Please let me know which you'd prefer and thanks for your note.
Henry: Hello again,
So, the ebay seller "support" line can give no explanation for this, other than suggesting that I only put the multi-buy promotion on after the sale was made, which we know isn't the case. I've found another instance of this in today's sales. I suspect that they will blame it on a 'glitch,' when they call back tomorrow. I've made my displeasure clear and will publish the recording of the calls here:
Meanwhile, please let me know if you want to cancel the order. It might work correctly if you re-order or I can send a request via paypal for the correct amount as suggested.
Helpful Customer: Thank
you for your reply. Please send the items and forget about the
few pence. I just wanted to let you know about what's going on
on your listing.
What a helpful and nice
customer, considering that he's just been the subject of
(albeit unintentional) retail fraud! I spotted another
instance of this that happened around the same time.
Overseas buyers from UK sellers can't see the multi-buy
discounts. Why this should be in the 21st century I have
no idea, when I've used multi-buy discounts as a UK buyer from
some Chinese / HK sellers for years. However, that is a
question for another time. For now, why are ebay
multi-buy promotions from a UK seller to a UK buyer who has
seen the advertised discount sometimes mysteriously
failing? Let's get on to the Ebay seller "support"
telephone line for an unambiguous and clear answer, shall
we? You can click on the links below for the
recordings. The first one had Very extended hold times,
which have been edited out for your sanity. The full
call time was about 45 minutes.
Ebay Seller Telephone Support Say That Multi-Buy Discount Promotions are Working Fine and Accuse Me of Lieing Despite the Facts In Front Of Their Own Eyes.
I despair at the delay tactics employed by the staff, and the denial of the obvious. However, I will no longer accept "Oh, it was just a glitch" as an excuse for making me guilty of Retail Fraud. Thankyou for repeating the information that I gave you in the first instance as an explanation of what has happened. No. Not good enough.
There was a call back the
following day. Thankyou again, ebay seller support, for
repeating back to me the information that I gave you in the
first instance as an explanation of what has happened. I
was a bit busy at that moment getting out an urgent parcel, so
I didn't quite have the time to 'dig-down,' as they say.
Here's the call:
Ebay Telephone Seller Support Call Back and Repeat Back to Me The Same Lies About the Failure of Multi-Buy Promotions Which Made Me Guilty of Retail Fraud.
There has been no response
since. Well, I've not finished on this one.
Rob Hattrell, UK VP Ebay. I hope you're
listening to the 'phone calls, Luv.
"Rob Hattrell leads the eBay UK business and is accountable for all operations in that market. He is passionate about consumer sellers, small businesses and the role technology and eBay play in powering entrepreneurship and creating opportunity. Rob has run the UK market since 2017."
I've written to you before Rob, and I didn't
get a response. Fancy! I look forward to your
call about how your company makes me guilty of retail
with Multi-Buy Here
I'm glad that Rob Hattrell is so, "...passionate about the role
technology and eBay play in powering
entrepreneurship and creating opportunity,"
because here's another eBay Multi-Buy failure that
results in me committing retail fraud, and you can
reproduce this one consistently. You can
click on the screenshot below for a bigger image
of one of my listings.
So, this is a variation
listing. Variation listings include slightly
different variations of the same thing, like
different size T-shirts. Some unscrupulous
sellers will try to fiddle this system by having a
list of different size T-shirts for £9.95, and
then another variation for a stick-on badge for
99pee in an attempt to get to the top of a list of
items listed by lowest price first.
Naughty! This is forbidden by the
rules. However, it's explicitly allowed to
have the XXXL T-shirt at a different price than
the XS one. Equally well, in this example we
have a series of different capacitance values from
the same range of capacitors. The bigger
ones are more expensive. Fine. That's
all clean and above-board. When you select
the appropriate capacitance on the drop-down box,
the prices change and you also see the correct
prices on the Buy 1, Buy 2, and Buy 3 multi-buy
buttons. Hang on though, below that it
says, "4 or more for £3.75 each."
"Oh that sounds like a
bargain," says the customer, bungs four into their
basket and hits checkout and pay. Not
realising that in fact, that particular part of
multi-buy does not change price when you select
your desired capacitance value, and continues to
show you the price for four of a different
variation. Useless! No, worse than
useless. Because that's a retail pricing
offer that is subsequently changed without
warning, it's fraud. In this particular case
the price for four looks unusually low and most
customers will notice, and check the price in
shopping cart. But that need not be true in
yet another ebay
guess what? If the customer is over-charged,
that's more fees for Ebay in the very short term,
while I have to deal with the annoyed customers
and issue costly refunds. I'll call this one in
on the telephone next week to see
if the reaction is anything
greater than the usual
slopey-shouldered shrug, and 45
minutes of pretending not to
understand the problem. I
find it remarkable though.
Supermarkets have ended up in
court with similar problems where
the price marked on the shelf was
different to that charged at the
checkout. The analogy is
direct, so I hope that you've got
your best suit and tie ready Rob
Hattrell, VP eBay UK, because if I
end up in the dock, you're going
to be right there next to me.
Henry: "What, Rob; You didn't know about it?"
But I've posted links to this page as comments on the ebay Facebook page, and I'll be on the telephone to eBay seller support about it next week. Don't worry, I'll mention your name in person for the tape, and say that it's an urgent legal issue about eBay trading practices.
As if it were possible, it's even worse than that. The much vaunted "Ebay Multi-Buy discounts" not only frequently fail to apply correctly, not only show misleading prices, but also sometimes apply when they should not! Ebay claim that during the current virus issues, they can't find a way to employ call centre staff in such a way that they can work from home, which we know from previous experience that they can. So instead we are forced to use the text chat system. The level of deliberately obtuse misunderstanding in order to try to avoid addressing the point that I've experienced here is very annoying, but one must be dogged and carry on explaining the situation, as if to a child. Here is a transcript which proves that multi-buy discount has been applied incorrectly to two completely separate transactions from the same person:
Welcome to eBay Live Help. My name is Raja. I would be happy to help you today. Please stay connected while I review your query.
I can see that you are concern about a discount applied incorrectly, am I correct?
Yes that's right.
Order no. 21-05041-93702
May I know it you want to alter the discount offer or is there anything else I could do for you with this?
Can you see that order in paid and dispatched items?
Ah! the item has been sold already, no worries, Please share the buyer id and I will assist you further :)
Thank you for sharing this with me, i can see that the item is showing in sold section.
Right. And how many were sold?
on transaction id 21-05041-93702
The item "Solder Lug Connection 16mm Log Potentiometer" has been sold for two times to - "johnny_#####"
On tranasaction id 21-05041-93702 there is one item sold.
Henry I would like to share that every transaction Id remain different for transaction on site.
Well, on the single transaction that you can see are seperate sales there was one item sold then.
ALso, May I know what exact resolution you are seeking for so that I can have a better understanding in order to resolve this quick and efficiently up to your satisfaction?
Yes. There are two single transactions there.. The customer has bought one item on each. A discount has been applied incorrectly. £2.87 has been charged rather than £2.96. This is not a new problem.
Thank you for sharing this with me Henry, please allow me a moment to check every detail with you so that I can clear this for you.
Henry, as I have check this for you and found that there are two discounts, which are item price discount and postage discount as well, may I know which one of them you think applied incorrectly?
No postage discount was applied. The item price has been discounted incorrectly . These are two separate transactions.
The item price on each transaction should have been £2.96.
Let me share what has happened here.
I can see that you have created multi buy discount, as per which for two items the price would be £2.87 each. So now buyer has purchased two items for which the original price was £2.96 each however, as per the multi buy discount system applied £0.09 item discount and hence the final price is £2.87 each.
No. Not on two separate transaction it should not.
And you can clearly See with Your Eyes that there are two searate transactions, so why even say that?
Yes, I can see that there are two separate transaction and I totally agree with you however, I will have to check this from the other end, which I am already up to and I will surely clear this as well for you :)
It's happened before on a single transaction. Do you want me to drag that one up for you?
Henry, I can see that you are absolutely correct as the discount should not be applicable to single transactions and hence I am escalating this to get a clarification. Please be assured as we will reach back to you within 24-73 hours via email with a clarification on this, will that be okay?
You're welcome Henry.
Goodbye for now, then.
I am sorry that you have to face this and please take care and stay safe :)
It was my pleasure assisting you today. Thank you for contacting eBay. Have a wonderful time ahead!
Chat ended by vila_restor
Now, I can't offer discounts on separate
transactions because of the once-per-transaction paypal
fee, even if they do happen shortly after each other from
the same user. As also mentioned in the transcript,
this has happened once before, on a single transaction for
one item. So what became of the promised response
within three days? The above conversation was ten
days ago. Nothing will happen, Rob Hattrell, VP of
Ebay UK. That's not an Ebay promise, that's a Henry
Walmsley promise based on my everyday experience of eBay
Oh, I do apologise. Oddly, the very
next morning after the last post on this website I
received an ebay site message. Actually, no I
didn't! It was a Direct Email from
firstname.lastname@example.org . It reads thus:
Hello Henry, This is a follow up
from eBay customer support with regard to the credit
for the unsold items. We apologize for the
long wait as we are still looking into this matter.
Iím sorry for the inconvenience it has caused to
you. We are working closely
with the relevant team to seek a resolution for your
query. Please do not worry, we will be taking full
ownership of your query until we can get a
resolution and would monitor your account to ensure
that you are not experiencing any other issues. We cannot state
the stipulated time, however you would be contacted
sooner as we get any update from our technical team.
Thank you and have a
blessed day! Kind Regards, Raja S. eBay Customer Support [THREAD ID: 1-3C2XV4WR]
Can I have a job, Robert Hattrell? Vice President of eBay UK. I have a functioning short and long term memory, I can read, hear and understand words spoken on a telephone, and I don't lie. Which makes me completely unsuitable for your toy-town organization.
This is a follow up from eBay customer support with regard to the credit for the unsold items.
We apologize for the long wait as we are still looking into this matter. Iím sorry for the inconvenience it has caused to you.
We are working closely with the relevant team to seek a resolution for your query. Please do not worry, we will be taking full ownership of your query until we can get a resolution and would monitor your account to ensure that you are not experiencing any other issues.
We cannot state the stipulated time, however you would be contacted sooner as we get any update from our technical team.
Thank you and have a blessed day!
eBay Customer Support
[THREAD ID: 1-3C2XV4WR]