This is a continuation of my first post about how eBay effectively hijacked my account. If you haven’t read it already, please do so, as it will provide background for this post.

Continuing on from the previous post, I wondered if I would receive a reply from a supervisor the next day. I didn’t, of course, and so I contacted eBay support chat again. I explained to the agent is was connected to, Prem, that I had been waiting for a response, and that I had not received it within the promised time frame.

Prem asked for some time to review the issue, and essentially confirmed what I had been told the day before. Prem provided me with the contact link, which I attempted to use again unsuccessfully. When I explained that there was an error, and that I believed that it was because the other account was no longer a member of eBay. I advised that if that was the case then I would effectively be locked out of my account, as I had no way to get the other accounts issues resolved. Prem then passed me on to another agent, Domingo Jr.

I gave Domingo a brief outline of my issues, which he didn’t appear to completely understand. Initially he thought that I had contacted the other account owner, and that they had not resolved their account issues. I clarified that I was in fact unable to contact them. Domingo said that if that was the case, and the member was no longer active, then I would have restrictions removed after 90 days, if selling activity showed no problems.

I responded that it would be hard to show that, given that I was currently unable to sell anything. Domingo then clarified that I am in fact still able to sell, but with a reduced selling limit. I questioned this, saying that the original email had not said anything like that, and that four previous agents had not said that (in hindsight, at least 2 of them either said outright, or suggested that I was unable to sell).

Domingo at least had the decency to apologise for this oversight. I mentioned that I still felt it unreasonable for my account to be restricted. Domingo stated that this was a measure taken to ensure that restricted accounts did not attempt to bypass restrictions. I said that I understood that, but in this circumstance they were punishing an unrelated account. Domingo then stated that they had strong proof that my account was linked to the other, and that I would just have to work within the current limits until such times as behaviour on the other account would not be seen.

While I was typing a response to this Domingo stated that as he had not heard from me he would be disconnecting the chat. This sudden disconnection seems to be a recurring theme with eBay support agents. It needs to be pointed out that eBay’s chat is much like any other instant messaging app, and there is an indication shown when the other person is typing, so it seems that this was a deliberate tactic on the agent’s part.

Not to be fobbed off, I again indicated that I still required help, and was connected with Mayank. I provided Mayank with a brief run down of the situation. I also added the information I was typing when the previous chat was ended, namely that any links between my account and the other would be down to the fact that I sometimes had items shipped to my work address, and that if my boss and I both used eBay in the office then we would be seen from the same IP address. I also mentioned again that this would have been several years ago, and thus not exactly “strong proof” as previous agents had said.

Mayank repeated the now familiar line that it was up to me to get the other account to resolve their issues, and that there was no other way to deal with the problem. I then said that if that was the case I would like to be escalated to a supervisor. Mayank indicated they would be happy to do that, but that the supervisor would say the same thing. I repeated the request to be passed to a supervisor, to be told “sorry, but the is no resolution in this case”. I ended up having to ask four times to be put through to a supervisor before Mayank agreed to.

I was then advised by Mayank that no supervisors were available, but that they could ask for a supervisor to email me, and that they would respond within 24 hours. I said that if there were no other ways for a supervisor to contact me, then I would wait to receive an email.

In the end it was not much more than an hour later that I had an email from the eBay Trust & Safety Team manager, Shakeeb. Shakeeb reiterated the same information: my account would not have restrictions removed until the other account had outstanding issues resolved, and that it was up to me to make this happen.

As can be expected I was not exactly happy with this response, and replied stating that I was uncertain of how I could do what eBay expect me to, given that the other account was no longer active. I provided a screen shot of the other account to show that this was the case.

I mentioned that I have effectively had my account permanently restricted through no fault of my own. I then requested four things from eBay:

  1. For eBay to explain why I am being forced to make another member resolve issues with their account, despite the account no longer being active
  2. For eBay to provide me with specific details of the reasons my account was flagged as being linked to the other account
  3. For eBay to provide me with a way to prove my account is not linked with the other, and to have the restrictions on my account removed
  4. For eBay to apologise for the trouble I am being forced to deal with for an issue that I have no control over.

I finished the email by saying that if I didn’t get a satisfactory response to these requests that I would take further action. It took two hours to get a response, and it effectively repeated the same information I had been supplied previously without addressing the specific requests I had made.

I replied to this email stating that since they had not responded to my requests, that I would now be forwarding this issue to the ACCC, and posting about it on my blog, and social media. Stay tuned for a third part once I’ve contact the ACCC.