Pay Pal, eBay, and Who Cares

I think I have worked out what is wrong with my ability to write.  It isn’t that I have lost the ability to write at all.  I have simply lost the passionate concern, the ability to magnify every little molehill idea into a literary mountain, that has spawned so many entries.

There are, for instance, emails from eBay sitting in my inbox that prove eBay does not read people’s complaints – not even the reasons they give for closing eBay accounts! Having said that I suppose I really need to add them to avoid being confusing so here they are.

The message I sent:

“I wish to close my ebay account.  Thank you.”

The message I got in reply (my thoughts as I read it are inside the brackets):

“Thank you for writing to The eBay Team! Your question (what question?) is very important to us and will be treated with our full attention. If you have received this autoresponse (ah – it’s an automatic answer), your email has been received, and it is not necessary for you to resend it (good). Thank you for your cooperation and assistance (pfft)!

We understand the need to get your question answered quickly, and to that end, we strive to respond to you within 24 to 36 hours of receiving your email, however, there may be times when it may take up to 72 hours to receive a response (pfft).”

They followed up with:

“Hello,
Thank you for contacting us. My name is Shania and I’m sorry to hear that you wish to close your eBay account.

Is there anything we can do to change your mind? Please reply to this email, tell us about any unresolved issues, and we will do our best to help resolve them.

Please be aware that closing an account is a major decision and will result in this account being blocked from eBay. Your contact information will be concealed, and your Feedback Profile will no longer be available.

It is also important to realize that once an account is closed, the email address associated with this account cannot be used to open a new eBay account. You can read more information about canceling an account at the following web address:

http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/basics/closedAccount.html

If you definitely want to cancel your eBay membership, reply to this email and restate your request. Please also let us know why you want to close your account.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Your request to cancel an account will not be processed unless you reply to this email and clearly restate your request.

Thank you once again for contacting eBay. I hope you will continue being a valuable member of the eBay community.

Regards,

Shania K.
eBay Customer Support”

I was not able to reply to this email without filling in a form saying why I wanted to close my account so I entered a message stating that I was closing the account because I no longer wanted it.  I received the following replies and an eBay newsletter.

Reply #1:

“Dear username (email address),

Receipt of this notice indicates that your account is now blocked from bidding or listing on our site. You will still be able to access your account information to determine your final bill payable to eBay for our past services if applicable.

We might require a waiting period for complete closure if you have had any listing or bidding activity in the months leading up to the date of your request.

By allowing 7 days; to pass we are helping to ensure that all transactions have been completed or at least, enable both parties to access the information that may be needed for completing the transaction.

Once the 7 day period is over, we will automatically proceed with your account closure request.

As part of your request, on completion we will also conceal your current contact information, your bidding and selling history, your Feedback Profile, and your About Me page if you have one. When we have finished that part of the process, you will receive a final notice from eBay for confirmation. Please note that if you have an unpaid balance on your account, eBay will continue to use your contact information for collections efforts until your balance is fully paid.

Final closure will forever conceal all information about your account ? for example, once your FB profile is concealed, it cannot be restored. If you do not wish to have your account permanently closed, please contact us immediately.

We hope that you have enjoyed your time with eBay.

Repectfully,”

There was no signature and they spelled respectfully wrong which is kind of ironic given the lack of respect they show for customers with this zero human response process.
Reply #2:

“Hello,
Thank you for writing to eBay. I understand your frustration (Huh?) and I do apologise for the inconvenience (What email did they read?  Not mine obviously).

Your final request to be unregistered has been received. Per your request, your account is in the process of being unregistered.

Once the account has closed permanently, your contact information will no longer be available on the site. You should receive another email shortly to confirm this and give you additional information about the automated process.

Thank you for using eBay.

Regards,

Lynette A.
eBay Customer Support”

Reply #3:

“Dear username,

On 28/02/2007, we replied to an email message you sent to customer support. As part of eBay’s commitment to excellence, we want to make sure our response met your needs. Would you please take a few minutes to answer some questions about your overall experience and the specific eBay Representative (Which one? Both?) who responded to you?

Please respond to the survey by clicking on the following link; or copy and paste the entire web address into the address field of your browser.

http://surveys.benchmarkportal.com/ebay/survey.taf?survey_id=(expired)

If you contacted eBay from your registered email account, this invitation will be sent to both your email address and to My Messages. NOTE: This invitation will expire after five days (Oh the pressure!).

Thank you for your help (pfft)!

eBay Customer Support”

I did not take the survey and today I got the email confirming that my account has been closed.  I wonder what they mean by my contact information being concealed from other users “with limited exceptions”.  What exceptions?  The people to whom they sell their mailing list?

“Dear username (email address),

eBay has finalised your request to close your account. To fulfill that request, we have blocked your registration from bidding, listing, leaving feedback, posting to chatboards, or accessing any part of our system that requires you to log in. Your notification preferences have been reset to stop all mail from eBay, except for account collections and other legal obligations. Your feedback profile has been removed, and contact information, including your email address, is permanently concealed from all other users (with limited exceptions) ? learn more:

http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/basics/closedAccount.html

Please note that this is final, and we will NOT be able to restore this account, or parts of it, at any later date.

We hope that you have enjoyed your time with eBay.

Respectfully,

eBay Inc.

It is clear to me that the whole thing was automatic and no real person at eBay has any idea why I left nor, I suspect, do they care.

I would say eBay knows people feel better if they think they have been heard and they get an apology so eBay sends an automated “I understand your frustration and I do apologise for the inconvenience.” email.  They must be so used to customers being frustrated and inconvenienced for them to be automatically sending this message to people who have not even complained.  After offering you a sincere, if you consider an automatic message sincere, apology they give you a chance to change your mind about closing your account by saying they are still “in the process” of closing it.

Somehow this experience did not interest me enough to provoke an entry the way it would have done once.  Before the medication I would have been highly indignant at getting such an insincere apology and I would have written an entry denouncing eBay to let off steam.  I am, today, only mildly offended at this evidence eBay did not even read the reason they forced me to give them for leaving.  I’m only adding the information because realising medication has reduced my reaction to it has prompted this entry and the information belongs in it.

In addition to making me harder to offend, the medication appears to have caused me to climb off my moral high-horse, to drop my “guardian of the realm” stance!

Last night I stumbled across the website I found when researching Pay Pal.  The stories on this site made my hair curl and were the reason I decided I would never open a Pay Pal account.

Before the medication I would have been agonizing over whether to share the url with people or not.  The guy has porn sites and I hate porn with a passion.  A few weeks ago I would have been debating whether the information on his site was worth the risk people would access his links to porn if I sent them there.

Today I’m thinking how glad I am that I found the information on his site.  I did not click on his links to porn so I was not subjected to any porn images.  The site does contain strong language but that is due to the horrifying things Pay Pal has done to the people who wrote there.  The language is understandable.

I’m now thinking the people who come to my site are not my responsibility beyond a certain point.  Anyone who is into porn will view porn regardless of anything I say or do.  As long as no link I add to my site leads directly to porn the rest is up to the individual.

I strongly suspect, before the medication, I would have been too worried about being responsible for people accessing porn to add a link to this site even though the site itself contains nothing but complaints about Pay Pal.  Today I think people can make their own choices and the information on this site is worth passing on.

I may be finding it harder to write entries but this discovery makes me wonder how much of what I have so effortlessly written in the past was just melodramatic over reaction and not really worth writing?

Food for thought indeed.

Leave a Reply