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Keeping buyers happy, and defect rates down.

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Dear eBay Queen:
I’ve been thinking a lot about this new defect rate. I guess it is designed to keep buyers coming back by hiding the "problem sellers.” Here's a prime example of how this doesn't work: an order of ours showed delivered, but the buyer stated he never received it, and opened a case. The buyer could be dishonest, but let's presume he's not. In the past, we would have shipped a replacement to the buyer, at our expense, in an effort to maintain goodwill. The buyer would have been surprised and pleased, and left positive feedback. If we do that today, the buyer will be surprised and pleased, but we would have a defect. So instead, we escalated the case and won. We have no defect, no negative feedback, and (again,) presuming buyer honesty, buyer has paid for an order he has never received. Will this buyer come back to eBay? Heck no! What do you think about this solution?

Judy

Dear Judy:
I’ve thought many times that this defect rate thing could have the reverse effect eBay wants to achieve. I had a case opened for a buyer that had the wrong address listed, and their item was sent back. I had emailed the buyer several times, asking for their correct address. They never responded, but opened a case. I contacted eBay, and customer service closed the case! They didn’t help me get a new address, or tell me to give a refund; just closed the case.
I can see this defect thing as a way for sellers to be pitted against buyers, rather than for sellers to have good customer service. I hope that eBay will scrap this defect rating system and start over. I believe it is going to end up with the opposite outcome than what they were wanting.

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