Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Ebay Customer Service uses the community to find answers, so where’s the service?

Read the transcript here.

A couple of weeks ago I held an Ebay auction for my magic 8,000 tweet card. If you’ve been following my MacBook Mission story, then I’m sure you’re already aware of it. It had been a long time since I posted anything on Ebay, so I was thinking I might be a little rusty, because I was having a problem adding HTML to the item description. Usually there is an HTML button available, like there is in any blogging or word processing software.

I wanted to either link directly to the YouTube video which featured the card, or embed the video into the description. The video was necessary to include to show potential bidders what the card is and how it was used.

I spent hours trying to figure out how to add the HTML. I thought it would be something simple. I checked the Ebay listing information, but it only said that I could add HTML, but not how to add it. I checked the user forums for answers, I even Googled the question.

I usually leave harassing a customer service person to a last resort, but in this case had no other options. I clicked the Live Help button and realized that Ebay’s own staff must be a little rusty too, because they couldn’t help me. Even a supervisor could not figure out how to add HTML.

My chat began with Daisy C. and was continued with Reed A. The whole chatting process took almost an hour, it began at 10:43 am and ended at 11:37 am. Both Daisy and Reed kept trying to push me into their community chat rooms and forums. I was confused, because I thought the role of Customer Service was to answer questions, not the customers who use the service.

As it turns out Reed was able to find my answer eventually from the customer forums, that means that Ebay users are more helpful than Ebay’s own Customer Service department. What’s wrong with this picture?

We should be able to vote on the correct answer, like on Yahoo Answers or LinkedIn Answers. The users who post the best answers should have their service fees waived, or some sort of reward from a company this profitable.

So how do you add HTML to an Ebay item description?

On the Sell Your Item Form you just need to scroll down to the heading “Describe the item you’re selling”, and you’ll get the “Standard” and “HTML”tab.

The full chat transcript is now available for your viewing pleasure. I’d love to hear of any good or bad customer service stories about Ebay. I’ve been a long time fan of the service, many of my friends have done very well for themselves. Any stories of your own?


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