Mar. 21, 2017

Dear eBay Customer Service

As a seller on eBay I have to call them on occasion. This time though, I was calling as a buyer, not as a seller. I had purchased a gift for my son and the seller sent the item to the wrong address. I had been trying to get in touch with the seller to ask her to ask for her paypal address so I could send extra shipping fees (per our agreement) to no avail. Therefore, I was forced to contact eBay-India again. My friend wrote another letter for me concerning this situation:

“Dear eBay Customer Service;

I hope I'm not bothering you with my email, but I'm trying to resolve an issue regarding a purchase sent to the wrong address.  I somehow had the wrong address in my order, I'm really not sure how.  I wanted the email address of the seller so I may contact them. I've been trying to contact the seller via your very efficient contact seller system, but apparently they are not receiving, or understanding, my messages as they have not responded with the information I seek.  I know your system works, as I sell on eBay, and I never have a problem with buyers who have the *tiniest* problem with an order (I don't really think that the color ink I use on my labels is grounds to open a case against me, but that is neither here nor there).

After numerous attempts to communicate with the seller, I called your WONDERFUL customer assistance help line and I spoke to the cheerfully incomprehensible ‘Tonya’ (do you use a random name generator for these people as she seemed confused when I addressed her by name several times in the conversation).  I'm sure theirs is not an easy job, but really, could you tell them it's not necessary to say ‘I'm sorry you had this problem’ every 38 seconds?

The following is, as best I can remember, the conversation I had with ‘Tonya:’ (please forgive me if it's not exact, but I needed several stiff drinks after this call, for medicinal purposes).”

Me: “I am calling because I purchased an item and I’m trying to get in contact with the seller. It was sent to the wrong address and I need to pay them additional shipping to send the item here instead.”

Tonya: “Have you tried emailing them?”

Me: “Yes, but they’re not responding which is why I’m calling you.”

Tonya: “I see what you’re saying.”

Me: “I still want the item but I need their email address so I can send the extra shipping fees to Pay Pal since this was my fault it went to the wrong address in the first place.”

Tonya: “I see you changed address on the ninth. Did you change your address where you live or did you send a gift to friends and family?”

Me: “I sent a gift.”

Tonya: “You need to change address back to your primary address or else the sellers send to the wrong place.”

I’m thinking (to myself) no shit? Isn’t that what I’m calling about now?
Me: “Yes, I know. Can you tell me their email address? They are requesting $4 shipping to reship to my correct address.”

Tonya: “Why they are charging you extra $4?”

Me: “Because they sent the item to the wrong address and I agreed to pay the extra shipping fee to have it sent to me.”

Tonya: “Okay, I see what you’re saying. Whenever you purchased this item you should have changed your primary address back to this one (she repeats my correct address to me and I confirm it’s the correct one). This would avoid a lot of confusion.”

I take the phone from my ear and look at it like it just said something insanely stupid to me.
Me: “Yes, we’ve already established that. My problem now is I need their email address so I can send the extra shipping fee.”

Tonya: “Let me please look at your email between you and your seller to catch up on everything. Please, can I put you on hold for two minutes?”

Me: “Sure.”

Two minutes later she comes back.
Tonya: “Yes, I see here that she sent the item to the other address.”

Me: “Yes! That’s what I’ve been saying! I need the email address associated with the seller so I can Pay Pal them the additional shipping fee.”

Tonya: “I see you open case on the seller?”

Me: “I did, but I didn’t realize I did until after the fact.”

Tonya: “Well do not escalate this case because eBay will side with the seller. You need to make sure you have correct address before confirming payment.”

Me: “I’m not escalating the case! I just want the email address so I can send this woman some money!”

Tonya: “Yes, I realize that and I really appreciate you trying to work things out with the seller too. I just want to make sure you do not have it happen again and have the right address to get your item.”

Me: “You can stop telling me that now! How many times do I have to ask for the email address though?”

Tonya: “Please can I put you on hold again?”

Me: “What for now?”

Tonya: “I need to check something. It is okay for you to go hold?”

Me: “Yes, okay!”

At this point, I’ve woken the entire house up. My husband stumbles out here to ask what all that yelling was about, my son who was asleep on the couch jumps about two feet in the air startled by all the noise, and two of my three dogs are wanting to go outside - now, right now!

Annabelle (the golden lab) lifts her head and looks at me as if to say, “Why not just hang up on them and let me go back to sleep.”

Charlie (the beagle) pops his head up to assess the situation before quickly trotting to the back door. He senses trouble is a-brewing.

Bianca (the Australian Sheppard) tears through the house to the backdoor like a Cocker Spaniel on a cocaine high, trampling Charlie in the process and screaming, “C’mon Charlie. It’s time to go outside - shit is about to get real in here!”

Two minutes later Tonya comes back.
Tonya: “I can give you the seller’s phone number so you can contact her and discuss how to work this out. Will you be willing to give the seller your personal information too?”

She can’t give me the email address but she can give me the seller’s personal information instead? How messed up is this? 
Me: “Yeah, that’s fine.”

The information is emailed to me and Tonya confirms this. As we’re getting off the phone she says as a follow up statement: “In future, just remember to make sure you have correct address before confirming so sellers do not send your items to the wrong address. Thank you for calling eBay. Bye …”

I couldn‘t believe she was telling me this again! (click)

“Why couldn't eBay just give the email address, as I requested?  I was not asking for the seller’s email to offer them millions from my bank account, sell them miracle medicines, or ask them for a date.  I would just like to be able to get my package sent to the correct address and pay for it.  I admire your customer service staff's protective attitude towards your seller’s email address, but giving out their phone # rather defeats your overzealous safeguarding of your seller‘s privacy.  I would have asked 'Tonya' to send an email for me, rather than disclose the phone #, but I'm afraid that if she wrote it, my package would wind up on a slow boat going to Albania via the Cape of Good Hope.

Anyway, I just wanted to (again) relate my wonderful experience with your call center, and make a suggestion:  could you change your on hold music to the theme from ‘The Twilight Zone?’  No reason.”