eBay’s Soviet Style Moderation

At first he though it was a phish but it turned out to be for real. Adam’s flawless eBay account was suspended for being “associated” with a previously suspended user.

Adam has a brother. A bad brother. Well, not bad, but his eBay account got revoked. Adam and his brother have the same last name (duh) and the same billing address, even though they live in separate states.

We can see why then eBay might then go after Adam, but that doesn’t mitigate his annoyance and frustration.

Moral of the story: don’t share needles and don’t share billing addresses with familial scalawags. eBay and Paypal are getting hardcore about cracking down on fraud. Expect no mercy.

Adam’s letter, after the jump…

Adam writes:

    “So I get an email from eBay stating that my account has been suspended. Haha, silly Nigerian farmers and their “go phish” games. Wait…I double-taked, jaws on the floor. My account really *was* suspended. Huh? Quick background: My account is used infrequently, only a few times a year. It’s also 5-6 years old and has a flawless feedback rating. My last transaction was like 4 months ago.

    I read the email carefully. “Your account is associated with a previously suspended user.” And then it lists the username of my baby brother who lives in another state. Huh? I’m a working professional in Manhattan and my flawless eBay account gets suspended from their service because a family member, who lives in another state, gets his totally different account suspended?

    Note: My brother has never logged into my account or vice-versa. It’s not like we have the same credit card on file either. The only thing we share is our credit card billing address and the same last name.

    I email a customer service rep to appeal…response time is very slow. I explain the situation and am given a canned response asking me to fax them a government issued ID for verification. But that’s not the insulting part, I I also have to fax them a form that acknowledges I did something wrong and that I’ll never do it again. Huh?

    Personally, I think eBay is being too lenient. Why stop at suspending a troublesome member’s family? Why not ban all their friends as well? Or anyone they ever had any sort of transaction with? Why not let them keep their accounts in exchange for ratting out 10 others?

    Only then can we be guaranteed a safe bidding environment.”

: Adam writes again,

“Hey, story gets even better…after I fax them all manner of ID to show I live in another state, that I am who I claim I am, I get the following response from yet another customer service representative:

“I have reviewed your account and found that a mistake was made as you are unable to have your account reinstated and I apologize for the email you received.”

Gee, thanks for (1) Wasting 15 minutes of my life faxing everything to you, and (2) Starting your email with a misleading “a mistake was made” only to tell me the mistake was that I was banned unconditionally. “