eBay Suspends New User, Won’t Tell Her Why

Image courtesy of Kazuhisa OTSUBO

suspendedWhen a company decides that they don’t want to business with you, do they owe you an explanation why? One new eBay customer signed up for the site and bought a few things. Then she received an e-mail telling her that her account was suspended, but eBay wouldn’t explain the suspension. Why?

Naturally, she called eBay after receiving an e-mail telling her that she was suspended “indefinitely.” Their explanation was even more confusing: they told her that eBay representatives weren’t allowed to tell her what was happening, and to stop calling to ask.

She then took her case to the local CBS station, specifically, consumer reporter Kurtis Ming, who learned that account shutdowns with no recourse happen fairly often to eBay customers. Kicking customers off the site with no recourse seems counter-intuitive, but eBay does it pretty often.

In a statement, eBay told the TV station:

…the majority of the time we are transparent around account restrictions or suspensions…. However, when a suspension is due on the basis of risk, we keep reasoning general as we don’t want these individuals circumventing the suspension.

This turned out to be the case: having a TV station on the phone made eBay look more closely at the case, and the company realized that they had mixed her up with an account connected to fraud. That could be a person at the same address or who used to live at the same address who has been suspended, or someone with a similar name.

eBay reinstated her account, but the customer says that she’ll go elsewhere for her future Tupperware purchases, thanks.

Call Kurtis: Blacklisted From eBay And Nobody Will Tell Me Why [CBS Sacramento]

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