Monday, June 9, 2008

Six Weeks & Where Y'at?

First we asked questions. Sometimes we got answers. Sometimes we got different contradictory answers. Most of the answers we got were of the take it or leave it variety.

Next we tried reason, we explained. We told them why the proposed changes would not work. We gave examples and pointed out contradictions in wording. This had about as much effect as pouring water down a well.

Thousands signed petitions, it made them feel better. I will not sign petitions, I think they are pretty much useless but mainly I object to the word petition. (a request made for something desired, esp. a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or to one of those in authority; a supplication or prayer:)

I ain't no supplicant; I AM A CUSTOMER!

We did get some response, Lorrie Norrington said "I think it’s a great point of learning for us." So comforting, when they are 'learning' at the expense of your livelihood and reputation.

Some of us boycotted, and publicized the fact vigorously. No selling and just as importantly no buying. This led to a lot of less than desirable media attention for eBay, giving the PR department opportunity to be condescending and dismissive about their customers. Some executives stuck their feet in their mouths, Simon Smith with the heroin remark comes to mind. This must have made a good impression on the general public. Some corporate lame-brain opined that there was no noticeable effect from the boycott because there were no demonstrators at eBay's San Jose campus.

Some of us quietly stopped using eBay and moved to alternative, less hostile venues.

So here we are, six weeks down the boycott road and 'Where y'at?' as they say in N'awlins. It is now time to ramp it up. What do you think?

Y'all come back


Kevin_T said...

I see Boycotts as useless I am afraid. When dealing with a corporation the size of Ebay, the only one who notices the loss of income is the person boycotting. Moving elsewhere, changing the nature of your own business is far more constructive.

For me personally I have my plans to go back off-line, and go on with life and probably running auctions, and dealing goods into live auctions.

After almost a quarter of my lifetime, it is sad to see a good market so pointlessly interfered with, and having the life sucked out of it. And after that long as such an integral part of ones life, it is hard to walk away from it. That time is approaching though.

Subject to the ACCC acting quickly, I listed my last Australian dollar auctions on Ebay last night - they will end the evening before the "PayPal Only" policy comes in. Ebay has promised to change the payment terms on auctions that are listed prior and still running on that date, and to cancel auctions with other payment terms in the descriptions. They will not answer whether an auction with terms changed mid-way will still form a binding contract. They are pathetic.

Australia now has small sellers being suspended from listing if they have received a single negative - they are telling them they are restricted, but not even telling them what the restrictions are, let alone making it clear exactly why they are restricted and how to address the issues. It hurts to see people treated in this way, and it feels slimey to continue to trade with a company that can treat people's livelihoods with such contempt.

So, as they clean up the site, my feedback and my DSR's suggest I am the sort of seller they want - but I am the sort of seller they are offending and pushing away from the site.

I could lie and say I couldn't care less, but the fact is that I care way too much. While there need to be areas of the site cleaned up and protected, the lack of care and the lack of understanding of the needs of people who are fobbed off as "edge cases" is shameful. Compare it with the philosphies that Pierre built the original terms of service for Ebay, and the site is already unrecognisable. And even now they are building a future based on threats, instead of promise. How anyone with a business plan can utilise the site constructively is beyond me.....

How your business tools can wage war with your business is also beyond me, but both Ebay and PayPal are simply that: Business Tools.

As I said above....

They are pathetic.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Kevin that boycotts are useless and pointless. I disagree that leaving is the answer. In my opinion, staying in eBay and forcing change will be the only CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT. Then and only then, will eBay truly change.

Anony Mouse

sparkklejar said...

I refuse to stay in eBay. Why the hell would I pay for no profit and abuse? I also refuse to even process class action lawsuit in my blonde little brain. you have no basis to sue a business venue because you disagree with the user agreement. waaaaaaaaa im going to sue cus your unfair! Get used to it baby, life aint fair & not everythings a lawsuit. stay and enforce change? (said the co dependant wife of an abusive husband to her therapist).