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eBay India is the Most Technically Challenged E-commerce Company

Yes, you read the title of this post right. I know you might find it surprising that I am calling one of the biggest E-commerce platform of India – E-bay.in as the most technically challenged company. But this is true and I have my reasons to say this! Today when I noticed that Ebay.in is celebrating 1 million fans on their Facebook page, I simply lost my patience. My patience that I have been holding in place for the almost a year!Ebay Sucks

Disclaimer: I have been following e-bay.in since the days it was Baazee.com and was later acquired by Ebay. I know the site well and have been a member long enough to make such an statement. And those who have been following eWebBuddy posts would know that its not my nature to do such Hate posts!


Now that, I have established my position of making such a statement, let me tell you the story that drives it.

My username on Ebay.in is “TechnixMart” which I had created almost 3years (Sept’08) back with the intention of setting up an e-bay store of used mobile phones. I had updated all of my details including setting up my PaisaPay account with the Bank details of “State Bank of Saurashtra”. The store did not work out exactly the way I wanted it to so I did not sell anything from the account before October’10.

In October 2010, I listed my Casio Tonebank MA-120 Keyboard [listing (260681267220)] which has been lying unused for quite a few years and found a buyer in no-time. The buyer was a good one and transferred money to the PaisaPay account which acts like Ebay’s escrow system. Once the payment was available in PaisaPay, I went ahead and delivered the product. The buyer approved the payment and marked as item received. Everything sounds picture perfect right? Well it was. The paint on the picture got spilled after this.

My PaisaPay remittance failed. The reason was very genuine and understandable. The bank details of my PaisaPay account was set to “State Bank of Saurashtra” which had later been acquired by State Bank of India. So according t0 the system, the bank I had mentioned did not exist. On the “My PaisaPay” page of Ebay.in under the tab ‘Registration Details’ there is an option to Edit Details. I was told my the customer care that I can change my bank details with the help of that link. I said Great! I clicked on the link, was asked to re-enter my password and bam landing on an error page.

Ebay.in PaisaPay Issue

Called the customer care again and they said it might be due to issues with browser cache. Please try in different browser specifically IE. I cleared the cache multiple times and tried on all browsers I am aware of ranging from IE, Firefox, Chrome to Opera and Safari. And yes even different versions. Being a technical guy I knew that it will not work but after being told all the three times i called the customer-care to do this, I said “Oh! What the hell.” Finally, when the customer care rep did agree that it might be a technical glitch from their end, I was told to send a screenshot of the error page to an email id. Once I do that I should call back again, so that they can raise a ticket for the technical team. Really? Is that how you do it? On requesting the team to change the details from backend, was told that it will not be possible to do that for security reasons. I said, “Ok whatever! Will do that.” Btw almost a month had passed by this time. I mailed the screenshot and got the technical ticket raised. I got a call few days later to confirm the issue which as helpless I was, I confirmed. I was told later that its some technical fault and the technical team is working on it. More than a month passed and neither did I hear from the so-called technical team nor did the issue get resolved.

Having been busy with work and travel, I could not follow up for a couple of months. It had been around 5 months since I sold my keyboard but the money had not reached me. I thought of starting all over again. Called the customer care, was again told that its a browser issue. Confirmed for their sake that it was not and followed the steps yet again. Mailed the screenshot and got a technical ticket raised. I got a verification  call and was told the issue is fixed but surprise-surprise it was exactly the way it was. I kept raising tickets and kept getting calls from the technical team that the issue has been resolved. I started testing while they were on call and informed them that the issue was as it is! To which they would apologize and say would look into it. BUT the thing is they never did. Because everytime after the first call from the tech team I never received another one.

So eBay has a technical team which is not able to solve the issue that why I am not able to update my bank details. Because my bank details are not updated, my PaisaPay remittance always fails so no money has been received till date! Here’s part of the conversation I had with the technical team last time about 2months back and you would know why they are the most technically challenged company!

I got the call from a technical team rep (lets call the individual Duh!) when I raised my ticket yet again!

Duh! – Sir, your issue has been resolved.

Me – Ok, please let me verify.

[Tick Tock, Tick Tock]

Me – I am sorry but the issue still exists. I am still not able to edit my details and get the error page.

Duh! – Really? Are you sure sir?

Me – That’s what your website says.

Duh! – But the issue is resolved…1 min sir. 

[Tick Tock, Tick Tock]

Duh! – Sir, please click the “Edit Details” link 4-5 times in succession.

Me – (Huh) I am sorry, WHAT??

Duh! – Yes, sir. You will not get the error page if you click on the link 4-5 times.

Me – Really? Ok… (I thought lets do it for the fun sake!) 

[Tick Tock, Tick Tock]

Me – No..that does not work.

Duh! – (Surprised) Are you sure sir? Can you please try again.

Me- (Dumbfounded) Yes I am sure and I have tried it. Its not working.

Duh! – We will look into it and get back to you.


The call got disconnected and I never heard from them. I could not believe it for a couple of minutes that the solution proposed by the team was clicking a web-link 4-5times as if they are using jQuery and this is a special way of keeping the user away from changing the details. Frankly, I would have been more surprised had the multiple clicking actually worked!!

So, the current situation is still the same. Now I do not even get calls from the technical team after I call the customer care to complain. The customer care says they are helpless as it is an issue only the tech team can solve. They have been escalating the issue for ages now, enough to have reached the CEO by now. Having led technical teams and provided web solutions for the last 3 years, I know how teams work and how issues are resolved. In my understanding this incident clearly show the lack of ability and qualified people in Ebay technical team. Also more importantly lack of RESPONSIBLE people who care about customers and know how to get the job done. If this is the kind of user-experience Ebay is looking at offering, I am not sure if it is run privately or by our government. Only Promises and no Results.

And if you would like to know this 10 months long struggle and frustration has been for a mere Rs.1800 (approx) bucks. Ebay.in is celebrating 1 million fans on their facebook page and urging their users to proudly display a batch which says – “EBAY LOVES ME”! I am not sure about others but EBAY SURE DOES NOT LOVE ME!

User Experience is the key to success in web business. Something that FlipKart.com is taking care of beautifully. Had I been part of Ebay would have made sure that is priority from start to end because if your customers are not happy, you are not successful whatever your balance-sheet may say…

Would request people to please forward this post to as many people you know. This way the word might reach the top officials and they can really be wondering if they actually hired the right team!! About me, well I would keep on trying to get my money back because it is MINE after all and every penny matter!

Update: I had tweeted this post to the Country Manager of Ebay, MuraliKrishnan B. (@hawkeye) and he took immediate action on my issue. Technical team solved the technical glitch they had not been able to solve for the last 10 months in just 2 days. I hope this experience will help them take customer issues more seriously in future, even the smaller ones. I am supposed to receive my remittance by 25th August’11. Hope nothing else goes wrong. 🙂 Would have been happier had the issue been resolved without this blog post but sometimes things need to be taken at a different level. Appreciate the help of Murali and his pro-activeness along with the power of social media – thank you twitter!

Final Update: Remittance received in account on 25th Aug’11 evening as promised. It was followed by a call from eBay support to confirm the transfer. So WoOt wOoT…mission successful!

Piyush Agarwal
Piyush Agarwal is a part-time freelance webdesigner who loves to play with design and the web around. You can check out his designs on Technix Designs. He is also into Theatre and Photography.

8 Replies to “eBay India is the Most Technically Challenged E-commerce Company

  1. Hi, May be you should have contacted the country manager much earlier to get it resolved. You would not have gone through customer service issues. Anyways, congrats to you and Hats off to Murali for leading the way.

    1. Seriously!? Do you think he would have got access to the call center floor manager for this issue, leave alone the country manager. Making a noise on social networks was the right thing to do.

      Frankly, customer service in India sucks big-time, and the US and european entities posing as the epitome of customer care suck even more when they come in here because they take it for granted that they have no competition.

      Look at flipkart and compare with ebay to understand what I mean…

      1. Absolutely agree….indian companies specially the upcoming online ventures needs to take customer service as one of their top priority. Flipkart is definitely doing it properly…

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