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My Parcel Delivery Blog

11th time unlucky – the latest eBay power outage

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Whether you are using it as a side-line or as a fulltime business, eBay has opened up the ecommerce world for hundreds of thousands of people across the world. But what happens when our reliable friend eBay becomes a little less reliable? Unfortunately last week eBay suffered its 11th outage of the year which was (rather more unfortunately) also on their 19th Birthday.

What impact was felt by the eBay community? The answer is simple….lots! The family of sellers were unable to go about the business of listing, relisting and pulling off the details for shipping their goods. And perhaps even more problematic was that buyers, for approximately 4 hours, were unable to part with their hard earned money.

Is this normal or should we expect more? eBay seem to be having a bad year for outages but they are not alone. On the same day that eBay went down last week we also saw outages at Facebook and Tumblr all due to internal IT issues rather than any sort of malicious attack. And judging from the response on Twitter none of the brands came out unscathed!

What was eBay’s response? Unfortunately this was the most frustrating part as the eBay response was…limited. Rather than taking a proactive approach across their site and on social media they said very little. Chris Dawson at Tamebay.com summed it up well stating that “…the communication plan that eBay employed is neither acceptable [nor] successful. They need to talk and reassure people from the earliest moment: on Twitter, on Facebook, in public. That they didn’t is pretty reprehensible." 

Will the eBay sellers affected be compensated? The eBay response to Tamebay.com was

For several hours starting on Wednesday 3 September, some users experienced issues when visiting eBay. We acted quickly when the disruption began shortly before 6pm BST, and the issue was fixed for most users within two hours. Transactional issues were completely resolved for all users by 12:16am BST Thursday 4 September.

This service interruption was the result of a technical issue that occurred during scheduled server maintenance. The personal information of our users was not compromised.

While many users were not affected, we know that any interruption for our users is frustrating. Please know that as a seller with transactions impacted by this issue, we’ll be protecting you as follows:

• You’ll receive a credit for all fees for auction-style listings (except those that sold for a Buy it now price) and any fixed price listings without a sale (except 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings) that ended between 5:46pm BST on Wednesday, 3 September and 2:20am BST on Thursday, 4 September.

• If the affected listing was a free listing, you can relist it within 7 days for free, even if you’ve used all your regularly allotted free listings.

• Any transaction defects we can identify as resulting from this issue will be automatically removed and will not impact your performance record.

The credits will be applied to your account by 16 September and will be reflected on your next invoice.

We understand that this type of service interruption has an impact on your selling activity. We’re taking steps to prevent this from happening again and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.

As always, thank you for selling on eBay.

There is no denying the frustration that these outages have on both eBay buyers and sellers but despite this the eBay marketplace is simply too powerful to ignore. We just hope that the tech team start peddling faster to keep these problems to a minimum so that you only have to worry about growing your business rather than wondering whether you storefront will be open for business that day!