Being punished for eBay's bad coding
December 8, 2010 11:39 PM   Subscribe

eBay's support system is driving me nuts, and now my account has been suspended for something that is completely not my fault. Is there a more direct line to eBay I can try to complain?

So here's the deal: when I first had my eBay account I was in Malaysia, so things were calculated in Malaysian ringgit. Then I moved to Australia, had an Aussie PayPal account, and bought stuff as usual.

Recently I made my first sales, and I was asked to pay the listing fees. eBay realised that my location isn't Malaysia but Australia, so I was asked to change that. OK no problem.

However, for some reason the listing fees are in MYR - and there's no way to convert that to AUD. No matter how many times I click on the "Pay Fees" link, it gives me the AUD total, which is $0.00. I can't pay it by PayPal, I can't print out a coupon for a money order, I can't even pay it by credit card.

I've been getting lots of automatic emails from eBay telling me my account is suspended and I owe them MYR38.57 something, but no matter how many times I try to pay, all I'm presented with is "Pay your fees of AUD$0.00".

I've contacted eBay's Live Support and email support and I'm going around in circles. They keep giving me the same instructions but they don't seem to understand that there's no way I can actually pay the MYR amount because their website won't let me! Yet due to no fault of my own, my account is suspended.

I've asked them to convert the amount over to AUD; no dice. Asked them to cancel the fees; no dice. I still get collections emails after me telling me to PAY UP!!! but they still haven't fixed their site bug.

Is there a direct email to someone a lot more useful, like someone in a managerial role? Does eBay Australia have a phone number that actually connects to a human? I don't mind paying, they're just NOT LETTING ME. Gwargh!
posted by divabat to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
Can you switch your eBay account's location to Malaysia, then pay the fees, then switch it back to Australia?
posted by suedehead at 11:55 PM on December 8, 2010

Have you tried logging into Paypal and paying from there instead of clicking over to Paypal from eBay?
posted by dobbs at 12:05 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: I'm not given any option to change my account country because my account's now suspended. Still shouting at me to pay though.
posted by divabat at 12:05 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: dobbs: I don't see any option to pay eBay anything (nothing comes up on the Pay to eBay page). If I had their email address I would send some money over.
posted by divabat at 12:08 AM on December 9, 2010

What happens if you click send money then pay for ebay items? It asks you for your username and password and presumably sees what's owed (I can't tell as I don't owe anything). Maybe it's just for bought items but maybe it also sees what you owe them?
posted by dobbs at 12:10 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: dobbs: It says I have no items to pay for. Nothing about eBay fees.
posted by divabat at 12:20 AM on December 9, 2010

Try calling Paypal, their customer service is pretty good and a human will eventually answer the phone.
posted by lee at 1:14 AM on December 9, 2010

Unless you are a Powerseller they do not provide you with a customer service number. It is pointless trying to reason with eBay anyway, if you are a seller. As far as I know you can still pay your fees by cheque, I think that is your best bet even if it means sending in a different currency.

Be aware that you should not attempt to register another account. You will be suspended for a year should you register a new account while your current account is suspended.
posted by fire&wings at 2:25 AM on December 9, 2010

Also, they will re-instate your account right after you do figure out how to pay.
posted by lee at 2:32 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: Cheque to who and how? The coupon that's meant to accompany my payment (which I'd use for a money order) doesn't show up for my MYR balance, only the non-existent AUD balance. Everything redirects to the AUD $0.00 balance. There is no way I can pay the MYR balance because the site doesn't let me!
posted by divabat at 3:51 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: (Also cheques aren't as common here in Australia as they would be in the US - I don't have a checking account, and while I probably could draw a cheque it'd likely end up costing me more than the balance in the first place, which comes to about AU$15 or something.)
posted by divabat at 3:53 AM on December 9, 2010

Best answer: From the Consumerist: All The Secret Paypal/Ebay Email Addresses And Phone Numbers You Could Ever Want. There is a snailmail address there, too.

(eBay's service is TERRIBLE. I am a p/t seller and deeply ashamed of how bad they are nowadays, and am trying to move my trade elsewhere.)
posted by kmennie at 5:41 AM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]

Sometimes when tech support doesn't get the problem, it can help to send screenshots. Send them a screenshot of each page along with how you got there, for example: "Okay, here is Screen A. I click X on that screen which leads to Screen B. I click Y on that screen and get to Screen C. You can see I absolutely can not pay with those instructions."
posted by galadriel at 10:04 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: Those email addresses don't work anymore.

Now they're telling me to clear my cache. Despite this problem failing on multiple computers. *headdesk* Going to try the screenshots method though I'd be surprised that they pay attention at all.
posted by divabat at 5:31 PM on December 12, 2010

Response by poster: One of the email addresses worked - it went to the Office of the President, who gave me a solution to try, but after I tried it and it didn't work I told them about it and they reinstated my account. Yay!
posted by divabat at 3:21 PM on December 14, 2010

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