Crippled Consumer, Paralyzed Citizen

Riffs, Rants and Raves

The eBay India Saga – Contd.

(Part 1 of the post is here.)

Great! In fact, I already have another voucher (via Vodafone) from eBay, offering me 7% or Rs. 750 off (whichever is lower), regardless of the transacted amount. So why would I utilize this stupid voucher which gives me no more than 500/7500 = 6.67% off?

The guy at the helpdesk said, “Thank you for calling eBay. My name is <I don’t remember>; how may I help you?”

As soon as I started to speak, he interrupted me, “Are you getting a message that the minimum purchase value is 7500?”

Excitedly, I said “Yes!” He said, “Please be on the line; I will help you with this.”

After a few minutes, he got back to me, “Yes, Madam; we checked this. Actually, you can use this voucher only if your payment amount is at least Rs. 7500.”

I was livid, and I demanded a complaints ID, so he gave it to me: Even before I could mail them, I got another message from eBay, with the caption “Correction in the Coupon, please open to avail now”. Here’s what it said:

eBay Coupon topline Redeeming your Coupon is easy!
1. Buy an item on eBay on or before 30th June, 2013
2. Select “Pay using PaisaPay”
3. Enter Gift Coupon code. Pay the balance using Net banking or Credit/ Debit card
Terms & Conditions Apply
For further information FAQs;
on Minimum purchase of Rs. 7,500
  First Come First Serve
  *eBay Coupon is not redeemable against   “Deals” Items

Did I seem such an imbecile that I did not get it when the helpdesk guy told me? Anyway, I mailed that complaints ID, concluding my message with: “This is LACK OF TRANSPARENCY with your terms and conditions, and you have NO business to waste our time filling out your surveys.”

I got the following response to my complaint:

“We regret for the miscommunication and inconvenience caused due to a typing error in the coupon email. However as you might have observed that the coupon can only be redeemed for a minimum purchase of 7,500/-. eBay considers you a valuable customer and hence we have sent out a correction email which mentions the requirement and hence clarifies your doubts. We hope that this would not stop you from doing more purchases from eBay in the future. we request you to please check the ‘Terms and Conditions’ from correction email for coupon.”

Good job, eBay!

Had I been eBay, this is what I would have done:

1. I would have identified all customers who have bought stuff over Rs. 10,000 on a regular basis, say once a quarter or so. I would have then surveyed such people and offered them the voucher — it’s quite likely that they would use it. And I would be transparent about the T&C, before and after the survey.

2. Better still, I’d have done some “differentiated surveying” — for example, people who have spent ~Rs. 500 in the last few months would be given a different voucher (say, Rs. 100 off a purchase of 300).  It’s not at all hard to categorize users and send them the appropriate e-mail and voucher.

3. Had I failed to do both 1 and 2, I would have done the honorable thing of letting those vouchers go through without any conditions. After all, considering the number of people complaining about this survey on Facebook (barely 10?), it is likely that only about 200-500 people actually responded to the survey? Of these respondents, only 50% may bother to utilize the voucher — making it Rs. 500 x 250 people = Rs 1.25 lakh  for eBay?


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This entry was posted on June 24, 2013 by in Consumer and tagged , , , , , , .

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