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Customer Service question

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:50 pm
by PreserveVintage
This isn't eBay specific, but I have two shipping/customer service situations I'd love some input on. They are partly my fault and partly the buyer's fault. How would you handle the following:

Issue #1: an international buyer entered their address incorrectly, leaving off the house #. So the package was returned. USPS doesn't verify international addresses, but if I was paying close attention, I could have noticed that just a street was listed, with no house number.

Issue #2: a buyer purchased an item on Etsy, had their personal address as the shipping address, but included a personal note asking me to contact them before sending, as they wanted it shipped elsewhere. I hardly ever get additional notes, and without seeing the note, shipped it to the listed address. Once the buyer realized this, they asked for a refund, because it was no longer going to get to its intended recipient when they needed it by.

I see #2 being much more my fault (albeit frustrating), and #1 being more the buyer's fault, but something I would theoretically take care of if I want to provide a max level of customer service. It's just compounded by the fact that it's a international order that costs $12.48 to ship a $23 t-shirt that's already incurred plenty of other costs/fees.

Re: Customer Service question

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:55 pm
by jimmyj
#1 - Split the difference with them? If it was a confirmed address it's also PayPal's fault. You could just say under PayPal protection, they insist I ship to the address listed.

#2 - Toughie, but yeah, might have to bite the bullet on that one. This used to happen to me a lot more years ago before eBay made notes more visible - it usually worked out. Are you going to get the item back? If that's the case then they could also just pull claim it was "not as described" and get their money anyway, so might as well just honor the refund.

But it's also a silly system thing, if they buyer wants it shipped elsewhere - that should be an option during the purchase process through the system - and they should at that point also wave their buyer protection because it's going to an unconfirmed address not officially attached to the account.

Re: Customer Service question

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:31 pm
by PreserveVintage
Thanks for the reply!

Re: Customer Service question

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:57 pm
by FiftyFiftyMan
So as not to ruin my feedback rating, I'd honor both, and both would have been partially my fault for either not double checking the address, or not reading the message re: shipping destination. I've done both once or twice.

It used to be I didn't mind international transactions. But not as much now that shipping rates have almost doubled (underestimating weight by 1-2 ounces can lead to sticker shock at PO), and the USPS clerk must now manually enter all information...and overseas addresses tend to be long. So what used to take 2-3 mins can take 10 mins. Not to mention filling out the customs form. But anything under 1 lb I still ship overseas to increase odds of a sale. With anything over 1 lb, the potential cost in event of non-delivery is too high.