Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Solution to Get Fraudulent Listings Removed From ebaY FAST

ebaY has always lied about screening their listings to prevent fraud, prior to indexing them to the site. It was a good sounding PR story to cover their asses for their lousy indexing times but obviously false, since anyone outside ebaY can do a simple search of whatever is the scammer key word of the day, and finds hundreds and even thousands of fraud listings.

It is also obvious that ebaY will not now or ever hire the personnel they need to actually monitor their site, unless forced to by the courts or legislation.

Well we have come up with the solution for ebaY. (ebaY - when you read this please note the copyright - We would be glad if you implemented this idea, if you PAY us for it!)

In a nutshell - ebaY should pay their users a bounty for finding fraudulent listings.

To implement it -
1. Set up a live chat category where you have to log in, for reporting fraudulent listings (this is fraud only - not legit listings that might contain a violation of ebaY rules)
2. For every user ID an ebaY user turns in, that has visible fraudulent listing (redirects, overlays, hijacked accounts) ebaY pays the user (we suggest $25. but maybe they should start with $10, then increase as the incidence of fraud diminishes). If ebaY wanted to be really cheap, they could make the money a non expiring coupon only good for use on ebaY via PayPal (to buy items or pay seller fees) - in that way it would be fake money, not really costing ebaY much of anything in real dollars.
3. ebaY would "pay" every user who reports the user ID, and that would be valid until ebaY closes down the fraudulent listings posted by that ID so they were no longer visible on the site. This would motivate ebaY to use trained personnel for this special reporting board, who can recognize fraud when they see it, and close it down ASAP, rather than letting it run for hours, days, weeks, months, like they do now. The user reporting the items can take screenshots time stamped, of their chat and of the ID reported with items showing, to keep track of and prove they made a legit report - just in case ebaY tries to welch out.
4. At the end of the year ebaY could award a real money or stock bonus to the top fraud beaters - those who turned in the most accounts being used for fraud. Great PR.

This benefits ebaY in so many ways it is hard to fathom why they would not do it.

1. They already have the structure for reporting in place.
2. This would get the reports of such items off ebaY's chat/discussion boards, and probably off most of the off ebaY chat boards, as folks would have a reason to report them first BEFORE posting them in the public eye. If ebaY did this correctly, those listings would be gone - both before they could be seen AND before anyone could get taken.
3. Not only would the cost of this be minimal (paying a pittance to users rather than having to actually hire personnel), but they could use it as an actual example of both working with their community and actively combating fraud on their site - rather than just giving lip service to both. ebaY CLAIMS that fraud is less that one hundredth of one percent on their site - so just think how little this would cost them for so many tangible benefits.
4. This would clean up such fraudulent listings FAST. Currently ebaY tends to punish (threaten and suspend) users who report too much fraud, especially those who post about it on the ebaY chat boards. This generates lots of hostility, and is self defeating for ebaY, generating plenty of bad press. This idea eliminates all those negative factors.

ebaY - get moving! You know TAG's phone number, call and we can negotiate a price for this idea!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Looks as if ebaY is testing a customer service phone number being made available to "regular" users. The message shows up in My ebaY - The person who received this message it is a casual user of ebaY, buys and sells once in a while.
Dear users name (user ID):

As one of our most loyal and active members, your membership status entitles you to a toll-free telephone number to contact eBay's customer service directly.

We're here to help if you need us, so the next time you need assistance from eBay, you can give us a call:

800-717-EBAY (800-717-3229)

This phone number is only for members like you who have been invited to
participate, so please be ready to provide your member ID when you call.

We appreciate your choice to use eBay and look forward to helping you make the most of your shopping experience. Please call us if you ever need a hand.


eBay Customer Support

P.S. From time to time, if we notice you are having an issue with a transaction or a problem with your account, we may proactively try to reach you. Please help us provide the best possible service--make sure we have your correct contact phone number:
If you are not on their "list" they hang up on you.

Of course under the "will ebaY never learn" category, ebaY has a clickable link in the message that takes you to a redirected ebaY log in page. Is this an early holiday gift for the scammer set, who are sure to mimic the message for phishing? ebaY NEVER seems to learn from their prior mistakes. TAG guesses that ebaY feels their My ebaY and My Message system is secure, though those of us who follow ebaY know that NOTHING is secure on ebaY. ebaY opening another door for the scammers to exploit by putting a clickable link in what we are assuming (a dangerous thing to do) is a legitimate message, just facilitates the scammers.