Ebay Multi-Buy Promotions Fail to Work on Multiple Occasions, Resulting in Retail Fraud

I update this page fairly regularly.  If you've been here before, please hit function key F5 to refresh, and scroll down for the latest news from 25-MAR-2020

On 7th April 2020 I was alerted by a very helpful customer that when he had purchased four items, the discount for buying four had not been applied.  He wrote...


Helpful Customer:  E-Bay has given a postage discount but hasn't given a quantity discount.  Listing shows UKL3.28 each for four off.<8/font>

He is correct.  A UK buyer has seen an advertised price of £3.28, used all the ebay shopping cart systems correctly, got the postage 'discount,' and has still been charged £3.45 each.


Henry:  Hello H.C.

I will look into this and give the telephone seller "support" line some bashing about this, as it amounts to retail fraud. Right now, all I can do is either cancel the order and refund, or send it. Or, I could cancel it and send you a paypal money request for the correct amount. Please let me know which you'd prefer and thanks for your note.

Henry Walmsley.


Henry:  Hello again,

So, the ebay seller "support" line can give no explanation for this, other than suggesting that I only put the multi-buy promotion on after the sale was made, which we know isn't the case. I've found another instance of this in today's sales. I suspect that they will blame it on a 'glitch,' when they call back tomorrow. I've made my displeasure clear and will publish the recording of the calls here:

(link to my main ebay complaints page)

Meanwhile, please let me know if you want to cancel the order. It might work correctly if you re-order or I can send a request via paypal for the correct amount as suggested.




Helpful Customer:  Thank you for your reply. Please send the items and forget about the few pence. I just wanted to let you know about what's going on on your listing.

Kind regards,

What a helpful and nice customer, considering that he's just been the subject of (albeit unintentional) retail fraud!  I spotted another instance of this that happened around the same time.  Overseas buyers from UK sellers can't see the multi-buy discounts.  Why this should be in the 21st century I have no idea, when I've used multi-buy discounts as a UK buyer from some Chinese / HK sellers for years.  However, that is a question for another time.  For now, why are ebay multi-buy promotions from a UK seller to a UK buyer who has seen the advertised discount sometimes mysteriously failing?  Let's get on to the Ebay seller "support" telephone line for an unambiguous and clear answer, shall we?  You can click on the links below for the recordings.  The first one had Very extended hold times, which have been edited out for your sanity.  The full call time was about 45 minutes.

Ebay Seller Telephone Support Say That Multi-Buy Discount Promotions are Working Fine and Accuse Me of Lieing Despite the Facts In Front Of Their Own Eyes.

I despair at the delay tactics employed by the staff, and the denial of the obvious.  However, I will no longer accept "Oh, it was just a glitch" as an excuse for making me guilty of Retail Fraud.  Thankyou for repeating the information that I gave you in the first instance as an explanation of what has happened.  No.  Not good enough.

There was a call back the following day.  Thankyou again, ebay seller support, for repeating back to me the information that I gave you in the first instance as an explanation of what has happened.  I was a bit busy at that moment getting out an urgent parcel, so I didn't quite have the time to 'dig-down,' as they say.  Here's the call:

Ebay Telephone Seller Support Call Back and Repeat Back to Me The Same Lies About the Failure of Multi-Buy Promotions Which Made Me Guilty of Retail Fraud.

There has been no response since.  Well, I've not finished on this one. 

Rob Hattrell, UK VP Ebay.  I hope you're listening to the 'phone calls, Luv.

"Rob Hattrell leads the eBay UK business and is accountable for all operations in that market. He is passionate about consumer sellers, small businesses and the role technology and eBay play in powering entrepreneurship and creating opportunity. Rob has run the UK market since 2017." 

Rob Hattrell. VP eBay UK
          looking smug.

I've written to you before Rob, and I didn't get a response.  Fancy!  I look forward to your call about how your company makes me guilty of retail fraud.

17th April 2020:  Ermmm... What's Happening with Multi-Buy Here As Well?

I'm glad that Rob Hattrell is so, "...passionate about the role technology and eBay play in powering entrepreneurship and creating opportunity," because here's another eBay Multi-Buy failure that results in me committing retail fraud, and you can reproduce this one consistently.  You can click on the screenshot below for a bigger image of one of my listings.

Ebay Multi-Buy Failure on Variation Listings

So, this is a variation listing.  Variation listings include slightly different variations of the same thing, like different size T-shirts.  Some unscrupulous sellers will try to fiddle this system by having a list of different size T-shirts for £9.95, and then another variation for a stick-on badge for 99pee in an attempt to get to the top of a list of items listed by lowest price first.  Naughty!  This is forbidden by the rules.  However, it's explicitly allowed to have the XXXL T-shirt at a different price than the XS one.  Equally well, in this example we have a series of different capacitance values from the same range of capacitors.  The bigger ones are more expensive.  Fine.  That's all clean and above-board.  When you select the appropriate capacitance on the drop-down box, the prices change and you also see the correct prices on the Buy 1, Buy 2, and Buy 3 multi-buy buttons.  Hang on though, below that it says,  "4 or more for £3.75 each." 

"Oh that sounds like a bargain," says the customer, bungs four into their basket and hits checkout and pay.  Not realising that in fact, that particular part of multi-buy does not change price when you select your desired capacitance value, and continues to show you the price for four of a different variation.  Useless!  No, worse than useless.  Because that's a retail pricing offer that is subsequently changed without warning, it's fraud.  In this particular case the price for four looks unusually low and most customers will notice, and check the price in shopping cart.  But that need not be true in all cases. 

It's yet another ebay programming monkey failure which no-one cares about, because guess what?  If the customer is over-charged, that's more fees for Ebay in the very short term, while I have to deal with the annoyed customers and issue costly refunds.  I'll call this one in on the telephone next week to see if the reaction is anything greater than the usual slopey-shouldered shrug, and 45 minutes of pretending not to understand the problem.  I find it remarkable though.  Supermarkets have ended up in court with similar problems where the price marked on the shelf was different to that charged at the checkout.  The analogy is direct, so I hope that you've got your best suit and tie ready Rob Hattrell, VP eBay UK, because if I end up in the dock, you're going to be right there next to me.

Henry:  "What, Rob; You didn't know about it?"

But I've posted links to this page as comments on the ebay Facebook page, and I'll be on the telephone to eBay seller support about it next week. 
Don't worry, I'll mention your name in person for the tape, and say that it's an urgent legal issue about eBay trading practices.

Update 26-MAY-2020:

As if it were possible, it's even worse than that.  The much vaunted "Ebay Multi-Buy discounts" not only frequently fail to apply correctly, not only show misleading prices, but also sometimes apply when they should not!  Ebay claim that during the current virus issues, they can't find a way to employ call centre staff in such a way that they can work from home, which we know from previous experience that they can.  So instead we are forced to use the text chat system.  The level of deliberately obtuse misunderstanding in order to try to avoid addressing the point that I've experienced here is very annoying, but one must be dogged and carry on explaining the situation, as if to a child.  Here is a transcript which proves that multi-buy discount has been applied incorrectly to two completely separate transactions from the same person:

Multi-buy discount for applied incorrectly on a single purchase.
2020 - 05 - 16
08:55:22 UTC Raja
Welcome to eBay Live Help. My name is Raja. I would be happy to help you today. Please stay connected while I review your query.
08:55:54 UTC Raja
Hello Henry,
08:56:00 UTC vila_restor
08:56:31 UTC Raja
I can see that you are concern about a discount applied incorrectly, am I correct?
08:56:41 UTC vila_restor
Yes that's right.
08:57:16 UTC vila_restor
Order no. 21-05041-93702
08:57:58 UTC Raja
May I know it you want to alter the discount offer or is there anything else I could do for you with this?
08:58:31 UTC vila_restor
Can you see that order in paid and dispatched items?
08:58:57 UTC Raja
Ah! the item has been sold already, no worries, Please share the buyer id and I will assist you further :)
08:59:18 UTC vila_restor
09:01:13 UTC Raja
Thank you for sharing this with me, i can see that the item is showing in sold section.
09:01:45 UTC vila_restor
Right. And how many were sold?
09:02:07 UTC vila_restor
on transaction id 21-05041-93702
09:03:36 UTC Raja
The item "Solder Lug Connection 16mm Log Potentiometer" has been sold for two times to - "johnny_#####"
09:04:02 UTC vila_restor
On tranasaction id 21-05041-93702 there is one item sold.
09:05:03 UTC Raja
Henry I would like to share that every transaction Id remain different for transaction on site.
09:05:40 UTC vila_restor
Well, on the single transaction that you can see are seperate sales there was one item sold then.
09:05:49 UTC Raja
ALso, May I know what exact resolution you are seeking for so that I can have a better understanding in order to resolve this quick and efficiently up to your satisfaction?
09:07:02 UTC vila_restor
Yes. There are two single transactions there.. The customer has bought one item on each. A discount has been applied incorrectly. £2.87 has been charged rather than £2.96. This is not a new problem.
09:11:32 UTC Raja
Thank you for sharing this with me Henry, please allow me a moment to check every detail with you so that I can clear this for you.
09:14:24 UTC Raja
Henry, as I have check this for you and found that there are two discounts, which are item price discount and postage discount as well, may I know which one of them you think applied incorrectly?
09:16:08 UTC vila_restor
No postage discount was applied. The item price has been discounted incorrectly . These are two separate transactions.
09:16:40 UTC vila_restor
The item price on each transaction should have been £2.96.
09:16:48 UTC Raja
Let me share what has happened here.
09:18:29 UTC Raja
I can see that you have created multi buy discount, as per which for two items the price would be £2.87 each. So now buyer has purchased two items for which the original price was £2.96 each however, as per the multi buy discount system applied £0.09 item discount and hence the final price is £2.87 each.
09:19:06 UTC vila_restor
No. Not on two separate transaction it should not.
09:19:42 UTC vila_restor
And you can clearly See with Your Eyes that there are two searate transactions, so why even say that?
09:20:45 UTC Raja
Yes, I can see that there are two separate transaction and I totally agree with you however, I will have to check this from the other end, which I am already up to and I will surely clear this as well for you :)
09:20:45 UTC vila_restor
It's happened before on a single transaction. Do you want me to drag that one up for you?
09:23:01 UTC Raja
Henry, I can see that you are absolutely correct as the discount should not be applicable to single transactions and hence I am escalating this to get a clarification. Please be assured as we will reach back to you within 24-73 hours via email with a clarification on this, will that be okay?
09:23:17 UTC vila_restor
Yes, thankyou.
09:24:01 UTC Raja
You're welcome Henry.
09:24:22 UTC vila_restor
Goodbye for now, then.
09:24:33 UTC Raja
I am sorry that you have to face this and please take care and stay safe :)
09:25:06 UTC Raja
It was my pleasure assisting you today. Thank you for contacting eBay. Have a wonderful time ahead!
09:25:13 UTC
Chat ended by vila_restor

Now, I can't offer discounts on separate transactions because of the once-per-transaction paypal fee, even if they do happen shortly after each other from the same user.  As also mentioned in the transcript, this has happened once before, on a single transaction for one item.  So what became of the promised response within three days?  The above conversation was ten days ago.  Nothing will happen, Rob Hattrell, VP of Ebay UK.  That's not an Ebay promise, that's a Henry Walmsley promise based on my everyday experience of eBay lies. 


Oh, I do apologise.  Oddly, the very next morning after the last post on this website I received an ebay site message.  Actually, no I didn't!  It was a Direct Email from customerhelp_uk@ebay.com .  It reads thus:

Follow up regarding Multi Buy Discount issue SR# 1-261391692697

Hello Henry,

This is a follow up from eBay customer support with regard to the credit for the unsold items.

We apologize for the long wait as we are still looking into this matter. I’m sorry for the inconvenience it has caused to you.

We are working closely with the relevant team to seek a resolution for your query. Please do not worry, we will be taking full ownership of your query until we can get a resolution and would monitor your account to ensure that you are not experiencing any other issues.

 We cannot state the stipulated time, however you would be contacted sooner as we get any update from our technical team.

Thank you and have a blessed day!

Kind Regards,

Raja S.

eBay Customer Support


Once again we have to suffer the age old, long practiced ebay seller "support" technique of pretending to not understand the actual issue, and diverting attention away to something else which was not the original problem.  In this case, nothing whatsoever to do with me.  Fortunately, It won't work with me, because I'm not an idiot. "With regard to credit for unsold items," Raja S, (once again hiding behind a pseudonym.)  That's complete nonsense totally unrelated to the clearly stated original problem. 

Can I have a job, Robert Hattrell?  Vice President of eBay UK.  I have a functioning short and long term memory, I can read, hear and understand words spoken on a telephone, and I don't lie.  Which makes me completely unsuitable for your toy-town organization.

17-JUN-2020  Another Instance Of Multi-Buy Discount Being Applied to Separate Orders In Error, and the Ensuing Ebay Lies.

On 09-JUN-2020 I spotted another instance of multi-buy discount being applied incorrectly on two separate orders from the same person.  I wouldn't mind, but Paypal charges a 40pee flat fee for each individual transaction, and I can't absorb that *and* a discount.  It's also just wrong in terms of functional site operation, making me wonder what else is implemented in a shoddy fashion.  Everything?  So, onto the text chat seller "support" service I go:

09-JUN-2020 Text Chat with Hannah Regarding the Incorrect Application of eBay Multi-Buy Discounts on Separate Transactions

Summary:  Hannah accepts that there has been an error and then later sends back an obfuscating email, discussing something that we have already dealt with in the text chat.  Not acceptable.  I complain.  Roshni V. via email asks for screenshots and I provide them via email.  A deafening silence follows, which I take to be eBay ignoring an obvious eBay systems problem, rather than dealing with it. 

If you actually want an analysis, here it comes:  Ebay multi-buy discounts has been implemented by an Idiot who didn't understand how the existing systems work, and couldn't be arsed to find out.  If two separate purchases come in from one customer within the same minute timestamp, they get given a multi-buy discount and I lose money.  Paypal and eBay on the other hand, do very well out of this.  Considered globally, or even on eBay UK, that could probably pay for Rob Hattrell's Bonus all by itself.

Unless, of course, it was deliberate, and eBay was hoping that I wouldn't notice, eh Robbo?

He is passionate about consumer sellers, small businesses and the role technology and eBay play in powering entrepreneurship and creating opportunity. Rob has run the UK market since 2017."  But his website can't add up correctly, which strangely always results in the customers and sellers losing money, and eBay and the long associated company Paypal getting more.  Spooky!  :)

31-JUL-2020: Yet Another Critical Multi-Buy Failure Mode

On 23rd July I noticed yet another multi-buy problem.  Is it some trivia that I'm inventing to be awkward?  No.  It makes the whole thing almost completely useless.  In brief, you are supposed to be able to apply one multi-buy discount to, say, all items in the shop of 3,4, and 5% if the customer purchases 2,3, or 4 or more of any item.  That would be very helpful to encourage people to browse the shop and to add more items to the often disfunctional shopping cart, in order to get the badly applied and confusing postage discount.  You are also supposed to be able to apply bigger discounts to specific items, say 5,10, and 15% for purchases of 2,3, or 4 or more of those particular items.  The specific discount is supposed to take priority over the global discount for that item, or you are at least supposed to be able to select the priority.  That option is always greyed out on the relevant promotions page.  What actually happens?

What actually happens is the worst of all possible binary combinations of failure.  Ebay displays the lower global discount to the customer, say 5% for four light bulbs, then actually gives them the greater 15% discount when they actually pay.  Great!  I've sold something for £4 and ebay has charged the customer
£3 for it.  Actually, it could be worse.  It is probably possible to make the global discount higher than the specific one.  Then the customer would see a big discount and get a smaller one at checkout.  I'll try this to see if that is possible.  Of course, that would be ebay systems enabling retail fraud, which you might well do accidentally if you weren't reading this.

So, displaying one discount and giving a bigger one is a clear site failure, at least it is to me.  What do ebay seller support have to say about this?
Here's the telephone call - Yes, the 'phones are back.  Oh, joy unrestrained!  Click to listen:

23-JUL-2020 Ebay Seller Support Call where an Immediate Ebay Lie Causes an Argument About Recording 'Phone Calls, Followed by a Very Helpful Person Called Eric who Agrees That the eBay Multi-Buy Discount System as it Currently Stands is "Completely Useless."


1)  Well, ebay first line telephone support. I don't know what such a big successful corporation could be so afraid of, but if you are allowed to record telephone calls for 'training and quality purposes,' then I am also allowed to record telephone calls for 'training and quality purposes.'  It might, you never know, improve your quality one day.  The first line telephone operative finds a way around this ebay lie by carrying on the call while 'not giving me authorization to record it.'  Fine!

2)  I explain the problem to a very helpful man called Eric who I suspect is based in Ireland.  Basically, we both agree that the system should definitely never display one price and charge another, and is therefore, "completely useless."  His words and mine.  We also agree that a proper solution to this problem is unlikely to happen, ever.  He promises to have a look into it anyway to see if there is some way to work around it.  I thank him for his time.

So.  I deactivate the global multi-buy discount so that the smaller number of listing specific discounts show correctly.  Unfortunately this results in people who might like to buy multiple different items having to pay more, and I make fewer sales as a result.  Yet another much-vaunted ebay feature that is completely useless, much like Rob Hattrell, VP of ebay UK for example, who I have no doubt is aware of this issue, but who carries on regardless allowing new silly features to be added to the website, while failing to correct the existing critical functional failures.  Those much-vaunted failures which I pay to use in my monthly fees and shop subscription.

Thanks Rob,

Until the next time:)

25-AUG-2020:  Another Customer Loses Out on his Ebay Multi-Buy Promotional Discount and Makes Me Guilty of Retail Fraud - Again.

This problem was first reported to ebay by me way back on 7th April 2020, four months ago.  The response then was complete denial.  On the 23rd August I spotted another instance.  The listing was for items priced at £2.95 for one, and £2.83 for three:

Relays Listing with
                  Multi-Buy Promotion Active

Just in case you thought that I might have recently edited the listing, here's the revision history:

Ebay Relay Listing Revision History

So the last edit was on 24th July.  We have to establish all these facts beforehand, or else the ebay telephone support liars will just use claims like "you have edited the listing" as their excuse during the call, as we have heard earlier.

Finally, a list of recent sales from that listing and the prices charged for the items.

Ebay Relay Sales List
                  Showing Incorrect Charges to The Customer

We can see that on the 6th August, someone successfully buys four relays for the correct reduced price of £2.80, there are no subsequent edits to the listing, and on 23rd August a UK customer buys three and is charged the full price of £2.95.  The price per item should have been £2.83.  Showing one price and charging another is retail fraud.  So, I refund the customer his 36pee via paypal, paypal keep all their fees on the full price and ebay keep all their fees on the full price.  Over the entire ebay sales world, this must be inflating the bonuses of Rob Hattrell, VP of Ebay UK and several Californians by Millions Upon Millions Of Pounds.  Remember, it's been Four Months since I first reported this, and I've not inspected every single transaction.

To the Ebay seller support telephone line then, I think.  Click to hear the recording:

25-AUG-2020 Roger of Ebay Customer Support Admits That I Am Not The Only One Suffering Multi-Buy Promotion Failures Resulting in Retail Fraud and Says That, "It Will Never Happen Again!"

Summary:  Roger promises that this will never happen again then goes into what I'm going to describe from now on as covering up the truth while saying nothing, "Blabber Mode."  He then tells an ebay lie about this being "Top Priority."  We also establish that the much vaunted multi-buy promotion system does not function on most international sites.  There is also a post-script with the delightful Sharmaine about the upcoming new ebay managed payments system.  I look forward to that being implemented flawlessly.

Still not very good, Rob Hattrell, is it?  Did you actually finish your geography degree at Oxford?  Still, I look forward to you being being a co-defendant in the dock at my trial for retail fraud.  Actually, I won't be in the dock because I'm giving refunds where it occurs.  So it will just be... *You.*  After all, you are
"accountable for all operations in that market."

04-SEP-2020 Roger Was An Ebay Liar - Because it Did Happen Again More Ebay Multi-Buy Promotion Retail Fraud.

So, after I was assured on the 25th August that, "It will never happen again," another of my customers was defrauded by ebay systems and I have to pick up the pieces.
It's the usual story.  The customer chooses to buy three of the same item, in this case a stereo potentiometer.  Multi-Buy says £3.00 each, ebay checkout charges the full price, £3.45. 

Here's the order as it appears in my paid and dispatched list, noting that it is a UK buyer with a CF postcode:

stereo pot order with incorrect ebay

And here's the listing:

stereo pots listing with
                  multi-buy promotion

And here's the part of the listing showing when it was last modified, just so that there can be no, "You must have modified the listing," confusion as was the first ebay excuse back in April:

stereo pots listing last modification
                  24th July 2020

OK, so there's no mistake on my part, and even ebay now admit that this is happening.  This is not good enough.  I first reported this six months ago on 7th April 2020.  It's retail fraud and should therefore be considered to be an emergency, not something to first deny and then to delay for six months.  So, it's onto the telephone again.  Warning, there's a full forty minutes worth of this.  You can click on the link to hear the call in its entirety.  I have spared you the hold music:

04-SEP-2020 Recording of Ebay Seller Support admitting Multi-Buy Promotions Fail Thus Charging Customers Too Much, And More.


An ebay customer support person repeats back to me what I have already told her, tells me that it is nothing to worry about, and goes into "Ebay Excuse Blabber Mode."
An ebay customer support manager "Jim" repeats back to me what I have already told him.
I am assured that this problem first reported six months ago is being given top priority.
"Jim" gives me a magic reference number.
"Jim" refuses to contact Robert Hattrell VP of ebay UK directly in this emergency but will raise it with "higher management," through the usual channels.
I say it's not good enough, and inform "Jim" that I intend to raise this with UK Trading Standards as ongoing retail fraud.

There is another slight twist to this issue.  Twice today when I checked the listing, the multi-buy promotion had disappeared.  Here's a screenshot from today:

ebay multi-buy promotion
                  has mysteriously disappeared

Spooky!  A few minutes later the promotion came back, using the same exact same browser, viewing from the browser that was accessing my ebay account.  Then it was gone once more, and a few minutes later it came back.  So maybe some customers are seeing this version and buying when the multi-buy promotion is mysteriously not showing.  But we know from the 7th April 2020 report from the customer that at least some people are buying expecting a lower price and not getting the discount that they have seen with their eyes.  What's going on?  Maybe the defrauded customer clicks on the discount, then pays a few seconds later when ebay has mysteriously deactivated the promotion.

16-SEP-2020:  More Multi-Buy Failure Updates and Some Interesting Information That Slips Out During an Ebay Seller Support Phone Call

So, the multi-buy promotion failures continue unabated with many similar instances to those shown above.  I'd say that they occur about 30% of the time, though I've not done a full count.  They do not always result in a retail fraud situation.  What is happening is that the multi-buy promotions are appearing and disappearing.  My guess is that when a customer actually complains, the promotion has disappeared in-between the customer hitting the 'Buy Four' button and the system registering the sale.  This remains under further investigation on my part.  The phone call on this day concerning a particularly obvious failure is linked below, and you can click on the link to listen to it.  I have sent a message to my customer asking if he could see the promotion, and if he made his purchase expecting a discount.  I should not have to bother my customers with such questions.  Some interesting events and comments fell out of this conversation.

16-SEP-2020 Call to ebay seller support about the six month long ongoing failure of multi-buy promotions.

Call Summary:

The call operative actually witnessed the promotion re-appearing having first said that there was no promotion active, and she confirms this.
Ebay admit that this has been occurring since at least April 2020.
The call operative states that the problem is occurring on ebay.uk and ebay.com.
The call operative states that the problem does not occur on all selling accounts.

How strange!  Why could that ever be?

17-SEP-2020 The Helpful Customer Responds The He Did Indeed Buy Via The Multi-Buy Promotion - And That Therefore He
Was Overcharged

ebay message exchange with H.C.:


Hello H.C.,
Your ferrite bars are on the way. I have a question, if you don't mind taking the time to answer. Did you see any kind of "Multi-Buy Promotion" when you looked at my listing for those parts? A "Buy four four or more for £3.78," kind of thing?
Henry Walmsley.
Hello Henry
Yes, i bought these items through the multi buy option given on the listing, different prices depending if you bought 1, 2 ,3 or 4 or more.
Hello H.C.,
I think that you've been over-charged. It's not so much, but it's a really important issue for me because it constitutes retail fraud. If you get any refunds or anything from ebay please don't worry about it. I may send you some money back manually. Thank you /very much/ for your response.
If you are really bored, you might look at my fight page on this issue:

(witten-out link to this page)

Henry Walmsley
Thanks Henry,
I had no idea I was being overcharged and just took the final amount to pay as being accurate. I really appreciate your response to this and it proves to me that amongst the few rogues on e-bay there are honest traders who look out for their customers and I would like to think that's the majority of traders.

And therein lies the problem, expressed by the customer exactly.  "I took the final amount to pay as being accurate."  That is why advertising one price and then charging another is retail fraud under UK law.  In the past, several supermarkets have been up in court for the exactly analogous error of showing one price on the shelf, and charging more at the checkout.  So, it's onto the Ebay seller support telephone line again.  You can click on the link below to hear the call in full.  Warning:  It's very long, very tedious, and descends into truly Pythonesque levels of ebay denial and lies.

17-SEP-2020: Ebay Seller Support Twist, Turn, Deny, and finally Give Me 26pee Back When I Refund The Customer the £2.68 That He Was Defrauded Out Of by an Ebay Systems Failure That Has Been Documented for Six Months

Call Summary:

* Preamble and we try to establish what was agreed yesterday.
* The call operative tries every foolish trick to deny the problem, even blaming it on the postage charge at one stage.  Goodness me!  I can add up.
* A manager or supervisor is unavailable.
* After being forced into explaining the situation as if to a child, using 'shop assistant and customer' role play, I issue a refund and get back 26pee in ebay fees.
* There is no time estimate for fixing the "bug" which causes multi-buy promotions to appear and disappear on some seller's accounts.  I point out that six months should be enough.

I've been on this problem for six months now.  After all that, even *I* was astounded by the level of deliberate obfuscation and denial on this call.  Can you hear all that typing in the background?  Those edited out on-hold periods can be quite long as well.  I wonder what coaching from above could be going on there? 

26pee?  10% of £2.68 is 27pee when correctly rounded.  OK, I'm not going back for the 1pee.  But I will next time, 'Robert Hattrell of eBay UK who is responsible for all ebay UK activities.'  I may also change my mind about the 1pee.  If all ebay fee refunds are incorrectly rounded down, that could be millions of pounds a year, when taken worldwide.  Large scale rounding fraud is actually quite a well-known method of theft.  "Watch this page," for that one!

I think I've got enough for BBC Radio Four's, "You and Yours" programme now.  Maybe even, "Watchdog" on BBC1 national television as well.  What fun!

There is a little more analysis to be done on this yet, and it concerns the frequent and mysterious appearance and disappearance of the multi-buy promotions on my listings. 
These were not instigated by me, as was witnessed by an ebay call operative on 16th September 2020.  This could be causing the incorrect pricing retail fraud problem documented here to be multiplied up, from an extremely rare event, to a regular event.   Bear with me for another couple of days, Winifred Robinson of Radio 4's You and Yours consumer affairs programme, while I conduct some small experiments.

21-SEP-2020:  Some Small Experiments and A Little More Analysis Have Been Done.

So, if I load one of my multi-buy promotion listings into a separate anonymous browser window as a guest ebay customer, the customer (sometimes) sees them active.  This is a static page, i.e. it does not automatically update when the listing changes behind the scenes.  If I go and turn off the promotion via my ebay account, naturally enough, the promotion is still there visible on the static page.  When, as the customer, I then enter a number of items to buy which should get a promotional discount, not surprisingly, I do not get the discount.  That is as expected: It has just been turned off. 

Now, that could cause a problem if I, the seller, were being careless.  If I deactivated all of my promotions at once during a busy time, I might expect some customers to see the promotion price, buy from the listing and not notice that the promotion has been removed and not applied to the sale.  That would be price misrepresentation and I, by law, would have to correct it and avoid it happening in the future.  That's not really the problem here.  I now know to look out for such instances, and not go removing promotions without checking purchases made around that time.  The problem occurs when ebay systems mysteriously remove the promotions from my listings without my knowledge and then puts them back, all ready to remove them again whenever they feel like it.  This happens all the time, and I have spotted two instances today.  This causes the price misrepresentation criminal act as documented, and it is beyond my control. 

I have seen another recent purchase today that should have had a discount applied, and I wait to hear back from the customer if he purchased it via a listing showing a promotion when the page was loaded.  Until ebay "fix the bug" causing some sellers' multi-buy promotions to appear and disappear, these price misrepresentation crimes will continue to occur.

05-OCT-2020:  Another Multi-Buy Promotion Failure Results in Confirmed Retail Fraud

On 1st October 2020 a customer ordered two neon indicators.  It's the same story again.  The customer sees a price of "Buy 2 for £2.51" and is charged the full price of £2.95 for both.  There has been no revision of this listing since 19th August 2020.  For completeness of the documentation I will continue to provide screenshots for now. 

Listing for Red Neons Item Number 114166030939
Showing The Multi-Buy Promotion

114166030939 Ebay Listing Showing Multi-Buy

Order Details Page Showing Incorrect Non-Application Of Mult-Buy Discount for Item Number
114166030939 and the Subsequent Refund Instigated By Me

Order Details Page
                  Showing Ebay Price Misrepresentation or Fraud

Ebay site message exchange with my customer

New message to: *Helpful Customer* Sent: 02-Oct-20 14:37

Hello *Helpful Customer*,
Sorry to bother you. When you bought these two neons did you see any promotion on the page like "buy 2 for £2.51?" If you did, you may have been overcharged by an ebay failure. If you could let me know it would be most helpful.
Henry Walmsley.
New message from: *Helpful Customer* Sent: 02-Oct-20 17:16

There was indeed a "buy 2 for £2.51" box on the page. I never thought to check that that had been applied. Don't worry if it's difficult to sort out, it's only pennies in the scheme of things.

This response from the customer indicates again why this kind of problem is considered to be straightforward retail fraud under UK law.  Because it is.  So, it's onto the Batphone once more to see what ebay Seller "Support" have to say about this latest example.  You can click on the link below to hear the conversation in full.

05-OCT-2020:  The Ebay Seller Support Telephone Line Continue to Describe The Problem With Multi-Buy Promotions Failing and Causing Retail Fraud as an Inconvenience and that it will be Reported and Fixed Soon.

Call Summary:

1)  Oddly, this call operative can add up numbers, and doesn't try every silly deception in the book to deny the problem.  Weird!  What's going on?
2)  I do the refund and get a very vague promise that I will get the fees back on the 88p.
3)  I make it clear that Robert Hattrell VP of Ebay UK will be with me in the dock if I end up in court in front of Tradings Standards, so he ought to be told about this problem.
4)  I point out that this was first reported by me on 7th April 2020.
5)  All the usual lies about it being a priority which we've come to expect by now, etc. etc. 

Not so much of a priority to stop the ebay programming children spending time messing about with the website fonts, cosmetic layout, and busily adding on other sub-standard features to the badly understood and creaking underlying infrastructure which cause even more failures and inconvenience, though.  You can read about some of those on my other pages.

15-OCT-2020 The Same Ebay Multi-Buy Promotion Price Misrepresentation Retail Fraud Problem Occurs Again, and I Get The Same Nil Response From Seller Support

Same story again. 

listing with multi-buy
                  promotion that the customer saworder from the
                  customer without the discount applied

Edit history
                  showing only changes to photos and stock level

You can see that I *did* modify that listing at 14:53 that day, but only to reduce the amount of stock visible on the recently purchased C1M variant, as I was running out.

Check with the customer:

Hello *JS*,

Your pots are on the way. I have a question if you have the time to answer. When you looked at the ebay page to buy these, did you see any discount boxes like "Buy 2 £3.28 each?" I ask because there is an ongoing ebay failure which can cause people to be over-charged. If you saw the promo boxes you may have been subject to this.  It would be immensely helpful if you let me know if you saw the multi-buy promotion, and if so I'll refund the difference shortly.
Thanks,  Henry Walmsley.


Hi there,
Yes there were discount boxes, Ive attached a screenshot
of what is displayed on the item page below
Thanks for contacting me
All the best

Customer Screenshot Of Ebay Discount Price Which
                  They Didn't Get

Here are the eBay telephone lies.  You can click on the links below to hear the lies in full.

eBay accept that Multi-Buy Promotion Failures result in Retail Fraud and after much discussion, and being put through to the wrong people, a little singing boy child cuts me off.

Well that's not good enough, is it?  No.

I Complain at being cut-off by an Interrupting Ebay Child Call Operative

I also see that Robert Hattrell is no longer VP of ebay UK.  No.  He is now Senior Vice President of Ebay Europe.  Well lad, I'm delighted to see that eight months of retail fraud on your website has lifted you to such a lofty position.  I dare say that your promotion is due to the extra money generated by systematic ebay retail fraud on the online marketplace for which you are responsible.

22-OCT-2020:  Another Instance of Ebay Price Misrepresentation aka Fraud From 17th October 2020

Unless they are particularly relevant or provide new information, I'll spare you most of the screenshots thenceforth and skip straight to registering the fraud event, the subsequent telephone calls and some discussion.  On 17th October 2020 another customer bought two items from a listing with an active MBP.  He was overcharged by 24pee.  I issue a refund because I'm not a criminal.  But what about the ebay fees on that 24pee?  Approximately 2.4pee.  Not a massive amount in the grand scheme of things but no; Wait.  Actually, it is.  Worldwide, that's millions of pounds a year.  Once again, in each of these instances, ebay has to be given the right to reply.  So, it's onto the, "ebay telephone of lies."  You can click on the link below to hear the call in all its extended gory detail.

22-OCT-2020:  Ebay Seller Support Try To Deny a Retail Fraud Problem Again, Claim to have Issued a Fee Refund Which is Invisible To Me, and Blatantly Lie About Informing Robert Hattrell, SVP of eBay Europe

Call Summary:

1)  We try to establish the issue while 'Bler' fetches her pocket calculator, then we get some made-up excuses about buying one item.
2)  I attempt to establish that the problem is not an inconvenience or a glitch, it is systematic ongoing retail fraud.
3)  I issue a refund to the customer.
4)  I try to establish a visible transaction in my ebay account where I can see my ebay fee refunded, and the last one from 15th October.
5)  Having been assured that the credit had been issued, we find that an unusual thing called "Validation" actually has to occur before the credit is issued.
6)  Some ebay "blabber mode"
7)  I still can't see the credit.
8)  'Bler' says that she does not have full access to my account.  LIE DETECTED!

9)  'Bler' states definitively that due to the seriousness of the situation, she will personally inform Robert Hattrell SVP of Ebay Europe.  LIE DETECTED!
10)  I make it entirely clear that my queries regarding my invoice were not dealt with, and get cut off.

Forgive me for leaving a lot of background chatter in on these calls, but just occasionally I think that you can hear very similar conversations going on in the background during quiet periods.  Specifically at 28:42, where we hear "Ahh, alright, so the buyer paid twenty-six pounds #### make sure you have not changed the amount ###.... refund, you can always call paypal...ok is there anything else?" Followed by, "Yup,yup,yup, yup yup yup yup!" Celebration noises.  Also, sometimes it sounds like a bit of an hilarious party going on.  Now, I've compressed these calls up a bit already, but I might try to clean the hum off of that bit of background conversation, because it sounds suspiciously familiar, and hearing someone celebrating in the background at fobbing off yet another honest ebay seller is not funny.  Welcome to the ebay
Indian boileroom seller support scam.  Tell me it's not true, Bobby, before I clean that audio passage up.

09-NOV-2020: Another Instance of Ebay Multi-Buy Promotion Retail Fraud

An Aside:

On 06-NOV-2020 I attended an online ebay webinar from 09:00 to 13:00.  This was supported by Caroline Dineage, M.P. for Gosport and Digital Minister, Solent Local Enterprise Partnership LEP, Gosport Council, Business South, New Forest Council, East Hampshire Council, Havant Council, and Southampton City Council. 
Webinar organiser Annie Shields, annshields@ebay.com, had been given links to these pages in advance on 29-OCT-2020.  During this webinar, multi-buy promotions and order level promotions were specifically encouraged by ebay executive Berengere Chaintreau-Fuchs, despite their ongoing failure causing retail fraud.  Out of the above organisations, only Caroline Dineage was informed about the ongoing ebay retail fraud situation by email and special delivery post in advance.  According to her assistant, Natasha Hook,

"Caroline has arranged these events as the Member of Parliament for Gosport and not in her Ministerial capacity.  Under Parliamentary Protocol, MPs can only correspond with their constituents, therefore you need to contact your MP. However, if you would like to provide some more details for Caroline’s information then please do."

To which I replied,

"Then ebay should not use the phrase:
'eBay is hosting two Online Digital Skills Workshops on 6 and 13 November in association with Digital Minister and local Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, designed to help local businesses in the Solent area grow their presence online.'

Unless she is willing to address all ebay issues, specifically, ongoing retail fraud on the site, you must ensure that all references to "Digital Minister" are removed from future ebay missives and are specifically removed from previous ones.

That seems fair.  Caroline has links to all these pages, but I've yet to hear anything back in her capacity as Digital Minister.  There will be interactions with specific members of Solent LEP and Southampton City Council before the next upcoming ebay webinar on 13-NOV-2020.  During the webinar, I received no response from the speakers to a question sent in by me regarding this issue.

Meanwhile, perhaps everything has already been fixed and mended since I first reported the issue on 07-APR-2020?  No.  Right on cue, I deal with the days orders and find another retail fraud instance from 05-NOV-2020.  Here is the telephone call to ebay seller support where I am assured by Leon that it is given top priority.  You can click on the link below to hear the call in full.

06-NOV-2020 Leon Assures Me That Ebay Multi-Buy Promotions Causing Retail Fraud is Given Top Priority

Call Summary:

1) We establish that the problem has indeed occurred again, and that it has been ongoing since 07-APR-2020.
2) I suggest that Robert Hattrell and Berengere Chaintreau-Fuchs should be informed as they are both still pushing the use of MBPs in ebay webinars.
3) I issue a refund to the customer to avoid being a criminal under UK law.
4) I request a refund of the ebay fees on my refund to the customer to avoid ebay being a corporate fraud.

Leon is a little more polite and 'on-the-ball' than usual, but politeness does not solve the issue.  I may provide a little more documentation but for now, the problem clearly still exists and it will continue to do so while ebay keeps mysteriously removing my multi-buy promotions and then re-instating them for no reason.

29-NOV-2020 Two More Instances Of The Ebay Website Causing Retail Fraud On The Same Day

On 29-NOV-2020, two more instances of multi-buy promotion failure causing retail fraud occurred within hours of each other.  The first instance defrauded my customer out of £2.08.  Thankfully I spotted it and wrote to him via an ebay message:

Henry:  Hello <nice customer>,
You will see a refund for £2.08 on this purchase soon, because an ongoing failure in ebay systems failed to apply a multi-buy discount when you paid. It would be immensely helpful to me if you could drop me a quick message confirming if you saw the multi-buy discount boxes and prices on the listing when you viewed the item.  Thanks,  Henry.
Nice Customer:  Hi, thankyou, I hadn't noticed the error which is funny because the multi buy was why I got as many as I did!  Yes it did say something about multi buy.  Thanks.  ###

This throws into sharp relief once again the nature of this nasty issue.  The customers don't always notice.  It's a failure causing a clear fraud.
My second customer suffering the same thing that day was less specific about seeing the multi-buy promotion boxes, but he was also refunded the £0.64 that ebay stole from him in my name. 
To be clear, the refunds are given by me.  Then I have to go onto the telephone to make sure that ebay are made aware of the problem, given a chance to respond, and to attempt to get the ebay fees back on the refunded part of the transaction.  Here is the hour-long telephone call to the "Ebay Seller Support Telephone Line Of Lies"  You can click on the link to hear it.  The only edits are to remove the hold music and to preserve the anonymity of my customers.

30-NOV-2020 Telephone Call to Ebay Seller Support Concerning Two Further Instances of Ebay Retail Fraud Caused by Failing Multi-Buy Promotions.

Call Summary

1)  We establish the problem at some length.
2)  I am connected to an account specialist.  I am not sure why.
3)  "Hello Hello," it's a chirpy-chappie who sounds as if he's working from home on an old analogue cordless telephone.  I hope that he knows just how frightfully insecure they are.  Sorry, I should have asked him.  You can pick-up both sides of calls made using them from two miles away using nothing more than an old valve HF communications receiver, and a wire aerial in the garden.  Actually, you can even re-tune a MW AM radio and do the same thing.  They have the distinctive analogue interference caused by proximity to a computer monitor on the downlink sound heard in the call.  Naughty, and stupid.
4)  We establish the same problem again, at some length.
5)  Chirpy Chappie suggests reporting the glitch.  I suggest not calling ongoing retail fraud a "glitch."
6)  Chirpy Chappie says that when I refund the buyer, I will get my fees back automatically.  Wrong! 
7)  Chirpy Chappie apparantly refunds my fees for the refund.  We shall see.
8)  We deal with the next instance.
9)  We agree that the second buyer was over-charged as well.
10)  I suggest that Robert Hattrell needs to know about retail fraud on the ebay site, and I suggest some solutions.
11)  I am put through to the selling promotions department, "so that they can resolve the situation."
12)  I make it clear that retail fraud is not an inconvenience, it's a crime.
13)  An enormously long hold occurs.
13)  We now have Denise the manager.
14)  Denise the manager attempts to grasp the situation at some length, while an ebay boiler-room party goes on in the background.
15)  Denise can't duplicate the issue and then blabbers on hopelessly stabbing at the keys.  I let her try.  No, it's not working, is it?
16)  I try to help Denise a bit, with the confusing ebay checkout system, that is confusing for my customers as well.  Even ebay telephone "managers" can't understand their checkout systems and promotions, even when they are working correctly.  It's ridiculous.
17)  We carry on.  I explain that I have reported the same problem ten times since 07-APR-2020.
18)  I complain bitterly.  The ebay boiler-room party carries on in the background.
19)  Denise tells me the same old lies about reporting the problem yet again.  I use the phrase, "ebay lies."
20)  Ebay does absolutely Nothing.  I say that it is not good enough. 
21)  I remind Denise that Robert Hatrell is "Responsible for all ebay activities in Europe." The call ends.

Is it odd that two should occur on the same day?  Is it odd that I'd had a bumper sales day that day?  Are ebay systems turning off my promotions because I'm selling too much, according to their invisible internal limits?  Well, this problem would certainly be a give-away symptom of that, if it were indeed the case.

Another Aside (2)

On Friday 13th November there was another ebay webinar for more advanced users where, once again, multi-buy promotions were promoted to encourage sales.  One of the introductory presentations promoting ebay was made by none other than the Rt. Hon. Suella Braverman Q.C. M.P., the UK attorney general.  Gosh!  I thought that I'd better make the attorney general aware that the online marketplace that she is promoting regularly produces retail fraud, so I sent the following letter by special delivery:


Suella Braverman,
House of Commons,

Dear Suella Braverman,

Since January 2012 my primary source of income has been as a self-employed seller of electronic components primarily using the ebay online marketplace.  On 13th November I took part in an online webinar run by ebay entitled, "Power Up Your Online Sales," where you were one of the speakers.

You should be aware of the many thousands of deeply frustrated ebay sellers who would like to "Power Up Their Online Sales," but are prevented from doing so by a variety of ebay site malfunctions, illegal sales limiting activity hidden within their computer systems, and retail fraud committed by ebay system failures.  Those failures are directly connected to a site feature that was specifically promoted during the last webinar.

I have been meticulous in documenting these issues, giving ebay a chance to respond every time.  On no occasion have I received a satisfactory response.  In particular, an issue with customers seeing one price and then being charged a higher price at checkout has been ongoing since 7th April 2020.  That has still not been resolved as of this date, and the last occurrence was on 5th November.  That is retail fraud.

All my documentation is available in public and online at the following secure https web address:

(written-out link to this page)

Somewhere in your schedule, I urge you to consider the following actions:

1) Put aside some time to look at these pages, to understand the importance of the points made and the dismissive responses given to me by ebay.

2) Bring these points and the online documentation to the attention of your ebay contact or Robert Hattrell who, "Is responsible for all ebay activities in the region."

3) Reconsider your apparent public connection with ebay UK, who consider retail fraud to be so unimportant that it can be ignored for eight months.

Yours Sincerely,

Henry J. Walmsley.

I have yet to receive a response from her office at the House of Commons.  Perhaps the UK attorney general was assured by her friends at ebay that this problem had been completely fixed.  The two instances of retail fraud from 29-NOV-2020 detailed above show that this is not the case.

16-DEC-2020 Two More Ebay Retail Fraud Instances Occur Within Four Days.

On 07-DEC-2020 a customer bought two items of ebay item no. 120748828825.  He couldn't remember seeing the discount prices, so they may have been deactivated by ebay systems when he viewed the listing.  That is not supposed to happen, of course.  In any case, when I re-checked the listing the discounts were back, so as far I I can tell, price misrepresentation has occurred. 

The discount price was (£4.71 X 2) + £1.58 = £11.00 for two items plus one instance of a £1.58 postage charge.
The price charged was (£4.96 X 2)  +£1.58 = £11.50
for two items plus one instance of a £1.58 postage charge.

A sneaky overcharge of £0.50 by ebay systems.  This looks quite simple to me.  To, "One of the highest senior supervisors," however, it seemed to be extremely complicated.  Oh dear, an even more expert liar than usual.  And so it very much proved to be, in a near hour-long call to the ebay seller support telephone line of lies.  You can click on the link below to hear the call in full, with the complete muted silences and hold music removed.  (We like to hear what's going on in the background while the microphone is open though, right?)

08-DEC-2020 Telephone Call to Ebay Seller Support to Inform Them That a Multi-Buy Promotion Failure Caused Ebay Retail Fraud to be Committed on 07-DEC-2020

Call Summary, In Brief:

1)  I speak to Isabel or Isa.  We do the preliminaries.
2)  I speak to Jona or Lona who is, "One of the highest senior supervisors."  My gosh.  How?  Being the biggest and best liar of them all?
3)  Jonalona goes to every possible place to deny that the problem even exists.
4)  Jonalona tries to deny that it is retail fraud to the very last word.
5)  For some reason Jonalona suddenly decides that this is a problem to do with Ebay Managed Payments, which it clearly isn't.
6)  Like a fool, I fall for it, and speak to a sensible person called Robert and we end the call.

I say, "fall for it."  Why did Jonalona suddenly decide that the problem belonged to someone else?  I'll tell you.  Because ebay sends you a little survey after most telephone calls to the ebay seller support telephone line of lies, *but*, the feedback given in such a survey always relates to the last person that you were transferred to. 

No reasonable conclusion was reached during this call.  The promised call back did not occur the following day.  It warrants a call back from me, but if you listened to the end, you will understand that a certain amount of weariness can occur.  Still, once more, ebay have been given a chance to respond to each and every case of retail fraud caused by their systems.  I refunded the customer the 50pee.

On 11-DEC-2020 the following ebay
systems error occurred causing retail fraud, relating to a purchase of ebay item no. 111180964523.

The discount price was (£3.11 X 2) + £1.58 = £7.80 for two items plus one instance of a £1.58 postage charge.
The price charged was (£3.45 X 2)  +£1.58 = £8.48
for two items plus one instance of a £1.58 postage charge.

The customer was defrauded by £0.68 by ebay systems.  To check, I send the following enquiry to my customer:

Hello ##### #######,

You've been over-charged for this order by a failure in ebay systems to apply a multi-buy discount. I'll refund the 68p by tomorrow. Meanwhile it would be most useful to be if you drop me a note to say whether or not you saw the multi-buy promotion boxes on the listing when you viewed it. ("buy 2, £3.11 each") kind of thing.


Henry Walmsley.

Ongoing fight:  (written-out link to this page)
New message from: ######## (16Yellow Star)
Hi Henry, yeah I did see it but to be honest didn't notice the increase, thanks anyway...

That's Ebay Retail Fraud!  I spotted this one quickly, so it was quite difficult to deny. 

Yes, it's onto the telephone line. 
Still, ebay telephone operatives have terrible trouble adding-up, or at least have terrible problems pretending to be unable to add-up.  We get there in the end.  You can click on the link below to hear the telephone conversation with Michael.

11-DEC-2020 The Ebay Seller Support Telephone Line Admits Again That Multi-Buy Promotions Can Fail Causing Retail Fraud

Call Summary:

1)  Michael has serious trouble adding up. 
2)  Michael eventually admits that this is a known failure in ebay systems.
3)  I inform Michael that the current person in charge of eBay UK, Murray Lambell should be informed of this serious problem that has existed since April 2020, and which has been reported by me on each occasion.
4)  This time, I do not fall for being transferred to someone else before ending the call.

Murray Lambell has taken over as General Manager of Ebay UK from Robert Hattrell, and is, "...
responsible for all of eBay UK’s Business to Consumer and Sales & Operations activities."  This includes the retail fraud in all of the above instances.

Murray Lambell says online, "
I am delighted to be taking over the reins at eBay UK, which is an incredibly exciting business in normal times, and is proving to be an even more significant business in this developing ‘new normal’."

Well, we live in interesting times, Murray!  Let's hope that your 'new normal' (cough) includes fewer instances of consumer fraud committed by your website, eh?

Murray Lambell,
                      General Manager of eBay UK.

More to follow, as it occurs.

01-MAR-2021 Two More Instances Of Ebay Multi-Buy Promotion Failure Retail Fraud Within Two Days

On 13-FEB-2021-22:17 a customer ordered two items and was charged the full price for one item twice, rather than the discount price for two.  On this particular occasion, the customer did not see the discounts, but as a UK customer, he should have done.  This demonstrates the ongoing issue of multi-buy promotions disappearing seemingly at random.  Oddly enough, it seems to be when I'm selling a respectable amount, and ebay systems are desperate to reduce this.  There are currently three seller support telephone calls associated with this report, two of which clearly involve passing the proverbial Hot Potato, as if it's a radioactive lump of spent fuel.

15-FEB-2021:  Ebay Jeannie makes a series of excuses and tries to drop the retail fraud hot potato.  No, I will call back for the refund.

Call Summary: 

1) We establish the facts at length.  I wish that I did not have to do this every time, but when you do not, you get a flat denial from ebay.
2) Jeannie pretends to create a bug report.  Liar.  It takes much more typing to do that than we hear on the call.
3) I ask for a fee refund and Jeannie tries to pass me somewhere else to avoid the negative feedback on the call.  Nope!

15-FEB-2021:  Managed Payments supposedly provide a Fee Refund and I get Embroiled in Reporting the Site Issue Yet Again

Upping the online ante slightly, you can now see and hear that last call in full, including the hold music on YouTube, Murray Lambell:

YouTube Video of Ebay Seller Support Call Discussing Multi-Buy Promotions Causing Retail Fraud, 01

Local Video Copy ebay_mbf_rf_15022021.wmv
Call Summary:

1) Establish Facts, supposedly get a fee refund on the refund amount.
2) Hot potato drop 1, long hold
3) Hot potato drop 2, long hold
4) Put through to the pretend village idiot / fall girl.
5) Attempted obfuscation by numbers, along with hilarious call centre laughter in the background.
6) Some "blabber mode," about when the promotion was created.
7) Cut off!
8) I was called back and am forced to make it clear that the line was not dropped at my end.
9) "This is really a glitch on our system." - a small admission.  "We are really sorry, but there is no problem" (!)  "It is the only one."  (Lie!)
10) We discuss when this was, "all fixed."  More Lies.
11) I say again that this is retail fraud.
12) We establish that not all accounts are affected.
13) The telephone operative pretends to create a bug report as a priority, but can't guarantee anything.  No, indeed.  Not if you don't create the report because the whole thing is too much of a hot potato to even document for legal reasons.
14) I suggest that Murray Lambell needs to hear about the retail fraud being committed by his online marketplace, for which he is responsible.
15) I get 58pee back, as if it's some kind of gift from god.  'Gee Thanks, eBay!'  What do you want, some kind of Ebay, "Best Liar" Badge?

That's all for now.  The second retail fraud incident that week, and the subsequent ebay telephone 'support' lies will follow shortly.

03-MAR-2021 Another Confirmed Case of Retail Fraud Caused by Ebay Systems on 17-FEB-2021

On 17th March 2021 I spotted another case of ebay retail fraud committed by ebay systems on my behalf on.  I sent a site message to the customer to ask if he saw the multi-buy promotion boxes:
Henry:  "Hello Nice Customer,
You've been overcharged on your order by an ongoing intermittent failure in ebay systems to apply multi-buy discounts correctly. Your total of £8.90 should have been £8.20. I'll refund the difference manually later on tomorrow. Meanwhile it would be immensely useful for me if you could let me know if you saw the discounts when you viewed the listing, boxes saying "Buy 2 £3.11 Each."
Henry Walmsley."

Nice Customer:  "Hi, thanks for the refund - didn’t realise I’d been overcharged. I did see the discount box when I chose to buy two of the pots.
Cheers.  N.C."

Once again, clear price misrepresentation retail fraud.  So, off we go again to the ebay telephone seller 'support' telephone line of lies.  You can hear the entire phone call with just the hold music edited out here:

17-FEB-2021 Ebay Seller Support Call to Report More Retail Fraud Caused by the eBay Website.

The video for this call is already on YouTube, though you'll have to sit through the hold music on that version while I learn how to edit videos.

YouTube Video of The Latest Ebay Retail Fraud Incident and the Subsequent Telephone Call to the Ebay Seller Support Phone Line Of Lies

Local Video Copy mbf_vr60_17022021.wmv

Call Summary:

1) Just the usual denials, lies, and hot potato drops writ extremely large on this particular occasion.
2) I refund the customer during the call.
3) Absolutely no resolution of the issue.
4) I complain, invoke Murray Lambell General Manager of eBay UK, who is responsible for all ebay UK activities including retail fraud.
5) I am told to write to the Dublin
dustbin ebay complaints address, as if we're living in the 19th century.  I suggest delivering it by horse and cart.

I have yet to call back and get the ebay fees returned on the refund for this one, so we may yet get to hear even more lies and more hot potato drops on this particular incident.

25-MAR-2021 Another Instance of Retail Fraud Caused by Ebay Systems, Number 15 Since 7th April 2020

I was losing count of the number of retail fraud instances that I've detected so I thought that I would check back and add them up.  I make this the fifteenth.

On 24th March 2021 I'm selling a decent amount on ebay, and so ebay systems appear to be randomly de-activating my promotions for some mysterious reason.  Short of constantly checking each listing this is very difficult to spot.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, the de-activations can occur while the customer is viewing the listing so we have the same story of this causing retail fraud yet again.

Here is a link where you can listen to the ensuing call to the ebay seller 'support' telephone line of lies:

24-MAR-2021 Ebay Seller Support Call to Report More Retail Fraud Caused by the eBay Online Marketplace

You can see the video version of this call on YouTube here:

24-MAR-2021 YouTube of Ebay Seller Support Call to Report More Retail Fraud Caused by the eBay Online Marketplace

Local Video Copy multi_buy_fail_24032021.mp4

Call Summary:

1) The first callback is silent so I drop it and request another.
2) Facts established.  Yes, there was indeed an error.  I know!
3) I complain, and am pointed to the Horse and Cart write-in address in Dublin.
4) I explain that this is the fifteenth time of reporting the problem and that nothing has being done via the 'process that you follow'
5) An unsatisfactory response again.


email:  vila_nestor@hotmail.com  I check this inbox and the associated spam folder daily, Murray, so you're welcome to write-in and explain yourself.

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