When I created my account with eBay back in the halcyon days of 2004 I had no idea that almost a decade later the company would shut it down and refuse to discuss it.
My “membership” started out as many do, with a casual interest in the site and learning how the online auction system worked. I won my first auction in 2005 and since then I’ve used the site to purchase and sell a dozen or more items, accumulating a flawless record of ratings for items sold to other members. I would consider myself a lightweight in the eBay world, but I’d be willing to bet there are a lot more people like me in their database than not.
In June I received an Email from eBay notifying me that my account had been suspended. It was titled “MC999 Your eBay account has been suspended”, which I have since learned is a death notice. I didn’t even see the Email at the time; I only came across it yesterday when I tried to access my account and couldn’t.
|eBay’s MC999 Death Notice Email|
Being unable to find any useful information on the eBay support site, I called their customer service phone number. After about 20 minutes of holding and being transferred I was politely told that “a risk” had been identified with my account and that it had been “suspended indefinitely”. The agent wouldn’t provide any information on the “risk” or tell me anything about the mysterious account mentioned in the Email or how it was associated with my legitimate account. When I asked if there was any other method to appeal or work through this issue, I was told that the matter was considered closed by eBay and that I should find another way to purchase goods online.
So, after more than nine years of membership I’m now banned from eBay for life. I don’t know why, any they won’t tell me. eBay has been in existence for 18 years and in the time that it takes for a human to reach adulthood they still haven’t figured out how to tell the difference between a legitimate customer and a criminal. Their policies leave no room for discussion, offers no appeals system and are emblematic of a corporate culture that no longer cares about their customers. I can’t create a new account unless I take steps to alter my identity and fool eBay. I’m not going to do that. I’ll simply take eBay’s advice and find another site to spend my money on.