Monday, August 16, 2010

The art of customer service

At first I thought I was going to love eBay, as I began what we are referring to as the Great eBay Selloff, wherein we sell dozens of things we inherited and which have sat in a dark room, behind a closed door, for the last two years.

(Sidenote: In case you're wondering if all that stuff in your grandma's house is worth any money, it probably is. Especially if, perchance, she saved every seemingly meaningless item that made its way into her home.)

As it turns out, I do love it, in the sense that I love watching our pile of stuff diminish as our bank account grows.

But I also sort of hate it because, as it turns out, there is a level of customer service expected of you when you're conducting a massive sell-off of junk. And while I excel at customer service -- which was an integral part of my previous job -- there is just one problem with it: the customers.

Because they are evil little shitheads (ELSs).

I go to great lengths to list off every possible detail of the items I am selling, to minimize the number of retarded questions I will receive from ELSs. And yet the ELSs appear to not actually be reading my descriptions, as they simply ask me questions they could easily answer themselves .... if they would read the damn descriptions. 

One woman took it upon herself to school me in the ways of postage and shipping. She felt I was charging too much for shipping and explained to me exactly which boxes I should use and what I should charge. She has sent me about 10 messages, and expects a response within a few hours, otherwise she sends the exact same message to me again, and asks me if I've received her previous message.

At the end of any transaction, buyers rate their sellers, and sellers rate their buyers. The problem is the rating system is completely retarded. You can rate someone "positive" or choose to report a problem. There is no in-between. Because with this woman, I'd like to say:

This buyer, while prompt with payment, was probably the most annoying person I've encountered in the last six months.

And while I could still rate her positive and leave that comment, she could retaliate and report me to eBay as a "problem seller."

This passive aggressive interaction with crazed doll collectors is just too similar to the interaction I used to have with certain clients, who would be all smiles and rainbows on the phone or in person, but then send a scathing e-mail, cc'ing my boss, demanding to know WHY DOES THE ROOF LEAK? WHY CAN'T YOU FIX THE ROOF DURING A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR?

In case you're wondering, there is no satisfactory answer to those questions. What they really desire is to figuratively flog you senseless, until you beg them for forgiveness and promise it will never happen again and bring them donuts and call them Master. Or Commander. Either way.

Is it possible to have post traumatic stress disorder from an awful job? Or perhaps 15 years of lousy managers? Hmm.


  1. Welcome to the wonderful worl of eBay

  2. Yeah I can't wait to finish the selloff! Then we're going to have a massive garage sale, then massive goodwill donation, and then that's it, dammit.

  3. Yup I'm also on my own Ebay quest to the Big Garage Selloff- thats a BGS, I believe. Not only do the questions suck, but then you have to haul loads of crap to the postal store and send it off. I hate that!! Good luck. Hopefully it will be over soon!!

  4. Yeah that is a whole other blog entry: Post Office Nightmares. Someone please explain to me how the effing post office works!!! Why is it so effing archaic?