Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Suspended by eBay

eBay suspended my account after being a member for less than a week. I never bought or sold anything, just browsed their listings. eBay refuses to give an explanation for suspending me, but claim that they "can understand [my] frustration".

On Sep 30 I created a user account in order to buy a docking station for my laptop - an item which costs around $10 on eBay. I contacted about five sellers about shipping costs to Israel. Then I get the suspension e-mail from eBay. At first, I was convinced the e-mail was a phishing attempt and marked it as spam, but when I logged on to my eBay account it was obvious that they had really suspended me.

The only clue they gave as to why they suspended me is this:

"Your account was suspended under the 'Abusing eBay' section of the eBay User Agreement. This section states that eBay may suspend a user's account if we think that the user is creating problems (legal or otherwise) or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies. [...] In addition, your account was found to be in violation of our Spam Policy"

Needless to say, I never sent any spam or in any other way misused eBay's services.

The representative who I got in touch with in order to understand the reason behind their action says: "For security reasons we are unable to be more specific about the details that led to this action. [...] eBay is taking a tougher stand to prevent fraud". He goes on to say that "honest members may be required to take one or two extra steps before they are allowed to participate on eBay". These extra steps involves faxing them a copy of a "credit card statement, a recent bank statement or a recent utility bill". I also tried to connect with their live chat support but they can't do anything as long as I did not fax them the statements they want.
I am not going to fax them this or any other personal information to get my membership back, and I will definitely never use their services again (I'm not allowed to, but that's beside the point).

Development of eBay ranking according to Alexa

Which other major web site are abusing new customers like this? It is amazing to consider that eBay is the #20 most popular web site in the world according to Alexa's ratings. Their rating peaked at #5 a few years ago, but has steadily been dropping since then. If they are treating me like this, a typical new user exhibiting typical user behavior - it is not being bold to assume that their rankings and popularity will continue to decline. eBay is still the #1 online auction but that has to change soon, unless they radically change their customer services and implementation of their policies.

Technorati Tags:


  1. They did it to us as well, and we've been Ebay users for 8 years with a 100% positive feedback rating. We haven't heard back from them yet, but if they expect us to send them all the information they're asking you for...absolutely maddening.

  2. I was not a big Ebay user ( I had made a couple of purchases and had a 100% rating ) but last week, the first time as a seller , I put a pair of cowboy boots up for sale. After 4 days my account was suspended . I am baffled and would like to speak with someone over the phone at Ebay. This is absurd.

  3. eBay suspended my account and never gave a reason, warning, or call-back. Their new "technical security team" must be wearing black leather trenchcoats, jackboots, and little ollie mustaches. I hope they continue to plummett.
    Does anyone know of a similar auction site we can use instead?

  4. I was suspended by ebay as well. Ebay is almost the only community in the world where there is no obligation to inform you of your crime and to dole out a life sentence with no recourse. There are no definite laws so you can pay your dues, serve a sentence, do community service or pay a fine and be let back into the community. Definitely not fair. There is one auction that is probably going to overtake ebay eventually. You can read about it at

  5. There are a few sites that offer free information on how to get back on ebay and back to business, there are also a hand full of ebooks, you don't need to buy those ebooks. One site is and if you are freaking out about how to contact eBay and Paypal, there is a site that has ALL the contact phone numbers!

  6. Same thing happened to me too! I had been selling on Ebay for 9+ years and was a power-seller. My husband created his own account to buy me a birthday gift as a surprise and they suspended both of us!

    I tried contacting them numerous times and the only thing I found out was that you are not supposed to have more than once account. We tried to contact Ebay about a dozen times to explain my husband and I both had a personal account, but it was like talking to a wall!

    Ebay's system is really screwed up! It was awful too, because I sold on Ebay as my job and having my account suspended was like losing my job! Suddenly our family went from having 2 incomes to one and it really caused us a lot of financial distress. The worst part was Ebay would not help us resolve the issue. They kept sending us the "For security reasons we are unable to be more specific...." that Jonas received!

    If anyone reads this- think twice before selling on for a living or at otherwise! It is very risky; I have read hundreds of stories all over the internet like mine and Jonas.

  7. Same happened to me ! I was desperate to get back on to maintian my income I found the info at if you are in the UK you can get back on 100% legal as I would definatly not do anything agaist the law and I would only use this as a last resort, if your life depends on it.

    They say it's free to download, but it's not really you have to sign up for some things which is quite annoying.. but it's well worth it I am back on ebay trading for 9 weeks now with no problems. Simple guide direct to the points, where to go - what to do no techie stuff that anyone gets lost in.

    Good luck


  8. eBay suspended many accounts unfairly due to arbitrary reasons. Lately, it has grown much worse.