On December 3rd, eBay unintentionally suspended an undisclosed number of users. The platform has since recognized the situation, stating that users who were inadvertently suspended have been notified and have been given instructions on how to remedy the problem.
On Friday, users across social media began complaining that they had been suspended from eBay, despite not infringing any of the platform’s rules. The issue has spawned a full Reddit topic on r/ebay, and while the initial post has now been removed, hundreds of other users have chimed in with their own stories. One user’s version of the situation, much of which is echoed by other comments, is as follows:
Suspended tonight with no chance of appeal, I attempted an online conversation with the woman, who just stated that it would not be discussed, and then abruptly shut me off. Since 1999, I’ve been a 100% positive member who hasn’t sold anything in years, hasn’t had any disagreements, and has bought 5 little items in the previous month with no problems.
Others report that eBay canceled their bids on items they had already purchased and received, some of which were “Buy It Now” items that users could purchase outright. Users claim they received an email from eBay stating that they put “the eBay community at risk” as the explanation for the bans. Some users claim that when they complained to eBay’s customer support, their bans were upheld and they were provided no further information.
Outside of Reddit, individuals on Twitter have also expressed dissatisfaction with the seemingly arbitrary suspensions that occurred on March 3rd. The next day, eBay reacted to some of the reports, stating that users can send their information to the @AskeBay Twitter account to resolve the issue.
“A limited number of eBay accounts were unintentionally suspended on December 3rd,” eBay representative Trina Somera told The Verge. “The problem has been fixed, and any users who require action have been contacted.” We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”
Although eBay has acknowledged the problem, we still don’t know how many users were suspended inadvertently or why. However, we might guess that the bulk suspensions were the result of an error in eBay’s algorithm.