The Kindness (?) of Strangers

Friday, 17 February 2006 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Yesterday, I got an email from a stranger with the subject line of "Can you help?" He wrote:

    I was suspended from eBay because of a hi jacked account. Can you help me get back?

He gave me his eBay user ID, which I won’t repeat here to keep him anonymous. I wrote him back:

    We’re not eBay. You should go to the eBay home page at and look to the top right for "Live Help." They are trained eBay customer service reps who will help you.

He wrote back:

    I wouldnt have asked you if I could go and seek help from ebay. Ebay now is losing hundreds of sellers by the day. Look at it is now a haven for former ebayers who have been unceremoneously suspended due to others misdeeds. You wouldnt want to wake up and find out the company you work with is no longer there.

    If you have close connections with the ebay president, Meg Whitman. I hope you can bring up the subject of granting amnesty to those suspended ebayers who have positve feedback of over 100 and who have been members more than 2 years. My account had more than 800 and was a member for 8.5 years. Paid my dues religously until some scammer from China hi-jacked my account. You would be doing a great service to thousands of suspended ebayers who would like to go back but cannot. Instead they have found a sanctuary in which grows day by day.

    Thank you for your time Miss Levitt.

Well, I don’t have eBay in my pocket. I certainly don’t know the CEO, and I’m not in the habit of taking individual complaints from strangers as high up in eBay as I can. I don’t know what this guy’s real story is, so I can’t run to eBay with this story! I also felt that this was some sort of weird marketing campaign for, and I didn’t want to get involved. I replied:

    I do not have any relationship with Meg, and I’m certainly not going to take some sort of protest or problems to eBay when they’re not my problems! I wouldn’t ask you to fight the post office because they lost an important piece of my mail. :)

    This situation has nothing to do with me, so I will not make myself a part of it.

The reply I received was:

    Thank you Debbie. I understand your position. Well lets just see what happens. I will go back to and start a discussion. I will include excerpts of our conversation. Will give you a copy of what the members over there will say.

Now wait a minute. I thought I was having a private conversation with one person. I didn’t think anything I said was going to be broadcast to a bunch of strangers, and anything they say is not going to change my position on this. I told him that private email conversations are private, and I did not give him permission to share our private conversation on a public website. He replied:

    I accessed your website through the Google search engine which is a public domain. I emailed your company about a legitimate inquiry via the link which is in your website. The most I was expecting was a reply from a representative but I was surprised you the president of AS-WAS did. I know you are intelligent enough to know what is public and what is private. By all means our conversation is public and the whole world has the right to know what kind of people are behind your company. As for me I have made my judgement but allow the others who are in the same predicament as myself to make up their minds.

    See you in iOffer.

I will not be bullied into being part of whatever iOffer is, and I will not be bullied into "being seen" there. The most interesting thing is that this guy wanted my help. He came to a total stranger to ask for help, claiming to want his eBay account back, and ultimated just wanted to bully me into coming to iOffer. It’s not my responsibility to help people who got suspended from eBay for who knows what reasons. I know that eBay can tell the difference between an account hijack and an account that was not hijacked, so I don’t buy his story! But it’s nice of him to say in writing that he will try to defame my company.

I say good luck to him. There is only so far you will get in life with that attitude. It sounds like the child who asks to borrow a dollar, and when you don’t have it or don’t want to give it to him, he calls you names and tells everybody you’re a loser. Some people don’t deal well with disappointment!

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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