EBay Hit With Complaints - InformationWeek
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6/18/2004
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EBay Hit With Complaints

Customers kick up a fuss as billing software overcharges sellers.

Complaints about balky new eBay Inc. billing software that's overcharging sellers continue to flood a Web message board about the Internet's largest auction site on the eve of the company's eBay Live users conference in New Orleans. One seller wrote last week that the billing snafu could cause people who rely on eBay to make a living to look elsewhere for work. EBay, which claims some 105 million registered users, in April rolled out a new computer-billing system that's been overcharging sellers ever since, a company spokesman confirmed. EBay promised to fix the issue days after it learned of the problem, but sellers continue to report errors. The eBay spokesman says the company won't abandon its billing system.

New billing systems are usually deployed in parallel with those they're replacing to guard against problems, says Avivah Litan, an E-commerce analyst at market researcher Gartner. "This is pretty much sloppy programming and testing," she says. "They got caught with their pants down."

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