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Etsy Customer Service

(11 Posts)
AliW68 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:31:01

Has anyone else had any problems with buying on Etsy that they haven't been able to resolve with the seller only to find that the customer support is non-existent?
I bought a vintage item from the US that had been badly mis-described (it measures 30 inches rather than 37 inches and has damage and a bad repair that wasn't disclosed, for example). Although the seller accepted mistakes were made, I ended up in the Etsy case system (the seller seemed to think I was being unreasonable in not accepting something I hadn't ordered; my toddler in a tantrum is only marginally less rational than she's been) and Etsy eventually resolved in my favour and said I could return the item.
I asked who was responsible for shipping costs and before I got a response from Etsy the seller had processed a refund for the item (not the outward shipping costs which were actually more than the item cost, even without the customs charges - all of which would have been fine had the item been as expected) and merrily advised I could keep the item - an item that isn't actually fit for purpose and which I don't want (I've had a quote to repair the unheralded faults and the refund won't even cover those costs and even if it did the item would still be too small).
The case was summarily closed by Etsy and I could no longer message about it witin the case system. The alleged customer service team doesn't respond to online messages (a common experience it seems when you dig around the internet).
The bottom line is it's one of those companies where there's no telephone number you can speak to a real person on. How customer-alienating is that? All in all it's been a rather tedious and bizarrely Kafka'esque experience.
Can anyone advise how to proceed to push my case with Etsy. Or do I just have to write it off as a (very) bad experience?

cremolafoam Fri 14-Mar-14 19:43:50

I had a crap experience with a totally unreasonable seller. Etsy said I didn't open a case soon enough so that was that. In my case the item never arrived and the seller refused to refund me. She insisted I waited and waited for it to be delivered ( from US) by that time it was too late to open a case.
No item
No refund
Expensive delivery charges
Nasty seller
Useless customer service

And she put the item back in sale 6 months later.
Furious. But had to write it off as the whole thing upset me so much .

QuiteQuietly Fri 14-Mar-14 20:04:27

How did you pay? If by paypal or credit card, can you not file a chargeback?

AliW68 Fri 14-Mar-14 20:57:34

I paid by credit card through Etsy's automatic payment system. I am investigating making a claim through that avenue (slightly tediously they wouldn't deal with me because I am not the primary account holder so I have to get DH to ring up over the weekend), but I imagine they will want to see that I have made all efforts with Etsy. Also, it rankles rather that Etsy merrily thinks not addressing customer issues is okay, because they're big and they can. Rather bully-like behaviour?
Sorry about your experience Cremolafoam. My seller has been quite nasty, really unexpectedly given Etsy' cosy projected atmosphere (she wrote "I bet you do this all the time" in one of her 1000 word diatribes - yeah like I spend £200 just in case some crazy/inept seller sends me something I didn't contract to purchase).
I have had some very good experiences on Etsy previously, although perhaps the sellers were all UK based. I had one US seller who accused me of 'screaming' at her when I queried why she had sent the three bracelets I'd bought for my bridesmaids in one gift box, but that was minor compared to this.
When I've had a couple of problems with eBay purchases (there's another nasty experience - the seller described an item as like new but sent something muddy and stained and accused me of 'scamming' her when I complained) I've been fully refunded through their complaints system, although I am not sure they actually considered the cases, they just pay up as soon as the alloted time expires. But I digress!

cremolafoam Fri 14-Mar-14 20:59:11

She refused to pay anything. Can't remember how I paid but she would not refund . Etsy did nothing to arbitrate as it was outside the time to make a case. Much shoulder shrugging emails from customer service. The convos got really abusive. I cut my losses and de registered . There does not seem to be any recourse in the case of international selling. Enlighten me if anyone knows different.

Sleepthief Fri 14-Mar-14 21:53:29

I had an almost identical experience to cremolafoam - it's put me off using etsy again. Sad to hear that others have had similar.

QuiteQuietly Fri 14-Mar-14 22:36:18

cremolafoam It may be too late you for you now, but if you pay using a credit or debit card you should be able to apply to the card company to get the money back. Details HERE. The onus is on the Seller to prove the item was delivered to you, or payment is reversed. Paypal is easiest though, even outside of eBay.

cremolafoam Sat 15-Mar-14 06:56:38

Statute of limitations for chargeback is 120 days. sad
Too late for me, but may help someone else . Thanks for the link- it was really helpful.smilethanks

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Sat 15-Mar-14 07:07:23

IME it's pretty impossible to prove anything with an international purchase, as there are 2 postal services who will blame eachother, unless you use an expensive tracked service.

The problem with etsy is there's loads of amateurs on it, which is kind of the point of it, but it means sellers sometimes take thing very personally.

I think in your case etsy customer services acted poorly, is it too late to shame them on social media?

RussianBlu Sat 15-Mar-14 07:09:59

I am wary of buying anything outside of the Uk so filter my search results accordingly even though lots of the nice stuff comes from America. No problems with the sellers but a recent issue with my bank thinking that someone had been trying to use my card to pay for an online Etsy transaction meant them cancelling my card just like that and me spending ages on the phone to them trying to resolve the issue (unsuccessfully) and therefore being left with no access to money and my bank account for 4 days. I am now too worried that it will happen again so will be giving Etsy a miss. Pity as the website is so nice.

AliW68 Sun 16-Mar-14 11:25:08

Thanks for all the messages.
I don't know whether it's better to have shoulder shrugging emails as opposed to absolutely no response at all. Well, no response beyond the automatic we've received your message. Both equally maddening, perhaps?!
Apparently Etsy is set to expand enormously outside of the US. You'd think having decent customer support in place would be key to that, but hey, what do I know? I seem to remember Amazon used to have one of those shadowy customer support teams that you couldn't telephone directly but they seem to have seen the light.
There are lots of people out there who are extremely unhappy with Etsy when you dig around on the internet, sellers and buyers. See for instance:; (fairly colourful language!)
This posting provides ways of escalating a complaint, but taking legal action in the US is doubtless not worth the aggro/cost. Guess it depends how much people are out of pocket. Anyway, might be worth a look-see:
Onwards and upwards!

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