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eBay coupon sparks customer backlash

18 June 2015 - 09:15 by Mike Price

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Discount coupons are immensely popular in the world of shopping online, since they allow people to save more money when purchasing products than they would if they headed to the high street.

However, there are a number of instances in which voucher codes have gone viral, leading to retailers being overwhelmed. Some codes have even been issued in error, leading to serious discounts that were never intended by those in charge of the e-commerce outlets.

The latest company to come up against this type of issue is online auction giant, eBay, which this week issued a discount offer that allowed shoppers in the UK to save 20 per cent on orders.

Although this was not a mistake, the discount was soon being spread far and wide on social media, with lots of people shopping online with eBay, specifically to take advantage of it.

Before long, people were finding that the code no longer worked, which according to TameBay was as a result of the retailer taking action to remove it from service.

Official responses to customers from eBay via its support Twitter account indicated that high demand was indeed the culprit in this case. In short, eBay had not expected so many people to use the code to save money and was concerned that if it allowed it to persist for too long, it would be seriously out of pocket.

It is a shame when campaigns like this backfire, since eBay was really just looking to stimulate traffic to the site and get more people shopping with it, but has ended up leaving some people feeling disgruntled.

Perhaps the possibility of saving 20 per cent on products is too much for people to resist, so in the future, eBay may offer a smaller discount to avoid overstretching itself.