I never experienced any problems with etsy.com customer service as a buyer, but experienced several as a seller. I can't get the help I need with basic questions, especially when using the 'email me' option, as opposed to the 'call me' request. I'd ask a general question and go weeks at a time without a response. Sometimes, when I did receive a response, it was unprofessional. For 18 months they blamed high call volume. (Recently they went to 24/7 support and so I stuck around because I was hopeful things were going to improve.) In every case they were unapologetic. Most of the time the answers I received were incorrect, and sometimes I'd have to ask the same question multiple times. Now that I'm reading these reviews, I am better understanding why. You could offer me a million dollars per day and I would still decline to be on the receiving end of these calls.
It's such a nice idea, etsy. 99% of the problems listed here appear to be between the 3rd party interactions. I don't see problems like these on Amazon or ebay (well, sometimes in the forums, but it's sellers that are generally unhappy, not the buyers.) Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in history, I think, because of his generous policies and investment in his customer service team of people. It's true that, for the most part, you get what you give in this world. Even small sellers will benefit ultimately from a loss here and there. Perhaps etsy needs to evaluate this aspect of their service?
I did have an issue with one seller not sending the correct items, but I did give her time and she did eventually correct it. I have experienced issues with some sellers responding unprofessionally or not at all. I elected not to do business/repeat business with those shops. I did once order an item that was not made well, but I didn't think that was intentionally done. There is some risk to shopping on the site. I did once experience a lost in mail item, even though it had a tracking number. After one month of waiting patiently, the seller (who initially offered to) replaced the item, but when the time came, he did it resentfully letting me know he didn't actually bear any responsibility. I ignored the tone. I accepted replacement because I would have done this for my customers, because that is the standard today set by larger companies. I also always make sure to buy again, and that is the reward. Also, happy customers are repeat customers, and in niche marketing, success is all about building relationships, but anyway, I digress. (I also once experienced a third party seller responding angrily to a single follow up question that she was at a funeral. I conveyed my condolences and she eased up.) Some people definitely do not...they REALLY, HONESTLY, do not know how to run a business, and nature takes care of them, but on a collective selling site, these guys do us all harm, and which, when left unaddressed, ultimately spells doom for all of us. People won't trust that you're going to do right by them, and when you've lost consumer trust, you've sealed your fate. I never faulted etsy for that...but I guess it is their responsibility. Or ours, I would say, as a collective, although we do not have control. Maybe we need a buyer's and seller's union directing policy or making suggestions. Or maybe they need to take away the b2consumer aspect...but then, that takes away shop identity, and that's what makes the site great and unique.
I've held on because no other business is offering a way for me to run a truely independent branded business out of my home, and for less than $20.00 per month, but I think after what I've read out here etsy is possibly doomed, and so I think I'm going to go ahead and pull my shop, even though I don't really want to.
Amazon and ebay handle issues by refunding your purchase, without the need for 3rd party seller contact, and will pull the plug on unprofessional sellers, which denies sellers payment, which is why I (think I) tend to receive my items as described and in a timely fashion.
On etsy, I personally guarantee all of my sales. I ship within 24 hours, I respond to inquiries almost instantaneously, and I offer to refund fully for any reason upon return receipt of the item. I guarantee the workmanship for life, and I'll even send a replacement if damaged or stolen. I supply my full contact information. I've never had anyone return any of my items, and I've never received less than a five star review. Still, it's scary. I do hold my breath every time I make a sale, worried and hopeful that the item will meet with the expectation. I think that's how it should be/must be. People need to be able to trust you.
Etsy needs an a-z guarantee, like Amazon. I think that would solve the majority of the problems I've read out here. The reason etsy is failing is because they ignore suggestions like these, not understanding that I want them to succeed because I want to succeed. Their success is my success, or in this case, isn't. It's a shame. Not only do they ignore suggestions for improvement, but they seem to resent them and take them personally, which is why I'm dissatisfied and thinking about closing my shop and my account. I want it to work, but I think its (might be) hopeless.
They would have to change radically, by adopting a policy of listening.
Product or Service Mentioned: Etsy Marketplace.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.