EBay UK's promotional campaign that launched on June 15 backfired after its 20 percent off coupon redemption code failed to work, reports EcommerceBytes, which has been following the story closely. This week — 10 days after the initial problem — the marketplace sent an email to a customer who did make a purchase on June 15 but was unable to redeem the coupon with the following message: “We have another 20 percent off coupon, when you spend £20.”
EBay subscribers should have been able to use the discount for any purchase of at least £20 and a maximum coupon value of £50. Instead, they were notified with the following statement: "The redemption code can't be used for your purchase. There is no balance left on this redemption code."
Frustration mounted on Twitter as shoppers were desperately looking for an answer. According to EcommerceBytes, there was a 50-minute wait for customer service. On June 17, eBay’s customer service tweeted via @AskeBay:
“Our coupon campaign on June 15th proved to be hugely popular & exceeded all our expectations. Due to huge demand, it was suspended. 1/2”
“We apologise & will contact & reimburse any UK customer who processed a transaction on June 15th & didn’t receive the 20% discount. 2/2”
A few days later, it explained on the same Twitter account that the “recent network issue we experienced has been investigated and resolved. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.”
A similar misfortune happened to Woolworths, an Australian supermarket chain, which hijacked its entire gift card distribution by mistakenly emailing around 1,000 people a spreadsheet with the personal details of Woolworths' customers. The supermarket, which reacted faster than eBay, canceled the e-gift and affected customers were provided with new e-gift cards for use in-store.