Thought the days of having to use a particualr web browser client in order to use a specific site were over? Think again if this conversation between a user and eBay support is anything to go by.
As a journalist who has spent the largest part of the last 20 years online, not a great deal makes me sit up and my jaw drop with disbelief anymore. However, when a chap called Mike Hall copied me in on a support conversation he had with eBay, I have to admit I was rather in danger of spitting my coffee all over the keyboard.
The part of the support chat transcript that stood out and grabbed me by the manly bits simply stated: "I suggest that you kindly use Firefox 3.6 (not IE 9.0, Safari or Google Chrome as they aren't compatible)". Yes, you read that right, eBay told a user that three out of the four major web browser clients are not compatible with the eBay site. That, dear reader, is quite simply astonishing.
I might have had less trouble getting my head around this incredible web design FAIL were it 1999, or were the site in question produced and operated by the local corner shop on a budget of 10 dollars and a lot of finger crossing. However, this is 2012 and we are talking about one of the iconic brands of the Internet age, one of the biggest online commerce sites there is.
Yet this is seemingly the situation if we are to believe the information that was given to Mike by an ebay support representative called Andy Richardson. I have copied the entire support chart session below so you can make up your own minds. eBay, meanwhile, has yet to respond to my request for comment over this matter. In fact, the silence from the eBay press team has been quite deafening. Which is bizarre as you might have thought it would want to clarify the matter when a support representative is admitting that only Firefox 3.6 is compatible with the eBay site whilst the eBay support pages themselves recommend Chrome, IE and Safari - the three browsers which the support chap says you should not use!
Andy Richardson Welcome to eBay Live Help, my name is Andy. How may I assist you today? mike***** Morning Andy, In 'Myebay' summary page there is a section called "CASES". It shows that I have "1 case is still open", but when I click on that link, then there are no open cases shown. mike***** Sorry, that is in the MyEbay | All Selling page. Andy Richardson Please give me a moment to check on this for you. Andy Richardson Thank you for your patience. Please give me few more moments as I am reviewing your account. Andy Richardson I reviewed our database and assure you that there is no case opened in your resolution centre. mike***** Ok, then there is a bug in that the MYEBAY | ALL SELLING | CASES section shows that "1 case is still open" mike***** I think maybe there is another bug, because in the SOLD section, it says that "You do not have any sold items for the time period you selected" (14 days). This is also not true, as I have sold two items in the last week. Andy Richardson Michael, the issue that you are facing is because of the Chrome browser that you are using. We do hear similar issues from other eBay members using Chrome browser. This browser does not support all features on eBay site. Andy Richardson I suggest that you kindly use Firefox 3.6 (not IE 9.0, Safari or Google Chrome as they aren't compatible) and certainly you won't face any issues. You may simply type in "Firefox 3.6" in Google and follow the steps to download the browser. mike***** Wow - that's one hell of an admission.... the biggest auction site in the world is only compatable with one of the four main browsers ! Andy Richardson I understand your concern in this matter. However, please be rest assure that our technical team is working hard on it and will forward your suggestion to the appropriate department. Andy Richardson I really appreciate your efforts and understanding in this matter. mike***** Thanks for chatting.... perhaps you could relay to your management that maybe it might be a good idea to ensure a little wider compatability! mike***** Bye Chat Session Ended, Goodbye. (5010)