back to article eBay glitch sends packages to wrong addresses

eBay has acknowledged a bug on its site that's causing some sellers to send items to the wrong address. The flaw, which in certain cases causes eBay to transmit incorrect mailing instructions to sellers, is expected to be fixed soon, an eBay official said today. "This recent issue is limited to a very small number of eBay …


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  1. M. Burns Silver badge

    I had it use an adress last used over 5 years ago

    On the weekend I bought something on eBay using "Buy It Now" and it send an address to the seller that had not been used in over 5 years, and had been erased from both my PayPal and eBay accounts 5 years ago. The PayPal folks claimed they "fixed" the problem. But it begs the question of why are they retaining data like this in the first place?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    old database

    Here some wild speculation they lost part of their database due to corruption in some way and had to restore with the last one they had that still works which is very old from tape power outage, flood, maybe a break in I am no expert on how Paypal works but it seems they have lost some data somehow.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not us, it's them, but them are us.

    Nice of eBay to Blame Paypal. Phew glad it's not a eBay problem. Hold on, don't eBay own Paypal? Nice to see close co-operation between divisions.

  4. Dan P

    Confirming you address personally...

    isn't going to work the majority of the time. eBayers are generally a very careful breed, and if you a a seller received one address from eBay / Paypal, and then an email or message from someone suggesting you should send the package elsewhere, you're going to be very suspicious, and probably contact eBay security and not send the item at all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stuff in AWOL

    Well, I certainly hope that's not what happened to some of the antique toys I bought off eBay. I'm going to sue if it is.

  6. Alan Gauton

    Not sure

    I payed for something with Paypal last night - the address was right, but they seem to have moved Forfar in Scotland to Sierra Leone. (-:

  7. Luke Wells

    At last!!!

    Thankgod other people are having this problem too.

    I have been banging my head against a brick wall with ebay and paypal.

    I reported the problem aaaaages ago and every time I send an email to paypal, firstly they completly ignore anything I write, and just send an automated response telling me how to add a new address to my account.

    I don't need a new address, it doesnt matter what address I set in ebay / paypal .... the one that goes to the seller is my parents address, and I have not lived there for 8 years! The address was deleted from my paypal and ebay accounts many years ago! Infact it is still not in my paypal or ebay profiles, yet they are picking it up from somewhere and emailing it to sellers when I pay for stuff.

  8. Gordon

    Black Helicopters??

    The "old backup" theory sound very plausible. Unless they actually *do* keep all this data about your past, and have accidentally managed to release it by miscoding something that reads addresses from a database.

  9. Richard

    Cockup not conspiracy

    Having worked in IT (mostly at the coal face) for 20+ years I go for Cockup everytime ... i.e. recovering the wrong data from old backup tape etc. Of course the punting of users between departments of the same company "eBayPal" is definitely a conspiracy. Neither eBay or PayPal have been renowned for good customer service and it was only when I say some eBay spokesman on the BBC news a few years ago that I was finallyconvinced they had at least one real employee (or actor playing a PR person) and not just Turin machines and /dev/nulls 8-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weird That

    I had exactly this happen to me last week. 2 packages were sent to a friend of mine who I bought concert tickets for last year. I said to myself I was sure my address was on it!

  11. bt garner

    It;s not a DB Restore Issue

    A few years ago I used my wife's name on a package, and ever since then, any purchase made through eBay, the seller gets *her* name (luckily, same address). This has been an ongoing thing, and not something that "just happened," as one would expect with a database restore from years ago.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes old data NEEDS to be kept ,,,

    Probably not for as long as 5 years, but if you have goods delivered to a specific address and then delete the address, you are really only marking that address as "not to be used in future".

    The address you previously used still needs to be retained for as long as the original transaction remains in your searchable paypal history, because if there was a query you would want to see your delivery address was at the time you ordered the goods, not what your current delivery address is.

  13. C

    Ebay and Paypal have

    an effective monopoly. Is it any wonder their service is worse than appalling?

  14. D Crunkilton

    Same story

    Same story, 3-5 year old address given to buy-it-now seller. Three to five years ago I even closed out my PayPal account and opened a new one to get rid of my old address.

    Ebay blamed it on PayPal; said they forwarded my complaint to PayPal. Have heard nothing from PayPal.

    I asked them if they had rolled an old backup tape.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Question - ???

    For those of you who have seen the 'bad address' problem, was the wrong address displayed (for confirmation) during the 'buy it' process (after you 'won' the bid and were asked to confirm the PayPal purchase)?

    I am interested to know if the correct address shows up on that purchase confirmation screen (which is edit-able), or whether the error is perhaps in a later process wherein the address is presented to the seller (e-mail creation).

    If the latter is true (correct in the confirmation) - then I think the bad back-up tape / recovery scenario makes sense because a 'reference key' might be pointing to a different entry than is actually currently in PayPal or E-Bay. That would make the other behavior's (like the address being deleted from E-Bay and PayPal's visible list) make sense. This would be a 'harder' problem - since the DB used in creating the e-mail is different than the one creating the confirmation.

    In the former case, the presentation of the 'confirmation' is using a different database (perhaps an older version) which is not in 'synch' with the one presented under the e-Bay account management screen.

  16. Andy Bright

    Not entirely sure I understand the problem here

    As one piece of tat is more or less the same as another, just differently shaped, does it really matter what gets delivered to which person?

    Just be grateful for the surprises you receive. Think about it. You've bought some piece of shite, say a piece of toast with moldy butter resembling Jesus, but instead of that, six months later you receive an xbox 360.

    Same difference, a worthless piece of tat. But.. you have the pleasure of being surprised by the worthless piece of tat you received.

    Not only that, but presumably you will continue to receive random pieces of tat forever (which ironically is roughly the length of time eBay takes to resolve a customer's complaint).

    I would think this would be great selling point for eBay. Sort like the ultimate pyramid scheme. Everybody contributes an item to the scheme, and eventually everyone will receive something. The lucky ones get cubic zirconia in gold-coloured jewelry, the unlucky all sorts of possessed cuddly toys and turds resembling various characters from our favourite religions.

    The only issues that I can see are whether your dustbin is large enough to store the items you receive from eBay, and how reliable your garbage collection service is.



    I received a parcel not meant for me today and it seems like I am just one of many who this is happening to, I wonder how this will be resolved and who will pick up the tab for items to be forwarded to their rightful owner ?

  18. Shaun

    I've had this on 4 things I've paid for

    and had to put my actual address in the comments for each item

  19. Leigh

    ebay's uk phone number if you want to complain...

    I've had the same problem, and even though i contacted the seller direct they still sent my item to an address i lived at more than 3 years ago.

    I contacted Ebay - they blamed Paypal.

    I contacted Paypal - they haven't even bothered to reply to my three emails.

    So, what's the answer?

    Call Ebay's office in the UK - 0208 6053000 (and choose option 3)

    I got the problem sorted out within 48 hours and got a full refund from paypal

    Or you can email... Apperntly they're pretty good too, but i didn't try that.

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