Etsy Launches Member Appeals Program For Suspended Accounts

    October 10, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Etsy announced on Thursday that it has launched a new Member Appeals program, so that members whose account privileges have been suspended will be able to file an appeal and have their case reviewed.

There’s a contact form on the Help page, and a menu option for Appeals under the “Other” option. With that selected, you can start the process.

Etsy Appeals

“As the Manager of Member Appeals, I’ll be personally evaluating each submitted appeal,” writes Etsy’s Noah Stitelman. “I’ll work cross-functionally with all of the policy enforcement teams at Etsy in order to complete a thorough and independent review of each case, before determining whether to uphold or overturn the suspension of account privileges. This isn’t going to be a process that lets bad actors back into the marketplace. It’s also important to note that I will not be able to overturn legal decisions (for example, copyright infringement). Going forward, I hope that this process makes us even better at our jobs, and I will be working with all the Member Operations teams to improve our systems and reduce errors and mistakes.”

“I am personally excited to take on this challenge, and grateful to be part of a community that values introspection and fairness, even in the hardest of circumstances,” adds Stitelman. “If a well-meaning person has been suspended due to a misunderstanding or an error on our part, we want the ability to make that right. Ultimately, we owe it to our community to take a second look, and to be extra rigorous in the fairness of our decisions. In the months ahead, I’ll be giving regular updates to the community on the nature of the appeals I’m processing, as well as metrics on decisions made, so we can move towards a stronger, fairer marketplace.”

This is only the latest move from the company aimed at better communicating with members. Last week, Etsy announced some changes to its seller guidelines, and followed with that the launch of phone support for urgent matters.

Image: Etsy

  • http://www.featherreport.us/ Kelly

    This appeals process is a joke.

    Many thousands of us perma muted members got a default canned response automated send out when trying to appeal. Please note this all. The thread is there to make etsy look like the good friendly website. Unfortunate they are not even reviewing cases ….

    Here is the message all muted members that have appealed are receiving.

    “Hi there,

    Thank you for writing to Etsy. I have taken a look in to your account history and can see that you did violate our policy in regards to what is acceptable on the Forums. We strive to keep the discourse on our forums civil and based on my review it looks like you did break those rules. In light of this I am unable to reinstate your forums privileges. I can also see that your contributions in teams regarding the Appeals process indicate that re-instating your forums privileges would not be productive.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Also the teams he speaks of are PRIVATE TEAMS AND PRIVATE POSTS
    Thank you for readings,

  • http://mutedseller.com Doug Erwin

    I am one who asked about the appeals process.The answer was pure Orwellian. Since I had been muted I was not eligible to be reinstated. There was no process. There was a question from me and a cut and paste answer from the “Appeals Manager”. No option to present my case. Just a fast slamming of the door.

  • Carol Babs

    I am a muted buyer on Etsy. My question is what Appeals Process?

    I was trying to decide whether to appeal my loss of privileges, and decided to look at the appeals form. I couldn’t find it where it was supposed to be, so I convoed Noah to ask how I could access the form. Within a short time, I heard back from Noah. He stated that I had indeed broke forum rules, and he wouldn’t be able to reinstate my privileges. He also stated that after looking at my private posting in teams about the Appeals process, that it wouldn’t be productive to reinstate me.

    I have always understood Appeal processes to mean: An unbiased person reviews both sides of a disagreement, and then comes to a conclusion based on his/her findings. Well, apparently not for Etsy. I didn’t appeal my loss of privileges, I didn’t see the Appeals form, I didn’t fill out the Appeals form, I didn’t get to tell my side of the story at all. Noah apparently just rubber stamped my muting.

    In addition, my private conversations in an Etsy team were apparently monitored and used against me. In a team thread, at the very bottom of the reply box, is a statement that only team members will be able to view your post. Not true, according to Noah.

    So again, I ask, “What Appeals Process.” It seems this is just more of Etsy spinning the truth to make themselves look better.

    • http://mutedseller.com Doug Erwin

      It would seem that a company that can stretch the definition of handmade to include factory made can also come up with their own definition of appeal.

  • http://libellulajewelry.com Susan F.

    I’d like to know why Etsy always mutes forum posters who ask valid, well-presented questions and those who choose to stand up for themselves against the bullying, snarky posters who troll the forum. The know-it-all bullies remain and are never muted.

    The handful of posters who have nothing better to do than belittle others are the reason why so few buyers/sellers even use the forum!

    Etsy enables bullies and continues the bullying by their sham appeals process. I can’t wait until another online selling venue comes along and squashes Etsy like a bug. Only then will they understand how it feels.

  • Debbie

    I agree with all of the above posters. Etsy is known for their cut-and-paste canned responses that never answer the question that was posed to them. This new “appeal process” is just another way that their canned responses can be used. They are only instituting the “process” because of all the bad press about Etsy muting people for no reason. Having it on paper and actually conducting a fair appeals process was never on their agenda. It’s just a PR move on their part. Incidentally, I was permamuted for this comment, “Are your items handmade? I think I’ve seen them before elsewhere.” Oooh, I’m so mean. I’m a troublemaker for asking someone if their items were handmade. Etsy does everything in their power to mute those that ask legitimate questions regarding resellers and copyright infringers.
    Etsy WILL NOT however, mute their cupcake forum writers that fawn all over Etsy and how much they love the site and the new changes, despite the fact that these cupcakes are very condescending and nasty to posters.
    Etsy will fall flat on its face in the near future and I’m actually going to enjoy it. They’ve taken a once beautiful handmade site and destroyed it with mass-produced cheap crap all for the almighty buck.

  • spinspinspin

    Think of doing in addition to exposing Etsy in article comments.

    Email all correspondence and problems with customer service to your State Attorney General’s Office. It will be the first thing to come up in search. Submit to your State Attorney General what you submit to Etsy ESPECIALLY in regard to account closures. Also send e-mails and documentation. They only need a few of these per state to take action. Also send it to the New York State Attorney’s office. You will have a very different response from them since they are actually working for you and not trying to milk you.

    … but also keep up the comments. It’s great that commenters post to these Etsy PR articles stating the more obvious thing, Etsy has a major customer service problem that stems from them, Etsy, and NOT their customers.

    Do you know how many people they will reinstate – almost zilch, not because they were right, it was because customers spoke the truth or some flake “Integrity” team member didn’t like you. That’s literally how they really operate, less than mediocre.

  • mildred Tice

    I am not muted, but I have seen why others were….No I have seen when they were muted, but could not, for the life of me, know why.

    The muting and the appeals process is an unfunny joke….mildred

  • Etsy Appeals Process a joke

    Call me cynical, but I think that this new appeals process is just another badly judged Etsy PR ploy. One person called ‘Noah’ reviewing your appeal.. sounds nice :) Etsy now has 10 million plus customers. Even if a miniscule proportion of the huge number of suspended customers appealed, ‘Noah’ would have to be superhuman. Pull the other one Etsy.

    I tried out this new appeals process and swiftly received a standard canned response. I dont think my email was even read.

    I sold on Etsy for 5 years, with an exemplary record and 8k plus positive feedback. My shop was closed overnight. No warning. No right to appeal. Not even confirmation of the issue which had warranted this extreme measure. It seems that automated systems suspend Etsy customers, not rational people.

    Etsy is NOT a safe, fair or friendly place to sell goods.

    Dont be fooled by the personal friendly image they try to promote. Etsy is a very large company now, and now that they can afford it, they are choosing not to give a damn about thier customers.

  • Tal

    Can Etsy be that bad? I thought only bad people (or governments, for that one) spy on non-compliant, non-conform people.

    That was sarcasm.

    We have to say good-bye to clichee thinking. And to this wonderful, cotton candy tinted “new economy”. Because it’s a big lie. This economy long follows the rules of the old economy and dances to the same drums. There’s not the grain of something radical new and disrupting in Etsy’s strategies.

    Etsy’s mentors and managing people all come from big players: Google, eBay, Yahoo. Would you think these people are interested in being social, open and pro-community and totally indie? Think again. It won’t pay for them. It won’t bring in the millions of $$ that they will have to pay back to all those investors whom they once collected them from.

    Don’t rely on Etsy. Build your own brand’s online presence and act as the independent craftspeople that you are.

  • Shannon Clark

    This is very interesting. My Shop was suspended after my moms shop was suspended and closed. I live in a completely different state and I am my own adult. I am guessing they shut my shop down due to her using my computer when she visits my from out of state to check her shop. (IP address)

    I have been a seller on Etsy since 2012 with over 11,000 sales and averaging $120,000 a year in sales. Now because of someone else my shop has been closed permanently and I have been waiting on an email from Etsy but just being ignored. I feel betrayed by Etsy. I feel like I have been fired from a successful job. This is very hard to swallow as it was not a direct result of something I had done wrong. I guess I am confused and well torn up over all this. I am guilty by association???

    Now for the pity party…. This is going to affect my family majorly. We are now listing the home we just bought 10 months ago and if it does not sell we will file bankruptcy. Most likely we will need to sell our vehicles and downsize our life that is expanding as I am 8 weeks pregnant.

    I challenge Chad Dickerson CEO of Etsy and Noah Stitelman Manager of Member Appeals to better research shop closures. For Gods sake my shop was not even in the same state as the one at fault.


    • Jane

      Did you ever file an appeal? My shop was just shut down for ‘using images that don’t originate from the seller’ meaning stock photos or someone else’s photos. Funny thing is it’s my face in every pic, so how can they say that? I’ve filed an appeal and don’t know how long it will take to get my shop back. Busiest time of year for my shop and I’ve got nothing now.

  • Dawn

    This is absolutely horrible. I don’t even know what to say. Did you ever get your account back?