Trade Me Customer Service: A Love history

I’m very obsessed with customer service in any format. Chile, the country where I come from, has the worst customer service I’ve been through, and I’ve traveled quite a bit. In my working life I have always tried to put myself in the customer (or user to be more politically correct) to deliver the best experience, hence my interest in the UX field.

The online customer service is highly automated, so when you get a response or confirmation, you never think that someone actually sat on his desk and reply. Most of the time is a software which does everything automatically.

That’s why the experience I had with Trade Me has a huge impact on me. For those who do not know, Trade Me is like Ebay in New Zealand, a place where everything is traded, and has penetrated the market in an incredible way. It is very curious as here most of the answers when you look for something (from an old consoles to a house) is: “Search in Trade Me”
Before coming to Auckland I was desperate to find a place to live, my requirement was only one:  Close to my work. I did not take long to find several candidates, Trade Me offer is wide, and the search works very well. But when I wanted to make an account to negotiate with the owners, I never received the confirmation email to log in. Searched the spam, I did it again and nothing, finally decided to email support, it was very important for me to activate my account, and after a couple of hours, I get this response:

Hi Armando,
Thanks for getting in touch about your registration and I am sorry to hear you never received the confirmation email.
I’ve had a look into it from this end and can see that your registration has indeed stalled. The reason our system popped a pause on the process is because it looks like you’ve tried to create your account while outside of New Zealand or Australia.

Trade Me, for the safety and security of our trading community, only allow personal memberships for those who live in New Zealand or Australia. It’s not all bad news though, , we are more than happy to look to bending these rules in the right set of circumstances.

If you would like to come back to me with more information regarding your travel plans and what you were hoping to use the site for, then I’ll have a closer look into how we might be able to help you.

Just reply to this email with the detail and we’ll check it out.

Have a great day Armando!



Surprised by the reply, I answered (with a scan of my work visa)

Hello James, firstly, I’m super impressed with your reply, it’s by far one of the most dedicated replies ever, thanks a lot.

I understand the restrain of the location feature, and yes actually I’m in Chile now, but I’m moving to NZ on the 27 of March for good (I got an exciting job at a tech company) and I’m trying to get me a place to live before arriving there, you can find attached my work Visa in case you want to confirm, I would really appreciate if you can help me with this.

Thanks a lot.

He answers

Hi Armando,
Thanks so much for coming back to me with that detail, it helps us a lot at this end.

With the information around your travel plans that you’ve provided, I have been able to go ahead and push through that stalled registration for you. You’ll now be able to log in to Trade Me using this email address and the password you used when you set the account up.
There are some remaining selling restrictions on the membership until you do touch down in NZ, but these will just stop you from selling on the site. You should still be able to browse the site comfortably in the meantime.When you do arrive, please drop us a line by replying to this email or giving us a call and we’ll get your membership up to fully functionality.Safe travels and I look forward to hearing from you when you arrive.

And well, nothing much to say, I happily living in the house I found in Trade Me.

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