I like eBay. I’ve bought and sold there and have a spotless feedback record. It really does scratch an itch.
Unfortunately, with a recent purchase I’ve discovered another part of eBay and it’s quite upsetting.
With Steffie going to school and packing a new cellphone, I thought it would be nice to buy a cable and software so she could move photos and ringtones on and off the phone without have to include Cingular in the equation.
There were a bunch of cable combos advertised, but I chose one reasonably close to me, in Brooklyn, NY.
I won the auction on August 23, paid for it almost immediately and that sat back and waited. When nothing came after a few days, I sent a note to the seller.
All the best,
The answer came back positive. Yes, he said, it was on its way. So I continued waiting.
Then, on August 30th I sent this.
The cable finally came Tuesday, September 6. It was postmarked August 31, long after the seller said it was on its way and long after we had taken Steffie to school.
The cable and software weren’t worthless, but they were less valuable. I would have to wait until I saw Stef again to give them to her and show her how to use them.
When you buy on eBay, you have the chance to show your pleasure or displeasure, and I showed mine. I checked the mark for negative feedback and began to type. Space was limited, so I measured my words, but here’s what I left.
And so it stood, until earlier today when I got a message from the seller. It was: eBay Feedback Withdrawal Request for Item 5800711527. The message read.
In other words, if I don’t withdraw my valid complaint, he’ll soil my reputation.
On eBay, your reputation is worth a lot and I’m worried about what to do. I consider this extortion on the seller’s part.
EBay’s terms and rules take an interesting turn here.
Here are some examples of what eBay doesn’t investigate:
* The other party left negative feedback on me after I left it on them.
We are afraid eBay cannot remove these comments. Per our User Agreement, we do not edit public postings.
On the other hand, he has made a premeditated threat.
I’m not sure what to do. I have reported this to eBay and am awaiting a response from them. If they can’t help, I might have to withdraw my truthful feedback, leaving other users in the lurch, because I have to guard my own online reputation.
This can’t be what eBay had in mind for feedback. It’s certainly an outcome I never expected. It is, to say the least, upsetting.