Ebay Seller Threatens Buyer With Suit Over Feedback
The dispute began when the seller, Joel Jones, shipped the buyer the wrong phone--a Samsung F700V instead of a Samsung F700--which was damaged, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The purchaser, Chris Read, complained and also asked for a refund. He later posted a comment stating that the phone was "scratched, chipped and not the model advertised."
Jones then reportedly sent Read a letter asking that he denounce his comments as unreasonable, and threatened to bring a libel lawsuit. Read told The Telegraph he has no intention of backing down.
It's not clear whether there are any similar legal disputes currently brewing in the U.S. But eBay itself was sued at least once for libel based on a disgruntled user's negative feedback.
A California state appellate court dismissed that case in 2004, based on eBay's user agreement. That document releases eBay from liability for any matters stemming from disputes between buyers and sellers.
Since that time, the stakes of negative feedback on eBay have become higher. In August, the company announced that it would no longer allow sellers to list new items if their average feedback ratings fall below 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5. Sellers whose average ratings are between 4.1 and 4.3 could see their listings demoted in the search results.