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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Thu May 27 2010 23:08:45

eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney General

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Dear Editor:
At the beginning of April 2010, I had a buyer try to scam a refund from me over some items purchased on eBay. Leaving an immediate negative FB, he claimed they arrived broken, but never contacted me first. Following up with a seller this buyer had bought from recently, I realized that this trend would continue unless I nipped in the bud. I told him I knew what he was doing; he responded he'd send a picture of "how you packed the box", but never mentioned the items themselves. Who would throw the items away, but preserve the box & packaging? He changed the packaging story three times in emails to me, and laughed about ruining my record...and it wasn't the first time he'd done so.

While many people would consider a negative feedback with a comment like "liar and thief" to be a minor matter, I do not. I have spent 8 years building my business reputation; I create custom jewelry, and have worked hard to please my customers & earn their trust. Because of one buyer who thought I'd be an easy mark, I can no longer point to my previously 100% positive feedback as proof of my commitment to my customers.

David Steiner graciously allowed me to post my subsequent effort to have eBay & PayPal investigated for unfair & unethical business policies on the forums. I am asking folks to write to ABC's 20/20, attention Chris Cuomo, with their stories. Mr. Cuomo is both a lawyer & respected journalist. Many folks have told me that the media will not respond to this effort. In light of the recent efforts on financial reform (such as Goldman-Sachs) I believe the timing to be optimal for these policies to be scrutinized for consumer protection.


Andrew Cuomo, the Attorney General of NY (where I reside) has announced his candidacy for Governor as of this past Sunday. This is significant because he is the brother of Chris Cuomo on ABCs 20/20 program. Now that his status has been established, I mailed a Priority Mail packet to him as of today. Some things I asked him to look at:

-PayPal holding money for 21 days or more, much of it random, without explanation

-Basing payment holds on feedback status (for eBay)

-PayPal withdrawing funds from bank accounts without prior authorization

-PayPal acting as an escrow service by demanding you keep a balance, for ANY reason

-PayPal allowing for refunds with no returns (Walmart wouldn't let me do THAT!)

-PayPal determining "counterfeit" items without having the physical item in hand, & refunding customers

-Looking into eBay's "Operation Catalog" project in the event they are breaking copyright laws by gathering pix from the folks who didn't opt out in time (they have permission to use the photos, but eBay doesn't)

-eBay & PayPal allowing buyer disputes/refunds with no proven contact with the Seller first for resolution

A seller recently let me buy from her under a new ID (I fully explained my former account situation to her). I didn't leave a negative or file a dispute (she got all 5s and a positive), but out of curiosity I went thru enough motions to see how easy it is for a buyer to lie, and leave negative feedback without giving the seller a fair chance to resolve a problem.

I have written to NY's AG office in the past, on behalf of a friend with a consumer complaint, and had an excellent response out of them. I also sent hard copy letters to each Senator & Rep in Congress, one for their DC office & one for the local.

I don't want to limit this to just New Yorkers. Feel free to contact Andrew Cuomo with your story: http://www.ag.ny.gov/contact.html

All it takes is a few minutes of your time to email or file a consumer affairs complaint with your state's AG office. Things CAN change if enough people speak up. The "noise" of today is tomorrow's avalanche~

Best of luck in your selling endeavors!
April



Comments (44) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Thu May 27 23:51:29 2010
Don’t forget the fact that eBay is knowingly and deliberately facilitating the rampant defrauding of buyers by the many unscrupulous “professional” shill bidding sellers who use nominal-start auctions; two such unscrupulous shill bidding sellers are the eBay-touted Top Rated Power Sellers, “beckertime” and “quickshipelectronics” …

And, for anyone seriously interested in the deviousness of eBay’s executive management generally, and in particular eBay’s demonstrable and deliberate criminal facilitation of the rampant shill bidding fraud being perpetrated by many unscrupulous professional sellers on buyers, particularly on nominal-start auctions, an introduction thereto (along with some PayPal horror stories thrown in for good measure) can be found at
http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: 103593
       
Thu May 27 23:56:22 2010
Kudos to youy.
I hope every last person abused and cheated by ebay and paypal files as many complaints to as many paces as it takes to force them to behave and follow the laws, make sure their ToS and policies are legal, as well as to regulate and/or punish them.

Between the glitches and the incongruous applications of rules, conflicting policies, procedures, something needs to happen.

Today there is another questionable glitch on ebay with the sellers free listings special deal.
Typical. Despicable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyaZAgggzHk
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 28 01:20:34 2010
You might also want to forward this to 20/20.  Its the latest class action suit against Ebay/Paypal for their 21 to 180 day holds and rolling reserves. (Filed May 12). Explains Paypal's action very clearly.


http://www.letssuepaypal.com/Paypal_Complaint.pdf<
BR>
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: look around
       
Fri May 28 06:24:09 2010
Bottom line = If you don't like the way Ebay does business then go away.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: New Yoirk New York
       
Fri May 28 08:06:46 2010
We New Yorkers will take the lead in taking down corrupt ebay/paypal and their history of illegal tactics. I also too have filed complaints with the NY Buffalo Better Business Bureau and NYS Attorney General's Office Fraud Division. I got TWO phone calls from ebay so far and i know they are sweating this one out. I say to "look around " above : DON'T BE AFRAID, DON'T LEAVE but do file a formal complaint esp here In NEW YORK. Newspapers in Albany, Buffalo and NYC have done scathing articles how illegal ebay is stealing money for no or poor service. NOT HERE in NY you don't get away with that! We are known for litigation and will get you results!
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: mickeyfinn This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 28 08:09:11 2010
@look sround - Very narrow minded attitude.

Those that can go elsewhere are doing just that - but there are many who are deeply committed to the eBay platform and rely on it for their very livlihood.

What eBay are doing is, in effect, a 'Bait and Switch' exercise on sellers - but they are doing it after the seller has comitted themselves.

Those who are complaining here are people who have been defrauded and/or just want eBay and Paypal to play fair.  EBay was great - once - and many would just like to see it back to being that same enjoyable experience.


But the concept of ''If you don't like'' ... ''then go away.'' applies to any situation - including comments made here.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Denise
       
Fri May 28 08:27:18 2010
@look around- yet another ebay troll heard from

I have filed with the NY AG's office as well as the FTC.
Any company that bases its fee structure on "subjective" ratings and refuses to acknowledge wrongdoings is defrauding IT's Customers. It IS Fraud plain and simple, they are 100% responsible for the damages done to thousands of sellers by unscrupulous "buyers"

I had over 1000 listings on ebay before April 1st, I am down to 79 listings and anticipate having only 10 listings still running on June 2nd. My reduction in fees may be just a drop in the bucket to ebay, but when you multiply it by all the sellers that are doin the same thing, eventually the Dam will break!
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: realitycheck
       
Fri May 28 12:38:13 2010
To, and by: look around
     
Fri May 28 06:24:09 2010

"Bottom line = If you don't like the way Ebay does business then go away."
----------------------------------------

Did you really give your answer much thought?

I have, and you should too.

If SELLERS took your SAME advice to their ebay customers as you think it is okay for eBay to do to theirs (the sellers) then EVERYONE loses in the end and it becomes CHAOS.

There have to be rules but the rules MUST be fair and EVERYONE MUST abide by them. Of course they must also be LEGAL!

Many people cannot see or refuse to see the FOREST for the trees.

The real bottom line about this whole thing is this; eBay allowed scammers to scam for a LONG time, they went after them when it was good for them and didn't when it was also good for them.

However, this eventually caught up with them the more law suits were filed, and more importantly is when buyers stared FLEEING.

Once they FINALLY began to clean up the problem they went OVERBOARD and have only gotten worse every since.  They have now realized how to make the SELLERS pay for THEIR mistakes but now they are driving the SELLERS away, which also happens to be a large part of their BUYERS!

eBay and paypal keep CHANGING the rules and ALWAYS changing them at the price of the sellers and even the buyers over time.

They keep stacking the deck against the SELLERS to the point they are putting them out of business or forcing them to go elsewhere.

Some might remember that around 2002 paypal actually LOST a suit regarding their POLICY.  The judge found it REPREHENSIBLE or UNCONSCIONABLE ( I cannot remember exactly).

These types of policies are VOIDED because they are so OUTRAGEOUS or ONE SIDED that they are not enforceable and the person or persons writing them are looked upon with disgust.

ebay nor paypal CANNOT unjustly ENRICH people at another persons expense.

If THEY want to pay for it then they can unustly enrich everyone they chose to but again the law does NOT allow them to force others to pay for it, regardless of what their policy says.

When they allow buyers to receive the merchandise and a refund, they do just that.

Another thing that should be questioned is the FREE insurance.

ebay no longer allows for sellers to charge for insurance but a seller must insure each pacakge whether it is self insured or through a third party.

Here is the question.  Everyone knows that the post office does not automatically ensure packages and that there is an EXTRA CHARGE for it, and  the buyer accepts the fact that it is going to be handled by a THIRD PARTY, and because the sellers CANNOT guarantee what they do with them once they leave their care, and even the post office who actually handles them will not guarantee them, how then can ebay and paypal or anyone else for that matter force the shipper to ensure them, let alone FREE OF CHARGE.

This also UNJUSLTY ENRICHES the buyer because it is an ADDITIONAL service and charge.

Now the buyer could pay more for delivery by using FEDEX or UPS at which point insurance IS included by them for the first $100 but additional charges above that.  

When the buyer chooses to use the post office they are making a CONSCIOUS decision and should also bare in the responsibility.

If a shipper can show proof of SHIPPING than that should be enough as that is ALL they can REASONABLY DO.

If you want the extra benefits you must be wiling to pay the premiums for them.

I think a law suit and certainly EXPOSURE to the MANY problem with ebay and paypal is NEEDED.

Unless and until people speak up NOTHING will get better for sellers and buyers.

It needs to also be said that the more ebay charges sellers, the more sellers must charge buyers.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Tired of eBay's Bullsh*t This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 28 13:13:21 2010
Thank you April for taking action. I myself have never had any sort of scam/extortion/FB issue with eBay/Paypal, but I have long advocated the necessity of State AG action in my posts here on David and Ina's blog/letters -- don't worry, if a bad apple bumps heads with me, I'll be doing the same as you.

DOJ or AG action is the ONLY thing that might get the attention of John D and the rest of that unethical bunch.

As far as the illegal policies at eBay/Paypal ... I fully agree that NOW -- post Subprime, post Wall Street Meltdown, post Toyota Accelerator, post MMS/BP -- is our best hope of getting our government attorneys and regulators to take action. All of the debacles that I mention were caused, at least in part, by a lack of government oversight and/or our government being too cozy with the industries they oversee.

Keep at it, and good luck,
Tired of eBay's Bullsh*t


eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: honest-American-seller
       
Fri May 28 13:48:35 2010
April,

Thanks for filing with your AG and mailings to your congressmen.

I, too, have had the same kind of problem buyers and complaints about eBay and PayPal.

I have a recent buyer in Canada who decided 2 weeks after shipment that she was 'tired of waiting' and wanted a refund. So, now, thanks to eBay, she has the item AND my money!

This kind of thing is common, not unusual.  And buyers are learning that eBay/PayPal encourage this kind of abuse and outright theft.  In fact, eBay/PayPal aids and abets these actions by unscrupulous buyers.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: good
       
Fri May 28 14:35:52 2010
While you're at it, mention the stock sales, purchases going on in upper management.

A change here a change there and with ebay one could practically decide the value of the stock they would like.

Big games going on and they have nothing to do with buyer safety.

Someone needs to take a closer look at the bigger picture.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Terri
       
Fri May 28 23:33:43 2010

John Donahoe's facebook picture with his family and ''extended family'' tells the whole story, why the media is not reporting what ebay is up too.

Look here:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?v=feed&id=859735710#!
/john.donahoe2?v=wall&ref=ts


eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Terri
       
Fri May 28 23:38:08 2010

Ina,

Can you make it so url links are clickable from our comments?
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Pretty Picture
       
Sat May 29 11:03:37 2010
@Terri. That has gotta be a fake picture. First off, his "daughters" look too normal, and secondly The Prez would have to be holding his nose if he was that close to a SKUNK!
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: another side of the coin
       
Sat May 29 18:40:13 2010
I believe the photo is real. JD was contributing heavily big bucks towards the Prez campaign. JD in my opinion has the Prez fooled into believing eBay is ''helping'' the Mom and Pop sellers in this bad economy. This makes this all even more of an uphill battle for small and medium sellers to prove how corrupt eBay really is. No one will believe the abuse eBay instills on their customers, the sellers.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Sat May 29 19:09:43 2010
Hey, don’t forget that eBay is knowingly and deliberately facilitating the defrauding, by unscrupulous professional shill bidding sellers, of buyers; you know, we simple punters that neither eBay nor you sellers can survive without.

And, for anyone seriously interested in the deviousness of eBay’s executive management generally, and in particular eBay’s demonstrable and deliberate criminal facilitation of the rampant shill bidding fraud being perpetrated, by a great many unscrupulous professional sellers, on buyers, particularly on nominal-start auctions, an introduction thereto (along with some PayPal horror stories thrown in for good measure) can be found at
http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: honest-American-seller
       
Sat May 29 19:42:09 2010
I can document eBay telling a buyer to lie and file a SNAD with step by step instructions for a simple return and refund.

This should be a legal fraud in almost every state in the USA.  

The question is which 'junkyard dog' of an attorney wants to file a class action lawsuit?  Imagine the number of potential add on lawsuits once the lawyers gain legal access to 'discovery' of misdeeds within the eBay computers, emails, memos, internal meeting notes, etc.

I will send this as a Letter to the Editor as soon as I clean up all the messages, removing actual names.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: another side of the coin
       
Sat May 29 22:52:07 2010
@Philip
I really don't think you have to make your point anymore about shill bidding. JD is trying to kill auctions and to make eBay into only fixed price. You are only adding fuel to JD's cause to ruin the livelihoods of honest small and medium sellers. I know you don't want to be seen as aligning yourself or even have your name in the same sentence as Donahoe.

I will say I agree with all your comments for the most part but the shill bidding speak is pretty much moot at this point and definitely old news.

@honestAmerican
Looking forward to your Letter to the Editor
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Sat May 29 23:48:58 2010
@ another side of the coin,

I appreciate just about every problem honest sellers have with eBay; however, I am predominantly a buyer so I see things eBay principally from a somewhat different perspective.

The point then of eBay's deliberate aiding and abetting of shill bidding fraud on buyers is therefore not moot but is very material.

I know this much, if you don't want to lose the good buyers, then you also have to do something to stop eBay from knowingly and deliberately facilitating such criminal activity on those buyers.

And, sorry, but as a concerned buyer, I intend to push the matter whenever and wherever I can, until eBay desists.
eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener   eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney Gener
by: Terri
       
Sun May 30 00:07:22 2010
@ Pretty Picture, it's a real picture and I believe it is JD's REAL facebook profile.

Check his friend list out, which includes Lorrie Norrington and everyone else affiliated with ebay, in one way or another. Stephanie Tilenius is on his friend list too, and her employer on her ''info'' page states Google: February 2010 - Present. JD's wife and kids are also on his friend list. You do not have to be his facebbok friend to see his ''friend'' list.

Here's the link to that list:

http://www.facebook.com/friends/?id=511497#!/friends/?id=
511497

He
may make it private if he see's this comment, so look ASAP if you want to see it.

For those that don't know who JD's wife is, her name is Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe.

You might be interested in googling her name to see what she does!
Between the 2 of them and what they do for a living, it explains why Wall Street and the media keeps hush hush about corrupt ebay.

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