eBay Prohibits Class Action Lawsuits in Updated User Agreement
By Ina Steiner
In a post on the eBay Announcement board, eBay outlined the key updates to the eBay User Agreement, including provisions relating to eBay's contacts with its members; cross border trade and fees; as well as updates to the Limitations of Liability Section.
eBay also updated provisions governing how disputes between eBay and its users are resolved.
The User Agreement contains an Agreement to Arbitrate, which will, with limited exception, require you and eBay to submit claims to binding and final arbitration, unless you opt-out of the Agreement to Arbitrate by the deadline stated in the User Agreement. Unless you opt-out: (1) you will only be permitted to pursue claims against eBay on an individual basis, not as part of any class or representative action or proceeding and (2) you will only be permitted to seek relief (including monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief) on an individual basis.
The laws of the state of Utah will govern the User Agreement and any claim or dispute between you and eBay, unless otherwise stated in the User Agreement. If you opt-out of the Agreement to Arbitrate or it is found not to apply to you or a particular claim or dispute, any claim between you and eBay must be resolved exclusively by a state or federal court located in Salt Lake County, Utah.
An eBay seller reacting to the changes wrote, "We sellers are "agreeing" to not participate in a class action lawsuit against eBay and any legal claims (They say) must be presented in a Utah court. This cannot be legal! To continue to use eBay we have to agree to this?!"
Other sellers wondered why eBay the laws of Utah governed the User Agreement, given that eBay is based in California and was incorporated in Delaware.
Another seller wrote, "Oh, this is the funny part: "You don't need to take any further action to accept the updated eBay User Agreement. If you choose not to accept the new terms, visit this help page for further direction." If you click on the "help page," it takes you to How to Close Your Ebay Account."
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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