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Thu June 5 2008 13:46:51

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

By: Ina Steiner

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The Managing Director of eBay Germany, Frerk-Malte Feller listed some tickets on the site, but required some unusual documentation from the winning bidder - including an electronic copy of a passport/ID. Users raised various issues: were the ticket sales legal, and questions as to whether the executive had confidence in PayPal given the documentation he required of winning bidders.

I asked PayPal yesterday about the many issues raised, and PayPal spokesperson Sara Gorman responded:

I heard back from my colleagues in Germany, and here's what happened. Malte sold some tickets for the European soccer championship. There is an official eBay category in Germany, Australia and Switzerland for the sale of these tickets (just as there was for the World Cup two years ago). The sale was perfectly legal, and in fact, Malte added the UEFA logo to his listing.

Since highly-coveted tickets such as these can have a higher risk of fraud, he asked for buyers paying with PayPal to send him a copy of their ID and proof of the financial instrument used to fund the purchase. While this is not required by PayPal, some sellers in higher risk categories do ask for additional identifying information.

Finally, while Malte did not include the statement that he is an eBay employee in the actual listing, he did inform buyers after the listing closed that he is.




Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Linda

Thu Jun 5 14:46:31 2008

So since he didn't disclose that he was an eBay employee in the listing does that mean eBay policies about employees is different in Germany than in the US or did he not follow policy?

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: dimes

Thu Jun 5 15:21:15 2008

The whole point of using paypal is to protect your financial account numbers.

Is paypal now saying that it's OK for sellers to require buyers to reveal their credit card details in order to make a payment using paypal?

That's a major policy change.  

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Rob

Thu Jun 5 16:30:37 2008

Typical arrogant big company attitude.  Rules are for everyone else to follow

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Martin

Thu Jun 5 17:02:09 2008

I'm from Germany and this story emphasizes what most German sellers think about Paypal.

Even Germany's biggest online news magazine published this issue.

Of course his listings were a breach of ebay rules and I'm sure different sellers' listings would have been removed from ebay for his requirements (provide a scan of the buyer's passport and both sides of his credit card).
As he said: "These additional terms are important, as PayPal will only protect sellers from unjustified chargebacks in accordance with the above."

Mr. Ex-Paypal Germany CEO, thanks for letting us know!

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Hans German

Thu Jun 5 17:24:07 2008

This is more than unusual even in Germany... there is only one question:  HOW can ONE person be so stupid?
If he is official working, he says: Paypal is very secure, absolutely safe for buyers and sellers... and if he is selling "privately" he says Paypal is to unsecure for me, please accept that I need the following (statement of account, passport copy all pages, credit card copy both sites)... this is more than funny and the best: THIS GUY WAS THE FORMER GERMAN PAYPAL CEO. If he says now: Paypal is not safe enough, than this is TRUE, because he should know this ouf of his former position... normally this is a one-time-mistake and you have to leave the company...

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: dimes

Thu Jun 5 17:26:25 2008

The Australians must be roaring with laughter.  So much for that ACCC submission...

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: WD

Thu Jun 5 17:31:59 2008

Thanks Ina, wow, so while eBay Australia is hammering on the fact that it's oh so dangerous to hand over your financial and/or personal details to other ebay-members, and that you should therefore be forced to use Paypal-only, because that is oh so safe for all parties involved, the present-day boss of eBay Germany, and former boss of Paypal Germany, requires, as an eBay-seller, that his buyers hand-over copies of their creditcard + passport/ID because apparently otherwise he doesn't feel safe as a seller offering Paypal ....?

Wow, amazing, isn't it?

And then there's the little issue of him not stating in his auction & beforehand that he is an eBay-employee.... tsk tsk tsk, naughty naughty...

Martin, good to hear about the general 'atmosphere' in Germany regarding this :-)

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: RF

Thu Jun 5 19:02:56 2008

Feedback looks alittle suspicious also.

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Mensch Meier

Thu Jun 5 19:41:58 2008

Why didn't he use a regular German Bank-Transfer like most of the German Ebay users do ? There are no fees for such transfers in Germany and it is 100% secure (ok, I know, 99%). Probably because Paypal is ''betta''. And he should use Paypal because he is he. It would probably have a bad ''Beigeschmack'' (a new German word for us Americans !), because he is former Paypal chief. Seriously, who is so stupid and emails a copy of his ID or Passport to someone he does not know and for a few tickets ? Would he as the managing director of Ebay Germany email a copy of his ID to a stranger ? Probably not, but since he is the Kaiser of the Ebay-Reich, he can do what he wants. Ebay might change their policy (backdated), to keep him out of trouble or they simply kick him out.

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: angryjim

Thu Jun 5 20:25:48 2008

This says a lot about both the reliability of Paypal and the standards or conduct eBay expects from its senior management.  This guy is a complete jerk.  

In many companies a senior executive who acted in this fashion would be shown the door.  At ethically-challenged eBay this possibility seems remote.

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: healthyjerky4u

Thu Jun 5 20:34:52 2008

Oh I see now...

Do as I SAY and NOT as I do...

What a joke...

eBay your going down the tubes and FAST!

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: healthyjerky4u

Thu Jun 5 20:57:30 2008

Wow...Must be nice to Do what you wanna do around this place called eBay...Especially when you WORK there!

This is the part of the employee policy, that gets my gourd...

* When eBay company employees list an item for sale on eBay, the eBay company employees must identify themselves as eBay employees and include the link to this Web page in their listing.

He CLEARLY did NOT do this...So why isn't he being repremanded?

[quote] eBay’s marketplace is built on a foundation of trust and transparency. As a courtesy to our Community, we believe that our members have the right to know when they are interacting with an eBay employee on our site, even when the eBay employee is participating as a member of the Community. [end quote]

Transparency my a**...

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: dimes

Thu Jun 5 21:06:44 2008

I don't think the possibility that they'd boot him out is all that remote.

Maybe if the company wasn't at present attempting to convince the Australian government to allow a waiver of antitrust laws in requiring only paypal as a funding source in that country, he could have skated.

As it stands, how does eBay explain a regional head of paypal requiring more identity confirmation than any other seller receives who accepts paypal payments?  

Clearly, paypal's out-of-the-box safety levels leave something to be desired, as demonstrated by someone who is in the best position to know.

(And may I just say, what an idiotic thing to do.  This guy deserves to be fired!)

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Unbelieving

Thu Jun 5 21:09:48 2008

Quote:

"The sale was perfectly legal, and in fact, Malte added the UEFA logo to his listing."



The sale may have been legal, but certainly the use of EUFA's logo was NOT.

If Eufa did not specifically give permission for their logo to be used, that's copyright and trademark infringement.

Don't they have policies about this on the Ebay Germany site?

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Don

Thu Jun 5 22:33:23 2008

I don't live in Germany so the rules may be different. However I'm reasonably sure that if you or I pulled this crap eBay and Paypal would pull the plug on our accounts in the blink of an eye or in Mr Feller's case einen augenblick.

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Paul

Fri Jun 6 01:02:04 2008

So the head of eBay Germany and ex-PayPal CEO doesnt trust his own companies but us Aussies have to trust them. YOU ARE A JOKE EBAY

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: WD

Fri Jun 6 02:54:05 2008

The sale was ''perfectly legal'' according to PayPal spokesperson Sara Gorman
?

Here's what the UEFA says on its website, in the competition FAQ/Help page about re-selling tickets:

--------------------------------------
(http://www.
uefa.com/competitions/uefacup/ticketing/newsid=505823.html)


Q25: Are my tickets personal?
A: Tickets are allocated to you personally and your surname will be printed on it.

Q26: Am I allowed to give my tickets away, re-sell or to offer my tickets in a good cause?
A: Tickets for the UEFA Cup Final 2008 are not transferable and may not be used for any promotion or advertising or as a prize in a competition or sweepstake, or as part of a hospitality or travel package (for example combining flights, hotel and tickets).
==> Successful applicants and their guests may not sell, offer for sale, auction, re-sell or otherwise transfer the tickets. <==

Q27: Have tickets been distributed to agencies or brokers for resale?
A: UEFA and The Football Association Limited (the Host Association) are the only bodies permitted to sell tickets to the general public.
--------------------------------------

According to the UEFA you are NOT permitted to sell/auction your tickets...  

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Rich

Fri Jun 6 02:57:40 2008

Item number: 140237360091

No face value declared for the tickets

Looks like just another scalping ebay ticket tout

Amazing how that eBay Employees are being allowed to get away with when they should be setting an example.

Rich

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: gerhard

Fri Jun 6 04:30:56 2008

>> he asked for buyers paying with PayPal to send him a copy of their ID and proof of the financial instrument used to fund the purchase.

that´s not correct, he asked his buyers for both sides of the credit card.

---
I need copies of your passport/ID as well as from your credit card that you are using within PayPal (both sides).
---

both sides of the cc including the security code at the back side ;-)

cool, whats his ex job ? paypal (bank) manager ?

eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction   eBay Germany Exec Scrutinized over Ticket Auction

by: Horst German PS in the UK

Fri Jun 6 05:18:00 2008

and regarding using the logos: ebay.de states on http://pages.ebay.de/em2008/ :
Sie sollten auch keine UEFA EURO 2008-Logos in Ihrem Angebot verwenden, da dadurch eventuell Rechte Dritter verletzt werden könnten.  also you shouldnt use in your listings UEFA EURO 2008-Logos as this could possibly infrige the rights of a third party.

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