Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Oct 12 2013 15:44:50

Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

By: Ina Steiner

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The New York Times' Haggler is at it again, and this time it has uncovered a disturbing loophole in eBay's seller protection policy. The Haggler column has previously written about eBay and PayPal policies on behalf of readers, including its practice of payment holds on seller accounts.

Today, The Haggler responded to a reader about his experience selling a laptop computer. The seller said someone purchased his laptop on eBay using a stolen identity and when the true owner of that identity disputed the charge (a "chargeback"), PayPal took the funds from the seller's account.

"PayPal vowed to "dispute the reversal" and "work with the buyer's credit card company" to get my money back," the seller wrote, but he discovered PayPal had extended to the perpetrator a credit line under Bill Me Later. "In other words," the laptop seller wrote, "the "credit card company" to which PayPal referred was PayPal. Its promise of advocacy, then, would mean taking my money while disputing - with itself - the taking of my money."

The Haggler called the situation unfair and wrote, "in ways that the Haggler can't quite put a finger on, the sense of unfairness is compounded by the reality that PayPal, Bill Me Later and eBay operate under one corporate umbrella. In most credit disputes it's the buyer against the merchant, with the card company mediating between the two. Here the credit issuer is Bill Me Later, which is disputing a charge with its parent, PayPal. When the Haggler asked the eBay spokesman John Pluhowski for the name of the PayPal spokesman and the Bill Me Later spokesman, he offered one name: John Pluhowski."

Read the column on the New York Times website and let us know what you think of eBay's seller protection policy - has it ever failed you?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 12 16:50:02 2013

This article was second from the top on Yahoo's News Feed a short while ago. Now it's gone. All the articles that were around it are still there.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 12 17:32:56 2013

@Bloggo, Use cut copy and paste to repost it in Yahoo Finance or other parts of yahoo. It can be done easily enough.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sat Oct 12 18:22:10 2013

"When the Haggler asked the eBay spokesman John Pluhowski for the name of the PayPal spokesman and the Bill Me Later spokesman, he offered one name: John Pluhowski."

Wasn't Bluto in the Animal House movie's real name, "John Pluhowski"?

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Oct 12 19:34:52 2013

This underscores why Postal Money Orders are KING. 99.99999% of Ebay sellers always take money orders.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sat Oct 12 19:42:23 2013

Ah, "PreyPal", you've attracted the attention of the NYT "Haggler" again ... http://bit.ly/UVXx53

David Marcus and the eBay Dept of Spin will have to work overtime producing a response to this one ...

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Oct 12 20:07:54 2013

We need about 1000 Hagglers in national newspapers reporting the many stories just like this one.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Oct 12 20:55:18 2013

Somehow....PayPal claiming they are arguing a chargeback against a division of their own corporate entity makes perfect sense for a company that often appears to be at war with itself.

John Donahoe must have been so proud of this circular logic right up until the time his company's underhanded practice was laid bare for all to see.

This is a prime example of why PayPal should be brought under Federal Banking regulations as it appears this would be the only way to put an end to eBay Corporations dirty dealing against their own customers.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Oct 12 21:20:56 2013

It's like a scene out of Pettycoat Junction. The Train Ticket sales guy ducks down behind the counter and comes up the souvenir salesman. Then he ducks down again and comes up the town justice.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Oct 13 02:12:52 2013

Another example of the fox guarding the hen house. Ebay always considers themselves to be the judge and jury.  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sun Oct 13 06:50:37 2013

Well, you all signed User Agreements that agree to this egrgious activity.

Good luck swaying the public when they do not care, and will believe eBay and their manipulated media over you.

The relationship between eBay and their sellers really looks like classic abuse.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: windywillow This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 13 07:47:38 2013

@Gadfly. I guess you could look at it as abuse, but ANY establishment has a right to ban customers as they see fit as long as they do not discriminate sex, color, age, origin etc. Just think if sellers could not ban "their" customers like they so willingly do using the BBL. I guess it's Ok for sellers but not for ebay ?

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: OnceuponaTime This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 13 08:47:49 2013

Well years ago we left after them telling us we could not conduct business with our buyers our way.

I mean why else would you tell a seller who had a return base of customers of more than fifty percent that you were not wanted simply because we would not accept added costs that were unnecessary.
Our buyers content to pay our way.

Basically being forced to accept their cheaper paypal over  C.C and removing  accepting checks and money orders from all listings.

It was a counter productive requirement for us, and I can see now from this article MO's were the safer method of paying.

IMO, It was then I started to realize eBay could slowly become a rogue company. I think this article speaks volumes to  that assumption....

 

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Oct 13 10:54:39 2013

"Well, you all signed User Agreements that agree to this egrigious activity."

Ed, I think that you meant that we were coerced into signing the user agreement. Remember it is eBay's way or the highway.  

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 13 14:52:06 2013

@windywillow - You are correct. eBay can legally be abusive to it's customers and/or ban them. I think most everyone knew that already.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Oct 13 16:25:06 2013

To whatever furry willow creatures this may concern:

THE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME (Wikipedia)

Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Oct 13 16:45:25 2013

Once again:

The ebay-PayPal syndicate is today's new amoral corporate mafia.

It operates without conscience, business ethics, proper government oversight or enforcement, or regard to its customers, sellers.

What it does operate with is the overabundance of the consummate arrogance, narcissism, and sociopathy that defines John Donahoe and his team of equally evil henchmen.

Ebay and PayPal represent corporate abuse of customers at its very worst.

In many cases, ebay ignores FTC and SEC regulations, banking regulations, and state consumer protection laws. Their attitude is that they can do whatever they want -- EVEN IF THEY KNOW IT'S ILLEGAL -- until the government intervenes.

They have demonstrated for many years but most especially under the current mafia don that they are white collar thieves and liars, anti American/pro Communist Chinese, and small business assassins.

ALL of them should be languishing in the worst federal prison in this country.

The Haggler could easily spend his entire career writing about the seemingly endless egregious and illegal business practices ebay and PayPal engage in.

Any journalist willing to do the research could find a Pulitzer on their resume by doing an in depth investigation of ebay, inc. and their widespread abuses and illegal activities.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Oct 13 16:51:40 2013

It's time for a quarterly review before ebay announces its hopefully dismal (and undoubtedly cooked well beyond well done) Q3 financials:

Ming's ebay Law #1:

EBAY LIES. ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL.

Ming's ebay Law #2:

EBAY REMOVES, TRIES TO GET REMOVED, OR DISCREDITS SPEECH THEY DON'T LIKE ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET.

Ming's ebay Law #3:

EBAY RETALIATES AGAINST CRITICS USING EVERY MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL AND BY ANY MEANS THEY DEEM NECESSARY INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NUMEROUS BLACK BUDGET OPERATIONS AND UNETHICAL SOCIAL ENGINEERING INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE MANIPULATION.

Ming’s ebay Law #4:

WHATEVER EBAY WANTS EBAY GETS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY INCLUDING PATENT INFRINGEMENT, BRIBERY, CHARACTER ASSASSINATION, DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES, AIDING AND ABETTING FRAUD, AND MISLEADING IF NOT UNTRUTHFUL PUBLIC STATEMENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF INFLUENCING STOCK PRICES AND RATINGS

Ming’s ebay Law #5:

EBAY THUMBS ITS NOSE AT THE RULE OF LAW, FTC and SEC REGULATIONS, BANKING REGULATIONS, THE SHERMAN ANTI TRUST ACT, AND THE RICO STATUTES.

Ming’s eBay Law #6:

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY. ALWAYS. SEE LAWS 1-5.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: 2l82w8 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 13 23:28:38 2013

Puck, it would be so poetically wonderful were you right.  Alas, Bluto = John Blutarsky.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 13 23:40:23 2013

Paypal investigating a chargeback through the buyer's credit card company, which is...Paypal??? This is definitely a conflict of interest, and most likely illegal.

Also, Paypal offering 6 months interest-free financing? And they claim they are only a payment processor, and not a bank??? I'm not a lawyer, but that certainly sounds like a banking activity to me.

Perminate Link for Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole   Watchdog Exposes eBay's Seller Protection Loophole

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Mon Oct 14 01:00:10 2013

It is nice to see the newspapers and reporters go face to face with private companies.  

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