|Wed Aug 14 2013 13:29:34|
eBay's Biggest Troll - Why Can't eBay Stop Bad Buyers?
By: Ina Steiner
An article in the Daily Mail has caught the attention of eBay sellers for the flagrant way in which one buyer was able to cause havoc on the site. He's accused of harassing sellers and bidding on items and not paying for them, among other activities.
The identity of the "troll" is not the story here - it's the fact that eBay has apparently allowed one user to harass sellers for years. When eBay took away sellers' ability to leave negative feedback for buyers, its executives said, "what other retail site would leave negative reviews for buyers?"
But I would ask what other retail site would allow a customer to wreak havoc on its site? And why don't you hear these kinds of reports from Amazon.com, which seems able to keep track of its users and their history?
According to the newspaper article, a Fox TV reporter in Detroit hired private investigators to track down the eBay buyer in Canton, Michigan, claiming the name of the eBay user is Charles Fitch. A search reveals that back in 2011, a website had accused a man by the name of Charles Fitch of Canton, Michigan of being a troll who made "several violent threats to members of the game community" and used various aliases on eBay and other websites. An email address tied to the sites he's allegedly operated was accused of being involved in a political fundraising hoax back in 2008.
It appears the data about the harassing buyer, whoever he is, was well within eBay's grasp. With all of its resources, why isn't eBay able to keep bad buyers off the site? I asked eBay's spokesperson yesterday if he was aware of the article and if he had anything to say about it, I'll update this post if he comments.