eBay Seller Sues Buyer Over Negative Feedback

It was over $1.44 postage due

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eBay Seller Sues Buyer Over Negative Feedback
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UPDATE: There are a few new wrinkles in the case.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Let’s say you left a negative review on eBay. Maybe the seller wasn’t prompt in delivery, or maybe they weren’t completely honest about the product. Whatever. At what point would you feel like you needed to remove or edit that feedback? What if the buyer corrected their mistake – or made it up to you in some way. What then? Would you reconsider if the buyer sued you for damages?

An eBay seller is suing a buyer after she left a negative review on the site and refused to rescind it – and the buyer isn’t backing down. The negative feedback was over an unexpected $1.44 postage charge.

According to the complaint, Amy Nicholls purchased a microscope part from Med Express in February. As a result of that purchase, Nicholls incurred shipping costs ($12 on top of the $175 purchasing price).

Med Express took her payment via PayPal, and shipped out the device. When it arrived to Nicholls, there was an extra $1.44 postage due.

Who’s in the right? Is there any reason for a seller (or business) to sue over a negative review? Should a buyer ever be instructed to remove a review? Is it all about what can be proven libelous? Where do you draw the line? Let us know in the comments.

Nicholls, operating under the eBay moniker chimera_studios, posted on February 26th that the “Order arrived with postage due with no communication from seller beforehand. It was logged as a negative feedback on eBay.

Med Express quickly responded, saying that “Sorry – no idea there was postage due. This has happened alot (sp) from USPS lately.”

Over the past year, Med Express has 298 ratings, only 2 of which are considered negative. Their positive feedback percentage stands at 99.3%.

“When notified of the problem, Med Express immediately offered to reimburse Nicholls for the postage due amount. Despite this offer, and before giving Med Express a chance to reimburse her, Nicholls on February 26, 2013, apparently as a result of the $1.44 postage due, posted negative feedback and comments for the transaction on eBay’s website and gave Med Express low ratings in the Detailed Seller Ratings section of eBay’s Feedback Forum, resulting in an unfavorable feedback profile for Med Express. In so doing, Nicholls falsely and deliberately slandered the good name and reputation of Med Express.”

Med Express goes on to say that Nicholls caused them irreparable harm and caused them to lose customers and income.

They seek not only an injunction to remove the negative feedback, but also damages (both punitive and reparative).

The facts of the case do not seem to be in dispute. And in a letter to Med Express, Paul Levy of the Public Citizen Litigation Group (on behalf of Nicholls) makes it clear that the feedback about them is true, and that Med Express admitted to that in communications with him. That, and the lawsuit itself is the definition of frivolous.

“In a sense, what you and your client seem to be contending is that your client’s offer to pay the $1.40 is a sufficient display of contrition that Nicholls ought to be forgiving. But the point that she made in her message to you was that the problem wasn’t the money but the hassle. she indicated that she would have been willing to pay $1.40 more in shipping up front, but that she was posting feedback because a company that ships products ought to be able to do a better job.

That opinion might be right, or it might be wrong, but harboring it and expressing it is not a tort. And it is certainly no reason to seek damages, attorney fees, and an injunction. Consumers might well take this sort of bullying into account when they are thinking about whether to do business with Med Express,” says Levy.

“Moreover, the relief you are seeking would be injurious to consumers. Your other potential buys have an interest in knowing the history – that, for a period of time, you were repeatedly using a shipper knowing of problems that could result in user having to pay postage due.”

Remember the response Med Express had for Nicholls? “This has happened alot (sp) from USPS lately?”

Of course, Levy argues that’s not really the most important part. Summarily, Ohio law and the First Amendment prevents Med Express from suing over this type of negative review.

eBay isn’t the only place online where reviews have been an issue for the courts. A few months ago, a judge ruled that a women must edit part of her review of a contractor on Yelp and Angie’s List, after she accused the company of stealing jewelry from her home. A later decision overturned that one, ruling that her postings were free speech until proven defamatory.

There are a lot of far-reaching implications in cases like this, and the aforementioned eBay case. On one hand, courts can’t universally protect anything a reviewer ever says under the umbrella of free speech. That would open the doors to false reviews and flat-out lies directed at businesses in the attempt to smear. We know that this isn’t legal.

On the other hand, it’s dangerous to set a precedent that says businesses can successfully win suits like this. At that point, it’s a slippery slope to open season on internet users and their legitimate complaints. Do we really want the courts clogged up with lawsuits over a one-sentence blip of text like “God, worst burgers ever”?

What do you think? Where’s the line? Do you think that the eBay case we’ve discussed is pretty cut and dry? Can you foresee circumstances where this sort of thing gets more complicated, and the right decision becomes harder to discern? Let us know in the comments.

[via Ars Technica]

eBay Seller Sues Buyer Over Negative Feedback
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  • http://www.wedgeim.ca Wedge Internet Marketing

    What a stupid lawsuit, I think we should all buy something from them and leave negative feedback

    • Jeff

      Or better yet, lets all leave Wedge Media false negative reviews online. False reviews are not cool.

      • Read carefully

        Now now Jeff, he didn’t say anything about leaving false negative feedback. Don’t get your panties in a bind.


    • Johnny

      Mr. Wolford,
      When ending a question with a quotation, the question mark belongs inside the quotation mark even though it’s not part of the quote. Keep up the good work.

      • Mons

        Also, “a women.”

      • Robin

        Actually, it doesn’t.

  • Jeff

    Or better yet Wedge, we should look up your company online and leave Wedge Media negative reviews for your comment here.

    • Ed

      Jeff, you’re an idiot

  • http://www.wedgeim.ca Wedge Internet Marketing

    Calm down , my point was clogging the courts up with BS lawsuits is wrong

    • trev

      nothings being clogged the courts like tesco make money of every customer

  • Steve

    Josh, you might want to lay off the beer a little, or at least leave lawyering to lawyers. “Summarily, Ohio law and the First Amendment prevents Med Express from suing over an opinion – be it false or not.” – so totally wrong. Read about libel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel

    • don’t use wikipedia

      God, I hate stupid people. You’re the moron. You can NEVER use Wikipedia as a source, because any nitwit has the ability to edit it. How about quoting the actual legal source since that is the only one that counts?

  • http://www.nytfundament.dk Hjemmeside

    Haha! What has the world come to? 😛

  • http://www.kingged.com Riza

    Med Express is ridiculously serious about suing the buyer. What were they thinking? Okay, so a negative feedback left them a very bad reputation. And then this? It will not only ruin their ties with that particular buyer, it will also create a doubt in the minds of ALL their consumers. Bad move.

  • http://www.msinteractive.com Moonstone Interactive

    The interesting part of this issue is that if you click the link “posted on February 26th” above and actually read the review as well as the 1 other negative review, Med Express didn’t try to sue the guy who said “items were listed as new and they were used, they worked good but used” when their response to his review was “They were new, but you can return them. We’ll even pay return shipping!”. Isn’t that review more of a false statement than the one discussed in this article?

    • ThatGuyIsRight

      You are making assumptions about both the seller and buyer.

  • http://www.matchdaymemories.com Dave

    This is some respect is Ebay’s fault.

    First disregarding the fact the let people leave low scores when clearly the sellers delivered on all aspects regarding the item. Ebay are promoting their service as a business to business minded people but as a community to to others.

    Strictly on a business factor the buyer has a right to be annoyed but in a peer to peer community environment this would be laughed off as a simple mistake. I suspect the buyer wouldn’t even both to report it but wouldn’t ask for the pennies.

    Businesses should be made aware that when they use eBay the lose their ability to control their relationships with customers. I mean if this had been bought via their own site the communication would have been between the two parties involved. The chance to RANT ! is still their but it’s not made public and should not have a bearing on their reputation of the business.

    Personally I hope person who left their feedback is taken to the cleaners.

  • Doreen

    I recently made a small purchase at eBay and the seller informed me they would NOT leave feedback until such time as I did. I emailed them and told them that I felt this was a form of blackmail. In fact, buyers and sellers are “rated” on two different metrics. As a buyer, I expect to be rated on (a) how quickly I paid and (b) how quickly I respond to the post if I am not paying within 24 hours.

    Sellers are rated based on (a) the items description (b) shipping time and (c) shipping costs.

    I received a very snotty mail from the seller telling me how wrong-headed I was and “this is how I conduct my business”. I will never buy from this seller again for this reason.

    • http://N/A Dan

      Ebay actually FAVORS buyers, and leaving bad feedback for buyers is generally a no-no. Never be afraid to leave bad feedback; if they retaliate, Ebay will fix yours. Ebay customer support told me this over the phone.

      • Jason

        Sellers are not able to leave neutral or negative feedback for buyers, this change went into effect two years ago.

        That said, buyers should communicate with a seller first and only leave bad feedback when there is severe wrong or a seller won’t fix a problem. This dumb case not withstanding, a lot of eBay sellers are small business owners and unfair feedback can hurt them. Don’t be afraid to leave just feedback, but also don’t be so quick to neg someone before giving them a chance to work it out.

    • ThatGuyIsRight

      Amen, sellers like that need to be kicked to the curb.

  • Kerri

    The whole review thing is getting to be a joke! Personally, I bought a bed that was reviewed highly and its junk. How did that happen? A customer wrote a review of 4 out of 5 on a review site and this alone caused our company to drop down to below even companies with only one 5 review and we had 30 5’s. Some algorithms just suck. He would not retract the 4 review even though it was not fair at all. Some people never give good reviews. I have seen employees of companies give reviews as if they are customers. Some companies pay people to give reviews. The list of problems goes on and on. I no longer trust reviews myself and pay little attention to them for all the above reasons. I understand why Med Express is doing this. That one 4 review caused a huge loss in business for us and we had bent over backwards to rectify the situation he complained about. Some people don’t care the cost to business over something trivial. Maybe if the commenters here had a business they fought to built and do the right thing by customers …just to have a jerk person drag you down…they might have different appreciation of how unfair this is. If you give a bad review make it for something that was dishonest or someone who didn’t try to resolve the issue. Not for something trivial like this girl did.

    • ThatGuyIsRight

      You called your displeased customer a jerk.
      You were lucky to get 4 out of 5.

    • Faitawaits

      You may think its over something so trivial but who are you to judge how another person feels?!? I have had people not even leave feedback after me purchasing and I’ve done so on theirs… This is my problem, it is my right as a purchaser to express my opinion no matter if it is positive or negative because that is how I feel. As a business you have to expect good or bad behaviour from people wether online or in a store face to face!! It is up to that business to prove that they are better than that and live up to the standards they state. I as a buyer would have looked at the reviews, seen the company offer and acknowledge and made my own decision as per everyone thinking about buying. I never buy anything unless I see the rating and review the positive and negative feed backs and make my own decision. So in final opinion, people need to read before just buying!! Cheers, I’m off to buy on eBay!! :)

  • João

    I’ve done a few deals on ebay and, as in anything in life, unexpected things can happen. People just need to talk to each other and sort out whatever there is to sort. This person was offered reimbursement over an unexpected fee and that should be enough to settle it. I’ve been sent wrong items, got items lost in mail and other no so good situations, but I’ve had the luck and pleasure to deal with honest sellers that always offered to correct their mistakes (and even mistakes that were not their own), so I never negative feedback.
    One good example is items shipped over non registered mail. People usually don’t want to pay the extra charge to have items sent over registered mail. If nothing arrives, then whose fault is it???

    • ThatGuyIsRight

      Who’s fault? The seller or the delivery method, but certainly not the buyer. Their only mistake is dealing with a seller who would ask such a question.

  • Charlotte

    With the cost of the item being $175 good customer service would have been to not charge the customer the additional cost for the postage. There are ways to make up the less than $2 postal amount.

  • http://www.dinstartside.no Din startside

    If you feed ppl with peanuts, you get monkeys.
    This woman has eaten a lot of peanuts….

  • Conran

    The company needs to hire a decent Public Relations and customer service executive, and preferably one with a very heavy bat. Whoever made the decision to sue a customer over something so pathetically stupid does not deserve to remain in their position and has done untold damage to the branding of that company.

    This is business 101, and the company has failed that very basic hurdle in a catastrophic manner.

  • http://N/A Dan

    Its all about principle!

    Its not about the buyer being unreasonable. The point is, sellers get away with this over, and over, and over again. If nobody leaves bad feedback, they’ll continue to do it.

    I buy a lot on ebay. Many times I’ve bought things advertised as “near mint” or “new” that are used and worn. I leave negative feedback every time. Somebody has to learn their lesson and correctly advertise their items. If nobody says anything, they’ll just keep doing it.

    Who cares if the seller tried to make good on the shipping?

    The intent behind red feeback is to tell other people “This could happen to you” and it sounds like it very well can.

  • http://www.moneymakingmommyjobfinder.info/Uneedit Trygeania

    The seller is acting like a child!!! The lawsuit is ridiculous and petty. People are going to complain. It’s called freedom of speech. I believe this whole thing is going a little to far. Nicholls needs to realize not everything is going to go his/her way. Businesses deal with a lot of people. Not everything runs perfect in this world. Med Express just needs to put the complaint behind them. Creating a lawsuit this petty will just hurt Med Express’s business.

    • maria decossio

      Ebay should have a rule that if a buyer wants to leave negative feedback they should first have proof that the seller deliberately did something wrong or else be unable to leave negative or neutral feedback, or at least the seller should have the privelege to have it removed if it wasn’t their fault. This is the sellers way of making money to live on, and buy needed items. I sell on ebay to buy much needed, life dependent medication I would not otherwise be able to afford. This is the sellers life they are so casually and carelessly leaving bad feedback for. For some sellers it may be their only job. Buyers should not be able to spew off all of their feelings in effect throwing a terrible two’s temper tantrum over every thing if its not the sellers fault. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Ebay sellers are real live human beings with beating hearts. Ebay sellers are mothers, fathers, sons,and daughters just like you have in your family.

  • Jason

    This suit does more harm to this seller than one measly bad feedback.

    Think about it, if any of us were in the market for what this guy sold, for all of his positives I doubt any of us would have refrained from buying from him due to one negative mark for postage due. Even the best ebay sellers typically get 1 negative mark for every 100 items sold. But how many of us would buy from him now? My guess is zero. I certainly would not. The person who bought from them is having their time and money wasted in this frivolous suit and none of us would want to risk that. Sure, he gets some publicity, we have all now heard of him. But none of us were likely in the market for what he sells anyway, and those who were will no doubt steer clear.

    But frivolous suits happen everywhere, so hopefully eBay shoppers won’t be turned off by this. And hopefully eBay publicly offers to cover any expenses this shopper incurs as a PR move so that potential eBay buyers do not let this lone case make them wary of purchasing on eBay.

    Some on here are talking about libel and what not- it would be different if the seller had an email showing the buyer demanding a $100 refund or else they would make up a bad feedback about postage due when it wasn’t true. As the author notes though, the fact that the seller erred is not in dispute, so the seller has no legs on which to stand.

  • Antaris Angel

    They are both acting like immature idiots.

  • John Ramos

    Personally I think the company should be able to sue. IT was not their fault at all that ebay which pretty much FORCES you to use their services like USPS that they should receive negative feedback. Further there is a resolution system in place on ebay to solve such issues before feedback is left. Another aspect to this is she blamed the seller for the error on USPS behalf for charging the wrong dollar amount for postage up front. Ebay’s rating system is set up in such a way that the seller is held hostage by the buyer and the buyer should be held accountable for any comments left. The buyer couldn’t yell fire in a crowded room without consequences, why should this be any different.

  • http://www.xlr8parts.com Dan Foreman

    It is not really the contention of Med vs. Nichols that is at stake here. It is Ebay’s policy that causes the damage to this sellers reputation. By Ebay not taking a role in this, and administering these contentious and frivolous issues, they are complicit in the situation and viewing the negative feedback as an opportunity to remove the preferential rates offered to “no negative feedback” sellers.

    Nobody in their right mind would make an issue over 1.40, but Ebay is more than happy to use negative feedback to their advantage, as justification to set an alternate fee level.

    • Jason

      Nobody in their right mind? She said it was about the inconvenience, not the money. If the Post Office sends you a package pick-up slip telling you that you need to drive to the Post Office and stand in (usually a very long) line in order to pay this postage due, I doubt you’d be thrilled.

      Two years ago I had buyer who had to do this over 17 cents. The Post Office decided we missed the weight of the package by a 10th of an ounce and he had to physically go to the Post office to stand in line and get the item. He cared less about the 17 cents but was irked that he had to wait another day and go to that effort.

      So we refunded him in full for the 10 dollar item and let him keep it. It was the very least we could do after the hassle our mistake caused him. And you know what? Since then he bought 5 more products from us because he was happy we cared. Granted the medical item was $175.00 but the seller could have offered something else in compensation.

      And even if this guy ended up leaving us a negative anyway, that’s the way it goes. Sometimes you do everything you can to help reverse a problem and you still get a bad review. If you are a good business you will have more than enough positive reviews to build trust with potential buyers.

    • http://www.parkellc.com billy.barrell@facebook.com

      You are exactly right. Penalizing for monetary gain. That is the new “drink the kook aid” philosophy.

  • http://www.cuttinglawns.comwww.mow.co Jerry Tindel

    We have operated a lawn mowing business for 30 years, growing every year. We guarantee to please our clients, or they get their money back. For the last few years we have advertised in Angie’s List. We have 90+ percent A ratings. But a very few, several of whom are not our clients, have written very, very negative ratings on us. We have found much of what they wrote was not true. We responded, but Angie’s List does not delete the false reviews. I had never thought about suing the ones that lie. I would like to, but that does not seem wise. I don’t think Med Express should not have. They have done more harm than good. Our advice: Suck it up! And make darn sure your postage charge is accurate.

  • Chris

    I work on the premise that the customer is only right when I and the customer agree…

    If you understand what that means then you understand negotiation and compromise, and when you add a third party like shipping it makes this even more likely to have possible problems

    To cost a seller possible business over a small $1.44 she should be sued for the full loss of future business caused by her actions, using the comparison of sales before and after her unworthy comments.

    People need to think twice before leaving any remarks on eBay…
    1. Is the problem the seller (not manufacturers defect or issues with shipper)
    2. Are they realistically capable and or did they fix the problem (not damages caused by shipper, including theft)
    3. Don’t expect a full refund (shipping is a third party matter and even big retailers on catalog or online orders will never give you back shipping costs)

    The best thing is to calm down, think clearly, wait a day or so, and think before you post that rating!!!

    • ThatGuyIsRight

      According to your skewed logic, the customer is only right when they agree with you.

      From that faulty logic, you then clear the seller of any responsibility in shipping, a system they chose/implemented/charged for.

      Do you see how you should not be in business? You and your ilk are the problem.

    • Jason

      “I work on the premise that the customer is only right when I and the customer agree”

      This means that you think you are always right. Good luck starting or staying in business with that attitude my friend.

      Sellers accept the ebay rating system in the eBay terms of service. Buyers have every right to leave a negative comment when a transaction did not go how it was supposed to. It is all subjective, maybe as a buyer you would not have cared enough to leave a bad feedback, but this person did. Often with postage due you get a card in the mail and you have to go to the Post Office and pay in person, it is quite an inconvenience. Its great if the seller apologizes and reimburses, and buyers may choose to take that into consideration, but that doesn’t unring the bell. If the buyer does not want to remove their rating they do not have to.

    • http://www.parkellc.com billy.barrell@facebook.com

      Congratulations. You are now the second seller I will never do business with

  • ThatGuyIsRight

    eBay better be helping with the buyer’s legal defense.

    • Sharon

      I too sell on ebay and they can take their stars and put them where the sun doesn’t shine. If you happen to hit a customer on a bad day, they can leave bad feedback even if you have done everything right. I don’t think it is fair that people can get so upset over $1.40. Ludicrous!! Ebay needs to rethink their policies. A lady left me neutral because the I didn’t list that the fabric was not suitable for children’s sleepwear. Now mind you she was making a pillow – duh. Is that fair!!

  • Sherry

    I wish I could sue! I have one negative feedback. I sell iPhone cases one of which has a flux capacitor image on it. The buyer thought it was a real flux capacitor, so left me negative feedback. The one and only I have and it’s not fair they can leave negatives for their stupidity and not reading the listing or title for that matter an would not change it even with a refund.

    • ThatGuyIsRight

      So the picture you chose is not misleading?

      • bridget

        We have photos of gift baskets on our website with a list of what is included. Occasionally someone will leave feedback saying they were expecting more, although what is in the picture is exactly what it is included. No matter how clear you are in description or photo, people complain. I agree with the company suing. Hopefully the buyer will be very inconvenienced.

        • asdas@asdas.com

          We are talking 4 of 5, that is still a very HIGH rating. IF you want perfection, then develop space travel and leave this earth, because it does not exist on this planet.

  • http://www.superiorwebsitehosting.com Brandon

    The problem is that with internet business you can leave feedback instantaneously. Many people are so damn impatient that they don’t even give the company a chance to reply to a request for support. They respond in anger thinking they’ve been taken advantage of. I’ve experienced this first hand. The company bends over backwards to help out and still gets negative feedback without a chance to make a correction or use it’s great customer service.

    • Michelle


  • Michelle

    As a seller on ebay – there is no way to know there is postage due on a package until it arrives at the destination. I have weighed pkgs here, they are checked at our post before shipment and, at times, they arrive at destination and they tell the customer they owe 40 cents…it’s insane but it happens and negative comments over that are uncalled for.

    I have customers that complain about shipping charged AFTER they see what it will cost them and they purchase the item. They see it up front, know what it will cost and then complain and leave negs after they get their product and you know what — ebay ALLOWS THIS…that 4 star criteria ebay has should be scrapped. A buyers sees the ship charge up front and then they’re allowed to say they didn’t like the shipping charges bringing a seller’s rating down….ebay is NOT a seller’s market any longer.

    Back to the woman suing – it’s a waste of court time. She could have been reimbursed – sure it’s a hassle but did the med place know the post office would push charges to her. They could have sent “postage due, return to sender” and then she would have been angry that it didn’t arrive in time. It’s a very ridiculous lawsuit and a waste of time and money in the court system.

    • Michelle

      Edit — the woman’s is not suing – it’s the company and I still think it’s a waste of time and money. Ebay should have fixed this before it went so far. Negative feedback can ruin a business – even one. One bad comments goes farther and travels faster than 50 good ones…it’s always been that way.

  • Heather

    As a business owner (contracting and consulting) as well as an ebay seller, I have to say that TODAY people are getting VERY opinionated and POSTING ONLINE every little tiny annoyance they may have in life with a person or a company. This does GREAT harm to legitimate, honest businesses. People need to remember that someone is feeding their family on the other end. If you have an issue with a product or service take it to the company, then to a govt. agency if need be. Don’t smear anyone’s name online. The internet is perpetual and what you say is a fire that can become a raging inferno. I am of the belief you will receive what you give out. People who are contentious and have nothing nice to say must lead very miserable lives.
    To the contractor who has negs on A-list (not giving her free advertising by listing the name), I feel very badly for you and wish you all the best in your business. For those who have nothing nice to say, remember your mother’s or grandmother’s old age, don’t say anything at all!
    In regards to this particular lawsuit, it does seem a little extreme for $1.40. Certainly do understand though this seller needing to set a precedent and make an example.

  • http://www.auctionessistance.com Sam Pina

    I can see why sellers are willing to do anything to avoid negative feedback on eBay.

    • http://stowegems.com Barry

      True that!!!

  • http://www.parkellc.com billy.barrell@facebook.com

    Customer satisfaction is the snake oil of marketing. Typically, a company will penalize front line employees if a negative review is received. It is nice to get info on an unfamiliar company or product, but it has gone overboard. This lawsuit is ill advised and has done far more to hurt the seller image than any customer review. It sounds as if a mid level manager lacks the maturity to handle the marketplace. I don’t buy microscope parts,but if if I did, it wouldl defiantly not be with this company.

  • http://stowegems.com Barry

    It is the fault of #1 the USPS for accepting the package without checking if the postage is correct. If I send out a pkg and it weighs more than I claim the P.O.should charge the sender then and there. That is what my P.O. does. #2 The seller should buy a new scale.
    #3 The buyer could be more understanding.

  • mm

    I completely agree with the lawsuit. It’s time people are held accountable for what they say on the internet about a person or a business.

  • pp

    I can buy something from a firm that has less than 100% positive comments btu I will never ever buy anything from a firm that suits a customer for an opinion. An I the only one?

    • Valeria

      Probably yes. By sueing this “lady”, the seller protects buyers as well, because inaccurate information on him would drive us away and we would miss a good buy. Other buyers should sue that woman too.

    • Jason

      no you are not the only one, I agree completely. The fact is frivolous suits like this will make potential buyers wary of shopping at ebay, afraid they have to accept an item that is less than described or pay more money than agreed for a sale or risk a suit. I would easily buy from a seller with a lot of positives and a few negatives, but would never buy from someone that sued their own customer when they themselves shipped the order with incorrect postage.

  • Robert Chandler

    I have, myself had to pay additional postage for items I’ve received delivered by USPS, as well as being made aware of additional postage due on delivery of items I have shipped. I never have had these experiences with UPS of FedEx. The problem was not with the seller but with USPS. Last year I had a discussion with my local postal delivery person. She informed me that, even though a package was processed at another USPS facility and proper charges applied for the shipment, the local postmaster has the “right” to re-evaluate the package and determine if additional charges are warranted. I applaud the seller in their lawsuit with a buyer who cannot be accomodated because paying USPS was a “hassle”. Shame on her AND the USPS for such practices.

  • Alane

    There is absolutely no way that the seller would have known that the USPS would add the additional charge. When the seller offered to reimburse the buyer for the additional charge that should have been the end of it…no negative feedback. I have sold on eBay for many years and this has happened once to me. I reimbursed the buyer for the added charge that the USPS imposed (unbeknownst to me) and that was it. This buyer was ridiculous. I don’t think it should result in a lawsuit, but I understand how detrimental negative feedback is and can relate to the seller’s frustration. Please share the buyer’s screen name so I can block her.

    • Faitawaits

      You missed an important fact… The company stated that they have been having problems with USPS doing this…. FAULT: Seller for not posting a blurb in their listing that addition postage may incur on behalf of the seller and then state a reasonable remedy. The seller then needs to contact USPS and deal with them directly! Everyone seems to forget that this negative feedback is an OPINION just as we all have wrote our opinions here. Honestly, I think Americans can sue way too easily and they sue for anything! Shame on the company, they have hurt themselves far greater than one woman’s opinion!!

  • http://www.pkshops.com qammar

    oh my … I lost my 5 minutes for $1.44 story,should not I sue Josh Wolford ?? :)

    be fair with all

  • Valeria

    I think the buyer made a fuss for nothing especially when the seller offered a refund. I suggest charging a little more than what calculated for transportation and when the invoice from the carrier shows that the amount paid is in excess, refund the difference to the buyer.

  • Joe Fusco

    Seller evaluations need to mean something. All sellers can’t have 90% or more positive reviews. Reviews should be for the benefit of potential customers, not to promote sellers’ businesses. Criticism should be encouraged and sellers should be encouraged (perhaps by eBay) to correct problems pointed out by their customers or to explain why it is not a real problem.

  • chayn123

    Just like in real life, people should be held accountable for what they say on the Internet. In real life you can’t post a comment, or write a letter to the editor without identifying yourself.

    More to the point, I think eBay should be involved as it is their business. Regardless of my opinion of the BBB they have a method where they monitor disputes, and show ones that are resolved, ones that the company made a sincere effort to resolve, and ones that the customer is not happy with the resolution.

    The overall business rating is based upon the ratio of these three. Additionally, in this case the seller should make every effort to alert customers and address this issue. Obviously they should’ve done it as it started happening, as they were aware of it happening.

    • chayn123

      Furthermore, why doesn’t one of them sue USPS too! Maybe the buyer and the seller can get together on this. I’ll bet their lawyers would love to do this.

  • http://nagualgrove.com/ Howard Crane

    The Courts have gone straight to Hell. This is ridiculous. All that needs doing is looking at this from the Human perspective. Med Expresses acted in good faith. It must be rare for shipping to go through USPS and incur this extra charge since Nicholls’ negative review is only the 3rd EVER. The content of the negative review needs to be revised. In good faith in kind, which Med Express initially showed, it should be amended to say that she was refunded.

    Now. No more big quandary over the future of the Internet. It’s going to happen exactly how it happens in real life interactions in a civilized society.

  • http://www.fashion-bag.com Charleen

    It depends on the shipping policies. If seller did not state any extra postage would occur, and processed the postage as the order placed,then it meant seller agreed the freight charge on the point of shipment. The seller should be responsible for the absorption of the cost.

    However, if the customer had been advised the extra postage, then customer had the right to remain the order or decline the order. If customer did not decline, then the customer should not have done the negative feedback.

    No one is perfect. Just being mutual understanding of both situations. Someday you could be a business owner, and you are a customer too. Some reasonable negative feedbacks are the gear for the merchants to improve the services.

  • Lin

    Instances like this one is usually from a new buyer. I’ve had occassion to receive bad feedback before the customer ever contacted me. The seller should lways reimburse as they did for something like this. And if it is a reoccuring problem, should look over their shipping process and see why. The feedback issue, I blame Ebay. They should not allow a buyer to give bad feedback if they have not even contacted the seller. Many times buyers feedback is unfair and Ebay does not do much to protect the seller from this. Eby does not let sellers leave negative feedback for a buyer- only a response. Thus buyers, knowing this, especially new ones, can choose to ruin a sellers feedback unnecessarily.

    • http://N/A Dan

      I’m a buyer who leaves bad feedback without contacting the seller first. I’ve had an ebay account for 7 years and counting.

      My last negative feedback was for the condition of a collectors item advertised as “near mint”. When it arrived, it had 4 roughed edges. To me, this isn’t an issue I would “contact” the seller about first. I was lied to. Period. And if they lied to me, I’m sure they’ve lied to other people. If you don’t want red marks, don’t lie to people.

      I’m sure I could contact the seller, send the item back and get a refund. But I want other buyers to see it and beware.

      If nobody ever sticks it to them, they’ll continue these bad practices.

      • maria decossio

        We are talking about something here that was NOT the sellers fault. You are talking about something that is the sellers fault.

      • Nathan

        Dan, it is buyer attitudes like yours that are the problem. You have a complex that the seller must have lied to you or that someone is out to get you. I have listed parts on eBay in good faith and the customer has pointed out defects on arrival that I had no idea were present. Maybe that’s because I’m rushed and list a lot of parts, maybe my attention to detail lapsed, but I have never lied to anyone. Yet I have been accused of the exact same sort of thing that you are coming out with. It isn’t nice being called a liar when you had no idea of the defect they are talking about, even more annoying when you have rushed to the post office or gone the extra mile to make sure they get their item promptly. I always remedy any problem to full customer satisfaction, however I have had the occasional idiot like yourself leave neg feedback before contacting because they are so very sure of themselves.

  • Allen

    Let the numbers speak.
    Company is not hurt if 99.??% positive and .?% is negative–reasonable reading of the numbers would indicate either anomaly in transaction or crackpot customer–either way would not deter reasonable customer from doing business with the reviewed merchant–tort is frivolous.

  • http://www.tronixmartmall.com Dalton

    My opinion is this is a matter that eBay should handle, instead of the courts but they don’t. When selling on eBay, the seller will live or die by their feedback and negative feedback can actually put a seller out of business and keep them from selling on that particular marketplace. In my experience, there is quite a bit of false negative feedbacks placed on eBay. Customers will lie to get things for free or to just have control over the seller in order to get things their way. They know the implications are severe and I’ve had customers threaten me that they would place a false negative feedback in order to get their order for free. When I reported it to eBay their response was that they will not remove feedbacks because they aren’t true and they will only remove them if they are slanderous. I don’t care if you say something positive about the seller. If you use the negative feedback on eBay, no matter what you say it negatively affects your Seller Approval rating in a big way. Poor Seller Approval ratings affects when you can get off of their mandatory probationary period where PayPal holds your money for 30 days, it will keep you from becoming a Power Seller, and if it goes to an unsatisfactory level, it can also cause you to lose your account with eBay. If a Seller is truly a poor retailer and is crooked than I’m all for getting rid of them and cleaning house. But when customers repeatedly go on eBay (and there are some) and do nothing but scam sellers by ordering stuff and then putting in a refund request and entering threatening a negative feedback so they can get the refund request approved without having to pay for return shipping and then they go ahead and leave a false negative anyway is totally wrong and the customer, in these cases, should be held liable for their lies.

  • Lin

    One more thing. When a buyer leaves unfair negative feedback for a seller, other sellers on seeing this will block that buyer from buying from them. Sellers cannot take a chance on unreasonable buyers.

    • Craig Barmore

      Hey Lin,


      You are so right. I certainly wouldn’t sell to her. She should and will be “BLACK LISTED”!

  • http://www.korsett-love.de A. Smeets

    The beginning of this storie in mine opion starts where ebay started with the policy that Customers can’t get a negative review from a seller even when they do what they want. A buyer is always the winner. Even in returning policy eBay and Paypal are in favour of the buyer. The buyer has the chance to return any kind of goods within 45 days. He just ships it and 1 day later he opens a case with PayPal. A soon as the seller gets the goods bach PayPal makes a refund to the buyer. No discussion possible. PayPal i.e. eBay just says you have the goods back, no matter of what are the terms of returning. With these advantages for buyers given by eBay and payPal buyers will terrorize sellers and force them extras with the thread of a negative review. eBay should really start reconsidering this one way policy.

  • Craig Barmore

    Tell Amy to “GET A LIFE”!

    She deserves to lose the case and the pay the penalty for causing unjust claims against the seller. UPS has is the one who jacked the charges. The seller acted in good faith, offered remedy and should be accepted at that.

    Amy is being very very unreasonable. She should be treated and judged as she judges others… I don’t believe she would like herself!

    • Faitawaits

      The seller only offered the refund cause she left the comment… The comment is how the seller found out!! As a buyer I am making a contract with the seller which includes shipping costs, once they accept and take payment that is all that needs to be done. So when USPS charged additional it should be paid by said company and not the buyer. I personally wouldn’t have made the comment but she felt she had to and was completely justified on doing so… The company has greater positive ratings and her one comment isn’t going to hurt their business like this lawsuit will!! Please no one sue me for my opinion!!

  • Rev. Ace

    Just pay it. Big deal! Accept the neg. feed back and get over it.

  • Ron

    I think we may be missing part of the point here. There should also be some accountability from the online marketplace sites themselves. Not providing a clear process that enables marketplace sellers to effectively dispute and remove any inappropriate, irrelevant, or just plain nasty reviews is a big concern. Many consumers appear to be clueless as to the purpose for providing feedback to sellers. The goal should be for businesses to continually improve their service. Customers battering sellers via petty, misguided, or misdirected negative feedback serves no purpose, in the end.

    The whole online customer feedback/review process has become somewhat specious. We should take reviews with a grain of salt (the glowing as well as negative ones). Samsung’s recent admission about posting “fake” reviews is a case in point.

    • Faitawaits

      Plain and simple…. Reviews are opinions and we all are entitled to them!!

  • Paul S

    To be honest i think that ebay has lost focus from its sellers and takes the side of the buyer more of the time.

    It has to be a fair system for it to work !

    I am an ebay seller and i have noticed that customers often buy, get the item and then open a case to return the item for a full refund etc… All because they dont like the item !!!

    Its NOT fair and buyers can be a pain in the back side !!!

    As for this case …. she should not have left negative feedback especially when the seller was being so helpful !!

    Hope she suffers a massive financial loss !! a lesson for dumb ebay buyers !

    • http://N/A Dan

      They take the side of the buyer because the buyer is holding the money. Its part of what makes eBay so successful financially. It also prevents ebay from becoming a seller scam-land.

      • Nbravatto

        It prevents Ebay from becoming a seller scam-land? Do a google search on Ebay scams. There are numerous and is an income for many. Chasing away good sellers and siding with ignorant buyers that don’t investigate the features of the product they are buying does not make Ebay successful. You buyers don’t do a damn thing for them financially. It is us sellers that pay them the sellers fees. You obviously are one of the clueless buyers out there if this is the thought process you have when it come to Ebay. How much in fees do you pay when you buy something on Ebay? Yeah ….. Thats what I mean. Give you a good idea if I sell a 500 dollar item its over 50 in fees and that is before PayPal takes their chunk. So tell me Dan again Dan who is it that makes Ebay so financially successful? It sure isn’t you. Do some reading. The feedback system is broken. How is it a feedback system when one side can only leave a positive. Are you telling me that there are no bad or shifty buyers on Ebay? And if there are should I not have the means to be able to rightfuly expose them just like a bad buyer would be? No offense man but get a clue.

        • molinaryagencies@gmail.com

          The absolute bottom line here Nbravatto is that you agree to still sell on eBay’s site knowing the feedback system.
          I sell on ebay and I always make the effort to create a good rapport with the person whom purchases from my store.
          Unfortunately, there are some people who sell on ebay that are too dogmatic in their approach and lack the discrepancy in meeting their customer’s requests.
          Some people that sell on ebay need to get off their high horses and be at a level with the people whom buy on ebay.
          The fact that you see some people who buy your items as a pain in the A is indicative that you have an attitude problem in the first place.
          How funny and ironic you are in saying “the sellers pay the ebay fees”
          Who pays for the items you sell? If there weren’t any buyers on eBay you would not make money in the first place would you?
          In conclusion, Med Express should have come down from their huge egos earlier in the piece. They would have saved unnecessary time and court costs by fighting such a pointless argument in the first place. They must have made a lot of money from their ebay buyers to be able to take matters that far in the first place.

    • http://www.athleticsgalore.com Aaron Nowling

      I agee with this entry. Sellers are not given enough protection by Ebay. They often take the side of the buyer and allow unjustified feedback to be sent. We had a case where the buyer didn’t know what they buying which was a baseball with a 9″ circumferce. He said he was a coach and it was obvious, he did not knwo baseballs all have a 9″ circumference. We told him he could send it back at his expense and he would be credit for the cost of the basebslls only. Ebay even sent him a return label and he never sent the baseballs back. He left us negative feedback when was dead srong and Ebay would not remove it. They said feedback was an opinion forum only. Opinions can be slanderous and people should be held accountable when they are wrong. Ebay has nothing to sell and they depend on the seller to make their money. Without the sellers, Ebay would not exist.

  • http://www.DownTrees.com Eric Crizer

    I think that there isn’t enough religion in the world today & we just need to getter-done!
    As a seller I would have just let it go due to practical error & wrote it off as loss!They also could write in a blog and attach it to the negative feed back,explaining what the circumstances were & that the error was rectified & quote what was done for the error and when it was resolved! Selling on line isn’t an easy thing to do and as much time that you put into it there is still something that you may also need to do !

    My personal response is “Can’t we just all get along” this is what I was told when I was a younger man from good up-bringing and I guess there just isn’t enough of this in the world these days!

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