Would you sue over negative feedback?
Every so often a story hits the headlines of a seller suing a buyer that left them negative feedback. Today’s no different, a US based sellers is suing their buyer who left negative feedback with the comment “Order arrived with postage due with no communication from seller beforehand”.
The Daily Mail reports that the item cost was $175 with $12 postage, but when the item arrived there was $1.40 excess postage to pay. With recent USPS postage changes and the seller response to the negative “Sorry- no idea there was postage due, This has happened a lot from USPS lately”, it would appear the seller hasn’t got a leg to stand on.
The seller even admits that the comment is correct, it’s not complaining about the cost, just the hassle of having to pay on delivery. However the seller’s argument is that the negative could be detrimental to sales.
The seller has sued the buyer and attempted to get a temporary restraining order on eBay which has been denied by the judge. They still appear to be progressing with the case though.
The problem with this case is that anyone reading the court case will probably not want to buy from a seller that sues their buyers. A bigger problem is that buyers will probably not want to buy from eBay if sellers routinely sue their buyers and that affects us all.
Negative feedback is never welcome, but most sellers accept that sooner or later it’ll happen and take it on the chin, especially if it is an honest comment as the seller admits in this case. Although I wish the seller no harm I hope they lose in court. Feedback has no value if you can simply sue to get valid negative feedback removed and whilst £1.40 is a trivial amount (and the seller offered to refund it), the buyer doesn’t care and shouldn’t have to care. It’s their opinion of the sale and how it went and much as a negative over underpaid postage is a minor annoyance that’s how it should remain.