eBay to 'ban' negative seller feedback

Written by Tim Smalley

February 6, 2008 | 10:46

Tags: #abuse #ban #buyer #comments #customers #feedback #seller #system

Companies: #ebay

This story was picked up by bit-tech forum member SJH, but I felt it was worth opening to a wider discussion.

EBay has said that, starting in May, the online auction site plans to prevent sellers from leaving negative feedback about their customers.

A spokesperson for eBay, has said that customers will not be able to leave negative or even neutral feedback about buyers. Instead, sellers will only be allowed to leave positive comments about their experiences.

The reason behind this, says the auction site, is that some sellers have abused the system, often retaliating against buyers that have left negative feedback. This conundrum has also meant that buyers are afraid to leave honest feedback about a poor transaction, in fear of receiving negative feedback from the seller in retaliation.

"The number one reason buyers cited for decreasing or ceasing their activity on eBay was negative unwarranted retaliatory feedback they received from sellers," said the spokesperson.

Sellers are up in arms, but the auction site says that there are still ways for sellers to deal with problem buyers; "If a buyer doesn't pay, the seller can easily contact eBay, we will review any complaint and maybe remove the buyer."

I think that it's a pretty extreme measure to take – surely there are other ways to combat these types of problems with the current feedback system on the site? The one suggestion that I like the most came from Fod, who asks why eBay can't force the seller to leave feedback as soon as they've been paid – i.e. leaving feedback before the buyer has the chance to leave their own feedback, because the seller's part of the transaction is over once they've received payment and posted the item.

What are your thoughts on eBay's planned feedback system overhaul? Let us know in the forums.
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