Friday, June 13, 2008

ACCC Just Doesn't Understand eBay

eBay has released a media statement regarding the ACCC’s draft notice. All the right 'button' words are present, poor Usher must have been up all night polishing. I am not sure what is meant by

eBay intends to work with the ACCC

It sounds sinister. Perhaps we should have a whip round to get tin hats for all the commissioners just to be on the safe side.

The statement reads as follows:

ACCC draft notice undermines online consumer protection
eBay will continue to fight for safety benefits for consumers

eBay challenges yesterday’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft notice and is disappointed that the ACCC’s current view delays the opportunity to provide consumers a more secure way to shop on with confidence.

eBay intends to work with the ACCC and hopes to achieve a final outcome which has the safety and security of eBay’s members as its paramount objective. eBay will delay the removal of other payment methods from the site until Tuesday 15 July.

PayPal offers consumers a range of payment choices, including bank transfer and credit cards. It’s a safer and easier online payment system that significantly enhances protection for eBay buyers and sellers.

eBay is pleased to confirm that PayPal buyer protection will jump to $20,000 on for purchases paid for using PayPal from Tuesday 17 June.

eBay believes the consumer benefits of this initiative are worth fighting for on behalf of its buyers which will ultimately benefit sellers.

What does this mean for you?

PayPal Buyer Protection will still increase to $20,000 on 17 June 2008.

From 15 July 2008, the only payment methods sellers may offer on will be PayPal and pay on pick up.

Selling on
Current policies regarding accepted payment methods do still apply. This means PayPal is required on all listings on Other payment methods (i.e. bank deposit, cheque/money order) may also be offered until 15 July 2008.

As previously communicated any listings that do not comply with eBay’s Accepted Payments Policy will be removed.

There are a small number of categories excluded from these changes. Learn more about these exclusions.

Buying on
To ensure you benefit from PayPal’s Buyer Protection Policy, eBay strongly recommends you use PayPal when paying for your purchases on

From 15 July 2008 the available payment methods will be limited to PayPal, Visa/MasterCard, or pay on pick up.

Please note that some of our onsite communications will still refer to changes taking place on 17 June 2008.
These communications are being updated and should reflect the new date of 15 July 2008 within the coming days.


The eBay team

Talk about lay it on with a trowel. Have a nice juicy raspberry eBay.

Y'all come back

1 comment:

Kevin_T said...

"eBay believes the consumer benefits of this initiative are worth fighting for on behalf of its buyers which will ultimately benefit sellers."

Yes, I believe that those are the same buyers that Simon Smith basically said were too ignorant to make informed decisions about payments, or "The issue is people don't make an informed choice." to be precise.

You have to love the structure of that top sentence though, sellers are truly an afterthought, they are not the ones that are considered worthy of "consumer benefits", even though they are the consumers of Ebay's services, and pay their fees. In fact if you return to the APC article covering the first Melbourne meeting you will see that Simon Smith states "We're not allowing people to offer unsafe choices, just like in this democracy you can't go out and buy heroin on the streets.", while the team admitted that the serious flaws in offering PayPal on Pick-up-only items leave sellers very vulnerable, "It is something we are looking at -- I agree, it's an anomaly." Six weeks later, they are still forcing unsafe choices on sellers, and spruiking consumer protection for buyers.

This "anomaly" is not new - it has been a problem at least since the beginning of 2007 when new members were required to offer PayPal on all listings - including pick-up-only items, and some have been burned. However this week, with the introduction of the Discouraging and Misleading Payments Policy in the UK, that stalwart for punishing members whose listings are only "within the letter of the policy", Richard Ambrose, is quoted from the UK Power Seller board:
"The position on collection only is the same - PayPal has to be offered on all listings, and sellers can’t discourage buyers from accepting it. We’re aware that this creates a risk of sellers not being protected from chargebacks after in-person collections. We are considering how to protect sellers there, though it may require some major changes to the PayPal seller protection programme that wouldn’t be quick to bring in."

Well, obviously since it is already 18 months since the problem became apparent, it won't be quick to bring in, will it? But being at risk from PayPal payments is different to being at risk from other forms of payments - Ebay doesn't make a profit on other forms of payment!

Kevin the Cynical