Friday, June 13, 2008

Spruiking Consumer Protection with eBay

Another inspired comment from my friend Australian Seller Kevin T, too good to leave in the comment section for Friday the 13th

"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.

**Henrietta says: Its hard to 'look at' something when you only have three functioning brain cells, you need one to just keep breathing.**

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

Y'all come back!

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