Thinking of leaving yourself some feedback? By the end of this year, you’ll not only be breaking eBay’s rules, you could be acting illegally too. From December 31st, a new EC directive comes into force, which bans businesses from “falsely representing oneself as a consumer”. The Times has established that this will apply to authors leaving themselves anonymous reviews on Amazon, as well as fake blogs and write-ups on travel sites – and presumably, eBay feedback too. Businesses who flout the new rules could be ‘named and shamed’ by Trading Standards, or even taken to court.
While I’m all about consumer protection, I can’t help thinking that this one is going to be almost impossible to police. eBay have all sorts of criteria by which they can connect two accounts together; despite some high profile examples which have been rumbled, Trading Standards are hardly going to find it so easy.