eBay have just given advance warning that BBC Watchdog will be featuring them this evening. It’s just over a year since the program last featured eBay which generated widespread criticism from eBay sellers who viewed the program as biased.
The previous program focused on counterfeit goods and gave the impression that all PowerSellers sold fakes, although Watchdog insisted their coverage was balanced.
Tonight’s program looks at the eBay feedback system, and in particular on instances where sellers have threatened to retaliate if given negative feedback or refused to offer refunds or replacements until buyers withdraw negative feedback that they have already left.
eBay state that they “Will endeavour to put the cases raised into context, and to take strong action against feedback abuse to prevent future publicity of this nature.”
Hopefully Watchdog will emphasise that instances of sellers using feedback in this manner is almost unheard of in comparison to the millions of feedback left on eBay each week, and especially that the sellers featured in the program aren’t typical of the thousands of sellers giving fantastic service to their customers.
Sadly programs of this nature have the potential to harm all sellers businesses, Watchdog would do well to inform their audience of how to buy and pay safely on eBay and remind buyers that feedback should only be left when they’ve resolved any queries regarding a transaction with the seller.
I’ll be very interested to see if they mention the opposite situation where a buyer threatens a seller with negative feedback to give a truly balanced program.