eBay to compensate Ozzie holiday rip-off victims

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eBay have said they will compensate the victims of a scammer who sold non-existant holiday packages to visitors to Australia’s Gold Coast.

Over the last year, seller “beachesaustralia” sold more than 4000 holidays via eBay Australia. Buyers purchased holiday certificates for Queensland resorts, paying by bank transfer, only to arrive at their resorts to discover that the promised accomodation bookings did not exist.

Yesterday, police raided a unit in Victoria and seized computer equipment and paperwork. A 56 year old man is said to be helping them with their enquiries. The seller has now been suspended from eBay.

An eBay spokesperson said that eBay were establishing a fund to recompense victims of the scam, whose total take is estimated to be around AU$1million. eBay will communicate with known victims to let them know what steps they need to take to receive compensation. They are also working with the police to try to identify further victims. Anyone who believes they may be affected is asked to contact Victoria police.

This is an interesting, and welcome, development for eBay. Normally buyer protection is available only with PayPal: bank transfers offer no protection at all for buyers, from either eBay or the banks. So to see eBay step in like this and resolve a horrible situation for all involved has to be applauded.

9 Responses

  1. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I can’t believe they’re doing this. I mean, eBay are pretty much heartless, they’re “just a venue”, yadda yadda yadda, and eBay Australia absolutely shocking. They stonewall, they screw their sellers around, they refuse to give a straight answer… Yeah, just like every other eBay, but Australia’s only got 21million people and eBay already has a not-that-fantastic reputation as well as some local competition, so maybe they decided it wasn’t worth it in the bad publicity… ? I just can’t figure out when on earth eBay grew a conscience!

  2. eBay Australia seem to be using a completely different playbook to the rest of eBay world wide – TKO’d listings moving to unsold, masked bidder ID’s and now offering protection on non-approved payment methods – albeit it’s likely they were coerced by negative PR on the matter.

    To be fair – it’s been a long time since we’ve seen any announcements with the “we are just a venue” line.

  3. I think they’re being a test-bed for a lot of new stuff, Steve: masked bidder IDs has already rolled in the US after all. And I suspect the availability of local competitor sites to eBay, and the relative unpopularity of PayPal (so I am told) contributes to thinking more openly about the impact of this kind of story. And perhaps also the changes in management globally? I don’t know.

  4. It certainly is a good sign, no matter what the motivation. If they keep making these types of moves they could eventually turn the tide. Time will tell.

    They are going away from the “Venue” model because they need to control the marketplace in order to change it.

    I still think they need to create an “eBay Classic” that is just a venue and a “New eBay” that is a controlled fixed price marketplace, but that’s just me.

  5. Excellent news, well done Ebay

    Looking at the other post re Paypal being safe then taking Randys idea what abount a fixed price marketplace where only Paypal payments are allowed, a PaypalBay

  6. Sounds great, buyers could make instant purchases of new goods from pro-sellers. You could call it ………. eBay express.

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