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 Post subject: The eBay Diatribe
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:13 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:34 am
Posts: 978
The following is a brief "pseudo-scholarly" tirade against shit-fucking eBay:

===Criticisms of eBay===

* As eBay is, at least in the United States, virtually without competition, it may certainly be seen as engaging in a monopolism. Without any companies in the same field to offer competition, ebay may charge fees as it sees fit (read, charge whatever the f*** they wish to charge, for any services for which thy wish to charge it), eventually causing harm to its very large consumer base.

* eBay forbids its sellers from accepting the services independent money-wiring companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram. As cash-payments, too, are prohibited, barring cheques and money-orders, sellers are left, basically, with PayPal (which is, after all, eBay-owned) as their only means of payment acceptance. So, we have an example of eBay's attempt to further usurp the various aspects of its market.

* As eBay's "rating system" implies that buyers and sellers ascertain the reliabilty of other buyers and sellers almost entirely through feedback and scores that have been left for them in prior transactions, much room is left for both to inappropriately increase their ratings. eBay members may engage in "fake auctions," wherein friends of users — and users themselves, with multiple accounts — bid so high as to ensure a win, then leave positive feedback for the seller (and, in turn, buyers have it left for them). Furthermore, actual "negative ratings" (in real transactions) are often not left, for fear that a negative bid will almost certainly be left by the attacked party. (EBay's system makes it practically impossible for ratings and comments to be withdrawn.)

* eBay misrepresents the percentage of unsuccessful transactions that occur on its site, stating that "it's rare for a transaction to go wrong on EBay." In fact, transactions seem often to fail, though, in many such cases, either party might decide to avoid the complicated legal process of pursuing re-imbursement, choosing to simply "give up on the matter."

* When disputes do arise, eBay genreally takes a hands-off stand on them: Often, troubled users are recommended to e-mail the other party, or then to take the matter to eBay's "SquareTrade system." Ultimately, transactions of little value (those under $25.00) often are not resolved.

* More recently, it has been found that fake e-mails, intended to "phish" for information, have been sent to users of eBay and PayPal. These e-mails generally appear to be genuine, as they bear the appropriate images, signatures, sender-addresses, etc., and attempt to trick eBay/PayPal users into furnishing their account user-names and passwords. Such e-mails often make claims that users' accounts have been suspended, and must be verified; or (specifically in cases of eBay mimickry) appear to be questions from potential bidders on a selling users' currently for-sale items. Once a user provides the criminal party with his or her user ID and password (at the "log-in page" fields of a site that often almost exactly reflects eBay's or PayPal's actual site) the information may be used to gain access to said user's credit cards, chequing accounts, etc. To date, though both eBay and PayPal have suggested to users that they forward any suspcicious messages to and (respectively) the company (PayPal is actually owned by eBay) seems to have done very little to fight the situation itself. Several users have thus condemned eBay's committment to the safety and security of its customers.

* Although eBay makes strong claims to be against the sale of any "boot-legged" products (e.g., CDs, DVDs, tapes), its actions against such listings are almost non-existent. Many users, in fora, have posted eBay's apparent disregard for auctions selling boot-legged merchandise. It has been estimated, for instance, that roughly 80% of the Indian-entertainment merchandise (CDs, DVDs) that is sold on eBay, is counterfeit. Though eBay has a procedure by which to report auctions that are apparently engaging in the sale of illegal goods, the company often does little beyond pulling the actual listings that are reported (if, indeed, doing that). Users, then, many have multiple listings for boot-legged merchandise, and only the one that is reported might be pulled. Beyond this, action seems seldom to be taken against offending sellers. This sort of neglect for its users' well-being — as well as for the law, at large — further illustrates eBay's utter lack of respect for ethical business practice.

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