Let me start with a story about a small business owner- we’ll call her brands world international- BWI for short–
One day, BWI decided to open a store on ebay to promote her wares in a new way. She met many nice people along the way. She was able to express her dealings with them, as they were their dealings with her, via a feedback forum.
Ebay collected fees for this service from BWI and everyone was happy.
One day, a terrible monster, we will call her redred_hawk (hawk for short), came swooping down on BWI! Unaware of the danger, BWI tried to feed this fierce hawk– she sent her a beautiful coat of down that the hawk tried on and wore for a time!
It happened that the hawk decided she wanted the coat and did not want to pay the very low costs incurred by BWI– So she contacted PayPal, a good friend of Ebay. When BWI realized that the hawk was unhappy, she told her that she could return the jacket for a new one or she could receive a full refund. But the hawk was not satisfied. She wanted the jacket and the refund plus she insisted on additional compensation.
Of course, BWI refused to be a victim of the hawk. The hawk started contacting all the other birds on ebay and the customers of BWI — She told them tales about how BWI tried to hurt her!
BWI was very hurt that the hawk was doing this. Why? Perhaps the down in the jacket belonged to her kin? Was she just that greedy? Or was there some other evil curse at work?
BWI decided to protect herself from future attacks and built a shelter to prevent any other birds of prey from that region– The entire evil forest where the hawk resided was blocked from any trade with BWI. And it was sad too, because they were missing out on some very lovely things.
Unfortunately for BWI, the hawk was already in – wounding and bruising BWI and causing her to bleed- perhaps that is the where the ‘red’ in her name, redred_hawk, comes from. At any rate, BWI was weakend from all the attacks and decided she had to contact Ebay and PayPal to organize some type of intervention.
As it turned out, Ebay had changed it’s feedback policies. They decided, in their ultimate wisdom (NOT– they were really not the wise old owls that they pretended to be), to take away the seller’s (BWI) rights to inform the other animals on ebay what this hawk was up to. However, the buyer (hawk) was still able to leave whatever negative comments she wanted whether they were true or not.
BWI was not going to become prey to this hawk as a few others had done in the past. Hawk knew the new policies with Ebay and threatened BWI constantly with her negativity. Finally, hawk came through on her threats and left a scathing comment on BWI’s account. The only recourse BWI had was to reply to the comment, which she did. Again, the hawk swooped in. She contacted those wanna be owls at ebay and they removed the reply by BWI!
In the meantime, PayPal had asked the hawk to provide the carrier pigeon information to prove that she had returned the coat. Of course hawk could not do this because the coat was still in her possession. This infuriated hawk even more.
BWI was running out of options. Hawk had already convinced some of the animals in the ebay forest that BWI was at fault. What was she to do? Well, she posted a bulletin on every tree that would allow her — she wrote her story down and put it on the biggest tree in the forest, the ebay BLOG. Some of the animals reading the Blog tree even left helpful comments to get the hawk to stop attacking. BWI tried all of them. But there was no resolution.
The carrier pigeon never came with the return, PayPal was still holding the funds and Ebay was allowing hawk to call the shots. What was poor BWI to do? Is this the end for her? Will there be a fairy Godmother to come to her rescue or will she be swallowed up by the big bad hawk? Is there a such thing as ‘Happily Ever After’ for BWI?
And how long do we have to wait to find out the answer? Well, that is the question, isn’t it?
So- Is ebay fair to sellers? If you want a true accounting of the facts in this story, you may go to ebay and visit the store of Brands World International — View the blog and see the feedback — This started in December and it is now mid-March and there is still no resolution. PayPal is still ‘reviewing’ the case and redred_hawk is still trying to victimize BWI. We cannot even leave a negative comment on her feedback! So we did the next best thing. We left her a positive one with a negative message. We blogged, we fought, but did we conquer? Stay tuned for the next chapter and hopefully, final conclusion …