A man is being threatened with legal action after leaving negative feedback on an ebay seller's account.
In what could represent a landmark court case a man is being threatened with libel action after he left negative feedback on an ebay seller’s account.
Chris Read, of Herne Bay, Kent, left the feedback after a mobile phone he purchased through the online marketplace turned out to be both damaged and incorrect.
"There were scratches all over it, a big chip out of the side and it was a different phone. I paid for a Samsung F700 and got a Samsung F700V." Mr Read commented to the Daily Telegraph.
Read returned the phone promptly and, as is customary for ebay transactions, went on to leave feedback on the seller’s account; stating: "Item was scratched, chipped and not the model advertised on Mr Jones's eBay account."
While the seller did agree to grant Mr Read a refund, he also contacted him by email threatening legal action if the comments were not removed.
Shortly after declining to remove the comments, Read received a legal letter from the seller, notifying him that he must provide a signed statement admitting that his comments were unreasonable or face libel action. The letter threatened that Read would be sued for costs, lawyers fees and damages should he not comply within 7 days.
"If it has to go to court then so be it. Hopefully it won't go that far but I'm prepared to fight my corner." Read commented.
Continuing: "I can't believe someone can be so petty. All I had done was left an honest opinion and everything I said was true. I thought that was why the feedback service was there. It's not like I wrote anything malicious or called him a conman."
The seller has defended his actions, responding: "Given that Chris received a no-quibble refund, the feedback was unfair, unreasonable and damaging.
"I am being punished by eBay because of it and the items I have for sale are being pushed down the search listings. I'm losing money by the day and my business could go under because of it. I've been left with no option but to take legal action and I'm sure I'll be successful."