***I should add here that I HAVE decided to mutually withdraw feedback, mainly as the eBay account is in my wife's name and it is unfair to sully her score. This is an important message though, and I will be keeping an eye on all sellers involved. Do not hesitate to let me know if you are "revenged" by anyone.***
In a trust based community such as eBay, we lke to think that we are free to express our experiences freely, as a means to helping others, and improving the overall shopping experience. Recently, however, I have become aware that there are grey areas which threaten to ruin the positive experience for all of us.
On the rise is the practice of "revenge feedback", where model buyers lose their good feedback scores, due to spitefully motivated retorts from disgruntled sellers who want us to "leave out the truth" about our poor experiences with them. These comments are generally insulting and warn future eBayers to avoid trading with us.
Although eBay claims that such revenge tactics are usually visible to others, and therefore do not need to be removed, it can cause distress and worry to buyers to be lambasted in this way. Currently, eBay's policy of feedback as fair exchange fails to protect us from these culprits.
Consider the scenario:
You return an item to a high street store, you are dissatisfied with a product and /or service. What do you generally get? A full refund or exchange, usually an apology and often a complimentary item to appease the customer,and ensure future custom. This is good business practice.
How would you feel if the cashier openly argued with you in a public audience? What if the employee insulted you, suggesting some impairment or undesirable mental trait?
Hopefully, you would flip out! Hopefully, management would have no option but to dismiss said person for breaching Customer Service rights?
On eBay however, this behaviour is currently accepted. This was made obvious to myself recently when I had a negative experience with a seller who failed to deliver (they claimed lost item, as they often do in their feedback). Yes I was refunded, but after over a month of hassle, and ignored calls/e-mails, and PayPal disputes. For my own road safety, I was forced to buy over £100 of items from another seller, before I had been reassured that I would have the initial issue resolved. An expensive risk, I'm sure you'll agree.
Do you think I would be out of order leaving negative feedback for this company? Is it fair I should be able to say that I'd gone through the mill with them? Well the company in question seem to think otherwise... See My Feedback.
I have never been insulted in this way before without challenge, and if an employee of a company called me a "crackpot" there would be serious trouble. As it is, I cannot remove these comments, even though they contain falsehoods. The seller claimed they offered me an alternative, which is untrue. So, here goes, not only are they insulting customers (good customers - immediate payment, and (initial) patient attempts to contact and resolve, until it became obvious that due to the seller ignoring my e-mails, I would have to open a Paypal dispute) but they are providing false claims to mislead other eBayers into thinking their service is 100% satisfactory.
How do you feel about this? They are not the only company, but they are prolific at this, note the sheer number of "mutually withdrawn" ratings. I was offered a mutual withdrawal by e-mail, (posted same day as my feedback-instant reply, where was this service when I needed it?) where they said they would remove their neg feedback if I would remove mine, thus reinstating my 100% positive rating (for nothing but honesty, I have been relegated to 95.2%).
Tempting isn't it?
Stinks of blackmail though doesn't it?
Maybe the message is starting to sink in, I also have a specific guide posted about the seller (at my profile page) which has resulted in many e-mails, messages with other customers sharing experiences about this seller and others, and the most recent neg feedback at their page seems not to have been "revenged" (RESULT!)
So maybe we can make a difference. Please vote for this guide, to ensure others see it.
We must return to fairness for all.