falsely accused of shill bidding
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28 December 2007
I am writing this review because i was falsely accused of engaging in shill bidding, and there is no way to appeal against such an accusation. My account, and the account of one of my buyers, were suspended for a period of time. This buyer bought 3 items from me, all similar items, and paid very promptly. He also bid on 2 other similar items, but lost out to higher bidders. This seems pretty normal to me. However, i then received an email from Ebay informing me i had engaged in shill bidding, my account was being suspended, and named this recent buyer as being the other party involved. I then recieved an email from the buyer wanting to know what was happening. It appears that the evidence for this accusation was that we had the same SURNAME (!!?), and that we live in the same city. I, sorry, we live in Glasgow, not exactly a small place, and, having checked the electoral register, which anyone is allowed to do, i found out that there are 1628 people registered to vote in Glasgow, who share my surname. Again, not exactly rare. I don't have my surname listed in my user I.D., and don't put it in my listings. Most buyers don't have their surnames in their user I.D.'s, and it is not possible to get this information until someone has won the auction. So, everybody runs the risk of selling to or buying from someone with your name. Indeed, it is possible to sell to some distant unknown relation, and not know it. And if you have a really common surname like Smith or Brown, or whatever, this would appear to be a real minefield. i don't know if maybe Ebay would like to consider an appeals process, but I think they certainly should.
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