eBay Seller Who Sued Customer Claims He’s Sorry, Has Filed Dozens Of Feedback Suits

The owner of an eBay business who sued an unhappy customer over a negative feedback item is contrite. Mostly, he’s very sorry that he (allegedly) never read the lawsuit filed on his behalf accusing his customer of defamation. He should probably also be sorry that the customer has a relative who works in the litigation department of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. The seller has used lawsuits to bully customers into retracting feedback before, and may have done it again if not for Public Citizen.

He only apologized for this lawsuit, though. The lawsuit that he totally never read, even though according to Public Citizen he has hired different attorneys to file the same type of lawsuit before. He claims that he just wanted to get a court order that would remove the feedback. In the comments of Public Citizen’s blog post on the situation, he explained:

I hope all of you will accept this as an open letter of apology from Med Express.

Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for only $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

The issue involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR’s. The low ratings caused us to lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume, this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

The only way DSR’s are removed is by court order, and I was told that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I also sincerely apologize. It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR’s that was our only goal.

The only person to blame here is me. You have spoken and I have listened. A terrible wrong needs to be righted. I am instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

Except he hasn’t. Public Citizen staff figured out that the seller has filed lawsuits against customers who left negative feedback as recently as last week. Public Citizen even found a transaction where a customer left neutral feedback, and the seller sued anyway. Just like in this case, the seller sought punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Not the $1 in damages that he claims.

An actual high-volume eBay seller showed up in the comments of the PopeHat post to point out how the seller’s fees discount program works, and that this seller probably isn’t eligible. If he had been, the store isn’t getting discounts that would add up to tens of thousands of dollars every year.

eBay seller who sued over bad feedback apologizes—but he’s done it before [Ars Technica]
Med Express Apologizes for Suing a Customer, Blaming Its Lawyer [Public Citizen]