ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County man vows he'll never buy anything on eBay again after being sued for hundreds of dollars over a $6 purchase.
Action 9’s Todd Ulrich learned negative feedback can get users in real trouble if they complain about a bad product or service.
Hector Serrano has purchased many sports memorabilia items on eBay but never again. Serrano is being sued after attempting to buy a $6 Chicago Blackhawks luggage tag from a seller in Boston.
Serrano said the tag never arrived, so after 30 days and many broken promises by the seller, Beantown Collections, he posted the following feedback: “Did not receive item, seller needs to provide item or refund.”
“And he knows it's true,” Serrano said. “That's exactly what happened.”
But in a lawsuit filed in Boston, the company accused Serrano of libel, posting malicious feedback that hurt its business, and they’re seeking nearly $500 in damages.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is totally wrong. It's totally wrong,” Serrano said.
Serrano said he called eBay for
"(They are) not protecting me at
all," he said.
Action 9 first uncovered risky eBay feedback when the owner of a business in Cocoa was sued for $15,000.
Mike Steadman was sued by a Miami man who claimed Steadman’s negative feedback ruined the seller's reputation. But Steadman said the clock he bought arrived broken, and the seller wouldn’t replace it.
Steadman thought the lawsuit was frivolous, but three years later, his attorney is now preparing for trial, ready to argue the sellers agreed to accept feedback, which is how eBay works.
eBay said it had reviewed the lawsuits but could not comment on the cases.
Serrano and others found out when sellers are offended, it seems you're all alone, and it could be costly.
After posting his feedback, Serrano’s luggage tag arrived but so did the lawsuit.
Beantown claims its package was lost in the mail and that Serrano was told to be patient.
But why would a seller sue someone over what seems to be a harmless complaint?
“There's a feeling on eBay that perfect feedback records attract the most customers,” said Ulrich. "So, some sellers will do just about anything to keep it that way.”