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Negative eBay Feedback Leads to $15,000 Lawsuit

Negative eBay Feedback Leads to $15,000 Lawsuit
When you take to eBay for your shopping needs, you know you're taking a certain amount of risk. You have faith in the description of the goods for sale, digital photos, and, more importantly, the seller's morals. Apparently, another risk you might be taking, if you react negatively to being burned by a seller, is that of being sued. Michael Steadman, a business owner in Florida, discovered this danger the hard way after leaving a negative comment for a seller that resulted in a $15,000 defamation suit.

Steadman won an auction for a time clock from Elliot Miller, a lawyer from the Miami Beach area. Miller was offering what he described as a "sturdy time clock with all the fixings" that had been tested and confirmed to print on employee time cards. But as Steadman told Florida Today, the item that arrived did not match the description on eBay. The clock in question was actually pieces of three different models that didn't fit together, was not capable of being mounted on a wall and the printer didn't work. Even the key included didn't fit in the clock's lock.

According to Steadman, when he initially contacted Miller about his problems the seller's response was to encourage him to try and dump the clock on another unsuspecting buyer. Steadman had to resort to filing a formal complaint through PayPal to get his money back. Understandably he then left a negative comment on Miller's feedback page that read: "Bad seller; he has the ethics of a used car salesman."

Miller's response was to file a defamation suit that required Steadman to borrow $7,000 from a second mortgage to pay for legal fees, but those funds have since run out and his lawyer has quit. If Steadman's story is true, Miller deserves the negative comment left on his page and more. Here's hoping someone steps up to defend Steadman against what sounds like an eBay bully. [From: Florida Today]

Tags: auction, defamation, ebay, lawsuit, michael steadman, MichaelSteadman, negative feedback, NegativeFeedback, paypal, top, web