Beth Granter

Freelance digital consultant for charities

Ebay and retaliatory feedback

In November 2007 I had my first bad ebay experience. I bought a power cable for my powerbook (the old one literally spontaneously combusted in front of my eyes), and the ebay advert said the item was in London, so it should have only taken a couple of days to arrive. I was doing some freelance work at that time so it was really important for me to get this cable ASAP. The seller had 98% positive rating, so I thought it would be fine.

Turns out, the item came from Hong Kong and took three weeks to arrive! This meant I couldn’t work for three weeks, as I had no access to my computer. OK, three weeks isn’t the end of the world, but the point is that it took that long because it came from Hong Kong, and the seller had LIED about its location. I wouldn’t have bought from them if I had known the truth.

Multiple complaints to the seller, ‘eworldsky‘, while I was waiting for the product, resulted in them offering to refund me (but when I said yes, not actually refunding me). When the product finally arrived, I left negative feedback for the seller, because s/he had lied about the item location. I would not have bought from them if I knew it was coming from Hong Kong, because I needed the item quickly. Eworldsky then asked me to remove the negative feedback in return for a £4 refund. This I see as blatant bribery, so I refused. For the good of the community, I thought people should know that this person is lying, so I didn’t take their bribe.

In response to this, Eworldsky left ME negative feedback in retaliation, and told me the only way to remove this feedback would be by mutual withdrawl. This is basically blackmail. I found that option to be unethical because Eworldsky deserves negative feedback whereas I do not. And all I get for being honest and ethical for the good of the community is that my 100% positive feedback is ruined forever.

Further research into that person’s profile shows that they have received 111 negative feedback responses so far in the last six months! They still have a 98% positive feedback rating though, because they sell thousands of items. There are many ‘mutually withdrawn’ feedbacks on their profile, no doubt as a result of them bribing / blackmailing people to remove negative feedback. Also, many of their negative comments are along the same lines as mine, saying that items are being sent from Hong Kong and taking weeks to arrive, after Eworldsky claimed they were in London.

I looked on the Ebay terms of service and they state that they will not remove feedback that is left in retaliation. OK, that’s annoying, but what about banning users for attempted bribery and blackmail? I’ve emailed Ebay a few times about this and so far they’ve just explained to me what I already knew, that they can’t remove un-true or retaliatory feedback (they did tell me how to respond to the negative comment I got from Eworldsky, but people might not see this unless they click through to see comments). I would like to know what action is going to be taken against a user lying about their location, and attempting to bribe and blackmail other users. Hopefully if they are banned from Ebay, their feedback would be removed from my Ebay profile too.

My plan is now to contact these 111 other people who have had a negative experience with Eworldsky, and get them to comment here with their experience, in order to collate evidence against Eworldsky, and ask them to email Ebay too. I’ve already started by contacting one user – who has also had their 100% rating ruined in exactly the same way.

Note – this all comes at an interesting time. Ebay have recently announced that they are going to remove the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers. At least, in the US anyway. I wonder – when they do this – will they apply the new rule in retrospect? Will all feedback ever left by sellers in the past be removed? I doubt it but I hope so!

Note 2 – The power cable which arrived in November 2007 broke a week ago, and I’ve bought another replacement via Ebay on Monday (from a different seller). This one arrived today! That’s more like it!


22 responses to “Ebay and retaliatory feedback”

  1. eBay has fixed it’s problem, but it still happens on Amazon.

    I bought a book described as ‘very good.’ It showed up, marked up on every page. I asked for a refund, the merchant said send it back, but refused to pay for return postage?! How is that service? Never heard from them again.

    I left a generous and honest 2-star rating, she retaliated and did the same – for no reason! And she does that to every paying customer who doesn’t leave perfect feedback.

    merchant: thbooks4you
    Taraneh Hesabi
    13430 Salmon River Rd
    San Diego, CA 92129-2610
    (858) 780-0215

  2. I bought an adapter from this guy for my laptop. The same issue, it took far too long to arrive (almost 2 weeks). I complained already after some days. The location was supposed to be London and I chose this one because I wanted to use my laptop soon again, while not spending 60 pounds (instead of 10) on a new charger. In the mailings he did not even suggest that it came from London. He answered quickly every time and apologized and said it might be due to Royal mail or sth. When it finally arrived I left neutral or positive feedback because I thought it was delayed by the mail. Just after that I noticed it came from Hong Kong as well. The charger broke recently (due to poor quality, although you might expect that for these prices). I emailed about replacement yesterday. No response yet, However I am not sure he is still in business anymore.

  3. I went looking to see what other comments existed outside of eBay for this unscrupulous seller because – perhaps in response to complaints or to hide from past feedback – they are no longer registered on eBay, as Dom points out, and I could not leave negative feedback.

    I too had returned a defective item (that I thought was being shipped from London), only to have them go silent on me. So I am out of pocket for the item which I no longer have, plus 2 shipping charges! And to boot, I bet they resold it through some other channel to yet another unsuspecting online consumer.

    The individual in question and the location where he operates (mainland China north of Hong Kong)is as follows, just in case you need to watch out for them under another handle on eBay:

    Wang Xiaojiang
    World Sky Electronic
    2#18C,HuaYuan Building,MaoYeCheng
    Buji,LongGang District
    Shenzhen City

    I sent eBay a note with these particulars, for whatever that’s worth…

  4. Same thing happened to me – following a faulty item I have returned to them, eworldsky used all sorts of tricks to make it last longer, first pretending that they did not receive the parcel, then threatening to refund me only if I left positive feedback, and eventually they simply stopped answering. But it seems to be too late for me now to do anything. eworldsky are in the meantime no longer listed as ebay members, but I guess they will be operating soon again under a different name.
    I consider myself lucky to have made my mistake with these guys for only a few pounds. I can only imagine the same thing happening with more money involved, and ebay and paypal nicely telling me that I simply lost the full amount! I learned my lesson the easy way, and will never buy from ebay anymore. Too much hassle if it goes wrong, and an awful feeling that no one really cares.

  5. will tell you one thing – I ordered some cheap thing from them again in order to be able to leave negative feedback, and am upposed to do the same again. A couple of pounds for my satisfaction leaving some words for these guys will worth it.
    You right, that what happened to me (as I was not aware yet) – the conversation lasts till the timeframe is valid, then they simply stop answering

  6. For anyone that is unclear, information about reporting users on eBay can be found on this page. If you have been ripped off by a user on eBay please report them. Even though eBay did nothing as a result of my complaint, maybe if they get enough reports about the same user, something will happen. Also please let us know here on this blog any results you may have.

    One note of advice is that I think you have to report a user within a certain timeframe to eBay or they will not handle your complaint. eworldsky and other fraudsters will keep you hanging by telling you they will refund you, asking you questions etc. and keep being nice until the timeframe has passed and you cannot complain – then they will stop answering emails and will not refund you. Do not be tricked into repetitive conversation with them as they are just wasting time on purpose.

  7. Hi, yes, exactly, at the time I was bying the phone from him (A380i at USD 179), three (!) month ago, his feedback was 98%, mostly due to this thread s/he made with these negative feedbacks and blackmailing, I suppose (now I am pretty sure, after Beth’s article). I still didn’t receive the phone, my 180 dollars are, of course, gone forever. He is answering me a robot style all the time “I am sorry, I will check it” gosh that makes me furious. Anyway, besides the emotions, now, as eBay just made this new rule when the sellers are not able to leave neg fback to us any longer, his feedback has swifty gone to 96%!
    Actually, when bying the phone those times (in April), I didn’t care that it is from HKong (sine I am situated in Estonia), I cared more about paying his invoice for the phone outside of eBay.

    I am very new to eBay, only since February 2008 and have always paid to everybody literally the next minute after I commited to buy something. These individuals like him should be punished, I believe. Please somebody (Beth, maybe you) tell me HOW TO WRITE TO eBAY ABOUT IT? I will do this with pleasure

  8. I purchased 3 charges for my triplets Dell lap tops from
    e worldsky. The sales advertised 15 % discount if I purchased 3. This would have worked out well except e worldsky did not credit the sale. I contacted him on 3 emails one on each item. I did this twice once after the sale once on delivery of the items. I left neutral feed back but commented that he cheated me out of $ 5.00. He contacted me that if I withdrew he would refund the money. I advised that i was not born yesterday and as such he needed to credit my pay pal account and then I would withdraw feed back. This happened however he then left me negative feed back. Ebay has done nothing about it the negative feed back still stands. The sale was just this month 5/08 so ebay is still allowing e worldsky to get away with this nonsence. When i had looked at his profile his feed back rating was 98 % presently he has a large number of recent negative feed backs and has fallen to 96 %. I had a 100 % rating but no more I have closed my ebay account and will not be registering for a new one unless eBay does something about t his individual

  9. Hi Jamie,

    I saw that the seller, eworldsky, had over 97% positive rating and was a power seller. With this status, I didn’t feel it necessary to read detailed feedback, until I encountered a problem. I expect other buyers did the same. I’ll be reading feedbacks more carefully irrelevant of % rating in the future. He manages to have such a high % rating because he does hundreds of transactions a week. So whilst ripping off dozens of people, I guess more people are satisfied than unsatisfied. This still doesn’t change the fact that the same individual has ripped off over a hundred innocent buyers though.

    For people’s information, eBay have got back to me to say they still will not remove his feedback from my profile, however they are investigating my complaint against him, but they won’t tell me the result of their investigation. So I still think it’s worth emailing them if you have had trouble with eworldsky, or any other buyer or seller.

  10. here’s a thought- did any of you check this seller’s feedback before purchasing products from them?

    hal1on even mentioned that he’d seen loads of negative feedback on this seller and the false location, etc.

    of course its terrible that you have all been mislead by this bad seller, and I applaud all actions you all are taking up with ebay- but really think buyers need to be responsible too and very careful of who they are buying items from. surely seeing loads of ‘mutually withdrawn’ feedback along with negative ones raises a red flag?

    personally, I only buy from power sellers or those with over 50 positive feedback and have been lucky not to have had a bad encounter in the 5 years I’ve been using ebay.

  11. eworldsky did exactly the same thing to me…i bought a power supply for my laptop and after a few weeks of it not arriving tried to contact the seller. I had an email conversation with them that took two weeks and about 30 emails just asking them to send out the item as i hadnt recieved it. kept getting the same emails over and over.

    in the end the seller contacted me on msn and when i demanded a refund they said not until i gave them positive feedback. I refused and said i would give them positive feedback after i had my money back and they eventually agreed to refund me first.

    obviously i left very negative feedback. they have now left me negative feedback in response.

    i fully support you in your campaign!!

  12. Same here, my own experience with eworldsky was a blatent lie about the products location (so many negative feedbacks displeased about this) and took 21 days to arrive from china instead of london

    i suggest people who still have money owed from this guy lodge a paypal buyer dispute (which forces paypal to arbitrate) and point to this blog url as evidence its not a one off swindle.

  13. hi beth,
    i had much the same experience with eworldsky as you, & i defied his attempted bribery & blackmail for the same altruistic reason.

    i wrote to ebay at the time, demanding his negative feedback be removed from my record, & that he be fully investigated – pointing out his blatant dishonesty (& that he’s almost certainly breaching uk consumer law) & high level of mutually withdrawn feedback, as you have. shortly after i wrote, ebay changed the rules to stop sellers leaving negative feedback for buyers (though i’m not claiming credit for that in any way, of course).

    i fully support your campaign to have this seller banned from ebay – as eworldsky and any other incarnation…

  14. Thanks for the responses – please make sure to email eBay about it too, and let us know here how you get on with that. My latest news on the issue is that since the power cable is broken, I asked eworldsky to replace it, and they said they would – only if I returned the cable to them. So I asked for the address to send it to, and, get this: eworldsky asked me to send it to Hong Kong! AND eworldsky asked me to send £4 for postage for the replacement! I’ve replied saying that since they are trading saying they are in London, they should have a UK address, and I will send the faulty product back to them there if they give me a UK address. Interestingly, eworldsky has started emailing me outside of the ebay messaging interface, using a gmail address, of ‘neweworldsky’.

    This is in contrast to the second trader whose product broke recently also, who has said they will send a replacement immediately, no questions asked, without me having to send them the broken product or pay anything. Much better service (if it arrives)!

    I await a response from eworldsky…

  15. Thank’s for the msg beth. I just checked my feedback after leaving negative for eworldsky because my item took ages to arrive and when it did it was from hong kong, and yes they left me negative, my first ever. I too recieved lot’s of messages in poor english asking me to remove the feedback in return for a bribe which I didn’t. I bet the people who did never got their 50 peices of silver lol.
    If ebay arent interested in sorting this out maybe customs and exise would. On the package I recieved a box was ticked to say the item was a gift. I believe this is to avoid paying the tax. I dont think I have the package anymore but if anyone out there does you might want to consider giving customs a call.
    You can report VAT fraud by calling the Customs Confidential hotline, 0800 595 000, open 24 hours, seven days a week.

  16. Hi, I too have had major problems with this seller. After christmas my daughter wanted a case for her new Nintendo DS and I bought one from “eworldsky”. Location stated London, but in fact it took 3 weeks to arrive from Hong Kong. Not the end of the world but when your 7 year old is waiting for it to arrive it is a long time!!! When she opened the parcel, she burst out crying as the case was such a poor condition. Obviously conferfeit and the logo was smudged and put on wonky. No way could it be used. I contacted the seller on 3 occasions and had no response, then I opened a dispute console with paypal, he didn’t respond to that either. Eventually paypal refunded me. I have used ebay for a few years now as a seller and more often a buyer and never has this happened to me before. I deceided to leave negative feedback as I felt I should warn other potential buyers. Miracuously, the next day “eworldsky” contacted me as asked me to mutually remove the feedback, I responded to him politely that I was justified in leaving it and now he has left me negative feedback which is in retaliation and very unfair. I intend to contact ebay and put in a complaint about him. Thanks Beth for getting in contact!

  17. I’m currently pondering what to do about a similar (though not quite as infuriating as yours) ebay situation, in which I’d bought tickets to a gig and they never arrived. I was given a refund, but still had the inconvenience and frustration of not being able to go to said gig, so I left negative feedback. The seller, who claimed he’d been let down by a promoter (though surely he shouldn’t have offered something for sale that he didn’t actually have in hand?!) has now left negative feedback for me (my first ever), which I can only remove if I sign a mutual withdrawal form. Extremely annoying.

  18. Interesting post, just one picky detail really on this one. The “eBay” brand is spelled with a lower case “e”.

    Just a personal peeve, as I used to work for the company.

  19. Well, with the new changes to sellers not being able to leave any negative feedback I think is somehwat of a move in the right direction but it does leave the genuine sellers in the lurch because they’re now sitting ducks to unethical BUYERS who just want a freebie and will inturn blackmail sellers if they don’t platter to their every whim. This new change has got MANY sellers sweating bullets. Buyers can now exercise their tyrannical genes and just s**t over the genuine sellers. THAT is why their has been a sellers strike giong in the last week or so!!

    So it’s not only the buyers who are at risk with their transactions on Ebay. Sad but true.

  20. It’s always been arse about face – I assumed that if I pay for something immediately after the auction ends, and there are no problems… then the seller would leave me positive feedback – before the item is even sent if necessary. After all, that is all they are rating you on. Rarely happens….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *