An eBay user is facing legal action after leaving negative feedback for a seller following an unsuccessful transaction.
Chris Read, a 42-year-old mechanic from Kent, used the auction website to purchase a £155 mobile phone from Joel Jones. When the item arrived, he discovered that it was the wrong model and was dissatisfied with its quality.
After receiving a refund for the phone, Read used the website's feedback facility to write: "Item was scratched, chipped and not the model advertised on Mr. Jones's eBay account."
Read has now reportedly received a letter from the seller, which warns that he will face court action, substantial legal fees and costs of £175 if he does not remove his comments.
"I am being punished on eBay because of this as sellers who have negative feedback appear lower down the screen in searches than other people," Mr. Jones is quoted by The Times as saying. "I'm losing money by the day and my business could go under because of it. I've been left with no option but to take legal action."
Meanwhile, Mr. Read has made a public response to the complaint, arguing: "All I had done was left an honest opinion and everything I said was true. I thought that was why the feedback service was there. It's not like I wrote anything malicious or nasty."
An eBay spokeswoman said: "We are very disappointed that this seller has chosen to sue rather than to attempt to resolve the buyer's problem amicably."