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Man who was sold the wrong phone on eBay is sued by seller after leaving 'negative fe


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When Chris Read bought a mobile phone through eBay, it was described as being in good condition.

But when the phone arrived a few days later, he was disappointed to find it was the wrong model and appeared to be damaged.

After returning his purchase and receiving a refund from the seller, Joel Jones, he used the online auction website's feedback section - which can be read by other people - to give his honest opinion of the transaction.

'Item was scratched, chipped and not the model advertised on Mr Jones's eBay account,' he wrote, assuming it was the end of the matter...


But he has now received an email threatening him with libel action. And it will be a legal first if the case reaches court.

Mr Jones claims the unfavourable comments have damaged his business. The legal missive goes on to warn Mr Read that if he fails to retract his comments he will be dragged to court where he faces costs, lawyers' fees and damages.

Father-of-five Mr Read, 42, said: 'I can't believe someone can be so petty. 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 called him a conman.'

He added: 'If it has to go to court then so be it. Hopefully it won't go that far but I'm prepared to fight my corner.'

Mr Read, a mechanic from Herne Bay, Kent, ordered the £155 Samsung last month. 'There were scratches all over it, a big chip out of the side and it was a different phone,' he said.

'I paid for a Samsung F700 and got a Samsung F700V.'


The legal letter he received states: 'The negative feedback you left on October 3 regarding Samsung F700 was unfair and is damaging to my business's reputation and ability to trade. We require a signed statement accepting that the feedback is unfair.'

Unless such a statement was forthcoming within seven days, said the letter, legal action would commence.

Mr Jones, 26, who lives in Suffolk and sells used electronic goods under the user name onsalexuk, defended his decision.

'Given that Chris received a no-quibble refund, the feedback was unfair, unreasonable and damaging,' he said.

'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. 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.'

An eBay spokesman said the firm operated a mediation service to handle disputes over feedback comments. 'In this particular case, the seller never contacted us about the buyer,' the spokesman added.

Libel involves someone's personal or business reputation being damaged by a false or defamatory statement that has been published.

The law is the same whether the comments appear in written form or are broadcast on the radio or television, or appear online.



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I think we can see where Ebay's sympathies lie!! :lol:


An eBay spokeswoman said that the dispute had not been brought to them, and added that: ""We are very disappointed that this seller has chosen to sue rather than to attempt to resolve the buyer's problem amicably." She explained that one negative comment was unlikely to affect Mr Jones's status on the site, which still rates him with a 98.7% positive feedback tally overall.




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