The Popehat Signal: Stand Against Rank Thuggery In Ohio

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317 Responses

  1. Grifter says:

    Are you effing serious?! It's not even that harsh! And, of course, Ohio doesn't have an anti-SLAPP law, does it?

    Is there some way the Bar could get involved with a lawyer who "just plain doesn't care" about the law that he readily admits is flatly against him?

  2. JMJ says:

    Med Express: meet Barbara Streisand.

  3. Nick N. says:

    If this gets sufficient attention, I suspect Med Express will have a much worse result than the consequence of a single piece of negative feedback. With eBay's rules regarding feedback extortion, they would be well within their rights to suspend Med Express' selling account. Of course, it's unlikely that they would do that simply in response to the complaints of one buyer, but if this gets sufficiently amplified, Med Express may be soon out of business.

    Though Ms. Nicholls is still likely to need legal representation in that case, as Med Express would clearly have some (deserved) damages at that point…

  4. Lizard says:

    Sheesh, my wife did much the same thing — got hit with postage due when she should not have been, and griped about it — and the reaction was pretty much the same, sans (so far) lawsuit threat. Perhaps if the standard feedback on eBay for the basic act of "sent me what I ordered in a reasonable time frame" was "C" and not "A++++++++++", this overreaction to anything less that 100% applause would not be so common. As it is, since buyers are expected to post "Quadruple A double plus good!" ratings for any transaction above the level of "Did not actually send me a carton of fetid dingo's kidneys when I paid for a 1965 Barbie", it's assumed that any negative rating, regardless of the reason provided, is effectively "Murdered my whole family in cold blood: A-."

  5. John Kutzman says:

    It almost sounds like plaintiff's counsel has admitted filing litigation with neither factual basis or a good-faith argument for changing the law.

  6. John Ammon says:

    I'm actually glad that Ebay's not pulling the review. Normally I'm incredibly miffed that they default all of their internal judgements to the customer, but it seems to be justified in this case.

    Also, suing over a negative review?? Seriously… if you don't want the possibility of a negative review… don't sell things on a site that has that feature.

  7. Zac says:

    When looking up MedExpress on ebay: http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=medexpres

    There is no negative feedback. Has there already been some kind of default judgement?

  8. Zac says:

    When looking up MedExpress on ebay: http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=medexpress

    There is no negative feedback. Has there already been some kind of default judgement?

  9. WysiWyg says:

    So the lawyer admitted that he has no case? Is it actually legal to bring legal proceedings that you KNOW have no chance of winning?

    I would assume that usually it wouldn't matter since it would be very difficult to prove that he actually knew, but in this case?

  10. jth says:

    It would seem that Ebay should be concerned here too… their business model depends on credibility of the rating system and neither buyers or sellers should be legally intimidated. (I am reminded how Facebook jumped into the issue of (potential) employers demanding passwords to employees' facebook pages; they strongly suggested they would get involved in a legal challenge).

  11. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Med Express should probably sue their attorney for malpractice for filing this suit. They have an AMAZINGLY good Ebay feedback: 300 positive vs 2 neutral vs 2 negative. Well, had.

    Who wants to bet you are going to get some eBay Good Samaritans paying a couple of $5 parts specifically to leave feedback that "Seller responds to bad feedback with lawsuits. Beware"?

  12. Betty says:

    Not a lawyer….but really, why couldn't the buyer post a follow-up that the company had offered to make good (and did) on that charge they didn't even know about?? Perhaps she did, but the article above doesn't make that clear. If this is the only way for the company to clear their name, it's a shame it has to go this far….(I will probably get chastised for my thoughts, but the buyer complained about $1.44 postage due?)

  13. RogerX says:

    …but that's the entire point, WysiWig. He's admitted he has no case, and his client is betting they won't have the time and money to come to Ohio and argue in court. Which is why we need Anti-SLAPP legislation.

  14. Grifter says:

    @Zac:

    You were looking at "medexpress", you wanted "med_express_sales"

  15. John Ammon says:

    @Betty – What is the proper amount required to legitimize a complaint?

  16. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Betty: The problem is with a postage due item, its NOT just dropped off, but you often have to go to the post office to pick it up. Which means its not the $1.44 in postage, its the 20 minutes of hastle needed to collect the item.

    And someone who sends multiple items postage due by their own admission needs to be named & shamed.

  17. Grifter says:

    @Betty: The whole point of buyer feedback is to let other buyers know what kind of company they're dealing with. While it might be nice of her to be willing to retract or modify it, she's not required to, and the seller can (and did) comment on the feedback, so if they make it right but the buy doesn't retract, they can address it there.

    This lawsuit is completely without merit, as admitted by opposing counsel, and victim-blaming isn't really a fair response.

    They can't "clear their name" of something they actually did.

  18. David says:

    Betty: First of all, if a seller can accidentally ship an item with insufficient postage, that doesn't speak well for them – especially when the buyer ostensibly paid for shipping – even if they offer a refund later.

    Second, postage-due mail is not actually delivered to your home. You have to go to the post office and pick it up; the fact that it's just $1.44 doesn't have any bearing on this part. So arrival is delayed by at least a day, maybe much more if your work hours conflicts with the post office's. And these are medical supplies, so delays are presumably something you'd want to avoid.

  19. Ken says:

    @Betty:

    Not a lawyer….but really, why couldn't the buyer post a follow-up that the company had offered to make good (and did) on that charge they didn't even know about?? Perhaps she did, but the article above doesn't make that clear. If this is the only way for the company to clear their name, it's a shame it has to go this far….(I will probably get chastised for my thoughts, but the buyer complained about $1.44 postage due?)

    Betty, Med Express can — and did — post a response on Ebay. This amounts to saying "we don't care if what you said is true or not, we feel it's not fair, so we are suing you to force its removal."

  20. Grifter says:

    @David:

    The original listing is for:

    "Olympus G92104 Microscope Light Source with Shutter Attachment", so I doubt time was medically as of the essence as it might be with other products they sell…but it would be nice to know they do that when purchasing other products they sell, neh?

  21. Please tell me that lawyer was silly enough to say that in a written communication. From what I've read here this screams out for a legitimate bar complaint.

  22. Betty says:

    Well, I knew it was coming…;-) I say, sue the Post Office. The item was weighed and shipped from the PO. Company paid what they were told to pay. I just saw the EBay page with comments….I would say the company was a little flippant in that they didn't offer to pay the extra at that time. And considering all the excellent reviews they have had; only 2 negative, no one would have probably noticed. It may not be a legal obligation to comment that the buyer was reimbursed, but it's the RIGHT thing to do. The company has opened a can of worms….

  23. MattS says:

    Nicholas Weaver,

    For someone living in a rural area or someone whose local post office isn't open 24/7 the hassle can be considerably more than 20 minutes.

  24. MCB says:

    What about contacting Ebay to complain about one if its seller's suing customers for leaving accurate reviews? One might think that Ebay would have an interest in not allowing sellers to manipulate the feedback.

  25. Kelly says:

    ::facepalm:: This company is now officially screwed. Popcorn anyone?

  26. KRM says:

    If one was to apply the same logic and standards as does Med Express, wouldn't the seller's posted reply on eBay qualify as publicly besmirching the stellar reputation of the US Post Office?

  27. David Aubke says:

    For someone living in a rural area or someone whose local post office isn't open 24/7 the hassle can be considerably more than 20 minutes.

    This is the truth. I avoid having things shipped to my home address whenever possible because it's a big hassle.

    Also, I don't see where Mr. Amodio actually admitted to having no case. Mr. Levy's quote only says he "didn't deny…". Technically, that could mean the subject never even came up.

  28. Zac says:

    Thanks for the clarification on the correct seller link!

    Curious if the other negative reviewer is being sued? I can almost understand (not justify) the over-reaction on the first breaking of the 100% satisfaction score, but the second; from a 1000+ transaction seller?

  29. That Anonymous Coward says:

    Please to note in the feedback there have been 8 revised reviews.
    "This is the number of negative or neutral Feedback buyers have revised for this seller."

    I wonder if this unlucky person was just number 9 who didn't play ball with the initial threats.

  30. Lizard says:

    It's up to other customers to decide how much credence to give a complaint over $1.44. It's not up to the company, or eBay, to decide what's "worth" complaining about. As long as the feedback is FACTUAL (and the company has admitted it is), it should be permitted.

    A brief moment of searching on the Internet shows that overreacting to customer complaints never leads to a good result for the company. I agree with others who said MedExpress has a good case for legal malpractice against their lawyer, who has chosen pretty much the worst possible tactic for resolving this issue. Hell, they already did the only reasonable thing: Post their reply to the critique, saying, "We don't know how this happened, we offered to reimburse the difference." That's a fair and reasonable response, and any customer reading both the complaint and the response would conclude, "Hey, shit happens, they mail hundreds of things, something went wonky just this once, whatever. They're not scamming people by sending empty boxes or broken products, which is what I'm really concerned with." By going for a lawsuit, though, they go from "Human beings who screwed up an order once or twice, hey, nobody's perfect" to "Terminal assholes".

  31. NM says:

    @MCB, they have sued ebay as well. I think ebay knows.

    This suit, without a strong warning of the Streisand Effect, feels almost like malpractice. A company with almost entirely positive reviews (2 negative reviews including this one) sues over one of them? Insane. All sellers have some negative reviews and that review is exactly the type any buyer would filter out.
    The only thing that hurts is this insane lawsuit.

  32. Nicholas Weaver says:

    I like Levy's final note, to the effect that "If this was federal court, you'd be up for a rule 11 motion between your own complaint admitting the truth of the 'libelous' statement and your subsequent phone call. You should hope that there is no Ohio equivalent. But there probably is."

  33. naught_for_naught says:

    This is the exact type of instance for which Social Media Marketing is made.

    You are the company. She is the consumer. You made a mistake, a $1.44 mistake. She wouldn't take "Sorry, here's you're $1.44 back" for an acceptable response. Instead, she mentioned it in her review, which you have a right to respond to.

    You could have used that space to inject humor, make an effusive, over-the-top, non-sarcastic display of trying to make it up to the client. This does two things: first, it shows any reasonable person that you are a good company; second, it turns this negative into a promotional tool. Instead, you went to the mattresses, over $1.44 complaint.

    You when yang when you should have went yin, a classic marketing/PR mistake.

  34. RDD Guy says:

    Am I really the first person to link to http://xkcd.com/325/

  35. DavidK says:

    Their feedback page shows there are also 8 Revised Feedbacks, gotta wonder if they were revised without duress or if they were revised under threat of legal action …

  36. Lizard says:

    @naught_for_naught: Even worse than fighting a land war in Asia?

  37. Waldo says:

    Doesn't eBay have the right to choose whom they do business with? If I were eBay, I'd zap the account of anyone who sued me. I can understand the thinking that a SC customer will capitulate rather than fight a lawsuit in Ohio, but suing eBay when your entire business depends upon it?! That just seems ridiculously foolish to me.

  38. Trevor says:

    To quote Ken:
    "Some stories have a good guy and a bad guy, a white hat and a black hat.

    This is not one of those stories. This is a story in which everybody is pissing me off."

    So Med Express is indeed acting like a bully, trying to remove a comment that is true. That's wrong, and they should be slapped down for bringing a ridiculous lawsuit against their customer over telling her story–a true story.

    But Ms. Nicholls is complaining about Med Express when the actual problem is USPS. I don't see her as a white hat here, the kindest interpretation I can give is that she's kinda dumb.

    But definitely not deserving of a lawsuit.

  39. MCB says:

    They sued eBay? Seriously? Like they actually thought that was a good idea and did that?

  40. Nicholas Weaver says:

    No, Ms Nicholls is PERFECTLY a white hat in this: The shipper is incompetent, because this is not the only such incident by the shipper's own admission.

  41. Jon says:

    How in the world they concluded that publicity for maliciously suing their own customers is better for their business than letting it be known that they made a postage error is beyond me. Speaking as someone who has actually purchased medical equipment from Ebay, they've definitely eliminated me from their potential customer base.

  42. Dan Weber says:

    There are many problems with eBay, but suing someone for such a minor ding is not the way to handle it.

  43. Raymond Setzer says:

    The missing pieces of information here are just HOW was the shipping process done? Did the seller take it to the PO and pay what the person at the counter told them? Or did the seller use their own scale, print the postage off the printer and only then take it to the PO for drop off? If so, the PO does randomly re-weigh packages. Second piece needed is whether the receiver had make a needless trip to the PO to pick up what would have otherwise been delivered to doorstep because of the postage due. I have in the past been left a little 'please put X into this little envelope' things when a package had a minor amount due. I usually avail myself of the penny jar in payment just to be a smart ass.

    How in the world this went from zero to everyone go freeking nuts is just bizzare. What company in their right mind would throw their checkbook at a lawyer over such a trivial matter?

  44. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Trevor – "Promptly after receiving Nicholls' payment, Med Express took the equipment to the Valley City post office. where it was weighed and shipped to Nicholls. Med Express paid the full amount of the shipping cost"

    I don't think its USPS's fault, there is no proof of Med Express's claim they went to the post office. They claim this has happened before, and yet made no effort to avoid the problem happening again. If I've gotten a flat tire driving down the same road 3 out of 5 times who's fault is it when I get a flat for the 4th time?

    The buyer paid for an item and shipping, and Med Express failed to deliver. Nothing the buyer did lead to this problem, and now for reporting the facts – 'I wasn't happy, item came postage due' she is being sued.
    She didn't claim they ate the Lindbergh baby, sent evil spirits to possess her cat, were secretly aliens here to steal our precious bodily fluids.

  45. John Ammon says:

    @TAC – lulz for the precious bodily fluids reference :P

  46. mcinsand says:

    I'm glad a different eBayer didn't think of this a few years ago. I bought what was advertised as a tube amp, and it was sand-state all the way. This really ticked me off, and I still do not think that a person could accidentally sell something as a tube amplifier when the transistors with heatsinks are mounted on the back. So, I left a negative view. Wow, but the way the seller went off on me. Although you could argue that I should have contacted him first, he should have been far more apologetic and understanding when something that was sold as X was clearly Y.

    Had he known about this Med Express sort of baloney, I have no doubt that he would have filed such actions.

  47. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @John Ammon – every lalalala is sacred… every lalalala is good….

  48. Jon says:

    Tempted to use the "contact seller" button on Ebay to leave them a question. Dear Med Express, Your feedback rating is 99.3% how can I trust that is your true feedback considering that I have read several news articles which state that you are suing a client for leaving an admittedly true complaint about your service. Why should I purchase my medical equipment from someone who will sue me If they screw up? Why should I risk the extra expense? Wouldn't I be better off ordering from a company that takes responsibility for their own mistakes?

  49. Akboss says:

    Here is what I sent them.
    Wonder if they will now sue me?

    At least now I know that I will not purchase anything from your company.
    I had a need but I will go elsewhere.

    This isnt due to a low rating but to your attacks on people who do leave you a low rating.
    Suing people because of what they say goes against everything I hold most dear.
    This wasnt why I served in the military just so you could browbeat some person for a negative remark.

    Put on your big boy pants, suck it up and realize that word is spreading rapidly on the internet that your company is a troll.

  50. Undertheradar76 says:

    @Lizard: "terminal asshole" made me spit out my drink. Brings to mind an image of one final Master Asshole at the end of a long line of assholes.

  51. Andy (not Andy) says:

    For those who think the buyer is part of the problem here: All she did is put something in the review that was true. Sure, it was only $1.44, but, it was true. All the company really needed to do was say "Hey, we messed up, and have already offered Miss X the $1.44 to fix this issue."

    Anyone reading that could have followed that trail. *Every* company screws up once in a while. How they respond to said screwups really tells the measure of said company. Suing people for telling others that you made a small oopsy is not the right response.

  52. That Seattle Guy says:

    …posted negative feedback and comments for the transaction on Ebay's website and gave Med Express low ratings in the Detailed Seller Ratings section of Ebay's Feedback Forum…

    This portion of the complaint struck me as quite odd. DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) left by buyers on Ebay are AFAIK completely anonymous (unlike feedback itself which by nature is tied to a particular user and transaction). How can Med Express know with such certainty that it was Nicholls that left low DSRs, when it might have been one or more of other customers?

    Also, I wonder very much at the veracity of the "we took it to the post office and they weighed it for us" statement. Any Ebay seller of any non-trivial size is going to have their own postal scale and print their own postage/shipping labels, not trundle the package down to the PO and stand in line every time an auction ends. A scenario where Med Express actually tried to shave a few pennies by under-weighing their package – and then getting caught by an accurate weighing at the USPS receiving end – seems entirely plausible to me.

    /TSG/

  53. Andy (not Andy) says:

    After looking at the feedback page, this is just *really* stupid on the part of the lawyer. There's 300 positive, 2 negative, and 2 neutral in the last 12 months, and both the neutrals and negative have appropriate replies, including the one cited in the case. The reply to the postage due one is a bit limp, but, anyone who looks at the company's going to see 300 to 2, 99.3% positive, and hit the buy button if they like the price. I would.

    Except for the fact about the lawsuit. That'll put them on my blacklist.

  54. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Andy (not Andy) – one has to wonder if the lawyer was emboldened by successfully getting 8 other people to change their reviews with threats.

  55. Aaron S. says:

    Ohio must have a Rule 11 equivalent…

  56. Chad Miller says:

    Having worked in a business that got something like 95% of its revenue from ebay sales…Lizard is right about everything. All of it. I'm convinced that user reviews of any kind shouldn't have more than like/dislike (with perhaps a "meh" button) because 5 point scales inevitably turn into "4/5 = bad, 5/5 = mediocre to good, lower = utter trainwreck". I don't know if it's been improved since I stopped paying attention, but when I was in the business it was common knowledge that you wanted to hold on to perfect or near-perfect ratings with a death grip lest you become "merely" a 4.8/5 company and start dipping in the search ratings.

    That said, to hell with these guys. In their position I absolutely would have sent an email along the lines of "sorry this happened, of course you'll get a full refund. Would you consider updating your feedback to say so?" but the legal threats are beyond the pale.

  57. Mark Lyon says:

    Am I the only one tempted to order one of their $5 free shipping item to make certain all who read their feedback know about this behavior?

  58. Nik B. says:

    Mistakes happen – it's entirely possible that somewhere along the line the wrong package was weighed, the wrong weight was input in the system, or the wrong postage was affixed, or that post office is wrong and the correct postage was paid and affixed.

    I think it's a little silly to leave negative feedback over this if the company is willing to work with the buyer to make this right. Personally, I'd have dealt with by offering to refund the entire auction payment or up to $50. If after the customer received the refund, she did not reconsider or update her feedback, I'd write a polite e-mail requesting that she re-evaluate her choice. If she didn't, I would let the feedback stand, and simply add a comment describing the circumstances, my actions and conveying my regrets for the inconvenience.

    If the seller had done the above and hadn't resorted to thuggish legal games, I'd have sided with them no questions asked and written this off as just a disgruntled customer.

  59. Jack says:

    @Nicholas Weaver:
    If you read the complaint linked to in Levy's article, the "President of Med Express" Richard A. Radley filed an Affidavit saying:

    "Due to a dispute over $1.44 in excess postage charges, and rather than accepting my offer for a full reimbursement of the postage due cost, Defendant Amy Nicholls falsely posted false and slanderous statements on the website owned by Ebay, Inc. in the form of negative feedback on the transaction and low ratings in Ebay's Detailed Seller Ratings section."

    There is no malpractice – Med Express knows full well what they are doing and no doubt are asking their lawyer to go forward with it. I really do hope they get what they deserve.

  60. Steve White says:

    Hi, I used the Ebay messaging system to leave Med Express sales the message at the bottom of this comment. They didn't think this out, did they.

    "Dear med_express_sales,

    Hello, I've encountered your name from posts at the websites Instapundit and Popehat, about your suing one of your customers, Amy Nichols, for her leaving negative feedback that turns out to be true.

    Is your company perhaps aware of the "Barbara Streisand Effect"? You might wish to google it, for you are about to become far better known to the public then you could ever ask, and not for a good reason.

    After reading these blogs, I will certainly take care not to do business with you in the future on Ebay.

    Congratulations."

  61. stef says:

    This isn't a weakness in the legal system so much as a weakness of the power of negative feedback and comments. This sub-$2 mistake which Med Express claims isn't their fault will probably cost them far more than that.

    If they were not responsible for the mistake, then the negative feedback is actually "false" even if the statement that it was postage due is true. It attributes the mistake to them, causing them actual harm.

    Obviously, Med Express handled this like a bunch of douchebags. They should've immediately refunded the difference, and called the person to request they change the feedback. Now, they're on record as douchebags, and it will bite them. However, I don't think this is an issue of stifling speech. They may have suffered actual harm through no fault of their own, caused by the defendant.

  62. Jack says:

    What bothers me most about the complaint is that it never states exactly Nicholls "False and Slanderous" statements were… I wonder if Order arrived with postage due with no communication from seller beforehand. wins the record for shortest communication that generated a "You are Libel" lawsuit? 11 words with 76 characters – barely half of a tweet. It has to be SOME kind of record…

  63. Andy (not Andy) says:

    @stef: How the hell can you say it was 'caused by the defendant'?

    Doesn't matter *who* caused the postage due. It was NOT caused by the defendant, in any case. She ordered from Med Express. Package was received Postage Due. She acted in good faith in recording this in feedback. Doesn't matter if someone else screwed up. She still said in good faith a true statement according to the facts she knew.

    Again, handled VERY badly by medexpress_sales.

  64. desconhecido says:

    So a true statement can actually be "false"? The mind boggles.

  65. naught_for_naught says:

    >Lizard

    According to Walter, no. According to Med Express, maybe.

  66. MattS says:

    "Edited again to add: Thanks to Prof. Reynolds of Instapundit for the link to this. It's possible Med Express didn't think this plan all the way through."

    The link only goes to the Instapundit home page. Did you have a particular story in mind?

  67. vb_techie says:

    Opened an eBay account specifically to leave this:

    I was wondering if you could explain why you are suing somebody in order to make them remove negative, but accurate, feedback? You even acknowledge in your reply to her comment that you had "no idea there was postage due." This would certainly explain WHY you didn't communicate w/the buyer ahead of time, but it doesn't mean she "falsely" slandered Med Express.

    Thank you for your time.

    [link to this page]

    I wonder how many emails it would take before they realize they should reconsider their stance?

  68. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Nik B. if only Med Express had written it off as a disgruntled customer.

    It really makes me want to find an Ohio lawyer who can access state cases to see if they have filed these types of BS before. With 8 changed feedbacks on their page and the full steam ahead approach they are taking, this can't be the first time they did this.

  69. Wes says:

    FWIW, I sent a message to med_express_sales and
    received the reply below. Conspicuous is the lack of
    a single fact which would justify their suit.

    *********************
    Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with bruised feelings or a "We'll
    show her!" mentality. Ebay charges thousands of dollars more when low
    DSR's or negative feedback is left. This negative feedback was left because
    a package came postage due for $1.44 (which we volunteered to pay). Not
    only was this unintentional, but something the central Post Office
    assessed, even though the package was weighed at our local post office
    branch.

    Buyers must realize that leaving feedback must be done in a
    factual way and not based on emotion. This had nothing to do with the
    product, the shipping charges or the ship time, but was the result of Ms.
    Nichols being "upset" over postage due. Her reaction can potentially cost
    us tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the next year – all over
    $1.44.

    We tried everything to resolve this issue with her. We explained
    the financial reasons behind our request to revise her feedback. We
    apologized and offered to make this up to her. She ignored our requests and
    Ebay will not amend the complaint unless by court order.

    There are two
    sides to every argument. We are not persecuting her but her actions can
    potentially (based on current ebay sales) cost us over $5,000.00.
    ****************************

  70. While I don't agree there should have been a lawsuit, I think it's a bit of a dick move to file a bad faith complaint with EBay when they offered to pay for the added shipping when contacted.

    The fact that the person complains that they weren't contacted in advance that there would be postage due when the sender had NO IDEA that there would be postage due, goes to show how small minded the recipient is.

    On the other hand, if Med Express had either used Priority Shipping (flat rate boxes), or a reputable shipping company like FedEx, DHL or UPS who doesn't jack you around with postage due surprises then this entire problem would never have occurred.

    I think it's time for them to have a pop-up on USPS shipping that warns that the USPS can add postage due without warning.

    Come to think of it, I may have to start adding that to MY order pages… 0.0

    Cheers!!

  71. Dustin says:

    "Mistakes happen – it's entirely possible that somewhere along the line the wrong package was weighed, the wrong weight was input in the system, or the wrong postage was affixed, or that post office is wrong and the correct postage was paid and affixed.

    I think it's a little silly to leave negative feedback over this if the company is willing to work with the buyer to make this right."

    I completely disagree. This is a minor issue, but the feedback was very accurate about the minor issue. A seller who makes this mistake is inferior to one that doesn't. I want to know this when I purchase stuff online.

    The correct response to would be a follow up comment apologizing for the error and noting that the buyer was refunded at least the postage.

    The buyer was doing a favor to the rest of the ebay community by being accurate about a seller's mistake. Like others, I am suspicious about the eight revised reviews.

  72. MCB says:

    The customer WILL be satisfied or there will be consequences.

  73. Dustin says:

    And this wouldn't have impacted my purchases a bit, unless it happened several times. Which I suspect is the case, given the seller's behavior.

    But that isn't important.

    What's important is that this guy is abusing the legal system over such a minor thing… because it's such a minor thing that they expect this to work. It's bullying and the only way to stop it is to treat it like a serious lawsuit.

  74. Andy (not Andy) says:

    The fact that her feedback on *their* mistake might cost them $5000 over the next year is *irrelevant*. They made the mistake. Not the customer.

    She put true feedback on Ebay, and is now being sued for it. That's wrong. Period.

  75. @Wes, if you would send me a screen shot of the eBay message, I'd be grateful

    @Hikaru: the complaint was not "bad faith"; it was just a criticism. Seems to me your response to the posting of such criticism is a bit harsh.

    @stef and @HIkaru At the same time, it is amazing that a single modest criticism would be enough to cost a seller $5000 in increased eBay charges. Can other eBay users confirm whether med_express_sales' specific assertion in that regard is correct? If so, it strikes me as a problem with eBay (not one for which it can be sued, of course).

  76. Martin says:

    If the shipping is part of the sale, then it's also subject to feedback. I know that 20+ minutes of my time to run down to the post office–during business hours when they're open–is worth one HECK of a lot more than $1.44. I imagine Ms. Nichols gets paid something for her time, too. Did med_express_sales offer to reimburse her for her time and trouble? For the gas she used to drive to the post office? How about for whatever business she may have lost by having to spend work hours to pick up a package that was supposed to be shipped to her door? If not, then they didn't make right the harm caused her by THEIR failure to verify package weight before shipping had caused. THEY hired the post office to do a job (carry the package). THEIR subcontractor screwed up, and as a result, Ms. Nichols suffered actual harm. They're lucky that all she did was leave them a fairly restrained, concise negative comment.

  77. Martin says:

    Quoth med_express_sales: "We tried everything to resolve this issue with her. We explained the financial reasons behind our request to revise her feedback. We apologized and offered to make this up to her. She ignored our requests and Ebay will not amend the complaint unless by court order."

    Looks med_express_sales must have been fresh out of "15 minutes of my life that I can never get back."

  78. John Ammon says:

    @Wes – that response is vile.

    It also highlights the complete lack of respect for customer reviews. It was a bad review, it happens, get over it. And if it's going to cost you $5000 over the course of a year, maybe it's time to stop using ebays flawed system to hock your crap?

  79. Chad Miller says:

    Paul Levy: Not completely certain where the $5000 figure is coming from or how realistic it is, but here's an example of the kind of thing they could be afraid of losing:

    http://ebay.about.com/od/glossaryofebayterms/g/Top-Rated-Seller.htm

    Sadly, it used to be even worse: http://ebay.about.com/od/sellingeffectivel1/a/Understanding-The-Spring-2012-Seller-Update.htm

    For those who don't want to read that second link, it used to be the case that someone could order something from you, refuse to pay for it, then give you negative feedback for doing anything about it!

    On a somewhat tangential note, here are a couple stories of my own from dealing with ebay (and why I would never want to sell on them in volume if it were my own capital):

    -I post an item, which gets bid close to the price we were expecting within 12 hours. Over the night, ebay removes it because of a recall. I do the necessary research to find out that, while the manufacturer had made one recall within the last five years, it was not for that item or even one resembling it. Doesn't matter, it was flagged. I ask ebay support if it's official policy that one recall of one product = blacklisted forever or if they just refuse to correct any mistake ever. No response.

    -We post a secondhand item in the original box. The originating company sends a takedown notice for trademark infringement. ebay takes it down. We mention "doctrine of first sale" and that the right to resell used items is pretty well established. Doesn't matter, there was a complaint.

  80. Chad Miller says:

    Since there's a lot of speculation about this, the customer apparently did mention that it was more about the inconvenience than the money, which I understand. I've had to pick up stuff at the post office because of things like typos in my address, at no charge to myself, and it is pretty annoying. I would leave neutral feedback for it, but I don't think negative is egregious or anything.

  81. Andy (not Andy) says:

    I would leave neutral feedback for it, but I don't think negative is egregious or anything.

    Agreed. It's feedback, which means it's in the eye of the beholder (customer) whether it's neutral or negative.

  82. Matthew Cline says:

    "If this was federal court, you'd be up for a rule 11 motion between your own complaint admitting the truth of the 'libelous' statement and your subsequent phone call. You should hope that there is no Ohio equivalent. But there probably is."

    Could there be any state where there's no rule against a lawyer filing a lawsuit which s/he knows it has no basis? I mean, that would be like the state shouting "Come and file as many baseless lawsuits as you like! Wheeee!"

  83. That Seattle Guy says:

    "Your new horseless carriage will cost us $5000 over the next year due to lost sales of our buggy whips. We have entreated you not to continue to sell your product, but you have ignored our requests. Since only a court order can prevent the sale of your product, so have no choice but to file this suit against you."

    Yes, there are two sides to every story, indeed.

  84. TR says:

    So they think this might cost them $5k in future sales…. whatever number cruncher came up with that needs to crunch the numbers from the bad publicity they are now getting and see which is going to do more harm.

    In any event, if their complaint makes that loss of future sales claim, I find it hard to see how they could pin in all on one bad rating when there are two. At the most, it would have to be split 50/50. (Not that I agree with their line of thought at all) No different then if you had two bad marks on your credit, went to re-fi your home, and got a higher rate then you should have. Even if one of those dings was in error, you would never win against them since there is one other ding on your report. (Generally speaking)

  85. Chad Miller says:

    TR, they're asserting that $5K is in added seller fees. ebay discounts fees for large volume sellers with a certain percentage of positive feedback, so said volume sellers become terrified of falling below certain thresholds. One such threshold being half a percent.

  86. That Anonymous Coward says:

    "can potentially"
    In other words nothing bad has happened to us, but we are willing to have eBay end our account by filing a lawsuit.

    eBay is a business, you don't have a right to use them. They can terminate your account in a heartbeat. They can suspend your paypal for kicks.

    I do not think they considered how fing stupid they are being in pursuing this matter.

    But I guess when you move on from construction to ebaying medical supplies and other random junk you come across for 3 years your a professional…

    eBay should so investigate the 8 changed complaints and see if legal threats were made.

  87. Chad Miller says:

    So I did the math from that "Top Seller" link I posted earlier. There are so many factors at play in determining how much they're paying in Final Value Fees, but some arithmetic says that if they're dealing in sufficiently expensive items, a Top Seller discount could feasibly hit $5K with something like 100-500 items, assuming auctions that hit the $250 cap, or $1K fixed price listings. They'd need more sales to hit that threshold if you relax those assumptions, but the $5K figure seems not-crazy to me. Not saying this justifies what they're doing, but it might explain it.

  88. MCB says:

    @TAC,

    They have a right to an eBay discount. They also have a right to satisfied consumers. And the right to never deal with especially unreasonable or demanding consumers. It's right there in the constitution.

  89. Andy (not Andy) says:

    @Chad: That may be true, but I'm thinking bad Internet publicity may cost them more than the fees changed by the feedback.

    Long term biting off of nose to short term spite one's face.

  90. Lucy says:

    Not only are they making a very bad business decision in the larger scheme of things, I think they haven't carefully considered the legal advise they are buying.

    " What?! Negative feedback you say?! Sue the bastards!!!"

    Looking forward to justice on this one.

  91. Hulinut says:

    Has anybody reported them to ebay for feedback extortion as Nick N suggested near the top? Going through the help system all I can find is a phone number and I can't afford to make international phone calls.

  92. Akboss says:

    I posted that I sent them an email on ebay here is their answer.

    "Dear ,

    Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with bruised feelings or a "We'll
    show her!" mentality. Ebay charges thousands of dollars more when low
    DSR's or negative feedback is left. This negative feedback was left because
    a package came postage due for $1.44 (which we volunteered to pay). Not
    only was this unintentional, but something the central Post Office
    assessed, even though the package was weighed at our local post office
    branch.

    Buyers must realize that leaving feedback must be done in a
    factual way and not based on emotion. This had nothing to do with the
    product, the shipping charges or the ship time, but was the result of Ms.
    Nichols being "upset" over postage due. Her reaction can potentially cost
    us tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the next year – all over
    $1.44.

    We tried everything to resolve this issue with her. We explained
    the financial reasons behind our request to revise her feedback. We
    apologized and offered to make this up to her. She ignored our requests and
    Ebay will not amend the complaint unless by court order.

    There are two
    sides to every argument. We are not persecuting her but her actions can
    potentially (based on current ebay sales) cost us over $5,000.00."

  93. Dan Weber says:

    I feel a little bad for them, in that eBay can be incredibly unreasonable with sellers. Once I had a dispute, and I was the buyer, and eBay came down so heavily on my side, without any explanation, that I actually felt bad for the seller with whom I had a dispute.

    Still, the answer is not to sue a person who leaves negative feedback. That's nuts. It's not her fault that eBay's policies suck.

  94. MarkH says:

    We live in a rural area, and we buy medical supplies online. The cost is determined and charged to us at time of shipping, including shipping. If it arrives with postage due, it isn't our package so we don't accept it.

    If we aren't home, that isn't even an option because we have to go track down where the package is at (they often say it is UPS shipping, but then the last leg is often a USPS hand-off in rural areas). Either way, we don't get the package on time.

    We are both disabled (hence the need for medical supplies). Going out and finding it and getting it is a lot harder than opening the door and saying "thanks!". That's part of what we pay for.

    They got off easy with their buyer. If it was us, chances are that package needed to be sent twice, or we cancelled it since it didn't show up and we bought from someone else. And we rate accordingly.

  95. Conster says:

    This may be because I don't use eBay, but is it really so terrible for them to have a 99.3% positive feedback instead of 99.7%?

  96. Edward J. Cunningham says:

    I don't want to excuse the plaintiff in this suit, but I've heard that if someone wins an ebay auction and pays by PayPal (which is owned by ebay), PayPal will not release funds to the seller until the buyer gives positive feedback. This may have played a factor in the suit.

  97. Chad Miller says:

    Conster, check the links I posted. Falling below 99.5% is actually significant if you're a high-volume seller.

  98. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Edward J. Cunningham – They got paid. This is solely a vendetta for how dare she leave feedback that wasn't perfect. It might cost us money and we are going to sue her and eBay and we have submitted a TRO to have the evil bad feedback removed until we can sue het for the kajillions we MIGHT loose. How dare she get angry the package arrived postage due, we totally offered to make it up to her and she still gave us bad feedback so we are suing her.

  99. Terry Gibbs says:

    Mr. Levy,

    I teach eBay selling skills. We've talked on the phone in the past. You might remember me. I'm in AZ.

    Anyway, there is NO WAY a single negative feedback would result in $5000 in additional eBay fees.

    Ebay offers a 20% discount on final value fees for sellers who meet some requirements and hurdles.

    Requirements first:

    DSR must receive less than .5% 1 and 2 ratings over a 12 month period.

    The seller must have less than 0.30% buyer complaints closed as unresolved or in the buyer's favor. This buyer complaints follow a path through eBay that allows the seller to respond to a complaint before the buyer can escalate it to a complaint that is counted by eBay for this factor.

    And – this is what they are talking about – The seller must maintain a 98% positive feedback rating for the past 12 months.

    Tracking information must be uploaded to eBay for 90% of the seller's sales in the past month within 1 business day of payment.

    Additionally only listings with 1 day handling times and 14 day money back guarantees are eligible for the 20% discount.

    Checking their current listings, the most expensive items won't get a discount because they don't meet the 1 day handling requirement. These are large items they'll ship by truck so packing and pickup will take more than a day. Also I doubt the trucking companies provide tracking information in a way that will meet eBay's requirement for uploading of tracking information.

    With the smaller items they are specifying 1 day handling and the 14 day return so if they meet the 90% tracking upload threshold and the feedback and DSR percentages, they should be eligible for the discounts.

    This means heavier items sent by truck cannot account for more than 90% of their monthly sales in terms of listings not dollars. Looking at their sales for the period April 1 through April 15, 2013 they had 1 freight sale and 11 smaller sales.

    Taking the heavier and more expensive items off the table for discounts, they don't have enough sales of cheaper items to be paying $5K in yearly eBay fees. This is something you'll find out during the deposition phase – past eBay fees.

    I would bet that even if they had perfect feedback they would not get a discount every month just because in some months they can't meet the 90% threshold for uploading tracking information.

    Some other things that you need to know to understand what you see when you look at the public side of their eBay account.

    Depending on the category, buyers only leave feedback for 20-60% of transactions that are completed. This means looking only at their feedback will not give you a good look at their sales volume.

    Toolhaus.org will pull all neg and neutral feedback for any eBay user. Here's the seller that filed suit:

    http://toolhaus.org/cgi-bin/negs?User=med_express_sales&Dirn=Received+by

    NOTE: sometimes eBay blocks toolhaus so you might have to refresh your browser a few times to get the information.

    At first glance the negatives and neutral feedbacks might seem high, but they are normal. I consider 1 negative for every 300 TRANSACTIONS normal. That's just going to happen as a result of buyers having a bad day or being passive aggressive.

    One last point – to be eligible for the final value fees the listings should have a Top Rated Seller badge on them in search results. They do not currently have this badge so aren't currently getting the discounts. I don't think you can check if they used to get discounts, but when you do the deposition and get their past eBay invoices, you'll be able to see the discounts they actually got.

    Terry

    If you have other questions you can contact me. My email address is terry@ the website linked on my name above. I will treat emails from Mr. Levy as private and not post them online without his permission, but reserve the right to post any other emails without permission.

  100. Dr.Tom says:

    " It's possible Med Express didn't think this plan all the way through." This may be the second largest understatement of the year. (first being something to the effect of "Prenda Law is in trouble.".

    Suing Ebay, when you've already indicated that EBay is not only a big part of your business model, but ESSENTIAL to your business model? Regardless of how stupid these people appear suing their customer for giving honest feedback about an error which is not in dispute, it seems even more inconceivable that someone within the company didn't think that jeopardizing your one conduit to your buying public by filing suit against them might be a poor choice for a company which wishes to remain in business.

    I hope the banner of self-righteousness they have somewhat surprisingly unfurled and broadcast is enough to keep them warm when it's all they have left to wrap themselves in against the unrelenting cold of bankruptcy…

  101. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Chad Miller – so because they are using a marketplace with those rules, she is to accept bad service and not say anything bad about them? Why have a feedback system at all then?

    Fact – She ordered and paid for an item and shipping.
    Fact – Item arrived postage due.
    Fact – She posted feedback expressing her unhappiness with the transaction and gave the factual reason for it.
    Opinion – The seller is a douchebag who cares more about his sacred eBay rating than anything else.
    Fact – He is making a slander claim.
    Fact – He is seeking to be paid for damages he has NOT incurred from her bad rating.
    Opinion – Sellers lawyer knows the action is frivolous and seems perfectly willing to go forward to cost her money because his client is butthurt.
    Opinion – there are 8 recorded changes to the feedback given to this douche, I would be unsurprised to learn this lawsuit tactic has been done before to someone who meekly accepted being abused by a lawyer who has no issue filing merit lacking claims.
    Fact – He is suing eBay.
    Opinion – I hope they ban his sorry behind for life.
    Fact – His house has to many statues in the front yard.
    Fact – For having been in construction the property doesn't look well maintained in the StreetView images.
    Fact – I hate bullies.

  102. Basil Forthrightly says:

    From the comments and research of others, it looks like:
    A) purchaser left truthful negative feedback
    B) said feedback is likely to move seller over a threshold in eBay's reputation system, costing seller real money, plausibly $5k, by reducing a volume discount on eBay fees.
    C) seller sues purchaser because he's injured by eBay's reaction to purchaser's feedback

    This is directly analogous to:
    A) Siskel and Ebert present a fair, negative review of a movie by United Artists
    B) the general public respond to the review by spending their entertainment dollars on something else and the UA movie is box office flop
    C) UA sues Siskel and Ebert

  103. JWH says:

    I looked up the email address for an Ohio newspaper and sent this blog entry to them.

  104. John Ammon says:

    I told a friend about this story and we had a big argument over it. They've been an on-again-off-again buyer and seller on eBay for years, and They've been screwed by bad buyers and bad sellers before. It basically boiled down to this:

    Me – I think that feedback should be given honestly, without any "backscratching" or "well they offered to fix it, I'll omit the issue I had" mentality. Feedback should not be an under-the-table system where favors are done to incur better feedback, it should be based on the transaction alone.

    Them – They kept telling me that the buyer was stupid for not following "the system", i.e. the "well, they fixed it, I'll say they were 100% perfect" system that is treated as the unspoken rule for people who are hardcore into ebay.

    My biggest problem with that stance is that you can't expect people to follow some nebulous, unspoken "code", they only have to follow the TOS, which as I understand it, the buyer did.

    I readily admit that the buyer probably could have handled the situation better, but the bigger problem is filing a lawsuit (which they also admitted was mindlessly stupid of the seller, especially by targeting ebay as well), this is the wrong way to solve a problem. As my high-school physics teacher used to say "Digestive Residue Does Occur", it's important to know when to roll with the punches, and they should have. Both sides seem to be acting rather irrationally, but filing a lawsuit takes it to an extreme that it shouldn't be.

    She's entitled to her review, which is truthful, even if she's not following some secret code of buyer-seller relations designed to make sure that no real honest feedback is ever recorded.

    I've read horror stories of people getting away with these shenanigans, I hope that's not the case here.

  105. Jennifer. says:

    I am not a fancy pants lawyer :-). I have worked as an Office Manager in the past and I have to say that when a business ships via USPS they have a system in place to accurately measure shipping costs. The fact that this has happened more than once by their own admission says either their process is faulty or their equipment is faulty. Either way, they knew there was a problem but they continued to send out packages that might arrive postage due. This information combined with the fact that the company works out of a city with a population of 35,000 alludes to the fact that they are probably trying to fudge their postage on a regular basis and USPS has started randomly weighing their packages because they have picked up on a pattern. My guess is that they want the feedback removed because this probably happens a lot more often than they want to admit and if more than one person reviews on this information, then the pattern will emerge. It would be incredibly difficult for a large scale shipping operation to continuously, unknowingly send out packages with the wrong postage. I could be wrong, but with the multiple positions I have had that have mail room duties involved, I highly doubt this was a one time error. Just wanted to voice my opinion in case others have not had the same work experience I have.

  106. Dustin says:

    "Both sides seem to be acting rather irrationally, but filing a lawsuit takes it to an extreme that it shouldn't be."

    for the life of me I cannot understand any way the buyer was acting irrationally. Or even unkindly. She is just telling it like it is. Med Express should have THANKED her for her honest review and her business in its response, which should have acknowledged the error, paid the difference (and perhaps a little more) and promised to fix the problem going forward.

    That's normal customer service.

  107. John Ammon says:

    @Dustin – I definitely think there was some level of irrationality in posting the review before contacting them (or after telling them and being offered a refund). But like I said, no one's completely innocent here, they both have a little bit of egg on their face.

  108. Chad Miller says:

    "@Chad Miller – so because they are using a marketplace with those rules, she is to accept bad service and not say anything bad about them? Why have a feedback system at all then?"

    No, and if you think this is my position I ask you to simply read my earlier posts again since I said the exact opposite repeatedly.

  109. Terry Gibbs says:

    I did some quick math while I walked alongside the dog on her nightly cat hunt. (She didn't see any tonight)

    It would take 400 $1000 transactions that all meet the requirements for the discount to get to $5k in discounts..

    MATH: The fees on a $1000 transaction are $62.50
    20% of $62.50 is $12.50
    $5000/$12.50 = 400

    It would take 4545 $50 transactions to get a $5k total discount.

    MATH: The fees on a $50 transaction are $5.50.
    20% discount of $5.50 is $1.10.
    $5000/$1.10 = 4545

    The fees on the two examples above are based on sales in the OTHER eBay categories. Some of the seller in question's fees are in categories with LOWER final value fee schedules. Lower fees would require more sales to get to the claimed $5,000 discount.

    To get a $5000 discount fees means the seller is paying eBay $25,000 in final value fees.

    Math: $5000 = Total Final Value Fees X .20
    5000/.20 = $25,000

    Based on my look at this seller's past sales that I can see, he isn't doing enough sales to get a discount that high.

    As an aside, I teach my students to ignore the final value fee discounts for purposes of evaluating their eBay businesses. I do this because the discounts are outside the seller's control.

    Terry

  110. Chad Miller says:

    Basil, here is a slightly more accurate version of your scenario B:

    A) Ebert gives a movie a four-star review
    B) Nearly all movie theatres, which are owned by the same company, stop giving you a reasonable showing schedule to your movie if less than 39/40 reviewers give your movie a 5/5, but nobody told Ebert this and he's reviewing movies honestly.
    C) Movie company sues Ebert and the movie theatres, which is wrong on every level and looks even more insane if you don't already know about B

    FWIW, I'm with John Ammon's take on this; it is not J Random Consumer's job to know that a 5 star scale in practice means 4 or 5 stars, but ebay's job to have a system that makes sense. And Terry Gibbs, thanks for making your post so I'm less compelled to speculate based on half-remembered stuff from years past.

  111. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Chad Miller – trying to find any justification for the actions is a losing proposition.
    I might suffer financial damage, at some point, in the future. That is akin to suing someone who lives on your block because they might one day hit you with their car, because one time they got kinda close. His entire lawsuit is based on she used the review system provided in the correct manner and I'm butthurt.

    Not saying that is your position, just meh that anyone would look to find something that might provide a reason for clearly unreasonable behavior.

    @John Ammon – we only have his statement she didn't contact him first. He also said correct postage was applied, and he MIGHT suffer these huge damages from 1 persons negative eBay review. He might be coming from a deficit in believability.

  112. Chris R. says:

    @John Ammon, no matter your personal feelings on how feedback should work on eBay, the buyer told the truth and rated the seller how they honestly felt.

  113. Kirk Taylor says:

    I have to say that, even if the company makes things right by offering a refund of the $1.44 (though I would expect more for my hassle) other buyers might be interested in the fact that a package arrived postage due. A full airing of the facts in feedback would have been the right way:
    The package arrived balance due
    We offered a refund of fees
    Refund of fees not good enough due to my time
    How bout a future discount
    Okay, but it was still postage due

    Vice:
    Postage due
    Refund?
    eh
    SUE!!!!!!

  114. John Ammon says:

    @TAH & Chris R – I think you're misunderstanding my ultimate stance on this. She's 100% within her means to leave that feedback and I'm glad she did. There's no reason whatsoever to sue over that.

    But in these kind of scenarios, the blame never lands squarely on one person for letting things get out of hand.

  115. James Pollock says:

    People who are focusing on the possible increased ebay fees are performing an incorrect analysis.
    The first question is "did the defendant do anything wrong", and only if the answer is yes do you move on to calculating damages.
    In this case, defendant DID NOT libel plaintiff, and if the plaintiff loses discounts (or customers) because of they way they handled this transaction is immaterial.
    I assume Ebay's response to the complaint reads, in full, as "Nuh-uh, because CDA section 230, and also failure to state a claim".

    I think that if I were an executive at Med Express Sales, I'd be investigating alternative market-makers right about now. Perhaps Amazon.

  116. Delvan says:

    Perhaps they'll login to their account from ebay.co.uk, then sue her in England.

    Welcome to the Queen's league. Govern thyself accordingly.

  117. Martin says:

    Interesting. Wonder if it's the same Richard Radey:

    http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/8/2012/2012-ohio-163.pdf

  118. apauld says:

    As someone who makes 100% of my living selling on ebay I could probably add to the discussion on various levels. However, this situation is actually rather simple. Med Express is just not doing a good job at running their business.

  119. Martin says:

    This clearly IS the same Richard Radey. Looks like he's no stranger to First Amendment issues…

    http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=19897254OhioApp3d18_170.xml&docbase=CSLWAR2-1986-2006

  120. Anony Mouse says:

    "In this case, defendant DID NOT libel plaintiff"

    I think the argument runs like this:

    1) The negative feedback was over postage due
    2) Postage was due because the USPS screwed up not us
    3) We were given negative feedback
    4) Since the feedback was against us and since it wasn't our fault, it's libel

    So it's not that she's saying, "there was postage due," (which is true and thus not libelous) it's that she's saying, "there was postage due AND it was Med Express's fault," (which they contend wasn't true and thus libelous).

    This seems a pretty fine hair to be splitting. It also seems that if they can simply produce a receipt, it will go a long way towards moving this past he-said-she-said.

    IANAL, YMMV, LLAP, support the AAAAA

  121. Thad says:

    I don't buy (oh, maybe once or twice) or sell on e-bay, and the details of how business is done are a revelation to me.

    Med Express complain that negative feeback may cost them more. That would be a feature of their agreement with ebay. How, exactly, is that the customer's problem?

    Negative: didn't like the colour of the package.

    Negative: it arrived just as I sat down for tea.

    Negative: I'm just in a bad mood today.

    —all stupid; all unreasonable, but wouldn't that be for other potential customers to judge?

    According to the Toolhaus link given above, somebody would rather chew their arm off than deal with Med Express again.

    Google: do your worst!

  122. Lesley Kemp says:

    I've said it before and I'll say it again – if this kind of libel culture isn't knocked on the head we'll all be afraid to pass wind in public. Popehat to the rescue. Ta-dahhh!

  123. Narad says:

    Vice:
    Postage due
    Refund?
    eh
    SUE!!!!!!

    To wit.

  124. David Schwartz says:

    @Anony Mouse If that's the argument they're making, why don't they say so? Instead, they just say her statement is false. And, in any event, it's completely implausible. She is not alleging that Med Express intentionally underpaid the postage. She is simply stating that the item arrived postage due, an inconvenience that she is making other buyers aware of.

    If it's not Med Express' fault, then she should be the only one reporting this problem and it will be lost in the noise. But if Med Express has some problem they're not addressing, somebody has to tell people about it first or the feedback system becomes useless.

  125. Scote says:

    Wes • Apr 15, 2013 @3:06 pm

    FWIW, I sent a message to med_express_sales and

    Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with bruised feelings or a "We'll
    show her!" mentality. Ebay charges thousands of dollars more when low
    DSR's or negative feedback is left. This negative feedback was left because
    a package came postage due for $1.44 (which we volunteered to pay). Not
    only was this unintentional, but something the central Post Office
    assessed, even though the package was weighed at our local post office
    branch.

    Buyers must realize that leaving feedback must be done in a
    factual way and not based on emotion. This had nothing to do with the
    product, the shipping charges or the ship time, but was the result of Ms.
    Nichols being "upset" over postage due. Her reaction can potentially cost
    us tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the next year – all over
    $1.44.

    We tried everything to resolve this issue with her. We explained
    the financial reasons behind our request to revise her feedback. We
    apologized and offered to make this up to her. She ignored our requests and
    Ebay will not amend the complaint unless by court order.

    There are two
    sides to every argument. We are not persecuting her but her actions can
    potentially (based on current ebay sales) cost us over $5,000.00.

    They don't seem to get that it is irrelevant to the defamation case whether eBay chooses to extend a discount to them or not based on buyer feedback. IANAL, but I would expect that had she made *false* statements of fact then they might have a case, but for true statements that they stipulate are true then all the whining about how much they'll loose is so much blather. Sure, sucks to be them, but that isn't a valid basis to sue the woman.

    On the other hand, eBay seems to have set up a perverse incentive with their 20% discount on Final Valuation Fees such that sellers don't just try to provide good service but rather they are motivated to extort positive feedback. eBay needs to suspend this seller immediately for the lawsuit which is clear, IMO, feedback extortion on steroids, truckloads and truckloads of steroids.

    I hope med express discovers that rather than save thousands of dollars through savings by cleaning up their negative feedback that this ill conceived foray into baseless legal thugery costs them far more than they could have gained. The stood to gain 20% of their ebay fees. They stand to loose **all** of their eBay sales profits if they get bounced out of eBay for this.

  126. David Schwartz says:

    @Anony Mouse: Actually, it is almost certainly their fault. Look at their response to her feedback, "This has happened alot from USPS lately." This indicates that this not an isolated incident. They could have switched shippers, warned customers, tried to resolve the problem with the postal service, or something. And even if they've been doing everything they can, it's still an inconvenience that they've subjective more than one buy to, by their own admission, precisely the kind of thing the eBay feedback system is for.

  127. Conster says:

    Anony Mouse: she didn't actually say that, though, she said "Order arrived with postage due with no communication from seller beforehand.", and their public reply was "Sorry- no idea there was postage due. This has happened alot from USPS lately." So she said "there was postage due, and they didn't warn me beforehand", and they said "Sorry, but not our fault".

    Anyway, I would like to point to others that while Chad Miller and John Ammon have explained that this might have actually hurt their sales, and that the blame may partially lay with Amy Nicholls, respectively, they both have stated they think the lawsuit is ridiculous.
    With that in mind, though, John Ammon: if you say "no one's completely innocent here, they both have a little bit of egg on their face", without specifying how much egg is on their faces, that gives the impression to other people that you think the amount on egg on both their faces is similar – and that really isn't the case. Unless she left a scathing 1-star-on-everything detailed seller rating (they're currently at 4.8/4.9/4.9/4.8 stars, so unless having 4.8 stars is considered a bad mark, I don't see the big deal there either), it's not even anywhere near 10/90, let alone 50/50, egg-on-face-wise.

  128. marleah campbell says:

    Ohio does have a "frivolous filing" statute which would seem appropriate here. Ohio Revised Code, Section 2323.51. It does allow for recovery of expenses including legal fees.

  129. AlphaCentauri says:

    Everyone is in agreement that no matter how reasonable they were to be upset at negative feedback (and any system so sensitive that a single person's feedback is decisive is begging for extortion to occur), the lawsuit is not only unreasonable, it is inexplicably stupid when a company depends on eBay for 100% of their business.

    Unless there's someone in charge with mental issues like Alzheimer's or Asperger's that makes it difficult to see the forest for the trees, I wonder if there is some reason they are willing to destroy their business in such a public way. If I were a creditor, I'd be really worried they were in financial meltdown due to expenses they'd rather not become public, like embezzlement by a relative-employee with a gambling or drug problem, and that they're thinking that no one will wonder where the money went if they have a disastrous legal suit to blame.

    Me, I'll have "eBay píjiŭ" with my popcorn, thanks. ;)

  130. NotImpressedByTrolls says:

    Shouldn't this suit be in the defendant's state, not the plaintiff's? I had thought that was the way it worked. If so, the lawsuit should be in South Carolins, not Ohio.

  131. Jim says:

    Has she taken her negative feedback down? I don't see it on MedExpress' page:

    http://myworld.ebay.com/medexpress/

  132. Ken says:

    It's certainly absurd to sue someone for defamation in this case; but on the other hand, it's also pretty asshole-ish to actually give a company a negative review for an accidental postage fee of less than 1% of the purchase price, when that company has apologies and offered to compensate.

    This strikes me as a case where I have zero sympathy for either of the parties.

  133. Tom Hodgins says:

    There are in fact two current negative reviews against that vendor, the other is:

    “items were listed as new and they were used, they worked good but used”
    —k9catcher550, Aug-27-12 20:13

    http://i.imgur.com/ZfNmVx9.png

  134. Jon says:

    @Jim – that's the wrong seller. See Ken's update.

  135. cb says:

    "This has happened alot from USPS lately"

    So they are aware that something in their current process is routinely causing packages to be sent with insufficient post, but continue on as is? I can't really buy into the "it wasn't our fault" argument given that

  136. bst says:

    I'm really confused about the thinking that could lead to including ebay in the lawsuit. They might expect Amy Nicholls to cave in. If they really do stand to lose $5,000 in discounts (which from comments above appears not to be true) they might think that makes it worth threatening her and getting the review taken down. They might even be willing to take the chance that she would not know about ebay's feedback extortion policy. From reading the policy it looks like her complaining to ebay about the lawsuit could cost them more than the loss of any discounts.

    But how does it make sense to sue ebay when their lawyer admits that they have no case, ebay has the money and the incentive to fight, and ebay has every right to cancel their account no matter how the court case turns out? Surely it will cost more than $5,000 to actually pursue this case with ebay, not even counting the cost if they can no longer sell at all on ebay.

  137. John Ammon says:

    @Scote – You've said it best, I think.

    @Conster – Ok, since we're nit-picking, let's quantify the "egg-on-face-ratio", it seems to me that the Plaintiff has a whole egg on their face and the Defendant has about a half of a teaspoon of egg. I'm not sure why people keep suggesting that I support this insane seller in any way. I certainly don't. If anything I'm suggesting what Scote has said, that is the ebay feedback (extortion) system is flawed and very nearly encourages this behavior. Which I abhor. I've talked to a few people who have suggested to me that if you have negative feedback, it's better etiquette on ebay to just leave no feedback, which seems to me to be a dangerous road to trek down. Because at that point, people are being rewarded for good service, but not punished for bad service.

    The only part in which I think that the Defendant could have shown better judgement was in trying to be more understanding to the seller. Of course, she's under no compulsion to do any such thing. I also, don't think she should ever change her review, it's important information that other buyers need to know.

  138. Goober says:

    http://notboutthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/censorious-thuggery-in-ohio-popehat.html

    Reposted here in an effort to spread the word. I get about 5 visits a year, so take it for what it's worth! :)

  139. engineer says:

    It is worth noting that this kind of abuse is only possible because the "legal system" is run by the government. Consequently, they can file these lawsuits without risk of much recourse from their intended victims. Further, the hassle of defending yourself, or seeking recourse is so much higher because government is so incompetent at providing a legal system.

    Next time you claim that taxes are justified because we need them to provide "justice", remember that justice is denied by your legal system which limits claims, limits defenses and makes the cost of defending yourself so high that many victims simply comply with the demands of these kinds of abusers.

    Leftists are deluded into thinking that if government doesn't do it, it wont' get done. But compared mail to email… the postal service is a joke (and always has been) while email is super efficient. It's this way because email is out of the control of government (and private postal mail was out of government control before the creation of the postal monopoly as well… and it was also much more efficient, but you have to centralize to censor mail.)

    So, given that most of the people on this site are leftists who advocate stealing other people's money and use the funding of the "justice" system as a rationalization, your hypocrisy is laid bare by this case!

  140. John Ammon says:

    @engineer – lolwut?

    You'd probably be surprised at the diversity of the people who read Popehat… though anytime someone comes here looking to find "facists, leftists, pinko-commies, whathaveyou", they somehow manage to convince themselves that the site is filled with whatever political affiliation that they despise…

    If I allowed myself to be classified as anything, it would be a Libertarian with conservative leanings, but I absolutely hate politics.

    So, in true popehat fashion, "Snort my taint".

  141. Resolute says:

    @NotImpressedByTrolls – I can think of two reasons why they would sue in Ohio. The first, obviously, being the lack of anti-SLAPP statutes in Ohio. Gives you a little more freedom to abuse the system. The second is that the entire point is to make it too costly for the defendant to fight. Forcing them to arrange for representation in another state, even if everybody knows the end result will be case tossed for reasons of merit, jurisdiction or both, will eat money and time.

  142. Ken says:

    @engineer: Top-notch trolling. 8/10.

  143. Conster says:

    Yes, engineer, the reason email is so much faster than regular mail is that the government sucks – it has nothing to do with the fact that email is simply transferring data, while mail requires you to deal with the logistics of meatspace. And look, Stephen Colbert agrees with you! http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/422716/january-08-2013/postage-price-hike

  144. James Pollock says:

    "Shouldn't this suit be in the defendant's state, not the plaintiff's? I had thought that was the way it worked. If so, the lawsuit should be in South Carolins, not Ohio."

    You can sue in any state's court that has jurisdiction. A person's home state always has jurisdiction over that person, but you can also obtain jurisdiction in other states depending on what led to the dispute. In this case, it's a sale that took place in Ohio. Defendant can attack Ohio's jurisdiction (or lack thereof) but probably won't because even if successful, it doesn't make the suit go away… it just means that plaintiff has to refile.

  145. Larry Stewart says:

    I left a message for Med Express on ebay to inform them I would
    never be one of their customers.

  146. Steven says:

    All you have to do is look at the Medina County Clerk record. And it is amazing Med Express has had 7 lawsuits dealing with negative feedback on ebay.

    All they need to do is get the court to hide the negative feedback for 6 months, and presto they keep their spotless record.

  147. Bob Brown says:

    I hope Ms. Nicholls has retained the packaging, most especially to include the postage. From that, it will be possible to tell whether the postage was applied by a U.S. Post Office. If the sender used a "Click-and-ship" account, there will be an identifying number. If stamps, then one may not be able to tell, but I've never seen a real Post Office put stamps on a parcel.

  148. Dan Weber says:

    It looks like having the weight of the state brought down upon him for daring to sell dirty greeting cards hasn't given him any empathy about trying to bring the power of the state down on other people.

  149. apauld says:

    Ken • Apr 16, 2013 @9:31 am

    @engineer: Top-notch trolling. 8/10.

    Ken, I almost fell for it. I was going to call you on the top notch trolling comment, then I realized your comment was truly the top notch trolling. 10/10 for you Ken.

  150. SharonA says:

    WOW … did a bit of poking around to see if Medina County had nice searchable online records and they do.

    Med Express has two pages of activity here on the Medina Clerk of the Court's page – just plug in "*MED EXPRESS* in the "Business / Last Name" field here and see for yourself:
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/Search.aspx

    Two neutral-feedback people were sued the same day as Amy Nicholls.

    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/viewdoc.aspx?case=13CIV0352
    and
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=13CIV0353

    So yeah, to answer the speculation here – it looks like Med Express Sales will go after you for anything less than positive feedback. Even if it's truthful.

  151. Hasdrubal says:

    2 questions:

    First, is it possible that they feel confident that they'll win initially in the local Medina* court since the judge is cousin Bob? Are they banking on forcing the defendant to appeal if they end up taking the case to court? Would that explain the lawyer's attitude?

    Second, is there anything legal preventing eBay from peremptorily ending their business relationship with anyone who sues them? (Assuming there isn't a clause in the contract explicitly stating that eBay won't cancel your account if you sue?) Would that be considered discrimination in some way?

    *Medina, by the way, is pronounced meh-DYE-nuh. The rule of thumb for pronouncing Ohio city names is to use the most hick sounding interpretations possible, so Versailles is pronounced vur-SAILS, Russia is pronounced ROOSH-ey, and Lima (of Glee fame) is pronounced LYE-muh. That last is the reason I didn't know the capital of Peru until I got to college.

  152. Ken says:

    Please see important update of AWESOMENESS.

  153. SharonA says:

    Digging into the Medina County records a bit more, Med Express Sales has been pulling Ebay into their lawsuits against negative/neutral-feedback buyers, and buyers for other reasons, since 2010. Ebay's not booted them yet.

    (Previous post with lots of links is still pending moderation, but you could easily find Medina County Clerk's record search with a quick web search).

    The sad thing is, looking at the negative feedback list pulled by Toolhaus, I didn't see anything that was a big red flag. When evaluating a company I looked at the rate of negatives, patterns, and the company's response. Every company goofs now and then. Every company will eventually have a jerk for a buyer or stuff breaking in shipment or so on. It happens, and it's not a deal-killer for me, unless the company is being a jerk about how they handle it.

    Laundering your ratings, and suing people for their ratings, IS a huge deal-killer to me a la "run away from them very very fast never do business with them except at gunpoint" and NEVER trust any ratings of them again.

  154. Damian says:

    I spent half an hour during lunch browsing the Medina County Clerk's website and it appears that Med Express has a history of filing such lawsuits. The standard pattern seems to be file suit in Ohio, serve eBay and the buyer by certified mail (srsly?), then obtain an EX PARTE temporary restraining order from friendly local judge ordering eBay to remove the bad feedback pending further court order. I assume the feedback is removed, eBay seemingly does not bother to file an answer or any other pleading and a few months later Med Express obtains a default money judgment against the buyer only. It appears that eBay takes a passive position in all of this, duly removes the feedback when ordered to by the Medina County judge and is otherwise uninvolved and unconcerned. Following judgment against the buyer, eBay is dismissed as a party, the temporary restraining order expires, but the "temporarily" removed feedback probably stays removed. So even though Med Express seems to be poking the hand that feeds them (eBay), in actuality it seems that eBay doesn't care and Med Express is able to sanitize its feedback through the legal process.

    However, it seems that the Medina County court might now be pushing back on this scheme. In each of the three newly-filed cases, the court has denied the requested TROs and set the matters for hearing.

  155. Delvan says:

    Wow, extra A+ thumbs up SharonA. I was getting some server load error messages while searching for that. Here's a screen cap of the result for when I got through in case that server load problem gets worse for others.

  156. Suzanne says:

    Ohio Rule of Professional Conduct 3.1: A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue in a proceeding, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law…

  157. apauld says:

    This whole thing is just sickening to me. It makes all of us that sell on ebay look bad. I feel like calling ebay to do some major league bitching right now. This person just should not be in this/any business. A good business person would try to learn from all of these problems, and correct the issues so they don't continue. But this jackass just blames the buyers, ebay and even the post office; complete BS.

  158. Terry Gibbs says:

    I'm working on a newsletter article about this, and have questions for you lawyers. . .

    I see in the comments above (SharonA on Apr 16, 2013 @1:08 pm) that this company has a history of suing to get feedback removed.

    My impression is this behavior has been working for them until one of the people who was sued responded by getting representation.

    Can you give me a rough estimate of the cost of filing one of these suits? Court costs and legal fees.

    Once Levy files a response motion do they have to pay to file a reply to the motion?

    When Levy replies, can they drop the suit to cut their losses?

    If they can drop the matter since the victim found representation, does she have a chance of recovering her costs in the absence of an anti-slapp statute?

    If they drop the suit is there a chance a judge could sanction them for filing frivolous lawsuits?

    What I'm really interested in here is what it was costing them to have a judge order eBay to remove the feedback in the previous cases, and what it could cost them now that someone is fighting back.

    Thanks,
    Terry

  159. Patrick says:

    Terry Gibbs: The answer is, "It depends."

    Sorry.

  160. LW says:

    eBay is comfortable with the fact that these swine are getting *money judgements* against any customer who is unhappy with their performance and gives reviews accordingly? How many unhappy customers contacted Med Express and were told they'd better keep their mouths shut or else? How many other sellers are keeping their averages up the same way? Why should anyone trust ratings on eBay after this?

  161. Damian says:

    @ Terry Gibbs,

    I'm not licensed in Ohio, but the court website states that the filing fee for a general civil action is $275. Lawyer fees could be anything from a bottle of beer to thousands of dollars, depending on whether the attorney has a dental practice or dirty greeting cards business to fall back on.

    As this is a state court proceeding, I would not expect Judge Wright-sized consequences. My guess is that Med Express could simply dismiss this particular case voluntarily without incurring further costs, unless the buyer files a cross-complaint.

  162. That Anonymous Coward says:

    SEE I TOLD YOU HE HAD TO MANY STATUES IN HIS YARD!

    (Which is the nice way of saying Christ what an ……..)

  163. SharonA says:

    @Terry Gibbs – the court online records include a Cost Bill with a detailed breakdown of the various fees, payments previously made, amount due, and who's responsible.

    One of the older ones I looked at had about $325 in costs and resulted in a default judgement of $5,000. There's a request for debtor examination a few months later since the defendant hadn't paid anything, with no followup.

    I've noticed several older ones are not as easily objectionable as the "We don't like what you said about us so it doesn't matter it was true!" filing against Nichols.

    In one older filing, they're demanding a negative be taken down because the buyer insisted they pay him an extra $90 over and above the full refund+shipping they'd already paid – buyer extortion, basically. They claim the negative he left was false, but since it was removed we can't tell.

    Another older filing is against buyers who demanded refunds, and got them via PayPal, weeks after the 30-day refund window expired.

    A couple are against shippers, claiming refusal to pay on goods damaged in shipment. One shipper counter-claimed and mentioned that they had never been paid for the shipments and both parties dismissed. The other shipper claim was removed.

    This is just a cursory skimming on my part during breaks at work. The three current cases are the ones that look most likely to be blatant abuse but I'll leave that decision up to the real lawyers here.

    I noticed in that the filings tend to say simply negative or neutral feedback, false and defamatory, and not include any details on the content. So with the feedback removed from Ebay, and the court filing not mentioning the text at all, we can't tell if the buyer said simply "The product wasn't anything like the description" vs "Seller refused to refund".

  164. SharonA says:

    One of the two neutrals was retracted already:

    Neutral feedback rating Order retracted Buyer:
    Member id rogiedog646 ( Feedback Score Of 133Teal star icon for feedback score in between 100 to 499)
    Jan-24-13 15:33

    Reply by med_express_sales (Jan-25-13 13:09):
    It was dropped and broke. Our fault and sincere apologies!

    Pyrex 10 ml Graduated Cylinder #3046-10 Double Pack (#330660664519) US $12.00 View Item

  165. SharonA says:

    The feedback page indicates which Feedback entries have been revised. So here are the 8 revisions, all converted from (?) to positive and painting a (possibly truthful) picture of a responsive seller.

    Nice surprise, personal phone call, made everything right. Seller has integrity.
    Member id sregiani ( Feedback Score Of 9 )
    Mar-27-13 18:49
    Feedback was revised on Mar-28-13 07:49

    Good transaction, seller honored return policy.
    Member id daschwa79
    Mar-14-13 21:09
    Feedback was revised on Mar-15-13 06:16

    An initial error in shipping was amended by the seller right away. Thank you!!!
    Member id abbysep
    Feb-16-13 21:08
    Feedback was revised on Mar-15-13 18:30

    The seller can not be blamed but the hotel R J Marriott Chicago should.
    Member id eduardolinhares2012 ( Feedback Score Of 13Yellow star icon for feedback score in between 10 to 49)
    Oct-02-12 18:34
    Feedback was revised on Oct-03-12 15:11

    Seller is replacing a unit previously unsatisfactory.Good communication.
    Member id bridgerbuyer
    Mar-04-11 06:31
    Feedback was revised on Mar-14-11 17:15

    the item ariive past 1 month,very well conversatiot with the seller,
    Member id rusec1955
    Mar-01-09 08:18
    Feedback was revised on Mar-23-09 06:30

    very serius person,the item arrive last friday
    Member id rusec1955
    Mar-01-09 08:16
    Feedback was revised on Mar-23-09 06:30

    is very serius seller.
    Member id rusec1955
    Mar-01-09 08:14
    Feedback was revised on Mar-23-09 06:31

  166. Jaid says:

    Left a message with the ABA Journal on their Facebook account. I wouldn't mind seeing how the folks there respond to this.

  167. Cyn says:

    If I'd been looking to buy something, one negative feedback from months ago wouldn't have dissuaded me, especially when the seller's response sounded like they were apologetic and willing to make it right.

    Everything they've done since, of course, would make me run like hell.

  168. AlphaCentauri says:

    Wow, I'd think twice about dealing with eBay in the future if they'd let you get thrown under the bus like that if you left truthful feedback. If the feedback wasn't considered objectionable enough for eBay to remove it themselves when asked by the seller, then filing a lawsuit against the buyer is an abuse. The seller should have been dropped the first time it happened.

  169. Terry Gibbs says:

    Sharon – was the lawyer the same in all the cases you looked at?

    Am I correct in my assumption that when people fight back they dismiss the suit, but that most of the suits result in default judgments because the defendant doesn't respond?

    My assumption is they don't have a chance of collecting these judgments, but they can do damage to credit reports.

    So it looks like they've evolved from suing over problems like shipping damages and such to using suits to manage feedback.

    I've never sued anyone, but it seems like suing people can become addictive.

  170. SharonA says:

    CORRECTION TO EARLIER POST OF MINE:

    The feedback hasn't been retracted as of a few minutes ago.

    One of the two neutrals was retracted already:

    Neutral feedback rating Order retracted Buyer:
    Member id rogiedog646

    The "Order retracted" feedback comment is about MedExpress having cancelled the buyer's order after having broken one of the pieces while preparing the shipment. It wasn't what I originally read it to mean, that the feedback was retracted.

    MedExpress is suing him because that "Order retracted" feedback and associated negative comments on Ebay's website (doesn't say where, tho) and low DSRs "falsely and deliberately slandered the good name and reputation of Med Express" … caused them to incur damages in the form of lost income and customers and revenue, etc.

  171. That Anonymous Coward says:

    Oh hey lets welcome BoingBoing to the party!

    Ohai Cory!

    http://boingboing.net/2013/04/16/med-express-uses-broken-ohio-l.html

  172. SharonA says:

    Interesting – I notice Toolhaus shows "0 Withdrawn (0 removed by eBay)" for Feedback, even though from the court records it appears some feedback was removed as result of the TROs.

    @Terry Gibbs – I'll be submitting a writeup for you in a bit. It's full of links and so will be pending moderation for a while.

    The short version is the current attorney on the three recent suits is not the same attorney as on previous suits.

  173. SharonA says:

    IANAL (I've merely worked for and with them) and am just grabbing this off the Medina court public records page. Anyone can go look up the details of these cases and form their own conclusions. I highly recommend that you do rather than rely on my opinionated summary. I could easily have missed something.

    I'd love to see the discovery of how much lost customers and income a specific neutral review cost them, how they determined that amount, and in particular the determination of how much to allocate to one specific neutral review vs the other negatives and neutrals.

    The three most recent cases are all filed the same day, by the same attorney that Paul Alan Levy spoke with, and have pretty much the same language:

    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=13CIV0353
    MED EXPRESS INC -VS- TAN JAN CHEN, attorney is Amodio

    Buyer "falsely claimed" a new item was used. MX sent a replacement, box was crumpled, buyer posted neutral feedback and low DSRs. MX claims he falsely and deliberately slandered them and caused them to incur damages (loss of income and revenue, lose customers and income, and incur additional chages from Ebay) …

    Here's the slanderous feedback:
    Neutral feedback rating
    Condition of item received no way close to advertised pix. Definitely not new. Buyer: Member id tjchen Feb-02-13 16:57
    Reply by med_express_sales (Feb-03-13 08:31):
    Please contact us first if there is a problem – we'll make it right!!!

    Case History: http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=13CIV0352

    13CIV0352 Civil MED EXPRESS INC -VS- DENNIS ROGAN OTHER CIVIL PENDING 3/25/2013 CHRISTOPHER COLLIER

    Attorney is Amodio

    Initial complaint: http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/viewdoc.aspx?case=13CIV0352&p=1&a=7

    Item breaks before it gets shipped to customer. MedExpress cancels the buyer's order and refunds his money. Buyer posts neutral feedback.

    Here's the slanderous feedback:
    Neutral feedback rating
    Order retracted
    Buyer: Member id rogiedog646 Jan-24-13 15:33
    Reply by med_express_sales (Jan-25-13 13:09):
    It was dropped and broke. Our fault and sincere apologies!

    The third case in this group is the Amy Nicholls filing that brought this whole mess into the public eye:

    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=13CIV0351
    Attorney is Amodio
    … you already know the story …

    The older filings were all done with a different attorney. Not all involved feedback or Ebay, and if MX is to be believed, there was buyer extortion going on too:

    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=12CIV1035
    12CIV1035 Civil MED EXPRESS -VS- UNITED PARCEL SERVICE FREIGHT OTHER CIVIL PENDING 7/12/2012 CHRISTOPHER COLLIER
    Removed to District Court, it's about shipping damages and not Ebay
    Attorney is Daniel Walker

    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=11CIV0536
    11CIV0536 Civil MED EXPRESS -VS- INDEPENDENT DENTAL, defendant, et al OTHER CIVIL DISPOSED 4/4/2011 JAMES L KIMBLER
    "et al" = John Platt and Ebay
    Filing:
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/viewdoc.aspx?case=11CIV0536&p=1&a=2
    Buyer wasn't satisfied with purchase and wanted full refund + $90 for their time; MedExpress did the refund of purchase price + shipping but not the $90. Buyer left a "false and negative comment after receiving the full refund". (Feedback doesn't show up on Toolhaus, I am assuming it is still deleted)

    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=11CIV0535
    11CIV0535 Civil MED EXPRESS -VS- ROBERT RANKIN, defendant, et al OTHER CIVIL DISPOSED 4/4/2011 CHRISTOPHER COLLIER
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/viewdoc.aspx?case=11CIV0535&p=1&a=2

    My reading is:
    Buyer claimed item was damaged due to poor packaging ("grossly under packaged the product rendering it ripe for damage") and MX was rude about it, said they'd take care of it, and then Buyer never heard from them again and wasn't able to reach them. MX says they sent a refund, Buyer claims refund was never received, Buyer posts negative comment they claim is accurate, MX claims buyer "falsely and deliberately slandered and libeled the good name and reputation of the Plaintiff by posting a negative comment, feedback, and/or review on the Defendent Ebay's website".

    The defendent lawyered up and responded. The TRO was denied. Various other things happened including a continuance and request for sanctions and so on and so forth – plaintiff filed for dismissal w/o prejudice and got a dismissal w/prejudice. Final cost bill from the court: $342.40

    Here's the feedback in question:
    Negative feedback rating
    I sent 2 emails to seller and never heard from him. Packaging wasdone by amateur
    Buyer: Member id scimed1 Feb-01-11 21:04
    Reply by med_express_sales (Feb-03-11 06:00):
    Damaged in shipping-our apologies. Filed claim with UPS-thought they contacted

    This one doesn't involve feedback:
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=11CIV0236
    11CIV0236 Civil MED EXPRESS -VS- BIANCA NERENBERG OTHER CIVIL DISPOSED 2/8/2011 JAMES L KIMBLER
    Attorney is Daniel Walker, and this one is a dispute over contract terms for a refund.
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/viewdoc.aspx?case=11CIV0236&p=1&a=2

    Buyers requested a refund for an item after 9 weeks, when the sale contract stated 30 days, and MX refused the refund. Buyers went to PayPal, who also refused. Buyers then escalated it to the credit card company, which went to PayPal, who agreed to refund the $ out of MX's bank account. MX filed this to stop that and got a temporary injunction to blocking the withdrawal until the issue was resolved in court. It ended up as Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice, All Restraining Orders are Dissipiated
    Other than Ebay being the venue of the original sale (and parent company of PayPal), I'm not seeing what they are doing in this suit.

    This one doesn't involve Feedback:
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=10CIV2248
    10CIV2248 Civil MED EXPRESS -VS- YRC, defendant, et al OTHER CIVIL DISPOSED 12/16/2010 JAMES L KIMBLER
    Attorney was Daniel Walker
    MX used YRC as a shipper and says claims for damaged goods were ignored or fraudulently denied, YRC billed them for services not requested or not performed, changed shipping classifications, contacted MX's customers to get payment for shipments that MX had paid for. YRC responded back with its own complaints and claims, and it ends dismissing both the counterclaim and original complaint w/o prejudice and with MX footing the $358.04 court costs.

    Attorney is Daniel Walker.
    http://www.co.medina.oh.us/medct_epublicnodr/pages/DetailForm.aspx?case=10CIV2117
    10CIV2117 Civil MED EXPRESS -VS- AEROENTREGAS, defendant, et al OTHER CIVIL DISPOSED 11/19/2010 CHRISTOPHER COLLIER
    .. and Ebay …

    Buyer claimed ("falsely") shipment was missing parts. MX calls BS but we'll give you a full refund of purchase+shipping anyhow. Buyer says No to refund and won't return merchandise. MX claims buyer tried to extort money by threatening a negative review, and when MX refused to pay, Aero posted negative feedback that (here we go again) "falsely and deliberately slandered and libeled yaddayaddayaddd").
    MX got the temporary injunction ordering Ebay to remove the negative and then again later on in the process.
    In the request for a default judgement, MX claimed $3,000 in damages "not limited to lost revenue and impaired reputation" and $2,000 in legal fees.

    From what I can see, Buyer never showed up or responded for any of the events, resulting in a default judgment of $5,000 of which $3,000 was lost income and $2,000 legal fees.
    Cost was $390.20, assessed to the Buyer.

  174. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @SharonA – Your my heroine!
    Out of curiosity how many of them were signed by Lionel Hutz, ESQ.?

  175. gramps says:

    Interesting aside related to the "update with AWESOMENESS": His bio includes the line that Mr. Nye grew up on a miniature donkey farm. One cannot get much closer to ponies than that.

  176. Anony Mouse says:

    Well, hell. I was just trying to play a bit of Devil's advocate and look at things in a way to keep Med Express from looking like complete and utter assbags. Guess I was wrong, if they're suing over even neutral feedback. Now it really does look like they're just a bunch of thugs.

    But…

    It also seems like they got severely dicked around by buyers in the past. Almost seems like a No More Mr. Nice Guy moment. That, or they started retaining a lawyer and he's a bit of a jackass, too.

  177. tfuller says:

    I know that it's beyond this point, but why hasn't anyone, be it Ms. Nicholls or Med Express, offered to go the arbitrator route? It sounds like both parties overreacted. Ms. Nicholls decided to complain to (on?) Ebay before contacting Med Express (and waiting for a response) and Med Express did offer to reimburse the amount due, but then went the lawsuit route. I understand that online-only business can't survive too many negative reviews, but this is extreme.

  178. Jason says:

    The most important questions of all:

    Who allowed the feedback system to be implemented?

    For those that were with Ebay before this feedback system was implemented, did these Sellers not bother to read the user agreements?

    Why do business with a company that will charge you more if a buyer leaves negative feedback?

    You would think a major feedback system like this would cause protest. I see it as the seller is in the wrong for doing business with Ebay. The buyer has done nothing wrong, did not over-react, is taking the situation seriously…. as needs be.

  179. Martin says:

    @tfuller What's to arbitrate? Ms. Nicholls was unhappy with the way her purchase was handled, she wrote the truth about what happened when she received her package, and left negative feedback. She is fully within her rights and within eBay's terms of service to do all those things. med_express_sales has been given equal space by eBay to respond, and they did so. Each party had an equal opportunity to comment publicly and visibly on the dispute, in such a way that any interested buyer from med_express_sales would see both statements at the same time. What other thing would you imagine an arbitrator would, could, or should grant than that?

  180. Hired Mind says:

    I would encourage everyone, when referring to this case, to include MedExpress' actual seller name, med_express_sales. Hopefully that will cause prospective buyers who search outside Ebay for information on the seller to hit this page and other press coverage of this case.

  181. RDD Guy says:

    Imagine if everyone following this thread bought some cheap item from Med Express Sales and left accurate negative feedback – something about "censorious asshats" and "sue your way to a high feedback rating". They could be plunged down to 70% positive in a matter of hours, and at $300-ish per suit, they would be incapable of suing everyone.

    I am disgusted beyond words at eBay's tacit complicity in this scheme, but I've been avoiding that particularly wretched hive of scum and villainy for most of a decade now.

  182. Jules says:

    It's a bit complicated using an in-house postal meter, and the prices that come up for packages after the recent rate change have been short; you have to consult a coded listing that gives you the correct amount. And considering they are a mail order business I would find it unusual they didn't have their own meter. We have one in the small tax office where I work, and I would be mortified if I forced a client to the PO to pick up a package because of a postage shortage, even if I left it up to the PO. It's the company's responsibility to deliver the item. If they have a problem with a vendor they can't say to the customer, "not my fault." Sometimes vendors screw you and you have to eat the cost, and sometimes they cost you big time. That's business.

  183. SharonA says:

    @Jack –
    I wonder if "Order arrived with postage due with no communication from seller beforehand." wins the record for shortest communication that generated a "You are Libel" lawsuit? 11 words with 76 characters – barely half of a tweet. It has to be SOME kind of record…

    The Nicholls suit was logged shortly after another suit they filed that same day against someone for a review that is simply "Order retracted". Two words, 15 characters.

    Not much room for a claim of false statement there, unless they want to quibble over the meaning of "retracted" (in this case the product broke before shipment, and Med_Express_Sales issued a refund).

  184. Martin says:

    @RDD Guy it seems like a really bad idea to collude with other people to make purchases in bad faith in with the express intent to harm his business. They'd have no problems with proving the "actual malice" part of any tort clam they tried to bring.

  185. James Pollock says:

    "Who allowed the feedback system to be implemented?"

    The way it is used has change dramatically over time. The system is a victim of "grade inflation". What started as "individuals and businesses who performed well got better feedback and thus made more sales at higher prices because consumers were confident in the transactions" turned into "individuals and businesses who actively solicited positive feedback got better feedback and thus made more sales at higher prices" turned into "individuals and businesses that didn't actively solicit positive feedback were driven from the marketplace."

  186. Jim P. says:

    I'd certainly hesitate to sell something to this woman. To file a negative feedback without giving the seller a chance to fix the problem is crass and to me, violates the spirit of the transaction.

    In her own way, she is almost as bad as the seller. But treatening instant lawsuits is hardly a good way to stay in business and I for one will certainly never buy from them.

  187. twilightfog says:

    I messaged them on eBay to let them know that I would never be their customer I have reported them for feedback extortion and asked everyone I know to do the same. I got this reply from them a few minutes back:

    *************************************
    The purpose of this email is to let you know you have spoken and we have listened. We are instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit.

    Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    The issue involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR's. The low ratings caused us to lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume, this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

    The only way DSR's are removed is by court order, and that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I sincerely apologize. It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR's that was our only goal.

    The only person to blame here is me. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

    Richard Radey
    President
    Med Express Inc.
    *****************************************

  188. RogerX says:

    The purpose of this email is to let you know you have spoken and we have listened. We are instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit.

    Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    The issue involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR's. The low ratings caused us to lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume, this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

    The only way DSR's are removed is by court order, and that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I sincerely apologize. It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR's that was our only goal.

    The only person to blame here is me. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

    Richard Radey
    President
    Med Express Inc.

  189. RogerX says:

    I received above email via eBay moments ago. :)
    It's at least an attempt at explanation. Threw the lawyer under the bus.

  190. Terry Gibbs says:

    I just finished my article aimed at eBay sellers. Writing the article caused me to discover some assumptions that people are making here in the comments that are probably wrong.

    For example Jim P. • Apr 17, 2013 @12:19 pm says the woman is almost as bad as the seller for posting feedback without giving the seller a chance to resolve the matter.

    Reading section 7 of the lawsuit posted by Ken in his article, Med Ex is admitting she contacted them before leaving feedback. My reading is that rather than providing a quick refund, med ex opened negotiations.

    Anyway, I call my article "How To Have Negative Feedback Removed For Under $500." You can read it at:

    http://www.news.iwantcollectibles.com/med_express_sales.shtml

  191. Jennifer. says:

    I just got this email response from Med_Express on ebay:

    The purpose of this email is to let you know you have spoken and we have listened. We are instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit.

    Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    The issue involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR's. The low ratings caused us to lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume, this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

    The only way DSR's are removed is by court order, and that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I sincerely apologize. It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR's that was our only goal.

    The only person to blame here is me. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

    Richard Radey
    President
    Med Express Inc.

  192. Med Express says:

    I hope all of you will accept this as an open letter of apology from Med Express.

    Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for only $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    The issue involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR's. The low ratings caused us to lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume, this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

    The only way DSR's are removed is by court order, and I was told that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I also sincerely apologize. It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR's that was our only goal.

    The only person to blame here is me. You have spoken and I have listened. A terrible wrong needs to be righted. I am instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

    Richard Radey
    President
    Med Express Inc.

  193. vb_techie says:

    @Jennifer (and others): I just received the same message and came here to post it. I find it refreshing that someone actually takes ownership for screwing up, even though the lawsuit itself was a bit over the top to begin with.

  194. Go Figure says:

    If it was never about the feedback, then why does the lawsuit request injunctive relief as to the "negative feedback, comments and review from Ebay's website?"

    If it was never about Ms. Nicholls, then why does it request damages against Nicholls in an amount "necessary to compensate Med Express for the losses it has and will suffer as a result of Nicholls's conduct" and also for "award of reasonable attorney fees and punitive damages."

    Or perhaps their losses and attorney fees sum to $1?

  195. Med Express says:

    I am not trying to pass blame here – I should have read the lawsuit. It was taken from another similar lawsuit and should never have been worded this way. I accept full responsibility for not doing my due diligence.

    Richard Radey

  196. Scote says:

    "Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for only $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    Er, which is why they sued her, for her feedback–her true feedback–and falsely claimed it was false and defamatory. It's not like fighting such a case would cost her any money or anything, nor that there could be any consequences to someone if there was a default judgement or anything… :-p

    This mea culpa has too much mea and not enough culpa, and it is too little, too late. He regrets the "wording" of the lawsuit. It would have been more convincing if their apparent feedback extortion on steroids wasn't part of a pattern of suing people for their feedback and if they hadn't, for instance, sued someone for saying "order retracted." Oh, the defamation…the false and defamatory defamation… :-p I'd say the statement is a mix of disingenuous mea culp with a heaping pile of notpology.

    You don't get to sue somebody just because you want a 20% discount.

  197. Scote says:

    @Richard Radey

    Genuine contrition is always welcome. I don't see you apologizing for your "order retracted" lawsuit, though, which seems just as bad or worse.

    I'm wondering why you feel so entitled to eBay discounts that you feel suing over, apparently, every negative feedback to have it removed by court order, regardless of the truth of the feedback, is a valid response? In what way does the defendant have a right to leave negative feedback if you seek to have it expunged by default judgment based on false assertions of the true feedback being false and defamatory.

    Your statement is welcome, but would have been more convincing if you'd made it earlier when it would have sounded like genuine principle rather than now when it sounds like genuine ass-covering once you discovered the power of the Streisand Effect and how it will negatively affect your business more than the paltry negative feedback you blithely sued over.

  198. Terry Gibbs says:

    Richard,

    Since you're commenting how about some answers. . .

    Was the postage label affixed at the post office meaning the postal scale was in error, or did you print the postage based on the weight your scale showed?

    Was this the first time a buyer complained about a package having insufficient postage?

    How much time elapsed between the buyer complaining about a package coming in postage due, and when she left feedback?

    What was your initial response when the buyer complained about the package coming in postage due. You can find that in your eBay Sent Messages folder.

    Did you have the lawyer send her a threatening letter before you filed suit, or did you just file the suit?

    How many eBay feedbacks have you managed to get altered or deleted as a result of threats and lawsuits?

    I'm going to take the dog to chase the ducks. I'm sure you'll have answers when I get back.

    Terry

  199. Med Express says:

    Yes both lawsuits were filed at the same time and for the same reason. I understand your cynicism, but try to look at it from a sellers perspective. I honestly do not believe these customers intended us financial harm, and probably would not have left the ratings had the known the devastating effects it could cause. The low detailed seller ratings may not accurately reflect the actual experience(especially on the order that was broken and never shipped). And they could potentially cost us tens of thousands of dollars. I am absolutely convinced that had these buyers known the consequence they would have taken it into consideration. Please don't pass judgement on me because of the way the attorney worded the suit. I am as upset as you are.

  200. Scote says:

    …that, and once you realized you'd loose big time in court with the power of Big Leagues first amendment lawyers and competent local pro bono council behind the defendant, and that you'd possibly have to pay opposing council's legal fees when you lost and that your own lawyer might have faced sanctions for bringing what appears to be a blatently frivolous suit…

    The mea culpa is the right thing to do. The better thing would to have never brought the frivolous suits in the first place.

  201. Scote says:

    "Yes both lawsuits were filed at the same time and for the same reason. I understand your cynicism, but try to look at it from a sellers perspective. I honestly do not believe these customers intended us financial harm, and probably would not have left the ratings had the known the devastating effects it could cause. The low detailed seller ratings may not accurately reflect the actual experience(especially on the order that was broken and never shipped). And they could potentially cost us tens of thousands of dollars. I am absolutely convinced that had these buyers known the consequence they would have taken it into consideration. Please don't pass judgement on me because of the way the attorney worded the suit. I am as upset as you are.

    Again with the too much mea and not enough culpa.

    You desire to get discounts from eBay are not your customer's problem.

    And given that you sued a number of them over *true* feedback, I'm pretty sure they know that you feel you could suffer financial harm due to their factual feedback. Presumably you told them that when trying to get them to change their feedback before you sued them in a venue where they were unlikely to be able to defend themselves in. So I'm not buying your "if they'd known" argument. More likely they figured making truthful statements about their experience was their right and not their problem–until you proceeded to *make it* their problem.

  202. Med Express says:

    Terry-

    We cannot risk ebays wrath here – we are totally dependent on them. I can tell you that it is considered "Feedback Extortion" to warn the customer of the potential risk of a lawsuit and is frowned upon. We did request our customer revise her DSR's but she did not respond. The Post office weighed it and we paid there- I have no idea why it came postage due (and yes, it has happened before). This is the first time we have ever had a negative over postage due. No letter was sent because ebays action was immediate, so we requested a TRO forcing ebay to remove the DSR. Bottom line is that none of this matters – I showed poor judgement and openly admit my mistake.

  203. Ken says:

    We cannot risk ebays wrath here – we are totally dependent on them.

    You can't risk their wrath so . . . you sued them?

    I'm not sure you thought this cunning plan all the way through.

  204. apauld says:

    @Richard Radley – You need to realize the DSR system, while far from perfect, is the way ebay as chosen to work. They do not have to give anyone and everyone a right to sell on their platform, you should be happy (as I am) to be able to sell on ebay.

    You should try to come up with ideas on how to tweak your business practices to minimize potential low DSR's.

    I do think there are two things you can do that will quickly give you higher DSR scores. Make sure you have good sturdy packaging for everything you sell (and from what I've read, I think many of your customers complaints wouldn't have happened with better quality packaging).

    Also, if you don't already have some, you should consider getting a couple high quality electronic scales to weigh your packages before you even put them on eBay. I only looked at a couple of your items, but your shipping cost to me in Pennsylvania was the same to those in California. I'm guessing you work on the idea that shipping to California is made up by the extra paid by people closer to you (as some sellers still do), but that will not make the people closer to you very happy about paying extra for their shipping. If you know how the item will weigh when packaged you could use ebay's sliding scale shipping, just put in the weight and add in how much your good quality shipping materials cost you and you will have much happier customers.

  205. Med Express says:

    Scote-

    My last comment addressed the issue of explaining to the customer that leaving or not revising feedback is considered "Feedback Extortion". It's one of the reasons ebay has put all these new policies into place. Buyers were being extorted all the time (if you leave me bad feedback I will do the same..). We have had negative feedback before that we took no action on – it is their right to leave whatever feedback they desire. Look at our feedback- we are not the evil corporation we are being made out to be. I do everything possible for my customer. You appear to be an attorney – if you can obtain a copy of the transcript during the first hearing my comment to the judge was how I hated to have to go through this process. I explained that my intentions were solely for the TRO.

  206. Med Express says:

    Ken-

    Ebay was a non-liable party to this. They were not being sued.

  207. Ken says:

    I sent a copy of BoingBoing's article to the seller and got this response:
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    The purpose of this email is to let you know you have spoken and we have listened. We are instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit.

    Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    The issue involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR's. The low ratings caused us to lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume, this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

    The only way DSR's are removed is by court order, and that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I sincerely apologize. It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR's that was our only goal.

    The only person to blame here is me. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

    Richard Radey
    President
    Med Express Inc.

    – med_express_sales

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////

    I'd say war is over. Also, glad to see he didn't double down and actually comes off as contrite. I can respect that.

  208. Akboss says:

    Dear ,

    The purpose of this email is to let you know you have spoken and we have
    listened. We are instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit.

    Please
    understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had
    instructed our attorneys to ask for $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also
    never an issue. We fully support her right and all of our customers right
    to leave any feedback they desire – true or otherwise!

    The issue
    involved “Detailed Seller Ratings” or DSR's. The low ratings caused us to
    lose our “Top Rated Seller Plus” standings. Based on our current volume,
    this was a potential fee increase of tens of thousands of dollars over the
    course of a year.

    The only way DSR's are removed is by court order, and
    that such court orders were not uncommon. I do deeply regret the wording of
    the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the
    blogs. I too would have been outraged and for that I sincerely apologize.
    It is the addendum attached ordering Ebay to remove the DSR's that was our
    only goal.

    The only person to blame here is me. I want to assure
    everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company
    without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.

    Richard
    Radey
    President
    Med Express Inc.

    -med_express_sales

  209. Ken says:

    Mr. Radley:

    You say, repeatedly, that you did not read the lawsuit.

    Yet your company's complaint has a sworn verification that says that you read the complaint and its allegations are true. It has your name, and a signature that purports to be yours, and is notarized.

    Is that not your signature? Or is the statement on the verification — that you read the complaint — false? Or is your statement now that you didn't read the complaint false?

    [Note: the following is not legal advice: you shouldn't answer my questions.]

  210. Med Express says:

    Apauld-

    I agree 100%. If you want to sell on ebay you must follow their policies. And I agree with most of them- ebay has had a serious image problem with counterfeiters and crooked sellers. Getting rid of the bad ones makes it easier for the good ones. In this case we felt the DSR's were not given objectively (especially in the case where we had to retract the sale).

    The item was weighed at the Post Office- we don't rely on our scales.

  211. Merissa says:

    Now squeal like a pig! Squeal, boy!

  212. Med Express says:

    Ken-

    I don't disagree- i freely admit culpability. I have said many times that the responsibility was mine and mine alone. I made a terrible error and I have no excuse. I can only hope to learn and grow from this.

  213. Ken says:

    Mr. Radley: you said this:

    Ken-

    Ebay was a non-liable party to this. They were not being sued.

    That's strange. They appear as a defendant in the lawsuit, which has a verification, purportedly signed by you, saying that you reviewed it and that its allegations are true.

    Also, I am having trouble following your argument. You said before, repeatedly, that the customer was never the target of the lawsuit. Now you said that Ebay was not the target of the lawsuit. Who, exactly, did you think you were suing?

  214. Med Express says:

    Merissa-

    It is so refreshing to see human compassion.

  215. Med Express says:

    Ken-

    Kinda screwed up isn't it? The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit. For obvious reasons we can't sue ebay so I am forced to sue the buyer and ask the court to issue the injunction and have the DSR's removed. Many people have said if we only would have put in the damages not to exceed $1.00 including all legal fees, I would not be in this position. I got what I consider bad advice not to file that type of lawsuit (although I did not realize it would be worded as it was) . It could irritate the judge in an already overcrowded legal system and work against us.

    Hindsight is 20-20

  216. me says:

    @med express

    Suing your own customers for providing ACCURATE feedback is wrong, regardless of the potential financial loss (for which you have only YOURSELVES to blame). By doing this you have permanently damaged your company's reputation, as unfortunately anybody that looks up your company name online will inevitably stumble across one of the many articles written about this.

    I hope it was worth it for you.

  217. Hasdrubal says:

    I'd certainly hesitate to sell something to this woman. To file a negative feedback without giving the seller a chance to fix the problem is crass and to me, violates the spirit of the transaction.

    As an eBay outsider, I'm confused by this. The customer had a negative experience, so why shouldn't she leave negative feedback? Even though the seller offered to make it right, she still had a negative experience.

    If a food critic got undercooked fish, but it tasted great after he sent it back to the kitchen, he would still report the initial bad job and dock the restaurant in his review.

    Economically, I understand your sentiment: eBay is a community with certain norms that, when followed, benefit sellers (by sending business their way, discounting their fees, etc) but harming buyers (by reducing the informational content of the ratings). Your preference is naturally to do business with buyers who follow the norms of your community since it will be less risky and more profitable. I'm with you up to there. But to think that someone from outside the community who doesn't know the norms is "crass" or wrong or in any way culpable for using the feedback system in a way that is logical to outsiders is, shall we say, a hard sell to disinterested third parties.

    On a tangent, there's a fascinating literature on eBay, economists love the site: It's one of the few places you can run actual experiments with real people and money.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=ebay+feedback+price&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C24&as_sdtp=

  218. Damian says:

    So is Med Express going to vacate the prior default judgments against the other defendant buyers from years past?

    Also, the complaints were VERIFIED, which means the Med Express owner signed a statement under penalty of perjury that he had actually read and understood the complaint before signing it.

  219. Scote says:

    "Look at our feedback- we are not the evil corporation we are being made out to be.

    I would, except how much of that is because you went to the extraordinary steps of seeking TROs to have even *factual* negative or neutral feedback removed. The record is scrubbed clean.

    I do believe that the majority of your positive feedback was earned through positive customer experiences, and I expect there is much that is commendable about your organization.

    "Scote-

    My last comment addressed the issue of explaining to the customer that leaving or not revising feedback is considered "Feedback Extortion". It's one of the reasons ebay has put all these new policies into place. Buyers were being extorted all the time (if you leave me bad feedback I will do the same..). We have had negative feedback before that we took no action on – it is their right to leave whatever feedback they desire.

    Ah, there's your disconnect. You seem to think that feedback extortion is limited to the thread of leaving in kind or worse feedback on a buyer's feedback rating, as opposed to an unstated policy of *suing people* over truthful feedback without warning. While your method may evade the strict legal definition of extortion it does not, I think, pass the intent of eBay's feedback extortion policies, which are to insure that people are not prevented from leaving accurate feedback by retaliation by sellers. You have taken that concept to previously unfathomable heights.

    As to your intent, your lawyer swore in his verification of your complaint that the averments were true, including that she "falsely and deliberately slandered the good name and reputation of Med Express" and added that the "false" feedback was "intentional and malicious". It doesn't matter whether your intent was only to get a restraining order or to claim damages, neither were justified and were based on false claims of slander.

    If I may be so bold as to offer advice, which you should consider on its own merits or lack thereof.

    There are two basic crisis management strategies, apologize unreservedly and make it right and then some, or demonstrate positively and very smoothly why you are right.

    Oxo did the latter recently when facing allegations of IP theft. It worked because 1) they actually were in the right 2) they executed it brilliantly. That strategy works rarely, and you aren't in the right so it won't work for you.

    So, that leaves apologize unreservedly and make it right and then some. You've got part of that down, but you are still being defensive, explaining why your suit was reasonable (because money) and how you only wanted a restraining order (because money). That part isn't working, IMO. Saying you were wrong but here's why you were right doesn't cut it.

    Perhaps you should hire a PR firm experienced in crisis management with a proven track record who can help you with your messaging.

  220. Martin says:

    I will certainly give Mr. Radey this: recognizing a losing position and acting to cut your losses is the smart thing to do, and the best way to get out of a deep hole is to stop digging. I can't help but feel, however, that he's a lot sorrier that he got caught than than about anything else that happened. Reading over his comments and responses (above and on eBay), it seems that Mr. Radey wishes us to believe that he is beset by unreliable subcontractors whom he feels little (if any) duty to supervise properly. Package arrives with postage due and with no prior communication? Not his fault–USPS screwed up, and it's been happening a lot. Multiple patently frivolous suits are filed on his behalf, and are supported by sworn attestations bearing his signature? Not his fault–he didn't actually bother to read the lawsuits that he caused to be filed, and the attorney disregarded his instructions. At some point, the "it's not my fault!" defense wears pretty thin.

  221. Scote says:

    Oops, the averments were verified by *you*, not your lawyer, which makes your argument even less convincing.

  222. Martin says:

    And as a further thought: publicly accusing your counsel of professional misconduct and malpractice does not seem like an ideal way out of the present mess. I would think that such assertions ought to be both matters of fact (as opposed to opinion), and actionable. And unless I miss my guess, since accusations of defrauding the court and suborning perjury are criminal offenses, the accusations would constitute libel per se.

  223. Med Express says:

    Scote-

    I am not in the least bit being defensive. I am trying to explain my rational in all this and you are correct- it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. I was dead wrong and offer no excuses. I put myself on the chopping block and want you- and anyone else reading this to know that I understand completely what I have done to my reputation and will paying a high price for it.

  224. Med Express says:

    Martin & Scote-

    The only disagreement I have with this is I am in no way trying to blame the lawyers. I have said – and repeat- this is entirely my fault.

  225. Scote says:

    Kinda screwed up isn't it? The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit. For obvious reasons we can't sue ebay so I am forced to sue the buyer and ask the court to issue the injunction and have the DSR's removed. Many people have said if we only would have put in the damages not to exceed $1.00 including all legal fees, I would not be in this position. I got what I consider bad advice not to file that type of lawsuit (although I did not realize it would be worded as it was) .

    Um, no, you aren't "forced" to sue anybody over truthful negative feedback. You *choose* to do so.

    Forced. I do not think that word means what you think it does.

    And I'm unclear on how you didn't realize how the complaint was worded given that your sworn verification says you read the complaint and confirm its averments as true.

  226. Delvan says:

    I can tell you that it is considered "Feedback Extortion" to warn the customer of the potential risk of a lawsuit and is frowned upon.

    And how does that frowning compare to actually filing a lawsuit against that customer?

    We get it, you don't like eBay's system. You get a discount from them based on your ratings…though I'll point out that also applies to your competitors on eBay as well. Should all of them start filing restraining orders to keep factual customer replies from the public (or eBay's) eye? You have no entitlement to use eBay's services; if you are unsatisfied with those services, stop doing business with them.

  227. Med Express says:

    Scote-

    A court will not issue a TRO with a supporting lawsuit. I'm going to leave it at this: I fully acknowledge this is a blunder with major consequences and I am solely to blame. I am fully aware how I have compromised my reputation. There is little more I can say – I am sorry and if you feel this is not enough please let me know what you feel I should do to further rectify the situation.

  228. cb says:

    kinda screwed up isn't it? The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit.

    For all your claims about taking full responsibility, you sure are doing everything you can to avoid taking responsibility here

    For obvious reasons we can't sue ebay

    The suit lists ebay as a plaintiff. Why lie about something so easily verifiable, something which has in fact already been pointed out to you?

    so I am forced to sue the buyer

    Again, this doesn't match up with your claims about wanting to take responsibility. You chose to sue the buyer. You chose to seek to threaten financial damage to customers if you didn't get your way.

  229. cb says:

    Also, even if you take (supposed) responsibility for the lawsuit because of (supposed) failure to read carefully…

    What of the emails quoted toward the beginning of the comments here? Sure, you may have (supposedly) not thought through the legal advice you were getting very carefully. But that doesn't really explain your attempt to smear the plaintiff.

  230. EH says:

    It may irritate Ebay in the future to learn that they've been used in this way to further what I would call, "your feedback extortion scam," several times in the past. What's your Plan B? You know, income-wise.

  231. Scote says:

    "I am not in the least bit being defensive."

    "Scote-

    A court will not issue a TRO with a supporting lawsuit….I am sorry and if you feel this is not enough please let me know what you feel I should do to further rectify the situation.

    I don't think you are getting what "defensive" means. When you claim you are "forced" to sue individuals for leaving factual statements, and when you defend that claim even further by saying you can't get a TRO without a lawsuit, you are being **defensive**. You are still defending your underlying strategy of getting TROs to have factual negative feedback removed, because money.

    You can't expect people to accept your mea culpa over the *details* of what you did, the "wording" of the lawsuit, while you are still defending the core of your actions. You are still implying that you have an entitlement to discounts from eBay and a corresponding entitlement to use the courts to ensure you receive those discounts, so entitled that you say you are "force" to sue people over factual negative feedback.

    What should you do? That's up to you, and I can't give legal advice. IANAL. Some of your lawsuits seem somewhat justified. However, from a publicity perspective I'd say that you should seek to have all default judgements in similar cases vacated and offer to pay compensation to those people you inconvenienced and threatened with baseless lawsuits. That would be a great start. Don't know if it would be good one from a liability perspective, though.

  232. Merissa says:

    @Med Express: In the immortal words of someone, "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

  233. AlphaCentauri says:

    There are differing points of view here. One is that eBay exists for the benefit of the sellers, and that the buyers should not be allowed to do anything to even minutely reduce sellers' feedback ratings without extreme reason — even if all the the buyers are doing is following the directions on the website and honestly answering the questions they are asked. In this case, the ratings system exists only to identify extremely bad sellers in order to punish them with loss of discounts, and it isn't really meant to convey any information to the buyers. I can see how that might be an attractive point of view to a seller, and I understand that eBay's discount rates might foster that point of view, but as a buyer, why should I use eBay at all?

    The second way of looking at things is that eBay is a marketplace where buyers and sellers who would not otherwise have an opportunity to do business together can interact with a certain degree of safety, and that both buyers and sellers are equally eBay's customers. In that scenario, an open, honest ratings system is essential to knowing whether it's safe to part with your money at the end of an auction. The ratings exist primarily to help protect buyers by letting them know which sellers have a track record of delivering the purchased goods as advertised.

    If a seller's attitude is the former, and they feel that as a buyer I am automatically wrong if I don't say good things about them, then I'm not going to want to buy from that seller. All the positive feedback in the world is meaningless if giving negative feedback isn't allowed. And if there is ANY REMOTE RISK that I will be drawn into a lawsuit in another state for behavior that isn't even bad enough to get banned from eBay itself, then there's no effing way I'm going to use that seller. IANAL, and no offense to those of you who are, but I will go to a lot of trouble to avoid having to deal with lawyers IRL.

    I'm happy Mr. Radley has learned his lesson not to sue over negative feedback. But it seems as if he's in business with the primary goal of satisfying eBay's ratings system, rather than satisfying his customers. When the two were in conflict, the customer got thrown under the bus.

  234. Martin says:

    One of the things I've learned through many years in business is that when one wants to apologize and take blame, one can do that, and when one wants to try to explain in order to deny or mitigate responsibility, one can do that too. But trying to do them both at the same time comes off like one isn't really sorry and doesn't really accept the blame (it end sup sounding like: "It's all my fault, but here are the reasons why it isn't my fault.").

    I'm not a lawyer, so take this for what it's worth: if I were in your shoes, I'd be hiring a competent lawyer and a competent, experienced PR firm. I also wouldn't be admitting all over the place that I had committed what (to the causal observer) appears to have been perjury in swearing to the particulars of a false complaint.

  235. That Anonymous Coward says:

    "Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for only $1.00 in damages."

    So she was an innocent bystander you added to a lawsuit for kicks?
    If she was never the target, she would not be named.
    I don't give a rats hiney about eBay having counterfeiters and all of this other crap your attempting to spit out to somehow justify the abuse of the legal system YOUR LAWYER UNDERTOOK WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND DIRECTION.
    Read that again.
    You signed a document claiming you read and understood it.
    When the bad press started you suddenly decided maybe you'd dun goofed.
    Not because the course of action your taking is incorrect, sleazy, and a bunch of other adjectives… but because you finally hit someone who didn't cower before your great and powerful might and fought back.

    Spin away all you want, the series of lawsuits your eBay business has filed speak volumes for your operations.
    Would you care to confirm or deny the lawsuit about defrauding a renter targeted you or someone with an amazingly similar name?
    Would you care to confirm or deny you have way to much statuary in your front yard?
    Would you care to confirm or deny that the incorporation paperwork lists an address different than the address listed in the complaint? Have you not been doing your due diligence to keep the state informed about your corporation?

    To little, to late. The comments of your lawyer and your public admission of signing something you did not allegedly read while affirming you had are going to come home to roost.

    You want human compassion?
    This requires you to act as one in the first place, not after the negative press grows so loud that you feel you have to spin a narrative to be the "good" guy in all of this.

  236. Matthew Cline says:

    @Med Express:

    Kinda screwed up isn't it? The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit. For obvious reasons we can't sue ebay so I am forced to sue the buyer

    So the actual target of the lawsuit is the negative feedback statement, and the customer is just collateral damage in your effort to get a TRO? That's an odd way of looking at things.

  237. Scote says:

    Med Express  •  Apr 17, 2013 @2:42 pm

    …Please understand that our customer was never the target of this lawsuit. We had instructed our attorneys to ask for only $1.00 in damages. Her feedback was also never an issue. …
    …I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs….
    Richard Radey
President
Med Express Inc.

    {emphasis added}

    Med Express  •  Apr 17, 2013 @4:19 pm

    Ken-
    Kinda screwed up isn't it? The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit. For obvious reasons we can't sue ebay so I am forced to sue the buyer and ask the court to issue the injunction and have the DSR's removed. Many people have said if we only would have put in the damages not to exceed $1.00 including all legal fees, I would not be in this position. I got what I consider bad advice not to file that type of lawsuit (although I did not realize it would be worded as it was) . It could irritate the judge in an already overcrowded legal system and work against us.

    {emphasis added}

    This bit of the narrative is unclear to me. You advised your attorneys to make the damages $1.00 in your defamation suit against an innocent person and they ignored you and put down $5,000 but you didn't notice even though your swore in a notarized verification that you read and confirmed the complaint as true?

    Or.

    You got bad legal advice **not** to file a $1.00 of suit and so filed a $5,000 defamation suit against an innocent person. Which, again, you didn't read, in spite of your sword verification to the contrary.

    Color me unconvinced of contrition or forthrightness.

  238. Scote says:

    So, I have a question for people who can say IAAL.

    Could swearing in a notarized verification that a statement you stipulate is true, such as "order retracted," is false and defamatory be automatically considered perjury? It's clearly material. And it is clearly a false claim. What, exactly, does it take to get yourself dinged for perjury in a civil case?

  239. sql_yoda says:

    I feel bad for this guy. He's in it to make money. Of course he's going to use whatever tools are available, including suing a customer, when ebay will charge him double for having less than absolutely perfect feedback ratings.

    Spare me your ire please, fellow commentors. I don't find his actions at all reasonable – but they are perfectly understandable. Perhaps the problem is – as one person noted before – that merely receiving ordered goods on time and in advertised condition prompts people to give A++++ ratings. Perhaps the real problem is that this guy and everyone except the most excellent sellers should have ratings adjusted to reflect whether they just provide a service, or whether they provide the most excellent service imaginable

    Such most excellent service imaginable I presume would include overpaying postage costs so no customer ever has to get a package postage due.

  240. Scote says:

    Matthew Cline • Apr 17, 2013 @5:31 pm

    So the actual target of the lawsuit is the negative feedback statement, and the customer is just collateral damage in your effort to get a TRO? That's an odd way of looking at things.

    Yeah, it goes with that apparent sense of entitlement that he was/is justified in the overall strategy of, it seems, knowingly falsely filing defamation suits against individuals to get TROs "because money". And as long as he gets the restraining order he wants saying the named defendant isn't the "target" of the suit makes it all better, as opposed to making it a knowingly false suit that should, IMO, result in sanctions and perjury charges.

    Unfortunately, the government does sort of promote this kind of thinking with civil asset forfeiture, when your stuff is by the government, and rather than having to prove their case first, they get to confiscate immediately and keep it unless and until you can afford to file suit and prove them wrong.

  241. Pat says:

    @Med Express: "Kinda screwed up isn't it? The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit."

    More screwed up is the apparent premise of this comment – your apparent belief that you ought to be entitled to a court order simply because you want one – regardless of whether you have actually been wronged or not.

  242. princessartemis says:

    Wow. This comment thread took a surreal turn, didn't it?

  243. azteclady says:

    Medical Express Sales / Richard Radley's lawyer (perhaps even ex-lawyer at this point) must have cringed in despair when reading that email and the comments in this thread.

  244. Tali McPike says:

    Question? Has anyone reported this seller to Ebay? I mean, with his history of litigation to get better feedback, and with this stupid "I'm sorry I got caught, I only sued because threatening to sue is feedback extortion" apology surely they would want to know.

  245. eh says:

    Tali: All roads at Ebay lead to a phone number being the only way to do something like that. Do post if you find something else.

  246. Terry Gibbs says:

    Richard Radey
President
Med Express Inc.

    Please read my article about how you used threats of lawsuits and lawsuits to keep your eBay feedback high enough to qualify for discounts on eBay:

    http://www.news.iwantcollectibles.com/med_express_sales.shtml

    I was trying to come up with a simple step-by-step system my readers could use to get negative feedback removed from their eBay accounts.

    Your system is threaten and file lawsuits if needed, but walk away if the buyer hires a lawyer.

    How might you change your system now?

    One last point, I want to see the messages between you and the buyer about the postage due matter. You can copy them out of your sent messages folder in My eBay.

    My reason for wanting the messages is I think that rather than learning to appease buyers, you decided you had a system that would remove feedback and let your customer service slip.

    In that vein, once you learned threatening and filing suits was a easy and almost painless way to get feedback removed, did the number of bad feedbacks increase?

    Terry

    PS the dog didn't catch a duck so we're having chicken for dinner.

  247. cb says:

    "I'm happy Mr. Radley has learned his lesson not to sue over negative feedback."

    It is not clear that he has. He's dropped this particular suit after getting bad press, but he has fairly clearly defended his right to use lawsuits to get his way

  248. Pat says:

    @Scote:

    Perjury, at least in the sense that I suspect you're using it (i.e., it's a crime and someone's going to jail for it) is extremely rare in the civil context. It's generally too tough to prove and just not an efficient use of limited prosecutorial resources versus any of the other things they could be prosecuting. That said, it does happen on rare occasions – think Bill Clinton's impeachment (at least a part of it), and possibly the guy who claims he's entitled to one-half of Facebook (but I'm not positive he's been charged with perjury instead of only mail/wire fraud).

    The far more common occurrence in the civil context is that some other, non-criminal sanction is imposed. Ordering reimbursement of the other side's attorney's fees is a common sanction imposed, ordering a case to be dismissed immediately is another one. There's a ton more, but those are probably the most common.

  249. Tali McPike says:

    @eh
    I forgot that 2 links puts your post in the spam filter.

    But it looks like only buyers who have had transactions with the seller can open extortion complaints.

    However, perhaps it would be worth while for someone (I have a teething baby to attend to, so I can't right now) to post this information in the the ebay forums (I linked to them in my other post, hopefully it will be fished out of the spam soon)

  250. AlphaCentauri says:

    @cb:

    What I was getting at was that he learned his lesson only in this very narrow incident. He still doesn't get the big picture, which is that you shouldn't care more about your feedback than about the customers it's presumably there to assure/impress. It may work in the short term, but it's not a good long-term business plan.

    This comment is getting to me, too: "The only way in our legal system to get a TRO is by filing a lawsuit. For obvious reasons we can't sue ebay so I am forced to sue the buyer and ask the court to issue the injunction and have the DSR's removed."

    The guy wants the customer to do what he tells her to do, but she doesn't want to. The fact that she has a right to make her own decision hasn't crossed his mind — only that he was "forced" to go to whatever lengths necessary to get his way, because she wouldn't do as she was told.

    If he has a spouse/children, does he have the same attitude toward their behavior?

  251. That Anonymous Coward says:

    So at first I was all crying because she gave me bad feedback, so I swatted her… then I got what I deserved…

    Dis might work… I hope…
    if not http://youtu.be/T8t26Q4RIEs

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8t26Q4RIEs&w=420&h=315

  252. Scote says:

    AlphaCentauri • Apr 17, 2013 @7:40 pm

    What I was getting at was that he learned his lesson only in this very narrow incident.

    Indeed:

    " We are instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit."

    He doesn't rescind the policy of falsely suing innocent people for leaving factual neutral or negative feedback. Instead he defends the practice, saying he is "forced" to do so.

    In my opinion his behavior and excuses seem like sociopathic behavior. He sees something he wants (feedback removed) and does whatever it takes to get it (false defamation case to get TROs). Neither the law, nor the facts nor right and wrong enter into it. Just him and what he wants. The cost to others is irrelevant (the named defendants weren't the "target"). Then he blames others, the legal system, his lawyer, saying he was "forced" to falsely sue people because you can't get a TRO without a lawsuit, so somebody has to be sued. And its not his fault, because he didn't read the complaint he swore he read, and its not his fault because his lawyer didn't do what he told him to…or his lawyer gave him bad advice and did what he agreed to… But, mind you, he's not making excuses. No siree…he takes full responsibility. :-p

    (All my comments are strictly my opinion, BTW.)

  253. RDD Guy says:

    The thing I come away with is Med Express Sales is operating under the delusion that he is entitled to the "Super-above-and-beyond A+++ really, we mean it" level sellers, even though he is not, in fact, playing at that level. He's playing at the "I shove shit into a box and am trying to make a living and I just WANT that discount 'cuz I want more money."

    If a vendor wants want the "top half-of-a-percent" discount, then the onus is on that vendor to provide "top half-of-a-percent" level service, simple as that.

  254. bdb says:

    So, as I read all this I get two points:

    1) eBay has a flawed rating system.

    2) it can be fixed (gamed?) using our flawed legal system.

    It sounds like med_express_sales is not the only company that uses this approach. I wonder what to overall load on the US legal system can be attributed to eBay?

  255. apauld says:

    @Richard Radley – wow. you clearly swung and missed at the information I offered in my last comment. Yes, ebay USED TO be plagued by criminals, unfortunately ebay is now plagued by incompetent business person wannabes like yourslef. You are a perfect example of what is wrong with ebay TODAY. You don't trust your scales, but you claim the USPS scales are some how always wrong whenever you step up. WTF dude, honestly you have proven yourself to be more suited to being more suited as a Wal-Mart greeter than a business owner. The worst problem ebay has in the year 2013 is that is plagued with people like YOU. If you can not competently run your business without blaming someone/everyone else for your obvious faults, then everything you try to blame on someone else is your fault. During this thread I held back my tongue; but now I must say FU med_express_sales, you are clearly part of the plague that continues to hamper ebay and all the honest hard working sellers that are trying to make a honest living from this great venue. If you continue to operate this 'business,' eventually you will not be able to make any money at all, as even Wal Mart will be scared off by your 'resume' and won't hire you, so please just give up up the BS idea that you are a business person and get a job that you are actually suited for.

  256. Lucy says:

    Apologizing and amends are very different. A quick lesson in the difference is this little analogy; when they amended the Constitution they didn't just say sorry, they changed it.

    Ebay sellers find groveling with a platter piled with apologies comes easy. The apologies are emptied by selfish motives, without care to how others are being harmed.

    Ammends would be to recalibrate the business financials to reflect the actual terms of contract with eBay, which includes a possibility of, but not a reliable or guaranteed discount, that would be seen as a bonus if achieved. The bonus discount would not in any way be shouldered by the buyers, but be entirely between eBay and the seller. As intended.

    Grovelling empty apologies only after being publicly caught in a faulty long standing business model is just embarrassing. The fact that you apologize for suing someone and not amend for the Achilles heel in your long standing business model really just smarts.

    Dude, get your shit together. It really isn't everyone else. The mistake is relying on an incentive never meant to be the norm. No one is costing you a penny. Your perspective is gravely askew.

  257. Lucy says:

    There's always companies like The Corporate Image to fall back on.

  258. James Pollock says:

    It is, of course, illegal for persons unqualified to give legal advice. So instead, let me offer this business advice:
    Price your goods and manage your operations so as to cover overhead, including eBay's FULL commission. Work to earn the discounts… if you are so close to the borderline that one unfortunate incident can cost you those discounts, you need to improve your operations to clear the bar with more margin for error. (analogy: If you're just barely getting to work on time and your boss says you'll be fired if you show up for work late, you don't improve things by explaining how bad traffic is… you improve things by leaving earlier EVERY DAY.)

  259. @James Pollock You'd be surprised how many times a month I have that very same conversation with people, and my company has a *very* generous attendance/punctuality policy compared to many, at least locally.

  260. NotImpressedByTrolls says:

    @Resolute I understand the why. I was asking the how. How can they do it and not be shot down by the judge as improper venue?

  261. Andy (not Andy) says:

    So, after the apologies and all that, it still seems there's a very clear schism between Ebay insiders and Ebay outsiders. Ebay insiders seem to think that honest feedback is a crime, while outsiders understand how Ms. Nichols (sp?) feels. All she did was report the truth about the postage due, and got sued for it.

    However, seems that some here that use Ebay a lot think that she did something wrong as well. I do not. Don't get sucked into your insular little Ebay world and start thinking that your customers don't have a right to express themselves when you (or a vendor you use) make a mistake.

  262. Andy (not Andy) says:

    (addon to above)
    Also, even if you contact your customer and fix the issue quickly, the customer has *every right* to comment on the mistake, same as you can comment on the fix.

  263. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Paul Levy has a followup:

    http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2013/04/med-express-apologizes-for-suing-a-customer-blaming-its-lawyer.html

    Basically (in a Darth Vader voice) "Apology Rejected". Med Express tried to go "oops, sorry, here, let me toss my lawyer under the bus" an hour AFTER Tom Haren and Jeffrey Nye filed a rather wicked, short, and to the point counterclaim…

  264. SharonA says:

    Here's a somewhat belated THANK YOU and CHEERS for Tom & Jeffrey for taking this case.

  265. RDD Guy says:

    A question of law: Is it ethical (and legal) for Nye and Haren to contact the other two recent defendents (one in Scranton, the other in Guam) about handling a defense and potential counter-claim for them on the same merits as Ms. Nicholls? Would it be prudent for them to do so (if hitting a guy with a clue-stick once is good, hitting him three times must be three times as good)? And is there a place I can buy in to the pool of "how long until Med Express sues Popehat for using Med Express's own statements to ridicule him as a CA"?

  266. NotImpressedByTrolls says:

    I will keep Tom Haren and Jeffrey Nye in mind should I ever need legal help in the future.

  267. apauld says:

    @Andy (not Andy) – You wrote "it still seems there's a very clear schism between Ebay insiders and Ebay outsiders. Ebay insiders seem to think that honest feedback is a crime, while outsiders understand how Ms. Nichols (sp?) feels." No. It is only bad business owners like Mr. Radley that think bad feedback is a crime and/or problem; the rest of us consider it a chance to learn how to do things better.

  268. Tali McPike says:

    If they/she haven't/hasn't already, Ms Nicholls counsel should also encourage her to file a feedback extortion complaint. It boggles my mind with as many times as Ebay has been listed as a defendant on Med Express lawsuits that hey haven't taken notice of what this seller is doing. Perhaps if Ms Nicholls and the defendants from the other two suits filed complaints, Ebay will see this history of feedback extortion that Med Express has and will finally do something about it.

  269. @ RDD Guy: The First Amendment protects a lawyer's First Amendment right to solicit potential clients to represent them so long as the representation will be provided pro bono, and Jeff Nye and Tom Haren are doing.

  270. Damian says:

    @Tali … I think one of the important issues here is that eBay doesn't give a rat's ass about any TROs sent its way. eBay didn't bother to file a response of any kind in any of the serial lawsuits filed by Radey. It appears that eBay simply removed the offending feedback/DSR rating in response to the ex parte TROs obtained by Radey. Coincidentally, Radey never seeks monetary damages from eBay (I wonder if this intent is ever communicated to eBay, hmmm) but does pursue default monetary judgments against the buyers. So in all this talk about who is getting thrown under the proverbial bus, I think it's the eBay buyers who have a giant tread mark across their backsides and no thanks to eBay for allowing it to happen.

  271. Tali McPike says:

    @Damian
    Then it would definitely behoove buyers to report Med Express to Ebay for the feedback extortion. Unfortunately, this can only be done by people who have had transactions with them.

  272. LW says:

    I have two questions: Med Express claims to be dismissing *the* lawsuit; what about the other two where the victim did not lawyer up? And, *can* Med Express dismiss since a counterclaim has been filed?

  273. Damian says:

    Typically, one cannot voluntarily dismiss a case once a cross-complaint/claim has been filed, thereby "crossing the swords" so to speak.

    Med Express/Radey would be smart to dismiss the other two cases but who knows?

    If Radey was sincere in his claim that this is all about the feedback and not money, he would set aside the prior default monetary judgments against the other buyers. Time will tell.

  274. Delvan says:

    A delightful bit from Mr. Levy's newest post on the subject, that Nicholas Weaver linked to:

    And by posting public comments about what he told his lawyer, Radey may well have waived the attorney-client privilege that would otherwise bar discovery into their communications with each other.

    Indeed, so. Most indeededly… *strokes beard*

  275. Bob Brown says:

    I was idly checking on the Streisand Effect by typing "med_express_sales" into Google when I came to this page: http://www.ripoffreport.com/-med-express-sales/credit-card-fraud/internet-internet-7F17D.htm If one scrolls down a bit, one finds an allegation of unknown veracity that med_express_sales has sold stolen equipment.

    If I were being sued by Bully Radney, which so far I am not, I would sure as Hell check with Central DuPage Hospital about any stolen "monitors" that may recently have been recovered. I put "monitor" in quotes because it could refer to anything from an inexpensive piece of computer equipment to a hideously expensive piece of physiological monitoring equipment used in a cardiac care unit.

    The person making the so-far unsupported allegation adds, "To add insult to injury, the monitor arrived postage due by USPS!"

  276. LW says:

    Radey says, "I do deeply regret the wording of the lawsuit. I had not read it and only learned of the wording on the blogs."

    The Petition is a three page document, and most of the first page is the style of the case. How hard is it to glance over a three page document and notice the demand for punitive damages from the victim for daring to make a truthful but negative comment, before you sign your name to a statement that you've read the entire three page document?

  277. SharonA says:

    Interesting entry on ripoffreport, but it's just not feeling very 'right'.

    My gut feel is that it's more likely to be someone faking the report to join the pile-on. It was posted on the 16th, as this story was spreading with explosive speed.

    Part of me wants to snark that the writer put all that effort into doing a detailed-except-in-the-important-bits* reputation-shredding on the ROR site and didn't do anything on or with Ebay where a complaint would at least get counted. Wouldn't that kind of thing merit a negative or at least neutral feedback to warn other buyers?

    *like details that might be used to independently confirm it ever happened.

  278. JohnC says:

    Having worked as lawyer, LEO, prosecutor, and a fed clerk, Richard Radey's responses here strike a familiar cord (though I am in no way whatsoever suggesting any criminal element in his case, or any similarity to what's described below, other than a basic sense of his shifting, "not my fault" explanations).

    I've probably sat through roughly 1,000 sentencings. At allocution, the standard thugs (drugs, guns, pimping, etc.) may, e.g., dispute whether the prostitutes really were "victims," or offer as mitigation how no one would hire them so they had to steal, but they generally acknowledge that, yes, they are in fact a criminal and offer a reasonable/believable mea culpa ("Yes, I know it's against the law, but I sold the weed because I wanted the money. ").

    In contrast, over the course some 100-150 white collar sentencings, I cannot recall a single WC defendant who, though admitting that he'd probably done *something* wrong, didn't somehow (despite all evidence to the contrary) plead that his misconduct was the product of some goal other than the reason for which most people steal: "I was just following my lawyer's advice"; "it didn't seem different than what Wall St. does"; "I always intended to put the money back"; "I didn't mean to break the law…and then I got scared and had to keep taking money," and so on.
    At times, it's almost as if the money stole itself. (And such equivocations are usually even more strident pre-sentencing.)

  279. That Anonymous Coward says:

    I hope the lawyers make the Judge aware that he has publicly stated that his affirmed affidavit, that under penalty of perjury he claimed to have read the complaint, has stated he did not read it at all.
    There needs to be pain, lots and lots of pain.

    One, well me anyways, wonders if the Judge in this case can look into the other cases on the same topic to make sure that this was an isolated incident…

  280. NickM says:

    Detailed Seller Ratings are expressions of personal opinion. There are no facts within them that could be found false. They're just a number of stars, from 1 to 5, in up to 4 categories.

    To claim that a court should remove them is nauseating. For a court to agree is even worse.

  281. Ebay Seller says:

    The seller had every right to sue just as the buyer had a "first amendment right" to leave a neg. Now…does the suit match the severity of the offense? No, but neither does the seller deserve the neg for the mistake made by the USPS, which was promptly corrected.

    Basically she did it "because he could", just as he did likewise. A tit for a tat.

    As for the case itself, the buyer damaged the seller's reputation over a mistake outside of the seller's control. I hope it costs her dearly financially as well as free rented space in her head.

  282. Malc says:

    In vaguely related news… it's just dawned on me _how_ the postage could have been under paid:

    If we accept (for the sake of argument) the assertion that med_express_sales did indeed take the package to the post office, and weighed it (presumably, there and using USPS scales), and…

    we recognize as true that there was $1.44 too little postage…

    … then an explanation that supports both those points is (drum roll…)
    DIMENSIONAL WEIGHT.

    A large box generally requires more postage than a smaller box. So if a relatively light object is packed (for convenience) in a large box with e.g. a bunch of peanuts, the box will be significantly lighter than the dimensional weight would require.

    And so med_express_sales can honestly and accurately state that they paid for the right postage for the weight, but still screw up by not paying the right postage for the size.

  283. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Malc – if it was handed in at the counter would that become moot?
    It is troubling that we will not be able to find the truth in all of this because right now I doubt that the owner has so much damage that I am unsure anyone would believe him if he said the sky was blue.

  284. Bob Brown says:

    @SharonA: Yes, I had an uneasy feeling about it, too. It sounded too pat to me. Given Radey's penchant for suing everyone in sight, I was trying to be careful to report the existence of that entry without stating an opinion. I didn't even try trolling through eBay sales listings for med_express_sales because "monitor" can have so many meanings in the medical setting that I wasn't sure I could recognize a relevant sale if I saw it. There's no chance the FBI, etc. are going to comment on an ongoing investigation.

    I did check that "Central DuPage Hospital" exists. It's big enough to have a director of security and small enough that such a person would have personal knowledge about equipment thefts and recovery, if any. (I worked at a slightly larger hospital for a number of years.)

    I didn't, and am not going to, try to call them. I'm a college teacher, not an investigator. What I don't know about law would fill a law library, but I doubt even proof of the allegations would be allowed in the Nicholls case. Even so, if I were involved, I'd want to know.

  285. AlphaCentauri says:

    I wouldn't accuse him of committing perjury for signing the affadavit. He made one statement under penalty of perjury, and an entirely different statement in emails and comments here. Normal people might assume the later statement supersedes the earlier one, but it's just as likely a case of someone who feels there is a different standard of honesty required when speaking under oath. That's why courts have oaths in the first place.

    @Ebay seller — you've gone to the dark side. You are one of the eBay sellers who exist to serve your feedback profile instead of serving your customers. It's not about how serious the offense is, because in any context except eBay Fantasy World, a negative rating for a single sale isn't that big a deal, and expecting a member to provide a positive (rather than neutral) rating for a sale that didn't even occur because the item was broken before shipping would be bizarre.

  286. Go Figure says:

    According to their message to Amy Nicholls (posted as an exhibit in the counterclaim) it was "weighed with a calibrated scale and double checked at the PO."

    There's nothing there to indicate it was paid for at the post office. As far as I know, handing in postage paid matter at the counter doesn't cause any sort of verification that the postage is correct.

    To what extent it was "double checked," I suppose we'll never know.

  287. LW says:

    I wonder, Ebay seller, why you didn't give your name when you proudly supported the right of Med Express to file a frivolous lawsuit with the intent to cost a truthful purchaser "dearly financially as well as free rented space in her head." Don't you want your fellow sellers to know who is standing up for their right to use the Courts to fraudulently enhance their ratings?

    Do you, Ebay seller, provide an eBay Miranda warning to your victims, I mean, buyers? I propose this language: "You have a right under eBay's rules and the Constitution to comment on your experience purchasing from me, but anything you say that is not swooning praise can and will be used against you in a court of law, in a lawsuit calculated to cost you dearly financially as well as free rented space in your head."

    It's a bit long, but perhaps some of the lawyers here can trim it down for you.

  288. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @AlphaCentauri – He claims he was totally unaware he was suing for a kajillion dollars, and admitted he should have read more carefully… or at all… when he signed the document flat out stating he read and affirmed it. How does one miss $1 vs Thousands?

    He signed a document infront of a notary, this wasn't someone put a paper in front of me and I signed…

    But then I hate bullies and I like to see them get what they deserve. Ex. Prenda, Evan Stone, Charles Carreon.

  289. RavingRambler says:

    @EBay Seller – Thank-you for making sure I will never, ever, buy anything from anyone on eBay ever again. If that's the prevailing attitude I'm surprised the entire civil court system isn't packed with eBay related cases.

  290. James Pollock says:

    Ebay Seller: "The seller had every right to sue"

    Sure, and the defendant in a meritless lawsuit has every right to recover fees and expenses related to defending the suit. It's kind of like "My right to go where I please on the public thoroughfares includes the right to drive into a bridge abutment at high speed." True, but not particularly wise.

  291. Ken White says:

    Sure, Med Express had the "right" to sue someone over a turthful comment. In the same way, I have a "right" to sue Ebay Seller for Butthurt in the First Degree for sullying our blog with an unusually stupid comment. However, if I do so, I must face the consequences, including sanctions and a potential lawsuit for malicious prosecution, not to mention the deserved opprobrium of my peers.

    There is no "right" to file frivolous lawsuits in retaliation for First Amendment-protected speech without suffering the legal and social consequences.

  292. apauld says:

    @Ebay Seller – go die already; people like you and Mr. Radey have no business being involved any business.

    @RavingRambler – I don't think the so called 'Ebay Seller' is anywhere near most people's ideas on how the world works. If it did ebay would've gone the way of Yahoo Auctions years ago, ie out of business.

  293. Delvan Neville says:

    @apauld: What the heck is "Yahoo"? :D

  294. AlphaCentauri says:

    @TAC
    Oh, I'm not defending him. I'm just saying that if the choices are "he committed perjury then" or "he's lying to us like we're stupid or something now," I can't assume the former is the correct interpretation.

  295. Anony Mouse says:

    @Bob Brown

    The problem with using ripoffreport as a source is that there's no fact checking or anything. It's chock full of frivolous and outright made-up claims. Basically, any crank can post pretty much whatever they want. Pretty much every time I've seen it used is because someone in the wrong wants to say nasty things about a company, and since their Facebook page doesn't get enough views, they go there. It's right up there with my-petition dot com for wastes of server space.

  296. Bob Brown says:

    @Anony Mouse
    Humpf! I didn't use Ripoff Report as a "source." I merely pointed out the existence of the post, which I found by accident. Have a look at SharonA's comment, and my response to it, both above.

    I'll say again, someone who wanted to check the veracity of that report could probably do so with a single phone call to the director of security at Central DuPage Hospital.

  297. Bob Brown says:

    @Ken
    You've encouraged non-lawyers to write about this. It's finally Saturday and I've had time to do so. While what I've written does re-hash the details everyone knows, I think and hope that it adds something important: eBay could have put a stop to this behavior and, at least so far, has not.

    I also caution eBay buyers to look at the "Revised feedback" number. I'm an eBay buyer, and have never noticed it before. Um, and describe Popehat as being like crack cocaine.

    So, FWIW, http://blog.emorycottage.net/2013/04/be-careful-buying-on-ebay.html

  298. Ken White says:

    @Bob Brown: Thanks — I'll read that.

  299. Derek says:

    He's probably working on an update for this now, but for those of you that are curious the story made ABC News (possibly others too, I don't read Fox News or CNN). According to ABC, Med-Express has now dropped their suit. Have no fear though, Med-Express is now being counter-sued. The story itself has also reached millions now so any rep they once had is gone.

  300. Delvan says:

    Just a day too late for it to hit ABC on Streisand's birthday, shucks. Still, glad to see the effect is hitting Med-Express with national coverage outside of the legal-blog community :)

  301. LW says:

    Did Med Express dismiss before the counterclaim was filed? It looks to me like they got in there two hours before.

    I had begun to feel a bit sorry for Med Express, until I noticed that they dismissed *without prejudice* so as soon as the blogosphere and the pro bono lawyers turn their eyes away, they can sue again.

  302. Damian says:

    Indeed, it looks like there was a race to the courthouse. A voluntary dismissal w/o prejudice as to all parties was filed in the Nicholls case on April 18 at 8:52 am. Her answer/counterclaim was filed later that morning at 10:14 am but it appears to have been served on Med Express by email/US mail the day prior, so they knew it was coming.

    Similar dismissals were filed in the other two cases but only later that afternoon at 3:51 pm. It looks like Med Express skipped breakfast and hustled down to the courthouse to file the Nicholls dismissal before the filing of the answer they knew was coming. Med Express then took a deep breath, had lunch, and then filed the two remaining dismissals in a more leisurely manner.

    It seems to me that the answer/counterclaim (and motion to consolidate) filed by Nicholls are moot since the actions were all dismissed before an answer was filed, but I know nothing of Ohio civil procedure.

  1. April 15, 2013

    […] If you are a lawyer with bar privileges in Medina, Ohio, or you know someone who is a lawyer with bar privileges in Medina, Ohio, and you or the person you know is willing to donate some pro bono time to give Med Express the legal ass-kicking they so roundly deserve, please get in touch with Ken White at Popehat (his take on this story is here). […]

  2. April 15, 2013

    […] LOOKING FOR PRO BONO FIRST AMENDMENT COUNSEL in Medina County, Ohio. […]

  3. April 15, 2013

    […] Popehat tonight I came across this article. Apparently eBay seller Med Express Sales thinks that just because Ohio doesn't have an […]

  4. April 16, 2013

    […] story comes courtesy of Popehat and Paul Allen Levy (and if you are a lawyer in Ohio and can offer pro-bono assistance, please […]

  5. April 16, 2013

    […] Specifically, the plaintiff seeks compensation for the damage to their business from the single negative feedback, along with punitive damages, and attorney's fees. What they really want, though, is to shut up an unhappy customer and force eBay to take down the feedback. […]

  6. April 16, 2013

    […] Amodio has not spoken publicly about the case, but he probably should. Popehat recently put out "a call for lawyers and citizens to assist a litigant in standing up against unprincipled cens… […]

  7. April 17, 2013

    […] After a shipment purchased on eBay arrived postage due without warning, a buyer posted mildly negative feedback about the seller, an Ohio outfit calling itself Med Express (there are a number of suppliers with similar names). The seller offered to cover the charge, but also demanded that buyer Amy Nicholls take down the feedback, which she declined to do. Now it's suing her, reports Paul Levy of Public Citizen, even though its lawyer appears to concede the feedback was accurate. [Mike Masnick, TechDirt] Ken at Popehat: […]

  8. April 17, 2013

    […] – Ohio company Med Express is suing an eBay buyer for leaving negative (but truthful) feedback on the site. Company lawyer James Amodio admits that they're abusing legal system, says they're going ahead with lawsuit anyway. […]

  9. April 18, 2013

    […] dared to give the company negative feedback. By Tuesday, the lawsuit had been covered by Ars and other sites. Yesterday, the story was featured in a British tabloid and then on MSN. Without a doubt, Med […]

  10. April 19, 2013

    […] dared to give the company negative feedback. By Tuesday, the lawsuit had been covered by Ars and other sites. Yesterday, the story was featured in a British tabloid and then on MSN. Without a doubt, Med […]

  11. April 19, 2013

    […] actual high-volume eBay seller showed up in the comments of the PopeHat post to point out how the seller's fees discount program works, and that this seller probably […]