Let's say you have a dispute with a trading partner on a $100.00 item. Things arent going well, and you post negative feedback just to show him who is boss !!! Your trading partner doesn't take too kindly to this and files a lawsuit against you for slander, libel, defamation of character, intentional infliction of emotional distress and harassment. He asks for punitive damages in a jury trial in the amount of $10,000.00 and payment of his legal fees in the amount of $5,000.00.
Scenario #1: You think it's a joke until you receive notice from the Court, and now you have to spend $5,000.00 on your own to hire an attorney to defend you in this lawsuit. You go to Court and you win the case. Wow. Everything is good. However, you cannot recover the $5,000.00 that it cost you to hire your own attorney to defend you, so this $100.00 item on eBay just ended up costing you $5,000.00. Good deal? Not in your life !!!
Scenario #2: You think it's a joke until you receive notice from the Court, and now you have to spend $5,000.00 on your own to hire an attorney to defend you in this lawsuit. You go to Court and you lose the case. Now you have trouble, and you know it. You owe the Buyer $10,000.00 in punitive damages. You also owe him $5,000.00 in legal fees for the Buyer's attorneys. And, the worst part, you cannot recover the $5,000.00 that it cost you to hire your own attorney to defend you. So, this $100.00 item on eBay just ended up costing you $20,000.00. Good deal? Not in your life !!!
Whether you win or lose doesn't make a difference. You put down thirty or so misplaced words just to get back at the Seller, and it ends up costing you 1000 times what the value of the item was, and you did it just because you wanted the other eBay members to see what a jerk the Buyer was.
Well, here's the problem. When you post negative feedback, it goes on the record for millions of eBay members to see. And, even if you mutually retract the feedback, it only changes your feedback score -- the comments are still there for millions of eBay members to see. Unless you have a Order from the Court, eBay WILL NOT take those comments off both the Buyer and Seller's profile
And, if you win your case, that's great -- you still have to pay your own attorney to defend you, and you cannot normally recover those fees
You can't win !!!
Either way, you can't win !!!
How do I know this? It's simple. I'm an eBay member, and I'm a Lawyer. And, I've sued two members for leaving negative feedback, and won both cases. These two eBay members ended up giving me a total of $47,000.00 !!!
And, I have another lawsuit pending against an eBay member - a Pastor, a man of the cloth - who flat out lied in a PayPal dispute after posting negative feedback. I should pocket about $50,000.00 for that one !!
As a Lawyer, my advice is just plain simple.
Unless you'd like to get sued, please consider the consequences of leaving negative feedback. Also, please remember that when you write these thirty or so misplaced words, they never dissapear even if you mutually retract feedback. Those words will always be there for all the world to see.
If you'd like to roll the dice and think that it would never happen to you, you can do that. However, if you'd like to spend a few thousand dollars, and a thousand times more than what the item is worth, then take your chances and put down thirty, or so, misplaced words and file negative feedback.
Your worst nightmare will come true if the eBay member just happens to be rather intelligent -- or in my case, a Lawyer.
Remember. You can't win !!!