eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) revamped their user agreement last August, but one watchdog group is calling them out on some of the changes.
Public Citizen claims that eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) is making it more difficult to file lawsuits. In the revised agreement, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) clearly stated that all claims against the company should be resolved in through final and binding arbitration instead of court. Some users can take qualifying claims to small court if necessary. This agreement will take affect on October 10.
On behalf of the consumers, Public Citizen sent eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) an email to complain about the policy. They also started an online petition, in hopes to get people to join them in the battle.
Public Citizen explained the bottom line of their concern regarding the policy change, “Most eBay users accept the take-it-or-leave-it contract language without reviewing it, and most don’t understand that the forced arbitration clause means they will be shut out of court if they are harmed by company misconduct, particularly when large numbers of users each suffer small-dollar losses.”
One spokeswoman for retail/auction giant said, “The arbitration provision encourages swift and reasonable resolution, as opposed to litigation, that can be protracted, expensive, and often dissatisfying to customers. We believe this approach will benefit both eBay Inc. and our customers.
eBay isn’t the only website to hoodwink their users. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) recently admitted that they’ve been peeking at private messages between users. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has dealt with privacy issues in the past, but this one could cause them to lose a significant amount of users.
The changes in eBay’s new user policy probably won’t affect sales, but it should prompt consumers to rethink their purchases, and for businesses to rethink about their customer service policies.
In the end, no matter what websites Internet users utilize, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly read through any policy before purchasing or signing up for anything.