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Old 01-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default The Leviathans

Hi WTF?,

Sorry to hear this happened to you and to other sellers who are innocent of any wrong doing. What eBay and PayPal have done is to set up contracts that give them the legal right to do what they do. By agreeing to the contract you and everyone else have agreed to allow them to do this. However, these kinds of contracts are referred to as adhesion contracts by lawyers. They are written totally in favour of one party to the contract, namely eBay/PayPal because their lawyers wrote the contract. They do not give anyone any rights except themselves. Anyone who has ever signed a rental agreement at an apartment complex has also signed an adhesion contract. In the case of renters, however, all states provide certain statutes in the state's Property Code and in some other Codes to protect renters from retaliation and other illegal acts of landlords. Has anyone ever seen the renters' statutory rights listed in a rental contract? I bet not! Most renters do not know what their rights are, so landlords get away with a lot of illegal actions.

In the case of PayPal and eBay, if you cannot afford to pay an attorney a large retainer, and then to replenish that retainer as it is depleted, then the next best things you can do are (1) write to your state and Federal representatives; (2) write to eBay and PayPal's state and Federal representatives; (3) file a complaint with the BBB where PayPal/eBay operate. (Please understand that the BBB has no jurisdiction over anyone and cannot do anything aside from forward your complaint to eBay or PayPal. However, if your complaint is not resolved, the BBB will keep it on their records as an unresolved complaint. This is all they can do.) (4) Write to your newspapers and news stations. If you can get the press interested, that could help. (5) File your own individual suits in small claims/justice courts. You do not need to be a lawyer to do this, and if you can show the court that you are indigent, you will not have to pay the filing fees, the subpoena fees for witnesses, etc. In all likelihood you will lose the case, but eBay/PayPal will be forced to have their attorneys file responses and appear in court, etc. In short, it will cost them a bit of money, and depending on how much you may be willing to settle for, they may settle with you in order to get the case dismissed without a trial. Also, if enough people filed cases, it would certainly draw the judiciary's and the legislators' attention to what is going on with eBay/PayPal. No judge wants his/her docket clogged up with a ton of "petty" cases against eBay/PayPal. (6) File a consumer protection complaint with your state's attorney general's office. They will probably not be able to do anything, but eBay/PayPal will not like the attorney generals office taking any notice of any this, and they will worry about how it may affect future legislation. (7) Send a letter to eBay/PayPal's state's governor. I think it they are in California, and California has an awful lot of trouble right now, but if they can see a way to put money in the state's coffers for finding eBay/PayPal doing anything wrong, I am sure they would be happy to do so.

The upshot is that no one should ever have agreed to one of eBay or PayPal's adhesion contracts. However, until state and Federal legislators write laws to protect you from excessive, one-side provisions in these contracts, there is little else you can do but hire an attorney to protect you, or try to find an attorney who does class acton lawsuits AND who is experienced in Federal Court, because that is where the case would have to be filed, AND who has enough has enough income of his/her own to fund the litigation, which could go on for years. It will take a large, rich law firm to finance that kind of litigation. No small one, two, or three man/woman office is likely to be able to afford it. After all, you have to realize that eBay and PayPal are very rich, and they can afford to pay their attorneys to keep the litigation going for a long time, and if the plaintiffs' money runs out, the defendants have won the lawsuit financially and legally, as there is no law that says both sides must be funded equally. (Remember that the same thing is true of political campaigns, which a top reason why Washington is so screwed up.) This is a wonderful example of how our legal system is geared to the rich. A plaintiff's attorney will have to be well funded in order to get the case to trial. That does not even mean that s/he will win, even. If the case is lost, s/he would have to be well funded to appeal the decision. An appeal costs a lot of money, too, and the appellate court may find for the defendant (eBay/PayPal) or even remand the case for a new trial. There are many variables to consider, but the first and most important thing to remember about litigation, and with most everything else in life, is that The Peso Has the Say-So.

Also, realize that a class action lawsuit found in favour of the plaintiffs is designed to punish the defendant. As a result, very little money goes to each class member who elects to sign on to the suit. The two or three representing plaintiffs will get a bit more than the rest, but the bulk of the money goes to the plaintiffs' attorneys. Generally, only a token amount goes to each of the other plaintiffs who have signed on to a class action lawsuit. Before you cry foul, you must realize that this is to encourage attorneys to accept worthwhile class action suits and to prosecute them in the public interest. Otherwise, the cost involved in trying to get these cases to trial is prohibitive, and finding a law firm to litigate such cases would be impossible unless it was privately funded by one or more plaintiffs to the case. Once again, you must remember that The Peso Has the Say-So, and in these cases, eBay and PayPal have the pesos. I am sure they own a few legislators in their state. Please let what happened these last few years with banks and Wall Street instruct you to the reality of these types of situations. Look at your credit card agreements from a few years ago and look at the updated ones of today. Now, the government has forced the banks/credit card companies to tell you in your agreements, and even on your monthly statements, what it will mean to you if you only pay the minimum due, or if you make a late payment, etc. This is the kind of legislation that is needed to reign in eBay and PayPal, but it will never get written unless enough people get on the backs of their state and Federal legislators.

I wish I could offer more hope. All I can say is for anyone who has not already agreed to PayPal's "verification," then do not do it! The truth is that there is strength in numbers, and if more and more sellers and buyers would desert eBay and PayPal, it could cause a more equitable system to emerge. Until then, eBay and PayPal will continue to act as greedy, manipulative, immoral Leviathans, but you agreed they could treat you this way by agreeing to their contracts. Remember, they cannot hurt you unless you agree to their adhesion contracts. Beware!

Last edited by Capisce?!; 01-16-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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