PayPal And eBay Withholding Funds

 

To whom it may concern and I would imagine that a great many other eBay sellers are in this "concerned" category with me. According to an eBay agent I spoke to, eBay in conjunction with its payment and banking subsidiary, PayPal, has initiated a new (in October of 2011), retroactively calculated, sales linked banking and money transfer policy. As of last month, according to eBay's' phone agent, if a seller does not have a near perfect mailing score for the LAST YEARS mailing transactions, as ANONYMOUSLY recorded by buyers filling in eBay's "star graphic" portion when leaving feed back, of above 98%, or as eBay confusingly shows it a score of 2 or less, PayPal will put a hold on moneys paid to the seller for each consecutive item sold for up to 21 DAYS! This restriction on an account is calculated by reviewing an individuals last years feedback scores and will lasts until a year passes from the first mailing "star graphic" down grade given within that year, a revolving situation that can condemn a seller to having restricted and delayed access to monies received into their PayPal account in perpetuity. EBay reviewed my last years transactions last week, just after this new policy was instated, and due to anonymous mailing feedback, left before this new policy was instated, PayPal has now put an up to 21 day hold on funds paid to me regardless of the 100% positive overall feedback I have for that period. I am sure many others have had access to their funds withheld as well since the beginning of this new eBay-PayPal policy last month! My mailing score was assessed as 3.51, "Below Standard" according to eBay, or 96.49% positive mailing feedback when rendering that score as a percentage of all sales transactions made. EBay sites 4 down graded mailing scores out of 166 transactions over the last year as the reason for sequestering my received funds! Over 91 of those transactions have been sales. This new policy by eBay-PayPal cannot be appealed even with the help of a buyer who wants to change their mailing "star grade" score. I have tried to do so, with the help of a buyer, and neither they nor I could reverse the "star" downgrade they gave. Nor was eBay willing to provide me the identities of the others who downgraded my mailing costs so that I might try to correct the situation with them. Such anonymous down grade scoring results in, in my opinion, unfair treatment by what has become an eBay-PayPal internet sales-payment system business trust. This new policy punishes small internet business, using the eBay platform, with out recourse to correct it and disallows buyers the opportunity to reassess and change feed back if they want to. The obvious purpose, no matter what the "officially stated" reason, for eBay-PayPal doing this is to increase the "float" of available cash they hold so eBay-PayPal can make a greater profit through the banking end of its activities, accrued interest, credit cards, loans etc., at the expense of the small users of their internet payment service.
From a seller's perspective, in eBay's' supposedly free market, if a buyer knows the mailing costs when buying an item, and buys, then to down grade mailing costs feedback after the fact is unfair, but I can accept such a downgrade, visibly shown, with my overall feedback score to provide buyers with pertinent information about me as a seller. However, what I find, as a seller, unacceptable is for eBay to use such mailing cost "scorings" retroactively to put a hold on my received funds, using scores given before this policy was even put into effect to restrict my access to monies in my account. This is especially egregious if such a score is anonymous and eBay allows no recourse to rectify the situation between seller and buyer. This is tantamount to changing the games rules right in the middle of play. EBay-PayPal is now using this anonymous "Star grading system", which was originally intended just to inform buyers as to how other buyers assessed the mailing practices of a seller and to allow the buyer to choose if they wish to buy using that information, to hold and use moneys that are not the property of eBay-PayPal; funds from independent business using the eBay-PayPal internet sales platform. This practice is unfair and unethical and borders on extortion and may violate interstate commerce and banking laws especially in its retroactive application.
That is my opinion; I invite other sellers to form their own, act accordingly and make their feelings known. I believe this latest "new policy" initiated by eBay-PayPal is quite possibly illegal in its scope and application, in that it denies individuals access to funds that even eBay-PayPal acknowledges, on their web site, belongs to the individuals whose funds are being held.
This situation is in need of investigation by; The Federal Interstate Banking Commission, since PayPal has, in essence, become an internet bank and it appears to be violating American laws that regulate such activities by the withholding of legitimately earned, transferred and deposited interstate funds; The Federal Interstate Commerce Commission for eBay-PayPal's impeding interstate commerce by unfair banking practices; and The Department of Consumer Affairs for arbitrarily disadvantaging interstate sellers without providing an avenue to rectify the anonymous "feedback" that has disrupted their ability to provide service to their customers; and any other federal or state investigative organ that might have jurisdiction in this situation.
Like wise, it might be appropriate and profitable for a trial lawyer or group of them, specializing in internet law, banking and commerce; to look into this new over reaching policy, recently initiated by eBay-PayPal, to see if a class action suite against eBay-PayPal's recent activities might be in order. If such a lawsuit were to arise I would be one of the first to sign on to it if asked. Are there other sellers out there of a like mind? This issue parallels and is connected to the concerns of the "Occupy Wall Street movement". Do large multinational, virtual, internet TRUSTS such as eBay-PayPal has become, have the right to stifle commerce and take control of others monies arbitrarily for their profit. EBay-PayPal has, in my opinion, over reached and strayed into unethical and possibly illegal activity and like all things that have grown to big and disconnected with its original intended mission, it needs to be pruned.

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