When Chris Read bought the mobile phone though eBay, it was descirbed as being in good condition, but when arriving the phone was the wrong model and appeared to be damaged. After a refund from the seller, Read left negative feedback on the auction website: "Item was scratched, chipped and not the model advertised on Mr Jones’s eBay account."
The feedback has now resulted in a threat of libel action after Mr Jones claimed that his business has been damaged. The legal missive also says that if he refuses to comment on the matter he will be forced to court facing fee’s and damages.
"I can’t believe someone can be so petty," said 42-year-old father-of-five Read.
"All I had done was left an honest opinion and everything I said was true. I thought that was why the feedback service was there. It’s not like I wrote anything malicious or called him a conman.’
An eBay spokesman said the firm operated a mediation service to handle disputes over feedback comments.
"In this particular case, the seller never contacted us about the buyer," the spokesman added.
Libel involves someone’s personal or business reputation being damaged by a false or defamatory statement that has been published.
The law is the same whether the comments appear in written form or are broadcast on the radio or television, or appear online.