The owner of a small business has accused online auction giant eBay of abusing its monopoly by banning him.
Ben Lord, from Ixworth, says eBay has banned his model truck business Speedbird Promotions from selling on the site for failing to improve customer satisfaction levels, even though he had nothing to sell for five months.
Mr Lord said: “They’re abusing their position as the monopoly online auction site. They’re trading unfairly.”
He said that last February 10 out of 67 of Speedbird’s eBay customers worldwide reported they were dissatisfied.
In the April, eBay told Speedbird it had to address customer satisfaction issues, but Mr Lord says that coincided with a problem with a supplier so he had nothing to sell on the site until August.
“eBay decided we hadn’t done anything to address our below standards level and suspended us,” Mr Lord said. “We didn’t do anything between April and August because we didn’t have anything to sell.
“We were selling about £5,000 a month on eBay — 40 per cent of our turnover.”
He told eBay of the situation and used an appeals procedure on the website but the ban stayed.
An eBay spokesman said: “If the standards aren’t met, sellers receive advice and will be given a deadline by which they must improve. Ultimately, if there is no improvement, eBay may close an account in order to protect buyers.”
“I can confirm we have investigated this case on several occasions, and our appeals process has concluded.”
Asked how Speedbird could improve its ratings with nothing to sell, he replied: “We considered these factors in making our decision.”