Hayden Barnes, of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC filed suit on Tuesday in United States District Court Western District of North Carolina against Internet auction site eBay, Inc. and it's subsidiary Internet payment site, PayPal, Inc. alleging the companies encourage users of the service to sell and ship items internationally without warning customers it disqualifies them from PayPal's money-back Seller Protection Policy.The suit stems from a dispute between Barnes and PayPal, Inc which began on April 20th, 2005 when PayPal notified Barnes an item he sold on eBay, paid for via PayPal was purchased with a stolen credit card. The funds in Barnes' account were placed on hold and later reversed. Barnes had already shipped the item to Russia, leaving him no recourse.
Barnes claims he had no warning he would not qualify for PayPal's Seller Protection Policy. He claims that as users list their items for sale, eBay actively encourages them to make their item available for sale internationally and to list their item with "gift services", one of which is shipping to an address other than the billing address on the buyer's credit card. That is what Barnes did when he was approached by "Kathleen" who posed herself as an American employee of a computer reseller in Russia, who requested Barnes ship the item there. Little did he know "Kathleen" was a scammer who, as Barnes later discovered, had stolen the credit card information of an senior citizen from St. Charles, MO and shipped the item to himself in Saratov, Russia.
The suit seeks reinstatement of the funds reversed from his PayPal account plus court fees.Earlier this month a similar class-action lawsuit was brought against eBay, Inc and PayPal, Inc. by eleven customers who sought restitution for PayPal's failure to honor it's Buyer Protection Policy. Thousands of other PayPal "horror stories" including many similar to Barnes' as well as additional information on other suits brought against PayPal and eBay, can be found online at http://www.paypalsucks.comCase Facts:Case 1:05CV92Filed April 26, 2005Assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge: The Honorable Judge Dennis L. Howell Barnes is filing his case acting as his own attorneyCopies of the filing, about 60 pages including attachments, are available by contacting Barnes at the email address or phone number above.According to Peter Kang of Forbes Magazine:eBay shares are down 44% this year.PayPal fees accounted for 21% of eBay's 2004 revenue.PayPal was the payment method of choice for 74% of eBay auctions in 2004.PayPal recently announced merchant charge hikes of over 60%Biographical Information on Thomas H Barnes:Thomas H.
Barnes is a 20-year-old sophomore at Warren Wilson College, a small liberal arts college outside of Asheville, NC. He attends night classes to earn his EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification and is an active volunteer firefighter at the Swannanoa Volunteer Fire Department. Barnes is transferring to Western Carolina University, in Cullowhee, NC in the Fall to pursue a degree in Emergency Management. Barnes has no formal legal training, other than being active in Mock Trial in high school..