Australian competitor, users take on eBay

Paymate lodges complaint with ACCC over eBay's efforts to convince buyers that PayPal is the safest, most secure online payment method

EBay doesn't seem to be out of the woods just yet.

Despite having officially withdrawn its plan to require sellers using its Australian auction site to use only PayPal - a payment service owned by eBay - as their electronic payments processor, eBay is facing a backlash from users and one rival.

Last week, Paymate, an eBay rival in online payment processing, lodged a formal complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), regarding what it called eBay's restrictive trade practices.

And angry eBay users are threatening to take the online auction giant to court over the "aggressive manner in which eBay continues to promote PayPal as its preferred payment method."

Although eBay has backed off plans to require eBay Australian sellers to accept only PayPal as their online payment method, it still requires sellers to accept PayPal as one of their payment methods.

In Paymate's view, eBay's actions are anti-competitive because the company is forcing sellers to offer PayPal. Paymate also said eBay is restricting the ability of Paymate or other online payment processors to be adopted because eBay won't allow sellers to express a preference for any particular method, it promotes PayPal aggressively to buyers to imply it is the "default" method, and it doesn't provide sellers and buyers with information about alternative payment options.

Paymate also objects to eBay's efforts to convince buyers and sellers that PayPal is the safest, most secure online payment method, which implies that other online payment options, such as Paymate, are less secure.

Paymate said such action is a breach of Australia's Trade Practices Act. Paymate is asking the ACCC to require eBay to immediately cease its conduct or face prosecution by the ACCC in the Federal Court.

"I hope the ACCC and eBay will see the sense in our submission, which helps eBay meet its goal of reducing 'bad buyer experiences' while giving buyers and sellers a free choice of payment method," said Dilip Rao, managing director of Paymate, in a statement. "We can surely trust Australians to make a sensible choice, balancing risks and costs, if they are given reasonable information on all payment options online."

A review process with the ACCC is still underway.

EBay Australia spokesman Daniel Feiler could not be reached for comment on the Paymate action.

Infuriated users are also taking on eBay over this issue. A group of eBay members are planning to take eBay to court for among other things, its "misrepresentation, suppression of other payment methods, deletion of sellers' listings without cause, refusal to allow sellers to pass on PayPal charges and the issuing of misleading statements to further the illusion that PayPal is more secure than other established and proven payment methods."

Feiler, reached earlier, said eBay will not speculate on any threatened legal action by a group of sellers, instead preferring to work with sellers to keep eBay Australia's leading online marketplace.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?