"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Never have children, only grandchildren." - Gore Vidal


The Riddling Reaver I got from eBay was described as being in "very good" condition, but when I got it I realised that even the most charitable appraisal could only deliver, at most, a verdict of "good". I made note of this to the seller and he said it was "very good" considering it was 20 years old. Slightly peeved, I left him neutral feedback with a gentle chiding about an inaccurate description. In return for my polite, factual and *neutral* feedback, I got negative feedback from him and some really far out comments ("Rubbish ebayer"). I checked his feedback history and found that he had similarly burnt other unfortunate souls. I emailed 4-5 of them to commiserate and 1 replied:

"It was so nice to get your message, because I felt so aggrieved by the whole incident with ***. My 1st negative feedback and really brutal - and all over a £3.00 transaction! I haven't bought on ebay since as it left me feeling so wronged. Still, I suppose if I'm losing sleep over something like that, I need to develop a thicker skin. Anyway, thanks for getting in touch - it's good to know that I'm not the only one to be bruised by him."

After some thought, I figured that the feedback system would be improved and people would be more inclined to give genuine feedback rather than spiteful, unwarranted feedback in retaliation or misleadingly glowing feedback for fear of retaliation, if the decision was made in secret by both sides (you leave feedback, he leaves feedback and both sides see what the other party has done after they themselves have moved and cannot alter their decision); right now if you are the first to leave someone feedback he can see your move and respond to it. Hmm, this may even have an element of time inconsistency.

I emailed eBay with my suggestion, but like YouTube (which keeps setting my uploaded videos to Chinese) they sent me a stock reply (not an auto-replier, mind you) clearly showing that they hadn't read my email at all.

The second time, they did reply properly (unlike YouTube, which sent me a rubbish response maybe 2-3 times), and it was bizarre:

"I assure you that we are committed to the continuous improvement of our website to make it both a fun and safe place to trade. However, please note that our company policy does not allow us to accept or consider ideas or proposals, other than those that we have specifically requested.

Please understand that this policy is intended to avoid the possibility of future misunderstandings when new products, services or features developed internally by eBay employees might be similar or even identical to your idea or proposal."

Hopefully what I suggested falls under "Send us your suggestion to improve the eBay site." I'm not going to re-submit it in another obscure corner again.
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