- Amy Nicholls ordered $175 microscope light from Ohio-based Med Express
- It arrived with $1.40 postage due, so she posted negative feedback on site
- Firm offered a refund and when she refused, it sued for damaging business
- Lawyers acting for Ms Nicholls demand firm withdraws ‘frivolous’ case
PUBLISHED: 10:32 EST, 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 13:05 EST, 17 April 2013
A woman who posted negative feedback on eBay when her order arrived owing postage is being sued by the seller after she refused to remove her criticism.
Amy Nicholls, of Greenville, South Carolina, was disappointed at having to pay for postage and the seller, Ohio-based Med Express, its first negative feedback.
Now the firm, which is believed to sell medical supplies entirely though the internet auction site, is claiming her criticism may damage their business – even though it is true – and is suing Ms Nicholls for defamation.
eBay feedback: Ms Nicholls’ seemingly innocuous comment sparked a lawsuit from Ohio-based firm, Med Express
The row began in February when Ms Nicholls bought a microscope light source for $175, plus $12 shipping costs, from Med Express Inc, which trades on eBay as med_express_sales.
When the package arrived with postage due of around $1.40, Ms Nicholls paid it but then went onto eBay and gave Med Express a negative rating.
She wrote: ‘Order arrived with postage due with no communication from seller beforehand.’
According to Public Citizen Litigation Group, Med Express offered to refund her the extra charge, and asked her to remove her negative comment.
Ms Nicholls refused, because her comment was correct and because she was more annoyed by the inconvenience of having to pay extra postage than the amount itself.
At this point Med Express, which has its headquarters in Medina, OH, and which has only one negative review compared to around 140 positive reviews in the last six months, sued.
Microscope light that began a lawsuit: Ms Nicholls purchased this $175 light on eBay and paid $12 postage
They admitted that the comment was correct, but said that she should remove her comment because it could be detrimental to their sales.
The firm also requested a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against eBay in that hope that it would have the comment removed. A judge denied the TRO.
Rather than back down, Ms Nicholls is now being helped in her case by Public Citizen Litigation Group.
Lawyers for Med Express filed a defamation suit against Ms Nicholls and requested an order be granted to force eBay to take the comment down
Public Citizen’s Paul Levy wrote to Med Express’s lawyer James Amodio saying: ‘Your lawsuit, and your TRO motion, are completely frivolous and I hope your client will agree to drop both of them without further proceedings.’
Referring to Ms Nicholls, Mr Levy added: ‘The point she made in her message to you was that the problem wasn’t the money but the hassle.
‘She indicated that she would have been willing to pay 41.40 more in shipping up front, but that she was posting feedback because a company that ships products ought to be able to do a better job.’
Public Citizen is now looking for an Ohio-based lawyer to take on the case on Ms Nicholls’s behalf.
Mr Amodio did not respond to MailOnline’s request for a comment before this story was published.
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