Geta boss blasts back at Trade Me legal threat
"Trade Me is squarely in the right here. But the larger story is it's turning from the NZ site everyone loves into the backyard bully. That's bad for business, staff and shareholders"Featured comment
Geta boss Gerard Peters has blasted back at Trade Me's implied legal threat, delivered this afternoon.
The threat centres on the new auction site's plan to import sellers' Trade Me feedback ratings.
"So yet again another bullying tactic by the giant monopoly. A trading platform should be a place where kiwis feel safe to trade freely, not a concentration camp," Mr Peters told NBR.
"Locking user's years of feedback and trading history within one platform is almost trapping users to use the platform even if they are unhappy with it.
"There seems to be no more freedom given to users anymore with this kind of behaviour. No matter where you trade, one must be able to show their viability and legitimacy as a trader. Restricting this from users is almost forcing them to stay within a marketplace is an unfair restraint of trade," the chairman says.
"We are still working towards this feature for Geta and will integrate it legally."
On social media and in NBR Comments (below), the mob has tended to see Trade Me's approach as overbearing.
But some have also suggested the various Trade Me rivals have further to go to get their houses in order.
"Geta boss can shut the **** up until he tidies up SQL injection attacks in his site," developer Ben Gracewood noted on Twitter.
Trade Me sounds legal warning as Geta seeks to snaffle its community ratings
New auction site contender Geta is looking to stand out from the pack with a range of unique features, including Facebook connectivity and the option to upload a video with your listing.
But there's one feature that could really raise eyebrows. Chairman Gerard Peters told NBR that Geta would offer the option to import a Trade Me 'feedback' score.
The ability to import a Trade Me reputation rating has frequently popped up on NBR readers' wishlists in Comments after auction site stories. People see it as a way to instantly judge a seller's authority. There's no doubt it would help jumpstart any Trade Me rival.
But it seems Trade Me won't stand idly by while a newcomer appropriates its community rankings.
While not speaking directly to Geta's move, the site did sound a general warning to the market.
"People work hard for their Trade Me feedback and there’s nothing to stop a person telling others what their Trade Me feedback rating is," head of marketplace Craig Jordon told NBR.
"However it is a violation of our terms and conditions to have other websites link to Trade Me feedback.
"We don’t want to get silly about it, but would remind other website operators that inducing people to breach a contract is a tort and probably not a great idea. We’d suggest any website considering this sort of thing takes good legal advice before proceeding."
Section 4d of Trade Me's terms and conditions reads:
Feedback is provided for the sole purpose of facilitating trading between members on the Trade Me Website. You must not market or export any feedback to any venue other than the Trade Me Website. Linking to your Trade Me feedback from other buying and selling websites will be considered a breach of our terms and conditions.