Both Bidtimelive.com and Bidtime25.com are now gone, they haven’t responded to customers in months and they haven’t shipped out owed items. Why not? When speaking with Jay at Bidtime a few months back he told us that all customers would be taken care of, it’s been over 4 months now and still there are customers awaiting items. Bidtime’s penny auctions aren’t the first to do this, there are many sites that have ripped us all off. We, as well as at least one other PAW member is out a few hundred dollars spent on won items and bids from TidBidz.com, no response ever and unfortunately that’s just one example.
Why would this be? Why do some penny auction sites think it’s ok to violate consumer protection acts? Maybe they didn’t know this was fraudulent? Maybe they’re all just con artists? This is inexcusable, something needs to be done to stop fraud. The first step for consumers would be to report it. Report it to the FTC, the IC3, the police, the Attorney’s General, congressman, senators, whoever will listen.
Consumers need to know their rights and sellers need to know the laws.
Take a look the FTC’s Internet Auction Consumer Protection presentation.
“The basic consumer protection statute enforced by the Commission is Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which provides that “unfair and deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce are declared unlawful”-(15 U.S.C. Sec. 45(a)(1)).
- Multiple mail drops opened under other false names to avoid detection.
- SHILLS: Sellers use “shills” to bid on their items to drive up the price of the items.”
Also from the presentation:
“Federal Court Injunctive Action
• To stop an ongoing scam
• To obtain redress for consumers.”
If you’ve been swindled by an online auction site please report it to the FTC at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
The FTC has even addressed shill reviewers, think you can shill post in our forum (we catch you most of the time)? Take a look at this:
“Tips for Sellers…
Under federal law, you’re required to advertise your product or service and the terms of the sale honestly and accurately. You can’t place “shill” bids on your item to boost the price or offer false testimonials about yourself in the comment section of Internet auction sites.
You’re prohibited from auctioning illegal goods; some auction sites have further prohibition on sales of other items. While many auction sites monitor to ensure that illegal items are not being offered, the responsibility for ensuring that a sale is legal rests with the seller and buyer. Some auction sites post a list of prohibited items.
You are required to ship merchandise within the time frame specified during the auction, or within 30 days, if a time frame is not specified. If you can’t meet the shipping commitment, you must give the buyer an opportunity to agree to the new shipping date or cancel the order for a full refund. To learn more about your responsibilities when shipping products, see A Business Guide to the Federal Trade Commission’s Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule.”- Internet Auctions A Guide for Buyers and Sellers
If you’re committing fraud, stop it, it’s more than likely going to catch up with you one day. Stop hurting people.
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