Image: eBay

    Disgruntled customers are allowed to formulate their criticism sharply after a purchase on the eBay Internet platform. However, according to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), this must not be abusive criticism – i.e. not purely used to disparage the seller. Value judgments, on the other hand, are protected by freedom of expression in the Basic Law, the eighth civil senate decided on Wednesday in Karlsruhe. "Even exaggerated, unfair or even abusive criticism does not in itself make a statement an insult." (Ref. VIII ZR 319/20)

    In this case, a man bought four hinge pin clamps from a Bavarian company on Ebay. Of the 19.26 euros paid, 4.90 euros were shipping costs. After receiving the goods, he wrote in a review: "Goods good, shipping costs extortionate!" Ebay’s General Terms and Conditions (GTC) state the following on the subject of reviews: "The ratings submitted by users must be factual and may not contain any abusive criticism." The seller wanted to ensure that the customer "usury"-Comment must be removed – but the court did not follow this. (dpa)