Week Adjourned: 3.19.10

WTF eBay? Top Class Actions

Hey eBay, maybe try Email? eBay’s in trouble this week—facing a class action brought by a deaf woman in Missouri on allegations that the online auction site is discriminatory regarding its telephone registration system.


Apparently, Melissa J. Earll of Nevada, MO, tried multiple times to register to sell items on the site but couldn’t because the company requires sellers to verify their identities via telephone using PINs (short for pain in (@##$)). Despite Ms. Earll’s numerous attempts to explain her hearing issue to the company over email and online chat support asking for an alternate method to authorize her account, eBay reportedly refused to accommodate her.

Now, you can’t blame eBay for requiring security, and rest assured they would likely be sued if they didn’t have any in place. But really, the phone?

It strikes me that there are a couple of interesting assumptions here, the first and obvious one being that everyone should be able to use the phone—to hear instructions—and the second is that you’ll be able to understand those instructions when you hear them—and that has nothing to do with how well you can hear. What about people with cognitive dysfunction?

Ms. Earll’s lawsuit is being filed on behalf of all deaf or hard-of-hearing persons who have been prevented from registering as sellers with eBay as a result of this phone registration policy.

Chantix, Champix, Schmampix…call it what you will but… After years of witnessing Chantix lawsuits get filed in the Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 3.19.10”