I was the arbitrator here, and I’ll readily admit that I should have waited for your explicit acknowledgement of receipt of the buyer’s payment. This is in fact the first case I have ever closed prior to receiving express written acknowledgement of receipt from the seller (except in cases where the seller was not responsive at all).
The situation that led me to close this trade as I did is worth explaining.
@Trader13, you opened this dispute to discuss your desire for a feature to be implemented in Bisq. As I mentioned in the arbitration chat, this is a protocol violation. It is unfair to your counterparty to take a trade to arbitration for any reason other than a problem with the trade itself.
You opened the dispute before the trading window was actually complete. This is also a protocol violation. Buyers have until the end of the trading window to complete their payment to you. By definition, they have not “taken too long” as long as they complete payment within the window.
You had originally said in your opening chat messages “you can close the ticket”. I took this to mean that you had in fact already received the buyer’s payment and are OK with the BTC trade amount being released. I took this to mean that you were simply opening the ticket after the fact of receipt to make the point that you would like a blacklist feature to be implemented. This may have been a reasonable assumption, but it falls below our standards for arbitrators. We should never work on assumptions, and should rather always ask for explicit confirmation where there can be any doubt. I will endeavor to make my first error of this kind also my last.
The buyer got back to me in the meantime with a transcript of the support conversation he had with his bank. I had not solicited this proof in any way from the buyer, he provided it on his own. Given the combination of the facts that you opened the ticket prematurely, and for reasons unrelated to the trade itself, that I believed you already received the payment because you had told me to go ahead with closing the ticket, and the fact that the buyer was showing no red flags and indeed being quite proactive about resolving the situation, I made the choice to close the ticket out straight away.
I do not believe I was unreasonable in my actions, but again they have fallen short of one of the standards that Bisq arbitrators must hold ourselves to: that we get explicit acknowledgement of receipt of funds from the seller before closing a ticket out. When we fail to do this, we run the risk of creating the kind of chaos, upset, and frustration just as we’ve seen here.
Our standard operating procedure is to give parties 48 hours to respond an arbitration message before closing a dispute due to non-responsiveness. Here, I only allowed you 6 hours to respond before I took action for all the reasons above. In the future, I will wait longer in order to avoid this kind of situation.
For posterity, I’m including the full text of my comments in this dispute. They reveal no further information about the traders or the trade than what has already been divulged above. @Trader13, I’ve omitted your original chat messages as I have not asked you permission to include them.
I hope this provides a satisfactory response for you, @Trader13. Thank you for taking the time to reach out here. This has been a good example of responsibly reporting an arbitration complaint.