Some PayPal advice - long, but worth it

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Deaf Eddie, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a PayPal premium account - or whatever ya call it to accept credit cards - for a couple of years now as my main payment option for my little Internet business. I usually leave a positive balance in there to pay for pieces-parts, supplies, and the odd eBay trinket, and I also have one of those PayPal "credit cards" (it's really more like an ATM card) which I find very handy. It works very well to keep the "hobby" income and expenses separated from the "real job" stuff in my house.

    I recently experienced the dreaded eBay BURN - funds sent, no goods delivered. This seller was clever enough to keep me hanging on with promises of impending shipment and delivery for several weeks - just long enough so that PayPal refused to mediate my complaint.
    Now both his e-mails are dead, he's no longer an eBay member, and I got nuttin'...

    Let me give you some of the details. I may sound like an idiot here, but from this I have formulated a new personal policy, and perhaps my experience and advice will benefit others.

    I won a speaker cabinet on eBay. The seller had around 250 feedbacks, with a 98% rating - I figured it was a pretty safe deal.

    I was so tickled to find an empty cab with the specs I wanted at such a good price, I e-mailed the seller and asked for another. Good communications followed, I ordered the second cab, and the following day I ordered two additonal boxes - four cabinets total, three different transactions.

    So, now we have three transactions...
    For which I have received no goods and the seller has disappearded. It's the same ol' story...

    The eBay transaction was paid for in part by the balance in my PayPal funds, and the rest by a bank transfer.

    PayPal sez (correctly) that my complaint was registered beyond the one month criteria they have to mediate claims, and offer no help. This money is NOT recoverable, so I'm just plain out the $$$.

    The second two transactions were paid by two different credit cards, but brokered through PayPal.

    Credit card company "CB" accepted my complaint by phone, and immediately credited back the amount of the claim to my account. Nice, no-hassle, no time limit, no worries so far - except that I got an e-mail from PayPal asking me to let THEM resolve the issue - which they have already said won't do. I'm putting my money - literally - on the credit card company in this one.

    Credit card company "MB" listened to my complaint, instructed me to fill out the form on the back of one of my statements and mail it to them. I did so weeks ago, and I have seen no activity on my credit card or PayPal accounts, nor any communication to indicate just what it is - if anything - they intend to do.

    So, what I am taking away from this experience - and recommending to you, dear reader - is that you do NOT use funds in your PayPal account, NOR allow them to pull funds from your bank account to pay for eBay auction items.

    From now on, for EVERY eBay item I purchase, I will first transfer any "positive" PayPal balance to my bank, and will have the fund source changed to credit card "CB." That way, I can still keep most of the conveniences of my PayPal account, but be far better protected from fraud.

    This is NOT a rant against PayPal. I am still a PayPal user, and a MOSTLY happy one. I will continue to use PayPal as my prefered method of accepting payments. It's more like one of those "A word to the wise..." posts.
     
  2. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Deaf Eddie

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I was going to type - to help out Lew with his query - that I believe PayPal is not without flaws, but it is mine opinion that it is a much better person-to-person money transfer system than the likes of Western Union (which is unduly expensive and exploitative of the sector - largely immigrant workers - it serves.

    I'm currently working on a payment product aimed to address these issues. We're about 6 to 12-months off having an international scheme - First Data who won Western Union are very threatened by us - and our charging structure is similar to debit card charges, i.e. a fixed fee (in pence or cents) per transaction.

    The system is currently being used by 3 Top FTSE 100 companies in the UK, we've signed a major international deal this week. Also we're developing one element of the system which will allow children (i.e. under 16s) to buy on the internet safely, securely and anonymously.

    Watch this space. Exciting times ahead.

    Regards

    :lol: Peter
     
  3. dean

    dean Friend of Leo's

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    Ouch! What a bummer.

    That's a tough story, Eddie - I hope you somehow get some retribution. I had a a bad experience with a scammer earlier this summer. I bought an iPod for my kid, transferred PayPal funds to the guy, got positive feedback, got the tracking number - the whole nine yards. BUT - the guy contacted the shipper and told them not to complete the delivery - to return the iPod. Said My account was no good - this is after I paid and got positive feedback. Fortunately, I did file my PayPal claim within the allotted time, and I eventually got all my $$ back.

    I think the only thing you might have done differently would be to tell the guy that a claim would be filed with PayPal. Even after the claim is filed, the deal can still be successfully completed. And if it isn't, then you're protected by PayPal.

    It's an ugly world out there sometimes. Like I said - I hope you get some retribution.

    Dean
     
  4. Michael R

    Michael R Tele-Holic

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    Mystic CT
    Yeah that is a bummer, the longest I ever wait for something I bought is 2 weeks, if it's 'out of stock' or any other runaround I ask them to credit my account until it's shipped, on the few occasions that sellers refused I filed complaints and received credit. Someone who rfuses to credit you back for something they haven't shipped you after a reasonable time is a big red flag to me. I don't use paypal anymore, never burned but the one complaint I filed took 4 months to resolve, my local credit union CC is all I use now because they respond quickly and the service has been great so far.

    The only question I have is hasn't paypal provided you with the complete account info of the person that received the money ? You should have at least received that info so you can try to contact them by mail and file fraud complaints/small claims.
     
  5. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    250 Feedbacks @ 98%....I woulda rolled the dice too.
    By some chance were the feedbacks "current" ???
    The only thing that crosses my fragile egg shell brain is
    some "scambag" resurrected a user name somehow....maybe "combing hard drives" from the dump or someone's trash.
    Eddie, any chance of getting the "sellers" ebay handle?
    I don't wanna take a screwin' either.
     
  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I would have never let things go on that long, and this seems to be the real problem - not Paypal. Unfortunately, you painted yourself into a corner by letting things drag on.
     
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