Filed under: Boycott PayPal, Learning, Nerd News, Online Payment Methods, PayPal, Scams | Tags: Boycott PayPal, ebay, ebay scams, PayPal, paypal clowns
So I write this post after liaising with PayPal’s customer service, and resolution centre staff for the previous two months.
I sold a Nokia 8800 on Ebay at the end of December for £97 to a customer in France. The customer was harassing me for feedback before the transaction was complete, this seemed a little odd to me, however I proceeded with the process, and posted his phone.
About 10 days after I had posed the phone, I received an e-mail through Ebay saying there was a problem with the camera. My policies are clear, I will replace, refund, or pay the difference to have anything fixed.
I asked him if he would like to find out how much this would cost at the shop, and if reasonable, I would pay the difference. The customer told me he had been quotes 80 Euroes to fix the problem, and therefor we went down the refund route.
Now heres the funny bit (or not so funny as it happens), about 15 days after this was agreed, I recieved a parcel, and duely signed for it without checking. When i opened the parcel, which was not even big enough for the phone box to fit inside (I was expecting another parcel), I found it was stuffed with french magazines and had an empty Lancome perfume bottle inside.
Action Taken –
Immediately after receiving this, I first of all rang the courier company, who said they could not send back their driver to check the contents, and to contact PayPal. I rang PayPal up, and explained the situation, to which they said “because you have signed for it, we still must refund him” I understood and asked “shall i go to the police? I wasn’t this solves as soon as possible”. They told me no, they said leave it to them, they can handle everything, and it shall go through their resolution centre. I went ahead with the resolution centre, I filed the complaint, and uploaded photos of the parcel and the contents I have received. I then contacted the user over the Ebay messaging system, and via direct email to the address used for their PayPal account.
Days passed, and they still did not have a solution for me, so much for the resolve! They said there was a time of 18 days or something before any decisions would be made. I told them I was having problems with changing my primary e-mail address, I was already using 2 e-mails at the time, and the first one was no longer active, and I had no access. I stated on the phone that they would send correspondence to the e-mail address that had been paid to during this transaction, and specifically to please ring me in the next few days for an update to let me know what to do, regardless of sending me an e-mail in case I could still not change the primary e-mail address.
I played verbal ping pong with these PayPal clowns for several days, as they kept palming me off telling me they would contact me. At some point between me giving them a week before I rang again, they had send me an e-mail to my OLD e-mail, telling me to get a statement from the Police, signed, and within their ten day policy.
I did not receive this e-mail as to what I previously mentioned regarding my e-mail and PayPal primary email situation.
When I rang them the following week, they told me to do this over the phone, but failed to tell me I had a ten day period between being told, getting it done, sending it off, and them receiving it.
So I tool the afternoon off work, saw the police, and they told me they couldn’t do it, I went home, rang PayPal, and then went back to the police station, with my own statement, simply asking them to agree and sign it.
The following day, i sent it off to PayPal in Ireland via register post, which cost me an additional £5. I guessed it would take a few days, so left it with them to receive and process. When I rang them, they had no record of receiving it and said they could no find it. I checked with the Royal Mail website, and it was delivered 3 days prior to me phoning them that day.
After an hour, I received a phone call to say they had received it and it was now being processed, only to be told days later that I missed the 10 day policy, and that I would not be receiving either my phone back, or the £97, let alone being reimbursed for the £5 delivery charges.
I was dumbfounded by this, and proceeded to appeal this decision, the buyer had not replied to any of my correspondence, and I was quite annoyed that they would not give me anymore information.
Now I have a few questions? Why would they tell me specifically not to contact the police when I first notified them of this claim, and tell me that they would handle everything, yet tell me today the only people that can help me now are the police? Unfortunately my local police station is small, and they dont know what to say let alone know what to do regarding online scams, or PayPal and Ebay claims.
The data protection acts means they cannot even tell me if this customer has been with them for more than a month prior to this happening. I have had my PayPal account for 6 years, and have put several thousand through this account in this time.
I have also through my web business referred many other customers to PayPal. I could easily take my clients to another online payment service. so are PayPal really willing to lose several thousand pounds of commission and fees in 2009 for the sake of £97?
The answer to this is YES! Can you believe it?
Where is the seller protection? If this is the way they treat some of their longest and valuable customers?
Is this the latest scam out of Ebay? or is it an ongoing scam that PayPal still haven’t prevented?
I appreciate all feedback in regards to this article as I am still looking at, how to pursue this case further, whether going through PayPal, Ebay, The Police, or…..well, I have the buyers address after all? And I am also weighing up PayPal alternatives.
I will in due course contact WatchDog about this case, for those of you outside the United Kingdom, Watchdog is an agency dealing with the cowboys in business, and they use their Television show to educate and make the general public aware of anything going on.
Thank you for your time.