Nutty art seller and fallout
September 13, 2010 12:22 PM Subscribe
Paypal thing -- I tried to buy some art from an artist in Romania. He claimed he never received my money. I initiated a Paypal claim, which was resolved in my favor. But I'm still kind of afraid of the guy.
posted by frosty_hut to society & culture (18 answers total)
I tried to buy some art I saw online from an artist in Romania. Communication was difficult because of the language barrier, but he spoke some English and seemed like a straight up guy, so I went ahead and sent him a payment using Paypal. I thought it would the the simplest way to pay the guy, and he had no other suggestions around how to conduct our transaction.
It kind of turned into a mess -- the guy was complaining right out of the gate. First, it had cost him 75 euros to open a Paypal account (why? he didn't explain). Also, although I made my payment and Paypal showed that the balance had left my account and been sent to him, he said his account was frozen and that he was unable to access the 250 euros.
Email after email between me and this guy, and every time he sent me a message it was : "What should I do now? Why can't I get the money? They sent me this message, now what?" And he's also sending me tons of data about his bank account numbers and all this other stuff I don't want or need.
SO I'm going nuts. Josef (let's call him) is asking me stuff about Paypal I can't answer. I sort of lost my cool -- told him I couldn't answer his questions because I wasn't a Paypal employee. The guy was really guilting me, presenting himself as the wounded party. I had to remind him that I was the one who was out 250 euros -- 326 American dollars or so -- and that I was really annoyed!
He backed down a little after I got upset, or so it seemed. But we still couldn't iron it out, so I had to initiate a Paypal claim. I don't like the confrontational aspect of that, but Paypal only offers two choices for the basis of a dispute: you're filing a claim because you didn't receive an item, or you're filing a claim because you didn't get paid for something you sold. There wasn't any choice for: "The seller can't access the money I sent. Stop the presses, I don't want the item anymore, just give me my money back, this is ridiculous."
So I had to file a claim complaining that my art was never sent. So then the artist emails me again, saying he has a tracking number for me. I'm freaking out, thinking, great, now he's sent me the art, and he'll be dunning me for it AGAIN. I mean what if he continues to claim that I haven't paid him (essentially), and I have the art in my possession now? Argh! I emailed him and told him not to send me anything. But it might be too late.
To their credit, Paypal reviewed the situation and credited my money back today. So far so good. But now I'm worried about my next communication from Josef. Early on, I rashly indicated that I'd give him the 75 euros, since it had cost him money to open his Paypal account. He thought it was nice that I had offered, and now I'm thinking I must have been crazy to do that. So I assume he's holding me to that, and that I owe him 75 euros.
I'm also afraid that he's going to be really teed that I don't want the art anymore. I'm just spooked by how weird this whole thing was. It just should not have been this difficult. I still have no idea why Josef wasn't able to access the payment I sent him. He could never explain, and neither did Paypal. So I can't possibly risk another crazy-go-nuts transaction like what I just went through. And, I'm not sure he's aboveboard. I mean I think he is, but I just don't know. And I don't have the nerves to go through this again.
So I'm afraid of the guy. What if he goes after me for having broken a verbal promise to buy his art? Am I legally obligated to go through with the purchase?
BTW - I've purchased things before using Paypal from people who weren't in the States. Never had a problem like this until now.