Paypal Problems
November 8, 2004 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Anyone ever initiated and gone through a Paypal dispute?

I bought a something a month ago w/paypal, the seller sent me one email (about shipping), then vanished with my $150 - no shipment, no response to email, voicemail, phone, etc. They are dead or deadbeats. I submitted a dispute with Paypal, but their terms seem a little vague (all about pressuring the deadbeat to refund or lose paypal priveledges), wondering if I can ever expect to see my money again, or if I should start accepting its loss. Anyone else been through this?
posted by kokogiak to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Was it through eBay? They have lots of tools for disputes.
posted by mathowie at 11:40 AM on November 8, 2004

Yep, through Ebay. Their dispute process sent me to Paypal's dispute process. Here's what they say (after submitting dispute):

"The seller has 10 days to respond to our inquiries and resolve this complaint in one of 3 ways:
- Provide you a full refund for the amount of the disputed transaction
- Provide tracking information confirming that the item was shipped
- Provide proof of a previously issued refund
If the seller has not responded to our inquiries by Nov. 12, 2004, we will attempt to recover the full amount of the disputed transaction. We will make every effort to resolve this claim within 30 days although we may require additional time to complete our investigation. If we are unable to recover the full amount, we will take action against the seller's account until the complaint has been resolved."

That sounds nicely vague to me, like "If we can get the money, we'll try to do it", and "At the very least, we'll screw up their Paypal account". Doesn't make me feel too hopeful, was wondering if others had been through this and come out the other side w/out feeling hosed.
posted by kokogiak at 11:45 AM on November 8, 2004
posted by SpaceCadet at 11:49 AM on November 8, 2004

I should rephrase - the item was found on Ebay, but bought directly from the seller with Paypal (no Ebay Middleman, just using Paypal). Yes, probably a bad move in hindsight. Ebay has a protection service of sorts, Paypal, apparently does not, and it was a straight-transfer from my bank to Paypal, so I don't think there's any Visa Protection either.
posted by kokogiak at 11:53 AM on November 8, 2004

I've never had this happen to me but from my discussions with a few people who sell a lot on ebay, paypal sides with the buyer rather than the seller in most cases.

I have a question: Did you pay with a credit car or did you send a bank balance or echeck?

on peview: okay, so it looks like you made a side deal outside of ebay and used a bank account...

okay, keep trying with paypal to get your money back. Also call your bank and explain what happened. Your bank might have a few more options for you. Also, see if you can get the contact information from the seller through ebay and give the seller a call to see what's up.
posted by Stynxno at 11:59 AM on November 8, 2004

koko, had it been thru eBay, you'd probably have a chance whether bank or visa, but since you didn't, I doubt you'll get your money back.

Presumably the seller asked you to go off eBay specifically for this reason. If going off-eBay was your idea... well, :)

That sounds nicely vague to me, like "If we can get the money, we'll try to do it",

Well, I think that's their way of saying, "If this guy fucked lots of people and then pulled his fund out of his PP account, there's not much we can do," which is completely understandable since you bypassed the buyer protection by skipping eBay.
posted by dobbs at 12:08 PM on November 8, 2004

Trust me - I've called (and emailed and paged), with no response for nearly a month. They really are dead or deadbeats. I'll ask my bank, but am not hopeful on that front either.

And dobbs, to be clear, I'm not blaming Ebay, I'm blaming myself, but had hoped (silly me) that Paypal - since it's owned by Ebay - would have similar protections. I went off-Ebay by choice, since the item I found listed was also on the seller's own website, but in the color I wanted (which it was not on ebay).
posted by kokogiak at 12:11 PM on November 8, 2004

I purchased a license code for a piece of shareware via PayPal directly from the author (no eBay) and never received my code. After multiple attempts at contacting the author, I reported the transaction to PayPal. They responded that they would look into it.

A couple of weeks later, they refunded my money (it was only $15-$20 as I recall.)
posted by robbie01 at 12:26 PM on November 8, 2004

Hey thanks for the responses everyone - here's one of those, "Funny I should ask this right now" stories.

As I was refreshing this page to see your responses, I just got an email from Paypal saying they had contacted the deadbeat, and that:

"The seller has provided the following information in response to your complaint, indicating that the item was shipped.

Tracking Number: will ship 11/10/04 backordered "

So, I'll wait to remove the dispute until I receive the item, but in this case, the Paypal dispute threat actually worked - I got their attention, and some form of response, finally.

So, hopefully lesson learned without any harm or foul. next time, It's Ebay or Visa all the way (for the protection).
posted by kokogiak at 12:33 PM on November 8, 2004

I very recently filed a dispute with PayPal- I found out just in time that you only have 30 days or something to file one the easy way- it gets more complicated after that. This was a direct purchase through a web page, not eBay. It seemed that the seller was losing my order and subsequent e-mails in his spam folder or something, but the threat from PayPal got through. I actually got my money back as well as a free item as an apology from the delinquent seller. So my experience was quite good.
posted by obloquy at 5:44 PM on November 8, 2004

If time passes and this still doesn't end up being resolved on the seller's or Paypal's end, I'd definitely call the bank to explain the situation. A similar thing happened to me a few years back and I contacted my bank (Bank of America). They provided a form for me to explain in detail what happened along with any other documentation I had on the issue and swiftly credited my account (they actually credited first and sent me the paperwork as follow up)
posted by lynda at 7:29 AM on November 9, 2004

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