Ocdgeek

PayPal took my money and all I got was a broken Blackberry .

Posted in Uncategorized by Greg Mackay on November 19, 2009

Recently I’ve heard a lot about how eBay and PayPal have changed their policies in an attempt to make doing business on eBay safer. They have added features that make it much easier for buyers to obtain refunds for items they bought that were not as described. On the surface this seems like a very good thing and in many ways it is. It protects buyers when they get an item that is damaged, not the right size, not the model listed in the add, not in “perfect shape” and a slew of other things. Before this policy buying on eBay was much more risky. You might buy an item that was listed as brand new in the box but when it arrives you find out that it isn’t new at all and it was pretty much up to the seller whether or not they would refund your money or offer an exchange. The burden of proof was on the buyer and eBay didn’t offer much if any help. All of this seems well and good but what if you’re not the buyer? What if you are the seller?

eBay used to be a great place to sell stuff. You could list your item for a small fee and it would potentially be seen by thousands of people.  If you where really lucky a few people would end up in a bidding war over your item and you would end up selling it for much more than it might be worth. As long as you where honest in your posting and shipped the item promptly things worked out well. The buyer got the item they wanted and you sold something you didn’t want. Of course things didn’t always go smooth. There are always people that find a way to complain about something. Or you end up dealing with someone that just has to much free time and gets their rocks off messing with people and of course we can’t forget about the scammers. But for the most part doing business on eBay was a pretty straight forward deal.

eBay has gone completely over board in their attempt to offer increased protection to buyers.

Well unfortunately things have taken a turn for the bad if you’re on the selling side of the transaction. eBay has gone completely over board in their attempt to offer increased protection to buyers. I unfortunately learned this the hard way when I recently attempted to sell a perfectly good working used Blackberry cell phone on eBay. I have been selling and buying on eBay since mid 1999. I currently hold a 100% feedback ratting. Well of course when I upgraded my phone. Selling my old one on eBay was the logical choice, so I thought. I listed the item with a .99 cent starting price and a $100 buy it now price. It sold for the buy it now price in less than 48 hours. The buyer paid via PayPal right away and I shipped it right away. As in my past experiences on eBay everything seemed to have gone great.  

28 days after the buyer had received the item I get an email from PayPal letting me know that my account has been charged $115.

Fast forward 28 days and things turn out to have not gone well at all. 28 days after the buyer  received the item I got an email from PayPal letting me know that my account had been charged $115. The reason for the charge? The buyer had submitted a claim to PayPal stating that the item he received is not as described. He claimed that the phone was damaged and does not function properly. I immediately called PayPal to find out what was going on. I explained to the representative that the phone worked fine when I shipped it and that it’s been 28 days since the buyer received the phone. I explained to the rep that if the phone was damaged the buyer should of said so within a few days.  The rep told me that PayPal would review the claim and then get back to me.

This guy had the phone 28 days and clearly damaged it. Then falsely claimed that he received the item damaged.

It took PayPal less than 48 hours to decide in favor of the buyer. They decided that the buyer was to return the item for a full refund. I received the item several days later. Of course when I tested the phone it was defiantly damaged. The audio functions did not function just as the buyer claimed. The buyer neglected to mention that he dropped the phone causing the damage himself! The phone was not returned with the protective sleeve I shipped with it. It also had easily visible damage to the external casing. This guy had the phone 28 days and clearly damaged it. Then falsely claimed that he received the item damaged.

They even went as far as to tell me I should consider myself lucky that they even had the buyer return the phone to me.

Dealing with PayPal and eBay customer service is beyond a joke. First of all don’t even think about calling them directly. They make finding their number on their website a challenge to say the least. I ended up getting their number via a Google search. When I did manage to get someone on the phone they would basically say anything to try and make you happy. Unfortunately they don’t end up doing anything. I had to appeal the claim 3 times before they even addressed the fact that the buyer didn’t return all the items he received in the sale. As far as the damage, PayPal told me that it was there policy to side with the buyer. They even went as far as to tell me I should consider myself lucky that they even had the buyer return the phone to me. The rep said “credit card companies don’t even do that”.

In the end after I filled a complaint with the better business bureau. PayPal reluctantly refunded me the cost of having the phone repaired ($25).

eBay is basically forcing sellers to provide a no questions asked 45 day full refund.  

If you are planning on selling anything on eBay I highly suggest that you think twice, read their terms of service carefully and possibly consider selling on Craigslist instead. eBay is basically forcing sellers to provide a no questions asked 45 day full refund.  

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