Here is a story about a buyer using feedback extortion threats to obtain all there money and a free item because well PayPal don’t give a crap and threatened to dump the sellers account unless she just gave the scammer what he wanted. Read the responses of the PayPal phone call quite sounds like a Mafia hit man.
What is this eBay scam and how does it work:
This scam helps “buyers” keep your product and claim a refund. It works where a buyer reports you to eBay for some reason, to my mind any reason will do, and that person escalates the claim to a dispute. When the dispute shows up in your eBay account you have the option of offering a refund right away… or of suffering consequences of the kind I’ll reveal now.
It happened to me this week when a man threatened to leave negative feedback unless I gave him a partial refund on his purchase. Instead, I asked him to return the item for a full refund.
The threats of negative feedback continued so I opened a “Feedback Extortion” case again him, not for my own sake but to prevent other eBayers suffering similar upsets.
A short while later eBay replied, saying they agreed it looked like feedback extortion and they promised to remove any negative feedback left by the buyer.
As a result of the dispute and, as a formality, PayPal froze his payment in my PayPal account. Quite rightly so, but I was certain I’d get the money back because eBay was on my side.
But, instead, all that happens is I get a telephone call from PayPal America, asking what I am doing about the dispute against me. I tell them about the feedback extortion case but they aren’t interested and say all they want to know is what I am doing to sort out the dispute against me. I tell them again, several times the dispute is not against me, but they simply repeat the same bog standard question – “What are you doing about the dispute against you?” And that is when I begin feeling threatened and ask “Is my PayPal account in jeopardy here?” To which they reply “Not if you sort out the dispute against you!”
And that’s when I realise I am in danger of losing my eBay business – because you can’t sell on eBay without a PayPal account – so I refund the blackmailer seconds after the telephone call ends. And now that person has my product, and his money back, as well as the postage used to deliver the product.
I complained to eBay and to PayPal and, to be fair, PayPal offered an unreserved apology.
Now I have just spent a week worrying about upsetting another eBay buyer and picking up the phone only to find out it’s a PayPal representative from America and I’m about to lose another £500 in unnecessary refunds!
And that is why in retrospect I know I should have tried to work things out with the man in question without opening a feedback extortion case with eBay.
And I think my readers should also try to work out problems without involving eBay.
More than anything, however, I am not alone in thinking PayPal and eBay should be prevented from ganging up against honest traders purely to keep their share of money spent by aggressive and dishonest buyers on eBay. In a positive light, the Australian courts have already cut the cord that binds eBay and PayPal, and Australian sellers can decide if PayPal is acceptable to their businesses, or not.
But what of the UK?
Well, I’ve discovered in Internet forums that court action is being considered by some eBay sellers, to prevent eBay forcing sellers to use PayPal, but with nothing significant expected to take place for at least another five years.
So until then I think all you and I can do is either give in to blackmail – which I will do for small amounts in future – or try working out a solution with our buyers direct, like this:
• Where a buyer does threaten you, stay calm and ask if you can telephone that person to quell the situation and attempt to work out a solution that keeps both parties happy. You can do this by using eBay’s “Request a Member’s Contact Information” page which brings you to this advice:
“If you’re involved in a current or recent transaction, and can’t reach the other member through email, you can request the other member’s contact information. Here’s how:
1. Click Advanced search at the top of most eBay pages.
2. In the Members section on the left side of the page, click Find contact information.
3. Enter their user ID and the item number for your transaction.
You’ll also find these tips useful:
• Answer questions, deal with problems, attempt to initiate solutions as quickly as possible, before a simple query or slight concern has time to boil over into an angry dispute. I find it best to telephone aggrieved buyers, rather than rely on eBay’s communication system or conventional email messages. That’s because conventional email and eBay communications are impersonal and just one word out of place can cause a full-scale dispute. As an example, I once emailed someone saying “I will not give you a refund right away,” when actually I meant to say “I will give you a refund right away”. I don’t know why the mistake happened but it caused mayhem. Several things are important here:
– A telephone call lets people compare the tone of your voice against what you are saying, and helps them determine whether you’re angry or trying to help, as well as giving better scope for buyer and seller to ask and answer questions and conclude in a friendly manner. Using the phone, one or both parties won’t have to wait hours or days for an email to be answered, during which time either person can feel they’re being ignored and submit a premature dispute to eBay or PayPal.
– Without support from body language and speech, words and phrases in emails can have different connotations and be viewed as angry and uncompromising, even in a message intended as friendly and reassuring. For example, here in the North, “Listen” before offering advice or suggesting a solution is viewed as helpful and friendly, but can be viewed by non-locals as bossy and overpowering. Similarly, “Get Lost” is a term of endearment here in God’s country – County Durham – but highly insulting elsewhere.
Where just a small amount of money is involved, say a pound or two, I always refund and ask the buyer to return my product at his convenience. Most do just that, some don’t, but a few pounds is worth paying to avoid the kind of telephone conversation I had with PayPal! And the worry and disappointment that followed. Not to mention the amount of money I lost!
• eBay tells sellers to adopt a “customer is always right attitude” and that way you’ll turn unhappy customers into regular buyers. I, however, do not believe in turning big problem buyers into regular customers, mainly because my worst experiences have been with people who enjoy causing trouble and take every opportunity to do so. My advice is to be nicer than nice to really awkward and dishonest customers while you’re attempting to solve a problem, then get them on your “blocked bidders” list the very first chance you get
Read more at http://www.whatbizopp.com/avril-ebay/2507-the-latest-ebay-scam-and-how-to-survive-it#3IkVeIfHYCpBJ1T7.99