Yes as the title says, here is a really odd PayPal dispute/chargeback/robbed seller story. Basically in some countries PayPal have a temporary credit facility called “Pay me later” 30/90 day credit I think it is anyhow… someone bought a sellers laptop paid for it using this PayPal issued credit (using a fake ID of course), when the real person disputed it PayPal reversed the funds from… PayPal! now PayPal vowed to work with the buyers credit card company to get it sorted who are…. PayPal in this case! now PayPal also decided to issue the seller a chargeback fee from PayPal for PayPal! getting good this. Go read up and get confused.
The New York Times’ Haggler is at it again, and this time it has uncovered a disturbing loophole in eBay’s seller protection policy. The Haggler column has previously written about eBay and PayPal policies on behalf of readers, including its practice of payment holds on seller accounts.
Today, The Haggler responded to a reader about his experience selling a laptop computer. The seller said someone purchased his laptop on eBay using a stolen identity and when the true owner of that identity disputed the charge (a “chargeback”), PayPal took the funds from the seller’s account.
“PayPal vowed to “dispute the reversal” and “work with the buyer’s credit card company” to get my money back,” the seller wrote, but he discovered PayPal had extended to the perpetrator a credit line under Bill Me Later. “In other words,” the laptop seller wrote, “the “credit card company” to which PayPal referred was PayPal. Its promise of advocacy, then, would mean taking my money while disputing – with itself – the taking of my money.”
The Haggler called the situation unfair and wrote, “in ways that the Haggler can’t quite put a finger on, the sense of unfairness is compounded by the reality that PayPal, Bill Me Later and eBay operate under one corporate umbrella. In most credit disputes it’s the buyer against the merchant, with the card company mediating between the two. Here the credit issuer is Bill Me Later, which is disputing a charge with its parent, PayPal. When the Haggler asked the eBay spokesman John Pluhowski for the name of the PayPal spokesman and the Bill Me Later spokesman, he offered one name: John Pluhowski.”
Read the column on the New York Times website and let us know what you think of eBay’s seller protection policy – has it ever failed you?
Stuck in a Dispute Between PayPal and Itself
If PayPal isn’t the most reviled online company in the country, which is? The Haggler invites reader suggestions for this unhappy title, but before you write in, consider the sheer quantity of animosity that PayPal inspires. There are anti-PayPal Facebook sites, anti-PayPal YouTube tirades, PayPal-loathing Twitter accounts and more than 550 complaints about PayPal on ConsumerAffairs.com.
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The hate bar is high, in other words. It is going to take a lot of vitriol for any other company to clear it.
What sort of corporate behavior, you may wonder, produces so much ire? This is hardly the worst of what you’ll read online, but it’s a start:
Q. Last November, I sold a laptop computer on eBay for £382.38 ($611.). The buyer paid with PayPal, the payment service owned by eBay, and I mailed the computer.
In April, PayPal removed the £382.38 ($611) from my account as a “chargeback,” stating that the buyer “asked the credit card company to reverse” payment for the computer because the purchase was “unauthorized.” PayPal vowed to “dispute the reversal” and “work with the buyer’s credit card company” to get my money back. Then they deducted a further £12.52 ($20) from my account to cover a fee charged by the credit card company.
Out both a computer and £394.9 ($631) despite following all of eBay and PayPal’s rules, I called PayPal customer service for help. That ended with a rep telling me PayPal had the contractual right to do precisely what it had done. So I began some investigations of my own and found the buyer’s phone number.
When I called, he explained that his identity had been stolen and used to open accounts on eBay and PayPal — and that PayPal had extended to the perpetrator a credit line under Bill Me Later. It was through Bill Me Later, whose Web site identifies it as “a PayPal service,” that the fraudster acquired my computer.
In other words, the “credit card company” to which PayPal referred was PayPal. Its promise of advocacy, then, would mean taking my money while disputing — with itself — the taking of my money.
After I tried to appeal this chargeback decision, I received an e-mail from PayPal on June 25 with this gem: “Despite our best efforts, the buyer’s credit card company decided in favor of the buyer.”
Translation: “We do not control the outcome of our own decisions.”
I’m out £394.9 ($631,), a substantial sum for a graduate student, and a computer. PayPal/eBay/Bill Me Later has effectively transferred all liability for issuing a fraudulent credit account to me.
To no avail, I’ve filed complaints with the F.B.I.’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission. Maybe the Haggler can succeed where these others could not.