Web designer screwed by PayPal “Friendly Fraud” AKA Chargeback

Digital goods and PayPal just don’t go, we know that, but what about services? seems there not protected either if this is anything to go by. Here we have a story of a web designer who did everything right and everything went wrong, even when PayPal was presented with the huge string of back and forth emails between the 2 parties which made note the client was happy and then the email which was basically saying i’m going to scam you ha! PayPal even tried to weasel there way out over definitions of wording, you try that with them and see how they react very 1 sided. In the end PayPal decided to not chase the designer for the money but he still loses the money.


paypal alternative chargeback scam fraud
None relevant image but still full of hatred.

Source :redd.it/1mftyi

Mirror :

Screwed by Paypal — what marketplaces/payment processors do you recommend that protect designers?

I’ve been noticing a massive upswing in “friendly fraud” lately, and it’s cost me thousands this year.

Case in point: Finished a project recently, as soon as the client received all the files and confirmed the project completion, he filed a chargeback via his credit card company. Paypal took a “back the eff off” approach, and threw me to the dogs. I submitted the contract, proof of the triple confirmation that the client has to go through, and 25 pages of email communications where the client repeatedly confirmed that everything was perfect. And of course…the final message of “Ha, thanks for being stupid enough to give me all the files and a backup. Now you get to learn how a business works!”

Paypal, of course, is all “We cannot protect web designers”…and they even quibbled over the fact that when I used the term “installation of website design”…that it “insinuated that a physical item was sold”. The best part was that they said they would only protect web designers, if we consented to only conduct our transactions through Ebay.

Does anyone have a good payment processor/marketplace that they use, that protects designers? I wish PP would stand up for us, since so flippin’ many of my clients want to pay through them…but it looks like that’s a no-go.


After an insane amount of comments/messages telling me I’m a bad person and should feel bad for my business plan…I’d like to clarify what I have in place already, and HAVE had in place.

50% deposit is ALWAYS required upfront. Never go without it. I also require the full amount before I transfer files or reveal sensitive code.

A client goes through a triple confirmation setup: They must a) answer questions on their design, b) Accept an estimate with the terms and conditions laid out, and then c) Accept and make the deposit payment on an invoice that has the terms laid out on it as well.

I’ve spoken repeatedly with Paypal to try and make my setup more compliant with what they ask. They have required terminology changes (“website installation insinuates you are giving them a physical item”….Paypal bs) , a double opt-in confirmation process (I went overkill with the triple, they said. HA.), and have even started manually confirming orders by making the clients email me a confirmation specifically stating they are happy with the completed project.

I also had a contract set out, but I recently moved to a new system where it requires it to be digitally signed as well…dude unfortunately was right before that change, so I don’t have his signature persay, but I do have his acceptance of the older setup.

Update: So with the transaction being all poof’d, and bringing it to their attention, Paypal’s decided to “even it out” for me, so that it’s not a huge $800 hole in my account. Nice of them, but it looks like if my appeal of the chargeback decision still swings in the client’s favor…I will be hit with lots of fees.

Of course as well, I’m still not happy with the fact that this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and that most of the time, I’m told “Well, just do your business through ebay.”

I do appreciate everyone’s advice, though, I’ve got a LOT of notes here that I’ve gleaned from the comments. More than a few payment processing ideas as well.

One comment

  1. This form of dispute for services will stop. I remember reading that you can fight and it is even stated in Paypal’s agreement that digital goods and services is not covered for buyer protection. Normally stating this in the dispute details tends to win and others it doesn’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *