How PayPal Helped a Scammer Rip Me Off
Posted: May 1, 2014 | Last Updated: June 13, 2016
I have been selling on and using eBay since some time in the 90’s. Purchases, sales, mostly without any issues. There have been the occasional attempts to scam me but, usually, a quick email response handles everything and scares off the scammer. The latest scam, though, was handled in a new way and PayPal’s inept outsourced team let it happened.
On March 10th of 2014, we posted a listing on eBay for a “Dunk the Duck Carnival Game”, with a large amount of photos, and a description noting the issues.
The auction ended on April 7th, and Raymond Rennison of California was the winner. The item was packaged up in our normal ways, protecting the item to make its journey. A normal transaction, all done.
That was until we received a PayPal dispute. No contact from any buyers, no complaints, simply a dispute and money yanked out of the PayPal account with no other notifications from PayPal. PayPal just took our money.
After logging in to PayPal to view what this claim was all about, we were floored by what we saw.
The entire “complaint” is a description of the photos, and a rewording of the text in our auction description. Raymond received exactly what he purchased, and is now complaining about it. But, it gets worse.
We called PayPal, multiple times. Every piece of information they requested, was provided. The problem was apparently the lack of understanding of the English language. On one of our first calls, we were told we should have noted the issues in the description. After pointing out the description and, again, the number of photos on the auction, the outsourced rep mumbled along and basically told us we would have to wait for a decision.
We battled our way from here on out until April 22th, when PayPal stated Raymond could return the item and keep all of his money (including the original shipping). This lead to more phone calls with PayPal, who gave us the standard ‘decision has been made, is there anything more I can help you with’ nonsense.
On April 30th, the package arrived and we inspected the contents. Not surprising, there was additional damage to the box, the game looked as though it had been removed and used (perhaps at a birthday party?)
At this point, our contact with PayPal is getting rather long and hours have been spent on this scammer (see below). But, again, off to contact PayPal we go.
The outsourced PayPal rep took the details, supposedly made notes, and passed the information along to the correct “team”. Hours later, we received an email telling us we had two options. Short Version: 1) Contact our local police 2) Fill out and have notarized an affidavit, then fax or mail it.
It took Raymond one email to have money pulled from our account, it takes all of this for us to even have a chance of someone looking at the case again. And, even worse, is the fact we have not once talked to someone involved in the process. All we get is a giant wall of outsourced minimum wage level employees that know nothing about anything.
So on April 31st, we opted for filling out the affidavit and faxing it in without being notarized. They at least skimmed it, then promptly screwed up again, with the following response:
Apparently they did not compare notes. On the morning of May 1st, it’s off to the appeal button we go again, where we again inform PayPal that the damage is not what the buyer claimed, that it is new damage to the item, done at the buyer’s location.
We’ll see how it goes, but I foresee the appeal button being used until they remove it. And, congratulations Raymond. You now know how to buy an item, use it, damage it, and return it for a full refund.
As of May 1st, we are continuing to send a message to PayPal with each denial of appeal. They are as follows.
No, the damage is not what the buyer stated. There were several damages to the item the buyer never mentioned. You have botched this entire case and I am now taking it public, for starters.
No additional details? Really? How is this for additional details?
You know, had the buyer simply contact me, I would have allowed a return. You, PayPal, screwed me over. Give me back my shipping costs and I will go away. Otherwise, I am going to continue to contact you, spread the word about your dishonest actions, and be a general pain until you do what is right.
Surprisingly enough, I received an email back from PayPal with the standard canned fluff I have been receiving – with an added bonus.
We have completed our review to your appeal for the above case.
The damage noted in your appeal was cited by your buyer as the reason for
the complaint. Therefore, our original decision remains. However as a
courtesy, I am providing a refund of $15.25 for the shipping costs
incurred. This will post into your PayPal balance in the 2-3 business
days or less.
We reviewed this appeal and found no additional information or evidence to support your case. As a result, we have closed this case and cannot accept or respond to any additional appeals.
We regret any inconvenience this may have caused you and encourage you to work directly with your buyer for further resolution.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation regarding this matter.
At least we got our shipping costs back. eBay still took their cut of the sale, of course, and Raymond still got to “rent” our merchandise…