A Warning about eBay/PayPal

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A Warning about eBay/PayPal

Postby lental » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:16 pm

I've been using eBay for a while now for RC and other stuff and have had very satisfactory experiences with eBay sellers...until recently. That experience has opened up a whole can of worms that people need to be aware of.

eBay and PayPal (which is owned by eBay) tout their Buyer Protection Plan to protect buyers from unscruplous sellers. Both eBay and PayPal say shipping can take up to 45 days, implying that you should allow 45 days before filing a complaint.

On July 16, I ordered a 650-1300mm telephoto camera lense from a highly rated eBay seller. After three weeks, the lense had not arrived so I contacted the seller through eBay. She seemed genuinely concerned and said she would put a trace on the package immediately. After a week, I had heard nothing, so I contacted the seller again asking for a status report. She said she had not heard from USPS but would advise me as soon as she heard something. Another week went by and I was about to contact the seller again when I received an email from her advising the lense had been found "in Buffalo" and that it was being returned to her for inspection. She assured me that she would ship it to me within two or three days after receiving it. Another week goes by and I email the seller for a status report. No response. I then contacted eBay immediately and was advised that the 45-day period to file a complaint had expired and, essentially, you're SOL. The automated email suggested that I contact law enforcement or my credit card company. When I responded to the email protesting that I had initiated contact with the seller within 45 days, I got another, identical, automated reply. Further attempts to contact eBay for assistance were not responded to.

I did contact my credit card company and they immediately agreed to refund my money and advised that they would open a fraud investigation.

After posting this information on the HK Discussion forum I got a response which advised that since I went outside of eBay for assistance by contacting my credit card company, they will suspend my account. This guy said I could simply open a new account with a different credit card and continue doing business with them if that's what I wanted to do. Seems odd that they tell you to contact your credit card Company then suspend your account when you do. I've also filed online complaints with the attorney general in my state along with the state consumer affairs division. I also have filed complaints with the California division of consumer affairs and they advised me to file a complaint with the California Attorny General as well. I also filed a complaint with the Department of Justice Internet Fraud division (recommended by eBay) and made the point that as far as I was concerned eBay is a party to the fraud because they are paid their commission up front and therefore profit from the fraud. We'll see how that turns out. In any case, I figure eBay will spend a lot more in time and money dealing with these formal complaints than they would have in simply reimbursing me for my loss.

So, fair warning, if you order something through eBay/PayPal, and delivery is slow, open a complaint before the 45 days expires or you, too, will be SOL.
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Re: A Warning about eBay/PayPal

Postby AE25 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:25 pm

I've read plenty of horror stories coming from paypal users. there are even websites dedicated to telling the world about the fraudulent activities happening. Including from people who once worked for paypal. ie their high staff turnover due to fraudulent staff members. But it seemed the main one was when someone makes two payments into the same account in the same day, paypal would suspend their account and keep the money and they knew it cost too much for the account holder to take them to court over it. Their reasoning was it was a security measure to stop a person making multiple payments to drain a stolen credit card etc. or something like that. I haven't had any issues myself. but i definately don't make more than one payment into one account per day.
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Re: A Warning about eBay/PayPal

Postby lental » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:18 am

As part of this whole nightmare, I went back and reviewed eBay's Buyer Protection Plan. Nowhere in all of the virtues they extoll about the plan do they mention that you have to file a complaint within 45 days. All they say is that if you don't get your stuff, they'll reimburse you for the cost of the item plus original shipping. My eBay account has now been suspended. I understand that I can reregister as a new user but I don't know what kind of hoops i need to jump through and I'm really not terribly interested anyway. I'm finding a lot of stuff cheaper on Amazon and Amazon states very clearly that you have 60 days to file a complaint if your item doesn't arrive. Plus, I think Amazon does a better job of checking out their marketplace merchants before they let them sign up.
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Re: A Warning about eBay/PayPal

Postby siang » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:13 pm

I was lucky, got a full refund but I did file a complain within 45 days after failing to obtain tracking no from the seller. I told them I suspect it's going to be an issue thus an advanced notice to them. On multiple payment, I dont think that's true, I've made a few multiple purchase lately, the latest one on 9th sept, 4 purchase(multiple) thru ebay. All item recieved, in excellent condition.
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