This is one of a number of pages about my negative experiences with PayPal. On this occasion I bought a camera which was defective and tried to take advantage of PayPal's “customer protection” scheme. I ended up worse than if I had done nothing: money gone, camera gone. Here diary entries:
Despite the packaging it wasn't damaged, but it didn't have a strap, lens cap or batteries. I'll be very careful before buying from this seller again.
Yvonne brought some batteries home for the camera I bought for Yana. They cost nearly 25% of what I paid for the camera. Put them in the camera and discovered that the electronics are defective: it transported the film one frame every time it was turned on or off, or when I pressed the shutter—without taking a photo. While looking at the fact, looked at the original auction information, which clearly illustrated the actual camera with strap and lens cap. This is the first time I've had problems with eBay, and hopefully it'll be the last.
Still no response from the vendor of my defective camera on eBay. Looks like it's going to be a legal issue.
I've just discovered that the defective camera I bought on eBay was paid for using PayPal, who offer a dispute resolution service. Filled out a form and sent it to them. Received a reply suggesting that things won't happen fast.
In order to continue with the investigation of your complaint, we must request documentation to support your claim that the item is damaged or significantly not as described. Please obtain a document (such as an estimate or invoice) from an unbiased third-party, such as a dealer, repair shop, appraiser, or another individual or organization that is qualified in the area of the item in question (other than yourself). This document should detail the extent of the damage or clearly explain how the item received significantly differs from the item advertised. Please do not proceed with any repairs or alterations to the item, as doing so will limit PayPal^Zs ability to successfully resolve your claim, and may result in the cancellation of your dispute. If possible, the document should include a serial number and description of the item, and the dollar amount required to complete the repairs necessary to correct the damage. This document must be on letterhead that includes the name, address, and phone number of the individual, business, or organization so that PayPal may contact them if necessary.
The documents should be faxed to PayPal at (402) 537-5760 (please note this is a United States phone number, if you are faxing from outside the United States, you will generally need to dial 00 1 before the number). Please include a cover sheet with your fax that includes the email address registered on your PayPal account and the ID number of your claim so we may attach the document to your claim as quickly as possible.
We must receive your fax within ten days from the date of this message in order to proceed with the investigation of your claim. If we do not receive your fax within ten days, your claim will be cancelled. We are unable to grant extensions to this time period. PayPal is unable to reimburse you for any costs or fees that may be incurred in obtaining the requested documents. Any documents you provide may also be supplied to the seller in your dispute.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience. We regret any inconvenience this request may cause.
What a pain! In addition, note that ^Z in “Paypal^Zs”. That causes file(1), and thus apparently a2ps, to consider it a binary file and refuse to print it.
Called the South Australian Office of Consumer and Business Affairs this morning with reference to my eBay camera purchase. They were able to get on to Simon and spoke to him and me alternately. He made all sorts of claims:
As far as I can tell, it seems that PayPal had indeed taken back the money pending the enquiry. Called Simon back and spoke with him directly. I asked him how he could have tested the camera without batteries; he responded that he had taken the batteries out to put in his “new” Nikon 801, and that he had previously run a number of films through the camera. I wonder if the Nikon takes the same kind of batteries. He was completely uncooperative, so it looks as if the PayPal complaint will have to run its course.
Yana went into town today and got the confirmation of the condition of the camera that PayPal wanted. Spoke to the repairer on the phone, who confirmed that the Nikon F-801 takes different batteries from the Pentax MZ-50. So it's fairly clear that west1255 was lying. Oh well. Let's see what happens.
I've been trying to resolve a problem auction with PayPal for over a month now. First they asked me to get a quote stating that the camera was defective, then asked me to send it back at my cost—both fees that they would not refund. After sending it back, I had to send them the tracking number, by fax. That happened at the end of last month, and I got a message back stating:
So I did that, and got a reply which appears to have been computer generated. All attempts to contact a human being at PayPal failed, and finally today I got a message:
What nonsense! PayPal seems to work well enough under normal circumstances, but they seem to have people in the claims department that fail the Turing test. Finally found a phone number and called them up; Felix at the other end was definitely human, so far the first evidence of humanity I've seen in their resolution department. He didn't understand it either, and so I had to do more faxing (with the line dropping every time after the first page) of the proof of receipt. What a pain! Is this the way of the 21st century?
Another message from PayPal in the evening:
The obvious conclusion: PayPal's guarantees are worse than useless. They have caused me to return the merchandise, and they now refuse to accept the proof. This means that I no longer have the merchandise, and that I can't get the money back. Tomorrow I'll investigate the legal implications.
Much time on the phone this morning with PayPal. Spoke first to “Gurkha” (is that really his name?) who told me that the case had been closed because I had not provided suitable evidence. I pointed out that I had provided all evidence required in a court of law, and asked him if he would prefer the vendor's head on a pike, but of course that exceeded his vocabulary by even more than the concept that a complaint about their actions can't be resolved by describing their actions. Got an address to serve legal documents (Locked Bag 10, Australia Square, PO Sydney NSW 1215), which also got what attention he was able to muster. On the second attempt he passed me on to his supervisor, Jub, who was more sensible. She said that it needed escalation, and that I would be contacted by tomorrow evening.
And that was the last I ever heard from them. What a company!
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