|Thu Sept 15 2011 11:23:39|
PayPal Snafu Causes Massive Headache for eBay Seller
By: Ina Steiner
I am writing today as PayPal has hit another low. I thought other sellers might want to check their PayPal statements so although this is long, it may be worth reading.
About a week ago, I had sold several items in three transactions to an eBay customer. She has been a regular customer and although most of my items sell for $10.00 on the average, she purchases most of my expensive items.
As some of the more expensive items are set at immediate payment due to the large amount of non-paying buyers lately, she paid shipping 2 times and was awaiting a third invoice. She is an international customer, so I refunded her shipping once and gave her free shipping on the third transaction so that I could ship all of the items together for her at minimal cost.
As soon as I refunded her, I noticed that my PayPal balance went down a bit more than I refunded, so I checked the refund status and then did a search under reversals. There I came across the refund and then I saw what looked like a reversal for an odd amount, not the amount of any of her transactions.
I called PayPal and they told me that no it wasn't a reversal and not to worry. It was about $50.00. I then went and shipped the items. The next day I noticed my account down by this amount of money and had another look at the reversals. It still said this amount was reversed.
I called PayPal again and this time was told that "Oh yes, an error had been made". PayPal had in fact reversed this amount back to the customer within 3 minutes of the transaction." When I questioned why, I was told that it appeared to be a system "glitch" with eBay's express checkout.
After what seemed like hours on the phone with this Paypal rep. I was told that #1 to contact the shipping service I used to have them track and stop the package and #2 to contact the buyer and ask here to pay back the money. I told her NO to both. I told her that the USPS cannot keep track of international packages as it is now and that the package had probably already cleared US customs. I told her that I was not going to contact a good customer and that PayPal should and that I wanted my money back. She said she would send the buyer an email and see what happened.
PayPal sent her an email and sent me a copy of it. It basically asks her if she would like to make repayment and gave her a phone number to call to arrange repayment. A week has gone by and the customer received the items, left feedback but no payment, so I called PayPal again today and the first rep told me that they were going to create a ticket for the problem as they didn't understand what happened and that there had not been any "glitch" as the first rep from last week told me. When I stated that it was not my problem, I told her that I wanted my money back, she had to put me on hold to get her supervisor.
After spending what seemed like an awful long period of time, another person came onto the phone and told me that she would need to look into it and put me on hold. After a long wait, she finally came back and told me that she was going to have to listen to the phone calls that took place between me and the two other reps and if and I quote "I had been misinformed they will refund my money", but if they gave me the correct information then no they will not refund my account.
I proceeded to tell her that this is their error and that if a bank made an error like this, the bank would be responsible. She again stated what she planned on doing and told me she would get back to me. I requested to speak with a supervisor and was told that she was the supervisor. I asked to speak with her supervisor and she stated that her supervisor did not accept any incoming calls for complaints. She was abrasive and rude to say the least.
I then phoned eBay's trust and safety and told them that as sellers can only accept PayPal for payment that I felt that they too were responsible for PayPals handling of this mess. I then repeated all of the history to him, waited while he looked it up, went over it again and again, and the rep there told me to send the buyer a money request. I mentioned to him that PayPal had in fact sent her an email and she didn't pay, but he said to do it anyways and that he was going to send an email to her as well requesting that she pay the money. When I asked him what would happen if she didn't pay, he said that they would get it from her PayPal account.
Out of frustration and anger, I even filed a dispute against PayPal for authorizing a withdrawal from my account without my permission. I wonder what they will do with that.
I am so angry for so many reasons. The first being is that the buyer did pay for her items and PayPal reversed the payment and sent it back to her. This is not my fault and out of my control. I did not want to lose a good customer, but I am sure I have now with eBay getting involved and emailing her.
On principal, I kept on PayPal for this; as one has to wonder how many times they have done this to me or other sellers and it has gone unnoticed. I am fed up with PayPal as they always stress how safe your money is with them, when in fact they cannot own up to their mistakes. I sure don't feel that my money is safe with them anymore and will be withdrawing it as often as possible to avoid any more errors or a larger more serious error.
Although this error wasn't for a lot of money the fact is that I sell on eBay for a living, not a hobby and not a charity. I had already paid fees on that money and yet PayPal wants me to just overlook all of this. What kind of bank would get away with that type of business?
Please withhold my personal information as I do not trust eBay or PayPal.