flying higher and higher (soaringabove) wrote in bad_service,
flying higher and higher

Oh Paypal. You seem to make it a habit of screwing people, as I see by my Google-fu.

In early June, I sold my Samsung Android phone on eBay. It had external damage to it, which I was very careful to photograph and document. Also included in the auction was a picture of the phone on and displaying the home screen to show it worked and had been reformatted back to factory settings. The story behind the damage is that I am wonderfully klutzy and fell up a flight of concrete stairs, landed awkwardly with my phone in my hand, and chipped the exterior. The phone continued working just fine after that, seeing as how that happened in late April and I didn't sell it until June when I switched over to T-Mo for a family plan.

So the phone sells and I ship it out June 7th or so. The buyer receives it, I hear nothing in feedback or anything else...

... until July 16 when he files a claim with Paypal stating that the item wasn't as I described. He said the phone froze up all the time and was unusable.

Now, understandably I freak out over this a bit because 1) why would you wait so long to bring this to my attention, 2) why not contact me directly, 3) the auction said as-is and no returns anyway.

Here's where the Bad Service comes in. I go through the steps Paypal gives me, submit my evidence- pictures included- and wait for their response, which comes fairly quickly- they've decided to side with the buyer and take his word over mine.

Here's the original auction text. I underlined the important stuff that's applicable to this case.

I'm selling my (phone model) because I ended up switching to T-Mobile to hop on a family plan. I adore this phone, I really do- the screen is sharp and beautiful, the camera takes great pictures, I had no trouble with it whatsoever.

It did, however, have some trouble with me when I fell up a flight of concrete stairs. =) As a result of that fall it has a small scuff on the outer casing on the lower left side as well as a very tiny scratch between the menu and home keys on the screen itself. This damage in no way impacts the working condition of the phone.

Included in this auction is the phone itself, the charger (which is a USB cord that plugs into a wall charger), and the original box.

Shipping is applicable within the USA only- I don't ship internationally. I also don't accept returns, so please ask me any questions you may have before bidding!

I receive this email about two hours after submitting my evidence, but conveniently AFTER their resolution department is closed:

Hello soaringabove,

As you know, we've been investigating a recent transaction involving items
that were damaged or significantly not as described.

Transaction Details

Buyer's name: Buyer
Buyer's email: Email
Transaction date: Jun 5, 2011
Transaction amount: $202.50 USD
Your transaction ID: (edited out)
Case number: (edited out)

Refund amount: $202.50 USD

We've determined that the buyer should receive a $202.50 USD refund if they
ship the merchandise back to you. The merchandise will be in the same
condition as when the buyer received it and the buyer is responsible for
all shipping and handling costs.


Item number: Item Title

The items will be shipped to this address:
edited out

What To Do Next

You should receive the item(s) within the next 10-14 days.

Once we have confirmed that the buyer returned the items, we'll process a
refund using funds from your account.

Thank you.


Uhhh what. So I call PayPal first thing when they open up on Monday morning, 07/25, and speak with Leslie in the claims department. I stay as calm as possible while talking to her and ask her what exactly motivated them to side with the buyer. She replies "Uh, well, because he said the item wasn't as described."

I go on to tell her about all the evidence I provided as well as the text of the auction that clearly stated as is and no returns, and she flat-out told me it didn't matter. They side with the buyer regardless, and it's on me to prove that the phone still works. I have to take it to an AT&T store and have them look at it, then write on their official letterhead that nothing is wrong with it.

Are you starting to smell a scam?

PayPal completely disregarded several very important pieces of evidence (like ALL of it...)

1. The phone made it to its destination around June 10th.
2. He used it for over a month before deciding it was too damaged to keep. Why didn't he contact me immediately to let me know something was wrong? The phone worked just fine when I sold it, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.
3. I told them I'm afraid I'm going to get a phone back that was damaged by the buyer, and they told me that I am welcome to reopen the dispute once the phone reaches me if it isn't in the condition I sent it out in.
4. eBay provides a place to specify that no returns are accepted. WHY BOTHER if PayPal won't honor it? They're even owned by eBay!

Of course it won't be in the same condition. How am I supposed to prove that?

So, while I'm still on the phone I ask her what kind of proof he provided, since I'd given them all the information I had- and she said he didn't have to. His word over mine because the buyer is more important than the seller.

Skip to yesterday. I reported the buyer to eBay for abusing the buyer protection policy. He has until August 2nd to get me the phone back, and apparently he's in no hurry to do so because he was told this on July 23rd (the Friday when I originally tried to call and they were closed). All of this makes me so suspicious... and I'm just sure I'm going to get back a phone that he damaged and I'm not going to be able to prove it. PayPal has made it very, very clear that they don't give a rat's furry behind about the seller, which allows buyers to scam to their hearts' delight.

And now I sit on my hands and wait. Thanks for your "help", PayPal- and thanks for endorsing scammers everywhere.

[edit]: added the original auction text for reference.

[edit again]: Thanks for the comments. I've pretty much realized I'm entirely screwed and there's not anything at all I can do about it- though I still maintain that PayPal did me wrong on this one. Being told that what I say doesn't matter and has no merit is pretty poor on their part... but that's PayPal for ya.
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