Wednesday, 1 March 2006

PayPal: with friends like this …

A cruise around eBay's community forums throws up a raft of problem posts from sellers who claim they are victims of PayPal's unaccountability and apparent intransigence when it comes to settling disputes.

A typical case involves an individual who sells an object on eBay, receives payment via PayPal, posts it to the winner of the auction in good time and then goes on holiday thinking no more about it.

In his absence, the winner complains to PayPal that the object was never delivered and in his absence, emails to the seller having gone unanswered owing to him being on holiday, PayPal sides with the winner, removes funds from the seller's account without his knowledge and refunds the winner.

EBay says the seller would have been reimbursed had he had a seller-protection insurance policy and proof of shipping. He is adamant that he posted the item, but cannot prove it because it was sent first class post.

Emails to PayPal are answered either by automatic response -- somewhat worse than phoning a call centre in India -- or using stock responses which bear little or no relation to the issue in question.

EBay say they're working on it. In the meantime, it's a case of caveat vendor!

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