Here’s an interesting case of fraud, deceit, and outright theft by a PayPal buyer against the seller. By siding with the buyer in this particular case, PayPal is encouraging fraud and deceit, allowing buyers to steal merchandise from honest sellers. I am usually a fan of using PayPal, but this case makes me not want to sell any merchandise: ever, using PayPal.
Let’s say, for example, I purchased a laptop computer from Dell using PayPal. Dell shipped the laptop to me, and for some reason I decided to ship the laptop back to Dell, because I didn’t want it. But, before I shipped the laptop back, I opened the laptop, took out the hard drive, the wifi, and the keyboard and used a screwdriver to scratch the screen. It was shipped to me in a new condition, with certain components. Dell would expect that laptop in the same exact condition as it was sent. In this case, I would probably not receive my money back. I still had the hard drive and the wifi components.
This would certainly not fly with Dell. But, with PayPal, buyers are encouraged to deceive and steal from sellers, just the opposite of what would happen if I stole a hard drive from a Dell laptop.
Let’s look at this extraordinary example of how PayPal encouraged deceit and theft, and ultimately sided with the buyer: who stole merchandise from the seller, and even receiving all of their money back (including what they paid for shipping). Not only did the buyer get the merchandise–they got it for free (and free shipping too!).
Let’s start with the overview of what happened in this extraordinary case. This is an account directly from the seller. We have attempted to reach the buyer for his side of this story, but have been unable to reach the buyer.
“The buyer, from Florida, contacted the seller to purchase a 4DTV satellite receiver. He paid us $132 ($100 plus shipping costs). Upon receiving the item via UPS, he claimed that item was damaged. He filed a claim with UPS, and UPS approved the claim. the seller, at the same time, filed a claim with PayPal, to receive all of his money back. UPS paid us, the seller, for the claim because the buyer continued to harass the UPS Store via phone. PayPal instructed the seller to send the merchandise back in the same condition in which he received it. The seller received the shell of the satellite receiver back from the buyer, missing the inside electronics of the receiver, as well as the remote and manual. It is the seller’s conclusion that the buyer stole the interior “guts” of the satellite receiver, including the remote and the manual to the unit, and file a claim with UPS and PayPal in order to receive the receiver for free (including shipping) and receive the claim money from UPS. We believe the seller has conducted fraud, harassed several individuals and businesses during this transaction, and the item’s electronics have been stolen from the seller.
07/08/2013-12:36pm Central Time – the buyer (name and address removed, purchased, via PayPal, a DSR922 4DTV satellite receiver for $132.00 ($100 plus $32 shipping fee).
07/09/2013 – Item was shipped from the UPS Store, insured.
07/12/2013-3:35pm Central Time – Item delivered by UPS to the buyer’s home. Receipt attached.
07/12/2013-2:41pm Central Time The seller received a phone call from the buyer telling her that the back corner of the merchandise was dented in. He asked if we would mind if he filed a claim with the shipper, UPS. The seller told him to file a claim. He also sent a picture of the dent via cell phone.
8/22/2013 21:32 PDT – The buyer filed a claim with PayPal, to get all of his money back from PayPal. PayPal’s notes are as follows: Buyer: Item came damaged
08/23/2013 – UPS approved the claim.
08/29/2013 We (the seller) received a phone call from the UPS Store telling us that the claim was being paid to us, the seller, and not to the buyer per UPS rules on claims. The UPS Store’s manager told the seller that they were paying us, the seller, because she was scared to send the buyer, a check, with her name on it.
09/05/2013 12:15pm – We (the seller) received a phone call from the buyer pretending to be a representative of PayPal. He wanted to know if we (the seller) had received the box back yet. The seller, confused about the strange call, replied, “No” and hung up the phone.
09/06/2013 – We (the seller) deposited the UPS check, received from the claim.
09/12/2013 – We (the seller) received a box via USPS at the post office and signed for it. The box was marked over and over “damaged” when received at the post office. USPS told the seller that she could file a claim if the inside item was damaged. She declined because we knew the item was damaged by UPS prior to the item being shipped. The seller returned home to open a partial opened box to see that the item was completely destroyed, obviously by hand. The type of damage done to the item could not have occurred during shipping. Inside, video cypher mother board has been removed, the back plate has been ripped off, the front of the receiver was beaten with some type of hammer or screw driver and everything, including the plastic cover on front, is missing. The manual for the receiver is missing, the remote control is missing, the antenna is missing, and the power cord missing. See the attached pictures. This type of damage to the receiver and the stolen parts from the unit could not have occurred due to shipping damage. All of the major parts are stolen from the receiver, making it completely inoperable and only a “shell” of a unit.
Below are photos of the returned merchandise, as sent back from the buyer:
09/13/2013 – We (the seller) contacted PayPal via phone and told them that the item was damaged, not in the original condition, and missing the majority of its parts (parts were stolen). The PayPal representative told us that the buyer’s claim would be denied.
9/14/2013 – PayPal refunded all of the money ($132) to the buyer. This includes the $32 the buyer paid for shipping costs.
9/15/2013 – PayPal instructed, the seller, to file a police report within 10 days.
09/16/2013 – The seller called the UPS store claims adjuster and spoke to April Johnson, in an attempt to receive any information or photos of the item when the UPS claim was made and before the item was shipped back to us, the seller. Mr. Johnson told the seller that there was no printable paperwork, only internally-typed information about the claim that was paid by them. It stated that the item was crushed and the box was dented.-The phone number to the UPS Store Dispute department is 1-877-225-7625.
9/21/2013 – The seller, instructed by Paypal, filed an affidavit with Paypal, and the the whole “story” as shown above. The signed, notarized statement, claimed that the item was partially returned, missing the majority of its parts, including the main “motherboard” of the receiver, as well as the remote control, the manual, the antenna, and the power cord. The seller uploaded all of the photos, receipts, and notarized statements.
9/21/2013 – Paypal, upon receipt of all the supporting documentation, very promptly sided with the seller, stating the following:
On 9/22/13 10:03 AM, “” wrote:
We received your request to appeal the following complaint.
Buyer’s name: XXXXX XXXXXXX
Buyer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transaction ID: xxxxxx
Transaction date: Jul 8, 2013
Transaction amount: $132.00 USD
Your transaction ID: xxxxxxx
Case number: PP-002-xxx-26xxx5-xxx5
We have completed our review to your appeal for the above case. The damage noted in your appeal was cited by your buyer as the reason for the complaint and you have been compensated for the damages by UPS. Therefore, our original decision remains. We cannot refund you above and beyond the transaction amount. In addition, you have both, the funds for the item provided by the UPS insurance claim as well as the item, regardless of the items current condition. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused you and encourage you to work directly with your buyer for further resolution. We appreciate your patience and cooperation regarding this matter.
Protection Services Department
PayPal, an eBay Company
Copyright © 1999-2013 PayPal. All rights reserved.
The above is an account and overview of the case as provided by the seller. I’ve tried to reach out to the buyer to get his side of the story, but have not heard back from the buyer. (I’m not surprised, as he may know that he deceived the seller, PayPal, and got merchandise for free.)
Well, apparently, even though the item in question was NOT returned (only the shell of a satellite receiver was received by the seller), PayPal sided with the buyer in this case, and gave the buyer ALL of his money back, including the shipping charges. The buyer stole the majority of the parts of the unit, including all of the internal motherboard and other accessories. This was not damaged–it was stolen by the buyer.
By making this decision on this case, PayPal encourages buyers to buy items that include parts (such as hard drives, motherboard, and accessories), return parts of the items (even just the exterior metal of something) and not have to pay for items, including shipping charges. This is outright theft and deceit, and PayPal should stop practices such as these. There is enough fraud going around the internet right now–we do not need PayPal to encourage it like this.
What’s your experience with PayPal? I’ve heard that they tend to always side with buyers–and almost never defend the sellers cases such as this.