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Happy Ending - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Happy Ending
A commercial interaction, in dialogue:

Froogle: Look, there's this place selling very cheap burgundy tablecloths.
Me: Lo! Company, let me buy one of your tablecloths!
Company: Sure. Oh, and we take Paypal.
Me: Well, sure. Have some paypal money.
Company: Yay!

<A few weeks pass>

Company: Oops, sorry. The place we get these from doesn't make them any more. You won't be charged for the order.
Me: But I was already charged for the order. I paid you via Paypal, as per your advertisement.
Company: No, you didn't, we never got that money.
Me: What?
Me to Paypal: Um, so, I bought this thing, and I paid them, here's the transaction number, then they said they were out and were cancelling the order, but when I asked for a refund they said they never got the money. Can you help them find it? They seem nice but confused.
Paypal: This is an automatic response. We'll investigate whatever it was you told us.

<Something like five hours pass>

Paypal: You've been credited with a refund.
PHONE CALL from Company. From a live human being: We're really sorry about that. We've refunded your money. We're terribly sorry about the problem. Paypal is a little confusing for us still. We really really apologize for not giving you a refund sooner. Honestly. We're sorry.

I feel as if I called the Super Star Destroyer down upon them for my twelve dollars. I'm just glad it was on my side.

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: Grimethorpe Colliery Band

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Comments
mjperson From: mjperson Date: December 14th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Superstar Destroyer

Hmm... Glad that worked out. I was always under the impression that PayPal had a horrible reputation for being not so helpful in exactly that situation. Perhaps I will have to reevaluate my feelings towards them.
twe From: twe Date: December 14th, 2004 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Ebay

Paypal got bought by ebay, which may well have caused an improvement in customer service. :)
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: December 14th, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Superstar Destroyer

Hasn't PayPal been smacked (legally) for that a couple of times? They may've shaped up a bit.
mijven From: mijven Date: December 14th, 2004 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)

PayPal is confusing? What, they forgot to download it from their paypal account into their bank account?

BTW, PayPal was able to refund me when I was scammed (via eBay) once upon a time. But I think I'm the only one of the five known scam-ees for whom they were able to do this. At least, last I checked.
merastra From: merastra Date: December 14th, 2004 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)
You were scammed on eBay? And you know four more people? Ack. Then my ebay paranoia is supported by fact.
mijven From: mijven Date: December 14th, 2004 10:05 am (UTC) (Link)

I was ordering kids' pajamas, and found someone selling new multiple sizes of the same item - each in a different auction. Had she had multiple auctions stating "let me know the size you want at the end" I would have been suspicious (since what do you do if all four auctions want size 3?) However, from the wording it was clear she had more and was willing to sell them. Which was probably supposed to (and did) encourage off-site bidding. (One way a seller can sneak around eBay's fees.)

She didn't have any of the items - but shipped me something (with delivery confirmation, which is all eBay needed to see that an item had been delivered.) Did the same to all buyers and made her feedback "private" so we couldn't see the actual complaints start piling up. (Which happened two days after my auction ended.) Happily, one of the other buyers managed to contact me (back when you could search someone's completed auctions within 2 weeks) and told me their story. I contacted PayPal, then alt.marketing.online.ebay (for advice) and finally tracked down emails and phone numbers for the offending party other than those registered with eBay. (Because she'd stopped answering that phone/email long before I knew there was a problem.) I called her, which frankly surprised her, and she gave me this story about a delinquent employee and the police. Which was all fine and good, except I was still going to file mail fraud on her if she didn't send out my goods (and provide a tracking number) within three days. (I think.) Plus, I wasn't going to send her items back unless she paid for return shipping. (This had some basis in mail law, which is why if stores mail you unasked for stuff, they have to pay to get it back.)

Basically I frightened her, and she refunded my money that day. With a threat that I had to return the items she shipped. I contacted PayPal, they voided her refund (and thus claus) but refunded the money to me nonetheless (since she'd been found at fault.) They couldn't refund anyone else because she hadn't left any of the money in her PayPal account.

I've followed her since then, and sadly she's learned from me. She filed mail fraud on me (for not returning the items, and I haven't heard back from them since I answered) and has certainly threatened many others with it. She's changed IDs periodically (currently 1lawyer1nurse and ourkidsweargap) and as far as I can tell, makes enough money for eBay that they don't invalidate her completely. I should probably complain to them again, since she seems to be up to her old tricks. (Her MO seems to be generate gobs of positive feedback, then goes into cheat everyone mode right before Christmas so that she can then do her Christmas shopping.)
merastra From: merastra Date: December 14th, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's scary and you're amazing for following through so meticulously and well.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: December 14th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I have bought a bazillion things on ebay, and had two bad transactions. (One was someone who lamed out for months, and did eventually apologize and send the thing much later; the other was the first place I bought saltpeter from, and they just fell in a black hole and ignored me forever. That was a little worrisome, as it had a deadline. :) )

I try to abide by the rule "don't buy anything over ebay that I would be too put out should the seller be hit by a bus on the way to the post office and never mail it to me", and it's worked very well for my peace of mind.

(The wedding swords were an exception to that, but they worked out fine too. I even returned one for a new one when justom's had the wire on the grip come loose.)
merastra From: merastra Date: December 14th, 2004 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
don't buy anything over ebay that I would be too put out should the seller be hit by a bus on the way to the post office and never mail it to me

Ah, ok. That works. Cool rule of thumb. :)

Though for some reason I'm still weirded out by ebay in general. Hm... bears thinking.
merastra From: merastra Date: December 14th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a great rendition of the story. :-) Yeah, glad the SS. Destroyer(tm) was on your side. I wonder what/how/and who pounced on the Company.
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