13 years with eBay/Paypal means absolutely nothing to them
I began my Ebay selling career in 1999, well before PayPal was probably even conceived. I say career, because I thought of it as just that. I am confined to a wheelchair as a result of a spinal cord injury and my monthly disability check, as prices of everything continued to escalate, i.e. food and gas, was just not going far enough, so one day a friend comes to visit and suggests I give Ebay a try. I’d never heard of it. So, thirteen years later here I am telling my long sordid story. I was always a model Seller. My fees were automatically deducted from my checking account, so I was never late to pay my Ebay tab. I worked my tail off traveling in the Midwest to find good quality items to sell on Ebay. I attended as many as 3 or 4 auctions a week, all implicitly to sell my wares on Ebay. Sure, I had the occasional folks that wanted to complain about a ten dollar item and put me through the wringer, but anyone who has more than a handful of Ebay sales knows this is the norm. In 2009 I branched out into vintage audio and was doing well with my new found venue. I made a sale to a guy in California, in the fall of 2010, who had seen one of my Ebay listings and contacted me about what I had in my inventory. Actually, I had sold him two or three items in total. We did this outside of Ebay, but his method of payment was through PayPal. Now, mind you, at this time I had been selling on Ebay for 11 years. I had received the typical Ebay certificate of recognition, that probably everyone who has sold on Ebay for a while receives. I also was awarded a Power Seller rating (Gold Power Seller), and Top Rated Seller. So apparently I was doing something right. That all changed with one transaction. This guy in California. He receives his items, and actually emails me telling me he is happy with them and asks what else I have to sell. We ultimately have another transaction. Three months later I get the dreaded bombshell email informing me of a PayPal dispute. Well, since he waited three months to file, the PayPal 45 day limit had expired and PayPal would not take his dispute through their process, so he filed with his Credit Card company (Citibank). Not only did he file on the last item I sold him, but on the first one he received nearly four months earlier. He brazenly told me via email and on the telephone that he did this to increase his chance of getting something back. The first item I sold him was a $3500 purchase and the second a $2500 purchase. In his first filing he stated the item was not as described, and the second filing, coming about a week after the first, he stated he never received that item. I had proof by way of a signature confirmation for that each item he received, so I was confident that the second item which he fraudulently claimed was not delivered was going no where in terms of his claim. I called PayPal weekly, sometimes twicea week, and sent them a myriad of email correspondences to be added to my case. Emails between this guy and me that clearly show he wanted to buy more items from me and had no problems with any of them. I have, and still do, literally over 100 emails between him and I. PayPal assured me they would help me, and one Rep. even went so far as to say that they (PayPal) were going to act as if they were my Lawyer, but quickly qualified that statement with, but we are not Lawyers. They could be, because they are very deceitful, but probably not bright enough to be a group of Attorneys. My contact with PayPal went on for months, then ultimately a year passes. The first claim was denied by his Credit Card company. Now this is the one where he says it is not as described. His second claim, which I proved was delivered and signed for by him was approved. Go figure. I didn’t think anything of this because numerous PayPal Reps assured me that because it was filed as not received and I proved it was delivered, and not only delivered, but signed for, I would be protected by their “Seller Protection.” OK, so I have been deluded and now I have a warm and fuzzy feeling about what the outcome will be. My lapse of sound judgement clearly my downfall. As it turns out, the guy, changes his story from not receiving it to it is not as described. I honestly think he was coached by a PayPal representative, because now I have no so called Seller Protection and PayPal is off the hook for covering the $2500. Items that a dispute is filed on for not as described do not have this phantom PayPal protection. I am convinced that PayPal employees are trained in these matters to coach those who file disputes to use the “not as described” claim so they do not have to offer the Seller Protection. This fiasco goes on for a year. In the meantime I am frantic. I have to sell on Ebay. It literally is my livelihood and a way to help support my family. So, I open another account under my elderly Mother’s name. I am selling again successfully for about three months and building a perfect track record and feedback profile, and thinking, OK, while I will lose my 12 years of followers, at least I am back in he game. This comes to an end when PayPal discovers that this new Ebay account is linked to the PayPal that has the issues. I guess because I used the same address when I registered the new Ebay account. They ultimately shut me down. OK, being the resourceful person I am, I know my Aunt has a PayPal account and she does not use it. I start to sell on my 12 year established Ebay User ID, but direct payments to her account. Within a few months I am again banned. Now throughout this entire ordeal not once have I received an email demand letter from PayPal asking me to pay the $2500, so I am thinking that maybe they are going to honor the Seller Protection they said I had, but I cannot understand why they keep my account in limbo and do not allow me to access it or use it if. Oh, one additional thing, PayPal charges me two $20 fees, one for each dispute, to represent me with the Credit Card company, so my negative is $2540. Clearly another money making scheme they concocted, but what could I do? By now I am getting frantic and stressed. It has been a year and I’ve attempted to try other avenues to sell but those have been thwarted. I call PayPal to discuss what is going on if anything with my account. The ledger or notes on my PayPal homepage, when I could access my account and provide proof to use for my defense, said something to the affect that they could thought it would be pointless to appeal the Credit Card company decisions, but it also said that I had no negative balance. So I am assuming that at anytime I will be able to use my account again. But many log attempts tell me this is not going to happen. So, once again I begin my bevy of phone calls to PayPal to get some news. I am told that since he changed his dispute from not received to not as described, that I am not going to be covered by their Seller Protection, it does not cover not as described disputes, and I must pay them the $2540. I think about this for a bit and I ask them why I have to reimburse them the $75 that was taken out by them for their fees. After all, I didn’t get the $2500, more like $2425 after they removed their fees. I wonder how many people don’t think of this when they pay back a negative balance? So, I’m put on hold while she talks to a Manager. She returns and says that her Manager say she can wave the $75. How very considerate of them! My first question to her is, “If I pay this back, will my account be put back in good standing and how soon can I use it?” She tells me that withing 3-5 business days my account will be available for me to use again. I ask her this not once, ut twice, and I also say are you sure. She is adamant that my account can be used again by me in this time frame if I bring my balance from a negative to zero. So I pay them the money. A week passes and still I cannot access my account. I call once again and this time I am told that my case is non appeal-able. I ask what this means, and she tells me that I am considered a risk, and that PayPal no longer wishes to do business with me. When I ask her when this decision was made, she looks in the notes in my file on the computer, and gives me the date. It was the day after I made the payment to put my account back in good standing. Talk about being lied to and manipulated. Is this anyway to conduct business with someone who has been using and paying for services for 12 years? Apparently it is. I have much more on this topic, i.e. contacts with John Donahoe, Ebay CEO, Meg Whitman, ex Ebay CEO who sits on the Ebay Board of Diretors, but my fingers are tired and I am getting agitated thinking of this. Ex Ebay SellerSimilar Complaints
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Posted: May 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm