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Friday, June 20, 2008

I'LL STICK TO USING CREDIT CARD FOR EBAY PURCHASES FROM NOW ON!

If you've subscribed to this blog (hint, hint) or read through the various posts, you would have come across THIS ONE where I talked about being sold FAKE SCHIAPARELLIS by an Ebay vendor. I'm not going to repeat what happened (see the links) but here's the sequel.

After filing for a chargeback with my credit company, who advised me to send the fake jewelry back to the seller by tracked mail, I had to wait 30 days from the time he received the returned items to see if he'd give me the promised refund. Well he got the goods back on June 13. Then I waited...and waited...and no refund, no communication, no nothing...no surprise either. Well at about day 20, I emailed the seller and said "Hey, you've got the goods back, and you've got my money. Where's my refund?" The jerk wrote back to me and said "As our ad states on our page at Ebay, we don't refund so I'm sending this back to you again." I wrote back and said "Wait a minute. I have an email from you where you promised to refund if I sent back the goods!" He didn't even address that. Just sent me another email supplying the tracking number (most likely false) as when it arrived, it only cost him $1.66 to send it. I'm pretty sure that's not tracked postage!

I wrote again and said, "Fine. When it arrives, I won't accept the package. I'll just send it back to you unopened." He replied again saying "And I'll send it straight back to you. Have a good day!"

Well it got here. We took photos while the postman waited, to prove we didn't accept it and sent it straight back to him again, marked "fraudulent goods". Where it is now, I don't have a clue. If it comes back to me again, I'll do the same thing. Silly isn't it?!

But in the meantime, the 30 days have passed and my credit card company has issued a chargeback to my account...for all but $54. Why not the full amount? Because when I paid, I had $54 in my PayPal account and as you most likely know, PayPal first draws payment from your PayPal account and gets the balance from your bank account or your credit card. Thank heaven I put the rest on Credit Card or right now I'd be out $500, especially if I'd let them take it directly from my associated bank account. And there'd be no way on earth I could get any of that money back! Oh yes, I originally filed a dispute with PayPal but they tossed it out. That's another story for another time.

Bottom line and the point of this blog today is to say I've learned two lessons from all this:

1) Move money out of my PayPal account as soon as I can so they can't draw payments from there and

2) Put all ebay and other online transactions on Credit Card.

3) Be sure to have a credit card attached to your PayPal account, and that way you can opt for the transaction to be put on the Credit Card. If you don't, but you have supplied a bank account, they'll take that money from your bank account directly and you'll never see it again!

Doing that is the only way to be sure that if something isn't right about a sales transaction, as long as you have a legitimate complaint, you can get your money back if the seller doesn't refund.

End of story? Well nearly: Now that the chargeback has been issued to me, PayPal has re-opened that dispute they conveniently closed on me 2 months back because now it's going to come out of their pockets if they can't get the money back from the vendor. Of course, the vendor will no doubt do what he can to avoid paying that money to PayPal too. But fingers crossed, this whole mess will be a part of my online buying history soon. I'll let you know when the door closes on this one!

In a future post, I'll explain why PayPal tossed out my dispute when I had a legitimate beef. You might be surprised how you aren't protected if you're using PayPal for purchases made through any online site except eBay!

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