During the past days, I received several messages from eBay members, asking me about 2 of the buyers that acquired several of the Loot Cards I sold on eBay (I announced it right here). They told me that they had issues with those buyers as the PayPal transactions were revoked. Granted, I was also a little suspicious that one eBayer bought so many Loot Cards from me, but then again, if you’re into World of Warcraft and you got the money, why not?!
I received notification e-mails from PayPal today (by the way, those messages have no subject, making it more likely they’ll be marked as spam…), telling me that they need additional information as a case was opened. I logged into PayPal and was greeted with a message, telling me that my PayPal account was no longer in the positive. What a warm welcome!
Then I saw what I expected: The money that was sent to me has been pulled back by PayPal. This happened to me before, so let me explain it to you in case you’re thinking: “That doesn’t really make sense, now does it?!” Well, here’s how it works:
- You open a PayPal account
- You connect it to your bank account
- You now own a certified PayPal account
- You can now make payments when you don’t have sufficient funds on your PayPal account
- You buy something on eBay and pay with PayPal
- You quit your bank account / return the money that PayPal tries to withdraw from your bank account or find a different more or less creative way
You do more or less the same, this time with a credit card. It seems to work like a charm…
Voilá! You just made sure PayPal would tell the seller he has received a payment, although he’ll never actually get the money. Or to be more precise: He will receive the money, but PayPal will pull it back a little later.
That’s what PayPal probably means when they’re talking about “buyer protection”. You’re SO protected, you don’t even have to have the money to afford the article you bought…
“Wait a minute, are you saying that I don’t actually received money for sure when PayPal tells me I received money?”, you might ask. Well, yes, that’s basically it. It’s like your bank telling you “You have 500,- EUR on your bank account”, you withdraw it to spend it on something you like and then the bank will tell you a week later: “Oh, sorry, we made a mistake. We need the 500,- EUR back.” Although that’s also not quite like it, as PayPal never apologizes to you, as if it were standard business practice for them.
This whole thing feels like a huge scam. Another seller who is affected by this problem told me it would be best to simply not send the money back to PayPal as they’ll most likely not go after you, but send a few e-mails telling you to make the payment. I don’t think that’s the solution to the problem. I mean, it’s not that I would have a bad conscience afterwards; I feel scammed by PayPal, so why not make sure THEY have to sort it out and see how they can get their hands on the money instead of making me pay them for their failure to pull in the money?!
Best would be for PayPal to fucking change their policies. If they really think it is acceptable to treat their customers like this, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would pay people to buy stuff on eBay and then pull the above described stunt. It’s almost easier as printing your own money…
What are your experiences with PayPal? Have you been in a similar situation before and how did you get around it? It would be cool if more affected sellers could come together and try to get PayPal to actually do something for their customers and provide the service they’re advertising – fast and safe payments.