Why to avoid Paypal

So, I just finished my first dispute ever with Paypal. I suppose I have been lucky over the years and the plethora of transactions that this is the first one that I've had to dispute. I have to say, I am underwhelmed by the response, however.

As a quick history, our refrigerator condenser HX fan failed a while back. I rigged a temporary cooling fan, then looked up the replacement part number and found a web site claiming to have the part in stock. I ordered the part, opened the box and found something different from what was described.

The part was not genuine replacement part since the motor was not the same type as the one I pulled from the fridge. Instead of a PSC, it was a lower-efficiency and louder SPM motor. It also did not feature the molex plug necessary to hook up to the refrigerator wiring harness without modifications. It clearly was not a official replacement part as implied by the web site nor an equivalent substitute.

So, I contacted the seller who replied that the part was in fact a inferior substitute because the OEM part was no longer available. Thankfully, the part I pulled from the fridge had the OEM name and part number on it, so I looked up and contacted them and found out that they very much still make the part, 5 are in stock, VISA and MC are accepted, etc.

But even with all this information, the best that Paypal can do is refund me the original cost of the transaction while requiring me to return the part at my cost. Hence, PayPal is aiding fraudsters by giving victims of fraud a further disincentive to dispute dodgy transactions. Needless to say, I am not pleased and I will hence reduce my transactions with Paypal accordingly. If given a choice, the credit card looks like a much better alternative thanks to better dispute resolution systems being in place over there.

I too am a long time Paypal user (only as a buyer) and never had a dispute with them or a seller so far. However even though I'm a 'validated' member, with an attached back account, I always select my visa card as the payment method assuming that gives me another way to dispute transactions as I've never had a problem getting my CC company to return my money when I dispute other problems I've had with CC transactions. But again as I said I've yet to have a paypal problem with a seller yet, but that might just be luck. That is not to say I haven't suffered from 'buyers remorse' on buying something on impulse that later wished I hadn't. ;)


I have had a few paypal disputes. Never any problem with Paypal itself though. Had one seller that never sent an item, and one 9 year old that used his mom’s credit card to setup a Paypal account and purchase an xbox from me. The USPS destroyed the xbox (i’m talking 4" diameter holes and water damage), so naturally he assumed I sold him a broken xbox and filed a dispute against me for fraud, incorrect item description, never shipped item, harassment, sent me a swear-filled email demanding I refund him (after Paypal locked my account because of the fraud charge) and reported my ebay account as having inappropriate language. All this, despite me having a no questions asked return/exchange policy, and shipping insurance. It took about 3 weeks to go through the dispute resolution service. I forwarded the email to eBay customer service, and got a reply saying they couldn’t do anything about the incorrect bad feedback the person gave me, but that they had investigated the account, found the owner to be a minor, and terminated the account (which would make the bad feedback look less bad).

I have left a customer service complaint with Paypal, let's see if that has the desired effect or not. However, I am not too hopeful that they'll actually do anything.

As best as I can tell, their bottom line is to get more business and someone like me that happens to only have a couple of transactions per month is not as valuable as a commercial customer that likely sells more merchandise in a day than I buy in a year.

I also find it ironic that the seller continues to misrepresent the parts he's selling, i.e. this appears to be a deliberate and ongoing attempt at defrauding customers, not a one-time mistake. Maybe the BBB can nudge him into being more truthful about the parts he's selling?

I anticipate in a few years paypal will be making money in the same order of magnitude of countries around the world printing cash. There's no regulation to sales tax for paypal transaction and no comparable alternatives (except some countries have their own counterparts at smaller scales). The seller fee is ridiculous. There's not much protection as a seller or buyer. There must be countless scams around ebay and paypal and they are not a grown service like CC so don't expect them to have enough interest to help you out. After all, how else are you paying?

Constantin: Maybe the BBB can nudge him into being more truthful about the parts he's selling?

lol and maybe the easter bunny is going to make me breakfast in the morning, both are as bout as likely

What alternative is there for seller and buyer to make a transcation?

liudr: What alternative is there for seller and buyer to make a transcation?

I recall my early days on E-bay where most sellers only accepted US postal money orders for purchases, what a hassle that was. Very little protection for the buyer unless simple loss of delivery of the money order claim was made.

Sellers may bitch but I don't think buyers have ever had better protection in the past then presently using E-bay/PayPal coupled with a CC account.