Has PayPal ever cared about protecting buyers? Or is this complete apathy a new thing for them?
I bought a pair of custom bumpers for my Jeep several months back. I sent (2) different transactions, a deposit of $200 for the materials, and the balance of $1100. The seller insisted on using PayPal for payment, and I agreed, because I knew that PayPal stood behind their buyers, and if something somehow went askew, I would be protected.
Well, fast forward until now, when things went askew. Over a dozen emails to the buyer have gone unanswered. I have even tried to contact them through an alternate email account, with no response. It makes me wonder if the shop is still in business or not. In any case, while I was disappointed, I was not alarmed, because I knew that PayPal stood behind their buyers.
Well, what I did not know is that "buyer protection" while using PayPal is lip service, at best - or a complete fabrication, at worst. My experience with it makes me lean toward the latter. A couple of hours after opening a dispute in the resolution center (which in itself wasn't the easiest nor most intuitive process), I receive an email with a flat denial because "the transaction is consistent with my purchase history". No way to contact an actual human (the chat feature seems to be bots only), no way to explain the scenario, only and email about my "purchase history" - and BTW, while I used PayPal a lot, I've never purchased anything through PayPal even close to that dollar amount before, so I am not sure how that is consistent with my purchase history. All I was able to do was send them a comment, which, conveniently (for PayPal), has gone unanswered.
I like PayPal's model, and the way they make it so easy to transact purchases. Unfortunately, they have no buyer protection - at all. Although disappointed, I will close my PayPal account and use alternate forms of payment from now on (Venmo for the kids tutor or personal transactions, credit cards for actual purchases). At least credit cards offer some degree of actual protection for buyers, which is far greater than what PayPal actually offers.
I hope nobody needs to rely on any kind of buyer protection through PayPal - but if you do, good luck!