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How long should I wait for a seller to refund me?

Paul_H1
New Community Member

How long should I wait for a seller to refund me?

Hi, I’m hoping that someone can provide me with some guidance about a PayPal transaction query which I have been attempting to resolve with a seller. I’ve tried to set out a chronology below: - [ ] 6th January 2021; I placed an order with a UK based seller for my order to be shipped to me in France; however at the time of placing the order, I had been unaware that I would need to pay customs charges to receive the items. Because of this, I asked the seller to cancel the order and for a refund. - [ ] 23rd January; the seller advised me that they had asked the courier to return the parcel to them, but I would need to wait for them to receive it before they would issue a refund. I acknowledged that there had been customs issues at the UK border, so said I would wait a further 14 days before asking for an update if I had heard nothing further. - [ ] 10th February; I’d heard nothing further and contacted the seller to ask for an update. On 11th February, the seller told me that the parcel was not actually on its way back to them, but they had again asked the courier to return it. In the same response, they also advised me that an international return could take 3 weeks. I asked why I had been given misleading information, why the parcel was not actually en route back to them and whether I would be entitled to lodge a PayPal dispute in order to initiate a refund. They told me that the error was beyond their control and that if I raised a dispute with PayPal, my refund would not be processed if they received the goods whilst a dispute was still open. This dissuaded me from contacting PayPal and I agreed to continue to wait. - [ ] February 16th; the seller asked the courier to investigate the parcels whereabouts and advised me that I would have to wait 3-5 working days for an update, but that they still could not give me an estimate on when I would be refunded. The outcome of the courier’s investigation was apparently inconclusive because I was just told to continue to wait. - [ ] 25th February; I asked for details of the company complaints procedure, because the refund is for a large sum of money and this situation is causing me some distress. They told me that I could put my complaint in writing to them, but that it would have no relevance in regard to the returns process with the courier and that “returns time frames for each Country are different, in some instances the courier will advise the return can take up to 3 months.” In addition to the above, I would also add that I had in fact placed two orders with them at the same time, but that one ended up being delivered to me- despite the seller telling me that this was also in the process of being returned to them. The customs charges to send the item back were so expensive that I opted to keep the goods, just to try to avoid any further issues, meaning that the seller had already ended up retaining nearly £500 from me. To conclude, how long would PayPal recommend that I continue to wait for a refund- or any kind of update at all- from the seller? Am I entitled to lodge a dispute claim? I do understand that COVID and customs related issues are having a big impact on business processes, but I seem to be the one chasing updates and I have lost confidence that the seller is treating my case with any kind of sense of urgency. Thank you for any objective input. Regards