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I recently went through the process of buying something I saw advertised online. Shame on me for not using a reputable dealer...lesson learned. I ordered the item and 2 months later, it came in from outside the country. The item looking nothing like what was advertised. I opened a dispute through Paypal and they did their normal process. They contacted the seller who responded that they would give me a refund once they received the item. Well, considering the item came from Singapore...the item would cost way more to send back than the actual refund amount (around $25). That is an extremely unfair response and not acceptable at all. I want to respond to Paypal (because at this point, I thought Paypal would act as my mediator during the dispute and I could talk with them). Instead, the claim just moved to a default setting and only gives me 2 options. I can submit a tracking number or close the claim. Due to COVID-19, I can't call Paypal because their customer service lines are down. I tried to submit my rebuttal through the tracking number option, but they notified me that they just sent my "tracking number response" to the seller....completely breaking the concept that Paypal would take over all future communications between us. So my question is this...what am I supposed to do? They give me until May 31st to respond, but their systems are all down. Their messaging app on the website has been sitting there for 6 hours now with no response. What are my options here? I know I made a mistake using that website, but I feel like I also protected myself from mistakes because I use Paypal as a service....
The PayPal dispute system is set up to do return for a refund if 1) complaint is significantly not as described and is ruled in your favor, 2) you can't resolve it with the seller in the dispute phase 3) you escalate to a PayPal claim for PayPal to resolve.
It's not set up to let you keep both item and the money. Only the seller can agree to that in the dispute 'phase' when PayPal is not involved.
Now if your account was registered for PayPal's return shipping refund program prior to opening dispute, you can apply for return shipping reimbursement.
Your case is pretty much cut and dry. If item is not as described, then you return for a refund, that's how PayPal resolves it down the middle. There is no letting you keeping the item and the money as punishment to seller, unless you have official documentation that they sent a counterfeit item and even that's a 'maybe'. Seller has to accept return, lose a sale, no refund of PayPal fees, refund you upon receipt of return. You just pay upfront to return item and get reimbursed where eligible. And it looks like PayPal already decided in your favor if PayPal is asking for a return shipping tracking number so there is no need for further communication but just return the item.
PayPal's dispute system may not be suitable your needs of this claim, so you can instead, dispute through your credit card where the dispute terms may be more broader than paypal's.
Look, I understand the complexity of today's economy. I know there are too many people and too many products, for each situation to be handled in a delicate case-by-case basis. I also understand it would be impossible for Paypal to address each dispute or claim with a dedicated agent. So I understand the need for strict procedures, steps to follow, and automated systems to help speed up the claim or dispute process. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. ALWAYS. So there should always be a method to escalate or work with a human being on situations that may be out of the realm of the norm. Not every situation can be handled by an automated system. I don't care how detailed the AI is, there is always a need for human intervention at some point in the process.
In this case, PayPal is using an automated, strict process that is telling me that I should lose $75 in this situation on TOP of the money I already spent because the company did not send me what was expected. Do you really think that is acceptable? Let me lay out the details for you. I spent $25 on a pair of "hand made" earrings. The picture was of something adorable, with paint and beautiful details on it. What I received was something that looked like a 5-year-old made it with playdoh. That is not an exaggeration, I can provide photographs. It was seriously that bad. I understand that being hand made might create some variations in the design, but it was literally 2 different items. Not even in the same class. So I spend $25 on this item and it takes 2 months to get to me. These are difficult times, so I understand. Now I disagree with the item as described so I raise the claim. PayPal's system initiates the process and now I have to return the item to get my $25 back. In order for me to ship to Singapore, the estimates at this point are $105. So I need to spend $105 in order to get my $25 back. Don't get me wrong, I understand that it would be unfair for me to just keep the item and receive a refund. I am sure that type of system would be abused quite a bit. However, in this "exception to the rule", I think some human interaction would be necessary to determine that this is completely unfair to me. At the very least, the seller should be responsible for the shipping costs of the item because THEY are the ones at fault. I did nothing wrong, aside from trusting a vendor. That was my only mistake, so why would I need to be punished? My punishment at this point is the time and energy I have had to waste on this scenario.
All I am saying, is there should be some sort of option to escalate the claim and have it dealt with in a more personal fashion, outside of the normal automated processes. I don't think that is unreasonable to request that the seller provide me a shipping label.