The PayPal Dispute Resolution Process Needs an Overhaul

I’m irked with PayPal. This is yet another blog post describing the horrid PayPal Dispute Resolution process. I am the eBay seller. I sell a nice Harley V-Rod collectible pen for $10. Its $6.50 for basic Canada to USA small packet shipping. Here is the run-down of what happened;

  1. Item was packaged and shipped the day after the auction.
  2. The buyer e-mails asking about shipping saying they are going on vacation and want to get details.
  3. I remind them they opted for cheap shipping and Canada Post standards say 9-12 business days to the US border or major nearest US city center.
  4. Three business days after shipping the buyer is “no longer a registered eBay member“.
  5. Four days after shipping they file a merchandise not received dispute with PayPal.
  6. Five days after shipping they escalate the dispute to a claim with the message “We are moving out of country“.
  7. I submit my counter details through the PayPal resolution system which indicated at this point Canada Post delivery standards they chose haven’t even been met etc. (PayPal provides no way for me to scan the customs and post office stamped shipping proof or contact them directly for that matter).
  8. I tell the buyer its not my fault they chose to make an international purchase close to a move date. BUT I did say if they moved and the package was returned to me I would happily refund their money through PayPal.

I thought the loss of their eBay account combined with the sheer stupidity of the buyer filing before postal delivery standards were met because “they decided to move” would be enough for PayPal to deny the refund.


A week later PayPal refunds the buyer both auction and shipping fees. It took me all of a minute to get on the phone with PayPal. First time was a no-go. I again read the dispute case report. The PayPal dispute person listed the reason for the refund as “special“. My response was “Special my a**!” The second rep I encountered on my second phone call offered to provide me with the information to include on a fax cover letter to counter the claim outcome.

I asked this rep if PayPal was using an automated system to randomly decide disputes and claims because there is no way a real live person at PayPal could possibly have read all the details of this particular case submitted by both buyer and seller — and refund the buyer. The cancellation of the eBay account the day before the dispute alone should have sent up flags. Filing before the shipping standards were even close to met should have as well. She apologized and put me on hold briefly. When she returned she said the money would be refunded to me within 48 hours, and apologized for wasting my time. She did agree this didn’t look right.

It was refunded. But I am not done. PAYPAL gave me the refund as a courtesy credit. They did not reverse the refund given back to the buyer. This is just wrong. I followed through with the claim process because “that is the way I am”. Can you imagine how many sellers out there just don’t have the time to go through so much work for a lousy $16 USD and drop the dispute and allow the refund to happen? I’m betting a lot do. And to me the actions of the buyer are fraudulent and I will rack up $16 and more in long distance charges with PayPal if I have to. Its the point of the thing. PayPal should not have given the claim refund in the first place and the buyer should not have both the item and a refund, plain and simple. I should not have to waste my time and money because “PayPal dispute specialists” can use “special” as a claim reason and make no contact with the eBay seller, even once during the process. The PayPal dispute resolution system leaves a LOT to be desired.


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