PayPal and eBay have hung me out to dry

PayPal small print leaves eBay seller without

I sold a 46-inch Sony TV and Blu-ray player on eBay for £750. The items were paid for via PayPal, and the buyer asked if they could come and collect them. I checked to see if the money was in my PayPal account and it was, so I handed over the TV and player. About 10 minutes later I logged back in and found the payment had been cancelled. Later that evening PayPal sent me an email regarding potential fraud, but it was too late. Neither eBay or PayPal have since taken any interest in helping me or refunding me, despite confirming their systems were breached: the criminal hacked into an eBay account to do the deal (using someone with lots of positive feedback), and then hacked into someone else's PayPal account to pay for it. I am now £750 out of pocket. RK, Brussels

Both eBay and PayPal can be frustrating for consumers to deal with because they issue automated responses to questions, making it very difficult to speak to a real person. PayPal confirmed you experienced a "reversal" but said it was not responsible for your loss, despite promising that it "offers sellers protection against potential losses due to buyer claims, chargebacks or reversals". Instead, it found a clause in its rules that states local collections aren't covered by its seller protection programme, which requires "proof that goods have been exchanged in the form of online trackable proof of delivery and proof of signature from the recipient for items over £150" – difficult when selling a TV.

We reminded PayPal that, while its own systems were not hacked into, someone's PayPal account was neverthless used by the fraudster, and that you did not find out the payment had been flagged by PayPal until it was too late.

Unfortunately, PayPal again refused to accept any responsibility, so you should now take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Brignall & King, Money, The Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number

Contributor

Mark King

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
How secure is PayPal for sellers?

Ebay sellers are finding out the hard way that PayPal offers them little protection when the buyer wants to collect an item in person

Miles Brignall

27, Jan, 2012 @11:02 PM

PayPal has blocked my cash and my ebay account

I settled a dispute but still can't get my money or use my eBay accounts

Miles Brignall

23, Apr, 2010 @11:06 PM

Article image
Ebay beats forecasts before PayPal spin-off
Revenues rise by 7% in last quarter as online auction site prepares to separate from payments processer

Chris Johnston

16, Jul, 2015 @5:02 PM

Article image
When PayPal refuses buyers protection against eBay fraud
Beware buyers calling to collect their goods, even if you've received the money online

Miles Brignall

09, Aug, 2014 @6:00 AM

Article image
Ebay seller's returns policy doesn't suit me, sir

I bought a suit on eBay for my husband but it was shabby – the business seller refused to refund the item

Miles Brignall

17, Jun, 2013 @6:00 AM

PayPal digs its heels in over Cuban connection

UK charity's account was frozen because of indirect links to country with which trade is forbidden under American law

Mark King

12, Mar, 2011 @12:01 AM

Article image
PayPal refused to listen when eBay buyer returned item in pieces
Four months after being sold, the rotovator arrived back used and muddy, but still £112 was blocked from my account

Miles Brignall

28, May, 2017 @6:00 AM

PayPal leaves a hole in the net

I paid for a mattress by credit card via PayPay but when it fell apart, I found I wasn't covered by consumer protection

Miles Brignall

28, Oct, 2011 @10:02 PM

Capital letters: I took your advice but PayPal won't budge

When it comes to getting your money back, PayPal may not be quite as chummy as you'd like

Steve Playle

24, Jul, 2009 @11:05 PM

Alarm bells ring over Groupon discount deals
Customers of Groupon's online discount deals are complaining of poor communication and services that never happened

Miles Brignall

11, Nov, 2011 @11:01 PM