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Thread: An Open Letter to Paypal (please read)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 15, 2001
    My Pants
    Blog Entries

    Exclamation An Open Letter to Paypal (please read)

    I wrote this letter to PayPal president David Marcus yesterday, emailed and faxed it. Mr Marcus has said and done some impressive things lately, so after beating my head against the wall with the less than great customer service, I had no alternative.

    Dear Mr. David Marcus

    Ref ID Case PP-002-074-318-199

    Last October I was the victim of mail fraud when a seller sent me a hand made item claiming it was an original toy from the 1970s. It was an upsetting time; I’d never been the victim of this kind of crime.

    I felt reassured by one thing; I’d paid in him via PayPal and not Western Union as he initially demanded. Sending him money via PayPal felt better, not the gamble that a wire transfer implied.

    Within minutes of opening the parcel, I filed a charge back. I had used my American Express card for half of the transaction, so I also called them. On their behest, I express shipped (at my expense) the item back to the seller. Triple boxing it, the exterior being an Amazon box, because everyone likes a treat from Amazon.

    He signed for it the next day but fought me on PayPal, claiming I was lying.

    PayPal asked for additional information and even affidavits from outside sources, lucky for me I’ve got some contacts in my 25 years of writing. I sent these experts photos of the (laughably) fake item and got the necessary testimony within 24 hours.

    Eventually, PayPal decided in my favor and all of my money was returned. American Express was credited, so I dropped my chargeback with them as well. It was the first time I’d been on the receiving end of PayPal’s good nature.

    When that buyer in Mexico claimed he never got my $400 figure, PayPal sided with him, the fact that he later sent me an email saying “ja ja ja ja I have your toy, loser” meant nothing to PayPal. When that dealer claimed I sent him an item with reproduction parts, you also sided with him, the fact that he listed the exact item the next month as “100% original” didn’t help me get my money back.

    These incidents did not warm me to PayPal but I thought, as a buyer the odds were in my favor.

    So imagine my surprise when Mr D (that’s what I call the seller) then claimed that he didn’t receive the parcel and surprisingly, PayPal sided with him.

    How was I, the former victor, in all of this notified? Why, by my money being removed and my account locked.

    Despite me having the signature of receipt from UPS PayPal took Mr D’s word that the item was not present in the package. I had no defense, PayPal wouldn’t let me defend myself, and he won.

    So, I called Mr D at his home and told him that I was going to press charges with his local PD and the USPS (which I did). He waffled at first that he didn’t get the box and then later admitted he had it but the contents had been destroyed/went missing. I couldn’t get a real answer out of him but the conversation made him realize that I wasn’t going to go away and he dropped the claim on PayPal.

    So is it over? Not a chance.

    I’m still locked out with all my money gone. That money was made by doing the honest thing, you know, sending people exactly what they pay for but apparently, that doesn’t matter, PayPal sided with the guy who committed the mail fraud.

    By the way, I can no longer honor my obligations on eBay or pay my hosting fees for my website. I’m forced to borrow money from a friend’s PayPal right now (I won’t reveal his name).

    I also lost a day of work on hold with PayPal, that’s money I can’t get back and it sure was eye opening. I feel it important to refer to my opening statement; I was the victim of mail fraud, not the perpetrator.

    The resolution of this two hour call was whenever Mr D pays back the money; I can have my account back. Well, he’s certainly a man of his word; forgive me if I don’t put an ounce of hope into that.

    Here are the problems I have with this Mr. Marcus

    1) You’re siding with someone who committed mail fraud. If I had just proceeded with my credit card company and not you, they’d have ruled in my favor. I wouldn't be tethered to this person, it simply would be over. That’s how it works, you don’t punish the person who did everything right, you stick to your guns.

    2) I paid a large sum for a fake item, I would value it at about twenty dollars and even then, I’m being kind. That was my argument and you initially ruled in my favor. So even if Mr D is honest in saying it got damaged/lost, he’s not out anywhere near the money he attempted to defraud me of. He didn’t have an item of any tangible value; this was and still is a scam.

    3) PayPal did not include me in the counter claim; it simply took my money and sided with him despite our history I had to work and provide evidence when I was doing the accusing.

    I provided evidence all over again and got curt, nothing replies from Sita, Samantha, Todd and whatever other revolving customer service drones. Not even a dedicated person to the case!

    Why should I trust an institution that has such an invisible wall around its customer service? You have people’s money; you can’t be just this shadow that lurks in the darkness. That’s fundamentally wrong.

    4) It’s obvious to me that Mr D knows how to work your system pretty good and he’s likely not alone. Despite all your guarantees and me doing everything correctly, you still just took his word over all my evidence to the contrary. This gives me zero confidence in using your service in the future.

    Last year, I launched my own company, I won’t tell you its name because I’m honestly afraid PayPal will empty its accounts. It’s growing at an encouraging pace and I’m excited but I’ll tell you the one change I’m going to make in 2013 is that I’m going to start accepting credit cards and no longer offer PayPal.

    You simply don’t work and the more people that I can warn about this, the better.

    I’m going to encourage my employer to discontinue PayPal on their website and I’m going to publish this letter via my websites, blogs and the multitude of forums I am a member of about this.

    Maybe it’ll make a difference or perhaps it will do nothing. However, if my warnings result in even a small amount of people not using your service, I’ll consider it a victory.

    This isn’t entirely about the money, it’s about security and service, I can honestly say that your establishment provides only a façade of both of those things.


    Brian H

    PS Please do not send me a form response via email, I won’t read it. If you want to talk to me, you call me, I’ve earned that.

    For everyone reading this, thank you and please pass it on via the face book, twitter and other “Add this” tags in the corner.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 15, 2001
    My Pants
    Blog Entries
    First update, I managed to find the blog of a PayPal engineer who really likes what he does. I emailed him and he wrote back almost immediately. He was very kind and said he would send it to David Marcus. I can honestly say, he is the first real person I've spoken to there and I appreciated him getting involved even though it isn't his department by a long shot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 15, 2001
    My Pants
    Blog Entries
    Second Update: This was in my mail box this morning.

    Thank you for contacting PayPal.

    From researching your account history, I can see that your issue has
    been resolved.

    The seller has contacted us to advice that the refund is no longer

    No further action is required from you.

    We are continually improving our customer service to accommodate
    members' needs and can be contacted by going to the PayPal website and
    clicking the Help link in the upper right side of the page.

    Please let me know if you need further assistance.

    PayPal, an eBay Company

    Check Account: Still locked with all my money gone. A note urges me to pay back the seller the remaining sum.

    My reply:

    Hello Rina (or whomever else answers this, never spoken to the same person twice during this)

    My issue hasn't been resolved, my account is still limited and all my money has been to sent to the man who tried to sell me a fake item. I don't consider that a resolution.

    Also, my fax dated yesterday was clearly addressed to PayPal president David Marcus and marked "personal and confidential". So, I also don't consider this a valid reply.

    I sent the letter in hopes of getting accountability from your company, which i find faceless and lacking in responsibility. How disappointing when I logged in to find my account still limited and my $471 still in his hands.

    I am now going to broadcast the letter to everyone I can, I do have an audience, it will be heard. I'll be happy to include this reply as it illustrates my point as to how these promised changes from September are merely vapors.



    PS Please, don't reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Excellent, well written letter. You will have to let us know if you get a personal response. That really sucks that you got ripped off like that.

    Wow, just read your follow up. What a bunch of incompetent "people" they have working there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 11, 2007
    Rock Creek,Ohio
    Sorry to hear you are going threw all this bs Brian It seems that paypal and e-bay always side with the seller and I guess that would stand to reason since E-bay owns Pay-Pal Which really bugs me since when you are the seller e-bay gets there fees then hits you again when someone uses pay-pal to pay they hit you again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 15, 2009
    That sounds terrible (not your letter, but hearing more about the story. PayPal has always been good to me, but I've known there was potential for it to go awry) and I do hope they end up doing the right thing.

  7. #7
    Well done, sir. I'll help broadcast. And maybe it really is time to dump them. Everyone is playing the mobile money game now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 7, 2004
    Cynthiana, KY...of Earth 2!
    Well said. This is a truly ridiculous situation. The words Mail Fraud SHOULD get their attention. If it doesn't, there is no hope for them.

    The response from the "Rina" lady is beyond insulting.


  9. #9
    Things like that take the fun out of collecting. You really are very good with words. Hope this does comes to a reasonable resolution.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 17, 2001
    Good letter Brian, maybe they will come to their senses soon... Keep us updated and I hope you will have your $$ back very soon

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