Never Pay With PayPal Balance
I have had my issues with PayPal in the past, no doubt. I caught them over billing me on fees when making a payment with a partial PayPal balance and the rest with credit card. Recently, I ran into another issue that could also come up when paying a merchant. It is just another reason why you should never pay with PayPal balance when buying goods. By doing so you leave yourself open to the shysters out there and PayPal’s lackluster dispute center. My wife ran into such an issue last week. Luckily, she had a fall back option because she used a credit card when making her PayPal payment.
Background On The Purchase
My wife made a purchase from a company for a product she saw in a Facebook ad (don’t do this!). She clicked through to their website and everything looked legit to her. She purchased the item on January 3rd and tried to cancel it shortly after seeing comparable products on Amazon for triple the cost ($100 vs $300). There was no response from the seller and at one point the email kicked back as invalid.
After a week and a half, and no response from the seller, no tracking info, or a delivery I told her to file a dispute with PayPal. She got a response a few days later that PayPal had sided with the seller and the 27 pound package was delivered on January 6th.
PayPal’s Dispute Program Is Easy To Fool
I know from reading other sites of resellers that deal with fraudulent charge backs that simply providing a tracking number that shows delivery will often win you a case. This was particularly handy when people used to sell digital codes on eBay. If they suspected the account may be a fraudulent account and suspected a claim coming they would mail out something with tracking to “prove” they sent it out.
This is where the story gets a bit weird though. The seller provided PayPal with a tracking number for UPS. This is the first time we had seen any type of tracking info on the item. It said delivered on 1/6 to our city. But, it didn’t give any tracking info etc. or the address it was delivered too. UPS said only the sender could see that info for security purposes. I have never had that happen before. My best guess is that it was all that PayPal saw too, a shipment marked delivered and to our city.
UPS Delivery Claim
We filed a dispute with UPS and that unlocked more info. Once doing this it showed the package was signed for by a name we are not aware of (Chelsea Z). It still did not show the tracking info or the address it was delivered to though. We did a Google search of the person’s name and our city and they in fact do live a few blocks away. It shows that it was delivered from Amazon, was this a drop ship purchase?
The rabbit hole goes deeper though. Once the dispute with UPS settled, and they approved the claim we had access to the full tracking info. This showed that the package was “delivered” to the same city the UPS depot is located in, about 20 minutes away from our house. This doesn’t match what we initially saw during the dispute process. The delivery still shows it was marked for our town but nothing matches up at all.
American Express To The Rescue
While this was going on I decided to go straight to the source, American Express. My wife had used her newly upgraded Amex Platinum card to make the payment through PayPal so we could file a charge back with them too. I should have just started here but I am glad I didn’t for a few reasons.
- This goes to show that you should NEVER pay with PayPal balance because you are left to their flawed dispute process if an issue arises.
- I probably would have never gone down the rabbit hole with UPS which I may need if the seller tries to fight back with Amex too.
American Express “approved” the claim right away and we should see a credit on the account in the next few days. The seller still has an opportunity to fight it until the middle of February so we shall see what happens there. By filing the dispute with UPS it has unlocked the full tracking info for anyone with the tracking code. So unless they provide them with a new fraudulent tracking number at least Amex will be able to see that detail now.
Never Pay With PayPal Balance – Final Thoughts
I still don’t know who entirely is at fault here. Did the company really ship it to us? Did UPS screw the pooch delivering it? Was the shipment called back by the seller halfway through? Or maybe it should just fall on my wife’s shoulders from ordering it in the first place…hey I know you were thinking it 🤣. The all over the place tracking info leaves me confused on the situation for sure.
Regardless of who was at fault remember to never pay with PayPal balance when making a purchase from a merchant. It eliminates some protections you have, and will probably need to use,
if when the PayPal dispute resolutions department fails you. Having more options is always a good thing!
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