Want some help with a problem with Pay-Pal? Having had some personal experience may I point you in the right direction?? Certainly this helped me out!! And the FSA representatives reaction was?? (SIGH!!! NOT pay-pal again!!)
Well here goes!!
I have done all that I can in dealing with Ebay before writing listing with some regret. Unfortunately, like most of the other professional sellers I know on Ebay, I have become exceptionally frustrated & disillusioned with the services offered by Paypal. The cosy relationship with Ebay & the general acceptance of the requirement to offer Paypal has given them an unworkable position of strength. An increasing number of unfair & unjust decision that are inadequately explained have resulted in many, many lost hours of effort & in some cases goods or cash as well.
The negative press that occurs in relation to the small percentage of ebay transactions that are fraudulent is also a moajor contributor to the problem. I have as much as had an admission from Paypal that they are aware that decisions are often made against sellers in an effort to buoy confidence among buyers. Unfortunately for sellers, we not only lose out as a result, but are the community that generate ALL their revenue, with little or no respect in spite of this.
I have for a large number of years worked in the IT industry providing professional services to the major players in the UK Financial Services Industry. As a result of my experience I am fairly well versed in legislation & proper procedure. The gaps in my own knowledge are fortunately filled by a close relative who is a stock broker with Barclays. This has helped me on two previous occasions where despite the bullish nature of the Paypal call centre staff, they have had to reverse decisions as a result of acting ILLEGALLY.
In both these serious cases Paypal were in the eyes of the law "accessory to fraud". Despite this they maintained their rigid stance up to the 11th hour, & refused to either return my charge backed payment or admit their role in the fraud. I am not the only person to have pushed to this level, but unfortunately the prohibitive process they put in place, using fax & slow servers on "disputes" prevents many more seeking a fair decision. Despite the numbers being a fraction of the number of unhappy sellers & incorrect decisions it is still enough that the Financial Services Agency & their sub branch Financial Services Ombudsman are paying particular note to the complaints.
NOW FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT PART......
The process of going to the Ombudsman is a bit of a pain, but I have included an excellent guide below that was taken from a posting made by boringmoo on 23rd Feb
It did however omit a very very important & little known fact regarding this process. In order to provide financial services within the UK they require to operate under the terms of the FSA which includes the requirement to mediate through the ombudsman service. The service is funded by the members on a case by case basis. As the bulk of FSA members provide loans, credit, banking etc they generate a fairly small number of complaints relating to typically greater sums. Due to this the minimum case administration fee is currently set at £360, which must be paid by Paypal regardless of outcome. Thats right, regardless of whether a decision is made in the complainants favour or not, Paypal is required to pay the Ombudsman a minimum of £360 for each & EVERY case investigated.
I have threatened on many occasions to put this information into the public domain when fighting over decisions with Paypal, but never felt driven to act. However recently they have become worse & worse & I am sure that there are many other sellers out there are feeling the same way. It is clear that the threat has not been adequate in order to force some changes, so I implore you to raise each & every case with FSO as I will be doing in the future. This entirely LEGAL action will hopefully impact the pocket of Paypal enough to take a serious review of how they operate & treat their PAYING customers. I would also like to draw the attention of any censors to boringmoo's quote statement about information in the public domain being appropriate to the entirety of this posting.
| Report 23-02-05 16:14 GMT
For once, I'm not whingeing here.. but for anyone who feels they may have a legitimate grievance against Paypal.. and doesn't feel they have been suitably redressed by either phone or email cantact with Paypal... Here is the process and contact details registered by Paypal with the FSA for furthering your claim.
LIVEWORLD.. PLEASE NOTE.. THESE DETAILS ARE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND BECAUSE THEY ARE REGISTERED CORPORATE CONTACT DETAILS CANNOT INFRINGE ANY POLICY ON POSTING NAME ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER DETAILS ON THIS FORUM.. IF THIS POST IS PULLED YOU WILL BE BREAKING CERTAIN UK LAWS INCLUDING THE FINANCIAL SERVICES ACT AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS..
That said guys.. Best put the address and Phone numbers somewhere safe for when you need them.. because I guess that sometime you will!
If you believe Paypal have taken any actions that have had the effect of costing you money you may follow the procedure below. (Examples include, Refunds to Buyers for goods properly delivered in good faith (including those covered by COP, RD or SD irrespective of whether paypal acknowledge postage). Payments being reversed from your account without full details and reasons supplied. Or "OBFUSCATION".. This is where any undue delay by Paypal in resolving any issue means that you are effectively COST money by Paypal's action of depriving you of your funds, your income and in effect increasing any consequential costs.. Overdrafts, Bank fees or interest)
1) Keep all Email contacts between you and Paypal regarding the transaction(s). (This includes any Buyer Purchase mails, Papal Payment Notifications, and dispatch notifications between you and customer)
2) Keep all "Proof of posting" This includes "Certificate of Postings" stamped by post office, Recorded deliveries, Special deliveries, Courier collection notes etc.. Even Ebay FEEDBACK from the customer counts towards the balance of probabilities in a UK court of law when Proof of delivery is judged. Irrespective of Paypal policy on this matter.. They have to abide by UK Law.
3) Keep dates, times and Contact details of all Phone conversations you have had between Yourself and Paypal, This Means you MUST get FIRST AND SURNAME of the person you speak to. Don't be fobbed off with a first name.
4) After Paypal have reversed a transaction.. Or have taken more than a week to finalise their investigation after notifying you of a pending reversal (this is where the balance is removed from your account but not completely reversed.. meaning that they have the benefit of the funds and any short term interest they might earn on it.. before they credit it to you or refund to seller) by doing this they may be depriving you of money due to you and increasing their income.. which is against the law..
So call the following FSA helpline on : 0845 606 1234
Website is: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumer/contact/index.html
Explain your issue with Paypal To the FSA.. (they seem quite willing to listen).. but will basically tell you to do this.
5) WRITE TO THE FOLLOWING NAME AND ADDRESS REGISTERED WITH AND SUPPLIED BY THE UK FSA.
PAYPAL (Europe) LTD
1 HERON SQUARE
PHONE: (Also supplied by FSA) 0870 7307 191 (but don’t bother.. you will need as much in black and white at this stage for later action as you can gather)
In your letter, be sure to mention that you are contacting them on the advice of the FSA and mention as much of the detail of your claim and reasons for dissatisfaction with their service in this instance. (also include a photocopy or scan of your proof of postage at this stage) (If it is a Royal Mail Proof of posting (whether or not delivery details are available “on-line” (putting exact delivery details on-line is a current breach of the DPA (Data Protection Act) which is why RM do not do it)) and Paypal have refunded to customer without asking for or acknowledging an independent Royal Mail investigation regarding the delivery, then they have failed “Due Diligence” on their part in their investigation of your delivery.. and on balance (whether goods were or WERE NOT delivered) are likely to be ruled against if the matter ever came to court.
6) PAYPAL will have 5 Days in which to acknowledge you mail and a further 8 weeks (that bit sucks.. but will help immensely in any Financial Ombudsman Claim against them that you may make, if they exceed the time period)
7) If Paypal respond and give you back the money they deducted PLUS an amount you are happy with as compensation for your time and inconvenience to this point.. then let it drop..
But you will appreciate that disputing even a £5.00 reversal can effectively cost you hours of effort, phone calls and other costs. So if you do not feel adequately compensated for all consequential damages, you can continue to claim under Obfuscation (the definition of this is any policy (including “corporate”) which appears to prejudice against you by creating layers of beaurocracy or delay intentional or otherwise with the end aim of causing you to prematurely give up your claim.) Basically: If you have sold something.. have reasonable proof of dispatch (and maybe also delivery) and Paypal have reversed without a full investigation by the Third Party delivery agent and have then delayed or ignored any recompense by 8 weeks.. they are causing you financial harm through no fault of your own.
8) If the outcome of your letter sent is not in your favour and you still believe you have reasonable grounds for complaint, Then you should complain to the FINACIAL OMBUDSMAN:
Website is : http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
PHONE: 0845 080 1800
At this site you will find plenty of information on what to do next. Inlcuding the form you will have to complete and post to the Ombudsman. Please note, they will do nothing unless you have followed the steps above! But if you have and you have the documentation to prove it.. then Paypal will have to listen to them.. If they don’t then they will get their licence to trade in the UK suspended.. HOWEVER big an American concern they are. The UK may be Treasure Island to offshore concerns. but while they are here.. they have to play by the rules.. and if they do not.. YOU DO HAVE RIGHTS! And I’m assured that if you stick to your guns you will win..
Other resources of interest:
CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
LEGAL AID England/Wales : http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/
LEGAL AID Scotland : http://www.slab.org.uk/
Finally: While I appreciate that Paypal as an organization has done a great deal of good for many UK sellers (especially related to ebay), And while I too have benefited from their services (duly and reasonably paid for by their transaction fees), this is no reason to accept any arbitrarily judged losses that they may decide without resorting to a proper investigation of ALL facts surrounding a particular transaction.. We have rights and while they be the market leader.. this posting is only to remind both you and them that those rights have to be acknowledged by them.
Last thing of all is. Even if you do file a complaint against Paypal for specific transactions. As long as you are honest and are not in breach of any of your personal and financial account details registered with them, they are not allowed to suspend you from using Paypal to accept Buyer payments or in any other way limit the normal day to day running of your account with them.. The FSA would really love to hear about it if they do!
I have removed all sensitive info!! Names etc., BUT I have a url if anyone wants it.
Person who wrote the article!!