Paypal, what to do if it goes pear shaped.

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Paypal, and your rights.

Paypal is now such an integral part of ebay, that most users would find it hard to imaging using ebay without it. Most transactions go through without problems, and many people can use paypal without ever experiencing any difficulties.


Occasionally problems occur, and they can be very frustrating, as either your goods dont arrive, or your money is claimed back, and it can take a long time to sort out.

Paypal has an established complaints procedure, for when things like this happen, but many people have found paypal rather lacking at times in dealing with problems like this. Many a email may be answerered with a standard form letter, which sometimes has no significance to your question or points raised in your email.

When a case is closed by paypal, there is not really much you can do, especially if you have aready appealed. What if you know for sure that a mistake has been made though? I mean really know? Like its so obvious, its staring all parties in the face?

What if ALL parties agree, for example, that money should not have been refunded by paypal, but paypal refuses to listen, even to the people who they refunded the money to?

You could email, you may get a sensible, well thought out, answer, but then again, world peace may break out tommorow.

So what if you get nowhere? Do you give up?

Ebay wont tell you where to go for help on their website, at least I have never seen it, at most they will recommend squaretrade which will charge you money for a mediator, who does not actually have any powers to do anything.

Most people do give up, as they dont realise that paypal is regulated by the FSA (the Financial Services Authority). Paypal has not always been regulated, in fact, for quite some time, it was operating without regulation, it should have been regulated, but they must have forgotten about it until they suddenly started being regulated.

If you are unlucky enough to have a problem, and you dont get anywhere, and you end up losing out, then what should you do?

Like I said earlier, you will need to be sure, and I mean 100 percent sure, that you are in the right, and you have gone through paypals normal procedures. When they fail, this is when you need to consider calling the FSA.


The steps involved are really quite simple, and are taken from the actual government site regarding the Financial Services Authority.

  • Step 1:  Contact the firm that sold you the product or provided the service, and give it a chance to put things right. The firm is required to give you the name or job title of the person who will handle your complaint. It should have a proper complaints procedure and tell you how to use it.

  • If the problem is now resolved, great, all is well. If not, continue to the next step.

  • Step 2: Take your complaint to the relevant independent complaints scheme.

  •  The company should tell you what this is.

  • If the problem is now resolved, great, all is well. If not, you may have to take the matter to court.


If you search google, for 'complaining to the fsa' you will find the website that gives a lot more information on this matter, I would recommend reading it, as it gives a lot more information, such as its best to complain in writing, and many other useful tips, including examples of how to complain, what is covered, etc.

Hopefully you will never need to do this, but it is handy to know, just in case.

You have rights, and there are schemes in place that monitor even large companies like paypal, so even if paypal says NO, you can still have your chance to get things sorted.

I am not a lawyer, just someone who found out the hard way about this, so the next time I have a problem, I will know what to do. You will need to make sure you research further, and if need be get qualified legal advice. Doing so before you have a problem, means you dont have to do it when you are stressed out, and you can research at a relaxed, leisurely pace.

Fingers crossed you wont ever need to complain, but if you do, at least you have some pointers now!

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