I have always had PayPal as my # 1 choice as a form of payment for all my online transactions. I have had so much confidence in using this service that I can only feel very disappointed with the outcome of
my first claim against a seller who is clearly selling counterfeit merchandise online.
One of the reasons for filing a claim is under the category "Significantly Not as Described" or "What you bought was very different from what you actually got -- PayPal's Buyer Complaint Policy lets you submit a dispute for an item that is significantly not as described. By doing so, you have the opportunity to resolve your dispute directly with the seller. Visit the PayPal Resolution Center to file a dispute.
In her ad, he seller described and posted a picture of a SanDisk 32Gb memory card. The merchandise I received is a gross imitation of an original SanDisk card and no longer works. Please, note the difference between an original card and the card I received:
Genuine has a 'notch' at the bottom edge of the card. Fake does not have the 'notch' is all flat.
The card on the left is an original SanDisk, with the notch on the bottom as one of the features pointed by the manufacturers in a buyers' beware campaign. The card on the right is the counterfeit, with no notches.
After an attempt to resolve the case, I decided to escalate to a claim when the seller offered me a partial refund and requested I returned the counterfeit item so that she could sell it to other customers. Based on PayPal's own statements (copied below) about how to help prevent fraudulent activity, I decided not to return the item, escalate the dispute to a claim and contact PayPal.
Much to my surprise, my case was decided in favor of the dishonest merchant.
Should I have accepted the partial refund? Should I have returned the item to the seller, who stated in her emails to me that she had other customers interested in a defective item I would return?
I think that the judgement was unfair and incoherent with PayPal's own fraud protection statements.
I would really appreciate if this case could be reviewed.
VÃ¢nia Winters/Stan Winters
Here are PayPal's statements regarding fraudulent transactions mentioned in the above paragraph:
"Check if the seller is still actively listing the same counterfeit items today!
After confirming receiving counterfeit item, please follow eBay guideline to contact seller to obtain full refund from seller. However if you are NOT telling PayPal/eBay about this problem, you are NOT assisting the process of exposing counterfeit sellers.
Many counterfeit sellers are willing to provide full refund, only if they get caught by you, if you did not catch them, they are laughing their way to the bank. So it is STRONGLY recommended that you must always file a report to PayPal/eBay by completing the Item Not Received or Significantly Not as Described process dispute after 10 days of item closing date so they are alerted of the development of fraudulent transaction and seller's BAD record will be permanently written in PayPal/eBay dispute system. If you have paid by Paypal, completing the Paypal Buyer Complaint Process to obtain full refund from Paypal within 45 days. Effectively you will get your money back either from the seller or from Paypal. Most important by going through the PayPal/eBay reporting procedure, you have assisted the process of exposing fraudulent sellers on eBay.
Since you have NOT been provided with what you have paid for, it does not falls into seller's return policy of faulty product so that they can get away for you to return the fakes at your own cost. Counterfeit is FRAUD, do not settle with the seller unless the seller is paying for all the associated return shipping cost of the item. You are covered by the 90 days protection period under eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program.
In many countries it is actually ILLEGAL to post counterfeit merchandise by mail or by commercial carrier, if the merchandise is being discovered by your local Customs, they will be confiscated with HEAVY FINE to both sender and recipient. If PayPal / eBay seriously wants you to ship the counterfeit items back to sellers before offering a refund to you, you should seriously bring the LAW to their full attention.
You still own the right to provide negative feedback against the seller to alert the fraudulent situation to warn other eBay buyers to uphold the eBay values and community spirit. Provided that you have provided negative feedback to the seller and if subsequently the seller provides you with an unfair retaliatory negative feedback, you have a case to lodge against the seller by requesting eBay for feedback removal to fully protect your feedback.
Beware that intentional wrong feedback extortion tactic is on the increase where you will receive a "positive comment/feedback in writing" but then it was purposely selected as red negative. Sellers are using this tactic so it would make you to believe that he has carelessly chosen the wrong feedback radio-button so that you would agree to mutually to retract the negative feedback you have provided him earlier in order to hide all his past BAD ratings. They have sold you a counterfeit, so don't fall into his feedback trap the second time.
In most countries, FRAUD is a CRIMINAL offense and injunctions may be brought against the fraudsters to prevent them from moving on under a different name after being banned. Thus, you may choose to contact your law enforcement agencies or each respective brand manufacturers in your region, to report counterfeit and provide them with your item detail and the source of the item, seller's address and contact phone number.
Monetary Loss: $130.