REVIEW: PayPal’s Purchase (lack of) Protection Plan

Down with PayPal!

Okay gang, I messed up. I bought a knock-off from China thinking it was real. Stupid. I know. But even more stupid was thinking that PayPal offered any sort of Purchase Protection Plan. Oh, they claim to help protect your purchases. But only when they go off without a hitch and you never ask for your money back.

Will broke Patrick’s Nintendo DS Lite a couple of months after he got it for Christmas 2009. For Christmas 2010, I bought Patrick a replacement DS. Well, I tried to – what I actually ended up with was a fake. A few days after Christmas, the fake (which we still thought was real) stopped working. I called Nintendo directly for customer support. Imagine my chagrin when they told me that the serial number I was giving them was a counterfeit! At least four other repairs had been requested for that particular serial number – and it wasn’t always a Zelda Triforce! The customer service representative from Nintendo was very helpful – they believe in customer service – he got me all set up to return the original DS we bought the previous Christmas. It cost me $60 to have a top screen replaced. Nintendo was so helpful that they even extended my original warranty for a couple of weeks so that I would qualify for a discount on the repair. Helpful! As far as the knock-off, though, they couldn’t do anything about that. I understand.

So, naively, I went to PayPal and asked them to make good on their Purchase Protection Plan. I admit that I am sorely disappointed in PayPal. Do you want to venture to guess how much money I have sent through PayPal since it first started?? I followed PayPal’s instructions to the letter for returning the item – and it cost me $39.95 of my own money t0 do so. All was good so far (except having to pay $40 to return something that was sold under false pretenses!). I then submitted to PayPal the electronic tracking information that I received directly from the USPS. I even followed the package electronically myself. It was delivered. A couple of weeks later, PayPal came back to me looking for more proof that I had actually returned the item. Why? I can’t begin to even guess since the electronic tracking showed that it had been delivered. Okay, so I sent a PDF of the receipt and customs slips that I got from the USPS. They clearly show the address I sent the package to and are even stamped with the date that I mailed the package. Again, more hoops to jump through than I expected, but, so good so far. Package returned. Proof supplied.

Today I got an email from PayPal that the case was closed. They claim that the shipping information I sent is invalid. What?! How is it invalid? I followed all their rules. Ah, but that’s where you are all wrong, .holli-marie, thinking that PayPal and/or the original seller care anything about playing by the rules! I was given no explanation for the denial to return my money. So now, for those of you who are keeping track, what do I have? Nothing. And then some more nothing! I paid $114.99 for the original piece of junk. Then I paid $39.95 to return it to the original seller. So now I don’t have the DS, I don’t have my $114.99 and I don’t have my $39.95.

But, my dear readers, I have learned a very valuable lesson and hope that you will cull from my new-found wisdom. Oh, and I lost one more thing in all this – my PayPal account! I will never do business with PayPal again and I suggest that you take a good hard look at how you use PayPal as well. There are plenty of other options out there to send money or pay for things that you buy over the internet. I am sure that I would have had much better protection through AmEx on this purchase. One other thing I want you to take away from this – beware of China! They don’t play by American rules. They don’t have American values. They think it is perfectly acceptable to sell you something under false pretenses – and they aren’t helpful. Lessons learned – if I can’t buy it from Amazon or some other big store, I don’t buy! And I sure as shootin’ don’t buy through PayPal! Ever!

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02 2011

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