The Story Behind My First PayPal Claim

by derek on January 11, 2008 · 13 comments

Have you ever been burned on a PayPal transaction?
Unfortunately, I recently found myself in the group of people that are nodding their head up and down right now.
A few months back I had been struggling to keep up with writing regular content for all three of my blogs. My personal finance blog was receiving the least amount of attention – which probably was not the best decision considering that is where I have been making my money.
Rather than let the blog sit idle I decided to experiment with Digital Point and hired two writers to author a few articles.
One of the authors had a pretty quick turnaround but the quality of the content left me wanting something better. The other author produced very nice quality articles, however the author failed to deliver the articles according to the schedule that they had promised.
The author had apologized for the delay and explained that there were a few unusual circumstances that had resulted in the delay. I appreciated the comments from the author and thanked them for the quality of their articles.
In mid-November, I decided to order a few more articles to try and stockpile a few quality articles to get me through the lean times. The author corresponded that they would have the articles completed in two to three days. Feeling satisfied with the time line, I initiated a payment via PayPal to the author.
Fast forward a little more than two weeks and I was still waiting for my articles. Since I had not heard from the author, I fired off an email asking about the status of my articles and I received the following response:

“Sorry for the delay and late reply. Rest assured that this won’t happen again. I would be delivering your articles early this week.”

After waiting another week, I still had not received any response from the author. At this time I sent the author one final email with a deadline of one more week to receive the articles before I disputed the payment with PayPal. This may come as a surprise but I did not receive any response from the author before the deadline and initiated a dispute with PayPal.
This was the first time that I had ever disputed a transaction with PayPal but the process was fairly straightforward. In the initial stage of the dispute, I submitted an email to the seller via the PayPal interface in an attempt to resolve the dispute with the seller. In accordance with the previous results, I did not receive a reply and thus escalated the issue to a formal complaint with PayPal.
Approximately one week after submitting the claim with PayPal, I received a response that PayPal had ruled in my favor and they would be applying a credit to my account. Unfortunately, PayPal was only able to recover a portion of the original payment from the seller but they will continue to try and recover the remainder of the funds from the seller.
It is reassuring to know that PayPal will get involved if necessary and investigate a dispute between a buyer and a seller. In this case it worked in my favor, although I am still out a small amount of money with nothing tangible to show for it – other than a post on this blog.
Looking back at the situation, you could easily say that I made a mistake by paying the author in advance for the articles – particularly when I had experienced a delay the first time. However, I strongly believe that a quality relationship should be founded on trust and I demonstrated my side of that equation by paying the author in advance for their work.
Maybe I just put too much trust into a relationship that had not yet been fully established, although I now know that this author is not to be trusted at all.
Now I just need to save my money until I can afford to hire someone like Michael Kwan (ahem, feel free to provide a discount for the shameless plug)

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

????? (Jason) January 12, 2008 at 5:37 am

Aside from the excessive amount of time required to transfer money from my bank account to PayPal when making payments, I haven’t had any negative experiences with the company.
That said, if you are in need of a writer and my writing is decent enough, I’d be willing to offer my services 😛


Home Recording Studio January 12, 2008 at 8:28 am

It is a sad commentary on morals that this happened when you operated on a trust based basis. This should not have happened but, it has and one should just move on. Pay pal has done their bit.


Joe Cheray January 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Hey I can use the work mmmm let me know by email what you can afford to pay and what kind of articles you’re looking for and I will sure try to help you out if I can.
You have seen my writing style so you be the judge if I have what it takes to write material for your blog once or twice a month.


Alan Johnson January 12, 2008 at 8:42 pm

It’s definitely hard to find good freelancers these days, and I agree that a relationship between you and the freelancers you hire should be based on trust but that only applies to long-term partnerships. Once you come across a freelancer you are satisfied with, I would definitely suggest keeping in touch and building upon that relation ship even after your order is completed.
Alan Johnson


ryan January 12, 2008 at 9:33 pm

I have had my share of issues with PayPal. However, it is always important to have services rendered before payment. That way you will never be cheated out of your hard earned cash. Oh, and I hate waiting, I would of called the Executive Cusotmer Service Manager Tiffany, she has always been helpful.


Nicole Price January 13, 2008 at 7:28 am

Most folks on DP are fairly good and responsive. Most fear the negative publicity that they may receive if another member posts bad reviews about them. In this case the person was surprisingly lax with his work despite receiving advance payment. He deserved what you gave him. Decency would have demanded that he admit his inability to do your work on time for whatever reasons and refund your money when it was clear to him that he would be unable to keep his side of the contract.


Alan Johnson January 13, 2008 at 3:35 pm

A popular freelancer is definitely interested in positive testimonials and doesn’t want any kind of negative reviews, so that, in most cases, he/she will do his/her best to keep customers satisfied. With new ones however, things can get tricky: while some give it 110% in order to build an impressive portfolion, others proceed like the freelancer Derek has mentioned and don’t care about a possible negative review.
Alan Johnson


Michael Kwan January 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Heh, thanks for the plug. 🙂


Male Pattern Baldness January 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Derek even I have burnt my hand so badly by giving advance payments, that I stopped giving advance to anybody. I am still OK with paying a portion of the money to get the work started, but full payment is a strict no no…..


Futon-Matt January 14, 2008 at 8:31 am

Luckily I’ve never had any issues with paypal. But the terms of my site are fairly cut and dry.


cup January 15, 2008 at 7:38 am

I can say good things about the service of Pay Pal, once I started getting emails that I need to confirm details in my account and it turned out to be a haker pretending to send formal pay pal emails but the customer service helped me distinguish these emails from the real one – they look the same.
The second time was more serious since someone, maybe the same person, was able to enter my pay pal account and try to buy in my name different items online.
The only thing that stopped him and helped me avoid a long tiresome process of claiming my money back is that they have a geographical IP identification system, so any time a person listed as living in one state tries to buy products or make transactions from an IP in another geographic location, they send you a warning to verify that you are the one making the buy.
I had to close the account after my details were compromised so their security is less than it should be but they are much safer to deal with then the other options.


Alan Johnson January 15, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Account security is always an issue which should never be neglected. I would definitely recommend never opening an email which states that you need to update a certain account. Just login like you usually do and you can update anything, never make the mistake of following links you have received through emails such as the one you’ve mentioned.
Alan Johnson


MSM January 15, 2008 at 9:10 pm

As a seller you hear a lot of stories regarding paypal and I have had a few myself. Paypal froze around £400 from our account because the buyer had been crediting her paypal account by ripping off ebay customers (She spent the money at one of my stores as well as others) so paypals resolution to a lot of disgruntled ebayers filing chargebacks against her was to freeze the money she had spent with me(and others no doubt) and refund the customers she ripped off. Luckily there was noone at her address for delivery so I was able to cancel the delivery and have the goods returned but I imagine some other sellers weren’t so lucky. I guess as long as paypal dont lose out they dont really care. They just followed the money chain and claimed it back from the person it ended up with, regardless of whether goods had been sent. I find it hard to believe that paypal are allowed to operate in the UK under different laws to other financial institutions! Until they are regulated they will do as they please. I’m glad your story almost worked out for you.


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