PPC Submitter : Monday, April 23, 2012, 10:05
Paypals Scandalous UK Customer Service
Here’s a brief summary of my horrendous Ebay/Paypal experience – companies which openly admit they don’t comply with UK consumer law.
I was ripped off in February 2012 by an Ebay seller (a private individual) who sold me two second-hand items that were not as described – they were of appalling quality and not fit for purpose. The seller was very clearly in breach of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, which entitles me to return the goods in exchange for a full refund. The seller repeatedly ignored my requests and refused to communicate, and so I opened my first-ever two cases with Ebay and Paypal. I then faced weeks of obfuscation, poor or non-existent communication and what appeared to be deliberate misinterpretation of the evidence I submitted. The seller’s scant and contradictory evidence was full of pure and obvious lies, claiming I had defaced and damaged the goods making them unfit for return.
Guess what? Paypal decided both cases in the seller’s favour, giving me no reasons at first and, when I persisted in speaking to their Newcastle claims office, giving me non-sensical and inadequate reasons. I have spent a fortune on phone calls trying to penetrate their labyrinthine system in an attempt to speak to their nameless and uncontactable decision makers. Call centre managers tell you you are expressly forbidden from speaking to their “back office” staff; nor will they name the head of complaints at their Luxembourg head office. Nowhere (that I can find) on either Ebay or Paypal’s site explains any appeals process for buyers (although the information is there for sellers). Managers in Newcastle (once you have gone through the process of explaining your complaint through calls to the Philippines) merely give you the option of making a complaint by writing to the ‘complaints department’ at Paypal’s head office at a box number in Luxembourg; there is not even an email address! I was told by Newcastle that my cases would be reconsidered, that it would take 72 hours, and that I would be notified. I heard nothing for a week, checked my Paypal account, and in fact the cases had been closed again the following day having been decided once again in the seller’s favour – I received no communication of any kind. Moreover, it was clear, due to Paypal’s reasoning for the decision, that once again my own evidence had been completely ignored. I sent several photographs which clearly demonstrated the state of the bought items in comparison to the wildly inaccurate descriptions. When I raised this in yet another long and expensive call to Paypal’s Newcastle “customer service” office, I was told they “cannot consider photographic evidence” in cases – despite inviting people to submit jpeg files!
The most astounding thing of all is that managers in Newcastle agreed with me that under UK consumer law, I was entitled to a refund – however, three separate members of staff all told me that “Paypal is not a UK company, so doesn’t have to comply with UK law”. Their customer protection procedure, they all told me, is quite different, and “does not affect my statutory rights”.
In other words, the Paypal/Ebay system is utterly corrupt – while both companies succeed through wholesale marketing of the idea that buyers are “safe” with them, nothing could be further from the truth, in the UK at least. Paypal and Ebay do NOT conform to UK consumer law. Their so-called customer service is entirely skewed in favour of sellers who pay the fees the company profits from, because it wants to keep those sellers. It cares not whether they are genuine, honest sellers or fraudulent ones.
Ebay and Paypal clearly have no interest WHATSOEVER in the rights of the consumer, only in protecting their profits. This is to the detriment not just of buyers, but of the many honest sellers who want to trade in a fair and legal environment.
They hide behind their websites and operate in ways that no reputable business would ever contemplate. Phone numbers are virtually impossible to find; staff refuse to give their names, or to give you contact numbers for responsible (or should that be ‘irresponsible’?) line managers; every possible delaying tactic is used to deter and avert complaints and inquiries. Call centre operators and managers spout well-rehearsed lines and authentic, genuine communication is virtually non-existent.
The one and only goal is to protect the company’s income from gullible buyers and sellers alike.
Paypal and Ebay are disgusting outfits which bask in their ability to evade proper regulation, residing as they do in the virtual world. They epitomise everything that is bad about globalisation, and I will never be using either of them again.
Submitted By:: A Cunningham
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