How To Confuse PayPal: When Chargebacks Attack

Debbie found a seamstress online to make her a custom wedding dress and sent payment using PayPal. She fell out of contact with the seamstress, became nervous, and filed a chargeback with her credit card company. After the chargeback, she heard from the seamstress again, and sent a new payment so the dress-making could go forward. Somehow, PayPal sent the seamstress two payments, and the actual nightmare began. This situation was beyond PayPal’s comprehension, and now Debbie is being hounded by PayPal collections.

I purchased my wedding dress from a seamstress I found online and I used PayPal to make the $460 payment. A few months later, I tried making contact with the vendor but wasn’t able to. I feared that I had been scammed and I applied for a charge back from my credit card company and also filed a complaint with the site on which I had made the purchase.

The seamstress received the complaint and made contact with me. She insisted that everything was still on track and I decided to continue with my dress order. I attempted to cancel the charge back but it had already been approved and the money returned to my credit card account. The credit card company told me that the only way to refund that money to my seamstress was to make another direct payment of $460 to her. I promptly made that payment and assumed that everything had been resolved.

A few weeks later, out of the blue, the seamstress emailed me to give me a “heads up” that a second $460 payment had appeared in her PayPal account. Of course I had not authorized a second payment! My PayPal account showed a zero balance. Several days after she notified me, the relentless collections calls from PayPal collections began. At first, they called to notify me of the negative $460 balance and advised me to have the seller refund that extra payment to me. This negative balance appears to be a technical error.

Only one total payment of $460 has been taken from my credit card account. At this point I was feeling at the mercy of a seller who I felt may or may not be scamming me. I requested that she make that refund and she claimed that she was having PayPal issues herself and could only make a partial refund to me. She made a second payment which means that to date I have received $270 of that extra payment back to me in PayPal credit. In the meantime, I am still receiving DAILY calls from PayPal collections trying to get money from me to restore my despite efforts I have made to explain this situation to customer service at PayPal.

I had also filed a complaint which they said would be only a way to warn the seller of my dissatisfaction since too much time had passed since the transaction for it to be a legitimate dispute. Today I received an extremely rude call from a third party collections agency asking me for a $460 payment to cover a negative PayPal balance.

I’ve called PayPal again to explain this mess again and I’ve been promised that the calls will stop and that the case has been escalated. I have next to no confidence that this is the end of this frustrating mess. I’ve removed my credit card information from PayPal and I intend never to use PayPal again.

Thanks in advance for your help. I feel I’ve been doubly abused, by a sketchy online seller and by PayPal.