PayPal Abandons Another Scammed Seller

Todd got ripped off by a scammer on an eBay purchase. He made sure to insure the device before shipping it off via the United States Postal Service, but it turns out that an insurance claim won’t help him get PayPal to step up.

So I had a old Palm TX that I did not use anymore and thought if I could get $150 for it I would be happy. I sold it on eBay, and I sent out the item via USPS and insured it for $300.

It was shipped on 10/28/09 and I emailed the buyer that info. Didn’t hear back from the guy that he got the item nor did he fill out feedback.

I then got word via PayPal on 11/23/09 that the buyer was disputing the charge since he says he never received the item. I thought it was odd that the buyer took almost a month to tell me he did not receive the item.

So now since I think the item was lost I file a claim with the Post Office on 11/24/09 in order to pay back the buyer. The claim gets denied because the Post Office records show delivery of the item:


I then submit that information to PayPal and they say that it is not enough information. They need a date and time that the item was delivered. So now I spend way too much time trying to get in touch with a real person at the post office. Finally I get through but they say they are not able to give me the information and I would need to call the St. Louis Office which handles insurance claims. Now I call the St. Louis office, and I am told to go to my local Post Office branch and they will be able to print out a delivery record which shows the date, time and who signed for the package.

I get the delivery record and it shows the item got delivered on 10/30/09 at 11:09am.


Again I submit this information to PayPal and they come back and say that this is not enough information to settle the dispute. PayPal says they have to be able to look online and see for themselves that the item was delivered.

I’m at a loss of what to do. The USPS considers the package delivered and will not accept the insurance claim and PayPal will not rule in my favor since they feel they need more information.

I can understand why PayPal won’t just accept a printout from a stranger as proof of delivery. It seems to me, though, that since PayPal can go to and view the insurance delivery confirmation, there’s no way they can honestly say there isn’t proof of delivery. At that point, now that delivery has been verified, if they want more details on the delivery date they can and should accept print outs–especially if that’s how the USPS provides such information.

I would also think that PayPal could arrange for some sort of special relationship with the USPS to allow customers to directly send such delivery info upon request. I mean, if Netflix can strike a special deal with the USPS to improve its business, surely PayPal can.

Does this all sound too complicated? If so, then should PayPal even be in the business of making money off of wire transfers?

I know it’s an extreme position, but I still feel that if you can’t use CraigsList to sell an item face-to-face, for cash, in a public setting, then you’re out of general-purpose online options. Scammers ruined the eBay party, and PayPal–with its useless link farm disguised as a “Seller Security” section–has repeatedly shown that it doesn’t care what happens to your money, just so long as it gets a cut.

Todd, you might want to try making a case to the executive level of PayPal and eBay. Here are some email addresses that may or may not work:

John J. Donahoe, President, CEO

Scott Thompson, President