Stuck Without Refund, Should I Listen To Walmart Or PayPal?

J. is stuck between two commercial titans and regular Worst Company in America contenders: Walmart and PayPal. After he returned a defective tablet for a refund, Walmart held on to the money. J. filed a PayPal dispute, and has been told to drop the dispute in order to get a refund from Walmart. PayPal says not to drop the dispute. Who should J. trust?

I purchased this Lepan Android Tablet from Walmart’s website & paid for it through paypal on 5/11/12. I received it on 5/16/12 it kept freezing up so I tried to return it to a Walmart store and was told I would have to send it back [and] that they couldn’t refund my money at the store. I mailed it back to Walmart on 5/19/12 per their instructions.

On 6/05/12 they sent me an e-mail confirming they had received the tablet and as soon as it was scanned in I would recieve my refund. I inquired again on 6/10/12 and was told they would research this and get back to me in 2-3 days. Not a word from them. On 6/13/12 I filed a dispute case with Paypal. I received an e-mail from Walmart on 6/17/12 stating they had issued the refund & it would post to my paypal account in 5-7 days. On 6/19 I received a call from Walmart stating the refund could not be processed until I cancelled the dispute with Paypal. I called Paypal and was advised not to cancel the dispute.

To date I still have not heard a word or received my refund.

Balancing out the two companies, the safer bet may be dropping the PayPal dispute and letting Walmart issue the refund. If Walmart’s payment system isn’t compatible with PayPal dispute resolution, though, what business do they have accepting PayPal as a method of payment in the first place?

The safest bet, in future, is to use a credit or debit card, if you have one, to shop online.