Facebook Takes My Post Promotion Money, Offers No Way Out

Image courtesy of (afagen)

All Carla wanted to do was find out how much it would cost her to promote a status update on Facebook. You know, in case something so important came up that she needed to pay Facebook to share it with the people who she already thought she was sharing her posts with. Only something went wrong and she ended up buying a promoted status. Facebook won’t let her take it back, and there are no humans there to help.

Of course, this all happened before Facebook rolled out another redesign today. Below is what the relevant window looks like now: Carla’s lacked that handy “Cancel” button. Maybe this won’t happen to you, or to anyone anymore. But Carla still needs to get her $7 back from Facebook.


I noticed today that underneath my Facebook status there was a click-on option to “promote” my status update. I clicked this just to take a look at what it would cost to promote a mundane status update. Out of blind curiosity. I have around 200 friends. They wanted over $7 to promote my status.

I had no intention of making this purchase, however the first window that popped up had no way to [x] it closed, only featured a cost, and a single OK button to where you could only approve the charge. My only choice was to back-arrow my browser, which worked – the pop-up was gone and I landed at my previous page.

Then I immediately got a paypal receipt that Facebook had helped themselves to my $ anyhow.

I got another “confirmation” pop-up that had a link where I could click “dispute”, which I did….and I explained that I had no intention to purchase a status promotion for over $7, and to please immediately reverse the charge. Facebook then told me to wait for a bit and I would receive an email.

A little bit later, they send me an email that accomplishes absolutely nothing except their complete avoidance of any type of contact that would assist in issuing me a refund. And since that original pop-up is now gone I have no way to try to resend the “dispute”.

Below is their response, none of this information even applies to me, and there seems to be no other option available, nobody to ask, no email to send…nothing. I never clicked OK to the charge. Clearly the “dispute” I sent went to the proper channel, the subject line confirms it. Also, the “Help Center” link does not have one single option that I can tell applies to this at ALL.

Unless The Consumerist has any suggestions for me otherwise, I guess my next step is to file a dispute through Paypal. I shouldn’t have to do any of this though…ridiculous.

A PayPal dispute is probably the best way to get that money back, but Carla shouldn’t have to do any of this at all. There should have been a “cancel” button, or users should have to confirm that they want to make the purchase.

Here’s that deeply unhelpful e-mail that Facebook sent Carla:

Subject: Re: Facebook Payments Support


Thanks for your email. We’re streamlining how we receive feedback to be able to better assist you. The links below will take you to more information to help you solve and report your problem.

Common issues

• Trouble accessing your account: https://www.facebook.com/help/login_and_password
Get help logging in, signing up, and resetting your password.

• Security: https://www.facebook.com/help/security
Address a hacked or compromised account, report abuse, and learn how to keep your account secure.

• Warnings & disabled accounts: https://www.facebook.com/help/warnings
Get information about warnings, feature blocks, disabled personal accounts, and disabled business Pages.

All other issues & information

If your issue isn’t listed here or you need to find a more specific contact channel, please search the Help Center:https://www.facebook.com/help

Please note that this is an automated email, and replies to this email will not be read.

The Facebook Team

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.