PayPal's turn for a bashing in the Times

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Reading an article in the Times this morning it’s little wonder that PayPal and eBay are emailing users encouraging and reminding them to use trackable delivery options for expensive items.

Fair enough the Times article highlights paying with PayPal off eBay doesn’t offer quite the same level of protection as buying on eBay, but it’s relentless list of people that have lost money isn’t quite fair.

Shipping without tracking and shipping to different addresses other than on the PayPal payment page are common errors invalidating Seller Protection but the article goes on to suggest that paying with PayPal at “other online retailers, such as Topshop, Boots and Monarch Airlines” is less than safe.

Sure there is a 45 day limit for claims, but saying that once these retailers have removed the funds from their accounts there is little hope of redress is more than a little dismissive of the retailers reputations. Quite frankly I can’t see Boots and Topshop being out to scam their customers, and it fails to point out that for credit card funded payments buyers are doubly protected by both PayPal and their credit cards.

The article smacks of the same standard of journalism as their recent piece on buying on eBay. Even according to the article the Financial Ombudsman Service has only received 205 complaints about PayPal this year, of which just 64% were upheld – Out of the 20 million PayPal users making millions of transactions each month that suggests it’s a pretty safe service.

It’s easy to forget countless good transactions when one goes wrong. We all remember the times we lost money, but as a business there’s a balance between risk and reward and my business certainly wouldn’t be viable without using PayPal. If you’re a casual seller make sure you ship valuable items via a trackable method and when buying use the same discretion you would when paying with your debit card.

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