PayPal buyer claim opened and dismissed

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Yesterday after a long day out I came back to the joy of an (admittedly rare) PayPal investigation email. With the normal groans (not that I really care as I’m covered by PayPal Seller Protection and it was only £30 anyway), I started looking up tracking numbers and filled in the requisite details in the PayPal resolution centre.

The notification email read: “Recently, PayPal received a notification from a user regarding unauthorised access to his PayPal account. As a result, one of the payments credited to your PayPal account has been placed in a temporary hold while we investigate the claim“, so I was somewhat surprised to wake up to another email from PayPal this morning.

The email (sent by PayPal at 2am in the middle of the night) read: “We have completed our investigation of the transaction below and were unable to find evidence of unauthorised access to the buyer’s account. This case was refused to the buyer and no funds were recovered from your account.

I was rather surprised at the speed at which the transaction was closed, and even more surprised that it went in my favour without needing to resort to Seller Protection.

It’s nice to see PayPal protecting sellers – too often I hear about sellers complaining that a case goes against them. Have you had a PayPal claim against you recently and if so did it go in your favour or were you covered by seller protection?

15 Responses

  1. A really big issue with Paypal investigations (regardless of how they are resolved) is the funds they put on hold and that it is impossible to tell how much is on hold at any one time. Whilst “available balance” is usually presented, that’s only part of the balance: the on-hold balance is not shown and can’t be calculated.

    This has got worse now that eBay Resolution Centre cases (for items paid by Paypal) creates a Paypal hold which is not shown in the Paypal Resolution list.

    The best that our account manager can do as an answer is to ask us to download *all* historical transactions and check their current status. Since it’s constantly changing that needs to be done at midnight on the month-end to get a true and fair balance-sheet prepared.

    Are other companies just ignoring this discrepancy?

  2. That’s a good point, and one I don’t know the answer to.

    Thankfully I hardly ever have a PayPal disputes (13 in the last 5 years) and they’re normally resolved within a couple of days.

  3. Think it depends on who you get the other side of the phone… In July I had a unauthorised transaction case against me, the transaction was from back in March. I contacted buyer via phone, who agreed they recieved the items & will contact paypal. Ebay could offer no help as it was over 90 days. Even after providing all the information Paypal requested, the case went against me & I was charged £12 fee. (Buyer never contacted paypal) Paypal said they needed buyer to contact them in regards to transaction. About 3 weeks ago I was reimbursed for the transaction minus the £12 fee, as the buyer finally contacted Paypal.

  4. I have had cases reversed for non delivery when I have supplied a tracking number showing delivery. So this is certainly perhaps good PR on the part of paypal.

  5. Quick question for everyone today i checked my PayPal account and all the funds that were on hold for 90 days are back in my account without any explanation as some transaction were done about a week ago did they lost a case in US or am i just lucky OR paypal is cooking some thing up again to get more money out of me.Please check and let me know

  6. Received the below email from Paypal today:

    “We are writing to let you know about a miscalculation that temporarily impacted your reserves. PayPal would like to apologise for the mistake and want to assure you that we have now resolved the issue.

    Between 9 September and 19 September we added the PayPal transaction fee to the gross amount you received and then applied the reserve to the sum of these two amounts.

    For example, if your reserve was 10% and you received a gross amount of £100 (net £ 97 + £3 transaction fee) we held £10.30 instead of £10. The excess we kept in reserve between 9 September and 19 September, (in this case 30p) will be moved to the balance of your PayPal account within two working days.

    Please note that this was simply a calculation mistake, not a double payment. You did not pay two lots of transaction fees and as soon as we discovered the problem, we stopped holding money in reserve. This meant we didn’t hold any money in reserve from September 20 to September 23.

    From now on, reserves will be applied to the net amount you receive every day (and no longer to the gross amount, which includes transaction fees). If, for example, your reserve is 10% and you receive £100 gross (net £97 + £3), we will hold £9.70.

    We apologise for any inconvenience you have been caused. If you have any questions, please call your account manager or click Contact Us, at the foot of any PayPal page.”

  7. I just had an eBay resolution centre claim go to eBay customer service decision. The item in question was posted and tracking entered into the console. Customer claims it never arrived, even though RM tracking showed this. After 48 hrs eBay found in my favour and removed the case from my dashboard stats

  8. Hi, Chris – the speed with which Paypal dealt with the investigation, you refer to, rang (alarm) bells. I had this particular experience with them back in July 2010:
    1) Paypal payment for item received 27/7 22:30
    2) Paypal investigation e-mail received 27/7 22:36 (YES – 6 minutes later!) stating
    “A review of recent transactions indicates that you might have received a
    payment that the PayPal account holder did not authorise.

    To protect you from problematic transactions, we sometimes request
    additional information about PayPal payments.

    We need more information about this transaction. Please log in to your
    PayPal account, click the “Resolution Centre” tab, and provide more
    information by 03/08/2010.”

    I complied with this request and then contacted the customer who stated

    “I was randomly chosen for a security check on my PayPal account. YAY lucky me, why I cannot be chosen for a random lottery win I don’t know! Yes I do want the item.”


    I ASSUMED THAT PAYPAL WERE TESTING A NEW PROCESS AND NO FURTHER ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN. I mailed the item to the customer, and then later on, Paypal refunded the payment to him! Fortunately he was a decent guy, and sent me a second payment.
    I have copies of corres on file if proof be needed!


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