One buyer was mistreated by an online seller and denied a refund after missing a 45-day window imposed by PayPal, an eBay subsidiary. The good news is that PayPal will extend the deadline to 180 days in January.
Another buyer found that Canada Post had sent his package to a stranger with a different name. He didn’t realize he could have complained to eBay, which guarantees you will get the item you ordered or get your money back.
Let’s start with Joe, who paid $ 9.50 (U.S.) at an eBay auction for a Spider-Man costume on Sept. 10. The seller in China, who had 98.1 per cent positive feedback from buyers, sent it in the wrong size.
“A 45-day window is too short for online shopping involving international delivery,” he said, adding that his item took 20 days to arrive from China. “In my case, the seller just procrastinated until the time expired and I could do nothing about it.”
“We know that our users wanted the 45-day window extended,” said spokeswoman Malini Mitra. “We’re increasing the time for buyers to file complaints to 180 days. These changes will be effective Jan. 7, 2015.”
PayPal lets you shop online without the seller seeing your financial details. You link your bank account, credit card or debit card to PayPal and you are taken to a secure page for payment (eBay has announced plans to spin off this payment subsidiary next year).
“I contacted the seller in China, who sent me a picture of the package. The tracking number and my address are clearly visible,” he said. “Despite this, Canada Post is insisting the package was delivered properly and picked up by someone who had to show ID to receive it — but his name is Ludlow and mine is Liberman.”
Canada Post gave him a refund a few hours after I sent an email. Here is what spokesman Eugene Knapik had to say:
“As the company that now delivers close to two out of three parcels from businesses to consumers, we continually strive for excellence. Cases like Mr. Liberman’s are extremely rare, but they remain unacceptable to our standards. Each time we are remiss on our delivery promise, we review our processes to ensure this experience is not repeated.”
Liberman didn’t realize he was covered by eBay’s money-back guarantee, which protects you if you don’t receive your purchase or it isn’t as described in the listing.
“The vast majority of my transactions have been pleasant, especially in China,” he says. “I wouldn’t let one bad experience dissuade anyone from shopping online. I also have negative experiences shopping face to face.”