PAYPAL The Federal Phenomenon Internet
I ran into an interesting phenomenon a while back - I call it The Federal Phenomenon: when you start talking to some of these stubborn and reluctant Companies about involving the Feds, their attitude changes completely! Obviously, they dont want any Federal agencies coming around asking questions, nor do they want more Federal laws and regulations applying to them and their Companies. Ive used this in the past (with Humana Right Source, for one, when they wanted to charge me $3,000 for a little bottle of eye drops and $4,000 for another little bottle of eye drops), and I had occasion to use it today with PayPal!
I ordered some software from a Company a coupla months ago, which was supposed to set up a website or 2 (10, actually, but I never got beyond #2). They insisted that I use their web hosting Company, probably because they were getting a commission off the deal! I used my PayPal account to pay for it. When the whole deal began to go sour, I promptly closed the websites and changed the nameservers (which are obtained thru a different Company, this time for free, which aim the prospective customer to the website on that particular web host). I notified the software Company and the web hosting Company that I had done this, that the software did not work as stated, that I could get almost no technical support from them, and that I wanted a refund! Of course, they ignored my E-Mails! So, I filed a claim thru PayPal for a refund, stating that it was a Fraud! That it had been misrepresented! That these people only wanted the $$$ and that I intended to pursue it as far as possible. Then I began a long agonizing process of calling and continuing to call PayPal, to follow up on my claim.
It is a real pain in the kazoo to try to get thru PayPals phone system, as they put a bunch of recorded messages on first, one has to prove who is calling by entering the correct phone number + the last 4 digits of the primary account-holders Soc. Security Number, and such. Then a syruppy-sounding lady keeps asking what I want. I try to tell her that I want to talk to a live human being, but of course, the dumb machine is not programmed to recognize this as a response. They continue to kill time by trying to send me an E-Mail about some of their policies, and such! I continue to press * and # and 0 and whatever other keys I think may disconnect the syruppy-sounding machine and get me thru to a live human being. Eventually, usually after 7-8 minutes (Ive actually timed it, and thats no lie), it will connect me with some sweet gal in the Philippines, who knows absolutely nothing except how to speak English and halfway sound like she is in the U.S. I always ask if she is in the Philippines! Usually, they are startled by this question, as they think they are fooling someone! After killing some more time with these people, trying to explain what I want, they usually connect me with someone in the U.S., especially after they realize that they (a) dont know what Im talking about (b) cant help me (c) all the above!
PayPal dragged its feet, taking the side of the seller, stating that it was not a physical product but instead that it was a digital product, in other words, the purchase was for a virtual, digital, or intangible item, which is not covered under PayPal Purchase Protection. We only cover claims involving physical items that can be shipped and tracked. There was no tracking number, nothing was shipped (as the software was a download), there was no item to be received, nada, zilch! So, I kept calling PayPal, and the web hosting Company kept trying to tap my PayPal account! One lady suggested I close the PayPal Debit Card, which I did, and apply for another one (which I havent done yet until I get a final resolution on this claim). Another man said the web hosting Company had created a second invoice in order to tap my account. I kept getting all kinds of run-around. PayPal kept trying to decide in favor of the seller, close the claim, and such. I filed a Fraud Complaint with the F.T.C. (Federal Trade Commission), even tho the total was only slightly over a hundred $$$. After talking to PayPal again this past Mon., I called the F.T.C. again and added PayPal as a party to the Fraud Complaint, since they kept stalling, finding in favor of the seller, and such; I stated that PayPal was a part of the Fraud process, that they were making $$$ off these fraudulent transactions, and such. In talking to PayPal again this week, I (of course) got their Philippine people and Puerto Rica (I think) people first, as they feed callers there first, then transfer them to someone in the U.S., if needed. The foreigners could care less about the F.T.C. - in fact, some of them dont even know what it is! But those in the U.S. look at it an entirely different way! At first, I began to tell the U.S. Help people that I planned to add PayPal to the Fraud Complaint with the F.T.C., and nothing changed. Then I began to tell them that I had actually added paypal to the fraud complaint with the f.t.c. - and then everything began to change! I also added that I plan to send an E-Mail to my Congressman, recommending that new laws be passed which would regulate PayPal as a bank, which it is not! It is a financial institution that provides Internet services to expedite payments, but it is not a bank! So, therefore it is NOT regulated by the F.D.I.C. (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) like the banks are! When I began talking along these lines, about involving the Feds, their attitude at PayPal changed completely! Suddenly, instead of giving me the old run-around, that they would take my case under advisement, and send it to the right department (kinda like a bank loan where they have to send it to the committee and the committee doesnt meet until next Monday - Ive heard this before!), I found that the person I was talking with, had the authority to make a decision right then, and it was in my favor! He immediately credited my account for the amount claimed! And, of course, he took it out of the software Companys account! I was really surprised, in a way; yet in another way, I got to thinking about it, and I realized that they dont want any new Federal regulations or some Federal officials coming around asking questions! Remember this, as you may be able to use it to expedite a claim in the future!
End of posting.