When should you file a Paypal Dispute?

by 36 comments
Something I have noticed of late is the number of paypal disputes that come in when people want a refund.

It has always been my understanding that a paypal dispute should be filed as a method of last resort, if you are unable to get satisfaction from the vendor.

I can't help but wonder whether the reason so many well known Warriors, and indeed lesser known Warriors like myself, have had issues with their paypal accounts is because of irresponsible use of the Dispute function with Paypal.

I know the main reason is that there is a large spike in sales volumes, but I am pretty sure that the number of disputes opened may also play a role.

I have also heard that Paypal have been known to ban accounts who always use the dispute functionality within paypal.

So my question is:

Am I right in thinking that the only time a Paypal dispute should be filed is as a matter of last resort and the vendor has been ignoring your requests for help with your product or indeed a refund request?

If so can I urge people to work with the vendors before going down the route of filing disputes. It makes both you and the vendors look bad in Paypals eyes and can lead to limitation or worse closure of your paypal accounts.

This came to my attention on another thread where someone had some minor delivery issues and rather than talk to the vendor went straight to file a dispute with paypal. Just struck me as rather irresponsible.
#internet marketing #dispute #file #paypal
  • Profile picture of the author scott_krech
    Justin,

    This happened to me several times when my shopping cart had a few delivery issues. I guess my clients [there were about 3 of them] said they tried to contact me via email, but I never received the emails?, so they filed a PayPal dispute to ensure product delivery. I delivered the product and each dispute was closed.

    Best to you.
  • Profile picture of the author Oliver Williams
    Agreed paypal dispute is a last resort however paypal is an inadequate service and should be banned. I am looking for ways to totally rid them from my business altogether and would encourage everyone else to do the same. If they were a financial institution they would have been shut down long ago.
    • Profile picture of the author Jason Z
      Originally Posted by Mrexclusive View Post

      Agreed paypal dispute is a last resort however paypal is an inadequate service and should be banned. I am looking for ways to totally rid them from my business altogether and would encourage everyone else to do the same. If they were a financial institution they would have been shut down long ago.
      On that note, I'll say that I've had bad experiences with Pay pal and I'm not a fan of them. However for people who don't want to open a merchant account to take credit cards and deal with those fees, pay pal is the unfortunate best solution.
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Z
    I agree 100% that a dispute should only be a last resort.

    The dispute button in pay pal is sort of like the spam button in email: People don't know that it has negative consequences for the person on the other end.

    If you don't feel like reading my newsletter and hit spam, it causes me to get my account shut down. Just the same as if you buy something from me and due to some technical glitch or error of some sort, you don't see the item you bought.

    So what should you do?

    Step 1: contact the seller.
    In 99% of the cases the seller will work with you and get things resolved.

    You should never go straight to filing a dispute because this can cause a seller to have their pay pal account shut down without doing anything wrong. I recently had a buyer of a wso of mine do just that.

    Their browser locked up and froze pay pal when they made a purchase, therefore they didnt get redirected properly and didn't get their item.

    Note to buyers, most sellers aren't trying to rip you off and we want to do everything we can to get things fixed.

    The person then just filed a dispute. That puts a strike against my pay pal account for something that is not my fault.

    So please please please, all buyers should only file a dispute as a last resort when a seller refuses to work with you and make things right.
  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Yes. Last resort.

    If someone opens a dispute with me, they are instructed to file a ticket and close the dispute to get a refund.

    A majority of people do this immediately and immediately a refund is given.

    This has had a MAJOR impact on my disputes - dropping them to the point of almost nonexistence. Granted, we still get the occasional dipwad who opens and then refuses to close. But those are rare.

    Rob
    • Profile picture of the author Christines Dream
      Paypal should always be your last resort.

      Start with the vendor. If you do not get an answer try all the vendor's contact methods (support desk, pm, ...). Then if you still can't reach them see if you ordered through an affiliate...try contacting the affiliate.
  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Of course it should be a method of last resort.

    I just got one recently, no contact to support, no questions asked, won't respond to email, and yet made up what looks to be some bogus reason to file a dispute and demanded a refund.

    Very annoying...
  • Profile picture of the author John Trader
    Completely agree, Justin. People in general just need to take a chill and cut each other some grace. :-)
    • Profile picture of the author James Sides
      Everyone has done a great job of explaining that disputes should be a last line of action but one thing I didn't see mentioned...

      Disputes do NOT cover virtual goods to begin with so in all reality a dispute should NEVER be filed on a virtual good. As a vendor all I have to do to win a dispute is tell Paypal you are disputing a virtual good and they close it immediately. This is laid out in their terms of service.

      I always honor my refund policies but when someone files a dispute, often I will make them close it before refunding just as Rob does. Its not fair to put black marks on my account for no reason.

      Cheers,

      James
    • Profile picture of the author Genio
      Originally Posted by John Trader View Post

      Completely agree, Justin. People in general just need to take a chill and cut each other some grace. :-)
      Unfortunately sometimes a dispute with PayPal is the only way to get the attention of a Bad Seller, it happens as much as we all hate it.

      Blu-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha !
      Genio
      "The Marketing Scientist"
  • Profile picture of the author rob-jones
    They bothered me too at first until I realized most people don't do them out of malice. It's just simple ignorance.

    Customers aren't always as savvy you are. Don't forget what it was like when you were first starting out and everything seemed like a scam. Sales pages are almost always overhyped. There's bound to be a little buyers remorse. Can't avoid that.

    I just treat them like refund requests and just give them the refund if they're within the refund period.

    PayPal set a minimum and a rolling reserve on my account, but other than that, everything has been fine. It really is a high risk industry with massive refund rates and a lot of scammers, so I understand the precautions they take. It's a simple numbers game.

    You're not going to find a bank that's going to be more understanding. They all have to cover their ass. Just be grateful you can make a bundle of cash selling information. Life could be worse for damn sure.
    • Profile picture of the author James Sides
      Originally Posted by rob-jones View Post

      They bothered me too at first until I realized most people don't do them out of malice. It's just simple ignorance.

      Customers aren't always as savvy you are. Don't forget what it was like when you were first starting out and everything seemed like a scam. Sales pages are almost always overhyped. There's bound to be a little buyers remorse. Can't avoid that.

      I just treat them like refund requests and just give them the refund if they're within the refund period.

      PayPal set a minimum and a rolling reserve on my account, but other than that, everything has been fine. It really is a high risk industry with massive refund rates and a lot of scammers, so I understand the precautions they take. It's a simple numbers game.

      You're not going to find a bank that's going to be more understanding. They all have to cover their ass. Just be grateful you can make a bundle of cash selling information. Life could be worse for damn sure.
      I agree mostly! Unfortunately I had my account temporarily frozen and the reason given to me by Paypal was too many disputes even though I've never denied a single refund request.

      It does and can have lasting impacts on our livelihoods.

      Cheers,

      James
  • Profile picture of the author TimPiazza
    I am considering a Paypal dispute simply because the vendor (a Warrior Forum member) hasn't responded to any of the several attempts I have made to politely contact them through every means possible. Their support ticket system isn't working, no email response, yet I still get billed for services I haven't received.

    How long would you wait to be contacted before opening a dispute? I am patient, but I'm loathe to be taken advantage of. We're at least 5 days into my attempts to make contact.
  • Profile picture of the author M1chael
    Filing a dispute before you ever request refunds will get you on my block list, blacklist and $#itlist. Its not only bad form its flat out rude and can hurt peoples business. I know that people are sometimes just ignorant of how tonredund, but they really should look before doing that.

    If you file it after repeated attempts to get a refund though proper channels then that's fine. There are times it is warranted, but those have always been very few and far between.

    I have seen a sharp increase in them over the last little bit, compared to past experience. Its too bad really.
  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I have a rule anyone cross me to paypal get banned from my list, website, and services . I never denied a buyer a refund, but once they go to PayPal first it is a game over.

    Right now I reached my limit and waiting for anyone to get back at him (if someone ask for refund, he is not getting it).

    I just got a dispute today for unauthorized payment ?! really ? the funny part he is not new buyer, but apparently they are aware PayPal protection plan don't cover online services, so now they going for unauthorized payments.

    PayPal should take buyers who fill these claims seriously and get them banned if their claim is fake.
    • Profile picture of the author ShaneWilliams
      Enjoyed reading this informative post!

      So if it's a virtual product Paypal will deny the buyer's dispute no matter what? Every time?

      What about with refund deadlines? I clearly marked my return policy on a WSO for 30 days. Had a guy create a dispute wanting a refund at 45 days. I took a screenshot of the 30 day policy from the sales page and uploaded that to Paypal.

      Will they always side with us in that situation...even if it's just a day over? Obviously a screenshot could be faked, so not sure how valid they consider that.
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Wheeler
    Some great insights here. A nice idea asking people to close a dispute before offering a refund. Up until now I have just accepted the disputes in the vast majority of cases immediately on the basis that the time taken fighting a dispute would be better spent elsewhere.

    I am however fairly confident that paypal do view disputes in a bad light when looking at accounts so I suspect that is a route I should consider going down.

    With regards to TimPiazza, it does sound as though raising the complaint level to a paypal dispute is a good idea in his particular case, although as James Sides points out digital products do not fall under paypal's protection scheme.

    Anyway thanks for peoples comments so far. Learn something new every day as they say!
  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    I agree, Justine. The Dispute function should be used as the last resort. Meaning you didn't get any help/communication from the vendor and it's leaving you no choice but to use it.
  • Profile picture of the author ttdub
    So far, I haven't had any problems with paypal, but maybe I'm a lucky one. Or maybe I just jinxed myself.
  • Profile picture of the author Tony Grant
    Hi Justin,

    Rather coincidentally, the BBC featured a snippet about Paypal and account lockdowns on MoneyBox this week, I have included that snippet here in mp3.

    http://crucialviews.com/av/MoneyBoxOnPaypal.mp3

    This is for information/interest purposes and all copyrights to the BBC & MoneyBox are acknowledged.
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Wheeler
    Thanks Tony, Interesting interview.
  • Profile picture of the author AffScot
    I totally agree, a dispute should only be used if the vendor is ignoring you.

    I am currently going through a dispute at the moment, the only reason I have a dispute open is because the person accepted my payment and I haven't heard from him since. I've sent countless emails and only get a canned response back to tell me my email has been received. I know the person is ignoring me because he's been online on here a few times since.

    But this is the only dispute I've ever filed and I hope I don't have to do it again.
  • Profile picture of the author Robert Michael
    I woke up to 2 chargebacks in my PayPal account.

    These people never bothered to contact me.. Not once..

    And they purchased weeks ago!

    Its not about the money. I have more than enough to pay my rent & my bills and have a decent amount left to save. Its just the principle of it.

    If there is truly something wrong with my stuff, I want to know about it.

    However I dont really think thats the problem either, because countless people have paid a hell of a lot more for the same stuff and they loved it.

    I cant stand people who are just out to scam you. Its pathetic and it wastes my time, and it pisses me off because it makes ME look bad, when I'm actually running an honest business.

    /rant
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    I always thought, as others have mentioned, that a dispute was a last resort, when the seller isn't helping or responding. Although some people, when they have a problem, they automatically file a dispute, without even contacting you or giving you a chance to help them. That's what I don't understand. PP doesn't have the product, so seems, to get your product, the seller should be the first contact.

    It can be annoying when you provide great support and people don't even give you the opportunity to show it.

    I did have a customer a long time ago that said, I wanted to get your attention. You would have gotten my full attention by contacting me!

    Maybe it's because there are so many sellers that don't support their customers, that don't respond, ect?
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Wheeler
    I don't know... It could be.

    Just heard this rather shcoking recording of a call between Anthony Aires and a Paypal Fraud guy.

    It seems that Paypal are under a complete misapprehension as to what the Warrior Forum Special Offers Section is about and think it to be some kind of a Ponzi scheme.

    I don't know how many disputes Anthony's last WSO got but I do know it was a quality product and had no relationship to the kind of product that the interview seemed to imply it did.

    I would urge all warriors who use paypal to sell products and services to listen to this as I think it does have the potential to have a very negative impact on a lot of what we do. Also for those of you who think that disputes are fine I think you should listen to it too as it shows some light on what paypal think and the damage that your filing a dispute can do.

    http://anthonyaires.com/PayPalcall.mp3
    • Profile picture of the author Gary_The_Ace
      Originally Posted by Justin Wheeler View Post

      I don't know... It could be.

      Just heard this rather shcoking recording of a call between Anthony Aires and a Paypal Fraud guy.

      It seems that Paypal are under a complete misapprehension as to what the Warrior Forum Special Offers Section is about and think it to be some kind of a Ponzi scheme.

      I don't know how many disputes Anthony's last WSO got but I do know it was a quality product and had no relationship to the kind of product that the interview seemed to imply it did.

      I would urge all warriors who use paypal to sell products and services to listen to this as I think it does have the potential to have a very negative impact on a lot of what we do. Also for those of you who think that disputes are fine I think you should listen to it too as it shows some light on what paypal think and the damage that your filing a dispute can do.

      http://anthonyaires.com/PayPalcall.mp3
      This call should be scaring the hell out of all WSO sellers...

      -Gary Ambrose
    • Profile picture of the author skywalker
      Originally Posted by Justin Wheeler View Post

      I don't know... It could be.

      Just heard this rather shcoking recording of a call between Anthony Aires and a Paypal Fraud guy.

      ... (snip)...

      http://anthonyaires.com/PayPalcall.mp3
      (06:42) ... the product and service that you offer, yes i'm sure
      your customers are very satisfied, but we also know that the
      customers that are buying from you, are also intern taking that
      same product and selling it to other customers, it's just a
      circle we see that you're selling to buyers that are also selling
      to the same buyers, it's just another circle, so at what point
      does it really serve value if the same people already know what
      you're serving them with... your buyers are coming out of the WF,
      we see that your buyers are also the same buyers, who are also
      selling products within the WF and advertising, to more buyers
      who are also in the same position that they are, and i guess at
      what point does it look like, you know there's really no value
      that you're selling... i guess look at it from another
      perspective, say if you're a car salesman, what would be the
      advantage of selling cars to another car salesman, who's just
      gonna sell'em to another car salesman, to another car salesman,
      what is the advantage of doing that ? ... they're not reselling
      your product per se, but they're also selling an individual
      product of their own that is nearly identical to what you are
      providing them ... where does it stop ? (08:19)

      Some questions i would ask Paypal...

      Following your reasoning, I wonder:

      1) has PayPal also terminated, made final and permanent, all
      business relationships with banks who, when the economy goes
      well, sell loans to each other ?

      2) has PayPal also terminated, made final and permanent, all
      business relationships with banks who've been selling rehashed,
      leveraged dodgy and bogus financial products to each other and in
      the process participated in screwing up the economy ?

      Alan
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmanjack
    I listened to that recording earlier today and found it rather strange because the paypal guy basically said people were buying anthonies product, rewriting it then reselling it. How on earth that could be his fault is beyond me.
    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by wolfmanjack View Post

      I listened to that recording earlier today and found it rather strange because the paypal guy basically said people were buying anthonies product, rewriting it then reselling it. How on earth that could be his fault is beyond me.
      That is pretty much what the fraud guy said. No value in any of these products because everyone is "selling the same exact thing" and that "people were just taking the product and reselling it".

      That is so bogus, I don't even know where to begin.

      First off - in order for paypal to know that, they would HAVE to dig up all the customers who bought, track them all down, and see what they are selling.

      Second - if it is true people are doing it, I'm going to bet it's only a TINY FRACTION of what they are claiming. A majority of these people are consumers looking to start their own business and most don't want to be selling IM 'how to' products.

      Third - If this was the case and paypal didn't like, why even allow the warrior forum to take paypal for the WSO section? They should just tell Allen "nope". Same goes with clickbank. "Nope."

      But you don't see that happening, do we?

      My take on it is that Anthony had too many disputes OR something looked shady to paypal. And instead they just lock up 50k and tell him to take a hike.

      Rob

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