PayPal UK - Could this be the end of the IM sales letter that we know and love (or loathe?)
From that day Paypal UK will allow buyers to file a dispute in respect of intangible goods where it is claimed that the item was not received or if the item or service was not as described.
To refute a claim PayPal will expect a seller to provide, and I quote, "compelling evidence to prove that you provided the intangible item and that it was as you described it to be..."
The first part, evidence that the item was downloaded shouldn't be a problem but I can imagine the shenanigans that are likely to arise with regard to the second bit, "and that it was as you described it to be..."
If life was simple it should be sufficient to say, for example in the case of an ebook, that the item is a PDF file and contains X number of words. That would be a truthful and indisputable description.
But what if a buyer maintains that he has not gained the benefits that a sales letter has said he will receive? Will PayPal regard that as the product not being as described?
For instance, you don't to look very hard to see bullet points in sales letters that say something akin to:
- discover this little known secret (which isn't a secret at all)
- how to do this, that or t'other (when the information tells you to do this that or t'other without explaining HOW)
- best XXXX service (who defines "best"?)
I'm sure I don't have to go on. You can fill in the rest yourselves.
Only time will tell how PayPal will approach this aspect and what criteria they will use to decide whether or not a digital item is as described. It would be as well for anyone who sells intangible goods or services to bear this new policy in mind and to be prepared to respond to any disputed transactions.
If this post hasn't put you in a state of depression, don't worry, I'm not finished yet. As part of PayPal's expanded buyer protection they are extending the time limit for filing a dispute from 45 days to 180 days. This new rule also comes into play from Friday, 13th June.
Just imagine - Mr. I-Always-Ask-For-A-Refund will soon have six months to decide whether or not he has received a download or whether it is as described. Buyer protection is one thing but is this not being just a tad over-zealous?
You can read more about the new PayPal policies here...
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