Questions of Cash: I paid by PayPal, but my MacBook never arrived

 

Q. In April this year I was unsuccessful on an eBay bid for an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer.

Soon after I was contacted by the seller who provided his mobile number and suggested I call him as he had similar products I might be interested in. I contacted him. He told me that his cousin worked for Apple and was able to supply any products made by Apple at a competitive price.

He said he was able to be competitive by organising the deal personally over the phone, thus avoiding eBay fees. He came across as plausible, he was informed about the most up-to-date products and was able to quote model numbers and the price. He was certainly less than source pushy and appeared interested when I said I was a teacher and a potential of lucrative business. I placed an order on 28 April via PayPal with my MasterCard. I was naive because I assumed paying by credit card and PayPal provided me with a considerable degree of security as a distance purchaser.

I received an invoice from the seller for the Apple MacBook of £880 plus £25 postage and packing. I received confirmation from PayPal of the original transaction with the seller and confirmation of the charge from my MasterCard credit card. The seller said I could expect delivery by mid-May. He then texted me to say the laptop had been shipped and would soon arrive in the UK. I said I would be away on holiday until June. As I had been notified of shipment I assumed delivery would be imminent. But by mid-June the laptop had not arrived.

The seller then told me his son had been injured and taken to hospital, causing a delay. The next day he told me PayPal would not release my funds, so he could not send the laptop. I suggested this was a matter between him and PayPal. I demanded immediate delivery as I had paid for the laptop back in April. He asked me to raise a dispute via PayPal as this might speed up the release of his money. I didn't understand this as it seemed irrelevant to our contract. The seller repeated that the laptop was in his possession.

Consequently I didn't raise a dispute with PayPal at this stage. The seller agreed to post the laptop for free as he had a contact who could do this without charge. I reminded him that I had already paid £25 to cover postage. I asked him to provide a tracking number. This didn't materialise and nor did the laptop. I then filed a claim with PayPal, but on 23 June I received a reply from PayPal which said that I was now out-of-time for raising a dispute. At no time during my transaction through PayPal was I made aware of there being a deadline for lodging a dispute.

My local Citizens' Advice Bureau told me that my credit card purchase of £905 is not protected because I purchased the item through PayPal. I have been told by PayPal to continue a dialogue with the seller, but while he was apologetic over the delay he has just provided excuses about why the laptop has not yet been delivered. On advice from Citizens' Advice I have written to the seller stating that he is in breach of contact. To date I have heard nothing! GH, Devon.

A. As a result of our intervention, the seller will have to prove delivery of the laptop or lose the payment, which will be refunded to you.

A spokeswoman for PayPal says: "At PayPal, our number one priority is to make buying and selling as easy and secure as possible. This June, we extended the time allowed for buyers to open a dispute from 45 to 180 days. In [the reader's] case, his complaint was raised before this extension came into effect, but as a gesture of goodwill PayPal is reopening his case. If the seller cannot prove that the item was delivered, [the reader] will receive a full refund."

Q. I paid a deposit of £300 to secure a rental property to Gough Quarters letting agency in Bristol. At that point I wasn't entirely sure I would want to go on rent this property, but I was reassured twice by the letting agent that I could change my mind later and would receive a refund. This never happened, the agreement failed and this company is still holding on to my deposit. AG, Bristol.

A. Gough Quarters strongly disputes your version of events. It says the deposit was taken explicitly on the understanding that you would sign the lease for the apartment and would move into it. On that basis it says it paid your 'holding deposit' to the apartment owner. It denies that it knew that you were going to look at more apartments.

Indeed, it is difficult to understand why you would pay a deposit on an apartment if you had not decided to move into it. Gough Quartets' proprietor nevertheless agreed to repay the deposit, but then failed to do this on the grounds that you wrote a review on the AllAgents website that was very critical of the agency and in the view of Gough Quarters amounted to a libellous misrepresentation of the situation. We have managed to negotiate a resolution – you have withdrawn the review and Gough Quarters has now repaid the deposit in full.

Q. I booked a cruise for this summer back last year with Celebrity Cruises. One of the inducements was to receive a 'Classic Drinks Package' as part of the deal. Since then some of the prices have increased, including what we believed were prices agreed as part of the package. KB, by email.

A. We have repeatedly contacted Celebrity Cruises, but it has failed to respond to us. We understand from you that it has now adjusted its drink prices and you will be charged in line with your original expectations. "So no harm done," you comment.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine