Questions of Cash: I paid by PayPal, but my MacBook never arrived
Friday 08 August 2014
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.
Scottish Power hit with sales ban by regulator
Dirty tricks in a divorce can cause some nasty surprises
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Simon Read: You're guilty until proven innocent when HMRC sends in the tax credit detectives
There are 'dark corners' of the investment and pensions industry, says Pension Minister
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads