13 June 2009

eBay, PayPal and living our lives online

The Internet makes life so much easier in so many ways. I look up things online. is just amazing. 30 seconds and you can find out almost anything. Amazon delivers in 48 hours. Can't beat that for shopping. All in the comfort in my own home. Blogging and message boards have introduced me to some of my closest friends and give me the opportunity to visit with people who are passionate about similar interests. And What can I say? The world's marketplace.

I love art deco. Our area of the country is not famous for a lot of art deco buildings or accoutrements. When we started remodelling our house I turned to eBay to find the things we needed to decorate in art deco. Waterfall theatre lights, deco chrome small appliances, Chase and Revere chrome accessories, European angled mirrors, Barcelona chairs, and deco ladies in every shape form and fashion. What could not be found here was readily available in the world's marketplace. I'm fond of telling people we furnished our house from eBay.

How to pay for all these things? PayPal. You sign up with PayPal and use them to transfer funds between buyer and seller. It worked great for me as a buyer. I didn't have to wait for cheques to clear before people would send me treasures. It worked great for me as a seller as I could accept funds from someone in Japan who wanted some California pottery to use as sushi dishes. Of course PayPal had to make money, so they charged a small fee for this service.

Then one day eBay bought PayPal. There was not necessarily anything wrong with this, but fees went up and a lot of people were worried there was conflict of interest. Then eBay made it mandatory for buyers and sellers to use PayPal for nearly all eBay transactions unless it was local pickup. This really made a lot of people mad.

But with all the negative things that have been said about PayPal, I have to say they have really come through for me this week. I don't sleep a lot at night now because of sleeping from Benadryl with transfusions. My days and nights are topsy turvy. A few nights ago in the wee hours I was watching Without A Trace and reading e-mail. Imagine my surprise when I saw two e-mails from PayPal saying my payment had been sent. Two e-mails with payments in large amounts being transferred to someone in China! YIKES! That wasn't me!!!!

I immediately got online with PayPal and filed an unauthorized dispute on each of the payments. I got an automated response thanking me for getting in touch with them and that they would investigate. In the meanwhile, the funds would be held by PayPal and unavailable to me. Grrrr. I understand their reasoning, but that didn't make it any more palatable.

On Thursday I got two e-mails telling me:
We've finished reviewing your unauthorized activity claim and you'll receive a refund for the transaction amount. It may take up to 5 business days for the funds to appear in your account.

It only took a few days for them to solve the problem and my money was back in my account within a few hours of me getting the above e-mails. So, thank you PayPal. I appreciate how quickly this was resolved.

I've changed my password, of course, but what I don't know is how they got access to my PayPal account in the first place. I'm guessing that will remain an unsolved mystery.
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~M said...

Oh geez, that's pretty scary. I'm glad things still worked out for you in the end. The internet can be a good thing AND a bad thing all at once.

judie said...

OMG Becky. I'm glad you got it straightened out. I get spam all the time allegedly from PayPal telling me my account needs to be updated, etc. I know better than to click on these. I just delete. I hope you are doing well. I think about you. xoxoxo (Judi's friend Judie)

Becky said...

Thanks M. It was pretty scary. The person? the money went to was showing up as a verified user!

Judie, thanks for thinking of me. I really appreciate it. Particularly since the time for the transplant is rapidly approaching. I never click on those spam e-mails either, so I'm still wondering how the thieves got access.