Saturday, November 07, 2009

The perils of PayPal

Tim, G4VXE has just installed the APRS application iBCNU on his iPhone. I wish I could do the same, but my attempt to buy an unlocked iPhone that I could use on my existing network (since I did not wish to switch to O2) has turned into another reason to hate PayPal.

I have been ripped off by a crooked Irish firm called Dynamac Trade that was advertising "sim free unlocked iPhones" using Google ads. Their website looked slick and professional and had Blackberry phones for sale as well. No reason to smell a rat. But weeks passed, the firm did not respond to my attempts to contact it, and I still did not have a phone.

I filed a claim with PayPal and after just over a week I received this reply: "We have decided in your favour, however we were unable to recover any funds from the seller's account. We will make our best effort to recover the funds in question if they become available in the seller's account in the future." I wonder what the chances are of that?

PayPal may be fine for making small radio purchases from sellers you can hopefully trust, and it's normally the only option for buying things on eBay, but it's a risky way of buying things compared to using a credit card. If the buyer defaults on something that cost over £100 and was bought with a UK credit card you'll be reimbursed. My credit card even provides a 90 day warranty and accidental damage cover on items bought with it. PayPal is no safer than sending cash. No wonder so many people say PayPal Sucks.
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