- Searched for retailers selling the product
- Compared prices
- Ordered from the retailer that had the best price
The website stated most orders are shipped within 24 hours of ordering, so when my product had not arrived after three weeks it was time to do some investigation. I sent an email to the address listed on the site's contact information, expecting to get an apologetic response telling me my product would be expedited and that would be that.
I didn't get a response.
I then called the company's toll free number and talked to an agent who gathered my contact information and told me that my request would be forwarded to the appropriate department. Someone should be contacting me shortly.
Again, no response.
Over the course of a week, I sent a total of two emails and made four phone calls. None of which extracted a response from the company.
It was time to take more serious action.
Since I had paid through PayPal, I started searching their website for my options. I was happy to find that they have a process in place to handle just this kind of situation.
1. Open a claim in the PayPal Resolution Center: I was shown a list of transactions I had done through PayPal, and selected my payment to the BBQ retailer. I had to write up a description of my complaint, and categorized it as "Never received product." The initial claim must be made within 45 days of the transaction. According to their website, this freezes the funds used in the transaction and allows a negotiation between seller and buyer to resolve the issue.
2. Escalate the Claim: If the issue cannot be resolved, or if the seller does not respond (which is what I expect), I would then escalate the claim. It is then up to PayPal to decide on the best resolution to the issue.
3. Claim Closure: PayPal will decide the resolution to the claim usually within 30 days, at which time the claim will be closed. Also, if an open claim has not been escalated within 20 days, it is automatically closed.
I have opened up my claim, but do not expect the seller to respond given my recent history with trying to resolve the situation. I will, however, give them a day or two to respond before I escalate the claim.
PayPal, as well as credit and debit card issuers, is required to have such a process in place in accordance with the Fair Credit Billing Act that went into effect in 1975. But it was nice to see that at least finding a description of, and starting the process was easy. I work too hard for my money to just let them keep my money.
Will the retailer respond to my claim? Will I get my money back? Stay tuned....
Have you ever had to dispute a claim for an online purchase? How did it turn out for you?
Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.
You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles