Those who hang out with me on Twitch often will remember my excitement about the incoming Chun Li costume I put together on the interwebs. One of the pieces were these freaking perfect adidas knee-high boots ordered from a British shoe store crazywhener.com. Awesome name, right? It would have been, had they not taken my money and run away with it.
There are many benefits to using PayPal; you don’t have to give potential thieves your credit card number, billing address, preferred username or password, but one of the biggest reasons – touted by PayPal themselves – is that your purchases are protected. There’s an entire dispute resolution department at your disposal should one of the two parties turn out to be a deadbeat or fraud.
I design and build websites professionally, so my first red flag should have been the unusual way in which they requested payment. It wasn’t that strange, really, as the paper trail still works the same way, so when instead of completing the PayPal transaction from the browser, they chose to include the PayPal link from an emailed order confirmation I thought it was a *little* strange, but after I checked out the link forwarding and realized it still went to the actual PayPal site I figured all the same laws applied. Technically I was right, which is the problem.
I completed my order from this website on October 8, 2014 and paid the $45.50 USD. PayPal took it from my account and presumably transferred it to theirs. I received a confirmation from PayPal that my payment was processed, and that was that. Now I play the waiting game for shipping confirmation from the store.
On October 27th when I still hadn’t heard from the store I tried contacting them. I responded to the emailed order invoice/confirmation sent by their system (janellmonney
So last week, realizing I was never going to see these shoes or my money back, I filed a dispute with PayPal. I included the emails I sent, the addresses and the dates I sent them and today I got a decision from the department touted as protecting buyers:
Basically it says if you don’t realize the seller is a fraud and file within 45 days, you’re boned. Since I made attempts to contact the seller directly outside of PayPal (as they encourage you to do) I’m out this money and since my bank wasn’t involved there’s zero I can do about it.
Thanks a lot PayPal. Do they really think that in a global economy, 45 days is a long enough statute of limitations? For loads of products there’s a 2-3 week delivery time. So if by the 4th week your item doesn’t come, you write the seller, give another week for response and then file a dispute, kiss that money goodbye.
However, someone back in early October donated to my Twitch channel and two days ago tried to say it was an unauthorized purchase and is now trying to get PayPal to return the $100, which has been “temporarily” removed from my account. I had to respond within a few days with proof of the donation, screen shots from StreamTip showing the email address, username and friendly note they included with the donation. While I’m hurt that someone who supported the channel with a much-needed donation is now trying to reverse it months after the fact, I’m even more perplexed as to how this 45 day double-standard works with the asshats over at PayPal.
As a side note, I went to whois and looked up who owns crazywhener.com. The ownership name appears Chinese and the IP address traces back to the UK, however most of the websites they host are “fashion” storefronts with a decidedly Chinese “Engrish” sound to the copy. It’s also strange that while they all have England’s flag on the websites, the only currency you can choose is USD.
We’ll see where this goes after reporting to a handful of people. It’s only $45.50 to me, but I’m 100% positive I’m not the only one who’s been swindled, and probably not only by this website but many in their network. If PayPal isn’t going to do anything about their fraudulent users I will sure as hell try. If anyone has experience with things like this and has some tips let me know. I’ll be thinking twice before giving PayPal any more money from now on.