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  • Review: PayPal and purchasing online

    Hi all,

    This has nothing to do with VSL - I've never had any problem with VSL - a totally fantastic company in my experience going back to 2006.  However, I've have unfortunately been ripped off by another equipment vendor, a company that perhaps users of VSL might buy from, so I wrote this short review of the PayPal service in the hopes of protecting people out there...

    I have learned the hard way a couple of important tips that if you abide by them may protect you from being ripped off by unscrupulous vendors.

    I won't go into the details in this review, but I was taken to the cleaners so to speak by an equipment vendor after I bought and paid online using my PayPal account. 

    They sent my order to the wrong country, if you can believe that, or so they claimed. Don't worry they said, we'll get your order into the queue straight away, it will just be another two weeks. At that point it was already more than 20 days after initial payment.

    PayPal has a buyer protection program that protects you and gets your money back if your items don't ship. Sounds good. But in practice what at least I failed to notice was that there is a 45 day limit on this protection. Bummer. In my case, the vendor, deliberately perhaps, dragged out the shipment date of my goods way past the 45 day limit, and then proceeded to become very rude. 

    Finally, my order was cancelled by the owner, suspiciously to say the least, because he just decided it wasn't worth his time, or so he said.

    That left me in a difficult position. When I went to lodge a buyer complaint to PayPal, they repeatedly told me I was outside of the 45 day limit, and would do nothing.

    So the moral of this story is two fold:

    1. Check out vendors before you buy. Google them up. In this case, had I done so I would have seen links that at the very least cast some suspicion on the vendor in question. Perhaps I would have been more cautious, less trusting, and maybe I would have done further research and ordered elsewhere.

    2. I recommend using PayPal, but buyer beware: if you don't receive your goods - and I mean *receive* not taking the vendors "word" for it that the item(s) has shipped or will ship - then I strongly recommend you lodge a complaint with PayPal within the 45 day limit. I would say doing so at 30 days is a wise move. This way, you open the complaint up within PayPals system, and they should keep that complaint open until the goods are received, or, if that doesn't happen, you get your money back.

    Had I done that simple act of letting them know I had not received anything around 30 days (but well before 45 days), then I believe I would have my money back and I would have saved myself a lot of hassle. In my case, the goods never even shipped, so it would likely have been fairly easy since everything was on record within the PayPal system. As it stands I only got part of my money back, only after a lot of hassle and arguing, and they still owe me more than half of what I paid many months prior.

    There is no harm in simply lodging a dispute to keep your window of protection open - if the vendor complains, simply explain it's a necessary precaution due to PayPal's terms, they should not have any problem with that if they are legitimate.

    I hope that tip helps protect some people out there!

  • You should post your grievance over at Gearslutz (in the Moan Zone).  It's the best way to get a unruly vendor's attention and compliance.  ANd check your pms.

  • Yes I thought so, I tried to do that and they banned me for life without warning.

  • Gearslutz banned you for life for posting your grievance?  hmm  Not surprising really as that place has become a shill haven and too monetized.  Used to be a lot cooler place.