On February 19, two months and three days prior to this writing, I placed an online order, paying for it with PayPal. It was for two devices as the vendor was offering two for one; I get one, my wife gets one.
The first hint of trouble came with the confirming email. It was a typical confirmation in many ways …
”Congratulations on placing your order with (vendor)!
The (device) has been a huge global success story and we know you will love your purchase.
If at any time you need to discuss your order status with us, please contact us at support@(vendor).com for a speedy response. Our Support staff operate 24/7 and we typically answer your email within a few hours.”
but it also had a hint of trouble …
“Due to the massive global Xmas season demand for the (device) and reduced production due to factory holiday closure, your order may take 4 to 6 weeks to arrive. This is the absolute worst case scenario as we typically deliver much sooner.”
My order was placed 6 weeks after Christmas, and, one would suppose, even longer than that after the demand placed on production facilities for Christmas orders. “Geeze,” I thought, “in 6 weeks I’m liable to forget I placed this order.”
“No you won’t … I won’t.” This was my wife. Either I was thinking awfully loudly or she was reading my mind ( not an uncommon occurrence in our household ).
At the end of 6 weeks I had not forgotten and, for a week or so, had been disappointed nearly daily by the failure of our (device) to show up in our mail. I emailed customer service, asking for status.
I got an answer that essentially asked me to be more patient; they’d let me know when it ships ( the following week sometime ).
After a couple more weeks of hearing nothing, I sent another email requesting status. I got an immediate acknowledgement, but no actual response. I did the same thing later and got the same result.
Two months after placing the order I called PayPal. “I need some help with an online order I made and paid with your service,” I said.
“Tell me about it.”
I told Rachel the story. “So, two months ago, eh?” she said.
“I am going to put you through to our dispute/claims team; please hold.”
Audrey came on the line. Interspersed between her questions and my answers she repeated things like, “PayPal will help you,” and “We’ll take care of you,” and “PayPal will take care of this.”
When she had all the information she thought she needed, she said the sweetest thing, “You need not do anything.” She explained that PayPal would contact the vendor, give him about 10 days to respond to the complaint, and would refund my purchase price if the vendor doesn’t respond. I hung up feeling hopeful.
I got two emails from PayPal, one within minutes ( “If we contact you for more information, please respond within the timeframe. If you do not respond within the timeframe, the case may be closed and decided in the seller's favor.” ) and one later the same day ( “This claim has been closed because your seller has issued you a refund of [full purchase price] USD.” )
My PayPal payment has been credited; I checked.
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