I don't think it hurts to threaten legal action, especially if you can prove you never received the domains. Once you get lawyers involved, my guess is that they will reopen the case and refund you (assuming you can prove you never received the domains)...
Good post cicra.. sorry to hear about your problem, glad to know it got resolved.
A lot of people still do not know about this.....
On another note, just curious who the seller was?..
I wouldn't recommend this, unless you're dealing with a very large figure (and, in that case, you should have used Escrow.) Attorneys are expensive, and are only justified in larger transactions. Paypal's policy on "intangible" goods is hard-written into their T&Cs and domainers know the risks from this policy Paypal is useful only for small domain transactions, or among known parties (sometimes with a contract also.) I would try to email the seller and resolve it that way, as Paypal disputes are often futile...
Let's just say someone, obviously, from Great Britain. I would rather not disclose this for the sake of liability or slander. Plus, lets give him/her the benefit of the doubt...email issues, if that will do it...
It would be a helpful public service message to others so that no one else can get screwed by this bloke...
Just to clarify, I did not threaten legal action but contacted the legal department of the registrar holding the domain names. Being that I am unversed in International Law, I chose to let those (registrars legal team) deal with it. So there are alternatives.
The main point that I want to make domainers aware of is PayPal will not refund you money on domain names as they are termed intangible property or virtual goods. Beyond a doubt the best and safest way to go. But my purchases were spread out over several days and even a couple of weeks perhaps and were paid for immediately. Yes, the sum total definitely added up but that never seemed to be a problem on the onset. I am not sure domainers know the risks from this policy as I, nor anyone else that I am aware of, had ever dealt with such an issue as that. It's one of those, "well, it's stated in your user's agreement.
It only raises it's ugly head to bite us in the ass when we least expect it. All good and well, if the seller is responding to emails. In regards to paypal disputes, from my nearly 8 years on ebay and dealing with PayPal, I would say that I am 50/50 on winning & losing.
Over the years, they have become more strict with giving back the jack, so to speak. I have also found that it really depends on the thought process of the unknown person you are dealing with.
Obviously, I am batting .000 with the domain disputes and PayPal. That is the issue I really want to point out to everybody here. Your percentage will be likewise, that I can guarantee...
Are you sure the guy didnt die or something? just seems a bit uncharacteristic of someone with 200+ feedback and a 100% rating But definitely, you never know when someones going to scam you or somehow leave you hanging. I found this out the hard way myself recently when I got scammed on a script, then found out it was an illegal copy after recieving a DMCA notice from the copyright holder. Luckily I managed to get everything straightened out with the company, but I'm still out that money. I bought it a few months back and as you say, it's considered intangible goods, so I'm not even going to bother. Just happy I didn't have to scrap my site...
Will you be my spokesperson for my public service messages for my legal fee fund raisers?.
Whoa...everybody love the Fonze. Naw, he didn't die. He got kind of freaked out and emailed me long after the fact and said he "thought they had all been transferred" knowing full well they had not. Yeah, right. And I thought Prince Charles is a smashing handsome ol' chap. Not only did the seller ignore every email I subsequently sent but also all the transfer requests and re-requests and re-initiations.
I think he really freaked out when he was caught off guard when he realized someone in the States can reach out and touch his bony head in the UK.
I also thought is was odd with the feedback numbers and rating. But, that is hardly the first and last time such numbers has screwed me over on ebay as both a seller and a buyer. Disclaimer: No offense to my blokes in the UK. Have several good friends there and business associates. Hard pressed to come up with a good British analogy. Got plenty of good George Bush jokes.
Back to the real issue. If you purchase a domain name utilizing PayPal as a form of payment and the seller does not deliver the merchandise, too bad...
Great story with numerous lessons, circa1850. Good of you to share it...
Sorry to hear... best to do business in bits I guess...
Wow, 140 days. I'm glad you fought back. Must've been a real pain in the ass...
Thats pretty weird. However most Torts will not protect against virtual products as well...
It twas, it twas.
Main point of the thread...be careful when using paypal to pay for domain names.
Considered "Virtual Property", therefore "Intangible Property". PayPal will not refund anything considered intangible property.
In this case, PayPal was a real pain in the ass. They acted like the transaction never happened.
I wonder if they consider stocks and bonds Intangible Property? Every domain name has a registry that shows proof of ownership...
How do you know the seller is from the UK?..
Obviously, with much investigating (on my own) and some key elements of the WHOIS database, and cross checking and cross referencing made it rather clear. Contacting the registrar, confirmation from many sources, following IP addresses, some previous emails from the seller (remember, this was 19 out of 27 domains over a period of time&initially; there was good communication), and other sources.
I would not have wasted my time had this been a small amount of money. Nor would I have wasted the time of the authorities in the UK.
The WHOIS database can and is often manipulated to hide the owner and the owner's true information. It can be unreliable. But there are several key points in a WHOIS database that can not be forged and are 100% reliable.
On a side note...it does not matter where the scammer is from or where the scammer currently is. Usually simply contacting the scammer's registrar's legal team will get some attention.
Or, simply contact YOUR registrar's legal team. If I paid to have domain transferred and they are not being transferred, then get someone else involved. Again, the key here is have ALL THE PROOF READY AND AT YOUR DISPOSAL as to not waste the time of these legal teams and investigators.
Giving them bits and pieces at a time will not help your effort. They will most likely lose interest or not even bother with it to begin with. The same is equally true when dealing with local, national, and international law enforcement agencies.
Let's face it...fraud is fraud. File the police reports, file with the national and international databases dealing with fraud (many are specific to internet fraud) but have all available information AT THE READY BEFORE contacting anyone for assistance. Having and providing to them the "complete package" adds credibility to your claim and saves them a trememdous amount of time. Lets not forget the subject of this thread⁢ is not about how did I do this or that. It is about PayPals failure to investigate let alone refund payment for domain names. Essentially, you are buying at your own risk.
So you better get creative and do some digging on your own should this happen to you...
Remember, if you use PayPal, pay with Visa or MasterCard, unless you trust the payee. This way, you can dispute with the issuing bank..
Discover and AMEX cards equal to cash according to the agreement between PayPal and Discover and AMEX...
NOT SO FAST! Dig deep into PayPal's policies. THEY WIN! They (PayPal) have agreements with all the major issuers to which they, PayPal, hold them, the card issuers, responsible. Ultimately, that means if PayPal decides you do not have a claim (even after you have alerted your credit card company and stopped charges), they (PayPal) will hold your credit card issuer responsible. This means the credit card company will end up holding you responsible and even reversing their (the issuing credit card company) own decision!.
I know this sounds complicated (and it is) but PayPal has nearly unlimited range.
I know someone who paid with Visa issued card for an item (a major major Visa issuer). When the item arrived, it was fake. The buyer filed a claim with PayPal. The buyer had to jump through hoops, get another expert's opinion, have that expert contact PayPal directly, send it back etc, etc.
Well guess what? The seller did not accept return delivery of the bogus merchandise. Therefore, there was no record of the merchandise having been returned. The seller won the claim!.
Infuriated, my buddy contacted his CC issuer, told them what had happened. The CC issuer immediately issued a credit to his account.
Months, and I do means many months went by...perhaps 8-10, and all of a sudden this bogus merchandise reappears on my buddy's CC statement. He calls the CC issuer and they indeed did reinstate the merchadise purchase. PayPal re-billed his CC company! That is in their contract (PayPal and the CC company).
He was told by the CC company that there was nothing they could do. An independent investigation (politely meaning PayPal's own internal mess) concluded the my buddy did not have a claim.
One thing, one very rare thing, that the credit card rep company did provide my buddy was a name and a phone number of the person the CC company had been dealing with at PayPal.
My buddy called PayPal. The person on the other end was more or less caught off guard. But they discussed the entire matter (I was present during this conversation which was on speakerphone) and all these issues came to light. Essentially, they (PayPal) had final say over every aspect of the transaction, from start to finish and it is not finished until PayPal says it's finished. This includes charge backs by credit card companies. Oh, HELL YES! it's scarey.
How many credit card transactions do you thing they do every day? If you (meaning Visa, MC, Amex, etc) want to play on our turf, you'll play by our rules.
My buddy and the PayPal rep had a few heated exchanges. PayPal felt that the seller won due to the fact that he claimed he never got the merchandise returned plus no signed receipt of the merchandise. How did they (PayPal) know if the merchandise was ever returned to begin with? Even with a UPS piece of paper, there is no proof the merchandise was returned. Amazing. Just as there is no proof that the seller did not actually get the merchandise or the seller knew it was coming back and simply did not pick it up.
What happened is the PayPal rep saw my buddy's side of the story as being one possibility. PayPal ultimately agreed to do a 50/50 split with my buddy, taking into account that he may be telling the truth (or not) or the seller may be telling the truth (or not).
It was either take 50% or nothing. PayPal was going to win either way. And 50% is better than 0%.
I know all this sounds way too deep and complicated. Perhaps 99% of PayPal's global transactions go smoothly. But you have no idea how deep all this goes until you get caught up in one of these messes. Then it is you who has to do all the digging as PayPal and your credit card company leaves you on your own. Then you get to see just how deep it goes...it's a bottomless pit of crap!.
The only reason I know about these issues is personal involvement (the domain name thing in the original post) and first hand accounts and witnessing the telephone conversation with PayPal. Sure, my buddy closed his account with the major credit card issuer that re-billed him and opened another account with another issuer. But Visa is Visa and they all operate on PayPal's rules...no matter who the issuing institution is.
If you want it to get real complicated, PayPal is in nearly every nation. They (PayPal) go by the host nation's rules.. I've only been discussing what the terms are in regards to US issued Credit Cards.
Next, class, we'll explore PayPal's role as a global purchashing entity and money exchanging enterprise and how they (PayPal) must rewrite their policies in order to do business in the host country.
Okay, I'll stop there...my head is spinning...
Great post, incredible story and sorry for your friend! You really nailed it on the head with the turf metaphor. That's just how it has to be (IMHO)!..
"I would rather not disclose this for the sake of liability or slander".
Its only libel if it's untrue.
From an old post at DNF by DotComGod:..
Who really cares who it was? Do you think the troll is still on ebay?.
And do you think I want to get caught up in a legal battle, true or untrue, simply because I post someone's name and personal information on a public forum?.
Are you quoting United States law books or the English torts?.
And in regards to the quote about how to indicate the form of payment...the quote you submitted has nothing to do with being a buyer of a domain name and submitting payment via PayPal. It is just another way of submitting an invoice from a seller's point of view.
Here are the options for making payment with PayPal. You must select one; eBay Items: A payment for the purchase of eBay items. Free! Auction Goods (non-eBay): An online auction purchase (not including eBay items). Free! Goods (other): A purchase of goods in a non-auction context. Free! Service: A payment for the performance of a service. Free! Quasi-Cash: The transmission of money not involving an underlying service or good.
PayPal has no control over these fees. If you select 'Quasi-Cash' you may want to use a payment method other than Credit Card (Instant Transfer or eCheck) to avoid potential fees.
So, as a buyer, which one will get you your money back if you purchase a domain name and do not receive the domain name? None!.
This post was intended, is intended, as an means to inform all of the potential downfalls of buying domain names utilizing PayPal as a form of payment. It has nothing to do with naming individuals, it has nothing to do with lawsuits or slander or libel issues, it has nothing to do with being British...yet some want to take bits and parts and pieces and start an entirely different matter rather than read the entire post.
I mentioned that someone was from the UK to illustrate a means of enforcing the laws and enacting justice no matter where the other party is from. It could be an albino pygmy with one eye and two teeth from the outer reaches of the planet Zircon and still someone would take offense to what I say.
I will not mention names as a courtesy to all...innocent or guilty...and as a measure or protecting myself from any sort of libel, slander, or other legal action.
Using your Credit Card on PayPal as a safety measure is no guarantee at all that you will still not have to end up paying paypal. I only brought this matter up because someone mentioned using a credit card and the assurances it offered. There are no assurances if paypal does not rule in your favor. And it you buy a domain name, use PayPal as a form of payment, whether you use you bank account, PayPal balance, credit card...
And if you never get the domain name, tough luck. You will not collect, you will not pass go, you will not go to jail, you will just have to suck it up because PayPal finds domain names to be non-tangible property and therefore... "PayPal's Buyer Complaint Policy does not apply to virtual or intangible products (like subscriptions and computer programs), services, quasi-cash and all non-tangible, non-physical goods.".
You will have to take matters into your own hands, you will need to gather the evidence yourself, you will need to prepare and produce the evidence to the proper authorities, and you will need to spend some time and effort in doing so. PayPal and your Credit Card company will be of no benefit to you. Hopefully, this post will. Hopefully, you will never have to deal with issues like this...27 domain names purchased from the same individual, 19 not delivered, PayPal finds in favor of the seller because it is non-tangible property, more than 140 days later the domain names are recovered (I would have accepted either my money back or the domain names) thanks to the effort I put forth and presented to the legal teams of my registrar and the seller's registrar and some involvement by the US and British authorities...
"And in regards to the quote about how to indicate the form of payment...the quote you submitted has nothing to do with being a buyer of a domain name and submitting payment via PayPal. It is just another way of submitting an invoice from a seller's point of view.".
Works the same way sending. You pick a thing, goods in this case, a subject line and comments. Whens the last time you sent a payment? it's all there...
I'm sorry, you seem to be missing the whole point of this post and the threads.
You buy a domain name. You decide to pay via PayPal. So you pick goods. Then what? You don't get the domain.
What do you have? Nothing. You have to prove to PayPal that you paid for some "goods". What are you going to tell them you bought? Goods?.
What kind of goods, is what they will want to know. Do you think PayPal is going to award you a claim without any proof of the items you purchased? Do you think PayPal is in the business of giving money back based on an individual's word that they did not receive something they paid for?.
Yes, it's all there. You pay, you get no domain, you're screwed...it's all there.
When is the last time I used them? Lets see...ask any of the members that I bought domains from on this forum how I paid them.
Why do I still use them? Convenience. Faith...hoping that this was a one time isolated incident for me. And faith that members on this forum, based on how long they have been members and based on their feedback, are decent and honorable folks.
And knowledge...knowing now what I have been through and the course of action I will have to take to either secure the domain name or return of funds because PayPal ain't going to do sh** for me and the credit card companies will bow down to them like a whipped dog with it's tail between it's legs. That is the price they have to pay to do business the PayPal way...
You are right about this issue. I'm an experienced ebayer and I have seen many smillar issues over the years. I have a few suggestions on this issue:.
1. Use paypal for low value domains. Otherwise use an escrow service. Escrow.com or sedo.com are good options.
2. When using paypal to pay for domains only buy from people with good feedback. Good feedback in my opinion means over 50 feedback with %98 positive. This applies to forum sales as well.
3. If you don't receive the domain you must leave negative feedback. As a buyer this is your only chance to get the issue solved or at least to warn others. On ebay feedbacks can be removed upon agreement by both parties, so the seller is likely to try to get it removed. This is your only chance. Wait 10 days and immediately leave negative.
4. On ebay some of the domain sellers are known to do shill bidding. They are creating buyer accounts and bid on their own item to make the auction look more desireable and to bump the price up. This means their seller feedback is fake as well because they leave positive to themselves when they end up winning their own item. Ebay never takes action agains this and they are changing their system continuously making it difficult to track these actions. Still there are tools where you can check this. So before you bid simply put the item number in one of these and check: http://auctionpix.co.uk/shill_bidding.php http://www.goofbay.co.uk/ebay_tools Regular Bidder Checker (Enter eBay Item Number).
5. Never buy on private ebay listings. The seller is trying to hide the negative he just received...
Hahah wasn't me (ukguy!). Didn't even know about DN trading then Wish I did!.
You should (as they say here) "name and shame" - to help others - else he/she might do it again...
"I'm an experienced ebayer and I have seen many smillar issues over the years".
Thank you, I've been on for nearly 8 years now. "1. Use paypal for low value domains. Otherwise use an escrow service. Escrow.com or sedo.com are good options.".
Good point, often repeated, but worth mentioning again. "2. When using paypal to pay for domains only buy from people with good feedback. Good feedback in my opinion means over 50 feedback with %98 positive.".
A first time for everything as this seller had 100% and quite a volume of positives. CAUTION! BEWARE OF ALL FEEDBACK. One of the biggest scams at the moment is artificially inflated feedback from penny auctions. There are sales on ebay that sell a list of other auctions that sell for one penny. Instant positive feedback is left once the sale is conducted. It is possible to run up hundreds of positives in a day.
If you don't receive the domain you must leave negative feedback. As a buyer this is your only chance to get the issue solved or at least to warn others.".
Always have and always will. Not just dealing with domain names. "Don't think about your own feedback.".
Never have and never will. As both a buyer and seller, I feel I have an obligation to leave feedback for every transaction...the good and the bad. I have known sellers with 100% and tens of thousand feeback and been on ebay for nearly 10 years. Ask them how they managed that? "oh, we never leave negative feedback. We're afraid they'll leave us a negative too"...gee, thanks for letting the trolls stay on ebay! "4. On ebay some of the domain sellers are known to do shill bidding. They are creating buyer accounts and bid on their own item to make the auction look more desireable and to bump the price up.".
Happens in every class and category of auctions. Have caught several doing this. Yes, three were domain sellers. The WHOIS record does not lie.
Here's how I caught them. Check the seller and the suspicious bidder. Domain goes up and up and up against you by the same bidder. The other bidder wins (I backed out). Feedback is left by both seller and buyer...glowing, simply glowing...praises all around. I just got a little suspicious with the bidder (checked his feedback...36 positives) yet the only auctions he/she had ever won were from the same seller.
"So before you bid simply put the item number in one of these and check: http://auctionpix.co.uk/shill_bidding.php http://www.goofbay.co.uk/ebay_tools Regular Bidder Checker (Enter eBay Item Number)".
Looks interesting...I'll have to check them out. "5. Never buy on private ebay listings. The seller is trying to hide the negative he just received.".
The seller usually is hiding alot more than a negative. If you are referring to true private listings, where the user ID is kept private, RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN! There's usually a whole slew of shill bidding going on or his buds are bidding. I don't think they will every be allowed back on ebay. But you never know. Could be lurking anywhere...
Im kind of on the other end of this, but your post clarified some concerns I was having. Basically I sold a domain on Ebay... Buyer took forever to pay, no communication at all. Then I pushed the domain to him and he doesn't seem to be accepting it. I emailed him numerous times to see if he needed help with anything etc, but I haven't heard a single word from him the whole transaction. I'm just worried I'm going to get a chargeback on Paypal or something to that effect. I already spent half the money and if they do some kind of chargeback, I'm going to be screwed basically I'm just looking forward to getting the domain transfered and out of the situation, but they seem to be dragging it out as long as possible...
The point of doing the thing I posted is so you can tell paypal the goods were not shipped...
Well this does protect the seller and not the buyer. the good thing is.
Buyers cannot request a refund - will be denied.
But then again in your case you can get screwed over...
Interesting scenario. And not one that I am too distant from. First: I am not your lawyer, I am not offering you legal advice, I do not work for PayPal, I do not work for eBay, I do not work for NamePros...so lets get that out of the way right now. You don't have to take any of my advice. There, that's my disclaimer.
Doubtful there will be a chargeback. Why? Because of everything I have stated above regarding PayPal's own policies. If you sold a domain (non-tangible property), regardless how it was described on the paypal invoice (goods or whatever) it is still non-tangible property. Chance are it was paid directly through ebay and PayPal channels so the actual item and auction description will appear.
Let the buyer drag their feet. Email them about once a week reminding them of their purchase and offer to help transfer if need be. Use both the eBay and you own email system. Ebay keeps track of all emails. You can keep track of your own. Keep the domain name unlocked and ready for transfer.
Remind the buyer that they are responsible for securing the domain name.
You will at least have a record of your effort to complete the transaction as well as do the right thing. Each message you send through ebay indicate the box on the bottom left to send the message to yourself. Create and use your own form letter so you don't have to keep typing an individual letter each week. Do this for a couple of months so you have plenty of evidence of your effort on your part.
If the domain name expires? oh well. And if they insist they want their money back due to this? oh well. You gave them plenty of notice and what the potential risks of not securing the domain name in a timely manner. They file a claim with PayPal? oh well..."non-tangible" goods is not eligible. They want the domain name? oh well...it expired and now someone else owns it.
If the domain name is about to expire, let it expire. Do not try to resell it. Do not renew it. If it is a gem, I think there are ways around this.
So, the buyer won't complete the transfer, you have emailed once a week for several weeks. You have a record of this. Ebay has a record of this. What more can you do.
It is not a bad idea to put your terms in the auction listing. Expiration date, buyer's responsbility, seller's responsibility, etc. It can be quick, cut and dry or spell out everything explicitly. But have it in there. I'll be glad to PM you an example.
I have sold more the 600 domain names on ebay in less than a year and a half under another name. The two issues that struck me the most were non paying bidders (of course) and folks like you're describing who do pay and never take control of or transfer the domain.
I quit selling on ebay because within about a two to three week time frame, 75% of bidders were non payors. And then there are the trolls watching the auction and not bidding and then making you a ridiculous offer after the auction and then cussing you out for turning them down. Great possibilty they have either been kicked off ebay or their feedback sucks.
After a while, I quit worrying about the ones who do not transfer their domain name. Then all of a sudden they appear out of nowhere wanting the domain, wanting to know what they have to do, where is the domain name, etc.
Expired, long gone, you ignored every email, you lost it. How could you let this happen?.
The best one? Contacted me not more than 2 weeks ago for a domain I sold in February or March and expired in June.
Guess what? Same crap happens on TDNAM. Well, now you are seeing the whole picture.
The seller needs no protection to begin with. If the seller is intent on screwing over the buyer, it does not matter how it's listed as a category of payment. If it "goods" the buyer will still have to identify the "goods" to PayPal, describe it, and then prove the "goods" were never received.
So why even bother putting in "goods"...put in the domain name you sold in big bold type. If one is intent on screwing over someone, then this is the way to do it...it automatically tells PayPal that this was a domain name, it is "non-tangible" and "virtual" property. Therefore, there is no need to investigate. Claim denied. Case closed.
I assure you, as a seller it does not matter how you identify the merchandise. As a buyer, it does not matter how you identify the merchandise. A domain name is a domain name is a domain name. PayPal WILL NOT refund for domain names.
It is that simple...cut and dry...no way around it...
By the way: I thought they all had to abide by the law, in this case the consumer credit act - at least in UK they do. Is there nothing similar in USA?.
I just signed-up with Escrow.com but seems they are better for US clients, as money transfers to seller outside the US are very expensive.
In regards to Paypal and intangible goods, they really need to change this policy for domain names, as it would be the simplest to check ownership either via WhoIS or directly with registrars if required.
Maybe they don't realise how much trade they could be losing with the current attitude?.