Astute UK consumers shouldn’t rely on the Paypal’s Protection for Buyers. This includes Paypal Buyer Protection for eligible ebay sales and their Buyer Complaint Policy.

A quick search of the internet will confirm that Paypal has a tendency to close disputes for reasons only known to themselves. In addition, their Protection for Buyers imposes over-restrictive time limits, has significant exclusions and has some major limitations:

Over-Restrictive Time Limits

If you have a problem you need to be quick off the mark. You must start the dispute process within 45 days payment and if need to escalate, you have to do so within 20 days of raising the dispute. This is not enough time. For example, you might not discover that the item you bought is fake until it goes wrong after several weeks, or you may be advised that the item will not be delivered until back in stock, which may take a month or so.

Significant Exclusions

It is important to realise that not all purchases are covered by Paypal’s Protection for Buyers. There are exclusions and this isn’t always clear.

Paypal Buyer Complaint Policy Limitations

The Buyer Complaint Policy which provides protection for transactions outside ebay also has two significant limitations:

  1. Paypal will not make a decision on whether an item is “not as described”. For example, if you buy a new CD and it turns out to be used or is damaged, you can use the process to make a dispute, but you are on your own. Paypal will not get involved and won’t make a decision either way.
  2. For items that are not delivered, Paypal will only refund your money if they can recover this from the seller.

If you have to use Paypal then follow our advice to make your Paypal transaction as safe as possible.