Twice now, I’ve had companies where I paid for services via PayPal. Last year, I was co-locating one of my servers with FDC Servers. They decided one day to unplug my server and throw it in a closet, and hold it hostage for an evening. Needless to say, I canceled my service and moved it to a datacenter in Madison. The following month, they decided to continue charging me for a service I had canceled a month prior, through PayPal. I filed a dispute with PayPal, and after a month, I got the verdict that they couldn’t help me because my claim was not for a physical item. Screwed by FDC, screwed by PayPal.
More recently, I made the mistake of trying to get iStockphoto to honor their return policy. They refused, and said to file a complaint with PayPal. I did, and again, PayPal waited a month to tell me that they couldn’t help because there was no physical item. Double-screwed again.
Here’s a screenshot of the resolution center options, when you try to file a claim:
PayPal Resolution Center
As you can see, you can only dispute if a physical item doesn’t arrive as promised, or if someone has fraudulently accessed your account. With iStockphoto’s return policy scam, I called PayPal, and was assured that even though there was no option for a virtual good in the dispute center, each claim would be reviewed properly. Obviously this is not the case, given PayPal’s reply to my claim:
Unfortunately, we were unable to resolve this claim in your favor because the item purchased was virtual or intangible. As a result, we have not taken any action against the seller at this time but we have noted your dissatisfaction in the seller’s record for future reference.
Thanks for nothing, PayPal.