Author Topic: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication  (Read 3104 times)

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Steve

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Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« on: December 22, 2013, 01:03:44 PM »
I have a friend, let's call her Steve  8).

Steve ordered something from an Etsy shop: a custom-made item, in the beginning of November. The item is to be used at a wedding in June, so there is no real rush to get it. Steve paid the item through Paypal because of the buyers protection. It was the first item she ever bought online.
The order was to be delivered by the end of November, but Steve did tell the shop owner that there was no rush.

Today, Steve decided to contact the seller, to see what the delay with the item was. Steve e-mailed the shopkeeper through the Etsy shop, and decided to have a look at the Buyers protection, just in case. Buyers protection has to be started within 45 days of payment, in order to be eligible. Realizing that there is not enough time to confer with the seller (time-differences and pending travel), Steve decided to open a dispute with Paypal right away.

The Etsy seller (who has a 5 star review from over 4000 buyers) will have no prior communication from Steve, he will receive an e-mail from Etsy and a dispute-email from Paypal at the same time. If Steve had known about the 45 days, she would have contacted the seller earlier. If the 45 days was not in place, Steve would not have initiated a dispute at this time, but would have waited for a reply from the seller first.

So here is the question: Was Steve rude due to her bad planning? Or is it okay to open a dispute when the expected delivery has been delayed for a month without communication.



menley

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 02:36:56 PM »
Yes, that's absolutely rude. It would be one thing if she had contacted the seller and the seller refused to respond. But to open a case without even contacting the shop to see what's going on is rude.

I had a problem with something I ordered on Etsy - I contacted the seller and explained the problem, and he not only responded within 1 hour but immediately gave me a refund and shipped me a replacement. He was so nice, and I can almost guarantee that I would not have received the same response had I just jumped straight to a Paypal dispute.

singingserpent

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 03:44:31 PM »
If Steve didn't file a dispute within the 45-day limit, Paypal is going to say too bad, so sad. Steve would be out the money no matter what happens, unless the seller chose to refund. The seller may be honest, but after 45 days, you can't dispute or leave negative feedback. Hopefully the store owner will contact Steve with a good explanation as to why the item was delayed. This is a business transaction, not a social one. If the seller wants to refund and wash their hands of Steve and the transaction, at least Steve still has time to order something similar from someone else.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 04:15:12 PM »
Since Steve is coming up against the 45 day wall, I would have opened the dispute, too, in order to beat the deadline.  But I would also message the seller and apologize for not contacting them earlier and explaining about the 45 day deadline but that you hoped to get notice of shipping and could halt the dispute process.
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clio917

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 06:26:48 PM »
Well, Steve certainly won't be Etsy seller's favorite customer... But most sellers on Etsy (and especially one with 4000+ sales) should know that they shouldn't let 45 days go by with no communication. Especially since the previously agreed upon ship date had passed by two+ weeks. I agree with Outdoor Girl that the seller should still be contacted through Etsy and the dispute can be cancelled if everything resolves satisfactorily.

hyzenthlay

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 06:31:17 PM »
It's a business transaction, so no, it isn't rude.

If the seller really has that feedback then I'm sure they will not be shocked at the Paypal dispute, and I wouldn't be surprised if they apologize for the delay in the order.

Owly

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 07:12:46 PM »
I used to deal with Paypal disputes for that company I work at. The dispute is often the buyer's first contact with us (even though we can be reached directly by phone or email). I have never minded it. As long as it isn't a chargeback dispute, it doesn't negatively affect us, it's just a way to notify us of the issue while keeping Paypal in the loop. In this situation, my opinion of the customer would be based entirely on what they actually said during the resolution of the issue.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 10:44:10 PM »
This is a business transaction, not a social one.  If Paypal only has a 45 day window to open a dispute, that that's what the buyer needs to do in order to get their guaranteed protection.  I would also send an email to the seller as well, letting them know why the dispute was opened. 

A Paypal dispute also means that all communication between the buyer and seller is recorded, which protects both of them.

AzaleaBloom

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 02:25:13 PM »
Sometimes I think that with the popularity of buying directly from an individual seller instead of from a large business - such as with ebay or etsy - there is almost a blurring between a "social" transaction versus a "business" transaction.  I feel that it should all be treated as business.

So, yes, the Paypal dispute should not be seen as rude.  The buyer has to protect themselves.  And it will make the seller aware that there is an issue. 

bah12

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 02:51:07 PM »
Do I understand that the item is a month late and the seller hasn't once contacted Steve to let her know there would be a delay?  Even if Steve wasn't rushed to get it, going that far past a delivery date with no communication is bad business.  Since the dispute period is closing with PayPal, I say Steve was within her rights to open a dispute.  Hopefully, the seller comes back with a good explanation and the dispute can be dropped, but there is nothing wrong with protecting yourself during a business transaction, which is what this is. 

lowspark

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 02:56:41 PM »
I don't know if I would call it rude but it is pretty annoying from the seller's point of view. As an ebay seller, I hate it when people file a dispute through ebay without at least first contacting me to try to resolve the issue in a friendly manner. But hey, it's business. People do that kind of thing. It's annoying but oh well.

I agree though that the thing for Steve to do is contact the seller personally and explain that she didn't realize about the 45 day limit thus she felt the need to file at once. Then work toward resolving the issue.

I also agree that the etsy seller should have contacted Steve before the item was due to be shipped if it wasn't going to ship on time, regardless of Steve's statement that she wasn't in a hurry.

aussie_chick

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2013, 06:59:21 PM »
I think given the time factor, it was absolutely ok to file a dispute. However I would have immediately emailed the seller to say "Apologies for not contacting you first, however I only just realised the 45 days to open a dispute was up in case anything went awry. I look forward to receiving X soon"

I realise this is a business transaction but on sites like ebay (not sure about Etsy, i've never used it) where sellers can also leave buyers with feedback, I like to do anything reasonable to keep my feedback good.

sweetonsno

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2013, 10:43:05 PM »
I think it depends a bit. When Steve said that there was no rush, was that before or after the end-of-November delivery estimate?

If the seller said that the item would be shipped by the end of November and Steve wrote back saying, "Oh, no worries, I'm using it in a June wedding and don't need it until April or May," then I think Steve was wrong to open a dispute without first contacting the seller. If I told someone I would do something by a certain time and their response was "Nah, later is fine," I would assume that it was okay to do it by a later date.

If the seller promised the item by late November after Steve mentioned his "deadline," then I do think it was fine to file a dispute. I still think that it would probably have been better to wait for the seller's response before complaining, but I've got less sympathy for the seller if that is the case.

Pen^2

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2013, 11:15:36 PM »
If this were a social situation, then I'd say Steve was rude. But it's not social. It's a business transaction. Steve is fine. It would have been better if she'd contacted the seller beforehand, sure, but to not do so is not rude in a business situation. Steve has paid the seller to do abc according to the public rules of xyz. The seller has accented to this. The seller has then not followed those rules, and in accordance with said rules, Steve will now do the next step required of her and file a dispute. Steve is not obliged to remind the seller of the rules which the seller has available to them and which they agreed to follow when accepting payment.

Margo

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Re: Etsy shop: paypal dispute as a first line of communication
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2014, 10:21:32 AM »
I don't think it is rude, although I think Steve should also message the seller to let them know what he has done, and why.

I think that the fact the item is already a month late and the seller has not (apparently) contacted Steve to let her know about the delay or give her a new ETA would mean I would absolutely not risk letting the dispute period lapse - i think it is pretty unprofessional of the *seller* to have allowed such a lengthy delay without an explanation