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Advice: PayPal and Unauthorized Funds

Edit: I followed PayPal employee snapcat's advice and brought it up to the commissioner. They said there was an issue with the bank and resolved it from there. Thanks for your time and advice, everyone!


Greetings, everyone.

On August 9th, I received an email from PayPal. My real name and the commissioner's email are replaced with X's.

Hello X,

It has come to our attention that you may have received potentially unauthorized funds in your PayPal account. We have initiated an investigation into this event. In the meantime, we have placed a temporary hold on the funds in question until the investigation is complete. This temporary hold will show as a deduction in your available balance. In the meantime, you are free to continue transacting using your PayPal account.Transaction Date: Jul. 16, 2011 11:45:12 PDT
Transaction Amount: $30.00 USD
Payor's Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xx
If you have questions, please reply to this email.

Thanks,

PayPal




The transaction was for two digital colored sketches, if that is of any significance. There are notes documenting the commission's reception: one asking for a small change and another thanking me. These can be provided upon request.

This is my first issue with PayPal, and I am uncertain about what to do. I've emailed them twice asking for clarification (once on the same day, and once on the 16th), but have received no response. I know it has yet to even be 20 days, but I am getting nervous and I know nothing about what happened. I searched around for some answers and did not come up with much useful information. However, from what I gathered this issue sounds like it is on the client's side (correct me if I'm mistaken on this) and that I'm likely not to see the funds again.

I'm sorry if the solution is obvious. I would really appreciate some advice and people here tend to be quite knowledgable. Thank you!
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Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
filthy_animal
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
I would say call them directly. You get a pin code on their contact page somewhere when you find there number, specific for your account for when you call. I had to call them for another issue the other day, and they were really friendly and helped clear it up right away. C:

Good luck!
celestinaketzia
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
I would call them asap. From the sounds of it, the person or whomever is in charge of their bank account/ debit card/ credit card is claiming that the transaction was not authorized. If you call Paypal and they verify that this is the case, then I would get in contact with your commissioner and back up EVERYTHING. If the commissioner acts odd about this, then I would contact Paypal and tell them that you do have proof that the transaction was authorized.

Edit: I should also note that the last time a commissioner did a chargeback on a bunch of artists, the artists in question were charged back -double- in order to cover the fees. I would definitely be wary about this.

Edited at 2011-08-29 12:32 am (UTC)
connorgoodwolf
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
You can dispute a charge back though. It's not like a charge back means the commissioner was in the right. If paypal investigates and the charges were charged back out of buyer's remorse, then the commissioner will be charged all fees associated with the charge back if they've already received the item or services were performed.
millislim
Aug. 29th, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
This maybe true but if the double charge back overdrafts your account you could be looking at crazy fees up the wazoo from your bank which can be a mess to get reversed
0acorn0
Aug. 31st, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
Does not always work. I had $230 in chargebacks applied to my account by a commissioner. When I disputed them, they still found in the buyer's favor even though the work had been completed. There's a post about it on here.
carms_lady
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
It sounds like the payer canceled their payment to you? The letter is a little ambiguous as to what exactly happened. Anyway, from previous experience with Paypal and screwy payments/payers, I would get on this stat. The sooner Paypal hears the whole story, the better the odds of getting your payment. As long as you did your part of the art exchange, and the payer received his/her product, you are in the right and payment must be made. Try not to get it in the mediation stage. Good luck!
kayla_la
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Have you tried contacting the commissioner about all this.. ?
pleasenottoday
Aug. 30th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
I wanted to hold off on this until I had more information about the situation. The letter was so vague and I wasn't sure if they could do anything, so I didn't want to involve them immediately. I've contacted them now, as it seems they are the one who can fix this easily, so we'll see if they pull through for me.
skulldog
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
I had a similar issue pop with two payment in the same month once. Usually it's not always the person that paid you directly, but someone that paid THEM in the last few months, and did multiple charge backs, Paypal sometimes come after the last person to get money in a chain like that.

One, call Paypal, and two, let the commissioner know about this.

I was able to have both my holds lifted in less than 24 hours after talking to both Paypal, and having the sender also call in regards to the hold. Both of them had no idea what was up, and both where people that commissioned me multiple times in the past, so I don't think they did anything to trigger this.
ladysnakebite
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
This happened to me once. I contacted the buyer about it and refunded/canceled the transaction. The buyer said it must have been because they were using someone else's account. They tried a second time, from what I assume must have been their own account, and everything went through fine.
connorgoodwolf
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
You're extremely lucky Paypal did not freeze your entire account. If you receive too many fraudulent transactions, your whole account can be frozen for around two weeks. I know this from web hosting where kids, script kiddies, etc will try using paypal as a means to use a credit card without authorization.

Damn good thing you're in the fursuit / retail biz or your account would've been completely frozen.

Just wait it out, Paypal will get it resolved. They're probably having the credit card issuer contact the individual responsible for the card.
celestinaketzia
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
I've had a similar issue pop up with Paypal. They -did- freeze my account, and it was a huge hassle to get it back. I had to submit documents to prove that I was the person I said I was. OP, I am glad that you do not have to go through this. It makes me very nervous to have to send my personal info to anyone.
greenreaper
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
I feel your pain. I was out of the country when they did that with me. Sooo much hassle.
sushidragon
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
I had this happen with a commissioner a few months ago. We think it might have been because I'm in Canada and she's in Australia and I rarely receive payments from there. For my part, I explained that it was a digital item and there was nothing to ship (they were asking me for shipping information), and she had to provide identification and answer some questions. In the end the 'investigation' took two weeks and the payment was refunded to her account, but went through when she tried sending it again.

I agree with calling PayPal about the issue. Good luck!
rizzy_rau
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
I had this happen a while back and its frusterating e-mails wnt go answered you'll need to call em directly to sort it out
meguroco
Aug. 29th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
Like others have said, CALL THEM DIRECTLY.

Paypal hardly answers e-mails, and they're much more responsive and helpful on the phone.
frazzled_niya
Aug. 29th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
Calling paypal, yes do it. They are pretty good over the phone :)...and yes contact the commissioner and ask what happened...

Seems a bit dodgey though o_O;
ogawaburukku
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Someone else mentioned something along these lines, but earlier in the year I was having a heck of a time getting payments sent to a company in southeast Asia. I had the money in my bank, I had the money in my paypal account, but paypal froze my account (well, made it so that I could not withdraw money or send money... I could fortunately still send it). They made me jump through all sorts of hoops because apparently I was randomly inspected for security reasons, likely because I was sending $150 to a random tiny island I don't normally send money to. In the end I just cancelled on the company and paypal never sent my payment. The company wasn't too happy because they had already started working on my request... Bad business sense on their end to not wait until a transaction is complete, but whatever. It was actually kind of a lucky mishap on my end, but I wonder if something similar is going on with you. I couldn't call paypal because I live outside the US and don't have international calling on my phone, but if you can find out what country the money is coming from, that might also help.
snapcat
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
I work in fraud at PayPal
The thing to remember is that for this payment, the issue is on the Buyer's account. There is nothing wrong with your account or what you do. The buyer did not report this transaction as unauthorized. Every transaction goes through security to ensure that the funds are 'good'. Its most likely that the buyer sent that payment from an inconsistent log in session (different location, computer, college dorm (with a home address on file). All the buyer has to do is log on to their account and resolve it there.

You would be covered under seller protection if you had mailed out a finished product with tracking, but because this is a digital file, your only hope is that the buyer resolves the issues with their PayPal account. Again, you did nothing wrong and as others have mentioned your account WILL NOT be frozen.
lackoflollies
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I work in fraud at PayPal
So if I log in to paypal from my boyfriend's place to send him money, and he's right there, there's a chance my account could get flagged?
snapcat
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Re: I work in fraud at PayPal
If there is a concern that there is someone else logging into your account, then for your security there may be a temp hold on your account until you change your password and security questions. Better safe than sorry.
lackoflollies
Aug. 29th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: I work in fraud at PayPal
Gotcha. It's nothing a simple e-mail and change won't fix. Okay, I was afraid it'd be locked and i'd be unable to use it x.x
crssafox
Sep. 1st, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: I work in fraud at PayPal
I agree better safe than sorry, but I had PayPal put a temporary hold on my account when I accepted a payment in Atlanta (I live in Florida) via a mobile app. It got flagged as suspicious activity even though I was using the device my account was linked to and everything. I couldn't use PayPal again until I got home and changed my password and called them to verify. Pretty annoying. :\
pleasenottoday
Aug. 30th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
Re: I work in fraud at PayPal
Oh, good to know. I've contacted the buyer and pretty much copy-pasted your reply. Hopefully they're okay with doing a little work.
I sure like this option because no phones are involved, heh.
pokecharm
Aug. 30th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
I have issues with them pretty frequently - I would call, over e-mail, their customer service reps can be very helpful and explain things. Otherwise the electronic communication is questionable.
crssafox
Sep. 1st, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
Add my voice to those that are telling you to call them. I haaaate using the phone, but PayPal's customer service team is usually pretty good. (Though I managed to get one baddie out of the bunch...)

I had an experience with a hold "unauthorized funds" when a customer had bought something, received it, left me positive feedback, and they still found in his favor for some reason. When I called PayPal, they said it was because he had been using a "stolen" credit card. What baffled me, though, was that the e-mail I was sent said that all of the information was verified. This is where I went round and round with an unhelpful rep; she just kept saying "but it was stolen," when I pointed out to her that when I see "verified," I'm going to assume that -they- had done the verification and that the customer was using his own card. Eventually I got a supervisor that agreed, said that technically they still needed to show in favor of the customer, but she credited my account. It was a small amount - all of $22 - so they had no problem doing that for me.

They really do want to help you out, they are making money off of every transaction, after all. So give them a call to figure out exactly what's going on. :)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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