Consumer Credit Act 1974

  Gary Wood 16:55 23 Jul 2007

I am currently having problems with an eBay seller from whom I purchased some ink cartridges advertised as genuine Epson.

I received the cartridges have been confirmed by Epson to be counterfeit.

The eBay seller agreed to a refund if I returned the cartridges. He has confirmed by email that he has received the cartridges back, but he has not yet returned my money and I am having problems getting hold of him.

I intend to raise this as a dispute through PayPal, but I suspect, since the same seller now appears to be operating under a different eBay user ID, that his PayPal account will have a nil balance and that even if I win the dispute with through PayPal I will not receive my money back.

So, my question is this: since I paid through PayPal using my credit card, do I have protection via my credit card company under the Consumer Credit Act, in the same was as I would had PayPal not been involved (i.e. if I'd bought goods directly from a retailer)?

Many thanks in advance for any advice.


  €dstowe 16:58 23 Jul 2007

The definitive answer can only be given by your credit card company.

Contact them by phone via the Helpline number on your credit card and explain the situation. They are very helpful in cases like this.

  Gary Wood 17:00 23 Jul 2007

Thanks, €dstowe.

I do intend to call my credit card company to check, but just wanted to get straight in my own mind what the law is first, so they can't fob me off!


  Forum Editor 17:43 23 Jul 2007

to make a direct purchase you are protected. Whether you enjoy the same protection when using the card to pay via a third-party like PayPal is a moot point.

My advice is to pursue the matter via PayPal. Legally your purchase contract was with the seller, and you are protected by consumer legislation, but that's often not much good if you can't trace the seller. This is one of the risks you run when buying things that look like bargains - they're often not a bargain at all.

  Gary Wood 18:12 23 Jul 2007

Thanks, Forum Editor.

I have the seller's name and address and a contact telephone number. I called him for the first time today, but the person I spoke to said they were not themselves the seller and asked me to call back. When I did call back the same person said they said they had checked with the seller and that I can expect to receive the money in the next couple of days.

So, I'll wait and see if that happens and then raise an issue with PayPal if not. I will also phone the credit card company if I have to raise the issue with PayPal, to check what its position is.

Has anyone else experienced a problem similar to this?

  spuds 22:28 23 Jul 2007

If you contact PayPal they will initially refer you to the section in their terms and conditions regarding payments made by credit cards. They (PayPal) like you to contact your credit card first. If you put in a dispute procedure with eBay, they will transfer the claim to PayPal, who may charge an administration fee of perhaps £15.00. Best to check all this out, before you officially place a dispute tag on the sale.

Was the seller registered as private or business, and what were their feedback rating. Sometimes a large feedback rating can provide vital evidence in disputes.

  Gary Wood 22:52 23 Jul 2007

Thanks spuds.

I will probably raise the issue directly with PayPal should the need arise, though I'll check out the terms and conditions first to make sure there's not going to be an administration fee. I also intend to contact my credit card first anyway to see what assistance they can offer.

The seller was registered as a private individual and their feedback rating, on around 220 sales was 100%. Interestingly, since the time I contacted the seller to report the counterfeit cartridges, a number of other people have left negative feedback on his account saying the cartridges are counterfeit.

The seller is no longer offering the cartridges for sale under the eBay ID I purchased them from, but another account now exists, registered just a few days ago, offering what appears to be exactly the same cartridges, with the same wording and photos in the listing. The account is registered in the same town. So, it would seem that the seller has created a new account.

As noted above, the seller has suggested that I should receive my refund by Wednesday this week. I'll post back here as soon as there are any developments.

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