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Old 08-13-2009
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Default Tips on taking your eBay / PayPal complaint further

Version: 24/7/09


NOTE: There are many hyperlinks within this document which provide further detail on the points mentioned. They may not appear due to technicalities with submissions to this site, however the advice is also available in the Word document, correctly formatted and therefore easier to read, here - How to sue eBay or PayPal in the UK - Penalty Charges Forum

See DISCLAIMER below before deciding how to proceed with your claim.

Legislation may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at the time the guidance was produced. It is not necessarily comprehensive and is subject to revision in the light of further information.

Only the courts can give a definitive interpretation of legislation.

This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to, nor substitute for, the relevant law. It is based upon a Trading Standards Officer’s opinion as to the legal position. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the profession. Independent legal advice should be sought where appropriate.

A number of consumers online are asking ‘Can I sue eBay?’, ‘Can I sue PayPal?’, ‘How do I sue PayPal?’ or ‘How do I sue eBay?’. If you have an eBay or PayPal complaint that you would like to resolve, this guide will attempt to answer those queries. Courts should be the last resort but should this be necessary you will find details of how you can progress a claim against eBay or PayPal.

Blogs are very useful for tips and contacts, but for impartial, free legal advice you may want to consider contacting the Government helpline Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 (calling from a mobile?) should you require further advice on any of your consumer rights mentioned below.

Even if you don’t want any advice it pays to inform Consumer Direct of your problem because Trading Standards have access to all of these complaints. Trading Standards monitor these complaints to identify common complaints, causing the most detriment to consumers. They can not resolve every individual problem but are able to target their resources to explore ways of overcoming those systematic issues affecting the many.

You’ll find some tips on resolving your issues below:

Problem with purchase?
• Paid directly with credit card? Consider a section 75 CCA 1974 claim if goods cost over 100, even if only paid part of cost on credit cards
• Paid with debit card or credit card for goods under 100? You may benefit from your bank’s chargeback protection. Also see PayPal guide on chargeback
• Paid by PayPal – If not covered by seller or buyer protection, you may make a claim under the PayPal Buyer Complaint Policy – 13.10
• Report seller to Consumer Direct

Problem with eBay? eg. overcharged on fees, account unfairly suspended, ebay refused to provide seller’s contact details (see FAQs below for advice)

You’ve emailed? You’ve phoned (020 8605 3000) and faxed (020 8605 3001)?
What’s next?
Well, you have 2 routes to resolve it:

Send a Letter Before Action. Although your contract is with eBay Europe S. r.l., Luxembourg you will be able to serve your letter on their UK office (eBay, Complaints Department, Hotham House, 1 Heron Square, Richmond upon Thames, TW9 1EJ)

In the letter, clearly set out:
• your dispute,
• your rights (NB: Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit TSI site) – also check OFT guidance if they appear to be using a term in their listing that you feel is unfair
• how you would like the issue resolved
• and give 14 days for a reply before you consider court action,
The letter should be sent recorded delivery, keep a copy of it and the online proof it was signed for – the courts will want to see your reasonable attempts to resolve the issue.

ONLY after your Letter Before Action consider 2 or 3

Although your contract with is with eBay Europe S. r.l., 15 rue Notre Dame, L-2240 Luxembourg, you are entitled under the Hague and Lugano conventions to file a claim in your local County Court (but see Money Claim Online below) and serve papers on relevant offices for the company in your own country. When submitting a claim against eBay the main defendant will usually be eBay Europe S.a.r.l c/o eBay (UK) Limited, Hotham House, 1 Heron Square, Richmond upon Thames, TW9 1EJ.

eBay has numerous registered companies, which can be found on Companies House, however not all of which are relevant to the site. Should the judge disagree that the ‘Hotham’ address is relevant, you may consider the following alternatives: Ebay (UK) Limited, 5 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3TW OR Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1EH (registered address for Paypal (Europe) Ltd and Paypal (UK) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay Inc). Evidence of it working in practice against PayPal.

The courts should be familiar with the rules around suing foreign companies, but should the courts query how you can sue a foreign company and serve papers on a UK address there is some guidance on the civil procedure rules that explains this and the rules themselves. The relevant sections are:
• CPR 6.6 – see 6.11
• CPR 6.11 – your contract with eBay (term ‘Governing law and dispute resolution’ at bottom of User Agreement: “You and eBay both agree to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts”) and Paypal (term 14.3 ‘For complaints that cannot be resolved otherwise, you submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts’) allows you to make a claim in the UK. Those residing in the UK other than in England, were this questioned by the courts, should argue that a term restricting your ability to claim in your local court is unfair and so void under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 – see 17.4 of OFT guidance and top of pg 107 of Annexe for example of what OFT consider to be fair term. Unclear terms are to be read in the consumer’s favour and one could argue that ‘non-exclusive jurisdiction’ permits the consumer to choose courts other than in England and Luxembourg.
• CPR 6.23 - Address for serving court papers is eBay, Complaints Department, Hotham House, 1 Heron Square, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, TW9 1EJ
• CPR 6.33
o (1) it IS a civil claim relating to a commercial contract within the financial limits set down for the county court
o (a) you’re not already suing them somewhere else
o b)(i) they have office in UK
o (ii) Article 16 not usually applicable unless you are disputing misuse of your trademark (s.4). Schedule 3C, section 4 - Article 13, para 3, and Article 14 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgment Act 1982 are relevant.

Most eBay / PayPal claims will typically be straightforward claims for financial compensation and so it would be recommended to use Money Claim Online – easier and cheaper. This appeared to work well for user variousdruid - here. You don’t need solicitors and wouldn’t get such costs back anyway, other than the fixed 50/80 cost as applicable, but if you insist check out or your local CAB (some have duty solicitor rotas), CLS or LCF

If you are unsure whether your claim may be successful and do not wish to risk court, complain to the UK European Consumer Centre on 08456 04 05 03. They have a relationship with Luxembourg’s ECC which may resolve your complaint with eBay’s Luxembourg head office.

Problem with Paypal?
You submitted complaint via PayPal's online system and unhappy with the response. The following are thought to be the most helpful: Executive Escalations

If poor response THEN try:
Tel: 08707 307 191 & 0208 6053000 Opt 1=Customer services

Assuming none of the above worked, if you have a claim against PayPal you have 5 routes to resolve it:

Send a Letter Before Action (as advised above with eBay) to PayPal Complaints Dept, Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1EH and copy to

NOTE: not enough room to post whole advice – see top hyperlink
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Old 08-13-2009
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I think Ebay/Paypal would have a better case against me than I have against them lol.

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Old 08-13-2009
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If the money "stolen" is great enough I suppose the time (money) spent trying to bring a suit against eBay/PP could be worthwhile, but I think in most cases, it's wiser to cut one's losses and move on. Stay positive. Don't dwell on the loss. Don't stay angry. Relax. You're going to build it even bigger and better this next time around.
Heights by great men reached and kept
Were not obtained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

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