Problem Solved

His Silver Eagles never landed. Can PayPal get him a refund?

Mark Sund orders commemorative coins and uses PayPal to pay for them. But the seller never delivers them. Can he get his money back?


Q: I recently ordered 10 Silver Eagle coins for $232 and used PayPal to pay for them. I never received them. I contacted the seller multiple times with no result.

Once I disputed the transaction through PayPal, the seller responded to them with tracking information. According to the seller he shipped with UPS, which states on the tracking information that the package was left on my deck. I don’t have a deck. The only accessible delivery location is the front door.  

I feel this is a fraudulent transaction. The seller gave a fake UPS tracking form to PayPal. I would hope that PayPal would investigate further. The seller never responded to my requests for tracking information or order status.

PayPal’s website is difficult to navigate once they have closed a dispute. You can’t talk to a person. Can you help me get my money back? ~ Mark Sund, Las Vegas

A: The Silver Eagles should have landed on your front door as promised. I would have been suspicious of a UPS “document” that said the package was delivered to a nonexistent deck, too. And PayPal shouldn’t have arbitrarily closed your case and made it difficult for you to appeal the decision.

PayPal offers a guarantee that when you use the payment system, and you don’t receive what you ordered, you are protected. It should have fully investigated your claim, found the tracking number and verified the delivery. Instead, it appears PayPal dismissed your complaint.

My advocacy organization receives a lot of questions about PayPal’s complaint system. As far as we can tell, the system is almost completely automated and arbitrary. Maybe your delivery problem got handled – or should I say mishandled – by an AI.

There actually is a way to appeal your case. You can send a brief, polite email to one of the PayPal executives I list on my consumer advocacy PayPal has a responsiveness rating of three out of five, which is just okay. If we get many more complaints like yours, it might get downgraded.

I contacted PayPal on your behalf. A few weeks later, I heard back from you.

“I just had communications from PayPal, and they have reversed their original decision and resolved the issue in my favor,” you said. “Thank you.”


Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy (, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at or get help by contacting him at

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