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

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By Christopher Elliott

Mark Sund orders commemorative coins and uses PayPal to pay for them. But the seller never delivers them. Can he get a refund from PayPal?


I recently ordered 10 Silver Eagle coins for $232 and used PayPal to pay for them. But 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


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. (Related: I didn’t make a PayPal donation. So where did my money go?)

PayPal offers a guarantee that when you use the payment system, and you don’t receive what you ordered, it protects you. It should have fully investigated your claim, found the tracking number and verified the delivery. Instead, it appears PayPal dismissed your complaint. (Here’s our guide on how to get your money back from unauthorized charges on your PayPal account.)

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 an AI handled — or should I say mishandled? — your case. (Related: This PayPal invoice scam almost got me. Here’s how to spot it.)

Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

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 site, Elliott.org. It has a responsiveness rating of 3 out of 5, which is just OK. I might downgrade it if we get many more complaints like yours.

My advocacy team and 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.”

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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