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Purchase / Legal Position, advice required

Last week I bought a car (unseen) on eBay as a private sale having been satisfied with the very wordy description and plenty of photos of it's condition. I paid via PayPal a few days later having arranged a collection date. The purchase price was £4000. The car is a 1960's vehicle so some wear and tear was expected.

On arrival to collect the car I found it generally to be in the description as listed, but with one exception. The car been parked outside. In the listing it had suggested that it was 'under cover', but on arrival it was indeed under a breathable cover (not stated in the listing). However on inspecting the inside of the vehicle it was evident that the car had a leak somewhere around the windscreen etc as a plastic carton was placed in the passenger footwell area and was half-filled with water. On picking it up it was evident that the carpets were completely waterlogged in the front and some rust underneath was present likely as a result. Also the carpets which were loose, as i picked them up to inspect underneath, they completely disintegrated and crumbled such was the rot from the soaking wet interior. I put this to the owner that this was not stated in the listing and the owner denied any knowledge of such problem. Having studied the whole car I decided that the car was not acceptable and refused to take ownership thus informing the seller that I did not wish to proceed. He offered to reduce the purchase price but I politely declined. The owner was insistent that he wanted the car taken that day, but again I refused on the above grounds. The owner (60's) said he had sold cars for over 15 years and had never previously had a dissatisfied buyer and did not know how to proceed and I advised him that he could cancel the sale and refund through eBay. He stated that he would respond by email at which point he said, "If you walk away, we have no deal" and we shook hands. At this point I Ieft.

On returning home I contacted my insurers to notify them of the cancelled purchase and as expected they charged a cancellation fee and time on cover charge.

I also contacted eBay to request a refund, which would send a link to the seller. Having heard nothing the next day I contacted PayPal and requested to open a customer dispute requesting refund for an item not as described.

I telephoned both eBay and PayPal and neither have offered any advice other than that cars are not covered on their refund guarantee so to wait to see what the outcome of the request to cancel purchase results is, or to contact Citizen's Advice.

At the current point in time PayPal have not taken funds from my account (as payment is scheduled to be taken 14 days after purchase) and I have instructed them not to do so, however they stated that if there is no resolution then they will release the funds and seek payment from me.

I have contacted my bank and they advised that this issue 'may' be covered by the Visa payment scheme.

I have had no response from the owner.

Any consumer / legal advice or opinion is helpful. (Apart from why didn't you view it first)


Comments

  • I've heard Ebay/paypal are pretty useless when it comes to situations like this.

    Isn't your paypal account linked to your bank card? if it is and they haven't taken the money yet, cancel your card and request a new one.

    Indeed it is, but how might that resolve the issue. Would I not then be in debt to Paypal and they will pursue me for the funds.
  • I've heard Ebay/paypal are pretty useless when it comes to situations like this.

    Isn't your paypal account linked to your bank card? if it is and they haven't taken the money yet, cancel your card and request a new one.

    Indeed it is, but how might that resolve the issue. Would I not then be in debt to Paypal and they will pursue me for the funds.
    True, it won't resolve it but probably better them chasing you for the money rather than you chasing them for it.
  • Caveat emptor.

    4k unseen? Too much for an unseen purchaseI think.
  • If the car was not as described then your within your rights not to accept it and pull out. they should not be able to charge you. If they do try, get in contact with the financial ombudsman straight away and they will give you free advice / set up a complaint if needed
  • Was the sellers name Katrien by any chance?
  • It's no help you, but I'm staggered anyone would effectively give an unknown individual £4,000 for something unseen.

    Is it not possible, that the car might not have even existed ?

    Anyone can put out a glorious description and photos of a car they do not even own.

    Citizens advice bureau ? They must come across this all the time.

    If no joy, I'd get a refund from them in person and bang on their door forever until I got it.
  • If the car was not as described then your within your rights not to accept it and pull out. they should not be able to charge you. If they do try, get in contact with the financial ombudsman straight away and they will give you free advice / set up a complaint if needed

    At this moment i'm of the understanding that PayPal have not actually paid the seller and are withholding funds until a resolution is achieved. They have advised that if after 20 days, no resolution is agreed then they will pay the seller. Clearly I do no want this to happen. What seems bizarre is I can instruct PayPal to pay for something on my behalf, but not instruct them to cancel the transfer of funds at a point at which the purchase has been cancelled, unless the seller agrees to this and confirms their acceptance. So it would appear that even if the seller has not handed over said car, PayPal will still continue to release the funds.
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  • Can't really help you here, but only that I've never had any success getting joy out of Ebay and Paypal when things go wrong on there. They always appear to come down on the side of the seller. Good luck.

    Aren't they linked in some way?

  • It's no help you, but I'm staggered anyone would effectively give an unknown individual £4,000 for something unseen.

    Is it not possible, that the car might not have even existed ?

    Anyone can put out a glorious description and photos of a car they do not even own.

    Citizens advice bureau ? They must come across this all the time.

    If no joy, I'd get a refund from them in person and bang on their door forever until I got it.

    Sorry to say it but this 100%.

    Parting with £4k before you have seen the motor in the flesh is a no, no.
  • edited March 2017
    Just out of interest, what car was it? If the rust was confined to the floor pan, it's not the end of the world to replace and carpets aren't expensive. If rust has spread though it can be a nightmare to get to all of it.
  • Are you sure the payment isn't still in "Pending". If so there is a "Cancel" option if it is a normal Paypal transaction. If it hasn't left your account it ought to be still your's. If you can't see a Cancel option it must be an Ebay scam to protect Evay sellers. Don't forget Ebay own Paypal and can devise whatever tricks they want.
  • Contact Citizens Advice. Assuming it is a private seller your legal rights are significantly smaller than a typical purchase through a dealer, and you need a professional opinion on where you stand.

    I can't find any precedent of someone paying in advance of seeing a car and subsequently deciding not to take it. As it's a private sale and you chose not to pay the final balance on satisfactory viewing of the vehicle, it could be argued you knew the potential risks.

    That said, in the instance of a private sale, the car must match the description provided by the seller. Get a copy of the advert as proof, document everything that was wrong with the car that wasn't mentioned on the advert. Specifically mention the amount of discount offered as that would be deemed admission that the car had faults, detail your contact with Ebay / PayPal and any other information that may add value if you have to go to court to reclaim the money.

    If you can cancel the card so that the payment doesn't go through I would do that. It'll be a lot easier to hold on to the money than it will to get it refunded, even if it does land you in grief with PayPal.
  • This is all just speculation on my part and just to make clear I'm not a lawyer and it's all probably bullshitbon my part, but

    It sounds like the description of the car was a misrepresentation made in order to obtain money from you or another party. In which case, isn't that fraud ? And if it is fraud, surely PayPal shouldn't part with the money. Does PayPal have a fraud dept you can contact. Also I haven't checked but are they authorised and regulated here in the U.K. ? The MLRO (he'd be the person holding CF10 or SMF17 for the firm on the financial services register) might want to consider whether it would be a money laundering issue. Picking up on the comment that the seller had never had this problem before that sounds like he is a car trader but the fact that the car was parked outside suggests he may not be registered as such if it was a 'private sale'. Are you able to tell if he has other cars for sale ?. Have a word with the local Trading Standards if he has. Drop the bastard in it with HMRC as well
  • what protection do buyers have?

    The buyer protection section of the user agreement is designed to help buyers recover their money from sellers who:
    •don't deliver the goods which have been paid for; or
    •deliver goods which are "significantly not as described".

    Since 30 September 2008, PayPal will reimburse the buyer in full where the buyer makes a successful claim although there are various eligibility requirements to make a successful claim.

  • It's no help you, but I'm staggered anyone would effectively give an unknown individual £4,000 for something unseen.

    Is it not possible, that the car might not have even existed ?

    Anyone can put out a glorious description and photos of a car they do not even own.

    Citizens advice bureau ? They must come across this all the time.

    If no joy, I'd get a refund from them in person and bang on their door forever until I got it.

    Could be worse, you could be an ex Charlton legend, still talked about on these pages semi regularly who purchased a car from eBay unseen for £12K, paid having agreed a date for the seller to deliver and you'll never guess what, the seller never turned up. !!
  • As others have said; Do not expect any help from eBay or Paypal. Both are totally f****ing useless when it comes to disputes, as I found out to my cost.
  • edited March 2017
    DRASTIC, BUT IF YOU CAN'T CANCEL THE CARD, CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT TODAY ! This is a suggestion, not sure if it's the best advice, but for £4,000 ...

    Let's be honest if it was a genuine mistake on his part & he had morals he would refund the money, as he hasn't offered ....
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  • what protection do buyers have?

    The buyer protection section of the user agreement is designed to help buyers recover their money from sellers who:
    •don't deliver the goods which have been paid for; or
    •deliver goods which are "significantly not as described".

    Since 30 September 2008, PayPal will reimburse the buyer in full where the buyer makes a successful claim although there are various eligibility requirements to make a successful claim.

    In my experience with Ebay and Paypal this just doesn't happen. Ebay staff are all too eager to close cases to get the resolutions against their targets.

    If MyHermes are involved (fictional deliveries) then it's even worse as they are owned by Ebay.
  • You should have taken photos and sent these as evidence that the car was not as described.

    Still though, very silly to pay 4 Gs without even seeing the car in person. At the very least cancel your card so that PayPal cannot take the money. It will be easier for them to recover the money from the seller than you from PayPal. At the very least you know where the seller lives so if he makes your life difficult I'm sure you could find 3 large friends and pay him a visit to advise that he gives the money back to PayPal.

    Also, what's the point of PayPal having a 14-day cool-off period if you are explicitly saying you have not taken receipt of the product and you refuse to pay for it? What a load of shit.
  • you were willing take part in an auction and won and now don't like the result?
    Surely you should have at least kicked the tyres before committing to buying.
    I would think you will get your money back once PayPal investigate or the seller and you come to an amicable agreement.
  • Fiiish said:

    ...so if he makes your life difficult I'm sure you could find 3 large friends and pay him a visit to advise that he gives the money back to PayPal.

    Ooh, we've nearly got to the level of advice which includes hammering frozen sausages into his front lawn and bumming his dog.

    you were willing take part in an auction and won and now don't like the result?
    Surely you should have at least kicked the tyres before committing to buying.
    I would think you will get your money back once PayPal investigate or the seller and you come to an amicable agreement.

    Isn't this the key issue? Was it an auction or a sale at a fixed price as some things are on eBay? Surely the "rules" will be different? Where's @Bournemouth Addick when you need him?
  • cafcfan said:

    Fiiish said:

    ...so if he makes your life difficult I'm sure you could find 3 large friends and pay him a visit to advise that he gives the money back to PayPal.

    Ooh, we've nearly got to the level of advice which includes hammering frozen sausages into his front lawn and bumming his dog.

    you were willing take part in an auction and won and now don't like the result?
    Surely you should have at least kicked the tyres before committing to buying.
    I would think you will get your money back once PayPal investigate or the seller and you come to an amicable agreement.

    Isn't this the key issue? Was it an auction or a sale at a fixed price as some things are on eBay? Surely the "rules" will be different? Where's @Bournemouth Addick when you need him?
    You do make a commitment to buy after you hit the buy now button and you do have to do a similar thing when you make a payment via PayPal. I haven't a clue how that stands legally. So I probably wouldn't have parted with my money until I had seen the item and then if happy, made a payment from my phone.
    There has to be an element of trust on Ebay by both parties.
  • I would've bought the motor and made it into a Fred Flintstone car
  • I recently reported my Visa card as lost, of course the new card had a different number which meant I had to update the new number for every account linked to my Visa card.......unfortunately I forgot to notify a couple of them.
  • The bloke ought to refund the money right away. Otherwise he knows full well he is about to give you grief, and he needs to justify that somehow.
    if his justification is to simply say 'it's your look out' the he is of course being a bastard over this.
    Your bank works for you.
    They must stop the payment absolutely now, and let the bloke and paypal have the grief instead if they want that.
    As a First Direct customer I am confident that one phone call from me would stop payment immediately.
    first priority is that your bank does not pay...whatever technological 'authority' is presented, it must be over ridden.
  • Glad it's sorted.
    Just as a warning to anyone else who may find themselves in this situation I'm pretty sure my bank account and not just my card is linked to my Paypal so cancelling the card may not have stopped payment.
    I'd have closed my account and gone to another bank.
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