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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 37810
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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This is a little complicated so bear with me. I asked PayPal

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This is a little complicated so bear with me.
I asked PayPal to resend a receipt for a purchase I made. (I need the receipt for a warranty issue and the original was lost when my home was flooded during Irene.) I gave them the transaction number, date, etc., etc.
First they stated they resent it. (But it never came)
Then another department said I needed to verify my account, (which I did)
After that they again stated they resent it. (But it never came)
Then another department said I needed to verify my account again, (which I did)
But after the second verification, ALL of my account history back to 2007 disappeared from PayPal Records.
Additionally, when they started responding to my e-mails, ALL of the date and time codes that appear on the send and reply data have been redacted with ###### (as if they are trying to cover their tracts. I have copies of the earlier e-mails saved in my AOL account that shows the time and dates of all of my previous e-mails.
Now when I send a question about this, my e-mails are BLOCKED and are bounced back. I never was foul or derogatory in my texts.
My question: Can I sue them in small claims court?
My damages would be not being able to have my $2000.00 plus in windmills replaced under my warranty.


The PayPal user agreement disclaims all warranties, either express or implied. The service is offered entirely "as-is." There is no promise that PayPal will maintain account information on your behalf. Consequently, if PayPal doesn't produce it to you, then it's not liable, because it never promised to save it for you in the first place.


Also, the user agreement requires arbitration for all disputes with PayPal. So, even if you could bring a claim against them for not producing the account history, you would be unable to use small claims court. This is actually a good thing, because you would probably never be able to sue PayPal in Vermont small claims. You would have to sue them in California.

PayPal is not a bank, and it is not subject to most ordinary federal or state regulation, except for flatly fraudulent or criminal activity. However, PayPal is what is known as a "third party payment processor," and, under IRS regulations it must maintain the monetary record of each transaction for six years, though the detail is the amount, date and time of payment and transaction payor and payee.


So, if you were to sue the vendor for breach of warranty, you could subpoena the third party payment processing info from PayPal, and it would have to produce at least that much info (because it must have the information).


I don't know if that would be sufficient to get you what you need to solve your warranty issue -- but that would be the limits of what you could obtain under the circumstances.


Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.


Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have read something like that.

However, I was hoping to do something, short of a subpoena, to break their balls a little to push them to get me the copy.

I believe the problem is NOT that they won't release it, but instead I am stuck in a loop of confusion with their overseas customer service drones who have no idea what I am asking.

If the legal department has to get involved, that might get someone with intellagence to "with a few strokes of a computer keyboard", resolve the situation verses having to spend hours of their time responding to whatever measures I can throw at them.

In my experience, in order to get a legal department of a large corporation to pay attention to a customer complaint, you must actually provide a reasonable likelihood of or actual legal action (and I worked 10 years for a Dow Jones 30 multinational which is considerably larger than eBay/PayPal -- so I have some experience with this sort of issue).

So, if you want to push PayPal's buttons, then you will need a lawyer to draft a "nastygram," and send it to your adversary -- because PayPal legal is not going to put any resources into considering your issue, unless it looks like there is a real legal controversy pending.

If I were representing you, I would probably write something about the company disclaimers not being to overcome the obvious fact that the corporation has willfully destroyed potential discovery materials in violation of the California Civil Discovery Act -- and that this, alone, may provide sufficient grounds for legal action, despite the disclaimers which would ordinarily protect the corporation.

That would probably get someone's attention, because only a lawyer would be able to understand what I'm talking about and the potential risk involved. Maybe after that, in house counsel would tell customer service to "Just give the customer the damn account info," because it's not worth my time to have this sitting here unresolved."

Hope this helps.
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