Any tPFers in Armenia? Help needed w/post office re: thief buyer!

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm hoping we have a tPFer in Armenia that is willing to help with getting a copy of the signature from the buyer of a pair of shoes I sold. This is long, so bear with me.

    Here is the story: I listed a pair of YSL boots on ebay during the first week of December, hoping to sell them before the holidays as I knew it would be a busy time and I would be out of the country. They didn't sell, so I figured I'd wait until the new year to re-list them. An ebayer in Armenia contacted me and asked if I would sell them for the starting bid price (including shipping) and she was willing to purchase outside of ebay, and I hesitated, but decided to go ahead. She paid on December 10, I shipped on December 11. Well, due to the holidays, the item was seriously delayed. It got delayed somewhere between outbound US international hub and Armenian customs. I got a message from the buyer on December 28 saying that she hadn't received the boots (I was still out of the country). I let her know that the holidays and weather conditions were causing lots of delays and that the post office suggested that I wait at least another week or so. She then said that if the item didn't arrive by Jan 3, she wanted a refund. I let her know that I would be checking on the item and doing the best I can to keep up on it, but that I could not issue a refund at that time, that would be ridiculous as it was on the way to her and I was sorry for the delay, but that she would just have to be patient.

    She decides then to not wait until the 3rd and files an INR case with Paypal on the 30th of December. Meanwhile, I frantically open an international trace/loss case with the USPS and get a case number. They tell me it would be 23 working days to complete the investigation as they would start in the US and work to communicate with Armenian post. I send several messages to the dispute system including this. She then tells me she will escalate the case if I don't provide a document from the USPS with the case information. The USPS tells me that they don't do that, but if the buyer wants to call with the case number, they can confirm. She does not accept this and escalates. Paypal says they will investigate and have an answer by 30 days. I hope they will give the parcel some more time to get to Armenia. Surprisingly, they also do not give me any time to provide more information with regard to the trace or for the item to arrive and they grant the buyer her refund of $400.00. Furious, I call Paypal and they tell me that since there hasn't been any updates online that they refunded the buyer regardless of the trace I had open or the holiday and weather delays. They tell me if the item shows delivered via online tracking I can open an appeal.

    The item finally shows up as leaving Armenian customs on January 15. I wait several days for it to show as delivered and it doesn't. I send out an email to Haypost (Armenian postal service) customer service with the tracking number and try to get an update on delivery status. They email me back with confirmation of delivery to the buyer which includes the her name and the tracking number. Encouraged, I call Paypal. They had me forward them the email (which had their logo, customer service phone number, etc. on it) but tell me that they don't accept anything but online tracking as emails can be "faked". I am also told that "in the future, you should not use USPS for international deliveries." which I find absolutely insulting considering they don't say that anywhere on their site or terms. So I send another email to Haypost asking if the delivery status will update online. They send me another message saying that it wouldn't, as they were having technical difficulties with their online tracking system. I call Paypal with this information, and the rep I talk to is sympathetic and says that she will open an appeal anyway to see what happens and would send a courtesy email to the buyer saying that they have information that the shoes had been delivered and to repay me the money she got back. (Too hastily, in my opinion!) She also tells me that I should send her an invoice for the $400.00 hoping it would push her into doing the right thing. The buyer later cancels this invoice (!) and sends me a short message saying only that Paypal closed the case and never refunded her! I call Paypal the next day to let them know this and another sympathetic employee is floored by this assertion and tells me to send her another invoice and she would send another message to the buyer asking her to repay me and would cc me in on it, which she did, but that she doesn't think the appeal will be found in my favor as, again, online tracking does not show delivered status. The buyer does not respond. Again, I get an email from paypal saying they couldn't grant my appeal as I don't have confirmation of delivery. (Email from PO, apparently does not suffice.)

    Yesterday, FINALLY online tracking via Haypost AND USPS updates to show delivery on January 16. Hooray, right? Well, wrong. I call Paypal to open the appeal again and they refuse since it doesn't say "signed for". I tell them that this is ridiculous and I've been fighting tooth and nail for this transaction which has screwed me in every way and that paypal keeps unfairly moving the goalposts. Both the agent and the supervisor I asked to speak with tell me that I shouldn't use USPS to send international items. Again I tell them that this is ridiculous and the 3rd time I've been told this by paypal agents and that it's insulting to tell me this after the fact and since it's not mentioned anywhere on the site or in the terms. The agent gets defensive says "we didn't say it's not your CHOICE". They also tell me I shouldn't do international transactions (!)

    So, to sum up, I need to find a way to get a copy of her signature from Haypost. I've asked for it again via customer service and was told I'd have to fill out some form to appeal to the Haypost CEO. They don't attach a form and none of the forms on the Haypost website are in English. Paypal knows that they were hasty in refunding her and now any money I would be entitled to would have to come from them, most likely and they aren't too eager to do that. I'm SO exhausted and frustrated by this whole situation.

    Any other advice or help would also be appreciated! If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!
  2. What USPS service did you use to ship them?
  3. Priority Mail International.
  4. Does international priority mail even collect a signature on delivery?

    You've made many calls to PP but have you gone up the chain of command?
  5. No, International Priority doesn't require a signature; I don't think you can even insure it.

    I'm not familiar with Haypost, so maybe they got a signature anyway? You can keep calling PP to see if you can find someone who will help, but without the signature, there may be no way to get your money back from the buyer.

    I would certainly post her eBay ID so that she can be added to people's BBLs though.

  6. I've spoken to several people, all who told me that I could appeal the decision "only if online tracking shows 'delivered'" (their words). It does now and they've now changed their tune saying that "it doesn't say 'signed for'". The last time I called I asked for a supervisor. After a long wait he parroted exactly what the employee I had just spoken with said. Right down to the "you shouldn't use USPS for international shipments" and finally "maybe in the future you shouldn't sell to people outside of the US. It's a lot of trouble."

    She would have had to have signed something due to the value claimed on the customs form. I claimed full value. Armenian post customer service says that I have to fill out a form to get this information and send to the CEO, but have not attached such a form and all forms available on the website are in Armenian. I've asked for the required forms, but I've not received anything yet.

  7. Can't seem to multi-quote on my phone, so please see my response to BB above. I am pretty sure they did get a signature. I'm just having trouble finding a way to get it.

    Her ebay user ID is: Kristina0080
    Block away!
  8. The first person (or people) you spoke to who said this are incorrect; orders over $250.00 need to have a signature that's viewable online.

  9. So, even if I am able to jump through even more hoops and get a copy of the document with her signature sent to me, it will be of no use? This whole thing is insane. I've never had anything like this happen to me. I've called and opened traces, I've emailed, I've had them update delivery status online finally, I've put countless hours into this, when really I could have just flushed the $400 down the toilet to begin with and would have been no worse off. It just all seems insane to me. SHE knows she has the shoes, her post office knows she has them, PayPal, really, knows she has them and basically who cares Because her signature isn't viewable online. I can't believe PP was so hasty to refund her. I'm just sick over this.

    I thought about filing a complaint with IC3, but at this rate, why bother?!
  10. If the signature is viewable online (I don't think they'll count scanned documents, but it really just depends on who you get on the phone), you'll win the appeal and be refunded.

    I would definitely go ahead and file a complaint with IC3, and I would also let the buyer know that you're doing it.
  11. Many years ago now, I sold an item to a buyer in Austria. For reasons only known to the Post Office, the parcel was router via AUSTRALIA before being redirected back to Austria. This obviously took some time and the buyer opened "not as received" in the meantime. Due to the timescales, the buyer won the claim.

    The item was fully insured and was sent with signature required. A few weeks later I noticed the tracking had updated to delivered in Austria. Contacted the buyer and they denied all knowledge of receipt. Appealed to paypal and appeal denied as no online signature viewable.

    So I opened a claim with our Post Office. A couple of months later they sent me a letter confirming delivery, stating where and when the item had been delivered and who had signed for it.

    Faxed it off to PP and got my money back.

    Buyer then contacted me to apologise - his girlfriend had apparently taken delivery of the item months ago, forgot to tell him and it was in a cupboard. Yeah right. More likely you thought you'd gotten a free item!

    Anyway, it took several months and lots of paperwork but the right thing was done in the end. Any chance you could get the email you have been sent put into paper form and then send it off to PP?
  12. I would not give up. I would file all the reports that I can and keep calling paypal. Ask to speak to a supervisor and then if that one is of no help, ask to speak to who is above the supervisor.
    Appeals are always hard to win, because Paypal has to refund out of their own pocket and they will do whatever the can not to refund and make you jumps through hoops after hoops. You have to be persistent. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  13. Almost same thing happened to me a couple of years ago.
    I sent an item via registered mail to USA and tracking never updated (also hurricane in the way?!). Buyer didn't receive it and won Ebay claim. After two months it finally re-appeared, I called the buyer's local post office asking to recall the package. They said they would have sent it back to me but the next day they delivered it! I sent a lot of emails to ebay and finally they gave my money back. (BUYER GOT TO KEEP BOTH HER MONEY AND THE ITEM).
  14. Oh that's a shame. I know PP made my buyer pay as the buyer told me their account was now in the negative (and I hope flagged their account as the letter from the Post Office confirmed the parcel had been delivered just before the claim closed so showed that the buyer was being slightly less than honest!)
  15. Thank you both for your replies. They encouraged me slightly to not give up, even though I feel really defeated. :flowers: I will continue to call Paypal and be a thorn in their side until someone does the right thing here. I've been a PayPal/ebay member for SO LONG with an excellent track record. To be screwed over like this really hurts. I'll call PayPal again today and get a little more pushy.

    I have filed a complaint with IC3 and I have let the buyer know this, even attaching the confirmation of receipt of complaint filing I received. I doubt this will be enough to rattle her. I've been very matter-of-fact in my communications with her. Forcing myself to remain non-emotional in my emails.

    Again, I'm pretty certain Armenian Post got her signature. I've received an email from them saying this today:

    Dear Customer,

    We would like to inform you, that on the basis of your e-mail we don't have the authority to provide information with the recipient's signature, to do this you should complete an inquiry form or submit an application form(in English) after our Chief Executive Officer Haik Avagyan.

    But again, I am unable to get them to provide me with a form so far. The Haypost website has some pages translated to English, but none of the forms are, so it's been very, very frustrating.

    Thanks to all who have chimed in.