Last November, Mr. Guffey listed his laptop on eBay and sold it for $611. The buyer paid via PayPal. In April, Mr. Guffey saw that PayPal had taken the $611 out of his account. He contacted the company and learned that the laptop purchaser had asked to reverse the charge, via a chargeback. This surprised Mr. Guffey since the buyer had never made any complaints about the laptop, and presumably had been using it for nearly six months.
Mr. Guffey decided to play Inspector Gadget and contacted the buyer, Larry Andrick. But it turned out that Mr. Andrick wasn’t the buyer at all. As he explained to Mr. Guffey, his identity had been stolen. The laptop purchase was made by the thief, and PayPal had funded a buying spree by extending the thief a credit line under Bill Me Later, a PayPal service that is instant credit minus the plastic.
The Haggler lined up four candidates that could have potentially been stuck with the $611 bill –Mr. Andrick, the woman who allegedly signed for the laptop upon delivery, Mr. Guffey, and PayPal — but didn’t provide a legal analysis.
The Haggler also wrote that he sensed something was wrong with “the reality that PayPal, Bill Me Later and eBay operate under one corporate umbrella,” but couldn’t quite put his finger on what that something was.
LASIS to the rescue.
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