This post in an update with regards to my broken Aladdin and this will turn to quite a bit of PayPal bashing. PayPal did not read my email or see my pictures and just gave automated answer: please return the item to get a full refund. Thank goodness now PayPal has a hotline manned by humans (wow.. can't believe that there is something positive about PayPal).
The person who spoke to me apologised and mentioned that my email was completely ignored during the case review. After reviewing the case on the spot, I was informed that I should get a police report. I was like WTF?? Item was damaged on transit and I don't think the bastard seller was trying to scam me. There was nothing criminal here so why should the police be informed. I called them back to argue and the girl told me "Oh previously someone brought in police report as evidence so I expect you to do the same". What the shit man seriously! The girl finally relented and said I could give any 3rd party documentation to verify the damage (read: I am not lying and trying to scam). I tried the post office which obviously could not be bothered about uninsured goods. A letter from comgateway was the best thing I could muster (well, it will be another story at another time about comgateway).
After providing the 3rd party documentation etc, I received an email on Sunday stating that the case was closed in favour of the seller. I emailed PayPal yesterday which was ignored and today I decided to call them again. Thank goodness their hotline operates until 10pm on weekdays. It seemed that the case was closed 10 days after their automated reply to return the item. Since no tracking number provided, it was taken as if I did nothing and case was closed. F.U.C.K Y.O.U!
I restrained myself from screaming at the poor guy who received my phone call. Well, it was not his fault so I tried to just sound distressed but not angry at him. I told him that now I ended up worse that what I started. Initially seller offered me USD 70 partial refund. Of course why should I paid USD 30 for broken pieces of porcelain or for return shipping for that bastard's poor packaging and idiocy not to insure a fragile item? That was why I seek PayPal's help. And now PayPal is telling me that I pay USD 100 for broken porcelain! What help was there?
The guy checked the case and it seemed that he had an "Oh shit" moment when he saw that I did provide something (which was obviously ignored by the dispute department). He said he would need to review and call me back in an hour. In the end he did not call me back but emailed me that out of courtesy, PayPal refunded USD 70.
Yeah.. so that is how helpful PayPal is. Wasted my 2 weeks and all my effort and in the end I am back to square 1: paid USD 30 for broken porcelain. Seriously, they should bloody review disputes on a case-by-case basis! I know there are a lot of buyers who scam etc but that is not my predicament so I am going to put that aside. I am writing from a perspective of a buyer at a losing end. Suppose a seller genuinely makes a mistake by sending a wrong item, why should the buyer have to pay return shipping to get it exchanged with a correct one? Suppose a seller packs an item poorly, does not insure it, and item arrives damaged, why should the buyer have to pay return shipping for seller's mistakes? Suppose a seller is a bastard who is deliberately sending a damaged item, did PayPal even try to get seller's proof that they did not send a damaged item right from the beginning? All the trouble will be at the buyer's side: pay return ship, or make police report, or bla bla bla.. So much for Buyer Protection pui!
Honestly, we desperately need a PayPal alternative. Now if there is an option to make a payment directly with my card, I will choose that over stupid PayPal. Not gonna feed them with my money anymore whenever possible!!
One last interesting thing which I think is worth sharing, the guy told me that I could have kept the return shipping receipts and asked for PayPal to reimburse... Hmm.. Hmm.. I told him this was not communicated to me! If this was communicated from the start, of course I will return the broken shit back immediately! Let's see whether this would work although I hope I will not have a similar experience anymore.