Welcome to the Question2Answer Q&A. There's also a demo if you just want to try it out.
+5 votes
2.3k views
in Plugins by
edited by

Hi everyone, in the light of recent events I thought it is a good idea to list fraud customers that buy plugins or themes, pay using Paypal and then revert their payment - of course after the download - without stating any reason.

Unfortunately, Paypal just reverted the payment - also without any reason.

To protect developers, it would be good to have a blacklist:

removed due to reasons given by Funrunna below


Well, I am disappointed because I thought people would behave fair.

Regards,
Kai

 

by
Very Bad .. this is not fair to refund the money after purchasing a digital item .
by
Are you 100% sure you can not ask PayPal to cancel the refund of digital item? I've read in some forums when it comes to these items PayPal always sides with the seller. I've no proof of that, though.
by
God... I so wish that were the case pupi. I lost 100 hard-drives and proved signed for postage etc. PP and ebay effectively told me how sorry they were but.........?
by
Sorry to hear that. Btw, when logging in into paypal and clicking on "open cases", then on "Respond" the last item is "Unauthorized case initiated" (Buyer). Then I click on "Resolve Claim Now", which leads me to a page with 3 options/checkboxes:

> How would you like to resolve this issue?
* Provide Shipping Information.
* I have not shipped the item and I will refund the payment.
* I have refunded the payment for this transaction.

There is nothing else about digital products. It is all about proving the sending of a product. What a shame.
by
Update: It could be that the buyers used stolen debit cards or paypal logins.
by
I think you can do little background check before you deploy your goods... Like get their information first and check on the website, domain registration and so on? then deploy your goods... just an idea...

On Funrunna comment, he is absolutly right... You cannot list people name, that would casue a lawsuit issue... :)
by
Indeed... Possibly stolen identity, is another very good reason why naming and shaming, isn't a good idea.

2 Answers

0 votes
by
selected by
 
Best answer

Not really a good idea!!!

@Kai...
 
I can quite understand your anger and frustration over this but sadly, you are very open to litigation for publishing this...
 
No one would argue that this could be an act of 'deliberate' fraud, However, the law in many lands state that rules differ for goods sold online, rather than through say a retail outlet, where a 'product' item can be seen and judged fit for purpose etc.
 
When was the last time you saw a list of rogue customers, posted by any company/business???
 
@amiyasahu
 
Again, I do understand the frustration... But... Let's say you ordered a digital envelope, but received instead, a digital pen. Would you think it it harsh to refuse to pay?
 
It doesn't matter if one is selling digital media, or 'shoes' via ebay for example. The fact remains, that the goods are sold 'unseen' and therefore a customer is granted the right to say the shoes don't fit, or I ordered red or simply that metaphorical 'sandals' in the arctic, are not fit for purpose? 
 
The 'value' of digital media is very subjective and although a piece of software may indeed, fully satisfy the purpose stated in it's sales/promotion literature. A 'customer' can still say it is insubstantial or otherwise not 'fit' for purpose. Or simply, not worth the money. Just as an online buyer might fault shoddy workmanship, inferior materials or that sandals are simply not shoes, as reason enough not to pay... I do agree, it may not always be fair especially. if one sells what they believe, is a reasonable product at a reasonable price and clearly described etc.
 
To publish a list of buyers who retract a payment, will cost the 'publisher' more than the loss of revenue for the item on sale... None of us can clearly say the buyer did not have 'legitimate' reasons for retracting the payment? Most trading countrie's laws, state that it is not compulsory to give a reason where goods are sold unseen and so. Naming and shaming 'defaulters' is very, very unwise. Unless one is prepaired to pay heavily for claims of slander, defamation of character and a whole host of other possible charges that will cost a 'seller' much more than the cost of any loss through a dead sale. 
 
P.S. Insurance companies don't publish the names of questionable claimants, or even those found legally guilty of fraud... There is good reason not too!!!
by
The only possible practical solutions I can think of include:

1.  Don't release the item until payment is cleared and funds are in your own account.

2.  Build in a 'time-bomb' i.e. Software fails to function after say 30 days, if certain conditions of use aren't met. Effectively, 'trial-ware' becomes unconditional when payment is cleared.

3.  And much less obvious... Don't publicise to everyone else information that might tempt them in turn, to place an order, then withdraw payment!!! Not everyone is dishonest, but equally, not everyone is honest either.

Hope the feedback helps?
by
Thanks @Funrunna ...
by
@Funrunna Regarding your comments:

1. PayPal's refund policy seems to be 60 days. Nobody will buy something that will get 60 days after

2. Most likely the best way to go. But PHP makes it very hard to make that scheme bullet proof

3. Not sure if I agree on that. Collectively providing ideas to solve an issue is much better than just not mentioning it in the hope that other potential dishonest people fall in the same behavior. In fact, your comment #2 is the result of not respecting #3 :D
by
@pupi

I too think that my point No 2 Is probably the best course, even considering the 'extra' work it entails and also noting your comment about PHP... Perhaps a good reason why something will cost $20 and not 10 at the end of the day?

Re; your #3...

Collectively providing ideas to solve an issue, is sound logic... I would be the last to dispute that. It is one thing to discuss a hypothetical case for study. because the given 'case' is only a possible scenario and it is fair game to tackle the subject in advance.

My #2 does indeed contravene my #3... But I mentioned it in the spirit and respect of your own #3. It reminds me, that it is not always easy to do good in the snake-pit of legality issues?
+3 votes
by
edited by
Definitely a dalicate issue. I hope I can answer so that anyone (regardless of their technical knowldege) can understand.
 
If buyers are scared of buying and sellers are scared of selling then there will be less plugin and themes around. We all lose. I'm going to explain this in very simple terms. I can see 4 different scenarios here based on honest/dishonest and buyer/seller combinations. The goal is that honest buyers (ideally) get the product they look for or (at least) don't lose the money and honest sellers (ideally) get the money and (at least) don't give a working product for free.
 
I don't think the goal can be achieved by any system. The only way is being good people and acting ethically. Assuming the world won't change from one day to the other, I will answer trying to decrease risk as much as possible to both sides (it is very important to keep that in mind).
 
Now, it seems this simple rule, 100% based on common sense, is clearly not respected by PayPal allowing dishonest buyers to ALWAYS get back their money AFTER receiving a working product. This absolutely breaks the rule in favor of clients.
 
I'm not going to defend the opposite either. If PayPal did not allow clients to refund their money on digital purchases the rule would still be broken again, this time in favor of sellers.
 
In any case, PayPal has chosen a side, so there is no point in arguing what should PayPal do or not but rather how can we lower the risk from both sides as much as possible.
 
So PayPal allows clients to always refund payments for a 60 day period after the purchase. Clearly, if a seller gives a working product to al client before those 60 days, they will be in this same situation in which dishonest clients can always get their money. Following this reasoning (and this is the part where I get the downvotes) clients can not receive a fully working product in those initial 60 days.
 
But here is the catch. By a not fully working product, I don't mean buggy or with less features, I just mean a kind of trial version that will stop working after 90 days (this is the part in which you whish you could double downvote my answer). In day 61, if the seller does not get a refund request, then he sends the fully working version of the product. In this schema, clients can do whatever they want during the first 60 days. If they are dishonest they will refund and after 90 days the product will no longer work (no gain for them). If they are honest and don't like the product, again, they can refund and they will not keep the fully working product.
 
Of course, this raises this obvious issue: an honest client wants to keep the product after those 90 days and then the risk will be on his side instead of the seller. True (downvote tsunami). But here I'm going to play again my "decrease risk" card. After those 60 days, the seller knows nothing about the client. And you might be tempted to think the buyer knows nothing about the seller but this is not true. The buyer DOES know the seller created a product that satisfies his needs. It is there, the client is already using it.
 
In this approach the rule can still be broken. However, the risk of it being broken is considerably decreased. The seller does not gain anything from not sending the fully working product on day 61. The seller already has it and it just means sending an email, providing a download link or whatever. As a side note, the seller might also lose future sales or even reputation in this forum, if he uses it.
 
So this is just a suggestion or idea to get rid of dishonest clients (dishonest sellers are already handled by PayPal's refund policy). This should only leave honest clients and honest sellers (including both, the ones who will send the fully working product on day 61, which they had already developed, and the ones who don't).
 
For developers: I guess these trial versions can be the original code, including a few time checks and then obfuscating the code. I'm not sure if there is another approach to this when using PHP but it should work for most users. Even if they are developers and manage to deobfuscate the code, they will have a bad time debugging it if the code is long enough :)
...