Monday, February 14, 2011


WOW….has it really been two months since this saga began?  As many of you recall, I blogged about back in November, saying it sounded interesting.  In Dec, I placed an order and they missed the Christmas/New Year’s deadline I was looking for, which lead me to Blog HERE.  I received my Asian Snakewine on January 10th, and promptly labeled it a Fraud.

What you might not know was that I started a fraud report with PayPal for “Non-Receipt of Goods” just prior to it actually arriving.  Once the product did arrive, I then changed the claim to “Damaged and Not as Advertised”.

While there were some pains along the way when dealing with PayPal (I get they are trying to get as much evidence as possible), I received a great email this morning -

Letter 1

In it, I learn that I won the case…but I would have to return the bottle. 

I would have been fine for this, except that they were wanting me to ship to France vs the place of origin, Thailand. 

This made me a little nervous, as I would be shipping un-labeled liquor, in a leaky bottle, to another country of origin.  I was in the process of contacting the USPS about this when THIS email came in -

Letter 2

I honestly couldn’t believe the gall of this person.  It’s all my fault?  Send it to another customer in the US (after I posted the condition HERE)?  I have to pay for shipping <Direct Quote from PayPal- we've determined that you'll be eligible for a refund (including handling and shipping) once you've returned the merchandise to the seller.>?  I really did think this guy is crazy….especially when you add his PS -

please could you also delete our Email address from your blog post as we have many new customers who contact us directly using this Email address, but we prefer that they contact us using the contact form on our store. Thank you for your post.

I don’t have his email address listed, only the web URL.  Needless to say, I responded that I still thought their product was a fraud and might violate US Laws (no label and the way it was shipped into the US).  I also said I was re-contacting PayPal.

Let’s just say, contacting PayPal via phone was a dream.  The CSR was very friendly and helpful, and once she understood the situation (especially that it was liquor)…she found again in my favor.  She also let me in on a little trick -

PayPal Education 101 – If you have a dispute being resolved by PayPal and they provide you an address to have the item shipped back to the vendor….ship to that address ONLY.  Any other shipments violates their terms of agreement, and they will find for the vendor. 

The CSR said this was a fairly common tactic by sellers, because they will not be held accountable or forced to pay a refund. 

After a good 15 min discussion with PayPal, I hung up feeling better…but this was compounded by the email received 20 minutes later -


Full Refund….No Action Required.



This of course leads to me to wonder, how do encourage companies to provide good customer service?  It didn’t take me long to realize Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is a company that needs more publicity, as they are a class act and are a group that understands that the liquor market is a tough one.  I blogged on them in the past, as a sign of gratitude (imagine that) they sent me some promo swag and samples.  What better way to show my support of a company that gets it….plus get the message out on this particular scam with

So, for the first 10 people that share this link on Facebook or retweet, I will send an item from the Fireball Goody Bag. 

My hat is off to them for recognizing that Blogs do make a difference, that the customer comes first and a big thanks for their generosity.


  1. In a similar case, I saw a Chinese shipper give some nonsense for a return address to my friend Chris. (And I don't mean Chinese characters = nonsense.) It just wasn't an address at all, so there was no way he could ship it and paypal refused to refund him. Pretty clever.

    But he called them, as well, and once he got a human on the phone to actually look at the evidence he was sending them, they fixed it. I think.

  2. That would be my suggestion with PayPal. Once you get a case number, engage a live person. The Human element plays heavy in your favor.

  3. This is UNbelievable! Congratulations on your victory!


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