Woman left £400 out of pocket after being blocked for returning broken handbag
Gemma Clarke bought a Mulberry handbag which turned out to be broken, but when she returned the item to get her money back, the seller got mean, kept the bag and blocked her.
Image: Getty Images/Westend61)
A woman was left ‘distraught’ when she returned a faulty £360 handbag – only for the seller to keep the bag and refuse a refund.
To make matters worse, when the buyer turned to PayPal for help, the company sided with the seller until The Mirror intervened.
Gemma Clarke, 26, who works in public relations, bought a second-hand Mulberry handbag from Facebook Marketplace via PayPal in early February for £360.
But when the bag arrived there was a broken strap not mentioned in the ad which would have been very expensive to fix.
Gemma contacted the seller as soon as she realized the problem – only two hours after receiving the Handbag .
The original owner denied that the strap was broken during the sale, but agreed to take the bag back.
The seller had been friendly and pleasant throughout, but it got worse as soon as they got the bag back.
The Kent-based seller refused a refund and said she would keep the bag while getting advice from PayPal.
The seller initially claimed that the item “wasn’t advertised as a brand new bag.”
She then said that Gemma was “trying it on” and sold her a “perfect” bag.
The original bag listing had several photos, but none showed the part of the strap that had broken.
The seller claimed to have photos proving the bracelet was intact when sold, but could not conveniently provide them when challenged by Gemma.
When Gemma objected further, the seller blocked her – leaving her with no bag, no £360 refund and no way to contact the seller.
With no other option, Gemma filed a complaint with PayPal.
“I put the seller through PayPal because I thought it would give me protection,” she said. and close the case.”
But the case turned out to be the opposite.
PayPal sided with the seller, saying Gemma must have damaged the bag within two hours of raising the alarm with the seller.
Gemma said: “I have absolutely no interest in breaking a bag I just spent £360 on.
“I use PayPal frequently and have a very good record of selling and buying. I feel so disappointed.
“At this point, I wouldn’t even mind if I got the bag back to get it fixed, but the seller blocked me. I don’t have any money or bag. I feel like I’ve been victimized. ‘a scam and having to pay someone’s bag they broke.’
Gemma contacted The Mirror, who asked PayPal if they would reconsider and issue a refund after all.
Later in the week, the payment platform issued a full refund.
PayPal has been approached for comment.