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'I bought a faulty hoverboard from a company on eBay, but now it has vanished and I can't get a refund'

Holly Thomas
The reader bought her grandson a hoverboard, which later turned out to be faulty - Copyright (c) 2015 Rex Features. No use without permission.

In September I bought my grandson a hoverboard for his 10th birthday. I bought it on eBay, but as a brand new item from a company, rather than an individual. It cost £134.99 via PayPal.

Sadly for my grandson, the hoverboard stopped working less than three months later. The company agreed to repair it, so I sent it to them. A few weeks later, I received a used hoverboard in another colour. It stopped working after 30 minutes.

I tried contacting the supplier again but it stopped listing on eBay and ignored every single email. I filed a dispute with eBay, but it refused responsibility. I then filed a dispute with PayPal, but it also refused responsibility.

I tried a Section 75 claim with my credit card provider, but was told that such claims are not eligible for PayPal payments. Please can you help get a new hoverboard for my grandson?

PD, East Sussex

I tried to contact the original seller but had no luck – it seems to have disappeared into thin air.

I spoke to a hoverboard trade specialist who anecdotally told me that many online sellers appear in the run-up to Christmas, trading in items that appeal as gifts. These merchants often sell faulty goods, leaving buyers in the lurch when they disappear.

EBay stands by its decision to reject responsibility because you were outside the 30-day eBay Money Back Guarantee window. PayPal told me that it rejected your initial dispute and appeal on the basis that the item had arrived in working order and the fact that it malfunctioned later was a product warranty issue.

Section 75 doesn’t work where payment is made using PayPal, because it counts as an agency, breaking the connection between the credit card company and the retailer.

However, when I asked PayPal to review your claim, it discovered that you hadn’t in fact used your PayPal account to make this purchase, you had used your credit card and PayPal had simply acted as the payment processor – which is why the PayPal name appeared on your credit card statement.

Even though this meant your Section 75 claim was legitimate after all, PayPal has agreed to refund your money to save you the bother. You are delighted with the outcome and looking forward to purchasing a new, working hoverboard for your grandson.