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Bline posted a topic in CommunityWho doesn’t love LEGO and related innovation industries! But there are limits to our financial protections when trying to buy cool products. You can’t trust everyone. In 2019 I lost $250 CAD to i-Brix (Innovative Brix Ideas, LLC @i-Brix). This is my story. And it is not a lonely story from the naked marketplace. Police in Canada (specifically the OPP) project that 95% of fraud does not get reported! By sharing my i-Brix story I hope to educate others the way things are when using PayPal so fewer people get burned. i-Brix says on their web site: That’s some cool tech. I was keen and ordered a couple sets. I saw them reviewed and praised by reputable folks. It sounded good. There are all kinds of places to use inductive lighting in our LEGO City. We couldn’t wait for them to arrive. Life presses on. You blow past the 6 month waiting period and one day wonder: When were they supposed to arrive? You find your PayPal receipt. Excited again, you contact i-Brix for news, an update, an ETA, just a tiny morsel of information and encouragement. Err, you get nothing. You email again. Nothing. You fill out the contact form. Nothing. Not one reply. Months and months go by. You get sick of corresponding with a brick wall and fear you have been scammed. You ask i-Brix for a refund. Nothing. So you look into the matter more seriously and you discover the game. It turns out, that as you waited patiently and in good faith for the 6-month delivery date to come, you slipped past the hard deadline of the purchase protection period offered by PayPal. They would support a claim against i-Brix within 180 days after purchase, but not after. No worries, you think, my credit card company will take action for me. You call them. Once you battle through the call answer brambles and nonsense, you reach a person. You tell your story and to your surprise learn that the credit card company has only a 110 days actionable protection period. But wait there’s a glimmer of hope still: they will consider action if the merchant failed to meet a delivery deadline that exceeded the 110 day period. No worries, you think: i-Brix said plain as day on their web site that there is a 6-8 month waiting period. But wait a minute: Nothing is promised to you personally. You read again every word on the receipt. There is absolutely nothing to do with delivery dates in writing. Nothing is in writing to you in the i-Brix email replies. Oh ya, they never replied to any of your queries. At that point you feel certain you have just been scammed. Here’s the loophole that helps make this scam possible. PayPal does not give a thought to your possible financial protection beyond their purchase protection period. In one agent’s words the delivery date is “totally taken care of by the merchant.” They offer 180 days, that’s it. And when I told them about the consequences of their policy of not requiring merchants to put their delivery terms and dates in writing on their sales receipts, PayPal customer service said: Good grief. I’ve wasted many hours corresponding with PayPal, a different agent every time, but the same automatic replies: 180 days; a pleasure to assist you; and thank you for choosing PayPal. They won’t even acknowledge their hands off policy can be used as a loophole. I reckon they don’t want to increase the burdens on merchants; they might not use PayPal. When push comes to shove, and there are no i-Brix starter kits in your mailbox almost a year after ordering them, you are simply out of pocket. The kicker is that I lost the game as soon as I believed i-Brix would follow through on a delivery period beyond 180 days. Thank you i-Brix. If you want to support innovation tech, then okay, “buy” as many i-Brix starter kits that you want. But if you want to purchase a product from the company (and have some measure of purchase protection), then never commit to a purchase that does not oblige the merchant to a delivery date in writing, preferably within the protection period of your credit card company. If you use PayPal, realize that you have some protection for 180 days. But they won’t give you the time of day after that. They will thank you for using PayPal though. But they won’t consider a simply policy change that could give purchasers recourse against merchants that project delivery dates past PayPal’s 180 day protection period. Thank you PayPal. At best, anyone using PayPal to purchase from a company promising delivery of a product outside of the protection period of PayPal (or your credit card company) is just walking a financial high wire without a net. More likely, however, you are being scammed. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I won’t hold my breath. Caveat emptor / Buyer beware!