First, wake up and check your email, only to realize in a groggy haze that there are two emails from Ebay confirming your purchase of “Genuine Apple Lightning Sync & Charger USB Data Cable for iPhone 6 5s 5 iPad Air” and “BALENCIAGA Arena Triple White Low Trainer/Sneaker Size 4/37”. Do a double-take and question your sanity and/or the likelihood of your sleep-shopping, given the improbabilities surrounding a purchase of shoes which (i) look quite good such that they are something you could plausibly have bought consciously; and (ii) are in your size. Look at the timestamps on the emails and laugh, because they show that the purchases were made at 8.30 a.m. That wipes away any possibility of forgotten purchases, because you are never awake at 8.30 a.m.
Second, consider the possibility that these were purchases that never went through, such that you will not actually have lost £258.90 on a pair of sneakers that you never wanted. Look at your email and realize that the £3.59 for the Apple cords has in fact been refunded by PayPal. Great. If the converse were true and only £3.59 was outstanding, this hassle would definitely not be worth it.
Third, log into your online banking system and gape in shock at your available balance standing at £0.00. Freak out a little at the thought of potentially incurring overdraft penalties through using Apple Pay (linked to the same debit card) 15 minutes earlier in Cafe Nero for your daily soy latte. Immediately transfer £100 from your savings account to the current account – and then another £100, just in case.
Fourth, call Ebay and rant about this incident. Resolve the issue in 15 minutes and feel good about yourself – the promised email telling you that the account has been secured arrives and you cross your fingers that the refund will also be forthcoming in the next few hours, although it is likely that it will probably be in the next few days. Make a note on your iCal to check your HSBC bank balance again two days down the line.
Fifth, the next day, because you are an impatient bastard, check your HSBC bank balance online again and realize that nothing has changed. Feel disgruntled and call Ebay again, and retell the story – apparently, despite the operators telling you they need to put you on hold so they can “put down some documentation to avoid you having to repeat details to the next operator”, nobody knows anything you tell someone else. You would have thought that big companies like PayPal or Ebay use Google Drive.
Ebay will tell you that they really can’t do anything about it, since this was routed through PayPal – and that you should call PayPal to sort it out. They’ll give you a direct number to call PayPal though! (As though you couldn’t have googled it yourself). Great, but not sure why they didn’t mention it yesterday.
Sixth, call PayPal, who puts you through two separate operators before realizing that they can’t do anything either because you don’t have a PayPal account – you (or the hacker) used a Guest Account, whereby PayPal is only a platform to link Ebay and your debit card! Guess you’ll have to call your bank.
Seventh, grudgingly call your bank. Have the bank tell you your account balance through the automated system, even though you just want to speak to a fucking operator. When the operator comes on, tell her your story (for the fifth time today). She will sympathize with you, which will be appreciated, although she will proceed to explain that your options are: (i) to cut the card, since its details have been compromised (which also, incidentally, has nothing to do with a refund); (ii) wait for the pending payment of £258.90 to be accepted by the seller on Ebay, whereupon the bank can dispute the payment (and in the meantime indemnify you for the money, and claim it from the seller once it’s confirmed that the transaction is unauthorized); or (iii) contact the seller directly to have them reject the payment, so the money just reverses back to your account. Explain a little impatiently that Ebay wiped all your messages and transactions when they reverted the compromised account to you yesterday, meaning you have no access to the seller’s details. She will tell you very patiently to call Ebay, because they must have the seller’s contact details.
Eighth, call Ebay again, and tell them you are back after going to PayPal and HSBC – and that you just want the seller’s details. They will hem and haw a bit, and then say that PayPal ought to have reimbursed the money – you will protest that PayPal explicitly said they would not do that, because you only have a fucking Guest Account. The operator will give you a string of letters and numbers representing your “PayPal Transaction ID”, and tell you to call PayPal and have them arrange for the refund “because that is their responsibility“. You will agree frustratedly, and press for a last time for the seller’s details. She says to you: “meganp9495”.
Ninth, you go to Ebay, and search for “meganp9495”. This seller ID no longer / does not exist.
Tenth, you call PayPal and go through two different operators, the final one of which tells you he will set up an investigation and report this to the police because “we take this very seriously“. You ask how long it will take for the money to be refunded – he says 7-10 days, but “probably in the next two days, usually“. He does not explain whether it is PayPal that is cancelling the transaction and therefore reversing the payment, or whether PayPal is indemnifying you for the loss. You ask him agitatedly whether you will get an email with all these details and he says yes.
Eleventh, you wait for this email. It still has not arrived. You do have, luckily, another string of letters and numbers representing PayPal’s pending investigation so you can always go through the hoops again to ask about the status thereof.
Fuck you, Jaden from Tonbridge. Why do you even want £258.90 sneakers from Balenciaga?!