You can claim a Paypal refund, but getting priceless items back can be harder
I paid to have some old negatives scanned, cleaned and put onto CD at the end of November last year. When I heard nothing after three weeks, I sent emails, which all went unanswered as have all my efforts since. Paypal has refunded my £36 but the seller still has my negatives.
Mr Emmerson was able to claim his payment back through Paypal’s buyer-protection scheme but it’s the missing negatives that have upset him. He told us many of these were family pictures from the mid-1960s and 1970s. They are, of course, irreplaceable and we have no idea why the seller is ignoring his requests to return them. Mr Emmerson could travel up to Lancashire where the seller lives to try to retrieve this but this would be a 400-mile round trip for him.
There is also the possibility that the negatives were not delivered. But if he is not replying to Mr Emmerson’s emails then it is hard to know.
We advised him to send a registered letter asking for the return of the negatives. If he has no response he could then use the small-claims court, but putting a price on the negatives will be problematic. He may well win his case as the seller breached contract if he has the negatives but this is not a matter of money for Mr Emmerson; he just wants his negatives back.
We have emailed the seller to ask him to please get in touch with us as we are sure he would return the negatives if he has them. We will update you if we or Mr Emmerson hear back from him.
We have had no response from the seller and Mr Emmerson has still not had his old negatives back.
He had been refunded by Paypal for the cost of the scanning, but his main concern is getting the negatives back, many of which are irreplaceable.
He could now take the matter to the small claims court but he will have to decide on a reasonable value for the loss of the negatives. Even if he did win, getting the money from the losing party can be difficult.
We can only advise people in these circumstances to be very careful about whom they entrust treasured memories to. You may get a monetary award but, like Mr Emmerson, may lose something that actually means more to you.
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