Is This Legal? (ShopTo Redirecting PayPal Funds)

8
Posted 2nd Sep 2019
Hi,

So here's my newest tale of woe:

On February 18th, I put a pre-order in for a copy of 'Catherine: Full Body' on the PS4. The total was £41.57 but because it was a preorder, payment was not to be taken until the item was ready to be shipped.

Fast forward to today and my cocker spaniel-like attention span has seen me completely forget my preorder. In the interim though - - actually on the day 'Catherine' was to be shipped - - I did place another preorder with the ShopTo. This second one was for a copy of the 'Yakuza Remastered Collection' due for release February 2020 and because I had some excess funds in my PayPal account, I decided to pay the £42.53 there and then.

Fast forward to today and I find a copy of Catherine pushed through my letterbox. Checking both my bank account and PayPal accounts though, I can't find any sign of being charged the £41.57 that was due. After an interminable dialogue with ShopTo, Halifax and PayPal involved, here's what happened...

When the time was due for the 'Catherine' payment, ShopTo instead used the funds I had already given them to cover the 'Yakuza' purchase. This was instead of them initiating a second transaction with which to take the money they were owed. According to the ShopTo rep, this has left me 94p in credit with their system (42.53 - 41.57) although they don't mean that as actual 'spendable' store credit or ShopTo reward points. No idea. Apparently, once I return the copy of 'Catherine' , the money will be refunded back to cover the 'Yakuza' order. I doubt it'll be that simple though as looking my account page, it states that my copy of 'Yakuza' has already been shipped and delivered (again, the game is not out until February 2020).

I should also stress that at no point did ShopTo make any efforts to notify me of this redirection of funds. Not in advance and not after the fact; had I not looked at my bank and PayPal accounts, I wouldn't have even caught on to their actions.

Finally, I want to point out that ShopTo didn't do this simply because the funds weren't available. The 'Catherine' transaction was due to come from the same PayPal (and attached bank) account as the 'Yakuza' one did. There were funds available but rather than process the two separately desired and stated transactions, they pulled this stunt.

Now normally, I'd just go about my way and silently seethe at the rigmarole of it all. What has gotten my goat though is that speaking to the ShopTo rep, the onus to sort all this out is on me. The supposed best course of action is for 'Catherine' to be returned and the refunded money to be automatically put back to fulfill the 'Yakuza' preorder. Before I even discovered what had happened, I was leaning towards returning Catherine anyway (and so, I'm happy enough to pay the £2.50 P&P). What gets me is that speaking ShopTo, I was made to feel at blame for this entire fiasco. Surely, a company their size would be able to handle what is a relatively simple pairing of transaction. Moreover, is the act of redirecting my money without my consent even legal?

So, what do you think? Is it legal? Do I have any recourse if and when ShopTo fail to revert the money back to the proper transaction? Has anyone had any similar experiences whether with ShopTo or otherwise?

Thanks for reading,

-Matt
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8 Comments
I don’t see what difference it would’ve made to you to be honest. If anything they have done you a favour by taking those funds now, rather than hold on to both payments.

My guess is that Shopto have to put funds in a holding account if you choose to “pay immediately” for a pre order. My next guess is they automatically take payment from those funds if any payment is outstanding, in this case the pre order payment for PS4 Catherine.

I don’t understand why you’re unhappy with the way it has been processed. Would you really have preferred that they took a separate payment for Catherine and still held on to the other money until Feb 2020? I know what I’d prefer...
Edited by: "JohnnyRoller" 2nd Sep 2019
JohnnyRoller02/09/2019 18:12

I don’t see what difference it would’ve made to you to be honest. If any …I don’t see what difference it would’ve made to you to be honest. If anything they have done you a favour by taking those funds now, rather than hold on to both payments.My guess is that Shopto have to put funds in a holding account if you choose to “pay immediately” for a pre order. My next guess is they automatically take payment from those funds if any payment is outstanding, in this case the pre order payment for PS4 Catherine. I don’t understand why you’re unhappy with the way it has been processed. Would you really have preferred that they took a separate payment for Catherine and still held on to the other money until Feb 2020? I know what I’d prefer...


It's more the fact that no notice was given to me that they had redirected the funds. I would have thought that such a thing would just be simple due diligence. And I generally do prefer to pay for things in advance. Swings and roundabouts, I suppose.
The fact it left you in credit but they didn't notify you is ridiculous. This is such a basic thing to implement, there is no need to pool the funds. I don't see this being illegal though, just frustrating.
jamie1502/09/2019 18:20

The fact it left you in credit but they didn't notify you is ridiculous. …The fact it left you in credit but they didn't notify you is ridiculous. This is such a basic thing to implement, there is no need to pool the funds. I don't see this being illegal though, just frustrating.



Yeah, the 'illegal' thing just came about after having consulted a few people around the watercooler. Probably was a bit of bombast but hey, at least it provided this post a 'clickbaity' title.

My concern as things stand now is how well the refund goes. Looking at my account page, it appears as if ShopTo's system -- having pooled funds from the Yakuza transaction -- is now reading that as being completed. Doesn't bode well for its eventual arrival with me. The fact that the refund from Catherine is due to be placed back into ShopTo's holding account also worries me a bit. If their system is reading that a transaction is already complete and yet still has the money to hand, well, the fatalist in me sees a major headache on the horizon.
Edited by: "CoffinMatt" 2nd Sep 2019
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Return the game, cancel your other preorder, if not refunded in a week, do a PayPal claim, leave a bad review, use someone else.
Shopto's customer services are horrid now. I've had abuse privately on twitter after I tweeted them a question on a preorder price. Avoiding them at all costs now.
dav3duncan03/09/2019 22:15

Shopto's customer services are horrid now. I've had abuse privately on …Shopto's customer services are horrid now. I've had abuse privately on twitter after I tweeted them a question on a preorder price. Avoiding them at all costs now.


Wow. From an actual representative of the company?
CoffinMatt04/09/2019 21:32

Wow. From an actual representative of the company?


Their actual account. Started asking me about Thegamecollection and where they were from etc. Almost hinting something was dodgy. Shopto couldn't fathom why they were cheaper for pes2020. Ridiculous.
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