I'm looking for some other perspectives here because I've never been in this precise situation before but the whole thing has me feeling pretty suspicious. The situation is around mid November I was looking for some car parts, nothing crazy just some poly bushings if that makes a difference, I googled around for the part I was after and found a website selling them and placed an order through paypal. I got the usual automated emails right away from both the website and a receipt from paypal, the money was taken out my account. The day after I got another automated email telling me the shipment was on its way. This email has shipping numbers, DPD logos and all the usual delivery stuff on it.
At that point I pretty much forgot about it for a couple of weeks as I often do with online orders until the date I wanted to start work on fitting the parts started coming up and I remembered nothing had shown up yet. It's not that unusual for car parts to take weeks to arrive so I wasn't that fussed but fired off an email to the customer service address on the website which got me another auto reply saying "we're under stress due to covid please give us 72 business hours to reply". I give them another week and get nothing but radio silence.
At this point the deadline is coming up and I just want the parts, I go get them somewhere else and open up a paypal dispute over the missing order since I made a good faith attempt to speak to a human and find out what was going on and got nothing back. Another week of me focusing on other stuff passes and I finally get an email from them saying;
Thank you for the order with us, unfortunately our system has detected a high level risk of fraud with this order. For us to process the order we need a copy of your passport and driving licence and also a utility bill dated within the last 3 months.
I believe you have opened a PayPal case with us as you have not received the items however, if you wish to not send us over the documents, we will need to refund the order for you, but first would need the PayPal case to be cancelled.
Please let me know what you wish to do.
This is throwing up all sorts of red flags for me. I made the purchase on my own debit card not a credit card, my card has never been flagged for fraud before now, I went through paypal which should on its own be enough security against fraud on my part and mostly the whole thing about asking me to drop the paypal case. At this point I want nothing more from these people other than my money back and I absolutely do not want to send them copies of my ID which seems mad for a simple sub £80 transaction. The whole thing stinks, if they thought I was the shady one they could have not taken the payment and contacted me declining the transaction and inviting me to get in touch and jump through their hoops. Instead, they took the payment, stayed completely quiet until I contacted them and started a paypal dispute and apparently the order they sent me delivery dates and shipping numbers for now never actually happened?
I guess what I'm asking from anyone who has had a similar experience is this whole thing about dropping the paypal case BS? These people have been nothing but shady at this point and I don't want to be the first one to put down my gun when I can just continue the paypal route and get my money back through them.
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