By Jason Stoogenke
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Before Christmas, Action 9 started investigating complaints from customers who felt cheated after ordering Reborn baby dolls online. The dolls they received looked nothing like the ones advertised on the websites they purchased them from.
Since then, roughly 100 people who bought the popular dolls — dolls that are supposed to appear so lifelike they look like actual babies — have contacted Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke from 30 states plus Canada and England.
“I was very upset because I was bamboozled,” Rebecca Medley said.
“I am so disappointed,” Diane Perkins said.
They all used PayPal, so they asked the company for help. But some say it gave them the runaround.
“My biggest issue was that they kept stalling,” Kasia Kozicka said.
“It’s been over a month of you going back-and-forth with the dispute,” Jeannie Good said.
Many told Stoogenke that PayPal wanted them to send the dolls back at their own expense, which, in most cases, would have cost more than the dolls themselves.
“It just wasn’t worth it,” Medley said.
She said PayPal offered her half of her money back and that she took it. She still feels stuck, and so do the rest.
“PayPal should be refunding their money … they’re the ones where the money goes through and gets distributed out,” Medley said.
“The point is we paid for these dolls and we can’t even go to PayPal to get our money back,” Lacey Hill-Wells told Stoogenke.
The images on the left are the dolls consumers thought they were purchasing. The images on the right are what they received.
Stoogenke contacted PayPal and asked if it’s going to stop doing business with the doll websites or take any other action. He and the company went back and forth, exchanging 12 emails over about four weeks.
PayPal did provide a general statement but refused to answer specific questions. Finally, PayPal told Stoogenke, “We have nothing further to share.”
Below is PayPal’s general statement:
“At PayPal, we have a zero-tolerance policy on our platform for fraudulent activity, and our teams work tirelessly to protect customers against anyone attempting to defraud well-intentioned individuals. Nonetheless, we always encourage customers to be vigilant online and to thoroughly research the merchants they are buying from. Additionally, our Customer Service team is available to help buyers understand our PayPal Purchase Protection policies and process for submitting disputes or claims.”
Stoogenke suggests using a credit card for online purchases because it may be easier to dispute charges.
Baby doll disappointment: What you see isn’t always what you get