By Grahame Anderson

Take away worker Mohammad Faraji from Wallsend is being pursued by debt collectors for £19,000 after his six-year-old son accidentally purchased a monster truck on eBay.

Truck mad Ario unbeknown to his dad had been browsing behind his back discovering the laptop had been left open and logged on. Within minutes the buy now button had been pressed on an impressive looking vehicle without the youngster realising what he was doing.

Not A Toy

But this was certainly not a toy as 45-year-old Mohammad quickly discovered on receiving a confirmation email over the agreed transaction. Unable and unwilling to pay the huge amount, he tried to have the purchase cancelled. But PayPal insist he still owes them the money, and instructed a debt recovery firm to pursue him for the full amount.

He explained: “I’ve used PayPal for over 10 years but I’ve just been buying £4, £10, £20 items, never anything like this.

I know it’s my fault that I hadn’t checked my laptop and that it had saved the password – my son is only little but he’s clever for his age and good with computers. He loves monster trucks, and the 29th of March is his birthday, on the 28th he said he wanted a truck, but I never guessed he wanted to buy a real monster truck for himself.

“It was my mistake and I will pay a penalty if I need to – but not the full amount.

“I haven’t got that kind of money in my bank account, and nobody in their right mind would buy a car for that much money without seeing it, but it still went through. For the amount of money they sent, there should have been some kind of extra security.

“People use PayPal because they think their money is safe, you think if something goes wrong you can cancel it and get your money, but that’s not what has happened.

“It’s unbelievable that PayPal would pay it without sending any notification or contacting me to find out if I wanted to pay that amount of money. They didn’t keep it in payment pending or need any confirmation from me.”

PayPal Insistent

PayPal still insist Mohammad should work with eBay or the seller to resolve the problem, but he argues it’s an issue with the payment system, believing large and unusual payments shouldn’t be made without a more robust checking procedure.

It seems once a customer makes a purchase on eBay and pays for it using PayPal, they receive emails from both PayPal and eBay confirming the transaction.

PayPal’s email to the customer following a transaction highlights the customer has 180 days to open a dispute in the Resolution Centre and also explains the process for contacting the seller directly.

If the purchase was made in error, PayPal recommends contacting the seller directly to try to secure a resolution in the first instance.

People’s Money

A spokesperson for PayPal said: “PayPal never loses sight of the fact that we are entrusted to look after people’s money – we take this responsibility very seriously and have a robust process in place for purchases made in error.

“If this is unsuccessful, the buyer should contact eBay’s customer services team and work with them on solving the specific issue.”

Mohammad added: “Ario has been banned from using the laptop but I’m getting more and more stressed every day as this has been going on for months. I’m terrified of having to pay off the massive debt.”