Issue with Cancellation Refund for Undelivered Prepaid Phone with Telstra

I'm looking for an advice on how to get my money back from Telstra for the phone order that has never been ship and was cancelled:

  • On 30.10.19, I ordered a prepaid phone from Telstra website (Samsung Galaxy A20 for $179, meant to be a present to someone) and paid with PayPal.
  • The next day I got a message from Telstra that my order was put on hold because I provided a PO Box address. I went to Telstra chat and cancelled my order, the rep provided the cancellation reference number.
  • One week later, having not received a refund, I filed a dispute via PayPal and gave them that cancellation reference.
  • While I was waiting for an outcome, Telstra called me a few times to tell "they are working" on my case
  • Today - three weeks later - I got a canned response from PayPal that they deny my claim: We received a response from your merchant and have also reviewed all the details of your claim. Based on the merchant’s response and the information we have to date, we'll have to deny your claim. This decision was made because your billing dispute doesn't match our qualifications for a billing dispute.

So far, no phone and no refund. What are my best options to deal with this ridiculous situation? I'm prepaid to file a charge-back with my credit card company, although I imagine PayPal will lock my account. Should I take it to ACCC as well? Ta.

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  • +5 votes

    You got an order number or anything? If so, Pm it to me

  • +1 vote

    Tio would be all over that.

  • +2 votes

    Nah there’s been heaps of issues with dispatch of hardware for a while. It’s all over the place

    • +2 votes

      I see, but to me, it's even less of problem with Telstra than that with PayPal. PayPal should have refunded me and then sort it between them and Telstra (who has in turn clearly confirmed the cancellation of my order). From now on, I'll be using my credit card directly where possible and avoid PayPal.


        A credit card charge back will still take at least a month to be settled, in my experience.


          Had it been eventually approved though, or denied without grounds, like in my case with PayPal?

          • +1 vote

            @uk3000: Mine was approved. I was just pointing out that if you're trying to hurry up your refund, a credit card chargeback also isn't quick.

            Anyway, your problem is with Telsta, not PayPal, so you should take it up with the TIO.

            Also, I've heard that PayPal will terminate your account if you do a charge back (but I see another poster below didn't experience that).

      • +1 vote

        Did you use a credit card with PayPal? If yes you can still dispute it with your credit card company.

        I did this after PayPal refused a dispute — my Amex card agreed with me and reversed the payment.


        be careful about cashback via your cc when PayPal has declined it. Few years ago I bought tickets to Disneyland through a groupon like site. Tickets were meant to be delivered within 24 hours but i never got them. Stupid company said to call them AFTER the 24 hours, which would have been too late, but i did and they sent the tickets which i received about 48 hours later

        raised a paypal claim, denied as paypal said "i stil received the tickets"

        raised a cashback, approved

        next thing i know, paypal has suspended my account because i "double diped". Took about 4 months for those idiots to get it sorted

  • +3 votes

    I mean…it does say it big letters

    "Please note, unfortunately we are unable to deliver to a P.O. Box, Locked Bag or Rural Mail Box."

    immediately above the fields where you type your address on their website. Self inflicted sorry. You'll get your refund eventually.


      Let's say I overlooked those big letters. Let aside the discussion of their shipping address validation logic and the fact they did confirm the cancellation on the next day, do you think it's normal they've now been holding the refund for 21 days?


        Telstra known for taking no notice of cancellations, don't be surprised if it just turns up or you might even be lucky and get 2 lol.


          Then I imagine I'd have to go through even more hassle to return it!

          • +1 vote

            @uk3000: probably, i had a cancelled iPad sit on my desk for 6 months before i could get them to pick it up, never one dollar on my account either, most would of kept it.

      • +1 vote

        Try ordering a replacement phone with a valid postal address, cancel it the next day, and see if that refund comes any quicker?

        If that refund is quicker then you know what the determining factor is.


          Thanks, it might have worked if I did that right away. The odds are I've already cancelled it and they did confirm it's cancelled. For some reason, they are having issues with refunding what has been cancelled and presumably never left the warehouse.

    • +2 votes

      Besides, I'm more pissed off about PayPal in this case. According to the dispute history, they've exchanged messages with the merchant. I imagine it went like that:

      − Hey Telstra, there's a person who claims you've put his order on hold and he requested a cancellation, ref # XXX. Is this a valid ref?

      − Yep, we've put it on hold due to a PO box address. He did request to cancel and we confirm we've have cancelled it, the provided ref # is indeed valid.

      − So, are you gonna give him a refund, it's been 3 weeks now?

      − Yeah… we will… eventually.

      − OK then, we'll just deny his claim then for now - thanks!


        Do they provide you with the merchant's response? Or are you just expected to accept whatever the merchant says is correct without reference to it, like paypal seem to have done?


          No they don't. Their "resolution process" communication is a joke, here's a screenshot. There is an option to "appeal" which I've taken, but I expect it to go down the same drain.

  • +1 vote

    It's gotten so bad online shopping that I've started taking screenshots of my transactions now. One just before confirming showing the basket, coupon code, free shipping, etc. Then, one after it goes through (sometimes there's a receipt offered, sometimes not). This screen usually has a reference number. I make sure to crop and leave the date/time on the pic.

    I can't count how many times this saved me. Especially when I never receive the confirmation email.



    I've got my refund today - 1 months later - and I believe it only became possible with @supasaiyan's help. One more time, thanks a lot for your assistance, mate! I've been in touch with a very reasonable complaint manager who has actually chased the refund for me.

    In the timeline of the events, that happened after the f**g PayPal had rejected my appeal as well. A lesson learnt to never use PayPal if there're other options available.

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