How to dispute a charge on PayPal: full guide (2023)

PayPalis a super convenient way to spend online — but what happens when things go wrong? If you’re concerned about problems coming up when you buy things with PayPal, it can help to understand the PayPal dispute process, and the resolution center¹ PayPal offers to help buyers and sellers sort out any issues.

This guide covers all you need to know about how to file a dispute with PayPal US, and the PayPal chargeback process when shopping on credit card. We’ll also touch on how aWise Accountcan help cut your costs when you shop online internationally.

How to dispute a charge on PayPal: step by step

Wondering:can you get your money back on PayPal?The good news is that there are a couple of different buyer protections if you’ve been disappointed in a purchase, or believe you’ve been a victim of aPayPal scam.

Depending on the situation you’ll need to open a PayPal dispute, or seek a PayPal chargeback through your credit card issuer. If you’re looking to dispute a PayPal charge, you’ll need to register your issue online as soon as you can.

Here’s a quick step by step to get started:

1.Log in to your PayPal account online or in app
2.Tap Help in the PayPal menu
3.Click Dispute a Transaction
4.Select item dispute
5.Follow the onscreen steps to enter the details of the issue

(Video) How To Get A Refund On PayPal - Full Guide

You’ll need to open a dispute in the Resolution Center within 180 calendar days of your purchase.You and the seller can then work together to try to solve the issue by mutual agreement.

If you believe a PayPal charge was made without your consent, the seller must respond to you within 7 days.

In other cases they’ll have up to 20 days to offer a solution. If you’re unhappy with the solution proposed, you’ll need to escalate it to PayPal so they can step in and investigate:

1.Log in to your PayPal account
2.Click on your existing case in the Resolution Center
3.Select File a Claim
4.Follow the onscreen steps to escalate the issue to PayPal

PayPal will look into what’s happened and respond within 30 days, finding in favor of either you or the seller.

What's the difference between dispute and chargeback?

We mentioned you may have 2 options to try to get your money back from PayPal, depending on the situation — a dispute or a chargeback.

A dispute is managed by taking the steps outlined above, to try to solve your issue with the seller, and have PayPal settle the claim if you can’t find a resolution yourself.

A PayPal chargeback² on the other hand is when you’ve paid with a credit card and ask your card issuer to intervene and give you your money back through their card protection service.

This process isn’t managed by PayPal, although PayPal will work with the card issuer to provide all the information needed to help them settle the case one way or another.

(Video) How To File A Dispute On PayPal - PayPal Resolution Center Tutorial

When can you file a dispute (or a chargeback) with PayPal?

There are 3 key reasons you may need to dispute a PayPal payment:

  • If an item you bought was paid for butnever arrives

  • If an item you bought arrives but isnot as it was described

  • If a payment has been madewithout your authorization

It’s worth noting that PayPal disputes in the case of an item being delivered but not what you expected require the item to be ‘significantly not as described’.

This may apply in situations like the following:

  • An item is completely different to what you ordered

  • An item arrives but has been broken in transit

  • An item arrives missing parts

  • You don’t receive the quantity of an item you ordered

  • You’re delivered fake or counterfeited products

You can’t raise a dispute simply because you changed your mind on a purchase.

Can you dispute a credit card charge on PayPal?

If you’ve paid for an item on PayPal using your credit card you may be able to request a chargeback — a refund processed through your credit card issuer. In this case you’ll need to get in touch with the card issuer directly, and follow their chargeback process.

Can you dispute a PayPal charge on your bank account?

If a PayPal payment has come out of your bank account but you believe you’ve been a victim of fraud or you’ve been charged in error, your own bank may be able to block or reverse the transaction, depending on the situation. Get in touch with your bank as soon as possible to see if they can help.

(Video) Paypal How To Dispute a Transaction - Paypal How To Chargeback - Paypal How To Get Your Money Back

Can you make a dispute without a PayPal account?

It’s possible to pay for something via PayPal as a guest, without having a PayPal account. If this is what you’ve done, and there’s an issue with the transaction, you can still get a refund, but you’ll need to contact PayPal customer service to file a dispute.

How long do you have to start your dispute with PayPal?

You must file a dispute with PayPal within 180 days of the payment being processed.

Most PayPal issues can be resolved between the buyer and seller directly — but if your payment issue ultimately needs to be settled by PayPal directly, getting your money back may take a while.

The sooner you start this process the better, so don’t wait to file the issue in the PayPal dispute resolution center.

Are there any fees or charges for a PayPal claim?

If you file a PayPal claim, there may be a fee applied, which is paid by the seller. As the buyer raising the issue you should not need to pay any specific cost to dispute a charge.

PayPal also waives the seller fee for issues resolved without their intervention, and levies higher fees for merchants who get lots of chargebacks and disputes — this encourages sellers to prioritize customer service, and solve problems quickly as and when they arise.

PayPal refund fees — currency conversion

One important potential fee when requesting a PayPal refund is the currency conversion charge which is wrapped up in the exchange rate used if you’re shopping internationally.

If you buy something online in a foreign currency, and PayPal completes the currency conversion there will be a fee added to the rate used, which is usually 3% to 4% depending on the details of the transaction³.

If the item is later refunded, it will be converted again back to US dollars or the primary currency of your account⁴. Again the exchange rate used will include the currency conversion fee, which in effect can mean you get back less than you spent in the first place.

(Video) Paypal Chargebacks | How To Win Every Dispute

Bear in mind also that the exchange rate itself may move between the point that you make the payment, and the point the currency exchange is completed for the refund, which can also impact the amount you get back in the end.

Make secure international payments with Wise

PayPal is a great way to shop online locally, and send payments to friends and family in the US. However, when it comes to any international transaction, PayPal’s fees — including currency conversion costs — can be on the high side.

If you want to buy from an international retailer, or need to send money quickly and securely overseas, you could be better off with aWise Account. Open a Wise Account online or via the Wise app, for free, and get a linked Wise payment card for a one time fee of 9 USD.

You’ll be able to hold 50+ currencies in your account, send payments to 80+ countries, and spend with your card in 170+ countries around the world. All currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees which can help you save money.

The vast majority of transactions on PayPal work perfectly — but every now and again it’s inevitable that things go wrong. In this case it’s good to know that PayPal — or your card issuer — can help you file and resolve a PayPal dispute or a PayPal chargeback.

Use this guide to get started if you’ve been unlucky enough to run into problems — and remember to check out theWise Accountfor the next time you’re spending or sending money in a foreign currency.

Get a Wise Accountin minutes

Please seeTerms of Usefor your region or visitfor the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.



  1. PayPal- Solving issues with a purchase
  2. PayPal- Understanding disputes
  3. PayPal- Fees
  4. PayPal- User agreement

Sources checked on 10.11.2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.


How to dispute a charge on PayPal: full guide? ›

Log in to your PayPal account. Open a dispute in the Resolution Center within 180 calendar days of your purchase, by clicking on “Dispute a Transaction” under “Report a problem”. Select the transaction and click Continue. Select “Item dispute“.

How do I dispute a charge with PayPal? ›

Log in to your PayPal account. Open a dispute in the Resolution Center within 180 calendar days of your purchase, by clicking on “Dispute a Transaction” under “Report a problem”. Select the transaction and click Continue. Select “Item dispute“.

Can you get your money back from PayPal if you get scammed? ›

Yes, PayPal refunds money if you've been scammed while using the platform. So, if you buy something using PayPal and the transaction turns out to be fraudulent, PayPal will often return your money.

What is the difference between a dispute and a claim on PayPal? ›

In a dispute, PayPal doesn't get involved or decide the outcome. To ask PayPal to investigate the case and decide the outcome, the dispute must be escalated to a claim within 20 days. Either the buyer or seller can escalate a dispute to a claim. The time it takes us to decide the outcome of a claim can vary.

Can I file a PayPal dispute without an account? ›

Can you make a dispute without a PayPal account? It's possible to pay for something via PayPal as a guest, without having a PayPal account. If this is what you've done, and there's an issue with the transaction, you can still get a refund, but you'll need to contact PayPal customer service to file a dispute.

How do I get my money back from PayPal? ›

Contacting the seller is usually the best way to resolve a problem. You can find their contact details by going to your Activity and selecting the payment. They may be able to issue a refund or help with a return. Otherwise, you can open a dispute within 180 days of the payment date.

How long do PayPal disputes take to resolve? ›

We usually reach a decision within 14 days, but some cases can take 30 days or longer. Keep an eye on your emails and your Resolution Center for updates from us, or requests for more information. Was this article helpful?

How does PayPal decide who wins a dispute? ›

PayPal decides who wins a dispute by reviewing the evidence provided by both parties and determining who has the stronger case. The decision is based on the transaction details, seller protection policy, and PayPal's user agreement. If the decision is in the buyer's favor, the funds will be returned to the buyer.

How do I recover money from a scammer? ›

Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened and ask if you can get a refund. Most banks should reimburse you if you've transferred money to someone because of a scam.

Does PayPal refund everything? ›

For most PayPal transactions, you can issue either a full or partial refund. However, if the buyer used a coupon or gift certificate for the original transaction, PayPal will allow you to issue a full refund only.

What happens if the seller does not respond to a PayPal claim? ›

If the seller's responses don't resolve the claim, PayPal will review the case, obtain additional information from the buyer and seller as needed, and decide the outcome, usually within 5 days. To receive a refund, buyers are generally asked to return the item within 10 days.

Is it hard to dispute with PayPal? ›

We'll facilitate communication between you and the seller to see if things can be worked out. Many disputes are caused by misunderstandings, and they're often easy to resolve. However, if you and the seller can't reach an agreement on your own, you can escalate your dispute to a claim.

How to get money back from PayPal if scammed friends and family? ›

Click “Report a Problem.” Find the fraudulent transaction and then click “Continue.” Click on “I Want to Report Unauthorized Activity” and follow the prompts to open your dispute. You then have 20 days to contact the seller on PayPal for a refund.

Can a seller open a dispute on PayPal? ›

Whether you're a seller or a buyer, claims allow PayPal to investigate the case and determine an outcome. Buyers have 20 days from the time they open a dispute to file a claim.

Can someone cancel a PayPal payment? ›

You can cancel a PayPal payment if the receiver of the money has not yet claimed it. Many forms of PayPal payments are processed immediately and cannot be canceled. If payment can't be canceled, you will have to ask for a refund or dispute it to PayPal.

Can you dispute PayPal friends and family? ›

PayPal no longer provides refunds for Friends and Family payments. This is due to the fact that PayPal's Purchase Protection Program does not cover these types of payments. You may cancel your payment if it is still pending or if you want a refund.

How do I report a scammer on PayPal? ›

Instead, all you have to do is copy the site's web address and paste it into an email message; send it to Our security experts will examine the site and if it's bogus, we'll get it shut down.

What happens if someone disputes a charge on PayPal? ›

The customer files a dispute directly with the seller or on PayPal's Resolution Center. The seller reviews the dispute and provides additional information. The customer is refunded if the dispute is settled in the customer's favor.

Can I claim money back if I've been scammed? ›

Applying for a refund

If you think you've been scammed, you should inform your bank immediately. You should also contact the bank where your money was sent and let it know the account number as it may be able to freeze the money and return it to you.

How does refund scamming work? ›

Refunding fraud is about getting refunds without returning goods. For example, a customer buys an item, requests a refund once they get it, then makes a false claim that prevents them from sending the item back to you. And this trend is on the rise.

How do you go after someone who scammed you? ›

Report the fraud to authorities

If the fraud occurred in your local community, you could also report the matter to the police and your district attorney. You may need to file a police report if you plan to file an insurance claim for fraud losses. Also contact your state financial regulator or attorney general.

Why would PayPal refuse a refund? ›

Declined refunds

Common reasons for declines: Card account is closed. Card account is frozen due to fraud. Card account does not support refunds (e.g. some prepaid cards)

Can a seller refuse a refund on PayPal? ›

A partial refund can be offered by a seller to resolve a dispute. You can accept or deny a partial refund in your Resolution Center.

Can someone steal your bank info through PayPal? ›

Unfortunately, it is all too easy for scammers to steal your money or financial information through PayPal.

How do I cancel an unauthorized transaction on PayPal? ›

Unauthorized transactions
  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. Click on Resolution Center.
  3. Click on Open a dispute for a transaction.
  4. Select the unauthorized transaction and click Continue.

How do I speak to a live person at PayPal? ›

Customers can contact Paypal customer support through a telephone call, the number is +1 402-935-2050, it can be considered as a call center, where customers can speak directly with a customer support representative and get assistance with their issues.

How do I dispute a charge on my debit card? ›

How to dispute a charge on a debit card
  1. Contact your bank's main customer service hotline.
  2. Explain that you'd like to dispute a charge.
  3. Identify the charge(s) that you'd like to dispute.
  4. Explain whether these were fraudulent transactions or simply charges that you are disputing with the merchant.
May 5, 2022

How do I talk to a human at PayPal? ›

How do I speak to a real person at PayPal?
  1. General questions: 1-888-221-1161.
  2. Unauthorized transactions: 402-935-7733.
  3. Credit account dispute: 1-866-528-3733.
  4. General questions if calling from outside the U.S.: 1-402-935-2050.

How do I cancel an unauthorized transaction? ›

Fraudulent charges on your bill can be disputed by calling your credit card issuer or filing a dispute online. This is typically a quick process where the issuer will cancel the credit card in question and issue a new one.

How do I refund an unauthorized transaction? ›

To request a refund of an unauthorised transaction:
  1. Immediately ring your bank. ...
  2. Tell them that there is an unauthorised transaction on your account.
  3. Put a 'stop' on your account (for example, cancelling the card or disabling internet banking or online money transfers) to prevent more loss.

Can PayPal cancel an authorization? ›

Log in to your PayPal account at Click the History tab. Click the Details button associated with the authorization you want to void. On the Transaction Details page, click on the Void button associated with the authorization.

How do I report a PayPal scammer? ›

Log into your PayPal account and visit the Resolution Center. Click “Report a Problem.” Find the fraudulent transaction and then click “Continue.” Click on “I Want to Report Unauthorized Activity” and follow the prompts to open your dispute.

How do I talk to an operator? ›

Things You Should Know
  1. Dial 0, *, or # multiple times. This can take you straight to an operator on some systems.
  2. Say "I would like to speak to a person". Or, try "operator," "agent," and “representative.”
  3. Call a local branch. Sometimes you can get a real person faster this way!
Mar 19, 2023

Is PayPal open 24 hours? ›

Other ways to contact PayPal

For all other inquiries, PayPal's telephone customer service team can be reached Monday to Friday from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and on weekends from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Note that all times listed are in Pacific Standard Time (so adjust your timing accordingly).

How do you dispute a charge successfully? ›

The 4 steps to disputing a credit card charge
  1. Review the details of the charge. You can review transaction details on your account such as the merchant's name, phone number and your past activity with the merchant. ...
  2. You may contact the merchant. ...
  3. Gather your evidence. ...
  4. Contact your credit card issuer.

Who pays when you dispute a charge? ›

Who pays when you dispute a charge? Your issuing bank will cover the cost initially by providing you with a provisional credit for the original transaction amount. After filing the dispute, though, they will immediately recover those funds (plus fees) from the merchant's account.

What do you say when disputing a charge? ›

I am writing to dispute a charge of [$______] to my [credit or debit card] account on [date of the charge]. The charge is in error because [explain the problem briefly. For example, the items weren't delivered, I was overcharged, I returned the items, I did not buy the items, etc.].


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