What to do if a buyer created a charge back but won’t return the item even at my expense and won’t return item or money?

I am a business and I sold a man in another state a high end built in oven. Upon receiving the item, the man claimed that the item is broken but failed to provide evidence. Paypal (which was used for the payment) refused to help and washed their hands clean of the situation. The buyer then has filed a charge back with his credit card, leaving me without money or item. I have attempted numerous times to have the item returned to me, paying FedEx and come and pick up the item, but each time the man refused to return it. I’ve tried all ways of mediation and am running out of ideas. I have no idea what I can do anymore.

Asked on August 20, 2012 under Business Law, Florida


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You might be able to pursue this man in Florida, depending on the circumstances of the sale.  Under Florida law, obtaining property, causing a charge-back that results in not paying for the property, and then refusing to return the property is S-T-E-A-L-I-N-G and Florida has a powerful statute for civil theft.   This statute requires sending a letter advising this man that you intend to sue him for civil theft and obtain three times your damages unless he returns the property immediately.  If he wants to fight this, he will have to hire a Florida lawyer.  Using the civil theft statute is a little complicated, so i suggest you consult a lawyer.

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