My chargeback experience with Techcombank, Visa and PayPal

By , September 24, 2013 10:59 am

So this is my case. I’m pasting my experience here just to share what I went through. Hope it might be useful as a reference should anyone want to find information on this process (I couldn’t). Not that this is definitive though because your experience might be different with different banks, different terms with PayPal in a different countries, and most of all you may read this after PayPal has changed or tightened their process (they do quite frequently).

I bought an item from a random seller through Facebook. I paid using Gift option on PayPal.

Because I was using my Techcombank Visa card, it was considered “international” to the US and the fee was 4%.

The seller sent my item without tracking to the wrong shipping address.

I waited for like 3 months then contacted PayPal regarding a refund using their online form, knowing that my chance was slim.

This was their response.

Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2013 03:24:52 +0000
Hello Tai Tran,

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Support. My name is Piyachart and I am happy to assist you with your query regarding your transaction XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Upon reviewing, I acknowledge that the transaction above was sent as a personal payment which is unable to file a dispute due to the payment category is for a personal purpose. I do understand that you mentioned that the seller informed you to send money as a gift; however, you may contact with your bank for further assistance or contact directly with the seller and ask for a refund.

You may find more information regarding this payment on our User Agreement section on our website.

Hope the above information clarifies.

Thank you for using PayPal! We welcome your feedback. We hope you are highly satisfied with our service and that you recommend using PayPal to your friends and family.
PayPal Resolution Services
PayPal, an eBay Company

Copyright© 1999-2013 PayPal Inc. All rights reserved.

Consumer advisory: PayPal Pte Ltd, the Holder of the PayPal™ payment service stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Consumers (users) are advised to read the terms and conditions carefully.

I then filed a chargeback request to Techcombank using the email
(the email may also work).

Techcombank called and emailed me to ask for details of the transaction then filed a chargeback (probably to Visa) on my behalf.

A few days later I received PayPal’s notification of the chargeback

> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 03:17:06 -0700
> From:
> To:
> Subject: PayPal notified of chargeback filed by you: Case ID #PP-XXX-XXX-XXX-XXX – XXXXXX
> Hello Tai Tran,
> We recently received notice from your credit card company that you filed a
> chargeback stating that you did not receive merchandise you paid for.
> Please review the details of the disputed transaction below and the steps
> for what to do next.
> ———————————–
> Transaction Details
> ———————————–
> Recipient’s name: M.
> Recipient’s email:
> Seller’s Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
> Transaction date: May 27, 2013
> Transaction amount: -$85.00 USD
> Your transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
> ———————————–
> What To Do Next
> ———————————–
> If you received the merchandise after filing the chargeback or mistakenly
> initiated this chargeback, please follow the steps below to cancel it: 1.
> Log into your PayPal account and go to the Resolution Center.
> 2. On the Transaction Disputes page, select Open Disputes from the
> drop-down menu and locate your transaction.
> 3. Click the Cancel button under the Action column for your transaction.
> 4. On the Chargeback Details page, click the Cancel Chargeback button.
> 5. Complete the steps to confirm that you are canceling this chargeback.
> If you wish to continue with this chargeback, no further actions are
> required by you at this time.
> ———————————–
> Due Dates
> ———————————–
> None
> ———————————–
> Other Details
> ———————————–
> We encourage buyers to initiate communication with sellers if they have a
> problem with a transaction. Through open communication, many disputes can
> be resolved amicably. In cases where communication does not resolve a
> problem, you may file a claim through the Buyer Complaint process.
> Once you file a claim, PayPal will investigate the case and attempt to come
> to a fair resolution. If our investigation determines that you are owed
> money by the seller, we will make every effort to recover funds for you.
> However, please note that under the terms of the Buyer Complaint Policy,
> recovery of funds is not guaranteed. To learn more about the Buyer
> Complaint process, go to the PayPal website and click the Security Center
> link located at the bottom of every page.
> There are no other details for this transaction at this time.
> We appreciate your business, and thank you for your patience and
> cooperation in helping us with this matter.
> Thanks,
> PayPal
> Chargeback Department
> Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you
> will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account
> and click the Help link in the top right corner of any PayPal page.
> —————————————————————-
> Copyright © 1999-2013 PayPal. All rights reserved.
> Consumer advisory- PayPal Pte. Ltd., the holder of PayPal’s stored value
> facility, does not require the approval of the Monetary Authority of
> Singapore.
> Users are advised to read the terms and conditions carefully.

Then, the seller messaged me that he visited his local post office to find that his package had been sitting there for 3 months because it was sent back from the wrong address. The seller offered to send the item again. This was good.

I followed PayPal’s instruction to Cancel the Chargeback.

> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:39:28 -0700
> From:
> To:
> Subject: Chargeback Inquiry Case # PP-XXX-XXX-XXX-XXX – XXXXXX
> Hello Tai Tran,
> We received your request to cancel a chargeback filed against this
> transaction and we’re contacting your credit card company about the
> cancellation. We also recommend you notify your credit card company about
> the cancellation to help move the process along.
> Transaction and case details:
> Seller’s Name: > Transaction Amount: > Transaction Date: May 27, 2013
> Case Number: PP-XXX-XXX-XXX-XXX
> For more information on this case, click the link below.
> Please fax us your chargeback cancellation affidavit. To find the affidavit
> form and fax cover sheet, log into your PayPal account, go to the
> Resolution Center, and click on the ‘Details’ link next to the chargeback
> you want to cancel. Our fax number is at the bottom of this email. Thanks!
> Thanks,
> PayPal
> Email:
> Fax: +1-402-537-5731
> Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you
> will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account
> and click the Help link in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

The issue was I couldn’t find any link for the affidavit. I used their Help link.

then “Contact Us” then “Email us”

and received this error, in spite of the correct Transaction ID.

So I had to play around with other options to send an email to PayPal successfully.

PayPal’s follow up:

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 01:12:19 +0000
Dear Tai Tran,

Thank you for contacting PayPal.
Thank you for your quick response. We have seen that you have authorized a chargeback cancellation on 09/20/2013. As of right now you do not have to have an affidavit. Thank you again. Please inform your credit card company that you are canceling this chargeback.
PayPal, an eBay Company

Copyright© 1999-2013 PayPal Inc. All rights reserved.

Consumer advisory: PayPal Pte Ltd, the Holder of the PayPal™ payment service stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Consumers (users) are advised to read the terms and conditions carefully.

After notifying Techcombank about the chargeback cancellation, I believe that’s it for this transaction.

Key takeaways:

  • PayPal is conflicting itself in its process and instruction. Do I need to fax a written and signed affidavit after all?
  • PayPal is making it complicated to contact them regarding issues. At least, PayPal’s email service is still better than eBay, which totally replaced email and chat support with automated help. (not that eBay chat or email was any effective because my technical problem with creating an eBay account five years ago was received with total apathy and suppressed by the customer support agent.)


In a subsequent transaction, I made sure I used “Goods” option to be protected. The item was sold for $140. I added 4% fee and sent $145.6, the seller in Sweden received $138. So the fee was ultimately $7.6, or 5.22%. I’m lost with PayPal fee here.

I understand that eBay and PayPal can improve their bottom line by cutting customer service cost, but as a customer (mostly buyer) I feel I’m lost when I need help on details.

Cuối mùa nước rút

By , September 13, 2013 11:29 am

Bình luận bài này: Các tội đồ khủng hoảng tài chính giờ sống ra sao?

Thị trường tài chính là một lĩnh vực rất bất đối xứng.

Hình dung một đất nước 300 triệu dân, trong đó hầu hết gửi tiền bảo hiểm xã hội và tiết kiệm mua nhà vào ngân hàng hàng tháng. Vài trăm nghìn nhân viên ngân hàng đó sẽ chịu áp lực dùng tiền đẻ ra tiền, và sẽ chuyển tiền cho vài chục nghìn money managers. Các money managers sẽ trade những sản phẩm hứa hẹn ra tiền.

Nếu đẻ ra những sản phẩm thu hút sự chú ý của vài chục nghìn money managers thì sẽ nắm được tiền của 300 triệu người.

Đó chính xác là những gì các financial engineers đã làm. Họ tạo ra các sản phẩm mà các money mangers lao vào trade bằng tiền đầu tư, tiền tiết kiệm và tiền bảo hiểm lương hưu của hàng trăm triệu người.

Chưa hết, thế giới đã kết nối với nhau qua việc luân chuyển nguồn vốn đầu tư và cho vay giữa các quốc gia nên trên lý thuyết, hàng tỷ con người đã dính với nhau qua thị trường tài chính toàn cầu.

Tài chính là zero-sum game, tiền chuyển từ túi người này sang túi người khác. Nhờ scheme trên, tiền của hàng tỷ người chảy vào túi của số ít người. Vài ngàn người (financial engineers + lobbyists + sales) trong các công ty tài chính hàng đầu thế giới đã vật tay thắng hàng tỷ người. Hàng tỷ người nghèo đi trong khủng hoảng, còn vài trăm người thắng thì đã giữ trọn phần thắng một cách HỢP PHÁP.

Những người thua cũng bao gồm các money managers, brokers và các bankers khác.


Hind-sight bias

Khi cái cơ bản của nền kinh tế là sản lượng, năng suất không tăng trưởng nhanh như những con số tài chính thể hiện trên giấy thì bong bóng kiểu gì cũng xảy ra.

Nhưng trong cơn say tiền thì những lời cảnh báo chỉ được nghe SAU KHI khủng hoảng đã nổ ra diện rộng.


Hệ quả là gì?

1. Trong tài chính, giỏi chết, thông minh chết, xuất sắc chết. Phải trong top 1000 giỏi NHẤT thế giới mới không chết.

2. Biết thì biết vậy thôi, chứ cuộc khủng hoảng kế tiếp thì luật chơi sẽ hoàn toàn khác. Khủng hoảng tài chính toàn cầu 2007, khủng hoảng châu Á 1996, bong bóng dot-com 2000, đại khủng hoảng 1929 đều xảy ra theo những cách rất khác nhau mà một số ít người thông minh nhất thế giới đã thắng còn cả thế giới thua trắng.

Market update 19 August 2013

By , August 19, 2013 4:35 pm

Foreign investors realized their profits on blue chips stocks. The (far from exhaustive) list includes VNM, BVH, HAG, VIC, DPM, PVS, VCG.

This was no surprise. It was even inevitable. The uptrend has been so rather aggressive I became suspicious.

Firstly, the uptrend in price outweighted profit growth. It’s a hint of yet another minor irrational exuberance.

Secondly, the S&P 500 has been the best performing index worldwide in USD, attracting capital.

Specifically for VNM, the sale is motivated by ex-dividend.

Again, this is a hindsight bias, I cashed out anyway.

Disclaimer: I’m not involved in any institutional investor benefiting from these recent trades.

POP3 on Yahoo! Mail and my Outlook

By , July 29, 2013 3:33 pm

When my Outlook pst file exceeded 20Gb, funny things occurred to my Outlook 2010. Read on some tech forums that Outlook doesn’t handle large pst file, and when the pst file reaches that size, it can’t be compacted.

I’ve been using Yahoo! Mail for registering to online services (because the mailbox size is unlimited so it can withstand spams). The massive amount of emails to my Y!Mail caused the pst file to gorge.

Gmail allows good controls of POP3. Outlook mail (the new hotmail) more obscure. Y!Mail POP3 is very limited e.g. no option to "download arriving emails only". Therefore, ALL emails to Y!Mail are downloaded on every single device when I connect Y!Mail account to an email client.

I am deleting the Y!Mail account from my Outlook and switching back to the web interface.

Life as an Ant

By , May 11, 2013 7:05 pm

Hình dung bạn là con kiến ở trong cái lon, cái lon nằm trong cái thang máy. Vận tốc của con kiến nhỏ hơn vận tốc của thang máy. Con kiến có đeo một cái đồng hồ hiển thị độ cao so với mực nước biển, và kiến biết xem đồng hồ.

Định nghĩa:

* Kết quả cuộc đời bạn được đo bằng độ cao tuyệt đối so với mực nước biển.

* Chiều đi của thang máy trùng với chiều đi của chu kỳ kinh tế. Thang máy đi lên là kinh tế đang lên.

Hình ảnh này sinh ra các hệ quả sau:

1. Khi thang máy đi lên thì có bò xuống (làm chuyện ngu) cũng có kết quả tốt. Khi thang máy đi xuống thì cố bò lên thì kết quả cũng chả lên mấy.

2. Thang máy đang lên, kiến bò ngang mà thấy độ cao tăng thì hoang tưởng mình bò giỏi, móc antPhone ra tự sướng để khoe trên Antstagram.

3. Kiến lờ mờ đoán được sự tồn tại của loài người, những sinh vật kiểm soát được thang máy. Nhưng đoán được thì kiến làm được gì?

Mở rộng: Nếu bạn không thích "chu kỳ kinh tế", bạn có thể gán những thứ hoành tráng khác (ví dụ SỐ PHẬN, Giai Cấp, hay bàn Tarot) cho cái thang máy.

Image credit:×364-53430.gif

Diminishing return on specialization in Vietnam

By , May 5, 2013 10:00 am

Most manufacturing & commerce activities in the economy have not been specialized to the level that require deep specialization of skills.

Lack of tools (technological equipment, data for research).

A good case study is to look at success models of the most successful businesses in Vietnam: investing in breadth.

Vietnam is still the economy that one has to develop a broad set of skills to navigate through one’s career.

Image credit

A quick update of my opinion on online payment in Vietnam

By , May 2, 2013 4:40 pm
  • The online payment market consolidates (it is) even before penetrating mainstream buyers.
  • Online payment through credit card grows at a surprising rate. After all, Vietnamese users tend to learn more about online payment with services from banks. I personally don’t think PayPal’s model can be replicated in Vietnam, not with the power of the banks.
  • Many e-commerce sites still resist integrating online payment services because they feel their process will be jeopardized while transaction value through online payment isn’t worth it. Chicken and egg problem and they decide not to take the pain of educating users.
  • Many other e-commerce sites (e.g. Zalora & Lazada) drop NganLuong and OnePay with the same reason: transaction value through online payment isn’t worth it. Still, chicken and egg problem. I, an online payment advocate, have become frustrated.
  • We are all serious about online payment because that’s the future. But many of us have been acting like it’s a distant one indeed.

Kịch bản cơ cấu giá của Starbucks Việt Nam

By , April 1, 2013 6:16 pm

  • Starbucks không cần bán giá thấp hơn vì giá như hiện tại mà đã xếp hàng lũ lượt mấy ngày nay. by Thao Nguyen
  • Lý do giá VN cao hơn giá Ấn vì Face Value ở TQ & VN cao hơn hẳn. Người tiêu dùng VN sẵn sàng trả face value premium ¹ (thuật ngữ mới chế, tạm dịch "sang chảnh phí" by Ngô Thế Vinh) để được nhìn thấy, chụp hình, check-in ở chỗ thời thượng (không nhất thiết sang trọng ²), cũng giống như nhu cầu mang đồ hiệu dễ nhận diện (hoặc fake nếu không đủ tiền mua authentic).
  • Cách mở rộng khỏi vành đai trung tâm là vẫn bảng giá đó (để giữ phân khúc cao cấp) và chạy các khuyến mãi khác nhau tùy thuộc khu vực. Cách này tỏ vẻ giữ sự nhất quán trong các cửa hàng trong hệ thống nhưng lại đa dạng hóa được giá. Cách này thường được các công ty kinh doanh chuỗi ăn uống của Hong Kong, Singapore áp dụng.
  • Thời điểm chạy khuyến mãi là khi số lượng cửa hàng đã đạt critical mass để đảm bảo khuyến mãi không ăn xuống dưới chi phí cố định. Critical mass của Starbucks là 23 cửa hàng.
  • Không bao giờ Starbucks xuống đến phân khúc của Trung Du và Trung Nguyên. Tại sao phải hy sinh lợi nhuận biên để đổi lấy doanh thu?
  • Hình: Green Tea Frappuccino, đây là món sẽ được gọi nhiều hơn hẳn cafe đen.
  • Tham khảo: bảng giá tháng 2, 2013
  • ¹ premium, so với GDP per capita
  • ² trà chanh 15K không sang trọng mà thời thượng nên thu hút nhiều hot girl, kể cả hot girl wears Hermès.

An argument against Rat Race Cashflow in Vietnam market

By , March 16, 2013 2:58 am

The benefit of diversification

Why Robert Kiyosaki’s "Rat Race" Cashflow game is more harmful than useful in Vietnam market:

  1. Most available passive income sources (dividend yield, coporate bond rate, deposit rate, insurance rate) can’t beat real inflation. Relying on passive income is a gradual decay, a timed death.
  2. An illiquid corporate bond market plus an extremely risky equity market (read: not for moms and pops) means very few choices of instruments are available to retail investors.
  3. The personal wealth management industry is underdeveloped. Many lucrative assets that are expected to yield passive income are not available to retail investors.
  4. Authority: the visible wealth of Kiyosaki comes from selling self-help / motivational books, not from trading financial assets. A question on the authority and validity of his methods exists, at least from a finance professional perspective.

Why harmful? Because in finance, doing nothing (max loss = inflation – deposit rate) is less worse off than doing the wrong thing (max loss potential = 100% capital).

Image source:

Net worth and career paths

By , January 23, 2013 11:04 am

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