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Old 30th June 2020
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PayPal Refunded Clients Deposit...

I've decided to open the studio back up in the next few weeks. One of the decisions was to schedule sessions/groups at least 5 days apart as a COVID protocol. All that to say, it's going to make scheduling really tight. It's not that bad though, most of my clients come from out of state for at least multiple days.

I had one person that I've never worked with before reach out through a friend and wanted to book 3 days. We talked things through, I found a gap in the schedule that would work in July, and we agreed. I require a 20% deposit for booking, they had it to me within a few hours via PayPal. Fast forward 2 weeks, I get an email saying they had found another studio closer to them for significantly cheaper. I get it, they're out of state. Frustrating, but I kept things very professional. Wrote them back saying I was sorry to hear that, good luck and to reach out to me if they need anything in the future. I didn't even mention the deposit as I figured it was obvious. I was also crystal clear on the phone and at least 2 emails that deposits were not refundable.

A few hours after my email reply, I had a disputed charge pop up on Paypal and within a day they had their deposit money back. I shared all the emails and my policy with PayPal for the case, but got a cookie cutter response saying they were refunding the money...

Has anyone else dealt with this before? This was the WHOLE point of the deposit, because I'm out of that money and the time I had put aside for them. It's especially important now that I'm spacing sessions out. PayPal considers the case closed and will not address it. That pretty much just leaves Zelle and Venmo as I imagine this will just be "par for course" with PayPal in the future. Any suggestions on an alternate invoicing technique for PayPal? For deposits, I've always given clients my payment info and just had them send the money. Should I ALWAYS invoice this stuff when dealing with PayPal? Will doing that give me any protection? I have a feeling this guy knew what he was doing from the start and has probably done this to other people. He didn't even mention a refund on the deposit, he just immediately opened a case.