Resolving disputes, claims, and chargebacks.

Every now and again, something goes wrong with an order. We’re here to help you if it does.

A guide to disputes and chargebacks.

Disputes and claims

If a customer paid for an item but didn’t receive it or received an item that’s significantly different from the original description, they may contact the seller in the Resolution Centre and open a dispute. If the dispute can’t be resolved, either party can escalate it to a claim within 20 days. PayPal becomes directly involved and will make a decision using the information provided.


Buyers may take action by asking their card issuer to reverse the charge (card companies call this a “chargeback”). A buyer asks their bank for a refund and does not involve the seller.

Disputes and claims

Resolving disputes.

In most cases, the easiest way to settle a dispute is for buyers and sellers to connect, work together to figure out what happened and come to an agreeable solution. Watch our video to see how to resolve a dispute.

Tips on successfully communicating with customers:

Presume good faith

Begin conversations with an open mind and listen patiently to what buyers have to say. Many problems result from miscommunication and simple human error.

PayPal dispute resolution process

When buyers and sellers can’t come to an agreement, we can help them arrive at an agreeable solution. Once a buyer initiates the dispute resolution process, we’ll hold the money from the transaction until the dispute is resolved. If buyer and seller can’t reach an agreement, the dispute can be escalated to a claim. At that point, we’ll step in to determine the outcome of the issue. Here’s how it works:

1Dispute notification

We'll notify you by email if a buyer opens a dispute. Then we’ll place a temporary hold on all funds in the transaction.

2Your response

Review the dispute and reply with your explanation of what happened. Respond quickly, and include suggestions on how to resolve the dispute.

3 Working it out

Once a dispute has been opened, you and your buyer have 20 days to come up with a resolution. In most cases, this is all that’s needed. The buyer closes the dispute once you’ve worked things out.

Escalating a dispute to a claim

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. If a buyer files a claim against you, we may ask you to provide some of the following information:

  • A third party shipping receipt, tracking number, or signature confirmation to prove delivery of an item.
  • Proof that you delivered a replacement or issued a refund if the buyer received their order but there was a problem with it
  • A signed contract or other proof to show that services were provided
  • If you sold a digital good, we may request evidence that the buyer downloaded your product

Download our guide


View our other guides to help you manage your business.

Avoiding fraudulent orders

Learn more

Avoiding disputes, claims and chargebacks

Learn more

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