Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay
Don't. Leave. Your. Laptop. Signed. In. Where. Children. Can. Reach. It
We've heard it all before – tot addicted to crappy freemium game on Daddy's iPad runs up £3,000 bill from in-app purchases, Dad whinges to local newspaper.
However, our cynical hearts go out to the father whose six-year-old son splashed £19,000 through his PayPal account – on an actual, real-life monster truck.
Mohammad Faraji, from Wallsend in North Tyneside, England, told ChronicleLive that he's now being chased by debt collectors over a piece of extreme engineering that he never wanted nor has the means to pay for.
But the 45-year-old committed the cardinal parenting sin of leaving his laptop logged in where his "monster truck-obsessed" kid, Ario, could get to it – and then apparently browse tat bazaar eBay to pick up some new oversized wheels.
"It's unbelievable that PayPal would pay it without sending any notification or contacting me to find out if I wanted to pay that amount of money," he said. "They didn't keep it in payment pending or need any confirmation from me."
The problem is that PayPal does fire off a notification email to the customer when a purchase has been made, and anyone who has ever tried to raise a dispute with the Elon Musk and Peter Thiel-founded payment platform will know that they can be notoriously uncooperative.
The purchase went through all the way back in March and although Faraji tried to explain that it was made in error, the seller wouldn't cancel, instead helpfully informing the dad that he could come and pick up the stupidly large truck.
PayPal is adamant that Faraji sorts it out with the seller and eBay, but the takeaway worker reckons PayPal doesn't have enough checks regarding massive and out-of-character payments. Although he hasn't taken ownership of the monster truck and tried to cancel the deal, PayPal has set the debt collectors on him for the full amount.
"Nobody can force me to buy a £19,000 monster truck," he said. "PayPal should act more like my debit card, they should check with my bank account to see if I have the money, or if there is suspicious activity.
"I've used PayPal for over 10 years but I've just been buying £4, £10, £20 items, never anything like this.
"I haven't got that kind of money in my bank account, and nobody in their right mind would buy a car for that much money without seeing it, but it still went through. For the amount of money they sent, there should have been some kind of extra security."
He added: "I know it's my fault that I hadn't checked my laptop and that it had saved the password – my son is only little but he's clever for his age and good with computers. He loves monster trucks, and the 29th of March is his birthday, on the 28th he said he wanted a truck, but I never guessed he wanted to buy a real monster truck for himself.
"It was my mistake and I will pay a penalty if I need to – but not the full amount."
A PayPal spokesman told The Register: "PayPal never loses sight of the fact that we are entrusted to look after people's money – we take this responsibility very seriously and have a robust process in place for purchases made in error. Once a customer makes a purchase on eBay and pays for it using PayPal, they receive emails from both PayPal and eBay confirming the transaction.
"PayPal's email to the customer following a transaction highlights the customer has 180 days to open a dispute in the Resolution Centre and also explains the process for contacting the seller directly. If the purchase was made in error, PayPal recommends contacting the seller directly to try to secure a resolution in the first instance. If this is unsuccessful, the buyer should contact eBay's customer services team and work with them on solving the specific issue."
We also contacted eBay for further comment.
And in case you're wondering, yes, Ario has been banned from using his father's laptop. ®