Buyer and Seller Responsibilities Regarding Shipping

Jeremy is right-- keep at it with PayPal. The package has not been delivered; it has only gotten as far as the local post office.

Very frustrating, but don't stop now. Cases can be re-opened by PayPal if they choose to. Keep phoning.
I want to add that I have seen "notice left" on my tracking when, in fact, no notice was left. It happened last winter. We'd had a heavy snowfall and mail vans were unable to get out to the unplowed streets. When I went to the local P.O. to pick up my package, and asked about notice being left, they were mystified as to how that would have appeared on my tracking, and was no doing of theirs.

So the question is, on the day when tracking shows that notice was left, did your local P.O. deliver in your area at all? What was your weather that day?

Also, a reminder to all of us, funding PayPal payments with a credit card (not with your linked bank account) provides another avenue to pursue a refund.
To be clear, I was not suggesting that the op discontinue their claim with either paypal or their bank. I just wanted to recommend an additional investigative track. I agree completely that the seller should offer a full refund. You can also leave a negative comment on Etsy for this seller, especially since you've had a couple of complaints with past purchases!
I want to add that I have seen "notice left" on my tracking when, in fact, no notice was left. It happened last winter.

This is a very common thing, not just with the postal service but also with FedEx and UPS. I can't count how many times we've been waiting for a package to come in, watching the tracking and then seeing "business closed, notice left." Then it's up to us to call them and convince them we have an office filled with people that have been here since 7 am and the driver just skipped us.
Interesting, Jeremy!

This whole problem could have been avoided if the vendor had insured properly. Then he could just refund and file a claim with the USPS. What is clear is that he would rather the buyer take the hit for his failure to insure.

What he is forgetting is that he stands to lose good will among buyers on P-G, and therefore sales. It would almost certainly cost him less in the long run to refund the buyer this time, learn from the experience, and insure future shipments to their full value.
Hopefully the vendor will read this and think about it.
Just dealt with this, USPS lost a $2000+ strand(ouch).

It stings, but the only option is to send out a new order for the customer. It's not their fault the carrier lost it.

Cost of doing business unfortunately.
Ah, well, if they are in the jurisdiction then simply send them a formal letter before action ie before you issue a writ in your equivalent of the small claims court -I assume procedure is the same that you have to write them a formal letter? That may concentrate their attention.
Our Royal Mail lost two expensive necklaces in a fortnight and then their claim procedure was so complicated I switched some years ago to the company which works mostly for legal firms moving property deeds around the country and irreplaceable stuff like that. (If they don't deliver they actually take a photo of the door or whatever to prove they were there and I've had couriers phone me to check the address was right when the house 'looked empty') Not lost anything since. Hurrah and phew! (and yes, that was two full refunds/replacements.
Let's just say I have become a very familiar voice/face at my local post office! They have been nothing but apologetic and willing to provide whatever documentation is necessary because of the numerous occasions we have all looked; it seems like both they and I believe the package is well and lost. This all happened the day before Christmas Eve, so I can understand that it was a hectic prime time for things to go awry....after all that's why insurance is an option...moving forward on future purchases with other vendors I would definitely request it but that does not always guarantee that the vendor will honor it and go through the motions of filing a claim? (I have heard the claims process itself is just as cumbersome as PayPal's).

It seems like many lessons can be had from this experience- I am un-linking my bank account from PayPal and making sure that there is a means of recovery for purchases I make in the future. Also, to trust my gut when it comes to buying online- as I said there was always something a bit off about my previous interactions/transactions but the pearls (particularly, being able to have more control over selection in my purchase) had always won out in the end. And up until this point, all of the hiccups I mentioned were mitigated by the fact that the seller did (with my persistent communication) work with me to resolve all of the previous problems. My expectation was that he would come around and do the correct thing once again but I was wrong. I guess that's the dark side of loving pearls.

I just sent PayPal a bunch of messages and resubmitted my document from USPS wherever I could. Hopefully they don't close the claim once again with some b.s. excuse because someone new glanced over my case. Almost all of my work breaks are spent either writing emails or being put on hold...

Pearl-Guide is such a supportive community of buyers and vendors alike; in fact it was the sole reason I fell in love with and learned so much about pearls! My hope in bringing this up was that the vendor, in seeing what others in this business have to say about this scenario, will rethink his position on how to conduct a business ethically.
I've had numerous experiences like Jeremy described. Notices left in the mailbox saying they had attempted to deliver and yet someone (often more than one) was home at the time. I have three one comes to my door without everyone within 1/2 kilometre knowing about it. When I go to the little local post office to collect it I complain and the post mistress rolls her eyes and says.. 'when they get too many parcels they just bring them here at the end of the day..they don't even try to deliver' sigh I had one FedEx guy leave a package of gems in a big topiary pot by the door. I called the vendor...complained to the delivery service that I hadn't received it...they told me it was delivered... 3 days later I found it in the pot when I went to water it. It could be on the floor of his truck ( had that happen too ). If it made it to your door there is hope for it I's just a question of when they will find it. I'm sorry you are having such a drama , it's very distressing for you. Definitely take this seller off your list and post a warning in your review that there may be no satisfaction if things go wrong.
This is a very common thing, not just with the postal service but also with FedEx and UPS. I can't count how many times we've been waiting for a package to come in, watching the tracking and then seeing "business closed, notice left." Then it's up to us to call them and convince them we have an office filled with people that have been here since 7 am and the driver just skipped us.

this happens with me ALL THE TIME! WE live behind a gate and they don't even bother to get out and ring the bell.

I would stick with paypal too, maybe get an email or letter from your postmaster saying it wasn't delivered,. more proof couldn't hurt.
Have you mentioned the vendor in this post. I am not sure if you can, I would like to know so I know who to steer clear from. But I understand of you can't/won't say
I'm not sure why we need to protect the identity of a vendor who is so uncaring about his customers.
After three case closures and re-openings, multiple phone conversations, and numerous emails with PayPal they finally told me that my documentation certifying non-delivery proved nothing because according to their policy, the seller fulfilled their responsibilities in shipping the package to its destination ("notice left") and that the remainder of the process is the fault of the carrier. They said that the claim has to be filed with USPS if I were to try to reclaim my losses, which would amount to only the $50 insurance automatically added to Priority shipping.

I cannot believe that PayPal has such a misleading Purchase Protection policy. So just because my package reached my place of residence at one point but not in my hands that qualifies as delivery? Are we using different dictionaries? And all along the way the policy was neither clearly stated nor reiterated. I had numerous customer service associates telling me I would be able to recover my claim once I uploaded my document, only to have this escalated to manager after manager and be told that because there was a notice left and a delivery "attempt" made, any certification that to package is lost is irrelevant. What a disgrace.

For it to have taken this long with this much effort on my part as a buyer, and pretty much zero response from the seller just makes me so disappointed.
In terms of the vendor, I am going to try contacting him again and if he doesn't offer a refund in light of these circumstances I won't hesitate to take further action.
Do keep checking with the local postmaster...the package may still turn up!

eta: I really enjoyed scrolling through your website!

eta: I have edited my post, as I have had numerous transactions with the vendor listed, all of which were exactly as expected, without problem.
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Unfortunately quite a few Etsy vendors that I had dealt with in the past lacked business skills and ethics, I don't think I'll ever make a large purchase again from Etsy. I suggest that you post on Pricescope as well so potential buyers can make an informed decision before purchasing again from this vendor. I suspect quite a number of their sales were based on the trust and reviews built from here and from Pricescope.
I made one more attempt to contact the vendor about issuing a refund for the pearls I paid for and never received.

Jac de Rham/ThePearlHouse of Etsy is standing by PayPal's decision not to refund because in their joint opinion an attempt on delivery is all that is needed to qualify as proof of delivery. This was a signature confirmation Priority shipping for which I have a letter from USPS stating the package "never received a delivery scan" and current whereabouts unknown.

Take this as fair warning when making transactions with this vendor. Also note that PayPal may not honor their Purchase Protection plan depending on how close to the destination the package gets. Use a credit/debit card with a solid chargeback policy. And make sure there is insurance on your packages though the existence of a claims process may not guarantee you are safe, as this case demonstrates.
As I said, you do not have a contract with the shipping company so that is nothing to do with you. You have a contract with the seller who has failed to meet his side of the contract. He has to supply more pearls to you or refund your consideration. That's basic contract law.
Simply send a letter before action or do whatever is required by US law to start a small claim. That may attract his attention. You could also point out that court fees will be payable by him when you win. And he will have a judgement (a proper court judgement not a faceless employee judgement) against him.
At the same time make sure you don't just threaten - demanding money with menaces is blackmail which is a criminal offence.
I'm sure there are consumer websites etc which can advise for the USA
Such a disappointing performance by Jac, all the more as you were a previous customer of his. One would hope that he would at least feel some degree of loyalty or obligation to a past customer, but apparently not.

So short-sighted.
Once I was waiting for a package from overseas. It got hung up in the international sorting facility of USPS (somewhere in NYC) for weeks, whereabouts unknown, "presumably lost in transit". It might have never left the sorting facility. I think it took 6weeks to finally get to me.

Around that time a NYC ADA task force was investigating postal employee theft.

There are two issues here, right?
A package shipped under-insured ( the seller's mistake )
USPS saying they attempted delivery.

perhaps if you find out the sorting facility's phone number you can call and mention you'd hate to think USPS was still experiencing problems like the ones that prompted that investigation. As the buyer, I was not treated too well during my initial USPS phone calls, but after I mentioned that I sure hoped they weren't still under investigation, I got a bit more respect. Then the seller followed up from her end, and the lost package was found. Perhaps that was a coincidence.

I don't know how that'd play in NH. Has Jac actually gotten on the phone with USPS to your knowlege?
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