A B.C. man has been ordered to pay PayPal Canada $2,000 after falsely accusing the company of racial discrimination in a human rights complaint.
In a complaint to the BC Human Rights Tribunal earlier this year, Sandeep Sull accused a PayPal customer service representative of racial discrimination during a phone call, claiming he was called a “damn Paki” by the agent.
PayPal, however, records its calls with customers. A recording of the call in question shows that no PayPal employee called Sull a slur or said “anything else that could be remotely connected to his race and colour,” according to a decision from the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
Emails Sull sent to PayPal lawyers would reveal his true motives for filing the human rights complaint.
“This has been fun,” Sull said in his email, gloating that the human rights complaint cost him nothing to file.
“By going this route first for 0$ cost I got to increase the fees on PayPal’s shoulders. Of course for any judgement not in my favour I would appeal and etc (sic) and keep milking costs on you before going to small claims."
The background of Sull’s dispute with PayPal was not discussed in the tribunal’s decision which ordered him to pay PayPal $2,000 for abusing the system.
Tribunal member Devyn Cousineau said it is clear that Sull did not file his complaint because he believed he was discriminated against.
“Rather, his intention was to take advantage of the tribunal’s low barrier process, with no filing fees and little financial risk, to increase the time and expense that PayPal had to incur in responding to his allegations,” Cousineau ruled. “He knew that small claims [court] was the proper forum for the dispute.”
Cousineau said the deliberate misuse of the tribunal’s “scarce resources is serious.”
PayPal sought $5,000 for the bogus complaint, the approximate cost of legal fees in the matter, but Cousineau instead ordered Sull to pay $2,000. The tribunal noted that the complaint was easily dismissed due to PayPal’s phone recordings, which minimized the waste of public resources.