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"Paypal Sucks" - Comments

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I've had a PayPal account for years, with no problems. The only possible problem was when someone hacked into my account, added a bank account that isn't mine, and tried (unsuccessfully) to transfer money out of that account. I caught the problem quickly, and got it resolved that same day after speaking to a very helpful CSR.

After reading all the comments posted here, I have decided that in the event that I ever DO have a problem, I will handle it by dealing with them in person at their local call center (Nebraska I-80 exit 442 near Omaha).

It seems to me that PayPal works great - so long as there's no problems. If there are any problems and you need anyone's help, just forgetaboutit, because their business model seems to involve as little customer support and human interaction as possible, preferably zero if they could actually find a way to get away with it....

I've not had any PayPal problems - yet - and as I need to sell stuff on ebay I'm kinda stuck with them for now. I'm just keeping my head down and hoping hoping hoping that they don't screw up before I'm done selling stuff.

Not really a "horror" story, more of an annoyance.

When I first moved to Sydney, I still had CC and loan debt in the states and getting my salary transferred back to my bank in the states is expensive. I found that Paypal's fees were somewhat less at the time. Approximately half of my monthly salary was the breakeven point actually.

So, I opened two paypal accounts, one drawing on my credit card here and one on my credit card and bank account in the states, and then proceeded to transfer money back and forth between them. It was a great way to get money available to make my payments without having to worry that a check or money order would get lost in the mail (not to mention earning cash bonuses on two credit cards). Then the fees with paypal went up and it became cheaper to use direct bank transfers to move my money around, but I kept my two paypal accounts just in case.

At some point a few years ago, Paypal decided that since both accounts were for one person, they should be one account and without any warnings, they merged my two accounts into one. I can sign into it with either email address and access any of the CC or Bank accounts that are tied to it, but I cannot unlink either email address nor can I change my bank account as it is the primary. I've tried several times to get this corrected before just giving up. That's not really a problem anymore as I don't use the two accounts to transfer money between countries anymore.

The annoyance factor comes in when I purchase something using one email address and the seller gets the other email address from paypal and sends all of the receipts and notices to the wrong address. Naturally the wrong address is my work address and about half of what I get through paypal is lost in the email filter here. I've even been denied service by several sellers who won't take the time to sort through this mess (their loss).

One of these days I'll get annoyed enough to cancel both accounts and stop using paypal. It would certainly happen if I found some of what I've read here happening to my account(s).

As a side note, to get around auto-responders you could try spacing out your key words ... not "refund" but "r e f u n d"....

I had a Paypal account for years. Then someone bought something from me on eBay. It was just less than $500.

The purchaser paid through Paypal.

After Paypal told me about the payment, I sent the item to the purchaser.

Then Paypal told me that 'their customer' had not approved the purchase. They never gave me a satisfactory answer and insist that the credit card used to pay for the item (through Paypal)was improperly used. Even though the item was evidently sent to the address of 'their customer' Paypal would not let me withdraw the money from my account -- and Paypal shut down my account.

All my efforts to get more information or to have the matter reviewed were rejected.

Paypal says it is my obligation to go after the purchaser on my own -- about 2000 miles away.

Ok so I just got off the phone with customer service. I had sold an item last night, come to realize that paypal has my money on hold! This is what aggravates me, AND the rest of the people on this forum regarding the hold...

1. If the customer whom bought the item from you is not happy with the product you have sold them, paypal can hold your money up for weeks with their HORRIBLE customer service. (Even though it clearly states on ebays listings "returns not allowed", it still seems as if paypal tries to bypass that).

2. You have to wait on the customer to leave you a feedback or three days after it has been delivered for it to clear. (Ok, lets think about this for a second... If you do not have the tracking number of the shipment, the customer could say it was never received thus the payment is sent back to them! So now you are out the cost of your item, AS WELL AS money out of your pocket for shipping AND the item!!!)

3. Customer service, Customer service, Customer service, Customer service!!! Since they have turned into this HUGE monster, its their way or no way! If you dont like it, so what, deal with it! I do not see how a company like this, this BIG has such horrible CS reps on call. She pretty much said it was Ebays fault my money is being held. Well hellllllo, WHO has their hands on my money right now? EBAY? No you bafoons, YOU! You said ebay will tell you when its ok to give me my money, but then you said I need to enter a tracking number so you can give me my money after the item has been received, feedback or not, 3 days after you see its shipped, I will receive my money. Now how is that on Ebay?!?! I am telling you people, we need to stand up to this company, go at them hard, strong AND FAST so they can stop ripping us off! Send them emails stating their rules have changed so much in the past year, we will not stand for it! Close your accounts, show them your serious.

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You do realize who owns Paypal, right? eBay. -rc

Paypal needing a strong competitor is the same for EA Games who owns The Sims franchise. Fans of the game don't get what they want, even to the extent that the game destroys their computers. Strong competitors are certainly needed. When a business doesn't have one they abuse their power and are only concerned with making money.

It's more than aggravating. Sometimes I want to pull out my hair!

(This perhaps isn't completely on topic but I totally felt you when you mentioned that.)

Take care!

I really like cranky customer and am wondering if there might not be a place among your newsletters for Happy Customers? I know there are many of us out there and companies need atta boys too. In fact, I'll get the ball rolling by saying that This Is True always makes my week, especially when it includes a Bonzer website. Cheers!!!

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I do often praise companies and products in TRUE, but I just don't have room in my week for another newsletter, so it has to be up to someone else to do the Happy Customer newsletter. -rc

I have a PayPal account from before eBay bought it, but I don't use it much - especially after eBay had bought it.

Several years ago, eBay came over to Kuala Lumpur to try to publicise themselves. I had registered myself on eBay previously, and I was invited to attend the seminar.

What I concluded from the seminar was that I would never use eBay to trade, because all they wanted was your money (you pay to list and after a successful transaction, they still want a commission on the sale amount), and if any problem arises, they do not want to hear of it - they say it is between the seller and buyer.

For me, it is simple. If you only collect money for listing, then it is like a newspaper advertisement. Any problem will be between the buyer and seller.

However, if you take a commission, you are like an agent - a go-between. If any problem arises, the agent has to help resolve it.

In marketing, there is such a thing as good brands and bad brands. To me, eBay is a bad brand, just as Randy Cassingham is a good brand (and I won't go into the whys as it is irrelevant to this topic).

Sweet tap dancing saints on the head of a pin. My story is like those of the others, so I'll spare you the hair ripping, teeth gnashing details. It was almost like a Monty Python sketch... ("The parrot is dead." "Are you sure the parrot is dead?") The abject stupidity of the circumstances strained credulity, so I am giddy with glee to know it wasn't me, as both PayPal and eBay continually tried to imply. The only thing that saved me was that my account was linked to my VISA card and they sided with me. Over two months later, eBay sends me a survey asking me if the dispute was resolved and to rate my experience. Needless to say, I was not kind, and only skirted the edge of civility. That was weeks ago, and in their usual fashion, there has been no response. Bring on the competition!

My PayPal horror story is actually rather relevant to the blog entry.

You see, I had one of those recurring subscriptions to This Is True. Had. I changed banks in September of 2009, and the debit card number I had linked to my PayPal account stopped working. It stopped working after the September quarterly subscription payment went through, but I knew the December payment wouldn't go through.

The thing is, PayPal refers to that sort of payment as an e-check. It's processed as an electronic checking transaction via the routing number of the checking account the debit card is attached to, not as a direct charge on the debit card number. This raised the ugly possibility that instead of simply declining the transaction, I'd get an actual check bounce. Further, the old account was at WAMU, which had just become Chase (prompting my switching banks), and Chase has this nasty habit of re-opening old accounts to pay new charges that come in on the defunct account. When they re-open the account, it typically lacks optional settings (mine was set to decline transactions rather than overdraft, which was, at the time, an option with WAMU); This could lead to me not only having an open non-free checking account with Chase (with accompanying fees), but both a debit and an overdraft fee putting it in the red. In other words, every single thing I switched banks to avoid.

But here's where the horror begins. My PayPal account is rather old. I don't use it much, but I've had it a long time. PayPal has never asked me to provide security questions & answers to my account. I use randomly generated passwords online (they follow a pattern, but the pattern was randomly generated); This makes them difficult to guess, and easy to remember, since I just need to remember the pattern. My password didn't work. So I looked up my records (encrypted and stored offline), verified I was using the right password. PayPal just wanted a different one. So I tried the automatic password reset link. I got this email from PayPal with a clickable link in it to confirm the reset. The link was completely nonfunctional (blank page). So I tried manually resetting my password. Up come these security questions. Some of the questions don't apply to me (I've never been married, and never owned a car, so any answer I can give to "When is your wedding anniversary?" or "What was the make and model of your first car?" will always be wrong), while other questions do apply, but every answer I give is deemed wrong.

Even entering my full & complete debit card number, the expiration date and the verification number from the back of the card doesn't work. PayPal claims the number is wrong.

So I try phoning them. The CSR asks the same security questions as the web form did. When I try to point out that somehow someone else's account has apparently been merged with mine, and the security questions don't apply to me, I get asked for my bank account number that the debit card is tied to and my SSN. After supplying both, the CSR gets very frostily polite, declines to help me, and hangs up on me. They had no problems at all billing my checking account, but the account number was apparently wrong in the files the CSR could see.

Eventually I just gave up and vowed to sue them if my financial history got dinged by a bounced check, or a collection agency started calling me. December came around, the failed payment generated six different automatic, boilerplate emails from PayPal, and my account is now locked. Without the ability to login, I'll never be able to unlock it. I can't get a new PayPal account either, since my personal data (despite not actually being tied to the account) is still somehow linked to an existing PayPal account, so new account creation fails.

The thing is, all the original reasons I had a PayPal account in the first place still exist. I'd love to do business with them, but they can't be bothered to take my money, even when I'm all but shoving it at them. Way to lose a customer, PayPal!

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Incredibly aggravating, and just my point exactly: they only want to do things a certain way, even if that doesn't make sense, or is downright wrong. Paypal needs a real competitor. I'm amazed Google or Microsoft or (fill in the blank) hasn't taken them on. -rc

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(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)