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PAYPAL are legalized extortionists
Back on the 4th of this month (12 days ago now), for the 1st time I decided to sell an item on eBay. At $310, the sale was a success and I had myself
a buyer. I made it known to the buyer that I preferred a direct bank transfer payment ... from their bank account to my bank account ... simple and
sweet ... what could possibly go wrong ?
Here we had the old fashioned transaction in all it's glory ... I sell, you buy, you pay me, I send the goods.
After the auction concluded, the purchaser stated that they've had past bad experiences with such direct buy/pay transactions and would much rather
(for their own peace of mind) pay using PayPal.
Personally, I wasn't too happy with this form of payment as I'd never used PayPal in the past and truthfully, just couldn't be bothered with going
through all the hassle of setting up a PayPal account. Anyway, to keep the purchaser happy, I agreed to use PayPal.
So no surprise when I found myself being compelled to give away all sorts of personal and banking information to some company that I never really
wanted to deal with in the 1st place.
Eventually, I got the new PayPal account up and running, notified the purchaser who immediately transferred the full item price to my PayPal account.
This was on a Friday evening.
PayPal notified me that the payment had been made and so quite naively, I log into my PayPal account where I notice that PayPal had already debited
their cut of approximately $8 ... the thieving sods certainly don't believe in wasting any time dipping their hands into my money. Anyway, I went
ahead and requested a full transfer of the reduced amount of $302 over to my personal bank account. PayPal indicated that the transfer transaction had
Thinking that everything was hunky-dory, I did the right thing by the buyer who payed so quickly and the next day, I post of the item to them.
Transaction completed ... right ?
WRONG .... this is the point at which everything started to go downhill ... RAPIDLY !!
I figure that like most bank to bank transactions, that this will most likely take a day or two, so no probs.
But the days go by and just as I'm starting to wonder what's the delay, I get an email from PayPal stating that my brand-spanking new PayPal account
was under review ... WTF ????
These cretins waited a full 6 days
after I requested them to transfer the funds to begin the shafting process. PayPal obviously had finally
decided that now that was a good time to start lubricating the instrument of impalation and I could almost feel a hand on the back of my neck starting
to push me over into the required position.
Apparently, my account wasn't fully finalized yet and therefore the fund transfer (which had been previously approved) had been reversed and put on
hold because NOW they decide that they require additional forms of id from me to prove that I was really who I said I was when I created the PayPal
account. Their request was for 2 forms of SCANNED id, namely the front & back of a current drivers license and a current utility bill showing my
address. Once supplied, I was told my account would become fully activated.
As well as the 2 id items, an additional form was emailed to me that I was required to complete, then scan and send back to them. This form was a
questionnaire asking such things as:
"How much money do I expect to receive in my PayPal account each month ?
Exactly WHY should that be any of their business ?
If I'm not required to disclose that info to my bank in order for me to open an account, then why should PayPal ? Perhaps I've got it wrong but
isn't PayPal's reason for existence primarily to facility the transfer of funds between a seller and buyer ? What do they care if I receive $5 in my
PayPal account or $5000 each month ? Duhhhhh [head slap] .... obviously the more money moving INTO my PayPal account, the more commission they help
themselves to and the richer they get !
One particular question that I refused to answer was regarding my annual income. I thought this question alone was a complete and unnecessary
intrusion into my privacy and for the life of me could not see why this information was necessary if all PayPal were doing was facilitating a fund
transfer between buyer and seller.
So I refused to answer it truthfully and selected the minimum annual income response and even hand wrote a comment on the form against this question
expressing my belief that it was a completely inappropriate question and "none of their business" !
Well, I guess that was a BIG mistake on my part !
I wait another 2 days and when still no money appearing in my bank account, I phone PayPal customer service ... CUSTOMER service ... what a joke
Judging by the support staffers accent, I'd been diverted to somewhere in India or Malaysia or god only knows where else. I ask the girl if they had
received all the required documents and was reassured that yes, they have all they need and that the documents were being "processed" and that my
account should be fully activated within 48 hours ... this is now 6 days since I sold the item, created the account, had the buyer transfer money into
it ... and now this person is telling me that I had yet another 2 days to wait for my money ... what a complete load of bollocks and I certainly
impressed upon her my "complete lack of satisfaction" with the way PayPal was conducting business.
Time moves along ...
Two days later, I call for a progress update and am told that the account has still not been activated and the funds remain unavailable to me. This
means that the buyer has now had the item physically in their possession for more than a week and I have yet to receive payment for it.
At this point I went of the deep end and got stuck into the staffer (again, somewhere in Asia) and demanded that she fully and clearly explains the
delay as I believed I fully had the right to know why my funds were going nowhere fast. She explains .. actually no, she didn't EXPLAIN ... she
simply informs me that now my account is under legal
review ... WTF !!!!!!!
I asked for further clarification and was refused any details and all I could get out of her was her citing PayPal policy over and over and over.
So I ask, "what's the legal issue ?" ... "can't tell you", she says.
I ask, "what's the policy being invoked ?" ... "can't tell you", she says.
"Transfer me to your supervisor immediately !" ... "can't do that and anyway, he'd only repeat what I've been telling you", she says.
All I got at the end of that very unsatisfactory conversation was that my account was still inactive ... that my funds were still being held by PayPal
... and that I was still under legal review.
Ten days down the track and I knew f*ck all !
Today, it's now 12 days since I sold the item and got paid for it with PayPal acting as the middle man.
I called customer support once again asking for an update and clarification as to what the problem was. I won't bother giving any details because it
was virtually a carbon copy of every previous conversation I've had with PayPal.
I ended the conversation by hanging up on her.
Continued next post ...