Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is PayPal really your "Pal"

Back on November first I received a lovely email from PayPal stating my account had been "limited". Limited meaning I can't do anything with it really.
I spent over two hours on the phone trying to resolve an issue that was never really an issue in the first place! Since the phone call isn't free, I'm paying the phone company for usage time for a toll call to fix a problem that shouldn't have been!
I had logged onto PayPal via a different computer than I normally use, which apparently caused an erroneous "third party use" alarm which then limited my account. Ok, I try to follow the online steps to clear the limitation, particularly entering the bank routing information. That kept failing, which then requred me to hunt through the PayPal website to find the contact number. Being on hold for over 45 minutes I finally reach an operator. In the process of "resolving" the account routing information, the battery on my phone quits, which of course hangs up the call. Great...Calling back again, waiting on hold...again...I reach an operator who is able to reset the bank routing information, but the account remains limited. I follow the steps online including the phone verification, which also failed, causing me to wait more than a full calendar week for the snail mail code to arrive.
How then does PayPal expect merchants to be faithful to a system that penalises them if they need to acces their account from a different terminal/location. If I travel and use a remote terminal (ie;internet cafe), will my account be limited again and I suffer through two weeks of NOT being able to transact business via PayPal? I can understand the need for vigilance, but I think the current policy toward limiting accounts is too sensitive when accountholders use remote terminals.
On the whole it took two full weeks for that simple problem to be resolved. Fortunately for me I only had $50 in the account at the time. A lesson learned from this is not to let the PayPal balance grow too high lest they hold my money ransom again.