Why I Don’t Trust PayPal

Back when I was a new eBay Powerseller, I loved PayPal. People paid me instantly, and I didn’t have to run to the bank to deposit checks and wait until they cleared. Of course some people had problems, but I figured they were probably doing some sketchy stuff and had it coming…. Until it happened to me.

They don’t tell you this, but just one nervous buyer or seller can file a complaint against you, and that’s that. Even if they just don’t want to pay for it. Your account is disabled, a happy word for frozen. As in no access to your money. And you don’t get access until you do all of the following:

» Submit to a credit check
» Be home while they call you to verify phone number
» Fax them receipts from your inventory proving you have the stuff you’re selling (How do you prove you have an old computer???)
» Fax them driver’s license, utility bills, and more.

And then, after a week, if they deem you legit (which they did), I got my account access back. It can take longer if they ‘misplace’ your documents or somehow don’t receive your fax. And what if they don’t, in their almighty power, decide you are legit? Who knows.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t trust PayPal. And why you will never see me promote keeping funds in their Money Market Fund, which is also not FDIC Insured (although this is not necessarily a big deal if you trust the institution). There’s not way I’m leaving thousands of dollars with them to freeze at their whim. I do continue to use PayPal for small money transactions because, well, what choice do I have? I accept the risk, and withdraw all funds immediately. Besides, they already have my entire identity now…

Comments

  1. offtopic, but what is the name of your poker related blog?

  2. oh my.

    you actually got your account UNfrozen? wow! there’s so many poor horror stories out there, and back then Paypal was pretty rough. I heard its a wee bit better now after ebay bought em out, but who knows.

    I never leave money in there too, its wild how we still use it too. what a bummer. nothing beats giving money to a totally unregulated industry.

    after I read all those horror stories on paypalsucks.com, paypalwarning.com etc. I setup like backup checking accounts. it was such a hassle. ie: i transfer funds to one checking account then loop it out after that. my linked paypal accounts were always empty, just incase paypal decides to take money out due to some silly buyer complaints.

    their money market is definitely a bad idea, i mean dont forget that you’ll get taxed on those too.

    ah, paypal, can’t live with you, but can’t live without you too. I was rooting for citi’s c2it, and HSBC’s yahoo paydirect. they had their chance but blew it.

    they probably realized they couldnt make money unless they start freezing accounts with thousands .

  3. Jane Dough says:

    I have heard PayPal horror stories as well. So far I have not been directly impacted and have had a very good experience working with PayPal. However, I have made a point of keeping my PayPal account funded with just a few hundred dollars. If I don’t plan on purchasing anything for awhile I will draw it down to about $100.

    Regularly sweeping any large profits out of PayPal and into your checking account is a prudent thing to do.

  4. hey Jane, you shouldn’t have to have ur account funded to be able to make payments, I think.

    say you have $0 in balance, whenever you make a payment to someone, just select the checking/savings account you want the money to be withdrawl from, and paypal will automatically withdrawl whatever amounts you need to fullfill that payment.

    these would be instant payments too, and shouldn’t be those slower echeck ones. especially if you have already confirmed and verify your linked accounts.

  5. mblogpoker.blogspot.com

  6. Joshua Lindquist says:

    Chances are, PayPal is going to have to get there business in order if they don’t want to be crushed by Google Payments (or whatever they’re going to call it). I know I’ve been less than happy with some of PayPals policies, and I’m personally really excited for more competition in this area!

  7. Wow, I somehow missed all the paypal horror stories. I’m parking all the money we’ve been saving for my wife’s new car in there. Guess I better find a new parking space!

  8. dont worry. google paypal will be here soon!

  9. I always wondered why you didn’t recommend Paypal over ING. Makes sense now.

  10. Yeah when I was a seller on Ebay, I really preferred money orders and stuff over Paypal even with the huge mailing delays. I also try to keep a $0 balance whenever possible… it’s scary.

  11. Thanks for that tip. I do a fairly large amount of transactions with Paypal and keep a hefty balance in there (because of the money market rate). I think I might have a reason to open an emigrant account and hold my business money in there.

  12. wow that sucks. I haven’t used paypal for a while but if i do i won’t be leaving a large amount of money there just incase…thanks for the information

  13. Too many scams on paypal. Do not link a “real” checking acct. I sold a book and got scammed by an Ebay seller and Paypal just came in and did an ACH withdrawal of funds and I could not stop them. I have since deleted the checking acct link through PayPal. The trick is really simple: 1) buy something and ask the seller to ship via Media Mail (no tracking) 2) wait till you recieve the item 3) then complain to PayPal that you have not gotten anything 4) voila – you get an instant refund 5) Seller gets screwed twice – shipped item already and has to refund the money and pays for shipping too!

  14. I was a paypal victim but in a different way. Somehow my account was hacked and it was used to make transfers from my bank account through paypal to an online casino totalling $3000. Needless to say paypal did crap but let me know I owned them money until I dropped the lawyer card on them and provided documentation and statements aying I did not do it. Though the online casinos were very helpful. When I contacted them about the problem and to be reimbursed they had no problem with doing it. Especially when they found out that the name used to spend the money was not my name. Now like others above, I have a seperate bank account that I leave no money in to use as my linked account to paypal. This all happened about 3 years ago. To this day I have keeped all the emails to and from paypal about it.

  15. Marwan Amoudi says:

    Hey guys,
    I have been reading lately about a lot of problems regarding PayPal and frozen accounts. If a new website emerges that offers the same service as PayPal would you guys deal with that website??? what i mean to say is, how would you trust a newly created website like paypal.

  16. PayPal is worse than simply freezing your PayPal balance. If they feel like it, they will simply go after your linked checking account and withdraw money from there. Happened to me when I was scammed by a buyer on eBay who took delivery and then claimed I hadn’t sent anything.

    I try to keep the balance on that checking account low now, and it didn’t offer interest anyway.

  17. paypal!!!!! crap.

    I raised a dispute when goods were not delivered.
    In due course paypal informed me that they had ended the claim finding in my favour BUT I have received nothing back from them apart from an apology.
    Where is the much vaunted buyer protection?

  18. Tiggerthetiger says:

    I had my account frozen with £1,400 in.I sent them all docs they asked for as proof of ID, and they unfroze it.I withdrew money straightaway.
    The very next day they placed my paypal account into a negative balance by £600…!
    It was something I sold on ebay.That buyer all of a sudden was no longer a registered user.I couldnt believe it.I sent the buyer an e mail but no reply.
    The silly thing is that Paypal advised me to send that particular order quckly so that I could get a tracking number and prove to Paypal Ive sent it as part of the verification procedure I was going through,such as driving license details and proof of purchase for the items I sold which had made my balance go up to that £1,400 in the first place…

    SO heres the kicker ! Im now left waiting for paypal to withdraw that £600 from my bank account if they do not accept I`ve sent that buyer the item (gold coin) Even though it was sent tracked and had to be signed for…
    After doing much research I realised I had to cancel the direct debit I set up.I DID…
    Then I found out they can steal your money via any account you have set up with ebay (if your ebay and paypal accounts are linked) So I rang my credit card company and told them I had lost my card.They put a block on the account and are sending me a new card with a different account number.

    While I was talking to my credit card company,the lady online tells me ebay has taken ONE PENCE today ! It was a Sunday.

    I believe it is a way to confirm that account is still active as I had told ebay I want to cancel my account !

    They are just downright DEVIOUS…dont trust them.

    In order to cut down farud they have to treat honest people the same way as fraudsters….

    ITS A NASTY BUSINESS ….

  19. Pissed with paypal says:

    I never believed any of the Paypal Horro Stories that I read online. I figured it was just sour grapes.

    I can now say with certainty that Paypal Sucks. I have been using Paypal as a buyer since 2002. I started selling through a dropship arrangement in February 2010.

    In February I had sales of $5000. All the purchases were shipped promptly and the feedbacks were all positive. I was shocked at the end of the month to see access restricted to my Paypal Account.

    I sent them all the information they asked for. Invoices, Tracking Numbers, Copies of Drivers License, and I linked my bank account to Paypal and completed the two transactions.

    Well I thought my problems with Paypal were over when they lifted the restriction on my account and I actually withdrew the $1004 I had earned to my bank account.

    Needless to say I didn’t offer anything for sale while account access was restricted. As soon as the restriction was lifted I offered several items for sale on the world’s most popular auction site. On March 30 and March 31 I made several sales. I awoke on March 31, checked my emails and filled the orders I had received.

    Later that day, I received notice form Paypal that my account was restricted until I provided proof of delivery for the items sold that day. I waited for the tracking numbers thinking it was no big deal. The tracking numbers came in and I posted them in the proper place on the Paypal website.

    Meanwhile Paypal started to take money from my bank acocunt although to cover auction listing fees even though there was more than enough in my Paypal account to cover the fees.

    I waited until April 15 when the last item I was tracking was delivered and signed for. Then I phoned Paypal certain that my access would be restored. WRONG! Later that day I received an email informing me that my funds would be held for 180 days and that my account would remain frozen.

    I immediately drove to my local bank and placed a Stop All on the account for Paypal. Lucky for me that I did because they continued to try and take money from my bank account instead of using the money in the Paypal account.

    My bank representative reversed the transactions that Paypal had initiated and put the money back in my bank account. Paypal can take what they are owned from the frozen Paypal account. I refuse to wait 180 days to see if this bunch of crooks will eventually allow me access to my money.

    Incidentally there is exactly enough in Paypal to cover what I owe to the auction site that owns Paypal. I have my money and they can wait 180 days for theirs. It is game that two can play and I don’t like being screwed over.

  20. Well where to start ,

    oh yes

    PAYPAL SUCKS!!!

    Here is my story:

    i sold my old ipod on ebay and had recieved some gift money from a friend , i didnt trust paypal so i transfered the cash to my bank,

    2 days later i look in my account and i see that it has been restricted and my transfers put on hold, They have asked for all sorts of crazy things like inventorys , how can i prove i have an old ipod touch?
    and it also asked me for shipping confirmation for the ipod and the gift money , How can i give shipping information for money ive been sent?

    Anyway , I have sent an angry email to them ,

    lets see what they say

    Jake.

  21. don't like the idea says:

    If you all like to get even with paypal and another certain site that owns paypal for all the hold funds. take my advice on this.. go to paypal and remove all your banking info. I mean cut them off from your banks. Go to the other place that owns paypal and log in and where it ask for credit card info.. take you paypal debit card and place that on file as the only thing. Now take and go to any amt unit and get what ever money you have in your paypal account that is available to you out. Keep the funds down under your bill of what you owe that certain other place. Keep your paypal account at this level all the time. you see by doing this your are really criss crossing them with there own place and and the dim wits are really holding there own money back from them selfs!

    Now if the certain other place that owns paypal the place that is after you for money for your selling fees forwards your account to a collection agency for non payment. When they call just tell them that the other party money is indeed in the account but they are holding there own money back from them selfs and you can not help what they do to there own selfs and if it wasn’t for the paypal hold policy they have then they would probably have there money. LOL

    You see, this way they are really sucken at there own blood and holding their own money back from them selfs.

    I have heard that paymate is alot better then paypal also and the certain other place also allows them on there site as a form of payment. All though you have to wait 10 days for your money to be cleared and drop into your bank account. It sure beats the 21 day+ hold from paypal.

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