Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Why PayPal are nebbishly shite

A while back I set up a PayPal account on behalf of freelance theology and because it was for that project I ticked the box marked ‘nonprofit organisation’. Now I know things have been tightened up recently to prevent money laundering, but a quick glance at that account would tell you it’s only ever been used to pay tiny amounts very infrequently, and they’ve all come off my credit card.

But PayPal, being the faceless corporation it is, don’t bother looking at things like that. Instead they send out a standard email demanding proof of nonprofit status… about 3 years after I set up the account.

I don’t have that proof, so I went on to my account and changed the account status to personal. Except then I was told that because I hadn’t sent in the documentation, my account access was limited and one of the things I couldn’t do as a result was amend my status. I also couldn’t close the account, unless I provided the documentation I didn’t have. So, in order to resolve the fact that I don’t have the documentation I have to… produce the documentation. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen. But in the crazy universe where PayPal employees live it’s all perfectly logical.

I have emailed PayPal to try and point out that I can’t actually do anything because they won’t let me. The email I got back said, ‘Durr, I am a customer service drone and I can’t do anything to help.’ I’m still getting the emails saying ‘Your account access has been limited’ and ‘Visit here to find out how to restore your account’. YEAH I HAVE AND YOU WON’T LET ME YOU CHIMP-BRAINED IMBECILES.

I get paroxysmally mad at those emails. You can’t reply to them because you get an auto response. They direct you to the ‘resolution centre’ instead; a euphemistic term meaning ‘you’re doomed’. The only way to resolve the issue is send them the documents. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT YOU MADE A MISTAKE AND CAN CORRECT IT. No, the only way you can correct your mistake is if you first ‘resolve’ the ‘conflict’ and send in the documents.

And don’t think about trying the frustrating ‘contact us’ option. It’ll only break your soul and make you want to poke your fingers through your eyes to stop your brain exploding with rage. It’s an automated system designed, I think, to make you go off and hang yourself so that no one at PayPal ever has to answer an email. I managed to break through and actually send an email to them by typing ‘Why are you twats?’ in the form box. Unbelievably, that isn’t a regular question they deal with at PayPal so I was spared the inane unhelpful ‘FAQs’, which pop up instead of letting you contact them.

For such a world-encompassing financial system, I cannot believe that PayPal are so uncontactable. It’s as if it’s run by one robot somewhere sending out emails and following protocols and not understanding why the stupid humans don’t send in their documentation to prove they don’t have their documentation.

Bollocks to them I say. And believe me, that’s the polite version of what I’m thinking.

To prove my point, this is the email I got back last time I got through:

Thanks for contacting PayPal. My name is Nikki and I appreciate the
opportunity to assist you with your questions about the case status.

I apologise for the inconvenience or dissatisfaction because of this case.

However, we are unable to answer your query regarding the PP-555-112-703
case, for I am not trained for that specific field. I do not wish to
mislead you as well. I have forwarded your concern to the Resolutions
Department who were trained in this kind of case.

In those circumstances, and in order to maintain the integrity of an
account and to know the status faster, they need to make sure that they are
speaking directly to the account holder. In order to assist you, I
recommend that you contact them by telephone at 08707 307 191 and verified
your identity to a customer service representative. Then you may request to
be connected to the Resolution Department, so that a specialist may be able
to assist you regarding the case on your account.

Again I apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

Thank you for choosing PayPal and it's been a pleasure doing business with

PayPal European Services
PayPal, an eBay Company

Needless to say I phoned the number she gave me. After about half an hour they told me there was nothing they could do and I needed to phone Luxembourg. Fantastic service! In that it made me fantasise about buying a shotgun and paying a visit to their head office.

To make it ironic, I’d buy my weapon off eBay…


  1. I understand completely! I set up an account for lifeismootiful and want to change the name of my business but can't because I can't technically proove to them that life is mootiful exists?!?!? SO WHY DID THEY LET ME SET IT UP LIKE THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE?????? ALSO WHY CAN'T ANYONE HAVE MORE THAN ONE BUSINESS ???????
    PayPal is fine for personal use but avoid avoid avoid it if you want to use it for business! :( cheeres jon. you have now got me in a foul mood !!!

  2. Anonymous8/2/09 10:26

    Have you had the email that invites you to reply with any questions when in reality replying gives you an automated response telling you you can not reply to this email address and that you need to log in to your account to contact them?
    Of course at this point logging in to your account does not enable you contact them because the account is frozen and the only way to unfreeze it is to resolve the unresolvable issue or log a dispute with Paypal which then triggers the reply to this email email with the you can not contact this email address response and around you go again...
    Been doing this since July.

  3. Anonymous16/3/09 10:02

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.