FYI: PayPal's appalling unprofessionalism.

by Chris-
14 replies
I know there have been many threads about PayPal's unprofessional behavior on here already, but I thought I'd just add my own experience, for the information of others . . .

I provided services (nothing to do with IM) to a buyer, and he happily paid me $100 after receiving the services. PayPal told me that an "unauthorized transaction" was suspected, and put a hold on the payment. They told him that the payment hadn't been approved yet due to a "random security check", and he emailed them immediately saying that the payment was 100% legitimate and must be approved immediately. I also emailed them telling them that the buyer has already recieved the services and that the payment is legitimate.

About a week later, they've just reversed the payment.

My PayPal account only has relatively small amounts of money going through it, and I've never ever had any kind of refund or complaint from any buyer in any way. I keep most of the money I recieve in PayPal for a long time, and only use it in small amounts.

The fact that they told us different stories, and completely ignored both our communications is, in my opinion, utterly unprofessional and I urge everyone to try to find a better alternative than PayPal if possible. Lucikly I know the buyer in this case so PayPal's appalling behaviour will not affect his opinion of me, but in so many situations, this kind of thing could cost me valuable business if the buyer doesn't know me and associates me with the problem.

I'm looking for an alternative payment system, and have so far found that AlertPay seem to be no better (they've got some unspecified problem with Visa transactions, and say they have no idea at all when they might be able to fix this problem, as well as having contradictory information on the verification process etc.).

I wonder if V.me will be any better.


Chris
#appalling #fyi #paypal #unprofessionalism
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    /rant

    V.me looks hopeful.

    2CheckOut.com might work for you.

    As to PayPal, the "unauthorized transaction was suspected" is triggered internally by their software.

    Neither of you called PayPal; you said that both of you emailed PayPal. That did not put the PayPal techs at ease, for sure. Email can easily be spoofed.

    PayPal either doesn't fully trust you or him.

    One of you doesn't have enough information on file with PayPal, so bigger transactions are looked at more closely.

    Also, since you do low-volume as a seller (as suggested in your OP), a bigger transaction is out of character for you.

    There are lots of red flags on this transaction.

    The decision to approve or reverse is not handled by the front line techs at PayPal, but through the Risk Mitigation Department, so it doesn't matter what the front line techs told you.

    Those front line techs are like McDonald's employees. Their word carries as much weight as a fart in the wind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Law guy
    I read all these horror stories about PayPal but it seems to me like there is always a case of foul play and the people crying "wolf" conveniently forget to mention it.

    Not saying that applies to your case in particular, just something I've observed. I have done business through paypal for large amounts for many years now and never had a problem. That might have something to do with my willingness to cooperate with paypal when they initially required extra documentation from me.

    My only gripe with paypal is their exorbitantly high service fees.
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    • Profile picture of the author outdoorguy
      How about this, I paid on Paypal a supplier and never got the goods, according to paypals OWN T&Cs you should a refund within a month, it has now been 3 months and the main reason why they haven't refunded for the none receipt is that the seller uses Ebay and sells around 20,000 power strips EVERY month. I have now disputed the payment with my credit card company and I will let them deal with it...

      Originally Posted by Law guy View Post

      I read all these horror stories about PayPal but it seems to me like there is always a case of foul play and the people crying "wolf" conveniently forget to mention it.

      Not saying that applies to your case in particular, just something I've observed. I have done business through paypal for large amounts for many years now and never had a problem. That might have something to do with my willingness to cooperate with paypal when they initially required extra documentation from me.

      My only gripe with paypal is their exorbitantly high service fees.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    due to a "random security check", and he emailed them immediately saying that the payment was 100% legitimate and must be approved immediately. I also emailed them telling them that the buyer has already recieved the services and that the payment is legitimate.

    About a week later, they've just reversed the payment.

    My PayPal account only has relatively small amounts of money going through it, and I've never ever had any kind of refund or complaint from any buyer in any way. I keep most of the money I recieve in PayPal for a long time, and only use it in small amounts.

    The fact that they told us different stories, and completely ignored both our communications is, in my opinion, utterly unprofessional
    I am not getting paid by paypal to write this but i have to disagree.

    Random security checks are normal, they happen RARELY...but paypal has a reason to conduct them because there *is* a lot of fraud going on.

    In one of the rare cases you get a rare, random "on hold" check..what's the worst which can happen? That the payment is delayed for two days. Yes, it sucks, yes it's inconvenient, but it's not the end of the world.

    If the payment is "clean" and there is no indication for fraud you have nothing to lose.

    Needless to say it looks a little naive to me to email them "to release the payment immediately" because i am sure they have their own evaluation criteria whatever they are and this evaluation will take as long..well..as long as it takes. (Usually a day or two).

    And...sorry i have a problem to believe that they reversed a payment without having any reason...because there is a possibility that payment was indeed "suspicious" or fraudulent (wouldnt be the first time this happens!) - so how do you know it was NOT? You believe the buyer because he told you so?

    Not knowing your buyer/customer..but believe me that "professional scammers" are VERY elaborate in how to appear to you and what they tell you. He would tell you many times how legit his transaction is and how he is outraged about paypal....that's how scammers work. He will do anything to convince you he is legit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    @ tpw, thanks for your comments.

    As for foul play, scamming, etc. I didn't even ask for this payment at all, I was just giving some additional free help to someone, after he'd payed for and liked my services previously. He decided to send me some more money because he valued my help so much. How can it be a scam for him to send money from his PayPal account to mine? What does he gain from that, considering I didn't even ask for the payment, and had given the service for free anyway?

    What certainly IS a scam, is PayPal holding onto people's money for 6 months or longer, without any valid reason at all, which has been said here many times. That is a scam, by PayPal.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      What type of account do you have? Personal, premier, business?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Chris- View Post

      What certainly IS a scam, is PayPal holding onto people's money for 6 months or longer, without any valid reason at all, which has been said here many times. That is a scam, by PayPal.

      Chris

      It would be a scam if PayPal took the money for six months, then NEVER released it to the vendor.

      A six-month hold is not a scam, but it certainly is a pain in the ass.

      Simply, PayPal is a payment processor using its own merchant account to let us transact business without us first having our own merchant account.

      Credit card companies can refund any transaction up to 6 months after payment is made.

      The famous PayPal 180-day hold is designed to let PayPal be certain that the money will not be missing in the account, when and if the consumer charges back through the credit card company.

      If PayPal locked my account for six-months, I would move all of my payments to 2checkout, Alertpay and other payment systems. I would also offer my customers a 3% discount to pay by check.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    I actually had the same thing happen to me a couple of times when I first started out. I would just leave it though and the funds were released to me in 24 hours. Perhaps the fact that you contacted them on a "random security check" raised red flags? They may have been thinking "why does this customer have a problem with something we do all the time". It would be like freaking out because you are asked to step aside for extra searching at the airport. Most don't do that for a good reason.

    I could also be completely off base here. I'm not in your head or the heads of the people at PayPal. *Shrug
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Maybe the customer lied and it is unauthorized.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I don't know why if money was important to you, you wouldn't pick up the phone and call paypal. Paypal is a pain when it comes to chargebacks, and when you aren't eligible for seller protection. However, paypal isn't unprofessional, they aren't scammers, they have rules too.

    I doubt it was a 1 week hold on a transaction, I have never seen one more than 24 hours. What causes this, is an automated flagging of their system.

    If it is not you they deem untrustworthy then it is the other person.

    1.) they paid you with using a card attached with their paypal account, but didn't log into the paypal to pay you.
    2.) They have a history of issuing disputes or chargebacks
    3.) The amount is over an amount you usually get.
    4.) The buyer paid from an IP he doesn't usually pay from.
    5.) The buyers bank requires phone verification for paypal transactions

    These happen sometimes... I have noticed it happens more often with american express cards. The last few sites it has happened to me, I have been able to call the advantage line, and they take care of it within a couple hours.

    I hear about you guys having horror stories and 6 month holds. If you guys expect extreme increase in sales, you need to let them know, and call the risk assessment department of paypal.
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    • Profile picture of the author michaelcook2003
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I doubt it was a 1 week hold on a transaction, I have never seen one more than 24 hours. What causes this, is an automated flagging of their system.
      I thought the same, until now. I have a dispute with a client about $5 since end of November, almost two weeks ago.

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      • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
        Banned
        Originally Posted by michaelcook2003 View Post

        I thought the same, until now. I have a dispute with a client about $5 since end of November, almost two weeks ago.

        It's not the same thing. The OP is talking about receiving the payment initially. Usually the hold on that is 24 hours. Disputes (what you are thinking of) work differently. Those funds are held until the situation is resolved.
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by michaelcook2003 View Post

        I thought the same, until now. I have a dispute with a client about $5 since end of November, almost two weeks ago.

        It doesn't make sense why you guys don't call paypal.

        Everyone comes on to complain about them but don't do anything to rectify the situation. A dispute and a 24 hour hold is not the same. Is this for an intangible item? Did it actually require shipping? If not, call and tell paypal this and the dispute will be closed instantly. Paypal does not cover intangible items.
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