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PayPal Admits Holding Transactions as Normal Procedure

I had to spend almost an hour on the phone to straighten out a problem with PayPal and I don’t even use PayPal!

Recently a seller from an auction site where I had purchased a 0.99 item (+ 1.00 for shipping and handling) contacted me to tell me that his PayPal account had been limited because of my transaction. This made no sense to me as I did not pay with PayPal funds but had paid with a bank debit card. Furthermore the funds had cleared my bank about a week before this happened! I replied to the seller and told them that I didn’t pay with a PayPal account but had used a debit card. The seller replied back that PayPal had informed him that I must call them to get the transaction released and to free up his account.

I went to PayPal’s website to search for a phone number so I could call and see what was going on. They make it very difficult if you don’t have a PayPal account. Even after I got someone on the phone they asked me for my PayPal account email and the last 4 digits of my card associated with it several times even though I kept saying I don’t have PayPal. The rep tried talking me into getting an account. I told him that I wasn’t interested and I didn’t call for a sales spiel but just wanted to get some problems straightened out with someone I had made a purchase from.

I was told that this was just a normal procedure by PayPal and that they commonly locked transactions such as this for investigation. The purchaser must call in to PayPal to get the transaction released or the seller will never get the money. The funds would eventually be reversed back to the purchaser if no phone call was received. Normal procedure? I am appalled! What if I had not called in? I already received the item I paid for. The seller received the funds but then a few days later they were marked as unavailable/pending!

As I was talking to the phone rep I noticed he said that he was going to release all the held transactions from my bank card. I asked about it and was informed that there were two other transactions that had been held! The sellers had not contacted me so I didn’t even know about it. Three transaction I made were pending investigation for suspicious activity! The transactions were held for my protection according to PayPal. Well, I don’t need protection like that!

Here is what started the problem: I arrived at the payment page and it was PayPal. On the left hand side of the page it has wording similar to “Don’t have PayPal? Pay with your major credit card here” I clicked that then filled out the info for my bank card to make the payment.

The seller thought I had done something wrong and was trying to cheat. Naturally I received a negative feedback on that auction site. Overall with emails back and forth and the phone call to PayPal I probably spent more than two hours dealing with a $1.99 transaction. I am sure it was stressful for the seller too. AND I found that the same thing had happened to two other sellers!

Final word today? I loathe PayPal. They cannot be trusted. In the future when I see that PayPal is the only option to make a purchase or process a credit/bank card I will pass it by. It isn’t worth the potential problems and aggravation. PayPal has gotten “too big for it’s britches” and has become a cancerous monster.

If you are using PayPal you should consider looking for an alternative, especially if you are relying on them for your business.

You may not have any complaints against PayPal until they unfairly close your account and stash your money away.

I never had any complaints against them myself until recently when they closed my account with no valid reason and no wrong doing on my part at all (After having an account for more than 12 years). But that’s the way it is. We hear about it happening to others but it really doesn’t matter as long as they don’t do it to us.

I don’t really blame folks for using PayPal however, just be sure not to keep your money tied up with them in case they decide to close your account. I talked with those people on the phone half a dozen times or more and after talking with several different reps I can tell you quite confidently that they do not have any concern whatsoever for their ‘customers’.

Written by D Slone Copyright 2010