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Re: PayPal - long but interesting
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 12:50:33 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Gordon Peterson <gep2 () terabites com>
Date: August 27, 2008 12:17:10 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] PayPal

I've recently gone around and around with PayPal too. In my case, I inadvertently linked my personal PayPal account to a recent Ebay auction (instead of my Premier, business account which IS set up to allow credit and debit card payments). After the auction completed, PayPal would not transfer the buyer's payment to the other account, and wouldn't allow EITHER the buyer OR me (the seller) to cancel the payment to the wrong PayPal account. I had to promise the buyer I won't accept the first payment (which as I understand things doesn't time out for *30* days) and she sent the payment AGAIN to my other account, while she attempts to get the money charged back to PayPal through her Discover card. Of course, this protects NEITHER buyer NOR seller, but DOES leave PayPal holding TWICE the auction sale proceeds amount until (as Phillip points out) they decide to release the funds. Hopefully. Maybe. :-(

They could ALMOST be excused for such a a paranoid policy if either the buyer or the seller were new, unfamiliar, untrusted. In this case, we both have been members of PayPal AND Ebay for something like five years, and each have more than 40 successful transactions on record.

To make matters even worse, PayPal has truly GODAWFUL customer service. It is nearly impossible to find a customer service TELEPHONE number (and of course their online customer "support" is pathetic). Trying to get support by E-mail results in long turnaround delays, and the people (?) who "answer" our cries for help don't understand our CLEAR explanations, and/or give the wrong advice (and different each time!) which simply doesn't work. Contacting Customer Support again gets us connected with another equally clueless and equally incorrect agent (after a day or two turnaround delay again, of course). I went through three or four absolutely pathetically hopeless and clueless E- mail "customer service" representatives before I finally decided I had to talk to a real person.

When you finally DO get through to PayPal on the phone, they immediately route you into a frustrating voicemail menu labyrinth of "twisty little passages", *none* of the choices offered labeled as appropriate for our specific problem, and virtually all of which paths lead to dead ends (trying to get folks back to online "answers", which of course we had exhausted before we tried to call).

I sent copies of the frustrating E-mails with PayPal customer service to the buyer, who tried from her end, and of course the advice they gave me that SHE needed to cancel the original payment from HER end was impossible too. She also experienced the same frustrations trying to get "support" from PayPal.

Finally getting through to a human at PayPal, while initially thrilling, quickly results in dashed hopes when you discover that the telephone agents are just as clueless and wrong as the ones who answer PayPal E-mailed pleas for help. After exhausting several of THOSE, I finally demanded to talk to a supervisor, who wasn't able to help me either but at least seemed to understand and confirmed that the process is indeed as screwed up (she didn't put it that way, of course) as it appears to be.

I've wasted literally HOURS trying to solve the problems, and the buyer has probably wasted over an hour herself, and the conclusion of the auction delayed by about a week and a half. PayPal meanwhile is holding hostage 2x the amount of the sale, none of which it will either return to the buyer or release to the seller.

I truly can't believe how incredibly screwed up this is.

And SURELY the folks at the top of Ebay/PayPal MUST not understand how unbelievably bad their "customer support" is, since if they did I SURE AS HELL HOPE they would do something immediately to fix it...!

Meanwhile, I'm sure that a LOT of us will simply stop using PayPal. It's just not worth the unbelievable hassle involved.

Oh, yeah... what Phillip says about the incestuous relationship with shippers is true, too... apparently, if you don't ship the package via one of the specific methods that PayPal supports, then you can just about forget about ever being able to get the buyer's payment.

It remains to be seen if this policy, combined with their appalling "customer service" ends up killing PayPal, but if there is a kind and loving and just God in the heavens, it will...!

Begin forwarded message:
*From: *Phillip Jackson <pjackson () chesapeakeimaging net <mailto:pjackson () chesapeakeimaging net >>
*Date: *August 26, 2008 11:05:47 PM EDT
*To: *dave () farber net <mailto:dave () farber net>
*Subject: **PayPal*
I'm pretty disgruntled and disgusted with PayPal's new policy related to transactions made via eBay. Specifically payments made to the seller are "held" up to 21 days OR until the item is confirmed delivered (by using the channel relationship with UPS, FedEx, etc) AND positive feedback is left by the buyer. I just shipped several thousand dollars worth of goods to a purchaser - those goods are confirmed delivered and the customer has left positive feedback on eBay. Apparently it is up to the discretion of PayPal to release the funds at this point, though they can still "hold" the funds for the remainder of 21 days. It seems this is a wonderful way for PayPal (and eBay, consequently) to capitalize on interest being generated by said "held" funds. It also seems this new practice protects the purchaser far more than it does the seller. I also am entirely amused by the fact that neither PayPal OR eBay notified it's users as to this policy change.
Phillip C Jackson
CEO & President, SecureRAD LLC
122 Defense Highway | Suite 228 | Annapolis, MD 21401
Tel: (202) 841-0090
Fax: (443) 926-9340
Bridge: (616) 712-8000, 820991#


Gordon Peterson II
1977-2007:  Thirty year anniversary of local area networking

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