PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD

I just want to say that PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD, AND I WILL KEEP SAYING THAT UNTIL THIS REGISTERS ON GOOGLE AND THEY CONTACT ME.

Some backstory:

I’ve had this paypal account for ten years. I also had a debit card associated with it. I lost my wallet in July, and being the responsible party that I am, I contacted everyone to let them know this. My bank and other accounts had no problem with this, but not fucking paypal. Upon trying to get a new card, I learned my account had been limited. Why? Who fucking knows? So now, for the past two and a half months, I have been trying to verify I am who I am. This just makes me full of joy:

I’m verified, but limited!

I’ve spent the last two months trying to verify that I am the person they did business with for ten years, each time to be told that “Yes, you have provided the information we asked for, but we can not verify who you are.”

They have my bank info (same as it has been for ten years). They have a credit card (same one for eight years). They have an address. They have a copy of my driver’s license (same license number for 2o years). They have xeroxes of my bills. I HAD TO INPUT A FUCKING 6 DIGIT CODE I COULD ONLY GET FROM MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT BEFORE TALKING TO THEM.

And yet, I am told- “We’re sorry, the final decision has been made. You have provided everything we asked for, but we can not verify you are who you are.”

And then the stupid bastard told me I could start a new account, just using a different email address.

*** Update ***

Here’s a question for you. They claim they will send me the money in my account in 180 days after the account is officially closed. But where will they send it since they can not verify me? They can’t send it to my bank. That information isn’t good enough to verify who I am. They can’t send it to my credit card because, again, that information isn’t enough to verify who I am. Lo and behold, they can’t send a check to the address on my bill or driver’s license, because that is not enough to verify who I am.

Are they just going to walk down the street with cash in hand yelling for John Cole? I’m honestly curious.

Also, this is why drinkers live longer. If I had not had two glasses of wine I might be coming to join Elizabeth right now.

This is, bar none, the worst consumer experience I have ever had, and that includes the time I spent a week in Puerto Rico in the same Tommy Bahama floral shirt and jeans I flew in because the airline lost my luggage on the way, and instead of forwarding it to Puerto Rico, sent it back to Pittsburgh, where my flight originated.

*** Update #2 ***

If you have a website, I would appreciate your help making a google bomb. Use the title of this post and link back to me.






140 replies
  1. 1
    Lavocat says:

    Dude, step away from the caps lock and everything will be okay!

  2. 2
    ruemara says:

    Tell us how you really feel.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    Reminds me of a hilarious board that no longer exists (at least in it’s former form; that would be Fucked Company. Once the bloom came off the Internet rose, that was the place to watch the disaster unfold. On the theory of better to laugh than to cry….

    …and your post only reminds me of Meg Whitman (and the future of California as Fucked State).

  4. 4
    Duwamps says:

    PayPal has a near monopoly in their field, hence they get away with what they do.

  5. 5
    El Cid says:

    Worse than BP?

  6. 6
    morzer says:

    Have you called the fire department? I believe they remove cats from trees, so getting Paypal off your lawn/lazyboy ought to present relatively little difficulty.

  7. 7
    Roger Moore says:

    One more reason to give Meg Whitman a big FYATHYRIO in November.

  8. 8
    slag says:

    PayPal doesn’t care about lefty bloggers!

  9. 9
    maya says:

    Are you referring to a new Teabaggers tag for Social Security?

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Buzzybill says:

    Wow, there were 110,000 results on google for “PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD”

    They might want to look into that.

  12. 12
    Nylund says:

    At least they banned Pam “Atlas” Geller:

    Dear Pamela Geller,
    We appreciate the fact that you chose PayPal to send and receive payments for your transactions.
    However, after a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy. Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.

  13. 13
    hilzoy fangirl says:

    No, you have to do it like this, see:

    WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Just to add a straw to that camel’s back, the last time you posted about this I sent an email through my account about your situation, pointing out that you have a large readership (and sometimes get quoted by people with larger yet readerships).

    Part of the response was:

    We appreciate the information that you have provided. Do not worry, I
    have forwarded your email to my supervisor and we are currently working
    on the issue that you have reported.

    Nope, Giselle, I’m not worried. I’m not the one seeing customers look for new places.

  16. 16
    Greg says:

    They’ve still got $170 of my campaign contributions locked up from last year’s small town city council race. They want documentation that simply does not exist to prove that I was really a candidate. Several hours spent explaining Massachusetts municipal election law and how small campaigns are not organized through “campaign committees” has not helped. I get the same automated replies no matter what official documents I send.

    PayPal sucks. They suck big time.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Walker says:

    I stopped using them ever since I found out (the hard way) that they charge $25 for fraud resolution. Best to dispute the charge with the card itself (though PayPal no likey that).

  19. 19
    singfoom says:

    I don’t know. Sure, they’re giving you a kafkaesque runaround but that’s kind of passively awful and par for the course. I’d vote for Comcast as the WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD. I hope they get that figured out for you.

  20. 20

    That’s fucking eBay for you.

  21. 21
    Ken Lovell says:

    Paypal is hopeless. They charged my credit card a few months ago with an unauthorised transaction, then took weeks to reverse it. I’m still waiting for the explanation or apology.

    Then they keep asking me to confirm my account by giving them my bank account details. At least they’ve got a sense of humour.

  22. 22
    J. says:

    Worse than Haliburton?

  23. 23
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    Is this an open thread? If so, I want to bitch about facing $10,000 in plumbing repairs this week.

  24. 24
    morzer says:

    @singfoom:

    There’s nothing wrong with Comcast that some public floggings and impalings couldn’t fix.

  25. 25
    mcd410x says:

    I don’t know, but I think that photo you posted may have been shopped.

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    @morzer: I was sure the second part of your sentence would include the word “thermite.”

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    Is verified and limited like Justified and Ancient?

  28. 28
    adolphus says:

    What do you expect from a government bureaucracy. Just privatize it and let the market work, um, wait, what? It is?

    The DMV has big lines with FAT people in it!

  29. 29

    And then the stupid bastard told me I could start a new account, just using a different email address.

    The ending is classic. lol.

  30. 30
    Squirrel says:

    I know it sounds trite and silly but report it to the BBB. Even Fortune 500s respond to those. I’ve never figured out why exactly, but NOBODY wants a bad rating with the BBB. Failing that, try small claims court. That may get their attention. If it doesn’t and they don’t show up then you win by default.

  31. 31
    Mike B says:

    I think this is because PayPal implemented Sharia.

    Also, I heard they are run by ACORN and discriminate against white people.

    (I’m just trying to help out, John, by getting the Tea Partiers on your side. Everyone seems to be afraid of the Tea Partiers, these days.)

  32. 32
    wilfred says:

    I’m verified, but limited!

    Oh, dear.

  33. 33
    morzer says:

    I’m verified, but limited!

    In the trade, we call it Chief Eunuch Level Clearance.

  34. 34
    wasabi gasp says:

    Pretty harsh on your pal, bud. You gonna punch him in the face?

  35. 35
    John O says:

    I *scoff*.

    Try the same process with the government, like in my example of trying to get a passport.

    At least you have options, John.

    I use these stories a lot when people tell me how inefficient and wasteful gubmint is. ALL large bureaucracies are inefficient, except the killing kind, and I’ll bet even those have their moments.

  36. 36

    It’s funny. Barry Ritholtz just had something about this really. People hate PayPal with a passion.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    @Ken Lovell: That happened to my mother recently, and with her debit card to boot. Major pain in the ass.

  38. 38
    demo woman says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN): Oh I feel your pain. Within 7 days my water heater needed to be replace and then the regulator broke flooding my wood floors. Fortunately, the insurance company let me do the repairs so I was able to recoup the few thousand in plumbing plus deductible that I was out. When I bought this house, I didn’t expect to have to do the same stuff twice. I have a septic and have several thousand put aside in case that goes.
    Yuk!

  39. 39
    Alwhite says:

    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD
    doin’ my part

  40. 40
    Nicole says:

    I’m sorry for what you’re going through, but the Sanford and Son reference made me laugh out loud. Well done.

  41. 41
    TrishB says:

    You should contact the blog Consumerist. They might be able to publicize this and in the mean time, help you find phone numbers for people that may be able to help. They are associated with Consumer Reports these days.

  42. 42
    mark says:

    It’s because PayPal is meg whitman and this is a leftwing rag that is pointing out crap on the right.

    I’ll try to post this for you in the next open thread higher in the comment count

  43. 43
    Left Coast Tom says:

    They claim they will send me the money in my account in 180 days after the account is officially closed. But where will they send it since they can not verify me?

    I’m pretty sure they’ll send it to some radio station in California, ensuring that nobody here can turn on a car radio without hearing Meg Whitman explain that she’s spending money like a drunken sailor because she wants to control spending.

    I denounce you for contributing to that!

    I think I need to burn some more CDs from iTunes.

  44. 44
    kdrtoona says:

    New tag line!
    Verified but limited.

    I went through all of this stuff a long time ago and finally I just gave up and stopped using paypal and ebay. Luckily, they didn’t have any of my money when I slapped my hands and walked away from the table.

  45. 45
    General Stuck says:

    I like Paypal, never had a problem with them, so nolo google bomb for me. Maybe they are over 50 and read Balloon Juice.

  46. 46
    Squirrel says:

    Google Bomb Achieved. Man, that was quick. John you have some very loyal minions.

  47. 47
    demo woman says:

    The only time that I have used PayPal is for donations made to various folks on this site. I certainly don’t have a PayPal credit or debit card and I have to wonder why anyone would…but that’s for another day.
    Good Luck John, fixing the mess with PayPal.

  48. 48
    mark says:

    @kdrtoona: ditto, verbatim

  49. 49
    MikeJ says:

    They won’t really give you your money because Ft. Paypal, like Ft. Knox, is secretly EMPTY!!!

  50. 50
    meh says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I’ve got a paypal merchant account I need to close – been to lazy to do it for the last 2 months – so now I’ll close it when they as why, I will tell them because John Cole said you were the worst company in history. Worse then Haliburton. Worse than BP. Worse than a company that makes money videotaping infants being raped by wolves. They can kiss my $30/mo account fee and 3% merchant processing fee adios.

  51. 51
    Derrick says:

    Apparently a gmail account I had from before there were invites “may have no been mine always” so despite the fact that someone else once claimed it and I didn’t verify it because I’m not them? Yeah, I need to file a police report.

    So yeah. I’m with you.

  52. 52
    mai naem says:

    Okay, okay, but what did Obama do to have this happen to you?

  53. 53
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    Said it before, will say it again: I tried PayPal, I found their practices to be bizarre, insulting, confusing, nonsensical, complicated, and stupid. Stopped using PayPal, and will not under any circumstances ever conduct any transaction that involves PayPal in any way. I made this decisions about 6 years ago and have never regretted it.

    PayPal is a parasite, a leech that attaches itself to ordinary and simple financial transactions and adds no value whatsoever.

    I do all of my financial activity online. All banking, bill paying, investment, tax preparation, loads of online purchasing, borrowing, transfers, everything, for about 14 years now, pretty much have little trouble with these things. I never want to go back to paper and snail mail. Online commerce is here to stay and I love it. PayPal is Satan, and must be destroyed.

    I wish you the best in your crusade against them. The world will be better off without PayPal. Not Saddam. PayPal.

  54. 54

    I…hear…and…obey….

  55. 55

    If you have a website, I would appreciate your help making a google bomb. Use the title of this post and link back to me.

    Done, and done, for what it’s worth.

  56. 56
    Platonicspoof says:

    __

    And then the stupid bastard told me I could start a new account, just using a different email address.

    PayDIAFPal at balloon-juice.com?

    Since I suspect a new account is more forms / more of the same problem, maybe you should just copy and paste your blog’s Paypal posts over at their blog.

    They need more colorful comments over there anyway.

  57. 57

    join Elizabeth right now

    Cole, even when you’re pissed you’re a riot.

    I’ll do what I can on mine and see if I can get the one I co-blog on to join the fight.

  58. 58
    Wes says:

    Sorry to tell you this, but you’re never gonna see your money again. It’s gone. It’s going to be used to build a Libertarian Paradise Cruise Lines and Island off the coast of … I dunno … California, maybe.

  59. 59
    Michael says:

    Shit, John, I’d just sue them for conversion in
    West Virginia, click-through venue and arbitration bullshit be damned. Let them send in a live body to defend it – you should get paid quick.

  60. 60
    CynDee says:

    John,

    Does your area have a TV station that does “We’re On Your Side” investigative journalism things and then reports them on TV?

    In Tampa, we have WFLA News Channel 8 (see TBO.com).

    They have a team that investigates and publicizes consumer abuse experiences, and this gets action when a lot of things don’t.

    The wording of some of the messages you are getting from PayPal sounds like severely limited non-English speakers with no decision authority working for invisible Big Boys. Looks like we should all get out of PayPal.

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @CynDee:

    Glad yer back. A pic for Charlies godmom to make up for the wicked geezer punching john cole, He is a verry verry bad man!

  62. 62
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    I guess I’m a bit late with this, but:

    Never, ever, ever, ever use PayPal for accepting payments. Just use it to pay other people.

    Maintaining a balance on PayPal is a terrible, terrible idea. They don’t have the same restrictions that banks do, like having to give you the money that’s yours.

  63. 63
    danimal says:

    @Left Coast Tom:

    I’m pretty sure they’ll send it to some radio station in California, ensuring that nobody here can turn on a car radio without hearing Meg Whitman explain that she’s spending money like a drunken sailor because she wants to control spending.

    You owe Every Californian a new keyboard.

  64. 64

    […] is the Worst Company in the World August 30, 2010 by The Freeman Project Don’t Ask. Fanny by Herbert Freeman from → Uncategorized ← Séraphine Louis No […]

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Violet says:

    I’ve only used Paypal to donate occasionally. I can’t even remember how long its been since I used it. Now I won’t. Can you close Paypal accounts?

    John, are you heading to wherever Paypal’s corporate headquarters are any time soon? Perhaps you could march in and insist to talk to someone who can fix your problem. And don’t leave until it’s fixed.

  67. 67
    TooManyJens says:

    I was going to suggest that you tell your story to the Consumerist. While there, I got engrossed in reading this tale of fine customer service:

    When the owner of a Seattle beauty salon had her application for a loan from the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund denied last year, that was bad enough. When she later received what appeared to be a second rejection letter for the same loan application, she discovered that the reason for her inability to get the loan was that she is a “crazy ass bitch.”

    I think you’re going to need to step up your game. Get PayPal to call you a DFH at the very least.

  68. 68
    Paul says:

    For what it’s worth, you might try complaining to the regulatory agency for your state…

    https://www.paypal-media.com/state_licenses.cfm

    That sort of thing usually gets a company’s attention, if they follow up on it. Maybe the OCC, too? I don’t know if that’s the right federal agency.

  69. 69
    General Stuck says:

    Reds win tonight. Now up 6 games on Cards. Go Redlegs!!!

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:

    The world will be better off without PayPal.

    Carthago PayPal delenda est!

  71. 71
    angler says:

    further reading on the subject:

  72. 72
    angler says:

    link didn’t work
    customer service in decline:
    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/.....surowiecki

  73. 73
    MattR says:

    I loved this comment on the Consumerist thread that had a list of phone numbers to reach live people. Somebody mentioned that they were going to be near PayPal’s headquarters and volunteered to take a better picture for the Consumerist post. That led to this response from another commenter.

    You should bring a big chain and lock up about 10 of the most expensive cars in their parking lot with a large sticker saying “Notification of Limited Access”. Keep the cars locked for about 3 weeks so that you can do an investigation to make sure they aren’t stolen.

  74. 74
    Eric U. says:

    the consumerist is a good way to test your blood pressure. I liked the one about how a cop lost his job when KFC wouldn’t refund his money. Jerks on both side of that argument. And the cabbie that locked the passenger in for 30 minutes when he wanted to pay with a credit card instead of cash was good too. Passenger tweeted about it instead of calling the cops

  75. 75
    Comrade Luke says:

    Here’s my (current) PayPal experience.

    I’m trying to delete the one and only credit card associated with my account. I try to delete it and I’m told I can’t because there’s a pending transaction, which isn’t possible because it’s expired.

    So I try their online assistant, which is even worse than most; it’s literally just an automated Q&A thing that does a terrible job of guessing.

    So I send an email to them instead, and I get a return email that basically says “You should call us if you want help”.

    I can’t wait to delete this account.

  76. 76
    frosty says:

    So… this looks like the internet equivalent of “Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

    You’re still #2 on Google!

  77. 77
    Paula says:

    I live in Omaha, PayPal is in Omaha. Should I protest for you? I don’t know how effective it be with just one person carrying a poster, but it could be funny.

  78. 78
    dave says:

    I’ve used PayPal since before they were purchased by Ebay. I have a personal account and I’ve donated using their interface. I work for a non-profit and we have a merchant account to accept donations.

    Other than some annoying homeland security documentation I had to provide a couple of years ago I can’t say I’ve had any problems.

    Recently they tell us we can’t move more than $500 a month from the merchant account to the bank without providing more identification. I’m not sure all of this is PayPal’s doing▬probably it’s more homeland security bs.

  79. 79
    Jake5 says:

    I am a regular reader of this blog. I haven’t had too much experience with Pay Pal, but I appreciate the warning about the way they treat customers who are more involved. I may (or or may not) use PayPal for an occasional ebay purchase, but I will definitely think twice about relying on them for anything else.

  80. 80
    ellid says:

    Get your lawyer involved. Specifically, have him/her send a demand letter requesting your money back by ___________ date, at which time you will go to court to recover what’s yours.

    Five gets you ten they’ll pay up.

  81. 81
    Lysana says:

    #46 wonked up the formatting on Google Chrome. Still readable, but it shifted the comments a little to the left and made the text a little larger.

    So, FYWP and FYPP.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    @angler: I would like to point out that one company has bucked the trend. Apple’s resurgence coincided with their opening of retail stores. And rather than do some half-assed effort at it, they’ve invested heavily in the customer experience. It can still be maddening at times, but fully half of Apple’s employee base are in the retail stores and it’s fairly undisputed that the better Apple makes their customer experience, the better they do. Why almost nobody else can seem to learn from this lesson is a mystery to me.

  83. 83
    Mona says:

    John: Follow the nice man’s advice and choose another email address, to wit: NotJohnCole@Nigerianbanktrustee.org

    You’ll be good to go!

    And ditto to the Comcast haters. Impaling, flaying over fire ant hills…too good for all of ’em.

  84. 84
    Martin says:

    @Paula: Paypal is in Omaha? IT’S BEN NELSON’S FAULT!

  85. 85
    morzer says:

    @Martin:

    Most things are, when you think about it.

  86. 86
    db says:

    “paypal worst company” is bringing up this post as number one…. impressive

    also noticed that number two is a post debating whether lifelock or paypal is the worst company ever…. to be compared to lifelock at all is not good…. so I do think john cole is not the only one who has had it with paypal.

  87. 87
    JenJen says:

    Holy shit, John. The whole time I’ve been following this PayPal saga of yours, I never realized that the core of the issue was they’d freezed your incoming funds.

    I’ve done enough eBay business with PayPal that I’m kind of surprised I’ve yet to have a problem getting my scratch, but this story is enough for me to be done with them, and, I guess, move over to Google.

    Maybe just start calling them PEEPEE. I’m feeling juvenile. Good idea to tweet this story as well as blog it, my beloved internet ruffians.

    As @The Dangerman reminded me upthread, damn, I miss Fucked Company.

  88. 88

    […] PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD. In support of John Cole who righteously requests: *** Update #2 *** If you have a website, I would appreciate your help making a google bomb. Use the title of this post and link back to me. Posted by Mona @ 11:04 pm, Filed under: Main Comments (0) « « Nuclear out-sized ambitions | Main | […]

  89. 89
    MikeJ says:

    @db: It doesn’t really do anything if people searching for “paypal worst company”get this. They already believe. Better to googlebomb “paypal best company.”

  90. 90
    Peter says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Pretty much this. And if someone does send you money via PayPal (it can occasionally be handy for this; I used it to loan a friend fifty bucks so that she could pay her dentist), get it out of your paypal account immediately.

  91. 91
    MikeJ says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Maintaining a balance on PayPal is a terrible, terrible idea. They don’t have the same restrictions that banks do, like having to give you the money that’s yours.

    Not to mention that whole FDIC thing. They aren’t an actual bank are they?

    Perhaps we just need some regulation in online payment processors.

  92. 92
    daveX99 says:

    I might be coming to join Elizabeth right now.

    Extra points for the Sanford & Son reference. A golden ‘heh’.

    Anyway, you are linked.

  93. 93
    Twisted_Colour says:

    Tommy Bahama floral shirt

    Nice.

  94. 94

    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD…

    I repeat: PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD….

  95. 95
  96. 96
    AhabTRuler says:

    How would or could one raise the ranking of this post if one googles paypal?

    Currently, this post is on page 32 of the search.

  97. 97
    miss_kitty says:

    I had the worst time w/ Paypal + Newegg over verification. Had the paypal for years, got money, gave money and a couple of years earlier, Newegg sent me a computer, someone in another state bought.
    Then I try to buy Windows 7 at Newegg using paypal and get treated like a goddamned ping pong ball.., Newegg: “Paypal has to verify your addy” Paypal: “Newegg has to verify your addy.” Plus I have Comcast. Life does really suck some days. And I still have fucking Vista.

    :(

  98. 98
    SciVo says:

    Almost a hundred posts in… so what’s the best alternative for what PayPal does? Preferably something commonly used by porn sites, since the Internet is for porn, there’s a good solid financial mass in the industry, and I’m guessing that they won’t put up with nanny state wannabes asserting their authoritah.

  99. 99
    db says:

    @MikeJ: Good point…. and done.

  100. 100
    AhabTRuler says:

    A link to the current ranking of this post under ‘paypal‘.

    Is there a way to force google to show this post’s ranking without having to click through to find it?

  101. 101
    DPirate says:

    Class Action lawsuit time. They’ve probably confiscated a few hundred grand like this over the last ten years.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Platonicspoof says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    Is there a way to force google to show this post’s ranking without having to click through to find it?

    Do sites like this one do that?

    http://www.googlerankings.com/

  104. 104
    Leaking Geek says:

    Done.

    So obviously Paypal has all the money and all the morons?

  105. 105
    Banned by PayPal too says:

    PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD

  106. 106
    Kathy says:

    Just wanted to add my paypal nightmare. I was helping with my daughter’s school auction. We were attempting to set up a pay pal account for people to buy tickets. As a non-profit we had additional hoops to jump through (or circles of Hell to descend to). Pay Pal wanted (among many other things) a copy of the school’s incorporation papers. The school was moved in 1969 and re-incorporated, we sent them a copy of those papers along with a letter from the principal and the development officer verifying that the school was not-for-profit. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. They needed (I kid you not) a letter from someone who was around when the school was originally incorporated in 1865 to verify that the school re-incorporated properly. What Douches! (It feels good to say that, when I was dealing with them I was surrounded by Nuns and I couldn’t use that word.)

  107. 107
  108. 108

    […] leave a comment » John Cole doesn’t like Paypal. Read about it here. […]

  109. 109
    Rosalita says:

    John, apologies if someone already mentioned this in the thread, I know I’ve given this to you before. Contact Consumerist.com (tips@consumerist.com) They may have the info that will allow you to deploy an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) that might get some attention. Even if they only post about it, it will get attention.

  110. 110
    Aaron Baker says:

    I share your high esteem of Paypal. I had some expensive plumbing (is there any other kind?) done recently. The plumber insisted on payment through Paypal. I plugged in my card information only to be told the card had been flagged “for security reasons” and it wouldn’t be accepted. It has a $12,000.00 limit, and the balance on the card is nowhere near that.

    I had a number of shouting matches with Paypal staff on the phone; in the midst of swearing at them, I told them they could check my bank (that fly-by-night outfit, JP Morgan Chase) for a confirmation that the card is fine. They “can’t override a security flag once it happens”; but if I wanted to purchase a new card from them, I could do that. A bit more of this, and I slammed the phone quite vigorously into its cradle.

    This caused me no end of embarrassment and hassle with the plumber, who was unwilling to use any other service to run the card. If you have any plans to try to hasten the demise of Paypal, please let me know what they are and how I can help.

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    peej says:

    I accidentally used the wrong checking account for a Paypal transaction and didn’t have enough funds to cover the payment. Naturally, it bounced. Yes, that was my fault. But I found out during the process of trying to straighten the whole mess out that it’s virtually impossible to cancel a transaction in PayPal!! Even if you call their idiot customer service. I couldn’t even get them to switch the accounts for the payment (both accounts are verified).

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    Erik Vanderhoff says:

    You know, I work like a mile away from Paypal and eBay… VENGEANCE IS OURS!!!

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    PaulB says:

    I know it sounds trite and silly but report it to the BBB.

    This. I had a similar problem with trying to cancel a Microsoft Passport account. It didn’t get resolved until I finally, after weeks of dealing with incompetent and grossly underpaid customer service drones, reported them to the BBB. That got their attention and the matter was subsequently resolved.

  115. 115
    merrinc says:

    @Kathy:

    That’s because the people in their verification department are a bunch of sadistic bastards who make the GOP look like the Sunshine and Sweetness Party of Yes.

    I am also very involved with a non profit and set up a PayPal account to accept payments for a one time deal. We’re talking small potatoes here – I was selling surplus event patches to other GS troops – less than $30 total. When I saw PayPal’s documentation requirements for non-profits, I set it up as a for profit account because I didn’t need that hassle for what I was doing. After I’d sold all the patches but before I could withdraw the money, they switched my account to non profit status and then started demanding paperwork. At one point, I managed to get a real human being on the phone who was most courteous and spoke English without an accent but even he was unable to sway the control freaks in the verification department. It took a couple of months before I finally jumped through enough hoops to get the $23 and change due me.

    When I cancelled my account immediately afterward, they wanted to know why. Um, I dunno – maybe because PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD.

  116. 116

    […] Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 31, 2010 PayPal is the Worst Company in the World. […]

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    Tweeted and blogged. :-)

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    dianeb says:

    Done here as well.

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    Hyder says:

    You might want to remove the ‘Donate to Paypal’ link.

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    andynotadam says:

    I’m late to the party here, but I truly believe that Paypal is a criminal enterprise. They take and keep your money and rake in millions and millions on the involuntary float. I sold a bunch of expensive audio equipment and then couldn’t get my money out of them for BS reasons I have successfully banished from memory. I finally got my balance down to 14 bucks and that’s close enough to never ever ever ever have anything to do with them again. There so is a market opportunity here for some smart people to do it right.

  121. 121

    […] a long and seemingly intractable problem with PayPal, which lead him to recently declare that Paypal Is the Worst Comany In the World. While I’m not so sure about them being the worst (certainly there would be a few other […]

  122. 122
    YellowJournalism says:

    Paypal took a small amount of money from me because they couldn’t verify my account. I went through hell trying to verify it from proof of their 1 and 2 cent deposits that never materialized. The money was from my husband (fiance at the time) to help pay for our wedding, since we were in two different locations and Paypal was cheaper than Western Union for money transfers. When he asked for the money to be sent back to his account, they put him through a load of shit. We never got the money back. It wasn’t a huge loss, but it cemented with us that we’d never use Paypal again, and that was six years ago.

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    The Raven says:

    I suggest a note to consumerist.com. They have at least a kilophone. (A letter to the FTC might also have some effect.)

  124. 124
    Pat says:

    Hi,

    I didn’t bother to read the comments, so maybe this was mentioned before. This same sort of thing happened to me, and I hate paypal for it.

    I had (and still have) $28.72 in my locked down account. They say the only way to get the money back is by doing a bank wire transfer costing $25 + whatever fees the bank would charge me.

    Hell, Paypal has an office 10 minutes away from my house. I even went to their office to try and verify myself or get a cash / check payment, but they refused.

    So fuck them!

    Keep fighting!

  125. 125

    […] PAYPAL IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD [Via Balloon Juice] […]

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    Mike says:

    I don’t use ebay anymore because I hate Paypal so much. Last time I sold a bunch of stuff, I sold some snot kid an old xbox game. He claimed that the disc arrived broken, so I told him to ship it back and I’d give him a refund. He wanted me to give him a refund sight-unseen, which I refused. He disputed it with Paypal.

    When Paypal contacted me for my version of events, I suggested that the buyer should send me back the merchandise and I would give him a refund. That was Paypal’s ultimate solution too. Only problem is that they termed it a successful dispute against ME, even though they used the resolution that I had suggested in the first damn place. The butthead buyer gave me bad feedback, then never mailed back the merchandise.

  127. 127
    JT says:

    LOL

    10 years of paypal? Even after they shit all over everyone and stole peoples’ money, and basically did exactly what they did to you, to SCORES of other people, you continued to give them your money, thinking “I have no problem with them fucking people over as long as it isn’t me”.

    You got exactly what you deserved, and needed. You are obviously incapable of pulling support from a dishonest company as long as they are making you money, so you convictions are 100% selfish and egocentric, and able to be purchased for a small price. Maybe this the event that teaches you a lesson about taking a stand against evil BEFORE it goes after you, instead of after?

    At least that way you look like a decent person, rather than a whiney little bitch who gambled too many times and finally lost. 10 years of supporting a company that made fucking people over into an art form, and you had no problem funding them.

    You realize people like you are the reason they have the power they do? If people reacted to all wrongdoing with the same intensity as they did to wrongdoing targeted at them, things might be different. Instead, you empowered them, and now you’re getting exactly what you deserve.

  128. 128
    JITC says:

    You have to call PayPal out on Twitter @PayPal. They will notice.

  129. 129
    John Cole says:

    @JT: How the hell was I supposed to know paypal was a bad company? I never heard anyone complaining and it had never been a problem for me. Christ.

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    Colin says:

    I mightn’t be as harsh as JT here, but if you frequent any discussion boards where people who buy/sell on the ‘net hang out, you’ll hear plenty of horror stories. The basic theme is that when they screw up you have no recourse. I forget exactly why now, but after having an acct for a while 5-6 years ago, I heard enough to convince me to shut it down.

  132. 132

    […] IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD What John Cole […]

  133. 133
    outworldarts says:

    Good luck! I’ve posted on my blog.

    I unlinked my paypal account from my bank account last year after having to deal with their customer service. The last thing I need is paypal having any link whatsoever to my checking account.

  134. 134
    JRoth says:

    Hey, John, hope PayPal takes care of you. But in the meantime, thanks for the suitcase full of clothes. I happened to be at PIT that day, and there was some decent stuff in there.

  135. 135
    outworldarts says:

    @El Cid: apples and oranges?

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    Kenny Boy says:

    Well, for what it’s worth, I closed my account and have made it abundantly clear that it’s because of this blog entry and the horror stories I’ve read over the years about their horrific service. Now they’ve surveyed me twice about it, and I’ve given them deplorable marks both times. I haven’t experienced these problems personally, but if they treat you like shit, they’ll treat anyone like shit. I won’t give them the opportunity any more.

  138. 138
    timothy STOLDT says:

    Mr. Cole,
    After reading this I suggest writing your story to consumer reports. My Dad had an issue with turbo tax and long story short he wrote thy investigated they interviewed him turbo tax changed their software and refunded his money.
    hope this helps

    Tim S

  139. 139
    Bob says:

    Your episode sounds eerily reminiscent of an experience that I had with Paypal. As usual, they made a gross error, but didn’t want to pay for it. When I told them that I had no intention of paying for their mistake, they seized my account, and any account that they could associate with my name; my son’s account, his mother’s (at a different address) , and the account of a business where I worked part time. In the realm of common sense, the only defense they could thrust at me was that their policy allowed them to rob us (for thousands of dollars). I fought for weeks for our money. I finally mentioned the matter to my brother, who was, at the time, a managing director of one of the world’s largest banks (he is also a high caliber financial attorney). He told me that by all appearances, Paypal relies on a combination of apathy, ignorance, and faux authority (bullying) to divide customers from their money. They deliberately craft policy policy that would never survive a constitutional challenge, and bank on the fact that John and Jane Doe could never survive the cost pain of a legal challenge. They tread all over the Constitution, and win by default. Anyway, they are also getting a bit too bold, and with that, they also get careless. They tend to back down if you pester them endlessly, and make it crystal clear that you have the understanding and the means to call out their glaring legal contradictions in front of a judge. Let them know that if they won’t return your stolen money, you’ll publicize every detail of the incident to the local and regional news’ “hall’s of shame”. And mean it! Banking greed and power don’t play too well in the realm of public opinion these days. Don’t lose your temper, and don’t be disrespectful to the reps. They’re just the lookouts trying to make a buck for themselves. I was expelled from Paypal, but I got my money back. If you appear to anything more than an easy mark, they don’t want anything to do with you.
    Paypal customers are in violation of the terms of service for communicating unfavorable or unflattering experiences… not saying nice things! Read the TOS. They are loaded with time bombs like that. They’re as power hungry, and as paranoid as Nazi Germany. Violate the terms, and you give them the right to seize your money. No one should ever do business with a company that stacks the deck like that.
    The good news is that when corporations get too fat to see their own feet, they usually trip and fall (think Enron and MCI WorldComm).

  140. 140
    Derek says:

    I despise PayPal as well, so I feel your pain. I’ve gone through a lot of bullcrap with PayPal over the years and I absolutely hate using it unless I really have to. They have some of the worst customer service known to man and their policies & fees are a joke.

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