PayPal Account Limitations

My Review: 3

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I like PayPal, generally speaking. They make Ebay payments simple and straightforward, and it’s convenient in a number of different web-related payment circumstances. But I had an issue today.

I bought an item that I found on Ebay. The seller made a mistake when they were listing though, and because of that mistake I could not use the Buy It Now feature – it was unable to process. So I wrote to the seller and told them what was wrong. They told me to just send them the PayPal payment and they would end the auction immediately. I’m not a moron, so I did call and email with the guy several times before I was comfortable to do so. I also reviewed their seller history, and it was impeccable. So I went for it. You got to have faith sometimes.

Everything went through without a hitch. He received the payment, ended the auction, and promised to ship the item the following day. One problem though. Paypal thought it was suspicious, and chose to freeze the funds and limit my account access.

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Those measures are in place for my security, and I appreciate it. But I think I should have gotten a phone call. Someone, a person (human being) should have reached out to me and tried to help. Instead I received an email, which immediately makes me think it’s a phishing scheme. Secondly, I have to jump through several account-related hoops, including changing my password. That’s some bullshit, right there. I don’t want to change my password.

I finally called them, and spoke with Nicki. She was very nice, and very helpful. But she was insistent about the password. She went and spoke with a supervisor, after I insisted on it, and discovered that while I did indeed need to change my password, I would be able to later on (in an hour or so) change it back. Well that sounds all right, I guess.

I appreciate her helping me solve the issue. I think Nicki did a great job. But there are two pieces of feedback I have for PayPal based on this experience.

1. Call your customer to alert them, don’t make them change all of their personal information when they have been appropriately using your service. I appreciate the security, but there is an obvious flaw if I can’t use the service without shutting down my account.

2. Make sure employees and FAQ’s list little facts like the one that says “you DO have to change your password, but you may change it BACK if you so choose.”

I like PayPal, and this experience isn’t making me quit on them. But this whole account limitation system sucks, and I give it a resounding 3.

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