I have been a Paypal Premier Business account holder since around 2007. When I was doing transcription I couldn’t say enough good shit about them — they took foreign payment and converted it painlessly to USD to be deposited directly into my bank account. I never had an issue, even though I had heard horror stories from others about their accounts being frozen for seemingly no reason, and how it was nigh unto impossible to get help when such an issue arose. Huh, I thought to myself, such a shame that others would besmirch the Paypal brand when I have always considered them so reliable and trustworthy. My bad.
Here is my tale of woe in summary:
- On April 29, 2014, I placed an online order with a company called PetFlow.com. I chose the option to pay with Paypal. When I was on site, I changed the payment method from Instant Transfer to Credit Card. The credit card was verified long ago as a method of making payments on my account – one of two credit cards I regularly make payments with, I might add. Apparently this time the option to change my payment method was not recognized.
- Within the hour I received notification from Paypal that an Instant Transfer payment had been made to PetFlow.com.
- Within minutes I called Paypal to speak to their India call center and see if, since this was a simple ACH payment, the method of payment could be corrected and taken from my credit card, since I knew I had insufficient funds in the bank to cover the order. I was politely told no, that was not possible as the process had already begun.
- I got off the phone, had a cup of coffee and pondered my options, and then I called PetFlow and asked a lovely customer service rep named Teresa if she could possibly cancel my order, make a refund to Paypal, and that when that was done I would reorder directly from their site and pay them with a credit card and bypass Paypal altogether. Teresa said yes, of course they’d be glad to cancel the order since it had just been placed a couple of hours earlier. Within 10 minutes of getting off the phone with her I received email notification from Paypal that the entire amount had been refunded from PetFlow.com. Thank you, Teresa, you were the one bright spot in this whole ordeal and have earned a repeat customer for your business.
So, to recap: Within a three-hour time-frame I had placed an order through Paypal, and the order had been cancelled and fully refunded. One might think that would be the end of the whole issue, but one would be a blithering idiot if that’s what one believed.
Fully three days after the transaction was cancelled and refunded I got email notification from Paypal that on May 2 they had tried to take payment from my bank, there were insufficient funds, and they would try again in three days so I better get my ass in gear and put some money in the account so they could be paid. Fuck them, I thought to myself — they have their money; they can eat shit and die.
I called the India call center again, this time to remind them that the transaction had already been fully refunded and to ask why they were still trying to access my bank account when they no longer needed funds to cover the purchase. I was told again, very politely, that there was nothing to be done. Nothing. It was just impossible to stop. It was absolutely out of their control.
Of course my bank hit me with a $30 NSF fee for Paypal’s attempted robbery. I called them, took in all the documentation from the whole transaction, got the NSF fee removed, and placed a Stop Payment on further activity from Paypal.
What will happen now is that Paypal will not be able to get the funds from my bank account, so they will use my backup funding credit card. They will take the payment from the credit card and then refund it to the credit card.
Note to Paypal – I haven’t had the prior misfortune of dealing with any company quite as incompetent yours. Your customer service reps lack any initiative or authority to actually help your clientele. You seem to be operating on a predatory level, interested only in amassing as many fees as possible for each transaction. Once this transaction is completed I will be deactivating my account — I tried earlier but since this issue is unresolved I was unable to do that. Please hurry and get whatever few pennies you can wring out of this so that I can finally be rid of any association with you. Oh, and fuck off.