Paypal is a terrible, horrible, despicable company. If you have little experience with PayPal, count yourself lucky. There are many reasons why the company continues to top lists such as the “Five Worst Companies for Customer Service“.
PayPal currently has a “2.6 out of 10” on Trust Pilot and a “1 out of 5” stars on Consumer Affairs. Forums, such as getSatisfaction are filled with extremely upset customers vowing to never use PayPal again. I am joining the countless ranks of burned customers that will never use PayPal again.
Here are several reasons to leave PayPal immediately if you are a current customer, and if you are not, why you should never sign up to begin with:
- PayPal will hold your money. Even if they say they won’t, they will. Your money will spend a considerable amount of time frozen, untouchable.
- PayPal has a limit on withdrawals. If you have $10 CAD sitting in your bank account, you will be unable to withdraw them until you have at least $15 in your account.
- They are crooks (as I will explain in a detailed story below). Their agents will do whatever they want with your money and will have no accountability for their actions.
- Their customer service is quite possibly the worst — which is impressive because there are many companies with horrible customer service.
My Personal PayPal Nightmare
I have had an account with PayPal for years, though I seldom used it. This posed several problems, including the fact that I had several limits placed on what I could transfer and withdrawal. Their service penalizes infrequent users more than most, but it certainly penalizes everyone.
A few weeks ago, I received a credit from eBay for $10.95 that was transferred as a PayPal credit. It is inconvenient enough to receive money back to your PayPal account when it could otherwise have been applied directly to your credit card or transferred to your bank account. At the time though, I wasn’t particularly worried. I had no idea what I was about to experience.
Strike 1: I logged in and selected “Withdraw money” expecting a simple experience. I was immediately stone-walled with a withdrawal limit of $15 CAD. Amazing. Now I had money in an account that I barely use and cannot meet the withdrawal limit. Strike two and three are much worse.
Strike 2: I immediately decided that I wanted nothing to do with PayPal, so I called them to close my account. The agent was quick to close my account and assured me that the $10.95 would be deposited to the bank account that was linked to my account within 6-8 business days (a long wait). However, what the agent actually did was donate my money to some unknown charity, despite my explicit instructions to transfer it to my bank account — he even confirmed the account that it was to be transferred to!
Strike 3: 8 days later I called PayPal when my money had not yet shown up in my bank account. Here are the unbelievable events in point-form:
- I speak to an agent for 5-10 mins who is unable to see what happened with my money. Most of that time was spent verifying my personal information.
- I wait on hold for several mins while I am transferred to a second agent. I spend several minutes verifying my personal information again.
- The second agent tracked down my money and said that it was donated to a charity
- The agent claimed they could do nothing for me, since my account was already closed. They did not even have any notes related to the agent that originally closed my account (this I am following up on to make sure the agent is reprimanded for mishandling my funds and getting them to access the phone recording).
- I demanded to speak to a supervisor. Several mins later, I am connected with one. At this point, I have been on the phone for 30 mins. The supervisor asks me to verify my personal information.
- The third agent tells me they can do nothing for me. I fight back, demanding that they give me back my money and more for their egregious error.
- After some back and forth the agent agrees to give me $15, but there’s a catch — I have to open another account so they can apply the credit. Needless to say, I was very unhappy about the whole process.
- After the moment passed, I agreed to open an account if the agent stayed on the line while the funds were deposited to my new PayPal account and subsequently transferred to my bank account.
- After almost an hour on the phone, I eventually ended up with an email confirmation that the funds were transferred from my new account to my bank account.
I have written about terrible companies before (like how GoodLife Fitness sucks), but so far PayPal is the worst. There are two take-aways here:
- Never ever use PayPal, especially when there are so many alternatives. Use eTransfers, money transfers, credit cards, debit — anything other than PayPal.
- Do not take no for an answer when it comes to bad customer service.
The brightside to this story is I eventually got my money back and then-some, plus a mystery charity now has my original $10.95 🙂