It calls itself ‘fast, safe and simple’, but according to some users, PayPal isn’t living up to these qualities – especially when it comes to getting hold of your cash.
If you’ve flogged old clothes, books or electrical goods on eBay, chances are you’ll have used PayPal.
PayPal is convenient – you simply set up an account using your email address, link it to your chosen bank account and withdraw your money when necessary. But there have been cases of PayPal freezing your account and withholding your funds.
Frustrating security processes
Frozen accounts seem to be one of the most common PayPal complaints among consumers. Say you sell an expensive item, like a designer handbag, on eBay. You see the money ping into your PayPal account, go to withdraw it and… your account’s been frozen.
PayPal has probably viewed this as a ‘possible high-risk transaction’, so has frozen your account while it investigates. It can withhold your funds for 180 days and, what’s worse, your friends and family may also have their accounts frozen, because they are associated with yours. It’s a PayPal lockdown.
Even if you correctly verify your details (one of the security measures PayPal may take) and provide evidence of postage, PayPal may still hang onto your money. And when you ring up to speak to someone about it, you’re faced with a robot who offers no help in resolving your dispute.
Many PayPal users are driven to taking legal action. But should anyone have to resort to such drastic measures, just to get what’s rightfully theirs?
Blacklisted despite positive feedback
Unusual spikes in payments aren’t the only reason for a frozen PayPal account. The company also cites not paying your seller fees, your payment information being out of date and negative buyer feedback.
But even sellers with positive feedback can see their accounts frozen. According to an article in the Independent, one seller had a 99.7% positive feedback rating, but their account was frozen for falling below seller standards.
In another example, this time referenced by the Telegraph, a couple who ran an online retailer through PayPal, found that 2% of their transactions had received negative feedback. They say their account was frozen and they are now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
It’s worth remembering that PayPal does allow consumers to sell items without the usual bureaucracy that comes with other institutions. But if it’s sending people into financial hardship, perhaps a rethink of its strict security measures might be in order.
Has your PayPal account ever been frozen? Did you get your money back?