Tuesday, January 22, 2008

PayPal Treating Customers Like Dirt

I hope this story has a happy ending, but this is just insane!

I got an email yesterday from PayPal saying that my account was frozen. It turns out, it was frozen because I tried to sell Super Bowl tickets. What? PayPal asked me to complete the following steps:

  • Confirm my identity
  • Confirm my location
  • Submit receipts
  • Confirm my soc. sec. #
  • Provide proof of shipping
  • Set my credit check address
Seven steps to prove I am who I say I am because . . . I didn't sell anything! That's right, I didn't sell anything.

My background: I've been on eBay for 9 years, have over 500 transactions, and have 100% positive feedback. I use eBay as my garage sale and have sold old trading cards I no longer want.

But because I tried to sell my Super Bowl tickets, PayPal decided to treat me as a criminal. I'm all for PayPal doing their due dilligence with someone who just opened an account, but after 9 years with eBay and over 5 years with PayPal? This is just stupid.

So now PayPal wants a copy of my tickets. As if the other 7 steps weren't enough... they want a scan of my tickets. Which as you know, is a security risk that eBay warns sellers not to do. I'm hoping Chris Nerat @ the Gavel Chat blog has some good advice.

This is easily the worst case of customer service I've ever experienced.

Update 1/23: I get an email from PayPal saying they need a copy of my driver's license (as if the credit check, bank account, and credit card information wasn't enough) and a copy of the tickets. I find it amazing that my account is frozen first... and then they ask questions. It's like Jiffy Lube saying they aren't going to service your car until you provide proof of ownership!

Update 1/24: The BBB has received my complaint and is working with PayPal. This is now registered as a complaint against them. I got an email from the eBay Strategies blog who said I should inform Bill Cobb @ eBay. I sent him an email this morning.

Update 1/27: My email to Bill Cobb @ eBay was forwarded to PayPal which isn't changing their stance. They demand a photo ID and a scan of the tickets to prove I'm not guilty of a scam, before they unfreeze my account. Sounds familiar to the Salem Witch Trials - if the bound and gagged person floats, then she's a witch. But if she sinks to the bottom, then she's innocent.


Anonymous said...

are you sure the email from paypal is legit? maybe someone is trying to steal your identity or break into your paypal account.

JRJ said...

Great question and I've received those spoof emails before. But I get the "frozen account" crap when I go through eBay and when I go through PayPal's site. I even called and talked to them directly. Any advice on dealing with this garbage?

Troy said...

This is facinating and absurd!
Keep us up tp date.

JRJ said...

Update for 1/27.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing... Sounds like one of those phishing scams to me.
-chris nerat

JRJ said...

This is how poor the customer service is with eBay and PayPal . . . people don't even believe it can be this bad. I had to get the BBB involved and several letters before they issued a back-door apology saying this "freeze the acct. first and ask questions later" tactic is in their account agreement. Combine this with eBay's new feedback policy and money holds and I'll hardly use the service anymore. It's not worth it.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of Paypal & eBay.
I fired them last year after a very similar experience.(buyer fraud) I let them go after 8 years & 488 transactions as a seller(100% positive feedback)...I now only take checks or MO's.
They can kiss my lilly white butt--
They suck!