An open letter to PayPal questioning the reason for its existence (please let me send my money to other people)

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I’ve used PayPal for about a decade, and since all my businesses are online, I figure I’ve paid about $20,000 in PayPal fees.

Recently I opened a new account for my wife, linked to her bank account in Taiwan. It worked fine for a little while, then Taiwan decided it couldn’t let PayPal accounts be linked to just any bank account; we had open a new bank account with E.Sun bank. We also had to close the original PayPal account because the wife’s English name didn’t match exactly with the one on the new bank account.

So we opened a new PayPal account, and after a couple weeks of frustration, figured out how to connect it with the E.Sun account and actually withdraw funds.

So far, so good.

Until about 10 days ago, when I started receiving this message:

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I tried sending to different people, or changing the amount, or sending it to my other PayPal accounts.

Sometimes a very small amount would get through ($100 or less) but not another one, or anything bigger.

I routinely receive and send large payments online.

I know that I’m wasting a ton of money on PayPal fees but I use it anyway because it’s convenient and people trust it.

First I emailed customer service.

I got a lot of polite, canned responses.

These responses vary, because I sent a new complaint every time my payment failed or as a direct response to the unhelpful email I received.

I’m going to paste them below:

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Support. I am happy to assist you.

I understand from your email that you would like to enquire regarding a payment which you are not able to send payment for the amount of 400.00 USD.

Upon checking in your PayPal account I can see that the PayPal Security System is performing a validation as the PayPal security System has detected a risk on the attempt of you making a payment.

However in order for you to be able to make the payment, I would kindly request you to Contact PayPal Customer Support for a verification over the Phone with the given contact details as per below.

65-6510 4584 (International)

9:00  to 23:00  from Monday to Friday

10:00  to 19:00 from Saturday to Sunday.

I hope the explanation above clarifies.

Please do try to make another attempt for the payment and if you are not able to make the payment, Do contact PayPal Customer Support to have the situation solved.

Im looking forward for you contact to Paypal Customer Support.

Have a nice day!

Thank you for using PayPal! We welcome your feedback. We hope you are highly satisfied with our service and that you recommend using PayPal to your friends and family.

 

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Support. I’m happy to assist you today in regards to the issue you’re facing. 

I acknowledge that you’re still not able to make the payment of $300.00 USD. Upon checking your account, the reason why you’re not able to make this payment is because it was declined by our system security review. That does not mean that there are any issues with your account.

Allow me to explain further. To provide one of the safest online payment services, PayPal reviews every transaction before it is approved, and occasionally, we must limit funding options or decline a payment. These decisions consider every aspect of the transaction, including the merchant’s settings and PayPal’s statistical models. From time to time, these complex security measures may affect some accounts in good standing. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to you.

We recommend that you wait at least 48 hours before attempting the payment again. If you consistently try to make the payment, the system may not be able to complete the review and will keep declining the transaction to go through.

You can call us directly and we may try to override the system. If successful, you will have to make the payment while on the phone with us. I’m not able to guarantee that we will be able to override the system, however we can definitely try once you contact us.

I hope this explains further. Your patience and understanding is much appreciated. Thank you for choosing PayPal. Your satisfaction is important to us. We welcome your feedback and hope you recommend us to your friends and family.

Please make sure you have a valid mobile phone number on your PayPal account so that we can contact you if we need to confirm any unusual account activity and protect you from unauthorized account use. To add or update a mobile phone number is easy: Log in to your PayPal account, click ‘Profile’ near the top of the page, and then click ‘Update’ beside ‘Phone.’

 

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Support. I am happy to assist you with your inquiries that you’ve encountered.

Upon reviewing your email, i understand your concern on being unable to make payments.

First of all i would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused due to this issue. I would advise you to kindly contact us so that we will be able to assist further on this issue.

I hope the explanation above has resolved your concerns. For further assistance kindly contact us directly or drop us an email as we will be glad to hear from you and help you in regards to your query.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal. Your satisfaction is important to us. We welcome your feedback and hope you recommend us to your friends and family.

(That’s my favorite. I contact PayPal and they advise that I contact them?)

I tried calling a couple times, the customer service rep told me to clear my cookies and internet cache, restart my browser and wait 24 to 48 hours.

That didn’t work.

More emails:

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Support. It is a privilege to attend you.

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the inconvenience encountered. From reviewing your account, I can see that you had several attempts to send and it was declined.

For your kind information, our internal security model has prevented this payment from completing. To provide one of the safest online payment services, PayPal reviews every transaction before it is approved, and occasionally, we must limit funding options or decline a payment.

These decisions consider every aspect of the transaction, including the merchant’s settings and PayPal’s statistical models. From time to time, these complex security measures may affect some accounts in good standing.

One of the benefits of using PayPal is that we make every effort to alert you to potentially problematic transactions. Our goal is to help you make sound business decisions. This security measure taken by our system is to help you manage the risks within a transaction so as to safeguard your account.

When our system has detected that it is not very safe for you to make this payment after a comprehensive review, it may decline your payment request for the time being.

Please take note that if your transaction has been denied, you may try to make the payment again in 24 to 48 hours after clearing the browsing history, cache and cookies of your web browser.

Also if you are attempting to make the payment via your mobile device for instance I would definitely suggest you to try to make the payment again using a desktop or a laptop, provided with a secured network to complete the payment. Avoid using public networks.

I hope the explanation above has resolved your concerns. For further assistance kindly contact us directly as we will be glad to hear from you and help you in regards to your query.Thank you for choosing PayPal. Your satisfaction is important to us. We welcome your feedback and hope you recommend us to your friends and family.

This email at least offered new information: maybe it was my connection. I’ve been using the wifi from my phone service (we don’t have a main internet connection at home).

By this time I’d also reached out to PayPal on Twitter and Facebook – they were much more responsive in getting back to me.

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I hadn’t tried sending money in about 8 hours so I restarted my computer, connected my iPhone via usb for a more secure connection, and held my breath in anticipation.

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Maybe I’m just impatient, but I spend just about all of my time online building businesses, buying services, paying employees and freelancers. I can’t just stop my entire life and go on vacation for 24 to 48 hours waiting to see if PayPal will let me send my money today, like casting bones before an omniscient God to ask permission before embarking on a daring quest.

I understand PayPal is a many-headed beast and that they are trying to keep everybody’s money secure, and that while I’m whining they are fighting a war against hackers. I understand it’s probably my fault for being in Taiwan or trying to send big amounts of money or using my iPhone to connect to the internet. Or maybe it’s because I’m physically incapable of waiting 48hours before trying again, when I have deadlines and projects that are stalled and need funding.

But I need a service that accommodates my lifestyle.

Plus – I have another PayPal account linked to a US bank account that is working fine; and about the same time as I set up this one, we set up another for a partner in a new business, who’s also only connected to E.Sun bank in Taiwan – and her account has no problem receiving and sending large sums of money.

So it’s only this account. And while PayPal tells me to just wait and try again, because there is nothing wrong with my account, obviously there’s some kind of red flag or spending limit in place that needs a manual override, but nobody at PayPal has the authority or knowledge to make that happen.

I’d like to think the huge sums of money I’m pouring into Paypal’s pockets offer me better customer service, but I know that’s elitist thinking. There are probably many people spending much more than me (although if they are, they’ve probably switched to another payment processor that doesn’t take such a large cut out of every transaction.)

So in the meantime, I’m resigned to asking my clients to pay me through my other PayPal account, so that I can actually use my money, because PayPal seems incapable of salvaging this account.

 

Hi, How are you there? I hope you are well. Thank you for your email. It is my privilege to assist you personally in regards to your email inquiry.

As from your email I can see you’re having a difficulties to make a payment amounting $120.00 USD to Derek Murphy.

I apologize for the difficulty you have experienced when you attempted to make the above payment. Alternatively, you may try below suggestion:

– Try again to make a payment after 48 hours (do not attempt within that timeframe)

– Request an invoice from the seller.

– Use different credit card.

I hope your issue will be resolved soon.

Should you need further assistance, please remember you have someone right here. Our team is more than happy to assist and try to resolve your issue for you.

Thank you for choosing PayPal! We hugely value your continuous support in using our services. Hope you have great experience of using our service, please recommend PayPal to your friends and family.

PayPal if you’re reading this, the account in question is “[email protected]

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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