Back in 2006, I heard about PayPal for the first time and was pretty curious to know what it was all about. It turns out PayPal is nothing but a way to make payment or get paid over the Internet. In 2007, I created my own PayPal account and started using it for receiving small payments from my clients. Small payments were mostly for writing content for my offshore clients. I was never worried about the limitations as my monthly PayPal receipts never exceeded $500 threshold until the end of 2008.
In 2009, I started getting more business from my clients and my dependency on PayPal grew bigger. I figured that I couldn’t withdraw more than $500 to my bank account unless I removed the limitations from my PayPal profile. And back then, unfortunately, the only way PayPal would allow users to remove the limitations form their PayPal profiles was through adding a credit card.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t have a credit card as I never needed one. I felt I needed to apply for a credit card just because it would help me remove the PayPal restrictions on withdrawing funds higher than $500. It’s crazy but by asking you to add a credit card to your PayPal account, PayPal essentially wanted you to verify your true identity so it makes sure you’re a verified PayPal user.
To get around the issue, I had to open multiple PayPal accounts to receive money from my clients but it was quite awkward. But, I kept on doing it until I got myself a credit card.
Applying for a credit card wasn’t really that easy for me. My bank (HDFC) was rather skeptical about offering me a credit card as I couldn’t comply with their requirements. When both of my attempts to get a credit card yielded no results, I was forced to go for a credit card against a collateral deposit.
Finally, I got my first credit card (with a credit limit of 9000 rupees) and added it to my PayPal account to verify my account. I felt like I’d achieved a milestone!
Today, PayPal doesn’t want you to add your credit card anymore. Rather, it sends two small deposits to your account and you need to check the statements of accounts to figure out those two numbers and enter the same during the verification process on PayPal.
Doing business with PayPal hasn’t been quite a pleasing experience for me for many reasons. To begin with, PayPal is a rather rigid and selfish institution who doesn’t care about what its users stand to lose. It changes its policies at its whim and imposes restrictions on its users as and when it feels fit. After the PayPal issues in 2010 and 2011, I decided to discontinue doing business with PayPal.
The downside of ordering money via PayPal is that it makes the finalization of company accounts rather complex for your chattered account. Plus, PayPal charges you arbitrarily and converts your funds as per its own currency rate. Worst of all, it keeps changing its policy updates whenever it suits its very own commercial interests. Here’s an example:
Nearly two months ago, a client purchased a SEO campaign service ($400) from our website and paid via PayPal using his credit card. Plus, he wrote me an email asking what details he should offer to get the campaign started. I immediately replied to his email and then he disappeared for the next 30 days.
While I was wondering what might have happened, PayPal sent me an email saying the buyer has asked for a Chargeback as his credit card has been misused. Since I hadn’t begun working on his project, I had no choice but to accept the liability and make the funds available for him to take away. Shockingly enough, PayPal, after returning $400 to the buyer, deducted an additional $25 from my account to compensate for the service fees involved in the transactions! PayPal sent me an email saying it’s a company Terms of Service which I had agreed with during sign-up with PayPal.
Crazy policy, isn’t it?
I feel totally gutted after that incident and was totally disillusioned about PayPal’s operations and customer policy. Therefore I decided not to use PayPal anymore and close my account. But, PayPal didn’t let me close the account saying there are limitations on my account as my account had a negative balance (created by PayPal itself). I left the account untouched and got on with life ignoring multiple reminder emails from PayPal.
I also have a couple of other PayPal accounts without any negative balance. But, strangely, PayPal doesn’t let me close those accounts either. It says the accounts are limited because I need to verify the account with PAN card details and stuff like that.
Currently, I have stopped interacting with PayPal and been ignoring their emails like plague. I don’t want to do business with a company that sacrifices its customer’s interests for protecting its own commercial interests and keeps changing its policies to suits its own agenda time and again.
What do you think could happen next?
Have you ever experienced the similar experiences with PayPal?
Please, share them with me in the comment section below.