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admin : Thursday, March 18, 2010, 11:56

PayPal Takes Donation, Freezes Account

I used PayPal to make a donation to a non-profit organization that helps children in Africa. Apparently PayPal had reason to believe that criminals were hacking accounts and donating the stolen money to non-profit organizations so they flagged the transaction. They sent me an email with no details except that my account had been compromised by a third party. There was no information in the email about the reason(s) they suspected fraud or which transaction(s) they suspected may be fraudulent. I tried to log into my PayPal account to get more information, but I was prevented from doing so without first re-supplying all my financial information.

After just being informed that my account was compromised, I did not feel comfortable entering confidential financial information over the internet. So, I called my bank, transferred the money out of the account attached to PayPal and ask my bank to freeze the account. After I thought my money was safe, I supplied my financial information on the PayPal site so I could log into my account. PayPal listed the donation to the non-profit as the transaction which was flagged, but still no reason as to why it was flagged.

I jumped through a ton of hoops attempting to find out why they flagged the donation and to get my account reinstated, but PayPal remained determined to create a huge and painful fiasco. After many hours trying to break through the random drivel of PayPal’s computerized “help” center, I managed to get actual voice contact with a real person.

I was informed that the donation was flagged because the amount did not conform to my “history profile”. Apparently, I had donated too much money. I asked why, instead of the email with no information except my account was compromised, they did not send an email simply alerting me to their concern and requesting that I verify the transaction. The response was a barrage of babbling nonsense. I asked that the donation transaction be canceled because I would rather send a check than continue using PayPal. The customer service person reinstated my account and assured me the transaction would be canceled. What happened next was truly amazing.

Rather than cancel the donation transaction, PayPal pushed it through and then created a dispute on it. My bank, after telling me they put a hold on my account, paid PayPal and charged me an NSF fee. Now PayPal has the money. They won’t release it to the non-profit and they won’t return it to me. I have sent them numerous requests for status on the dispute and asking that my money be returned to me, but without success.

PayPal has my money and they seem intent upon keeping it.

Submitted By SJM


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