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: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 9:31

PayPal’s system resetting my payment funding choices after I change them

I have been using PayPal as a buyer (and occasional seller) pretty much since it first opened, with rarely a problem. If I ever had a situation with a seller/transaction who/which I had paid through PayPal, PayPal would automatically spring to action on my behalf and start setting up the process as to refund me/seek resolution/etc.

I thought I was happy with PayPal until strange things started happening with my account this past week. This past Friday, I was stunned to see two NSF charges in a bank account I have stopped using. Turns out Paypal had attempted to make two withdrawals from this account, causing me a charge of $42 each time.

I immediately phoned my banking establishment’s toll-free line, and was advised I would need to speak with a branch representative, which would be Monday at the earliest. I put in a request to be phoned.

The next morning, I phoned PayPal as soon as they opened. After an automated system which seemingly insisted repeatedly that it serve me, even after saying “Operator” into the voice recognition system (hint: say “Operator” again, after the system recognizes you have asked for an operator). The operator, once he came on the line, advised me this would be investigated. When asked, he discouraged me from either putting a stop payment on my bank account, or from removing my bank account from my Paypal account.

By Monday morning, a _third_ NSF charge had appeared in my bank account. I was contacted by my banking establishment (following my request on the weekend), who informed me that they would not cover the NSF charges as that would be Paypal’s responsibility. I was also advised to set up a stop payment (for which I was told the fee would be waived): I immediately accepted to do so. This ended up saving me from paying the third NSF charge.

During this time, I still had a few eBay auction payments to clean up, so I would carefully use my Paypal account (through my eBay app on my iPhone) to pay, using a credit card to remove any doubt that I myself was using the wrong bank account. That’s when I began noticing discrepancies. During certain transactions, the page on which my selected funding source would be displayed was skipped. In one case, I backed up to this page and selected the appropriate credit card (taking the time to read the last four digits before pressing “Submit”). The transaction was ultimately stopped in its tracks, with a message saying there was a error with the payment and that I should contact PayPal.

I backed up to see if I could find anything wrong (as there is a complete absence of “Cancel” or “Go Back” buttons in the Paypal app or its respective pages in the eBay app for the iPhone). To my surprise and dismay, the system had selected _another_ credit card, which I knew in advance had no funds. And that’s when I knew something was up.

I then sent an email to PayPal through their “Contact Us” pages (which also attempts to deter clients from sending messages to live people). Once I finally was able to send a message, I was dismayed to find PayPal’s reply was an automated “try this, try that, try this” which was completely unrelated to my situation.

I then decided to call live again… and that’s when I saw that PayPal’s customer service only stands when you’re voicing concern against a seller or third party, and not against PayPal: you’re out of luck then. The customer service representative found every which way to tell me I was at fault and that I did not know how to use the system, but would avoid giving me a straight “Yes/No” answer when I would ask him flat out, “So yes or no, are you saying that I am at fault for these charges that were sent to the wrong bank account?” I informed him of the failed payment that morning due to PayPal’s systems selecting the wrong credit card for payment: he stated he saw nothing of this in my case history, to which I replied, “Of course you don’t, it didn’t go through.” I advised him of the skipped screens in the eBay iPhone app: he indicated the app was “new” and could still have bugs, but was handled by another department… He then asked if I wished to be transfered so they could guide me on how to use the app. I answered, “But who’s going to pay my NSF charges?” The representative answered that PayPal does not charge its customers NSF fees. Through all of this, the customer service representative would never give me a straight “Yes/No” answer to the question, “Are you saying I am at fault for the NSF charges at my banking establishment?” After about half an hour of this, I requested to speak to a supervisor.

The supervisor came on the line after about a ten-minute wait, listened to my concern, and then proceeded to tell me how the bank account which had seen NSF charges incurred was my primary funding source, and this was why the withdrawals from that account had been attempted. I advised the supervisor that PayPal allows its users to manually change the funding source on each transaction, and that I did this dilligently. She advised that I had not done so. When I asked her how she could tell that I was not changing the funding source manually, she answered, “I see the page on which you confirm your payment, and it is saying you chose the bank account in question which ended up causing the NSF charges.” When I asked where _I_ could see this page, she answered, “You can’t. Only we can see that page.” After 40 minutes of beating around the bush, I wasn’t buying it.

I then asked the supervisor, “So yes or no, are you saying I am at fault for these NSF charges?” AGAIN, the SUPERVISOR refused to give me a straight “Yes/No” answer. When I made reference to the eBay app again, she too indicated this was handled by another department and that she could transfer me so I could be guided on how to use the app. When I asked, “So who’s responsible for my NSF charges with my bank?” she offered to send me a letter by email which I could print out and fax to my banking establishment. I asked, “So what good would this letter do, if you’re just going to tell my banking establishment I’m at fault?” She answered, “This would explain the situation to them and then they could decide what they want to do with it.” I relunctantly agreed, mainly out of curiosity as to how the letter would be worded.

It came as no surprise that the letter blamed me for the attempted withdrawals from my account, stating it was not my intent to select the bank account in question, but I HAD AUTOMATICALLY DONE SO. I sent an enraged reply (while minding my words) to Paypal: I receive an automated reply to the tune of: “We cannot receive emails at this address. Please log into your PayPal account and use the Contact Us function.”

I have yet to get ANY human reply to either of the messages I have sent to PayPal customer service through its “Contact Us” function. I am now responsible for $85 of NSF charges due to PayPal’s ineptitude, and total refusal to take any ownership of the situation. And now $85 is owed to my banking establishment, which they understandably fail to see why they should waive these fees as they are in no way responsible for the charges in question.


Submitted By:: G.B.

Location-: Canada

2 thoughts on “PayPal’s system resetting my payment funding choices after I change them
  1. Johnny F on

    Supervisors over there are trained on the art of avoiding yes or no answers. You will never get anywhere with them. I called in one time and got some dodo head from India with a fake American name. Boy they piss me off! I have pulled all of my paypal transactions and not work solely through a merchant account.

  2. Anonymous on

    It is always amuzing when you hear the Indian-accent present their American name. Yeah, like the men in India is named John or Mike. Anyhow, I too am annoyed with having to manually change the payment option since I have a bank account connected. The only advantage of a bank account connection is that you don’t need to pay a $2.50 (?) fee for them to send you a check as a seller. It’s important, but other than that, it screws you.

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