- Centurion Member
- Posts: 362
- Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:10 pm
- Location: Baltimore
Hey guys. I've had a mildly infuriating situation lately with PayPal. I've consulted a good friend of mine who is an attorney, but after several unsuccessful attempts to develop a solid gameplan on how to handle this, I figured I'd turn to my good friends on the Credit Card Forum to seek advice and to vent.
TL/DR: I heavily overdrafted my Paypal account because of a somewhat bogus Buyer Protection Claim and PayPal closed my account permanently with no chance of future reinstatement despite my prompt balance resolution and repeated attempts to comply with their requests, and I need some advice on if/how I can get my foot back in the door with them. I do hope you read the rest though so you know my full situation.
So, in a feeble attempt to make a long story short, my fiance bought an Hermes Birkin handbag (google it if you're not familiar) from a reputable overseas retailer and decided to pass it off to me to sell on ebay after she had her fill of it. My buyer promptly emailed me upon receipt of the bag gushing about how much she loved it, so at that point I figured it was safe to clear out my PayPal balance to give to my fiance since her mom needed help paying for a new kitchen range.
A few days later, the buyer emails me back with some sort of bogus claim that the bag I sold her was a counterfeit. After citing my sources, such as said reputable dealer as well as several Hermes employees who unanimously declared the bag's authenticity without hesitation, she then pulled some complaint about some touch-up spots on the corners of the bag that admittedly I had missed in the ebay item description.
So at this point I'm cornered in an Item Not As Described claim with PayPal with no readily available funds to replenish my PayPal balance. Taking the proactive approach, I called PayPal seeking advice on how to handle my situation. The person I spoke with informed me that when a claim is resolved in the buyer's favor, once the item is confirmed to have been returned to the seller, the refund is automatically issued whether the funds are in your account or not. Needless to say I was a bit hesitant to overdraft my account by almost $5000.00, so I asked the representative how long I would have to resolve my balance before my account is put into collections or charged off. His reply was "as long as you bring your balance up to 0 within 80 days you'll have no problems." I then asked him if this would have any negative impact on my account with PayPal. He assured me that my account would receive no negative impact as long as that balance was resolved within the 80 days. Good enough for me.
Armed with that "knowledge," I agree to accept the item for a refund, my buyer leaves positive feedback, and my balance at this point is sitting at -$4800.00 until I can resell the bag once again. I sold it quickly, within a week, and for even more that I had originally sold it for with no complaints from my new buyer and 2 or 3 immediate repeat-business transactions shortly thereafter. So my PayPal account was back in the black and all was looking good so I thought.
Now that this had happened, I started to receive notices that my PayPal account was "limited" and that several actions were restricted until some supporting documentation could be submitted. That's fine, I thought. They're just a business trying to protect their assets -- I can respect that, especially from working in the banking industry. Until I could get to my work to use the scanner to scan in my driver's license and proof of address (I had only just recently updated my credit cards to the address that's on my PayPal account), I decided to submit the "Supplier contact information" they requested by uploading the combination invoice/certificate of authenticity that was sent to me.
The next day I start getting emails saying that my account was being closed. Confused and irritated that I was being cut off after only one piece of their requested documentation was submitted, I called up the account limitations department. It was pretty late, they were about to close, and the person I spoke with (who introduced themself as an account limitations supervisor) was obviously in a rush to get out the door -- extremely annoying. I asked why my account was being closed. His response was that the documentation I had submitted showed a different selling price than what I had claimed to have bought the bag for. It was purchased for $9700 USD. The invoice my supplier had sent me said 9700 EUR. The guy is French. It's an obvious typographical error. My next question was "am I going to be given a chance to make this right so I can continue to use my account?" He said "yes, absolutely. I'll go ahead and reopen the verification window for you and you can send us the rest of what you got."
The weekend comes and goes, I get he corrected invoice from my supplier, and the PayPal account shows no signs of the verification being reopened. Bastard obviously jetted without even fixing my account. Fast forward to Wednesday (my birthday nonetheless!) and I get an email entitled "PayPal appeal denied." I'm pretty irritated at this point. I called up the limitations department again and was told that my account is being closed and I am permanently banned from PayPal. When asking why, I was told that the reasoning to the decision cannot be released to me because it is "proprietary information," and that "decisions like this are not made lightly and are indeed permanent." So no PayPal for me at the age of 22. Forever. Despite repeated reassurance that my account "would not be affected by this Buyer Protection claim."
So over a week's time I went from being an "invaluable asset to the PayPal community" (after putting in more work than I should have to shut down a counterfeiter who was trying to pass off a knockoff of the same brand of bag that I legitimately had) to being kicked aside like vermin. It's absolutely disgusting and it makes me sick to think about it. I was a PayPal advocate. I utilized all their services -- mobile account access, PayPal debit card, Bill Me Later, all my credit cards linked; you name it, I had it. And then one strike (not even really a strike!) and you're out.
The reason why this is so important to me is because I do a lot of business buying and selling mid-low priced goods on online forums. PayPal is the only way to go. The guy who sits there saying on the buy/sell/trade forum "no PayPal, money orders only" is the guy who gets no business. And guess what. When I went onto a website whose checkout page was run through a PayPal payment gateway, I couldn't even check out as a guest even when using a card that was never associated with my PayPal account!
They're also holding nearly $400 of my money in the account for the time being. I can understand their minimum holding time of 45 days out from the last sale because that's the maximum time frame under which one can file a buyer protection claim. But these guys are saying that they may hold my money for up to 180 days. Yeah. 6 months. I don't think so. We'll see what comes up when I reach my 45 day mark mid-July.
Guys, is there anything that you think I can possibly do to convince them to reinstate my PayPal account? I mean, nothing would make me happier than to just tell these assholes to f--- off, but the bottom line is without my PayPal account my ability to conduct business online is extremely crippled. Man, where's JCarter when you need him?
Amex Green - NPSL - 05/12
Amex Zync - NPSL - 06/12
Discover it - $7750 - 11/12
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $5000 - 11/12
SECU Platinum Visa - $5000 - 08/08
Bank of America Cash Rewards Platinum Plus Visa - $3000 - 06/08
Citi Diamond Preferred Mastercard - $3000 - 05/12
GECRB Old Navy Visa - $2500 - 11/12
Chase Amazon Visa - $2000 - 11/12
Chase Freedom Visa - $2000 - 07/12
Citi Thank You Visa - $1000 - 06/12
Amex Blue Cash Everyday - $1000 - 01/13