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Paypal, usage, etc.

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:48 pm
by MrAl
Hi there,

In another thread we talked about Paypal a little bit and it seems
that everyone has had good experiences with them.

I started this thread to ask specific questions about them.
For example, i am trying to correspond with them and it seems
like they take forever to get back to you (two days or so).
Is this normal or do they respond faster once you have an
account set up?

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:15 pm
by Engineer1138
Their customer support is not very good.

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:59 pm
by jwax
There was a time that a call to a "service" company answered their telephone with a friendly, sexy gal that helped answer your every query.
If not, she would direct you to the "Customer Service" guy who would, in all politeness, assist you in any way he could.
"Los tiempos estan Cambiando" (The times they are a changin')
Modern companies like PayPal don't have telephones. Don't need them. They have the internets.
Woe is us, the lowly customer.
They expect all to be done on the net and emails, and yes, they can be slow that way.
All I can suggest is to be patient Al!

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:46 pm
by MrAl
Hi again,

Thanks for the reply jwax.
All i can think of though is: what if i join up and have an important issue
to discuss with them, is it going to take a week to resolve via
emails and emails?

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:49 pm
by Robert Reed
I have had many conversations with PayPal operators over the phone since I joined. The latest one was just last week. There telephone number is 1-402-935-2050 and is open from 4 AM to 10PM PST. You will get an annoying menu, but I have found that If I just keep repeating the spoken word "AGENT", it bypasses a lot of their crap and gets me right to a representative. They have been most helpful and freindly and seem anxious to serve you. As a matter of fact they will E-Mail you a short questionaire on how successful your conversation was.

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:27 pm
by MrAl
Hi again,

Thanks very much Robert, i'll most likely give that a try.

BTW, let me see if i have this right...

Do they keep your bank account information or do they only use
it when they give you the money someone sent you, as when you
get online to collect?
(similar to how a credit card online works or no?)

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:08 am
by Engineer1138
PayPal has to record your bank information since that's the most common way of withdrawing funds. When someone sends you money, the sender doesn't have your account info, they just know their sending $50 to "[email protected]" for example.

If you are very concerned it *may* be possible to sign up with PayPal and get their debit card and then close the bank account since you won't need it again because you can withdraw your money using the card.

However, this seems a bit "much." It's pretty easy to get checking accounts with no minimum balance required from local banks. You can just get an account dedicated to PayPal so that if anything goes wrong, that's all they have access to.

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:29 am
by Robert Reed
I never had any previous tie in between Pay Pal and my Personal checking account. Until recently. My "slush fund" as mentioned previosly was always adequate for my instant E-Bay purchases. But last month that fund was getting too low for comfort -no worry as I had just sold a very expensive peice of gear and should have pumped that fund back up to a comfortable level. Unfortunenately, the buyer demanded that he pay by personal check only (and with the problems that ensued, I will never do business again by that type of transaction). Weirdly as it seems. payPal would not accept a personal check from me for deposit into there account. I t had to be done by bank transaction only. At that point they required my checking account routing and account number. I have only made a direct money transfer once in regards to a no sale type of transaction and only set up PayPal for one reason and that was strictly for E-Bay bussiness. I want to keep E-Bay accounts and personal home bussiness accounts completely separate, so one never has to borrow from the other, but in this case I had no Choice. I do not expect Pay Pal to ever have need to electronically withdraw money from my personal in the future, but it is kind of reassurring to know If I have a winning bid and come up a few dollars short in my Pay Pal account that I will stilled be covered for that purchase. Hope this gives you a little more insight on some of the procedures you might get involved in.

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:16 am
by philba
I never have given paypal my bank account number - just my CC#. I reached my max and they demanded that I to the bank account number gig. I just stopped using the account and one day they upped my limit. If I had to give them a number, I would open a special account just for that and put the necessary funds into it. That way, I am limited by what damage they can do.

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:51 am
by haklesup
Yes, you can use it with just a CC# and that works well if you are just a buyer at ebay (for example). If you are a seller, at some point, you will want to get at that money you make for something other than another paypal transaction. At that point, the value of having your bank account back it up becomes evident.

If you only link your bank account and not your CC# then they will default to an eCheck mode of transfer which causes delays with the vendors of up to 3-4 days. If you have both CC and bank links, trnasfers are instant from either source and you choose which when you make a purchase (though they splash screen you with a "are you sure you want to use your CC when our bank xfer is so safe" screen)

If you keep enough cash in them and still refuse to link any of your money accounts, you can still get one of their ATM/CC and use them like a bank directly. Just beware they are not FDIC insured. I wouldn't keep more than a couple grand in there in case they go Enron or something. If they are paying 5% in this market, they are agressively investing your money.

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:36 pm
by Engineer1138
I think there's a way around this. I'm going from memory of about 2 years ago, but when I changed from a personal PayPal account to an account that let me accept credit cards for online sales, they wanted both the bank account # and my credit card #. I was OK with the bank account (balance was zero!) but didn't want to give out the CC# since I had heard some funny stuff about PayPal. They still verified my account and gave me Website Payments Standard status which allows me to take payments with credit cards which was what I wanted all along.

I use PayPal for purchases & receipts all the time and the transfer is instantaneous in/out of my PP account with just a small overhead fee. I really like them now :-)

So they will request CC# info, but at least in some cases, will still allow the account to be opened without it if you refuse.
haklesup wrote:
If you only link your bank account and not your CC# then they will default to an eCheck mode of transfer which causes delays with the vendors of up to 3-4 days. If you have both CC and bank links, trnasfers are instant from either source and you choose which when you make a purchase (though they splash screen you with a "are you sure you want to use your CC when our bank xfer is so safe" screen)

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:15 pm
by philba
CC is reasonably safe in that you can challenge any transaction. they have to show proof that you actually agreed to purchase the item. Not 100% foolproof but pretty good. I've heard nightmares about bank account backed paypal accounts - especially if you are a seller - they can dip into your account to reverse a transaction. This happened with one guy who never did get the goods back.

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:47 pm
by MrAl
Hi again,

Well, i guess if it only happened with one transaction it might
not be too bad, but i wonder what grounds they would use to
enable them to take money out of your account without you
right there online or previously agreeing online to the
reverse transaction amount?
A customer that payed who becomes unhappy maybe and wants
his/her money back?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:52 pm
by Engineer1138
It's the PP version of a chargeback. Whenever you have a business that takes credit cards you can have chargebacks if a customer disputes the charge. You should be aware of it, but really it's a cost of doing business.

You agree to it in their Terms of Service.

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:45 am
by jollyrgr
Do not give your REAL bank account to PayPal. Make a special account just for PayPal use and transfer funds as needed. I have never given them my bank account; just a TEMPORARY credit card (the online one or two time use credit cards) at first then a real one with low limit.

PayPal has a lifetime "limit" unless you give them a bank account. After some time I used up my limit with PayPal. They had a "lifetime" limit of something like $1000 when I started unless you gave them a bank account. Like Philba I had nearly reached my limit and stopped using them. They got the point and upped my limit twice now.

I spoke with my bank and they have had problems, although rare, with PayPal. I asked my banker about setting up a bare bones bank account with no minimum. He said any time I'm ready (based on the CDs, checking, and Money Market accounts I have with them) that I could get a bank account with near zero balance and free electronic fund transfers. I could even setup automatic overdraft coverage if needed. I'm not so sure I'd do that.

As to my problems with eBay. I have had several people try and stiff me. One was an honest mistake. I won the auction and sent the funds via PayPal. No response from the seller at all after the auction but plenty of good communications before the close. Strange. Tried calling using number in seller's account. Got a woman that said she had no idea who I was asking for. Figured I'd lost out. About a month after the close of the auction I get an e-mail from the seller. He was on leave from the Air Force. From the time he posted the auction and just before the close the base he was stationed at pulled Internet access to sites like eBay and web mail. Thus he could not see the auction or his "private" e-mail. Problem solved as package arrived.

Another time a seller posted an auction and pulled it before the close. At the time I was the only bidder. Hmmm. Then they relisted item no reserve and free shipping so I rebid. Mine was the sole and winning bid of $1; and was much less than the shipping charges. I didn't think I'd have much of a chance getting item. I did my part and sent payment by PayPal expecting it to be rejected. But instead of rejecting my payment, the seller accepted. Had they rejected it I would have understood and considered the matter closed. But they accepted my bid. Two weeks, dozen e-mails, no answsers. Complaint filed with eBay. Within 24 hours I get an e-mail stating that my package was on the way.

Another seller goofed the spelling of an auction term several times. I fat fingered the wrong spelling and got the ONE hit with the wrong spelling. I seemed to be the only one that fat fingered/searched the wrong spelling. This was another NO RESERVE auction with cheap shipping. So my opening bid of $1 won again. I paid the $1 and the shipping and insurance. The seller was either drunk or something and accepted my payment not realizing the problem. No package. No communications. I sent a complaint to eBay. Seller did not respond; money refunded. (At this same time period this seller blew a lot of auctions as he/she went from hundreds of good comments to me giving them their first negative, to dozens of complaints, to closed account.)

The most interesting one is the one I went VENDETTA on. I order a number of magazines off eBay for less than what the magazine discount places sell them for. For instance I get a magazine that is considered cheap if you get the price down to $17 a year. Off eBay for the last few years I get renewals at about $6 for TWO years. The guy I normally bought these from didn't have any posting for this magazine and my magazine renewal was coming due. So I found someone with a similar deal and over one hundred positive feedback, zero neutral or negative. I place the order. I'm told you "must wait up to 8 weeks to see the magazine/renewal notice". Standard disclaimer and in the past I see the renewal within a week. Six weeks roll around and nothing. Contact seller. Seller assures me nothing is wrong. No negative feedback, still selling magazines. Eight weeks and nothing. Seller no longer responding to my e-mails.

Complaint filed with PayPal and eBay. I'm told by both that I only have 30 days to file complaint. I point out wording in my auction and those posted that the seller says wait eight weeks. No avail. To get my money back (something like $7) I'd have to pay a $30 mediators fee. It is now nine weeks so I contact other bidders that bought from the same auction I did. None have received their subscription. Oh well, I've lost $7.

Seller then sends out what appears to be a form letter stating there was a problem processing subscriptions and she would be correcting this immediately. She offered additional free subscriptions to other magazines as a good will measure. I'm a guy. Magazines like Cosmopolitan, Oprah, and the other women's magazines offered free were not of interest but at least I figured I'd get my magazine I wanted. I picked some stupid magazine that was not female specific as my "Free" 'zine.

It is now 11 weeks into this mess and NO magazine. A number of negative comments have been filed against this seller by now so I add mine. Of all the complaints she picks MINE as the first to file a negative reply against! NOW IT IS VENDETTA TIME!

I had contact information for the seller but it was not totally correct. (She lived about 75 miles or so from me; about 25 from my parents. In an area I frequent from time to time.) I had several e-mail addresses for the seller and started searching on those. After some clever searching I determined that the seller was a high school senior. She used her dad's gutter install/cleaning business as her address. This business had a web site. The URL was listed to the father's real name in WHOIS. It was a unique last name so I was able to find his home address.

The magazine company she "owned" was setup to earn money for college; and was written about in her school paper which was posted online. She played basketball and had her picture in the local paper. This picture was posted online as well. Crosslinked to one of her e-mail accounts which was her first name as a "NICKNAME" and her basketball jersey number.

But alas it did not do me any good. Just as I was about to start getting creative with all I found I get a message from eBay then from PayPal. Both said something about "Reinvestigation In Progress" about my previous complaint. There were dozens of negative feedbacks by now against her. A few days later I get a message from PayPal about a credit to my account. Her account was closed, all auctions pulled.