Forgive me, but I thought this account in The INQUIRER from a frustrated PayPal user was worth quoting extensively.
1. Paypal account used happily for 3 years.
2. January: Sold a laptop computer on Ebay. Buyer paid with fraudulently accessed Paypal account. Paypal charges the cost of laptop back to my account, leaving it -£700 (and me out of pocket, despite being the victim of internet fraud enabled by Paypal).
3. Crime therefore reported to London Metropolitan Police. (Crime ref xxxxxx/2008). Officer investigating asks me to hold off paying account balance until crime investigation resolved or ended as account details may be needed as evidence.
4. Paypal requests balance of account payment for £700.
5. I contact Paypal, give crime reference number, mention advice of Met officer. Expect this to be the end of the matter until crime investigation resolved.
6. Receive frequent Paypal emails asking me to restore balance. Do not, as against advice of police investigating.
7. My parents (?) receive call from debt collector instructed by Paypal at their house asking for payment. Obviously distressing to them as elderly.
8. Call debt collector, give crime reference number and explain situation. They promise not to call again given police advice.
9. Call Paypal, where customer service rep explains that there is no way to prevent debt collection proceeding despite police advice. Despite advising that interfering with a police investigation is a criminal offence, simply restates that Paypal requires payment and will be proceeding with debt collection and regular calls to my mother’s house.
10. Receive call from debt collection agency regarding outstanding balance. Explain situation, restate crime reference number already on their file, they promise not to call again (again).
11. Receive call from debt collection agency two days later. Am unable to return call.
12. Finally cave and attempt to pay off account balance against advice of London Metropolitan Police in a bid to prevent further calls to the house of my elderly parents by debt collection agency acting on behalf of Paypal.
13. Paypal rejects payment attempt through website, stating that I am not allowed to add the requisite amount of funds in one go – and that this is a measure taken in order to prevent fraud.
14. Proceed to pay half the total in a bid to pay the second half when Paypal ‘allows’ me.
15. Paypal closes account, preventing me from paying off balance, and requests that I contact ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Presumably now sending hit men around to collect payment that system itself refuses to take.
And so here I am, emailing the address requested. Unable to pay off a Paypal balance that the London Metropolitan Police advises me not to pay, yet receiving calls from my parents who are being harassed by debt collection agencies who are distressed by the situation.
At this stage I would simply like to be allowed to pay off the balance, close my Paypal account and be content never to use the service ever again. Would you be able to call me on 44 (0)xxx xxxxxx so that we can please arrange this?
Yours in hope,
Beleagured Paypal customer.
What comes next? You guessed it:
We apologize but we are unable to respond to inquiries sent to this e-mail address. Your e-mail was routed to an unmonitored mailbox and as such will not be reviewed.