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“Calling All Lawyers”

By Bernd Schneider

I assume that there are thousands, or ten thousands, or hundred thousands, or millions of dollars on PayPal’s pooled accounts, to which PayPal has restricted access, and on which PayPal earns interest.

The smart thing (from PayPal’s perspective) is that this money does not belong to a few rich people. It belongs to thousands, or ten thousands, or hundred thousands, or millions of ordinary small people, with some of them feeling . disappointed, taken advantage of, cheated, defrauded.

PayPal hides behind a legalistic Terms of Use to which everybody who accesses their services automatically agrees, a Terms of Use which is a world-class document on how operating according to the letter of the law can still be in contrast to what we would consider good old-fashioned business morale.

PayPal is so well protected by its lawyers. Even their customer service replies sound as if they were drafted by lawyers, the most arrogant ones among them. Replies as the one I received totally lack intuition, as one would expect it from a bank costumer service employee entrusted with answering clients’ mails. For the record, and because it’s so short, I just repeat again the reply I refer to:

“Dear Daniel,

Thank you for contacting PayPal.

Following an investigation, this account has been permanently locked due to violations of our Terms of Use. This decision may not be appealed.

PayPal Account Review”

Obviously, I’d love to bring them down from their high horses. But I am realistic. My chances aren’t very good.

On various bulletin boards, I have seen many copies of mails which threatened PayPal with lawsuits. Unfortunately, most of them I can’t take serious. Who would spend hundreds or thousands of dollars suing a company that has confiscated (temporarily or permanently) funds of just tens or hundreds of dollars.

Actually, those who do send letters to PayPal threatening police or court action may hinder their own chances of recovering their money, as has been pointed out in an enlightening bulletin board posting:

For the record, the moment you mention in a letter to a corporation the words ‘Law’, ‘Legal’ or ‘Lawsuit’ you have guaranteed that you will receive no more contact from that agency, company or corporation. Most, not just a few, but far closer to most than to many legal departments of corporations follow company policy that once the words listed above are communicated either by voice or electronic means, all communication must stop and the account and all correspondence is then turned over to the legal department. Likely forgotten unless your threats are backed up with a ‘Letter of Intent’ drafted by a licensed attorney. So those who threaten to sue a company have all but shot themselves in the foot regarding any expedient resolve through email and phone calls except in the most exceptional and unusual cases.

Enlightening message, indeed.

But I do have a short linguistic afterthought: the metaphor of “shooting oneself in the foot” is used wrongly in this context. It originated in World War I when soldiers avoided the certain death of being sent to the front by shooting themselves in the foot and getting evacuated to a field hospital. Therefore, shooting oneself in the foot initially was meant as a smart move, not one that hinders one’s cause.

Remember, we are dealing with very smart people at PayPal’s.

Flaming, and threatening law suits, is not the way to go. Victories are much more likely to be achieved with a cool mind, rather than when enraged.

Still, the most promising strategy when dealing with PayPal is through the legal system. But this should be a coordinated effort, or one that doesn’t drain the resources of an individual who has sustained harm at the hands of PayPal.

The subscriber section of this website gives advice on how to proceed. The subscriber section also provides the addresses of lawyers or attorneys who have filed cases against PayPal, or plan to do so. For those who want to take court action without being represented by a lawyer, the subscriber section of this website shows the way, and gives samples of others who have been successful.

On the other hand, lawyers who are preparing for class action suits, or are proceeding against PayPal in any other form, are invited to make their intention known through this website. We offer to publish appropriate information at full length, and free of charge.

Posted: April 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm


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5 thoughts on ““Calling All Lawyers”
  1. nuemerchsearch on

    The executives at ebay Inc are very cleaver to cover their rich behinds with legal jargon. Hell if I had a multibillion dollar company I’d be quick to call on lawyers to pre-write everything as well. It’s a shame because I use to have a good working relationship with them. My accounts were comprised due to a security breach which I was never rightfully paid back for. They lost somewhere in the amount of $450 and did nothing but throw their hands up at me. I’m 65 years old and learned that of all things on earth time is the most precious. I’ve moved on and lost the money but wont waste anymore time trying to sue them or recover what is rightfully mine.

  2. Rafael_Martinez on

    Recently I sold an instrument on EBay for 1971.76. When the Buyer received the case he/she an filed a filed a case Item of not as described. Finally I had to settled the case for $200.00. Now PayPal is holding my funds as I am limited to 500.00 month and will take four months to get paid at $500.00 per month. This is Fraud and there is no recourse against PayPal. They are not regulated by any Federal agency.

  3. Matthew Geuther on

    Over the past two days Paypal’s automated dispute system seized $465 only 3 minutes after sending me the notice that there was a problem. Turns out the problem was the post office’s fault. My package got double scanned when I dropped it off, so the tracking said it was both accepted and delivered at the same time. Paypal’s system saw a problem with the tracking and simply settled in favor of the buyer. The package was delivered the very same day, yet Paypal had already closed the dispute. So now I have a judgment against me now and the appeal has already ( yes – all within 24 hours ) been closed permanently.

  4. Mr. S. Ahmed on

    ebay & paypal are thief and working illegally.

    They have no independent complaint procedure ‘especially in the UK’.
    They work against trading standard law.

    No one can touch them legally because they are big fish.

    I took them in court but judge said paypal is right because you signed their standard agreement even it was unfair agreement.

    They closed my many accounts unfairly but I was given no chance to appeal to independent body. Dodgy paypal made final unfair decisions of their choice.

    I hate it.

  5. Patrick Wilson on

    yet another paypal victim here of an unfair business practices and untimely account reviews