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I’ll Be Suing PayPal

By Dan

Look folks,

I have had to deal with paypal customer service.  Save your dime.  It is useless.  I have never heard so many asinine excuses in my life.

Second, I have read several of the complaints here.  They all follow a similar them.  The important fact is that paypal is acting as an agent when they take your money.  It doesn’t matter if you are a buyer or a seller. Paypal can not charge account or demand money without acting as an agent for the other party.  When they do that they are jointly liable with the other party.

Third.  PROTECT YOURSELF!  Set up separate accounts to deal with the likes of paypal.  If they attempt to debit your bank account without notification it is a crime.  Let them find insufficient funds.  The bank will protect you from fraud, and will go after paypal.

Fourth, ALWAYS pay with a credit card.  DO NOT rely on paypal.  My personal experience is that AMEX is very buyer friendly and will issue permanent chargebacks if the goods shipped are non-conforming (most would require the good are not shipped at all or returned to the vendor).  This is important because then the vendor has to get you what you paid for and/or pay shipping fees to get the bogus goods he sent you back.  This isn’t just AMEX being nice, it is the law state law (UCC) in every state.  IN my experience Discover is the worst to use.  Discover is the paypal of credit card companies.

Fifth:  and this is related to fourth:  Use a separate credit card for all online purchases, including paypal.  Again, I would suggest AMEX for this, if your credit rating allows you to get an AMEX card.  Doing this makes things much easier to track and fraud much easier to identify.

The bottom line is that you need to insulate yourself as much as you can from theft, and not just paypal theft.  Most theft is carried out by opportunist crooks, like paypal.  By using third party payment options, like credit cards, and accounts that contain minimal balances designed to pay for particular purchaces and nothing else, you are doing two things:  first, you limit your liability in a very real sense.  You just don’t expose enough for them to hurt you.  Second, when paypal and the like pull these stunts, they trigger fraud alerts with financial institutions that are federally insured (FDIC) and obligated to pursue the fraud.  I would like to see paypal tell Citibank that the paypal TOS prohibits suit in federal court.

If enough of us intelligently shift the risk, paypal is going to investigated, legitimate financial institutions will get fed up with them, and Congress will pass laws that bring paypal under federal regulation (assuming paypal can stay in business).

What paypal should be doing is a very worthwhile service.  We need to either force them to do it right, or drive them out of business so that legitimate finacial institutions can fill the void.  The best way to do that is to be intelligent with your accounts so that the burden of dealing with scofflaws like paypal shifts to federally insured institutions.

Posted: April 20, 2012 at 11:40 am


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