submit your complaint
and have it posted to see in the PayPal Complaint box, right on the homepage....
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By Bernd Schneider
Please read this terms excerpt:
“When we deactivate your [account], we will remit to you the amount of cash (if any) in our segregated accounts that was last shown as available for you to spend using the Payment System. At our discretion, any such amount will be either transferred by us to the bank account last specified in your [account] as one to which you wished payments to be made out of the Payment System, or be paid by us to you by means of a cheque to your last known place of residence.”
Sounds fair enough? Probably is.
Nobody wants to challenge the right of PayPal to terminate accounts under specified conditions. It’s just that there should be clarity as to what happens to a customer’s money.
Oh, yeah, before we forget: the above terms excerpt is NOT from PayPal’s. It’s from EarthPort, a UK payment system similar to PayPal. They don’t aggressively entice members of the public to make remittances with them (they don’t pay for signing up). There are also no message boards with thousands of complaints about their service.
Maybe slow, but probably sound. And their terms sound fair enough.
Now, let’s see what we get from PayPal. That famous two-liner, for example:
I am not a native speaker of the English language, and I’m not a trained linguist. But the way I understand “permanently locked”, it doesn’t seem that I will get any money back. After all, “permanently” means forever, and “locked” would have to be understood as meaning that there would be no more movement on the account.
So, what do we find in their Terms, regarding the termination of accounts?
The paragraph closest to what happened to me states:
“Closing and Restricting Accounts. – PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to close an account at any time for any reason, including but not limited to a violation of this Agreement, upon notice to the User and payment to the User of any unrestricted funds held in custody.”
But my account wasn’t closed, it was “permanently locked”. And what about “upon. payment to the User of any unrestricted funds held in custody.”
It’s a bit twisted, but when you analyze it phrase by phrase, you sort-of get the sense of what it all means. The following statements are made: 1. PayPal can close an account at will. 2. The account is closed upon notice to the User. 3. The account is closed upon payment to the User of any unrestricted funds held in custody.
Now, take a look on how smart they moved on my case: they didn’t close my account, they just “permanently locked” it, which I understand to mean the same as “permanently restricted” it. If they now close it, there are no unrestricted funds to return to me. So, I can kiss my money good bye.
I am not the only one who has been informed in the above-quoted way. On the day the first version of this article was written (December 21, 2001) Andrew contributed the following post to the AuctionWatch message board:
I would like as many people as possible, who all have received that famous two-liner, to contact me so that we could explore together whether we have been treated unfairly.
“Material amendments” will be posted in advance, they say. This means that amendments that are not material will not be posted in advance. Who decides what is “material”? You guessed it. Loopholes as big as garage gates.
But anyway, just to be sure: “This Agreement is subject to change by PayPal without prior notice (unless prior notice is required by law).” Such statements do create the impression that they won’t give in an inch, if not upon demand of legislators and regulators.
Posted: April 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm