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One questions and the many answers from PayPal

I have contacted PayPal and eBay at least ten times by email and have spoken to representatives of PayPal and eBay at least ten times on the telephone in the last two days.

I bid on, and won at $5400, an auction from a seller in Russia. Every time I try to pay him I get the message, “Your transaction exceeds the individual transaction limit of $1,268.55 USD.”

I have asked PayPal and eBay precisely WHO or WHAT has placed that limit on this transaction, and WHY? The amount of the limit changes slightly every time I try to pay. Here are the various answers that I have received:
a) It is not a limit on my account; it is a limit on the seller’s account.
b) This is a PayPal problem not an eBay problem.
c) The Office of Foreign Asset Controls has set a limit on transactions between the USA and Russia.
d) It is a “security process” triggered by the unusually high amount.

I wrote to PayPal’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls and received no reply.
I telephoned the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls and was told that there are no limits on PayPal or other transactions to Russia.

The email responses have all been automated. Someone pushes a button and a signed “response” email goes out. The trouble is that the responses have nothing to do with the questions. I have a series of 4-5 such responses, each ridiculously irrelevant.

With rare exception, the persons I have spoken too seem to be reading boilerplate scripted responses. They can read English but are not fluent in comprehending it or speaking it. When I ask them to slow down or to rephrase a point, they are completely thrown off track, pause, and continue reading the scripted response to me.

Either they are all ignorant or they are lying. Even if they are well-meaning, it is disingenuous or downright fraudulent to host an auction to completion when they know, or should know, that they will not allow the bidder to complete it.

Posted: November 17, 2014 at 7:58 pm

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