Paypal Hell – How Paypal Won’t Give Me My Money

I opened a Paypal account when I was living in France. It’s been two years I moved back to the United States. Today, I offer services as a freelance. I very often get paid through Paypal. After a $2,500 limit of money received in my account, Paypal requested that I send them info on the nature of my business, for fraud control purposes. Since they blocked my account, I didn’t really have a choice.

First step: Resolution Center.

One of the info I have to submit is a proof of address. I have sent my bank statements, and my T Mobile bills. Unfortunately, since I signed up to Paypal in France, I have to provide a proof of address in France.

We could not review your proof of address for the reasons stated below:
-Please be advised that PayPal requires a proof of address for the country
where you have registered your account. The document(s) received show a
different country. We’ve noticed that all documentation received is
referring to a different country than the country registered on your PayPal
account. For this reason we advise you to sign up for a new PayPal account
by selecting the same country as the one stated on this document.

I do not have such documents since I moved back to the States more than two years ago. So yeah, ok, let’s open up a new account. The procedure for a new account is to close the old one and transfer the money to the new one. Unfortunately, my account has been blocked, which means I have to settle the proof of address thingy above before closing my account and opening a new one. The snake is starting to eat its own tail. Again, I do not have a home in France.

Next step: Customer service.

That’s where I’m starting to lose my patience. I have 3 options:

1. Ask a question: Since my case is atypical, the FAQs they retrieve based on the keywords in my questions are useless.
2. Talk to a virtual assistant via instant chat. Same as above, the ‘Lea’ girl is a really nice robot, but she doesn’t have the answer I am looking for.
3. The call center: to call the customer service, you have to give your phone number. Mine, of course, is an American number starting with +01 415. Paypal won’t accept this number, forcing the French +033 prefix in my entry, because I initially registered my account in France.

Oh wait, they have a number to call, 0821 230 233, which will cost me 0,12 euros a minute, plus international fares. Moreover, those numbers cannot be called from abroad. And if I feel like pissing a load of money away on one phone call to get my money back, the call center is only open from 12:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. PST.

Last step: You’re f*****

So what do I do? So far, I am speechless. I have a premium account with Paypal, meaning they keep 5 bucks on all my money transfers. The least I would expect from Paypal is the ability to talk to a real representative, a real person, one that can identify atypical cases, and respond to it, whenever I need it.

Paypal, You handle a complex financial service, and I find it outrageous that you dare robotizing your customer service. Obviously, you haven’t figured everything out, because I exist, and so far, you are retaining several hundred dollars on my account that I need to pay a freelance developer with.

I’ll keep blogging about it once in a while for search engine boosts purposes.

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