Sunday 9 July 2023

PayPal use problems: getting money back

In case you’re interested this post is a reminder for readers that PayPal has its own ways of operating that are different from how other organisations that handle money do things. 

I only did a transaction using PayPal because other options weren’t available and there started a chain of events that tied up my money for almost a week. It wasn’t a large amount of money but the balls-up meant that I had to think about PayPal for all of that time, and believe me when I say that I thought of it in a negative light. As a result PayPal is permanently on my blacklist.

The adventure of the missing money started when my daughter asked me to buy some clothes for her son from a specific website. I’d been groomed for this on a previous Messenger call when she’d mentioned a predilection for ethically sourced goods as well as for low air miles. 

It would have been impossible to ignore such a request.

On the day in question I went to the relevant website and made the purchase, asking for help from Ada at strategic points where items she’d already pointed out weren’t immediately available. Once I’d finished I went to PayPal to pay for it because I thought, the linked card not being a credit card, I’d have a debt in PayPal if I didn’t top up the account. I didn’t want to be charged for using someone else’s money.

This was on the Saturday. 

On the Monday I noticed the PayPal deductions on my cheque account and because there were two of them I called PayPal to ask why. They said that it was a problem with my bank so I got in the car and drove up to the shopping centre. They said that they needed the BSB and account number of the source retailer, so I went back home and called PayPal again. They told me that the original deduction was for the purchase but that I’d made a separate deduction (which was true) and I said that they had to TELL ME that I didn’t need to top up my PayPal account with funds from my cheque account.

I waited and waited until the following Thursday for my funds to arrive at the PayPal database, then I did the transaction to return the money but PayPal said that the transfer would be paused while they checked it. 

The thing is that PayPal never tells you at any stage that regardless of the type of card you have linked – a debit card (as in my case) or a credit card (which they stupidly offered to link for me) – the deduction will happen and so you only need to have funds available when it does. My learning from all this malarkey is that I should use PayPal only when STRICTLY NECESSARY because having their own way of operating divorced from the mainstream they’ll keep your money for the maximum amount of time so they can earn interest from it before returning it to you. PayPal is a sort of legitimate scam that provides a great service to vendors (you can accept money using only your email address) but that treats everyone else like dupes. I did my initial transaction on 1 July and got the money back on Thursday.