PayPal? is rubbish. Why? Well, they seem to have a wierd idea about security and customer service.
I recently bought something on eBay (probably about the third time in my life I've used eBay). As is the way, I had to use PayPal?, and had to register an account with them to do so (because there's no way to just make a payment, you have to hand over all your details first). Here's where the trouble started...
Around two or three years ago, I used eBay in the US to buy something, and had to register a PayPal? account to do so. Since I didn't need that account again, I never accepted the ever-changing terms and conditions, nor did I ever log in, or use the account again.
Now, many years later, I can't register an account with the same email address because it's been used before. I can't log in to the old account because it's been permanently locked. I can't close the account because I can't log into it.
Seeing as all I really want to do is pay some eBay person, I register using my work email address. I then try using my credit card. I have no idea where, but my credit card is in use in another account (presumably the locked one). Thus, I can't use my credit card, or my email address with PayPal?.
Naturally, I think this is a bit stupid, so I email PayPal? customer service. Here's how it went...
customer subject: How do I close/remove my locked account?
customer message: Additional Information:
How do I close an old paypal account? I once created an account becuase there was no way to make a one-off payment. That account is now "permanantly locked with an account balance of $0". The problem is that I cannot use my email address to make any further one-off payments, or indeed to create a new account. Further, I can't use my credit card in a new account because it's stuck in that old one (I presume it's that one, at least).
PS. You have a significant security flaw in your "secure payments" system. This flaw has been well acknowledged by banks and other financial institutions, and has a trivial solution. The form that collects credit card details allows the browser to remember previously entered details. Thus, anyone using my computer could easily enter my
credit card number, and even the security code without any need to consult the actual card. You may like to fix this as soon as possible!'
I then received a response, which - get this - is marked with a copyright notice. As such, I can't quote it all, so I'll do my best to paraphrase as representitively as possible...
Thank you for contacting PayPal?.
PayPal? takes security very seriously. Your account has been permanently locked with a $0.00 GBP balance. All information to do with the account is also locked and can't be used elsewhere in PayPal? (so you can't register a new account with it).
This is all for security, sorry for the inconvenience.
Thank you for your time.
PayPal? Resolution Services
PayPal?, an eBay Company
You will note, this doesn't exactly answer my question, help me solve my problem or even acknowledge the security issue I flagged up. So I decided to dig a little further:
So does this mean that this email address can never be used to perform any paypal activity, ever ever again?
If so, this makes it very difficult for me to use paypal. For example, if I want to make a one-off payment, I have to register a new email address, obtain a new credit card, register with paypal and then make the payment (and then close the paypal account so that it does not timeout leaving me with yet another unusable address/card). Clearly, I'm not likely to do this, meaning that for all intents and purposes, I can't use paypal, ever, ever again.
Surely this can't be a good way to operate a service, can it?
PS. Any comment about the security issue I noticed on the site which I notified you about in my original message?
Which prompted this response (again, paraphrased to avoid copyright issues):
Subject: Re: Re: Signing Up
We've taken the time to clarify the user agreement to make it easier for you to understand. The UA constitutes a contract between you and us, and we want to make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations.
- The UA is a contract designed to protect you and the integrity of the PayPal? service
- Whilst this is the UA we're all bound to, we can change it at any time and will give you 30 days notice of this.
PayPal?, an eBay Company
So again, nothing to do with anything. It's looking a lot like I can't really use PayPal? any more (since I'm not getting a new credit card, or even registering a new email address).
Oh, and in case you didn't get it - there's an obvious security flaw in the PayPal? secure online payment service that they haven't acknowledged, or look like they want to know about.
Update: It gets better - PayPal? have asked me to feedback on how their person did when replying to my emails! Ha ha!