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Back in the day, Paypal was pretty sweet. Send money anywhere in the world, with just an email.
I have an account. You probably have one too.
But here’s why I’m closing mine and will avoid Paypal in the future.
How Paypal Ruined My Day
Last week, my wife tried paying one of her service providers with her credit card.
No error message, just payment failed. Again and again.
Do I have to mention, this service provider only processed credit cards via Paypal?
After an hour on the phone with Paypal, it turns out the credit card was attached to someone else’s account. What? Someone stole our credit card and is using it on Paypal?
Sure enough. But it turns out that someone was me.
Pardon me while I bang my head against the wall a few times.
As it turns out, if you have ever used a credit card to pay a vendor via Paypal, even if you don’t have a Paypal account, the email address and credit card you used to make the payment are PERMANENTLY stored by Paypal.
But wait, it gets worse.
Paypal has a policy that any credit card number can only be associated with a single email address. Do you see the problem yet? My wife and I have a joint credit card – different physical cards, different names on the cards, same credit card number, same account. So I must have paid for something using our joint card first, and Paypal permanently linked that card to me. When the missus tried to make a payment with her card? Denied!
Bad enough? Oh, not by a long shot, here comes the pain.
It’s impossible for either of us to remove this credit card number from our account ourselves, since we don’t have Paypal accounts, and we never asked Paypal to store this information for us.
So how do I remove my credit card number from this double-secret Paypal account? You call Paypal, wait on hold forever and a day, and then answer a series of multiple choice questions generated from your credit report to verify that you are who you say you are. How in H-E-double hockeysticks does Paypal have access to my credit report considering I never gave them my Social Security number? Disturbing on too many levels to contemplate, but that’s a topic for another day.
Long story short, we won’t be using Paypal again if we can avoid it. And I recommend you avoid them too.
More Reasons To Avoid Paypal
The interwebs are full of Paypal complaints. The majority seem to be
- Fallout from seller / buyer disputes
- Bullying their customers
- High services fees, e.g. 3.4% for the transaction plus a 4% currency conversion charge if relevant
When many Paypal users recommend you never leave any excess funds in your account because you never know when Paypal might seize it, that raises a huge red flag as well.
Not to belabor the point, if you want to details of Paypal abusing their customers in their own words, you can check out the PayPal Sucks website, the NoPayPal Facebook page or do a web search for Paypal complaints. Be warned – there are a LOT of them.
Fortunately for us, in today’s competitive digital world there’s always someone else. So what are the alternatives to Paypal? I’m still investigating my options, but so far Skrill looks most interesting. Companies that provide ways to make payments either to people or companies are
- Facebook Messenger
- That’s right, you can send money for free to your friends using the largest social network in the world
- Google Wallet
- Pay from your credit card or bank account, and use your phone to make payments via NFC
- Square Cash
- Mobile app to transfer cash from your bank account to someone else
- Make online payments and transfer money worldwide
Of course, if your a vendor looking to switch from Paypal to another payment processor, there are many options here as well. In addition to Google Wallet, there’s
Check back for reviews of the individual payment processors in the future.
Clearly, there are many reasons you want to stop using Paypal. Join me, and many others, in closing your Paypal account, and stop using Paypal for making online payments.
So many complaints against them.
So many viable alternatives.
What are you waiting for?
Have your own Paypal horror story? Have a recommendation for an alternative, or another payment provided not mentioned above? Leave a comment and tell us all about it.
Image of hand holding a world of money courtesy of Pixabay.