PayPal Inc.is the number one online payment processor. They offer secure payments via credit card, check, and direct account withdrawal. Weather for a small, one man EBay business, or Industry giants like Facebook Microsoft, PayPal is always on the list of payment options and in many cases the only option. This gives them a lot of power over who can and cannot shop on the internet.
This is where my story or complaint comes in. I just recently started a support group for parents who are involved with CPS/DHS or Child Protective Services. I am only a little familiar with laws surrounding the non-profit verses not-for-profit
organizations. We are not a non-profit, we cannot give out tax receipts for any donations received. That is not to say we cannot receive them, just that they are not tax deductable.And I am not saying we will never get our non-profit
status, just that we don't have one now.
Well, we were building our website and we needed a way to be able to accept payments/donations securely and without a huge upfront expense. PayPal seemed to be the logical answer to our problem. Little did I realize that it was just
the start of my problems.
In march 2011, I opened up a PayPal account in my organizations name. I will be the first to admit that I made several mistakes, starting with the application.
But rather than try to help me, Paypal was almost non-reachable and when I did get someone live, it didn't help much.
While filling out their little application for business services, one of the questions was " type of Business." and regardless of where my brain was at the time I put down Charitable Organization.
Mistake #2 Using my personal credit card to validate the account.
After creating my account I get this email from paypal informing me that I needed to provide more information to them in order for my account to be taken out of "Limited" status. I had not even had a chance to test the connection between our site and paypal's and my account was "Limited"?!
They said they needed several things from me.
1. They needed my bank account information and routing number (which I am never comfortable doing over the internet especially to a company who thinks they are a bank without FDIC to back them up)
2. They wanted proof for my tax exempt status. (Again, they have already been hacked once so even if I did have the papers they wanted i would question giving them to PayPal or anyone on the internet.)
3. They also needed more information as to the type of orginazation it was. (well go to the website,silly)
I immeadeatly called them up and after three different attempts on their website's help section I finally got a phone number. Oh, the 800 number sends you to an endless loop of voice prompts. The number I got through on was a local
califorina number. Once I got through though the voice on the other end was a warm welcome.
I proceeded to explain to her that we were not a tax exempt organization and that we did not have tax exempt status and therefore could not give them what they requested. I also told them that I was not entirely sure that I wanted to give our account information to some internet company who had already been hacked once. I then requested that all funds withdrawn from the account be sent .via check, to the organization. Then I started to explain what exactly it was that we did.
To which, she seemed, not the least bit interested... but hey it's not for everyone. What I was doing though, was the fullfilling of the third request in the email. I tried to tell her as much but I don't think she got it.
Aside from that, I was quite satisfied that I had explained enough to have the status of "Limited" removed from Our account. The woman at paypal did change my account status from unverified to verified. But, that was as far as it went. I recieved a second email saying they still wanted tax papers and a more through description of what we did here. At this point I was getting quite fed up with all the nonsense, so I decided to make it easier on everyone.
I changed our Company type to Sole Proprietor. I gave them Our bank account information, and for a credit card ( because the organization did not have one) I used one of my personal cards. I also sent them my federal EIN so that they had something on file for taxes. Really that should be all they need. I can open a business checking account in any real bank with all of that and Id.
But, still not enough for paypal. To this day I cannot use this account, It is still "limited". It has limitations on it that do not allow me to do anything but deposit money(of course). I can't even transfer any back to my bank. It and everything in it is completely locked up(not that there is anything in it really).
Now my own personal credit card is a different story. It is the one I use for parts for my own business. Yes I know I should not have used it but I did. Now it is locked to a usless paypal account and cannot be removed, nor can it be used with any other account.
What that means is that I cannot by the parts I need off of Ebay with that card or for that matter, buy anything just about anywhere on the net.
That card is dead until this mess gets straightened out or they close the account.
I have called and e-mailed paypal on several occasions requesting they just close the account and release my personal credit card. Their only response was that they could not do that. The system will not allow them to close the account. Effectively locking up any chance I have of purchasing any ebay items unless I go get a prepaid card every time I go shopping. (which is what I have been doing since march)
You can't tell me that a system that handles so many financial profiles, doesn't have a delete key. Or, that there is no way a credit card can be removed from an account manually. That is either shotty programming or just poor planning. I have been dealing with this since March of this year and I am quite fed up with the whole thing . JUST CLOSE THE ACCOUNT PAYPAL, Since you won't let me do it.
I have my own paypal account now. If PayPal wants to be a "bank wannabe" so be it. But, I think that someone needs to educate this 12,000,000.00 net a year giant about the ins and outs of freezing assets for no reason and customer service. I mean without our Billions each year their millions go down the tube. Smile, the customer is always right. Just delete the account PayPal.