Over two years ago (2009 2010) I discovered a foreign company made a series of unauthorized charges to my debit card, until my PayPal balance was wiped out. I only realized something was wrong when my bank card and PayPal were declined, while out of town for the holidays. The back-up funding settings had also wiped out the checking. This occurred during a Thanksgiving holiday period when I was away from home, with family.
Instead of trying to remedy the problem, PayPal seemed to be determined to destroy my PayPal account and my bank account. Rather than bring quick resolution to unauthorized charges, even after the report, PayPal continued to slam my checking with charges from the fraudster until it resulted in over
$1000 in overdraft fees.
Here's the kicker to that over one month nightmare in 2009-10. PayPal was sending authorizations in pairs for a charge, and then altering the transaction IDs so they could illegally rerun duplicate charges. As for the finale, I had these BS 50 cent charges (4 total) to my PayPal account for transaction fees by whoever
the thief was using to hide the transaction source. PayPal submitted these to my bank 4 times each, in spite of the reported fraud from this unknown company to a bank account they'd already over drafted.
PayPal denied they did anything wrong, and refused to help at all. The bank thought they had just made over $1000 profit in fees for declining charges. They didn't want to help either. I was able to document the illegal transactions by PayPal. Still have them on record. And before a mod repeats the mistake, I got a smart azz reply that PayPal couldn't have possible done what I claimed, so I replied with all the transaction IDs and info to prove they were dead wrong.
The bank finally recognized what happened and wiped the fees from my account. They said they would settle the discrepancies privately with PayPal. The illegal transactions totaled up to a possible $2000 in fines against PayPal. Aside from spending the rest of the holidays, waiting six weeks for everything to be put right, with wrecked accounts, everything seemed to be put right.
PayPal eventually restored my account as well. I don't know what happened behind the scenes. What I do know is my backup funding method developed a permanent glitch that has been deliberately placed and targeted to my account, that causes arbitrary rejections with my debit card.
The customer service staff has run out of excuses for why this is happening after six calls. I was first told that after I regained a history of successful backup funding transactions the restrictions would be lifted, two years ago. Recently two service reps bumped it up to upper management, as they couldn't
understand the account limitations that were occurring.
They are obviously personalized and account specific at this point. Since the account hack, with only one
unauthorized charge which I made sure PayPal was fully reimbursed for, since that train wreck from two years ago. I've had thousands of problem free (for my part) transactions. However, PayPal has set a hidden limit when my backup funding kicks in. While I can set it up to $1000, though I have it set at just
$200, I figured out that backup funding must be used in $10 increments to be authorized.
I can make up to $200 on a purchase based on the backup accounts available funding, but there's a catch. The cashier has to ring up the purchase in 10 dollar increments. Eventually this triggers an unusual activity lock, having multiple charges to the same place at the same time, as I just found. Though my
backup funding has nothing pending, and all transactions have cleared, the card is locked.
Since I don't own a debit card to the backup funding source, (this is a biz debit card) and since the store was closing, I didn't have time to go home and switch cards or move money, so I had to just leave. So I guess for now congrats are in order. Having a small Internet business makes PayPal a necessary for
now. My debit card is one of the company cards. I and many others are dealing with a company that has earned contempt.
And whats the benefit in doing something to someone that only causes embarrassment and frustration? Well, a bunch of cashiers now think PayPal sux too, so theres always that. And as my account is rigged, should I ever have a problem with the backup funding balance, instead of a single EFT being declined; it will appear as multiple incremental purchases and cause a chain reaction in fees.
Its never happened, but sometimes things go wrong with banks. And PayPal would pay the fees at the end of the day, and more. Oh yeah I know I could keep money in PayPal. Since the hack and nightmare recovery that followed, Im not so excited with keeping my funds in PayPal for very long.
This was originally written for the PayPal message board, but I was not allowed to post there.