Thursday, August 16, 2012

Have Ebay and PayPal gotten too big for their britches?

Ebay owns Paypal which can be a conflict of interest.

If you try to purchase anything on Ebay, check what the seller will accept. Most will only accept Paypal. 

Rightardia tried to purchase two items on Ebay recently, but we ran into a security screen on Paypal that required us to enter either our credit card or bank account number. We had just changed our credit card and didn't have the old number around anymore.

The bank account number we use has five digits and the Paypal screen did not indicate the length of the bank account number it needed.

In the past I called Paypal, verified my identity with security questions and they would send me a password reset hyperlink to my email address of record.

Not this time. The Paypal agent was inflexible and I would guess by his accent  that the PayPal call center has been relocated in the far east.

We advised PayPal that our bank account number has 5-digit number.

Did the PayPal agent tell us that more digits were needed? No!`

We asked the agent if routing and transit information was needed with the account number. He said, "no."

We eventually figured out the bank account number needed 15 digits and the number starts after a colon (: ) on your check book.

After going round and round with the Paypal agent for a half hour, we told him he was worthless and "hung up."

PayPal then put up another screen so we were unable to put in our credit card number or bank account information.

At this point we filled a complaint and asked that the account be closed.

PayPal responded by saying we would have to logon to the account to cancel. We pointed out that wasn't possible.

We then got a message form Faith of Paypal. At this point we had little 'faith" in PayPal.

Hello Wirehead, my name is Faith from PayPal Customer Service.

I hope you are doing well today.  We’re sorry that you want to close your PayPal account. It is possible that you were directed to a validation process that’s why you were asked personal information regarding your account.  It’s being initiated in the system to make sure that you’re the one making transactions on your account.  I apologize if this alarmed you in any way. 

If you think you might want to use PayPal in the future, it is unnecessary to close your account. You can use your account as often or as little as you wish. There is no fee to keep your account open.

This is where it got interesting. PayPal didn't want to close my account.

It took two more messages and another day before PayPal finally closed it. Then PayPal advised me that all of my account data was gone for good.

That was fine.

Then I went to Ebay to change my account so my credit card was used instead of PayPal so I could pay two vendors.

I had no option to pay by credit card so I called Ebay.

I told them I was closing my paypal account. Ebay also got alarmed and said that I really needed to link my Ebay account to PayPal. Perhaps the rep missed the part that I was closing the PayPal account

Of interest, the two Ebay vendors only accepted Paypal. I checked other vendors and found this was quite common. Few Ebay vendors now accept credit cards.

So where does Rightardia go from here? First of all we always check prices on Amazon before we purchase anything on Ebay. Amazon frequently beats the Ebay price and the shipping is usually faster.

The other advantage of Amazon is that it rates its merchandise. 

We are also looking at a site called DHGate which appears to be the Chinese version of Ebay. However, most shipments from  China take three weeks to a month.

Of interest, DHGate stopped using PayPal on August 6.

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