16 years ago, in 2003, hybrid elephant requested, and was granted a paypal “business” account.
i never trusted paypal to do what they claimed to be so good at, so i didn’t keep any balance in my account. i had it there so that people — even people without paypal accounts — could pay me with a credit card, and i didn’t have to worry about checking whether they actually, you know… had a credit card, and that sort of thing.
i had the paypal account as a convenience, and, at first, because there wasn’t anything else like it available for “small” businesses like hybrid elephant.
a few years ago, when i had my web site “professionally” re-designed (my skills with HTML went out the window once i had my brain injury), i switched from using paypal for payments to me, to using stripe for payments, primarily because i hated paypal so much. stripe is only slightly better than paypal, but, significantly, they’re not paypal, which, for me, made all the difference.
since then, i’ve only used my business paypal account for payments to host providers, registrars and web designers, and for a few purchases of tools and materials… and nothing else.
this morning, i woke up to email that said “Your account has been limited”.
immediately, i figured it was spam, but then i looked at it. the last time paypal posted such things online, they posted a few pointers for distinguishing real paypal email from fake paypal email. they included things like “real paypal email will address you by your full name, and not by “member” or something like that”. this email addressed me by my full name, and informed me that i had violated their acceptable use policy, and because of that, they were permanently closing my account.
i contacted my current web designer, who was of the opinion that it was spam/phishing, and recommended that i log in to my paypal account and call them. i logged in to my paypal account, and was immediately transported to a new page that said
You can’t use PayPal anymore
At PayPal, we value a safe community for our customers to do business. We noticed activity in your account that’s inconsistent with our User Agreement and we no longer offer you PayPal services.
Any bank or credit card information linked to your PayPal account cannot be removed nor can it be used to create a new account. You can still log in and see your account information but you can’t send or receive money. Any money in your balance will be held for 180 days, after which we’ll send you an email with instructions about transferring your money.
so, i called them, and, after waiting on hold FOR TWO FUCKING HOURS an “agent” told me that i had been found guilty of violating paypal’s appropriate use policy and there was nothing i could do to change their decision to ban me from their service. the “agent” also informed me that i would be unable to use that credit card number, or email address, to establish a new account in the future. when i asked them to give me some idea of what i had done to deserve such a punishment, they told me that in order to find out what i did, i would have to “seek legal counsel, and file a subpoena.”
at that point, i yelled “FUCK YOU” and hung up.
they said they’ll send me any balance after 180 days (because they want to get all the money they can from your account before they close it), but, because my account had zero balance, the next thing i did was to contact my bank, have them put a hold on any further money going from my account to paypal, disconnect the card that paypal ha
sd, and issue a new card, with a different number.
at this point, i feel like i deserve this: i only yelled “fuck you” one time, and it was appropriately directed… and i handled the rest of it a lot better than i would have 15 or 20 years ago…