Monopoly money
January 26, 2010 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Paypal won't give me my money. How do I tell them to hand it over?

I sold some items on eBay - all clutter from my flat, highest price about £35. The money started coming in on Friday, then I got an e-mail saying my account had been 'limited', meaning I can't access my money. Logged in, and it told me to do various things:

- confirm credit card (done)
- confirm bank account (Paypal won't accept my savings account, so I phoned them and they told me to e-mail a bank statement instead, which I did)
- send photo ID with name and address (UK passports don't have this, and mine is expired - the call centre told me to send my birth certificate instead. I sent both)
- send 'proof of inventory' (I phoned them and explained that the items were all personal items owned for some years; they said this would be fine)
- provide tracking details (done).

When I phoned them today, they told me all I needed to do was wait until the packages were showng up as delivered. Fine. I also got an e-mail saying my account was 'linked' to an old account with a negative balance - once I get paid, I can pay this. No mention of the 'linked account' was made on the phone, though.

Then this evening, an e-mail arrives to tell me that my account is being closed, my appeal is 'denied' and my £220 will be held for 180 days. In the meantime, I'm out of pocket as I've had to send off my eBay sales, and the call centre won't tell me why they're holding the money - money that was meant to fund my new laptop. What can I do now?
posted by mippy to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, start off by calling them back. I have always had amazing results with them on the phone (and been surprised every time). I just had a limit removed from my account. The woman did it on the phone for me as I was talking to her.

First find out why they won't tell you. Do they not know how to find out the info? Ask them to put you on with someone who does. There was a recent question on how to get what you want when on the phone with service people. I will try to find it for you.

With negative balances, the payment that come in usually go straight to paying that. I am not sure why that was not done. You should find that out as well. If this actually was your own account that had a negative balance, you do owe them money. Work it from the angle of getting that money to them.

If this other account is not yours, then yes, that sucks, and I don't know what to tell you.
posted by Vaike at 3:17 PM on January 26, 2010

I've called them three times today, and the last time, the guy said 'I can't tell you why, that is a security risk in itself'. I was very close to swearing at him which I never allow myself to do with phone monkeys.

The negative balance was an old account. I have the login details and can transfer the money to get that in good standing when I get paid on Thursday - so by then, there should be no reason for any limitations to be in place. Yet they have already decided to shut the account down. First payments came in Friday lunchtime, they limited it Friday afternoon, e-mailed me about the other account yesterday, and closed my account with the £200 balance today. That hasn't given me any time to do anything but upload the documents I have. I've explained to them that I need this money to pay my eBay fees too (the phone person never mentioned this other account) but no dice.
posted by mippy at 3:26 PM on January 26, 2010

You might want to send your story to, they are sometimes able to help.
posted by drezdn at 3:51 PM on January 26, 2010

Also check the paypalsucks forums. Yours sounds like a textbook case.
posted by rhizome at 4:37 PM on January 26, 2010

In the US, I'd file in small claims court. I'm sure there is something similar. I don't know if it will work, but Paypal shouldn't be able to pull crap like this.
posted by theora55 at 5:18 PM on January 26, 2010

Check your gmail.
posted by essexjan at 5:23 AM on January 27, 2010

You got an e-mail saying your account had been "limited"... are you sure this e-mail was from Paypal? When you logged in, did you click a link in the e-mail, or go to in your browser first?

The fact that you spoke with them over the phone makes it much less likely that this is a scam, but if you got the phone numbers through your original e-mail then it's at least possible.
posted by Vorteks at 7:14 AM on January 28, 2010

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