I've disliked PayPal for quite some time now, but today they really bit it. Extra hard.
Withdraw Money from PayPal - Don't Mess Up!
The other day I closed an account of mine that was the default account in PayPal. Then I went to withdraw some money. It, of course, went to my default account which doesn't exist anymore. I sent in a support request about trying to cancel the transfer which got the great response "withdrawals cannot be canceled". So, now what? Does my money just disappear? No response from PayPal.
Send money with PayPal - Just Kidding!
My wife needed to send some money. So she signed up for PayPal and added a credit card. She then went through the process to send the money and right as the last step in the process was submitted the site said "sorry, you need to be verified before we can process this". If it were going to block the transfer why not block it at the beginning? So now it wants her to do a "credit card" verification process before she can use it which will take about a month for our credit card statement to actually arrive. So, if you want to send money, be sure to sign up months before you actually need to do it.
Fortunately, I've had my paypal accounts for a long time and have been verified in various ways over the years. Mailing things to my house, small deposits to bank accounts or credit charges, etc. PayPal had me verified to a level of "three" (whatever that means). This should mean that when I go to use PayPal to, you know, send money, I should be able to do it. Of course, I forgot my password so I had to go through the password re-request process. After requesting the password I was finally able to send the money for an apartment here in Buenos Aires which is what we really needed to do. A little while later I got an email saying my account had been suspended. That then marked all of my transactions as suspect, reversed the withdrawal to the bank account that had been closed (blessing in disguise, that was), and now my landlord hates me.
PayPal Suckage Overview
The trick of course is that while PayPal sucks, it's the best thing out there. To recap the suckiness in short form:
- If they are going to block payments the UI should stop you from payments before you complete the form
- The time you most need a password change is when you need to use your account. So the "security question" process needs to be robust enough that they can trust it immediately rather than sending accounts with recent password changes to the "suspect" bin
And of course I'm not the only one that feels this way. My favorite example is stan the paypal hater. I never understood your hatred before, Stan, but I sooo do now.
Don't Dump on your Partners and then Expect them To Help
And finally from the corporate strategy that made Microsoft and RIAA loved by so many I just got an email from PayPal requesting that I help them by updating any of their logos that I may use on my sites to the new PayPal logo. Yeah, I'll be sure to cooperate on that right away. Except that PayPal's status as a partner of mine just got placed in a "Limited" status.