February 24th, 2006

Whaaaaaat?

Don't ever get on Paypal's bad side.

I've been a Paypal user for years. I have three accounts, actually...one hooked to my American Visa check card, one hooked to my Canadian bank account, and one hooked to my American Mastercard. I use them all, although the Canadian one gets the most flogging since it's the account I use the majority of the year.

I got notification in October that the one linked to the Visa was suspended due to "possible third-party access". Of course, I knew this was bs, so I went to Paypal's Online Resolution Center to fix it. They wanted me to add my bank account and get verified, first of all. Yeah, see, the problem with that is that bank account doesn't give me free checks, just the card. So I don't have all that checking info. Since the Visa's hooked into the checking account anyway, why would I enter redundant info? Strike one. Then, in order to "verify" my existence, they wanted me to receive a phone call. Okay, well, let me change my phone number from my permanent home one to the one I have here on campus in Canada. Actually, NO! I can't! It's an American account! I can't have anything but American info! Okay, whatever, I'll deal with it over break when I go home. The final step is to change my password. Once it's made me go through the password changing process THREE times I just bloody give up.

EDIT: I'll make it very clear. The email I got said nothing other than "Go to our Resolution Center on our site to fix this." I checked the certificates on that site. Everything checked out fine. I don't get the scam emails to that account because it gets no spam, whatsoever. I am not the newest kid on the Internet block, I have been online since 1993. Phishing is the oldest trick in the book and I DID NOT FALL for it, I am sorry to burst y'all's bubbles.

I go home for Christmas and find there's no way to access the verification process I had gone through before and that my account was "permanently" suspended and I could not "appeal" it. WhatEVER. I decided I'd just use other people's accounts when I needed to use my check card through PP.

I get my "third and final" notice last night that I need to do something about my account. (Excuse me, where was my second notice?) So I haul up the Customer Service contact form and get a bit stroppy...

I have tried to resolve this before and been met with nothing but trouble from your site. I study abroad and cannot drop everything to fly to the address of this account and answer the phone for you! My account has never been accessed by a third party, I am tired of changing my password and no I do not have my banking account info handy. I expect an actual person to review this and tell me what I can do about this account, if nothing more than to release the credit card so I can sign up with another online payment website. This is ridiculous. I have multiple PayPal accounts (owing to the two-country deal of being an international student) and will NOT hesitate to close them if this is not resolved in my favour immediately.

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In other words, a freaking cookie-cutter message. They didn't read a thing. So I get back on the Contact Us form...Collapse )
Right. Fine. Resolved. Thank you. But your entire Customer Service Department needs a friggin' overhaul, if they can't even verify each OTHER let alone the customers!

Bank of America...

Due to a scare at my university (they released all our names with social security numbers online) I signed up for Bank of America's Privacy Source service. I have a checking and savings account with them, and figured I could trust their credit monitoring service moreso than some random entity that decided to put up a website.

As a college student, I don't have very much spare cash, and so when it got to the end of the one month free trial period, I called to cancel. This was about two weeks ago, the evening before the free trial was going to run out.

The stupid bitch on the phone gave me the run around, attempting to talk me out of cancelling. She asked all the typical nosy questions about why I wanted to cancel, and tried to talk me out of it. ("Knowing your credit record is important." Yes, I know, but to me, eating and buying gas is more important.) Finally I wore her out, or so I thought. For the eight billionth time in the conversation I told her "I just want to cancel before my trial period is up." She responded "You will be able to access your account information until the trial period is up."

I took this to mean that she was cancelling it then, and that I would be able to access my account until when the trial period was up (the next day), at which point my account would be inactivated, and that, as it was before the end of the free trial period, I would not be charged. Especially when I clarified "So I will not be charged anything, correct?" and she said, "Correct."

Apparently this was wrong.

Apparently she didn't cancel my account, despite the fact that I asked her to several times, and never said anything that would indicate that it was okay for them to keep my account active because on my credit card statement today there was a charge for $129 from Bank of America Privacy Source. This was billed approximately two weeks after my account was up and I called to cancel.

I do not have the rep's name or anything of that sort so I am not sure how much recourse I have (especially since I'm not sure the rep ever specifically said she was cancelling the account, even if she gave the appearance that she was. I am thinking of calling as soon as their customer service line is open, asking to speak to a supervisor, explaining the situation, and getting this cleared up, because I am NOT PAYING $129 for a service I cancelled. (And all the fine print on their website and everything does say that if the service is cancelled during the 30 day trial period you do not have to pay the $129 charge.) This is beyond bad service. I'm not sure if it is criminal, but it is certainly unethical.

Anyone been in this situation/have any advice?