PayPal Makes PS3 Selling A Bitch

It seems those opportunists selling PS3s on Ebay really got the runaround when it came time to get their money from PayPal, which, we’ll remind you, is not a bank. Ebay had lots of special rules for would-be PS3 sellers; of particular interest to this story was that all transactions had to be made with PayPal. A reader calling himself “Plaid Rabbit”, writes in with a story of just how far PayPal made sellers go to get their money after selling a PS3. From his email:

” On 11/21, I received a note in my email that my account access had been limited due to someone saying they hadn’t received something I sold to them….I call, and they tell me they’ve had some fraud issues with PS3s and simply needed some additional information to make sure I was who I said I was…First, I have to provide my SSN and an addy for them to do a credit check…Secondly, they want tracking numbers for the stuff that’s shipped – I’ve already done this, so that’s fine.

Lastly, they want to make a phone call to my house. Alas, they only let you do a land-line, though – and I don’t have one of those. I’m one of those crazy internet kids who uses only a cell phone and a VOIP phone. That won’t work.

They then say I can fax a copy of my utility bill and that’ll work. I fax it that day. I fax a copy of my license just for good measure.”

Mr. Rabbit then receives a email letting him know they they’re still not going to give him his money because his name doesn’t match the one on the account. Not his last name. His first name…because his PayPal account is in his middle name.

“My PayPal account is in Middlename Lastname. My ID is FirstName M. Lastname. Apparently, this was too much for a person with the skills of a Rhesus monkey to deduce, so they told me I had to do a formal name change. So, I fax (again) my license, my utility bill, my bank statement AND my credit card statement.”

At this point, Plaid Rabbit decides to take Consumerist’s advice and request a supervisor.

“I called PayPal and just immediately requested a supervisor. I waited on hold, no shit, for an hour. However, after that, I got a lovely woman named Julie who listened as I politely and smoothly detailed my problems. I pointed out I’d received positive feedback on three of the four units. After placing me on a short hold to verify that feedback, Julie returned to the line to say she’d released my account and I could make transfers again.”

The moral of the story is to request a supervisor at the first sign of trouble. And hey, who knew PayPal could be a bigger pain in the ass than waiting 5 days in line to buy a toy? Karma. It’s a beautiful thing. —MEGHANN MARCO

Rabbit guy’s full email:

    Hey guys,

    First of all, I was one of those soulless jerks who sold a PS3 on
    eBay. I know, I’m a loser. Whatever, save your judgment. I did this
    to make some cash to pay for a flight home for christmas – I’m in law
    school and broke, so finding some investors and other broke
    individuals to make some sales was an appealing idea.

    Anyway, fast forward to two weeks ago. We sell the units, we ship the
    units. I attempt to pull the funds to my bank account. All appears
    fine, as it has on the other 145 transactions I’ve done with eBay/
    PayPal.

    And then, the shit hits the fan. On 11/21, I received a note in my
    email that my account access had been limited due to someone saying
    they hadn’t received something I sold to them. The next day, I get a
    message from PayPal saying my account has been limited. I am
    flabergasted. I’ve never had any problems with PayPal, or eBay, or
    anything else. I’m 100% feedback with almost 150 transactions, and
    I’ve been on this paypal account for 2+ years.

    Well, I call, and they tell me they’ve had some fraud issues with
    PS3s and simply needed some additional information to make sure I was
    who I said I was. Alright, that works. I’m helped by this system when
    I’m a buyer, so it makes sense I’d have to do some stuff as a seller.

    First, I have to provide my SSN and an addy for them to do a credit
    check. Whatever, banks do this stuff, and they’re pretty much a de
    facto bank. Secondly, they want tracking numbers for the stuff that’s
    shipped – I’ve already done this, so that’s fine.

    Lastly, they want to make a phone call to my house. Alas, they only
    let you do a land-line, though – and I don’t have one of those. I’m
    one of those crazy internet kids who uses only a cell phone and a
    VOIP phone. That won’t work.

    They then say I can fax a copy of my utility bill and that’ll work. I
    fax it that day. I fax a copy of my license just for good measure.

    I wait….and wait…and wait.

    And then, they send me an email saying they can’t do anything yet, as
    the packages haven’t shown up yet at the buyer’s house, and my name
    doesn’t match the one on the account.

    I go by my middle name. My PayPal account is in Middlename Lastname.
    My ID is FirstName M. Lastname. Apparently, this was too much for a
    person with the skills of a Rhesus monkey to deduce, so they told me
    I had to do a formal name change.

    So, I fax (again) my license, my utility bill, my bank statement AND
    my credit card statement. This was on Thursday.

    After no response today, I finally had it. I called PayPal and just
    immediately requested a supervisor. I waited on hold, no shit, for an
    hour.

    However, after that, I got a lovely woman named Julie who listened as
    I politely and smoothly detailed my problems. I pointed out I’d
    received positive feedback on three of the four units. After placing
    me on a short hold to verify that feedback, Julie returned to the
    line to say she’d released my account and I could make transfers again.

    After I hung up, and did a Google on “PS3 PayPal Account Freeze”, I
    found out I’m not alone:
    http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?p=4593761

    So, if anyone else is needing help with this – simply call and
    request a supervisor. They’re actually empowered to do something
    about your situation, and will if you’re on the level, it seems.

    BTW – please don’t use my real name. Just sign me

    Plaid Rabbit