Round 39: Sallie Mae vs eBay/Paypal

This is Round 39 in our Worst Company in America contest, Sallie Mae vs eBay/Paypal!

Here’s what readers said in previous rounds about why they hate these two companies…

Sallie Mae:

“Sallie Mae has a program with my university where they let you divide your tuition for a semester up into monthly payments. But they charge you a $14 service charge for any payment made with a credit card! The only free way to pay is to have it automatically taken from a bank account… and we all know how reliable that is. Needless to say, I don’t use this payment plan anymore.”

“I recently had to change my home phone number due to harassment by SallieMae and the collection agencies they sold a debt to.

Someone has a similar name to mine (only the middle name is different), and they have been bugging me for 6 months. Once I finally got SallieMax to stop calling, they sold the debt to someone, and now THEY won’t stop calling.

Problem is, the new collector does not show up on Caller ID (shows up as Name Unavailable 000-000-0000) and they refuse to tell me which company they work for. “

“they have ruined the lives of many of my friends. They use scummy debt collectors, and are more than willing to garnish paychecks that are already too small to live on.”

“Was SallyMae also the one that paid bounties to schools that steered loans their way?”

I pay my student loans on time but I still have a horrible time dealing with Sallie Mae for consolidations and other regular issues.

They outsource their customer service overseas. Financial aid is a complicated business that doesn’t need to be further complicated by adding cultural barriers. I have no problem with accents, but I have a problem when the person on the other end doesn’t understand the concept of “half time grad student in thesis hours.”

They also cheated me out of my grace period, refused to tell me why and instead, just threw some economic hardship deferment forms at me to get me to stop asking.

Also, their marketing is insane. I was receiving consolidation offers even after I called to find out I couldn’t consolidate until after I graduated!

Now that I’m in repayment I get bombarded by emails about their special programs and services. It’s difficult to sift through the crap to figure out what is important.

They don’t have to worry about customer service because once they’ve got us we can’t go anywhere else and the government subsidizes them. “

“Way back when I was going to grad school, I decided to take the minimum amount of credits (all credit requirements already met) while working on my dissertation. Sallie Mae (or one of its progenitors) promptly started requiring me to repay my student loan. I called and asked how I could get it postponed. Their rep told me I had to become at least a half-time student. So I added a few more credits (at several hundred dollars a credit). The notices for repayment continued to arrive. I called again and was told being a half-time student didn’t entitle me to receive a postponement. I told them I had been told otherwise by one of their reps. They said tough, they couldn’t be held responsible for misinformation by their reps. Ended up my paying some $500 (a nice chunk some 20 years ago for a grad student) more than I should have. A really great organization. We’re not responsible for any information we might give you.”

Sallie Mae is terrible. My wife has student loans through them and while she was still in school, she was constantly bombarded by credit card offers, “deals” on MP3 players and TV’s, car ads and freaking LIFE INSURANCE offers.

Now that my wife is out of school, I have begun repaying the loans. The latest thing Sallie Mae emails us constantly about is this thing called UPromise. Basically it supposedly helps you save to pay off your loans by automatically putting aside the change on debit card purchases (so if you spend $2.48, it would put $0.52 in your UPromise account). For me, totally unnecessary, but it would seem on face that this is a genuine program. That is until you really check it out and see that it’s just another way to expose you to more ads imploring you to blow your money on anything BUT student loans.

On top of that, Sallie Mae will not automatically withdraw monthly payments from my bank account in excess of their preset payment plans. Surprise, surprise, all of their plans are as close to the minimum payment as possible with no indication that this will end up costing you thousands of dollars during the lifetime of the loan.

I understand they are running a business not a charity, but I just think it’s sick the way they prey upon college students and recent college graduates. I would never consider them for any loan of any type ever again.”

“I dislike Sallie Mae for the simple fact that they send me TONS of junk mail, even after changing my accounting settings and submitting a request in writing.”


“In the early days, eBay used to be a flea market shopper’s paradise. I could find one-of-a-kind items sold by honest sellers cleaning out Grandma’s attic. Quality homespun niche businesses sold unique items not found in regular retail stores. Items were priced fairly and shipping rates weren’t outrageously inflated. Shopping on eBay was fun, additively so.

In recent years, eBay has become an overpriced junk warehouse. Thirty sellers will auction the same “one-of-a-kind” item at a starting bid of $.01, with a bargain basement shipping rate of $24.99.

If anything is left in Grandma’s attic, the heirs are selling it at double its value.

Retail chains have an eBay store that only sell merchandise the foot traffic didn’t want.

Unscrupulous sellers bait customers in with low prices only to kick them in their Paypal buttocks with sneaky fee-avoiding, high shipping rates.

Paying is no longer your pal. The consumer protection process is so convoluted that by the time eBay gets around to denying your claim, the seller has already begun defrauding other unsuspecting buyers under a new identity anyway.

I used to be an eBay addict. I simply had to browse everyday just in case I missed that special item I didn’t know I wanted. Now, it might be four times a year I find myself on eBay…and rarely do I leave having place a bid or purchased something.

Nothing exciting, nothing unique, nothing cheap (unless you are referring to quality). “

“Ebay is Just EVIL, They grew and grew off of their community, bought paypal, and are now Raising their Rates to up to 10% of the value of your listing! INSANE! Their saying its to “improve their website”…. you need BILLIONS to improve your website? I WILL NEVER SHOP EBAY AGAIN after their recent fee changes, They stabbed every customer they had in the back”

I got scammed for a car that arrived with $2000+ of damage off eBay. The auction stated just $400 of damage. Paypal told me I was wrong without asking for my side of the story, or any estimates for that sake. That’s enough for me.

A list of the damages stated in the auction: Cracked windshield, broken control arm, minor ding.

Actual (that I told PP about): Cracked camber, rims were scraped/spray painted, rear bumper was painted dark blue (the car was black), Cigarette holes in the back seat, larges holes on drivers side carpet, passenger side rearview mirror was missing, four flat tires.

And they told me that they sided with the seller and not to contact them. When I did I was told that they get many scams on cars from fraudulent buyers.

Boy wish I had the Consumerist back then “

“ebay/paypal no contest. They sent me a letter telling me that they weren’t going to credit my account for a fraudulent failure-to-refund (mail fraud was involved) charge.

The first paragraph of the letter said they weren’t refunding me.

The second said that Paypal does not support or condone fraud.

Hypocritical idiots, and I’m already working on closing my account (but paypal claims I need to wait for 4 months to pass since the last transaction before being able to close my account. I think that’s bullshit).

BTW, I did finally get my money back from my bank. Suck it, paypal. (and I just tried again to close the account and it failed again, and the CSR who claimed he’d close it for me by phone the other day was apparently a liar)”

“EBay is full of scams. In my opinion, one of the more insidious is the hijacked account scam.

Phishers send out millions of emails – “Your eBay account will be suspended”; “There is a problem with your eBay
item”, etc. Emails have a “click here to respond” button that asks you to log in.

And that’s it. The scammers have a legitimate username and matching password! The account has been hijacked!

Shortly thereafter, up to three dozen one-to-three day listings of very expensive, usually sold at list price electronic, athletic or similar equipment will appear as if for sale by the hijacked account holder. Listings always say: “Email me here (not the eBay contact address) for shipping or buy-it-now or other information”.

Those who email are given a spectacular price . . . perhaps 1/3 of list including shipping. They are told that they will receive a payment invoice through eBay’s Trust and Safety or similar department and that the transaction is perfectly safe because it is approved by eBay. The seller asks only for name and shipping address.

If the potential buyer asks about PayPal, he is told that the seller’s account is temporarily full; or there is a problem; or there is a divorce; or some other reason why he needs to deal directly through eBay.

Shortly afterward, he receives an authentic looking “invoice” from eBay and perhaps a second eBay email stating that they have investigated the transaction and it is safe.

The invoice asks the buyer to send the money by Western Union to somewhere in Europe. Once sent, the money is lost. Gone. Of course, the buyer never receives the purchased item because it never existed.

Everything in this scam is forged: the phishing email; the eBay invoice; the eBay verification letter. Nothing appears in the buyer’s eBay inbox because nothing is sent from eBay’s own server.

If eBay receives complaints about a listing, it will eventually remove it — perhaps in minutes, perhaps in hours. During that time, the scammer receives email for potential buyers, some of whom will end of sending money by Western Union because the deal is just too good to turn down. The scammers never expect these listings to stay valid for an extended period; just long enough to get some people interested.

A few days latter, the same scammers return with new hijacked accounts and the same listings. Even the “email me here” addresses are the same.

This is a HUGE business. We are talking about $1,000 – $2,000 or more per transaction. In cash.

I believe eBay is part of the problem. They have no organized system to screen for obviously hijacked listings; they frequently leave the listings up even after complaints. More important, it is just too easy to list a sale on eBay. There is no secondary “sale only” password or other verification. Finally, even though these scams leave a mile long electronic trail (including having to show up at a Western Union office somewhere to pick up the money), eBay seems to make minimum, if any attempt, to shut them down.

In my opinion, eBay needs to stop saying: “we are only a venue” and start protecting its customers.”

“Paypal freezes your money for no good reason. They regularly screw both buyer and sellers. They claim to have protections but the requirements are so convoluted its nearly impossible to get coverage even if you’re trying to follow the steps. They take a huge chunk of the sale price in fees for doing nearly none of the work or risk.”

“It isn’t a transaction “on eBay”. It is a scam that uses hijacked eBay accounts to make offers to people who send them emails. They try to make the buyer think that it is a legitimate transactionthat is approved and escrowed by eBay. Of course, eBay doesn’t send out invoices; doesn’t approve transactions; doesn’t collect or escrow money. But to get a $3,000 computer, audio or other product for only $1,000. Wow! Just send the money by Western Union! Ebay will hold that money until you receive your product!

I understand that there are lots of scams and scammers; and lots of people looking for a bargain. But with very little effort, eBay could shut this whole thing down by responding instantly to reports; by making it harder to list sales (extra password?); and by using the law to go after the scammers.”

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: TransUnion vs Diebold, Best Buy vs CompUSA, DeBeers vs Verizon, Exxon vs United Airlines, Sony vs Ticketmaster, Comcast vs The American Arbitration Association


Edit Your Comment

  1. javi0084 says:

    I hope eBay/Paypal win, I hate double-dippers.

  2. Buran says:

    Paypal refused to refund me when I had proof of mail fraud. It took my bank stepping in to refund the money. They get my vote and I will never use Paypal or Ebay again. They had their chance to redeem themselves and failed.

  3. Uriel says:

    this one is actually a bit tough

  4. jwarner132 says:

    Quite possibly the most difficult vote yet.

  5. Having never dealt with Sallie Mae…. Ebay/Paypal HANDS DOWN. I bought a picture for my kitchen off of ebay, and although it was only $5.00 for the pic/shipping, I never received it, and the sellers never responded to my inquiries. I checked their feedback… when I bid on the item, there was 1 negative like 6 months ago, otherwise all ++. I checked after 3 weeks of no responses, there was 3-4 brand new negative complaints about not recieving their items, they were in a dispute with paypal. I left my negative feedback as well, as I was already in a dispute.

    Needless to say…. these sellers still have an account on ebay. THANKS EBAY FOR PROTECTING ALL THESE IDIOTS FOR PROFITS.

  6. Fatty Shcock says:

    I never had a problem with Ebay/Payapl. Last Christmas, I bought a Coach purse for my girlfriend off of Ebay, and I found out it was a fake, So I tried to contact the seller, asking for my money back and I would send her the purse back. She told me “no. Just re-sell it on Ebay. You’ll probably get more money for it.” so I contacted Ebay and Paypal, disputed it, and got my money back.

    The bitch that sold it to me got into deep shit. So, thank you to Ebay and Paypal for helping me out!

    Oh, and Sallie Mae is just pure evil. I had to move my student loans from them to my credit union because of the interest rate that they were raping me with. So, fuck Sallie Mae!

  7. krom says:

    Sounds like the problems with eBay are really not with eBay at all but with the career sellers that *use* eBay. Not really a fault of eBay; in fact probably part of its continued value as it leaves the market free and open to everyone.

  8. nrich239 says:

    Definitely the toughest one yet but I’m sure we will have tougher matches as we get further down the line.

    Paypal is a greedy company that doesn’t care about anyone except their bottom line and will do anything to nab more money.
    They got my vote this round

  9. ChuckECheese says:

    This is an impossible choice, like being told you can have only lemon-meringue or pecan pie for dessert. Impossible.

  10. Gotta go with ebay, only because of paypal.

    Best incident was when I tried to claim a $15 rebate they were running. The expiration elapsed and still no rebate in my account. So began a series of emails which did not “build upon the previous ones” (you know, the ones where each rep fails to actually read the previous conversation).

    They ultimately tried to deny me because my purchase was for $70 and showed a $5 refund for free shipping. They said “We can’t count that because the item was returned”. Finally they gave me the $15 but did not concede any errors. That was the end of my dealings with them.

  11. Daniel-Bham says:

    I was a member of eBay from 2001. Gradually, after they went public they started to suck more and more. I’ve been burned twice on transactions. Most of the people doing buying and selling are 14 it seems like.

  12. Trai_Dep says:

    Crushing the dreams of lusty coeds aside, eBay/PayPal took what was one of the shining lights of Silicon Valley and destroyed it. I’m amazed that they still have a share price measured in entire dollar bills.
    It IS a tough one tho, and not only because of tight-fitting sweaters and brisk morning air!

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    @krom: Especially “everyone” from Nigeria. Brilliant analysis. Simply brilliant!

  14. projoe1979 says:

    Not that anyone cares, but I’m not voting in protest to calling every contest a round. The Stars and Wings didn’t play round 4 last night, they played game 4 of the third round, or conference finals. Not every contest is a round.

  15. Angryrider says:

    eBay and Paypal’s got nothing on Sallie Mae. Besides, I never buy anything more than $30 off eBay, so I have no problem with the site.
    But debt collectors piss me off.

  16. maevro says:

    We use PayPal as a payment choice where I work. It always happens where PayPal takes the funds from a customer, but they forget to upload the actual order to us…..OOPS!

    Its a joke, it really is.

  17. BigBoat says:

    EBay/PayPal all the way. Sallie Mae is greedy, Ebay et al is corrupt, incompetent, monopolistic…

    @ChuckECheese: Pecan.

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    Linguistic Police: Shouldn’t the new Start a discussion text above the comment box be changed? I mean, there’s only one guy that’s starting the discussion, versus the dozens that are adding on. Thus, it’s incorrect the vast majority of the time.
    Perhaps, Pile onto the writhing morass of indignant comments? Or Blame the victim here, or …

  19. JiminyChristmas says:

    Even though I’ve never done business with them, I had to vote for Sallie Mae. I have to admit, that’s mostly because of my general disgust with the private student loan business. I got through college and grad school with GSLs and Direct Loans. I pay 6.25%, and it could be a lot lower if I hadn’t consolidated before the rate declines of the early ’00s.

    When I hear about people paying 10% and higher on private loans because they have nowhere else to turn I just shake my head. College students these days have been thrown to the wolves. Schools commonly raise tuition 8%-10% per year [How many times have you gotten a 10% raise?], meanwhile the cost of financing is up 50%-100%. 2/3 of college grads went into debt to pay for school and their average burden is around $20,000. I can’t imagine being 21 years old and paying 10% on a debt like that.

  20. JustaConsumer says:

    How does Ebay still exist? They are a portal for fraud.

  21. College students these days have been thrown to the wolves.

    THIS. Now make sure you vote for the right people this November. For a change.

  22. Charred says:

    This was a tough one, but I had to go with Sallie. There’s a girl I’m glad I never dated!

  23. thenino85 says:

    eBay and Paypal might cause you to lose $600 on something pricy you bought/sold on that site. Odds are, it’s under $100.

    Sallie Mae will make you lose thousands when they don’t receive a payment that you sent them, but deposit it anyway, and the government helps them do it.

    No contest.

  24. Eilonwynn says:

    Ebay/Paypal, and I work for a company that sells primarily there. There ARE honest sellers that are getting equally screwed by paypal and fraudulent BUYERS. It’s my hunch that paypal simply decides that both parties recieved the “paypal decided in [the other party]’s favour” and is simply keeping cash. And if not, the interest rates on the float while they “investigate” must just rake in cash.

  25. richcreamerybutter says:

    I don’t know if this will get a fair vote, considering the fact that people are more likely to have dealt with Ebay/Paypal than Sallie Mae (esp for student loans). It’s similar to the sudden blowup of all these tragic forclosure stories when student loan borrowers have been suffering this way FOREVER.

  26. InThrees says:

    I really have to go with ebay/paypal on this one, because both present paypal as a safe method to exchange your goods for money, when it is anything but.

  27. ahwannabe says:

    eBay screwed me over royally years ago when I bought a $700 digital camera from some idiot in Pennsylvania. The transaction went smooth as silk, he got the money, I got the camera, we each left positive feedback and everyone was happy.

    Then about four months later, said idiot opened a dispute with me, saying I had defrauded him by paying with a fake MoneyGram, even though I had used PayPal. eBay suspended my account, and made me jump through about a million hoops in an attempt to get it reactivated. Even after providing proof of payment via PayPal records, they never resolved the dispute, and eventually stopped responding to my emails. When I called customer service they just laughed and gave me the number to their legal department.

    I finally just sucked it up and wrote off the account, along with the high feedback score it had taken me years to build. But I’m still pissed at them, and I hope somebody starts a competing service some day. When they do, I will be THERE.

  28. BlackFlag55 says:

    No experience with Sallie. Back in the day I paid for college courses, because courses were reasonably priced so that a student COULD pay without incurring mind boggling debt. But … PayPal ought ot be hunted down and killed for the virus it is. First time I used PayPal my (segregated account, thank the gods) was hit 21x for one transaction. PayPal just kept at it. Never apologized, never admitted wrong, only a great bank officer saved me from a ration of bovine scatology. Afterwards I spoke with my family member who is deep in (deep!) into the world of cyber-security (uber-geeks would recogize his name) and he cursed me as a fool for going anywhere near PayPal. “As secure as a screen door in a submarine” was the nicest part of his commentary. The ugly part involved the original code that the current PayPal is layered on top of.

    As to Sallie, I wouldf hazard a guess that a group of 419’s are running this scam of ludicrous costs of college.

  29. Serpephone says:

    I refuse to use eBay due to fraud.

    Boo, eBay!

  30. femmme.fatal says:

    sallie mae owns me so i hate them for that!

  31. sleze69 says:

    I have ordered like 3 things off of EBay.

    I have no loans with Sallie Mae.

    Salle Mae destroys people’s financial lives. I think people who get scammed by faceless auctioneers should have known the dangers of unaccounatable sellers.

    Caveat Emptur.

    Sallie Mae FTW.

  32. blackmage439 says:

    Man, tough choice. I’m willing to attribute Ebay & Paypal’s issues to ignorance and poor growth planning. Sallie’s whole business sounds like it revolves around extortion.

    Sallie for the loss…

  33. Silversmok3 says:

    Sallie Mae: Permanent destruction of your finances .

    Ebay/Paypal: Temporary damage to finances.

    So why is Sallie Mae LOSING the vote?

  34. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    I used to love eBay, but now their robotic incompetence pisses me off. I had one of my listings cancelled once without notice because I described it as “like-new.” Apparently, you’re not supposed to use the word “like” because people will put “like Chanel” in their descriptions to draw in people who search for Chanel, which I can understand, but “like-new”? Please.

    And is that any worse than the douchebag sellers who list regular, no-extras Wii systems as including 5 games (because the single pack-in has five different sports) and 2 controllers (because the controller splits in two)? I don’t think so.


  35. AaronZ says:

    Sally Mae looks downright bad, like they ruin peoples’ lives.
    Ebay, meh. Just don’t shop there if you don’t like it. It’s not like there aren’t 500 other online stores to shop at that don’t have nigerian scammers all over them.

  36. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: I think its worded correctly. Most people say something worth discussion. Obviously there are always exceptions. cough.

  37. Buran says:

    @Silversmok3: You choose to take out a loan but you don’t choose to be the victim of CRIME.

  38. SuffolkHouse says:

    I’m not voting on this one. I’ve used both and had pleasant experiences.

  39. Bladefist says:

    @SuffolkHouse: I was in the same position as you, but I do remember paypal holding my debit card for 3 months a while ago, so I voted for them. But I take it back. I’m sorry paypal. Sallie Mae keeps dropping my rates because I pay on time. Bastards :)

  40. Rupan says:

    I am moving from undergrad to graduate at the end of the year. A big reason is so that I don’t have to pay off my student loans for another couple of years. I don’t currently have anything with Sally Mae and after reading these stories I hope I never do.

  41. Norcross says:

    @JiminyChristmas: try $165,000 for 3 years of law school for my wife. Horrible.

  42. highmodulus says:

    Hmm, they are both bad.

    But Ebay has known and lied about the extent of the fraud problem for years. Paypal has a checked reputation as well., although used properly it can be a good tool.

    Ebay gets the vote this time.

  43. Empire says:

    My grad school loans are through Sallie Mae. So far, so good (knock on wood). I voted eBay/PayPal because I have been burned by them so many times. I guess we’ll see if I vote differently in the 2009 contest.

    The Upromise thing is worth it to me. I’ve paid off like $3.00 of my student loans just by buying things I was going to buy anyway after only being in the program for two months, and the spam emails only come once or twice a week. I’m sure my name’s on a list somewhere, but then my name’s already on a few lists I don’t get anything for. At least this way I’m paying off principal and reducing interest without having to do anything.

  44. PicketFence says:

    I don’t like eBay/Paypal, but…

    My college used Sallie Mae for loan processing and made it seem like there were no other options (I now know better). Now that I am stuck repaying my loans with Sallie Mae, I’ve experienced first hand the poor customer service, botched credit reporting, payment issues, and so on… so Sallie Mae wins hands down.

  45. Sasha_Pie says:

    I’ve used both: I have student loans with SallieMae and have bought through eBay recently.

    I had to vote eBay FTW… SallieMae seems like it has more long-term and damaging horror stories and the recent credit score fiasco didn’t help, but if you brought eBay/Paypal to the scale of SallieMae (ie $10,000 – $50,000 transactions) it would be a FAR worse company. Rampant fraud, poor dispute resolution, zero customer service.

    Speaking of Upromise, I definitely thought it was sketchy at first and I was hesitant to register my credit card with them, but once I started using it, I was thrilled with it. Every time I get gas, a small percent, like 10 to 15 cents gets deposited into an account that I can use to pay off my loans. When you make bigger purchases it’s a couple dollars. If you have self-control and only use the shopping website when you were gonna buy something anyway it’s a nice little bonus. SallieMae is a company I actually don’t mind doing business with.

  46. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Try re-reading my first para again. More slowly?
    The second one – pains me to have to point out something so obvious – is for the chuckles. Figures that’s the one you take issue with. Sigh.
    If I promise to give you a vigorous hate-f*ck, will you leave me alone?

    Not that the issue matters greatly – it’s Consumerist’s call and a small thing.

  47. IrisMR says:

    let’s see… one that can affect the life of a young adult, and one that affects people that use the internet to get scammed.

    Tough choice. Sallie MAe it is.

  48. @krom: Actually, eBay’s ridiculous fees is what’s keeping the old kind of sellers off the site and items sold for $25 shipping (to avoid fees). It’s eBay’s fault the site has become a nest of scam artists.

    Sallie Mae Vs. eBay and PayPal? Two against one. Tag team wins.

  49. theheights says:

    Due to the recent credit score mishap, I’m voting Sallie Mae.

  50. nardo218 says:

    I vote Sallie Mae only because they’re more life altering. If you get screwed by Ebay, you’re out some money, maybe even a lot of money. But Sallie Mae can harrass you at home and work, infiltrate your bank account, fuck over your credit score, AND they pretend to be a caring sympathetic corporation. At least Ebay says “buyer beware.”

  51. TechnoDestructo says:


    Speaking of Nigeria…were it not for Ebay, how would Nigeria have risen in the American consciousness to become as loathed as it is?

    Ebay has been the vehicle by which an entire country has gained infamy.

  52. TechnoDestructo says:


    I voted Ebay, on a guess. I’m guessing that they’ve screwed over more people…enough people to outweigh the damage caused by Sallie Mae.

  53. Major-General says:

    My complaint isn’t so much eBay (hey, if I don’t here from a seller within a reasonable time, I consider it fraud – saved my bacon once) but with Paypal.

    Paypal works well for me, except that EVERY time I use it, I get basically the same damn phishing email. I would hope that eventually they might figure it out, but no.

    I now keep their fraud email address saved in Outlook.

  54. Geekybiker says:

    Ebay/paypal is a company that even when a transaction goes well you end up screwed. Sallie Mae has had some issues, but nothing ever happened to me.

  55. mavrc says:

    Now this is a contest!

    I’m going with eBay/Paypal, because they consistently fight regulation, even though they seem to be so completely unwilling to selfregulate. And they took two companies who were full of promise (and in the case of eBay, even fun) back in 2001 and turned them into a dump full of scammers.

    Well, that and the whole craigslist thing.

  56. TechnoDestructo says:

    Some ebay-alternative site ought to allow new sellers to transfer over their Ebay feedback rating. There would go one big disincentive for people to leave Ebay.

  57. @jwarner132: @NeroDiavolo: Indeed. I don’t know what to vote for…

  58. HeartBurnKid says:

    eBay/Paypal sucks, but Sallie Mae killed the American economy. A good portion of the whole subprime fiasco can easily be laid at their shortsighted, greedy feet.

  59. kabuk1 says:

    Wow, I cannot BELIEVE ebay is winning this one. It’s funny that SallieMae’s initials are S&M, cause dealing with them is always so painful. Ha ha ha. But anyway, noone forces you to buy shit online, but SatanMae is often the only option for poor students. They assraped me years ago, fraudulently I might add, for 2 grand. The school I went to sucked so I quit & had them use my Pell Grant to cover the 2 months I went there. I had them send the SM loan back, and was told I owed $0. Lo & behold, I get a collections letter several months later! Apparently I owe SM for a loan that I never even recieved. I told them the whole story, including the fact that my child’s father’s bitchy new wife was one of the financial people at the school who dealt with my loan(suspicious? I sure am), but did they care? Hell no. The manager actually said “We don’t care how it happened, we’re gonna get our money either way.” Colossal bitch from hell. Needless to say the customer service was nonexistent. I refuse to pay this loan. I have my paperwork that says I owe $0 & they can just take me to court if they have something to say about it.

    It is SHAMEFUL what these assholes are doing to good people who just wanna go to school & better themselves. You know SM is the sole reason that I haven’t gone back to school after the fiasco 3 years ago. Now that I know I have other options I’m going to look into starting vo-tech in the fall :D

  60. jeffbone says:

    Boy, we’ve got us a horse race here…but I’ve gotta go with Sallie Mae once again, thanks to the wringer they put me through…

  61. Man, there’s nothing wrong with Ebay. I do business with them all the time and I make tons of money. I’m voting Sallie Mae.

  62. eBay/Paypal wins this one hands down. While student loans may be evil, at least you can pay them by check or direct deposit. eBay is getting ready to force Australians to use either Paypal or COD for all of our auctions, in a move which has the nations Reserve Bank, Bankers Association, Consumer Groups, and the Consumer and Competition up in arms.

  63. wikkit says:

    This vote was tough!!

    SallieMae has consistently been a bear to deal with on my student loans, my last issue with them required 8 phone calls to resolve it. They’d be a shoe-in for my vote if it weren’t for the inclusion of PayPal, they seem criminal in their highly suspect judgment over how my money is handled. In addition, they have consistently raised fees while lowering their level of service.

    While SallieMae is an aggravation, I hope PayPal rots, I voted for “Ebay/PayPal”.

  64. Vroomtrap says:

    @TechnoDestructo: I don’t know if you know, but what is a good alternative to PayPal?

  65. LibraryGeek says:

    Sallie Mae killed a whole bunch of people’s credit recently. If you have a graduated payment plan, they changed their reporting to “pays as agreed” instead of “pays in full or on time” etc. So that it looks like you are behind on your payments when credit agencies look at it! ARGHH

  66. Silversmok3 says:


    Lets say you’re screwed by all two/three companies.
    Ebay and paypal might steal your money, and while that sucks bad,compare it to the damage of getting screwed by S&M (ha): It wont involve damage to your credit report, or the suspension of your professional license.Neither can Ebay/Paypal seize your tax refund.

    BTW, you dont have to buy stuff on Ebay.But good luck dodging student loans with modern tuition rates.

  67. Mr. Gunn says:

    Most of the negative Sallie Mae comments have nothing to do with the company, but rather third-party debt collectors.

    FYI – send any debt collector a certified letter asking them to send all further correspondence through mail and they have to stop. You’ll find their address on your credit report, which you can check for free at least once a year. Not at, which is a scam, but or a service provided by your bank or credit card company.

    Sallie Mae has supposedly fixed their reporting issues, but have they fixed the cascade of problems it’s caused for people?

  68. Ben Popken says:

    Rita writes:

    “Reading many of the comments listed, my experience with Sallie Mae is one of a legal issue. They have broken the law, especially the Contracts we signed when we took out these loans,” in good faith.” Little did we know they never intended for our accounts to be paid in full. They are in the business of collecting interest.
    They have refused to hand over the Notes for Paid in Full loans, and “reconstruct” payment histories to cover-up the fact that they continue to charge interest for loans that are already “Paid in full.” My accountant took one look at their ledger and stated, “This is off, doesn’t make sense, you should have someone in the legal profession look into it.” Loans go off, then reappear, they sell them to their own subsidies in other states. They have a difficult time applying interest to loans that have varying amounts of interest and are horrible at simple arithmetic.
    Their consolidation offers are unworthy and stupid, as if we would want to upgrade 7% loans to 8-12% to be paid off in a lifetime?
    Finally, the higher up you go, the more corruption you will encounter as actual proof, hard data, canceled checks are totally devalued and ignored by state ombudsmans. I heard of a case in Florida where a senior citizen was still paying interest on loans after twenty years, had all the checks, etc., and was told there was nothing that could be done to remedy his case. No one “in charge” means no one had the authority to stop his insane situation. When one attempts to “inform” others they are in disbelief, even hostile, “How could that be? It doesn’t make sense, paying interest on loans over twenty years old, in America? What about banking laws?” I had a home mortgage at two times the amount borrowed on my student loans and I hit the principal after ten years and in 5 more, the house was paid. I’ve been paying interest on student loans since the 90s, and most of the debt was paid in lump sums.
    The credit bureaus, HESC, even, will only acknowledge payments that Sallie Mae states are valid. You could have banking statements, letters up the kazoo, it means nothing. Sallie Mae is so corrupt it should held accountable by our “elected” officials. And where did Mr. Bush begin his campaign? Wilkes Barre, Pa. the home of Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae is Bush country, they do whatever they want, they’re covered.”

  69. lalaland13 says:

    I really really hate Sallie Mae. Like others have said, if you’re in college and your parent(s) can’t pay the full cost, and the scholarships/grants aren’t cutting it, you’re fucked. I think the school fucked me over just as much as Sallie Mae, because Texas decided to deregulate tuition (smart move, assholes) and so the tuition soared each year starting with my freshman or sophomore year.

    Everytime I log onto their Web site and see my “amount owed,” I want to cry. It’s ridiculous. I almost wish I’d started at community college first.

  70. 138webster says:

    I have had the worst experiences in my entire life dealing with paypal more so than sallie mae when they decided to close my account for no known reasons and hold my funds for 120 days! I felt totally out of control and ripped off. Non wonder they have so many Paypal sucks websites on the net. I joined everyone of them to rant!
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