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Paypal limiting accounts with no valid reason or appeal process

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EmmaMyVintageEmmaMyVintage Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
We have been in business for around 16 years, selling vintage and retro clothing and accessories. Back in 2004, we launched the business online, selling through eBay and also via our own website.

Over the years the business has gradually grown and in 2012 we opened a bricks and mortar shop in our hometown of Darwen, Lancashire. Throughout the lifespan of the business, we have sold thousands of items to very happy customers all over the world and we now sell on a variety of online platforms. This includes our own website plus others such as eBay, Etsy and Depop. There are certain platforms that only accept payment via Paypal, namely eBay and Depop so we have had to use this company in order to process some of our payments.

Over the years we have had various problems with Paypal and this is now reaching a serious level. They randomly limit our account and effectively just take the money from us, this has been the case for thousands of pounds. We will receive a very generic computer generated email saying that limitations have been placed on our account and we cannot withdraw funds or use the account at all. It is also stipulated that money cannot be withdrawn for at least 180 days from the date of the last payment received. Not only is this a huge damage to cashflow, but it is incredibly stressful and upsetting as you can imagine. On top of that, we haven't actually received a penny back so they have literally stolen our money.

There is either no reason given or something very vague, and there is absolutely no way to appeal. As I say, this has happened a number of times and we have tried countless emails and phone-calls to never get any specific information. It's incredibly difficult to actually speak to a human and there aren't any account managers so you would never be able to speak to the same person twice. It really feels like we are being treated like criminals when we have done absolutely nothing wrong. Quite the contrary, we have impeccable feedback, very low returns and no customer disputes or Paypal cases. We represent our goods very well and always deliver quickly, providing full tracking information on all orders. We are good honest people running a very reputable business and are in desperate need of help.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our shop is obviously closed so online orders are our only source of income for the family right now. Paypal payments make up about half of those orders and once again today our account has been placed on limitation. We have provided all the extra information that Paypal have asked for but no doubt once again our account will be permanently banned as it has been before and we will no longer be able to sell goods using Paypal. We also will not be able to access the money we have worked so hard for as has happened several times before. This must be happening to other people and businesses too, we cannot be the only ones. Has anyone got any experience of this and had any results? What courses of action did you take?

The stark truth is, unless something can be done about this we will have no choice but to close our business entirely and that is a horrific prospect. I am sincerely hoping you may be able to help in some way, as I really do not understand how a huge corporation such as Paypal can be allowed to act in this manner and simply get away with it. I will wait in eager anticipation of any help you can provide at all. I really do not know where to turn and my family's livelihood hangs in the balance.

Replies

  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
    5.8K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    We have been in business for around 16 years, selling vintage and retro clothing and accessories. Back in 2004, we launched the business online, selling through eBay and also via our own website.

    Over the years the business has gradually grown and in 2012 we opened a bricks and mortar shop in our hometown of Darwen, Lancashire. Throughout the lifespan of the business, we have sold thousands of items to very happy customers all over the world and we now sell on a variety of online platforms. This includes our own website plus others such as eBay, Etsy and Depop. There are certain platforms that only accept payment via Paypal, namely eBay and Depop so we have had to use this company in order to process some of our payments.

    Over the years we have had various problems with Paypal and this is now reaching a serious level. They randomly limit our account and effectively just take the money from us, this has been the case for thousands of pounds. We will receive a very generic computer generated email saying that limitations have been placed on our account and we cannot withdraw funds or use the account at all. It is also stipulated that money cannot be withdrawn for at least 180 days from the date of the last payment received. Not only is this a huge damage to cashflow, but it is incredibly stressful and upsetting as you can imagine. On top of that, we haven't actually received a penny back so they have literally stolen our money.

    There is either no reason given or something very vague, and there is absolutely no way to appeal. As I say, this has happened a number of times and we have tried countless emails and phone-calls to never get any specific information. It's incredibly difficult to actually speak to a human and there aren't any account managers so you would never be able to speak to the same person twice. It really feels like we are being treated like criminals when we have done absolutely nothing wrong. Quite the contrary, we have impeccable feedback, very low returns and no customer disputes or Paypal cases. We represent our goods very well and always deliver quickly, providing full tracking information on all orders. We are good honest people running a very reputable business and are in desperate need of help.

    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our shop is obviously closed so online orders are our only source of income for the family right now. Paypal payments make up about half of those orders and once again today our account has been placed on limitation. We have provided all the extra information that Paypal have asked for but no doubt once again our account will be permanently banned as it has been before and we will no longer be able to sell goods using Paypal. We also will not be able to access the money we have worked so hard for as has happened several times before. This must be happening to other people and businesses too, we cannot be the only ones. Has anyone got any experience of this and had any results? What courses of action did you take?

    The stark truth is, unless something can be done about this we will have no choice but to close our business entirely and that is a horrific prospect. I am sincerely hoping you may be able to help in some way, as I really do not understand how a huge corporation such as Paypal can be allowed to act in this manner and simply get away with it. I will wait in eager anticipation of any help you can provide at all. I really do not know where to turn and my family's livelihood hangs in the balance.

    Can I suggest you post the in the eBay section of the forum as the regular posters there have a great deal of experience with PayPal.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    41.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    And one obvious question is whether you're trying to run a business through a personal Ebay account. 
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
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    I would post on the Ebay sub-forum as suggested. 

    Also read in detail the Paypal terms and conditions. 

    I think you now do not have to offer to take Paypal on Ebay, so you maybe could restrict you payments to credit card only for a while.  

    BTW have any of your recent customers seemed a bit suspicious, such as paying higher than normal prices etc.?  Have any suddenly closed down their ebay account after paying for something?  

  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
    65.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
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    I would post on the Ebay sub-forum as suggested. 

    Also read in detail the Paypal terms and conditions. 

    I think you now do not have to offer to take Paypal on Ebay, so you maybe could restrict you payments to credit card only for a while.  

    BTW have any of your recent customers seemed a bit suspicious, such as paying higher than normal prices etc.?  Have any suddenly closed down their ebay account after paying for something?  

    Unfortunately all sellers must have PayPal set as the default payment option on eBay , so basically no PayPal means no selling. 

    Ebay are moving towards a new payment system called AYden which is being rolled out this summer, assuming OP is correctly registered as a business seller then they may already have am option to pre register to move over as soon as it is available. 

    However, I suspect our help is in vain as OP hasn’t bothered to come back, so it is either resolved or really just not that serious. 
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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