Banned From PayPal! (Permanently “Limited”)

Last week while busy at my ‘day job’ I got the following email on the iPhone:

(slightly edited for brevity)

Dear Randy Brown,

The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy. ….

We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your accountactivity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales of Subscription Services … Therefore, your account has been permanently limited.

You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website(s)
and/or auction(s). This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment
option, but also the PayPal logo and/or shopping cart. We thank you in
advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact
the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department at aup@paypal.com.

Sincerely,
PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department
PayPal, an eBay Company

My first gut reaction that this was just another phishing attempt, so I quickly logged into my PayPal account only to find the following:

We recently reviewed your account, and we need more information about your business to allow us to provide uninterrupted service. Until we can collect this information, your access to sensitive account features will be limited. We would like to restore your access as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Why is my account access limited?

Your account access has been limited for the following reason(s):

  • Mar. 27, 2008: In accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy,we have closed your account. Your funds may be held for 180 days from the date of your last transaction. After 180 days, you will be able to access your funds by requesting an online bank transfer or, if applicable, a check from PayPal. Please update your address or bank information as we cannot be held responsible for checks issued to an incorrect address. We do ask that you please remove reference(s) to PayPal from your site

It took me only a minute to realized something I never even thought was possible:

I was banned from PayPal!

All the work I had done in the last year building my Premium Membership income to over $5,000/mo. was gone! That’s it, game over, no reason to go on! I literally became ill, and I assumed that my online career was over for good.

After calming down and putting away my rope and wobbly stool, I figured that this must be a mistake. I had used the term “Adult access” in describing an area of our premium membership forums and surely this must have tripped an automatic red-flag or something. I contacted PayPal customer-support by telephone and was told that I could send an appeal to “appeal@paypal.com”. I promptly wrote a lengthy explanation and fired it off to the ‘appeal@paypal.com’ address.

Now here is where I began to realize that PayPal is not the most professional outfit out there. 24 hours after I sent my appeal to appeal@paypal.com, it was returned as undeliverable – those fucks on the phone gave me a fake email address to send my appeal to! How’s that for professional customer service?! Now I went from being depressed to angry. I resent my email, this time to AUP@Paypal.com which was the address for questions that was on the first email I received.

*Update: I have since learned from a PayPal employee that the correct email for a PayPal appeal is appeals@paypal.com . I have not tested it, but I was assured that appeals@paypal.com (with an S at the end) is the correct email address.

Within hours of re-sending my appeal to AUP@paypal.com I received what appeared to be an automated response that basically echoed what the first email said: “you’re banned from PayPal and we are going to hold your balance ($5,100) for up to six months“. I then sat down and wrote yet another email, explaining that after being a long-time PayPal customer, paying thousands of dollars in fees over the years and being blown-off by the customer support people who gave me a fake email address that I at least deserved the professional courtesy of being given the assurance that my issue had been reviewed by a human being. I was confident that if someone actually reviewed the website, that there was no way they could come to the conclusion that we were selling subscription services to “certain sexually explicit material“.

Less than 12 hours after my “demand” for review I got my reply, from a human, assuring me that my case had been reviewed – and they would not be reversing their decision, and my $5,100 balance would be returned to me within 180 days.

Ok – so it’s PayPal’s game and they have decided to take their ball and go home. Time for me to move on and find someone else to give my transaction fees to.

Google Checkout can have my transaction fees from now on:

I had thought about using Google Checkout in the past because their transaction fees are much lower than PayPal (about 1/3 less) – but because GC does not support ongoing subscription payments I stuck with PayPal. Well now that PayPal has decided they no longer want my transaction fees I figured it was time to switch to Google Checkout. This would mean that I would have to change from a “subscription” based model to a one-time “lifetime” membership model. We’ve been offering lifetime memberships for $25 at the site for over a year, and we get a few each day, so the move to lifetime only memberships is not that big of a deal. And even though there are other providers that can do ongoing subscriptions, because there are no Drupal modules to support them, they aren’t a good choice for me.

The average lifespan of our premium subscriptions was 3-months. So earnings for the average subscription were $9.97 ($5.99 first month, $1.99 for each of the remaining months). We are now offering lifetime Premium Membership for $25, which is approx. 2.5x that value of an average premium subscriber. So even though I expect fewer lifetime signups because of the higher fee, that should be offset by the increased fee. To my surprise though, so far we have been getting the same number of higher-priced lifetime signups as we had been getting with the lower priced subscriptions, so earnings for the month so far are way above average. We are also offering a $10 discount to current subscribers who would otherwise loose access to our Premium Forums and so far there has been a very high purchase rate as their PayPal subscriptions run-out. So – even though PayPal has banned our account, being forced to move to one-time fees with Google Checkout may have been the best thing that has ever happened.

How to tell if PayPal is reviewing your account

A few days before PayPal banned my account, I received two emails that I had successfully confirmed my bank accounts – one email for each bank account I have setup in my PayPal profile. When I sent the email asking for PayPal to appeal my case (the one that did not get returned) I received two-more of those automated “your bank account has been confirmed emails”, and then, less than one-hour before I got my final response from PayPal, I got two more of the “your bank account has been confirmed” email messages. So it appears that each time PayPal looks at your account they also verify/validate your bank accounts, which triggers those emails.
And lastly: If you rely on PayPal make sure you read and understand PayPal’s user agreement and acceptable use policy. Even though they gouge you on fees, it can really ruin your day if they ban you. Although it has actually ended up increasing my earnings by being forced to move away from Paypal, waiting 180 days for my account balance is just no fun. I recommend not getting yourself banned in the first place.

Update: after posting my story i found this website, PayPalWarning.com
Where I learned a lot about how PayPal does business. If I had seen this website sooner I would have thought twice about letting them hold so much of my money. If you use or rely on PayPal I recommend that you check it out. Another very informative site is www.screw-Paypal.com

**Update#2: Paypal has released my balance to me!

***Update #3: Paypal has UNBanned my account!

Banned From PayPal! (Permanently "Limited") by
  • http://www.affiliatebestprograms.com/ Dave (The Other One)

    Sorry to hear about that Rand. I went through the same crap with Paypal about three years ago. I sold a Les Paul guitar on eBay for $2300 and like an idiot, I let the money sit in my Paypal account when I went on vacation. Normally I would have transferred the money tomy bank account or used my Paypal debit card to withdraw the funds but go figure, the first time I left over $2K in my account , I got that dreaded notice you did.

    Paypal are the biggest a-holes to deal with on the phone and you can forget about any appeal process because it’s non-existent. I had that Paypal for over 5 years and had done thousands of transaction totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars on eBay and I never had a single complaint.

    Because I live in Florida in the winters, thank God Florida will allow you to file a small claims court case against a company like Paypal (who ironicly is only licensed in 18 states to be a money transmitter, but the feds seem to turn a blind eye to the fact Paypal is unlicensed). Anyway, it’s not like Paypal is going to send a representative to the court date in Florida and I won the judgement in less than 30 days and had my money returned promptly by Paypal. I also received a letter (a real snail mail letter !) stating Paypal was re-opening my account.

    Nowadays, whenever I even get $20 in Paypal I run to the ATM and withdraw the funds.

    You need to get this story viral to get the word out about Paypal’s borderline criminal activity.

    • Anonymous

      Hey do you have the list of state that they are licensed in please mail me twincl500@gmail.Com

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    Dave (The Other One) said:

    You need to get this story viral to get the word out about Paypal’s borderline criminal activity.

    Ohh Geeze – a quick Google Search on “paypal ripoff” or something similar and I think you’ll find that the word is already out about Paypal’s behavior. Unfortunately, i didnt do that google search until AFTER i was banned.

  • http://www.retireat21.com Michael Dunlop

    WOW! Thats bad… good luck with Google Checkout

  • http://www.reviewerofsites.com SW

    Personally, I’d think twice about Google Checkout. It’s not well promoted by Google and not well used by the public. Also, they may have their own policy to contend with at some point.

    I believe authorize.net (which is a payment gateway) may have an option for you. I’d suggest looking at them.

    • http://www.likesandfollowers.com/ John

      I used Google Check Out for exactly two. weeks. When you first sign up they put your funds on hold for 10 days because you are on a probationary period. The very first day they were supposed to batch out the funds and deposit them into my bank account, they froze my account. Gave me no reason at all. Do NOT use them!

  • http://www.w7b.org Abhik

    Thats bad..
    I am with PayPal for last couple of years and though they are the best in business. Time to think differently.

  • http://www.oneyearmillionaire.net KG Lew

    I never had any problems with paypal… I can’t believe that they wouldn’t reverse their decision… thats awful.. maybe i should think about switching service before I get into a situation like that.

  • http://www.reviewopportunity.com Rusty Campbell

    Same thing happened to me. I had over a thousand dollars that I had left in the account because of the money market interest rate. They held it for 6 months. At least I made some money on the interest. I was selling software and giving away the resale rights with it. They considered that an mlm. Our refund policy was very liberal. If a customer wanted a refund, he got it. I use 2checkout.com now. They are more expensive, but no problems. I may take a look at google checkout, as it’s now my policy to never put all my eggs in one basket.

  • http://www.millennialliving.com Tom Russo

    Rand,

    Either I missed something or you really don’t know why Paypal banned you. Do you really think it was that “Adult Access” phrase? That is pathetic and I think it’s illegal. Where’s the due process in all of this? If you applied for a credit card and were denied, you would at least be told why or could see your credit card. Digg pull this same BS. Just because one is associated with the Internt doesn’t mean that they are above the law.

    I would not just quit and leave it be though. When the big guys do you dirty, it’s time to call in “your big guys” aka our Congressman. Tell your story to them and ask them for help. That’s why we put them in office. Anybody else out there who has a similar situation with Paypal or the Diggs of the world should raise hell too.

    Here are the two links:
    http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

    Tom

  • http://tomjacksononline.blogspot.com Tom

    That really is a horrendous way to treat someone. What gives PayPal the right to withold your funds – your legally acquired funds and their accrued interest – for a whole 6-months? I think I’d be speaking to a lawyer about this.

  • http://www.harry-inc.com Harry

    Thats really a sad & bad news. Its good that you know why you are banned….will make readers cautious.

  • http://www.lifemana.com Herbalife

    Wow, this is crazy. If in fact a human had reviewed your case and found no offending evidence, why can’t they just revert your account? This situation blows for you, and likewise PayPal account holders.

  • numberonestunner

    I was a powerseller on ebay and had multiple issues with paypal. I have had several run ins with their customer service and was terribly displeased. It always sounded like some uneducated farmer who did nothing but get upset with me that i had a problem and wanted my money back. they kept saying that all of the information I wanted to know was classified and that they were handling the situation. my best recommendation to everyone is to use the old school method…..credit card processing. Its very simple to set up an account and im sure you will have much better success with the visa people as they are a much more reputable company. If you are doing enough business you will actually save a lot. Paypal fees are sky high. Good luck.

  • http://www.domain-blaster.com Michael

    I had a similar experience. All I have to say is stay away from EVER using PayPal.

    Even if you did get banned for a legitimate reason, why would they hold onto YOUR money for 6 months? Easy, to earn interest off it. PP has millions of users and I can just imagine at least a 1000 accounts rotating through the same thing — and that’s a lot of money.

    PayPal is evil. Period.

    Read article here and website here

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    Michael said:

    PayPal is evil. Period.

    I don’t know if Paypal is evil or if they are just plain stupid.. Anyone with even HALF a brain could look at my website and see that it does not violate their Acceptable Use Policy – even WITH the SLIGHTLY mature content that was in our forums area at that time, i still just cannot fathom anyone with a working brain-cell in their head deeming it as obscene or violating their terms..
    Maybe you’re right and paypal isnt stupid – maybe this is just how they do business, but even then in the long run they would be loosing because now my thousands of dollars of transaction fees is going to another company..

    paypal is stupid AND evil. Period.

  • RayG

    Sorry to hear about your paypal problems.

    Have you considered getting your own credit card merchant account? Make sure you get one that lets you accept recurring payments (subscriptions). Fees much lower than paypal too (like, 1.5% vs 2.99%).

  • J Coberly

    I used PayPal for an EBay transaction when it was still Xcom. The seller misrepresented the item I bought. I complained to them, but because the seller did a bunch of business with them, they sided with him despite his ad clearly being false (EBay even banned him – this was before the EBay / PayPal relationship). As a result, I was out $500.

    That being said, I have still masochistically used PayPal, but thank you for suggesting a good alternative. Is it good for buyers as well?

  • Lucas

    I got “banned” a few years ago. I had the day to spend with them so this is how I got my account unlocked and my money back the same day.

    PayPal claimed that I had been associated with someone who was ripping people off but they wouldn’t say whom or what was the offending action. (Honestly, I knew this, not that I was complicit, but I did have a ne’er-do-well friend who I always suspected wasn’t doing things right on ebay – don’t we all have a jack-ass in our lives?)

    Interestingly enough, they decided to lock the account the very same day that I sold a different friends Mac on Ebay. I had already shipped the item and had just gotten paid. Good move PayPal, $1200 for you right!? WRONG.

    I called customer service, got the standard response… “We aren’t gonna say why, who, where what or anything at all, but we’ll keep your money for 6 months ok?”

    Hell no, Not ok. I hung up feeling screwed, now I need to pay my friend the $1200 bucks for the laptop I just sold but how am I going to pull that out of my butt?

    I called customer service back… And this method worked but it took about two hours, no joke. They kept giving me the standard “you are screwed” response to every question. I’d ask for my call to be escalated to the supervisor and beyond (never got past a second person) Then they would say is there anything else I can help you with? Then I’d just start all over from the beginning.

    Meanwhile, I was surfing the net to understand their business model a little better and discovered this; Paypal isn’t a bank, They are not a credit card processor, in fact, they are handling large electronic transactions and operating outside of every single banking law there was! Ah Ha! This is my in…

    I explained to the person that while I was talking to them, I was filing a complaint with the attorney general in my state and when I was finished with that, I’d be filing a complaint with the California attorney general (thats where they were located at the time – might still be) and that I understood that they were operating outside of all banking laws. I explained how I was certain that the attorney general would like to know that they could even be operating illegally in some states and perhaps even laundering money. Now, the whole time, the customer service person was saying, basically “go jump in a lake, its all in your T’s and C’s”. I finally gave up – literally about 2 – 2 1/2 hours in to the call. I hung up with the person and finished my online complaints.

    No sooner had I pressed the submit button on the AZ AG’s form, I got an email from Paypal explaining that my funds had been released and they were sorry for any inconvenience. Sure enough, they were, I went and got the cash out of the atm with my paypal card, changed my account numbers in the paypal system (something made up if I remember right) and closed my account.

    I think I got lucky, but you might try it. $1200 bucks was worth two hours of my time. Be polite to the people on the phone, don’t call them names, insinuate that they are stupid or anything else like that. Be professional and it might work for you. I discovered that they aren’t going to hang up on you if you aren’t an ass and it might result in you getting you money back.

    Good luck!

  • Alan

    I’m angry for you. Seriously, I’m pissed off.

    I guess all I can do is swear here in public that I will never use PayPal to build an online business, something which I wouldn’t have thought twice about before. Do you hear me PayPal. YOU’LL NEVER GET MY BUSINESS!

    Got to get this story circulating people. The only way these bastards can be fought is from the grass roots.

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    Lucas said:

    I got “banned” a few years ago. I had the day to spend with them so this is how I got my account unlocked and my money back the same day.

    Lucas, you rock!
    Based on your comment, I sent an email to PayPal and they have agreed to return (most of) my balance!

    thanks for the idea and the encouragement!

  • http://www.articlesnatch.com Matt Ellsworth

    We lost a paypal account recently because there were 5 figures of fraudulent charge backs. The customer received what they ordered and then did a charge back 2 months later. Sure enough the Credit Card company sided with them and paypal said “sorry nothing we can do”.

    I’m glad you got your money back.

    As for google checkout – ive used htem for about 1 year now – no complaints – never an issue.

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    Yannis said:

    I’ve also heard similar stories with PayPal. Good to hear you got you money! How is Google Checkout working for you?

    GoogleCheckout is working GREAT! Google Checkout deposits my funds directly into my bank account every day – so no fear of them seizing my funds the way Paypal does to people every day.. and the fees are much lower than PayPal.. the only negative(s) are that GoogleCheckout does not support ongoing subscriptions (which is Ok for me) and currently there is no Drupal add-in to automatically process the transactions, but that’s no biggie so far either.

  • http://www.10000listings.com Yannis

    I’ve also heard similar stories with PayPal. Good to hear you got you money! How is Google Checkout working for you?

  • http://www.nbridges.com Pushkar

    If you want, you can direct the people to other site for subscribing. I mean you can offer “Super Geek Offer” on one of your other site, use your wife’s paypal address and using redirection with some drupal db/IM Paypal hacking(if required), you can still use paypal.

    You won’t be taking money on/for grownupgeek so technically it should be fine. I know many people who are using this technique. It may not be worthy for u but just thought of giving another option.

    Pushkar

  • http://whoismentors4u.com Megan

    I had problems with Paypal. They closed my account when I started using them as a sole processor. I thankfully never got a charge back, however it didn’t seem to matter. Anyway I currently use Google Check out with no problems but have recently changed to linkpoint. Its much more professional and easy for customers to use.

    Hope all works out for you.

    Blessings

    Megan

  • http://www.robrrt.com/ Robert

    I bet consumerist.com would love to get a hold of this story.

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  • mark

    i hate paypal they suck

  • http://nmwoodworks.com/life BillinDetroit

    Paypal has an option to transfer your funds at the end of each day. Use it. Then keep THAT account low by rolling it over into your real account frequently. I have a checking account that is only for Paypal to play in. Works for me.

  • http://www.aprime.co.za Wynand

    After opening a account with Paypal and had to pay $5.00 (that is in our currency ZAR 4 cans of coke)they said I can only pay through them but not receive money. I di now have a moneybookers.com and alert pay account both will be able to transfer funds to me.
    I have google account but they only pay out in the USA and UK.

    Wynand

  • Jasmin

    I’m part of your club for sure! (2,300on hold)two days ago they limited my account….reason being high risk need proof of shipment..ok i gave them all the information. I talk to at least twenty people getting the badge number even recording the conversation. I even got my buyers to write them. Still they say ” ok we need to review it and in 24 hours you will hear from us.” I would tell them im recording them. Then i would make them promise on tape. So tomorrow is the day. Which I have a feeling they won’t do shit. So I’m going to small claims court. Does anyone have any other ideas? I did that truste thing as well (in review) Court is the best I guess. On ebay it says you wait total of 21 days…something tells me i will get a letter saying wait 180 days lol… thats when i wont sleep take it to court and they pay for everything- doctor fees and all

  • jasmine

    So in the end my account was lifted everyone… But it took me at least 40 calls and a week. So don’t give up. Tips would be to keep asking for a manager. Warn them you are headed to file a complaint or to court. They would send me ridiculous emails saying they can’t lift it. so a week of hell… If I can do it anyone can.

  • http://www.cardpaymentoptions.com Phillip

    These kind of stories about PayPal are all too frequent. Both Google Checkout and PayPal are third party providers and charge higher fees than going directly through a merchant services provider. If you are looking for e-commerce solutions and automatic recurring billing (Subscription Payments), check out my website (cardpaymentoptions.com) because that is exactly what I do. It’s a much better way of processing payments and a lot more cost effective. Make sure to watch the tutorial video by clicking the “Video” link on the page. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • http://www.g34media.com Missy

    My account didn’t get banned, but money sent to me recently (for a blog sale) is on hold, “pending a Paypal investigation”.

    I’ve used Paypal for years, and as a freelancer, get paid through it every week. I didn’t know they could hold your money like this, truly scary.

    Will also look into Google Checkout, and alternatives. Thanxs for sharing your story!

  • http://www.videosharingscript.com Yujin

    I have been using paypal from 2003. Today they told my account is banned because i listed an adult site for sale on my site.

  • http://www.herbalstep.com/ Herbalife

    From what I hear from other Merchants that use Paypal is the there is no protection form Merchants. If a customer complains about any little thing they will get the credit back and and the merchant loses out on the items.

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  • http://www.tierraformen.com David Maggio

    I used paypal for years for my other company, Studio One Wellness Center (studio1wellness.com) and now for Tierra. Apparently, massage therapy fell into their Adult AUP violation. We did nothing wrong. Arguing with them about it has produced nothing. I am now looking to work with others screwed by PayPal to start a class action law suit for infringement. If interested, contact me. I am also writing a letter to the state and federal attorney generals offices, and congressional reps. If anyone is an attorney and wants to take this case, let me know!

  • bob

    ebay and paypal suck donkey dick! paypal is the
    mark of the beast! You can not buy and selll with
    out it!

  • http://www.cnicore4diet.com Michael

    Yes, I would agree Paypal is horrible. I have had perfect standing with my paypal account for a couple years. I recently tried selling some stuff from china on Ebay for about a month and received about 5 complaints on paypal. I had to refund all the money so I followed the steps that they said I needed to do to remove the “limitations”. What help they were, after I settled everything and refunded “EVERYONE” they said they were going to “Part Ways”!!! WHAT THE HELL!

    I have completed and refunded all disputes and they consider me a high risk!!!! Piece Of S%$*

    I’m pissed, all I have ever used is Paypal, I have about 10 website I receive income from and now have to change everything. I just hope they don’t ban my wife’s account. I spoke with a Representative, Supervisor, Limitation Specialist, Account Executive, Resolution Specialist and they all said they understand my frustration but there is nothing they can do.

    Goodbye to PAYPAL, Hello to GOOGLE CHECKOUT!

  • http://A1Massage.biz.ly Kyle

    To Rand: I read all you posted about Paypal, I am wanting to integrate Google Check out on my web page, But just today looking Through there Help pages, I have not found Direction as HOW exactly to set up a Donate Button, Such that the Client Can input The Exact amount that they are paying , in case there is an Unknown amount that they add as a Tip. all i have see on The help pages are for BUY NOW buttons , with A SET PRICE.
    Can you help me , In How to install a Donate/google Check out
    Thank you
    Sincerly
    Kyle

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    Kyle said:

    Can you help me , In How to install a Donate/google Check out
    Thank you
    Sincerly
    Kyle

    I always used set-amount purchases – i don’t think you can do a ‘donation’ with Google Checkout, unless you pre-select the amounts.

  • http://www.acceptpayments.org Accept Payments

    Paypal is great if you don’t need control of your money, or your account. For the larger dollar accounts you should really get a merchant account. It will save you money in the long run.

  • http://www.modeeworld.com/forums joJo Kinkaid

    There is a forum I found on the internet that is free, and helps with Ebay, PayPal, business and the law. Just post any question, the experts will answer it if it has not already been answered!

    The forum has a lot of expert advice on it. http://www.modeeworld.com/forums I found advice there about how to avoid EBAY suspensions, get past PayPal limitations, also lots of detailed help on creating your own business, getting past trademark violations, VERO and lots more. Plus general advice on how best to sell on EBAY, what sells the best, how to get the best price for your product, really everything related to EBAY and internet business.

    Also advice about how EBAY really works and how PayPal really works. The inside scoop.

    Beautiful forum. I was made a moderator of the forum and I love it!

  • http://www.sell.com kregg

    (Your case ID for this reason is PP-826-754-728.)

    I am not using a drop shipper no longer to sell Iphones.
    I did not know they were not real.

    What can I do to have my Limitation canceled?

    Kregg

    This limitation cannot be appealed!

    This SUcks, Paypal ———————–> SUCKS SHIT!!

  • tothe

    Paypal SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.saundhaus.com Eric Kauschen

    I was just banned 3 days ago because I made a mistake which I’ve since fixed. Now I find out that because my wife and I share an IP address for internet connection she also cannot get a paypal account because of the same last name, address and IP address.

  • Kenny

    PayPal Permanently banned me because had the word “gun” in my business email address. Someone bought a gun dealers blue book from me off gun broker and they used paypal, wasnt even a restricted item and I was permanently banned. I’m reporting them to the better business bureau and Am filing litigation and joining other class action lawsuits. Seriously hope the people of paypal, ebay and because of ebay… Craigs list, the people that made these decisions will have something happen in their life that will make them a little more supportive go us gun dealers, owners and US Citizens. Hope they all rot in hell.

  • Kenny

    Sorry if some didn’t make sense Im on a iphone. Apple and Att are also very anti- gun. To hell with them also.

  • Ben

    I got the exact same problem someone was selling using my eBay account and my Paypal account, from what i can tell the items that were being sold were counterfiet so eBay closed my account and Paypal limited my account permanently so i contacted eBay to let them know that it was not myself who sold any of the items, eBay then investigated it and reinstated my account, but not so easy with Paypal all i keep getting is its been investigated by a senior assosiate and limitation is to remain. I contacted my bank because they were using my bank account also and looking at statement on Paypal most of the money was transferred outside the UK. Paypal are a joke why can eBay the place the items have been sold on reactivate my account and get my account active again but Paypal cannot. Are Paypal governed by the FSA? If they are im going to take this to fin ombudsman because this is a joke now. There is money in my Paypal account which i have told them i dont want because it was through sales that i havent done, but still they persist on no activating my account. Im getting worried now because i recieved a letter from a Legal Team for Timberland advising that they are taking action against me because someone has been selling counterfiet Timberlands on my account. I have told the Legal Team that eBay have investigated and reactivated my account and advised that my account has been used by a third party but this legal team wont except this they stated they need to find out who has profited from the sales, the only people who have profited are prob long gone and now its all come crashing down on me. Any advised anyone can give to me much appreciated. Ben.Southall@hotmail.co.uk

  • Michael

    I, too, was banned for life from PayPal 2 days ago. PayPal is nothing but a lot of hypocrites. I have been a member since 2000 and had an excellent standing with them. I regular sold on eBay and also had 100% feedback on there. However, I had something they considered sexually explicit listed on a personal website and without warning they banned me. I have contacted them numerous times and they say I don’t even have the right to appeal. I do not understand, given my history, and given that I refunded the transaction by money order that nothing can be done. And why can they not give a warning before banning you for life??? That is the harshest policy I have ever seen on any site. Also, I can not link anyone else’s PayPal account to my eBay account because it would limit it also. (which makes no sense at all) I guess since eBay owns PayPal, they can do whatever they want. Ever since eBay bought PayPal, I felt like we were being overcharged….fees for listing, final value fees, fees for payment received.

    I have stressed so much over this. I don’t understand how eBay can offer ADULT content items on its site and use Paypal as an option to pay, yet if its a personal site its not acceptable. I have investigated all kind of auction sites since I was banned and you would not believe the things I found that PayPal is an option for payment. Its Just wrong!

  • Richard A

    I’ve made the mistake of returning to paypal twice after major problems because of many customers who wish to use it. I have finally made the decision to give up, as they have limited my account for the third time now (permanently this time it says) for “potential fraud.” The first time they limited my account, I had had the account open for just over 6 years and had never had a problem, but I did significantly increase my sales (from around 20k/year to over 90k/year) and they basically told me that they couldn’t risk allowing me to make that much in sales because they could get hit by chargebacks. Keep in mind that I had 0 complaints in the two years before my first “limitation” and had had only one problem with a customer who purchased a domain name and wanted me to renew it for 10 years for free in the 3.00 purchase price; that one got a full refund and kept the domain for free… but that was two years before the account was limited. I had 18,600.00 in the account at the time. They held my money for about 8 months and then reopened my account with the money that was left in it. The problem is that they also refunded 4900.00 in sales that I had made (and had already shipped the products and told my customers that they were getting the money back because of potential fraud) AND they also canceled an additional 3200 in purchases I had made, sending the same crazy email to the sellers that my account had been closed and the money was being refunded due to a fraud investigation. I lost out on several purchases that were important for my business and I lost a lot of customers. Well, when they reopened my account, they sent me a nice email that said that they really wanted me back and (stupid me) I thought, cool, they figured out that they made the mistake here. So, I went back to using the account on many of my sites. 17 months later, they did the same thing again. They canceled and returned 19k of completed sales (although several people said that they never received their money back and I have no way of checking) and they held 22.4k AND reversed deposits to my accounts of 9k, putting me in the hole in the attached bank account in a major way. I ended up with close to 4 thousand in bank fees alone by the time I was able to get it fixed (paypal kept trying to pull out 100.00 here, 75.00 here, 120.00 here and doing it time and time again when it didn’t work after I was already overdrawn. Bank Of America charged me 35.00 every time, even though I had other accounts with the same bank with money to cover the transactions). This time, when they finally game my money back (about a year later, not 180 days), they sent me the EXACT SAME PLEASE COME BACK MESSAGE. But, my balance in paypal only showed 1623.00! After about 4 months of contacting them and faxing them bank statements, printouts of years old email transactions, my ids several times, etc. they finally gave me back another 13k of my money. I had no intention of ever using them again, but a couple of years went by and I got to thinking that if I kept the use small, I could make a couple of thousand dollars a month extra maybe and I’d just mostly buy stuff with it instead of trying to pull it out. I used it for another two years like that and now they limit my account again for “repeated violations.” I have no idea what the violations are and I have recorded my calls with them where they tell me that they can not tell me what the repeated violations are. Last week, my bank called me to ask if it was okay to allow paypal to pull 19k out of my account… I don’t even know for what. I haven’t used the account for that much in the last year total and I haven’t bought anything remotely adult, no weapons, nothing even questionable (unless you think computer parts are dangerous). Luckily my bank says that they will continue to block the transaction and, when I called paypal about it, they said that they don’t have any way to tell me what I supposedly owe that money for because a “different department” is handling the “return of monies owed.” They said that they can see that I do owe it, but they don’t know what for. Lol, it’s impossible to say how much I’ve lost to paypal’s practices, but it’s a significant chunk of change. I primarily use my own merchant’s accounts and have far less problems now. If your business grows too quickly, paypal will penalize you and I don’t think it ever stops. I also have a good friend who lost his account at the same time as my second limitation because he let me log in to paypal from his computer and they tied our accounts together. Paypal truly sucks.

  • http://www.jadedkittykimiko.com Jaded Kitty Kimiko

    appeal@paypal.com and appeals@paypal.com are not valid addresses… someone bullshitted you… I came across this post because I was limited in 2010… Merely for being an adult (nude only) model that collects donations and sells (NON ADULT) artwork, clothes, etc… A stalker had emailed them listing my email I use for paypal telling them that I did “adult webcam shows” for paypal payments.. It was completely false and they never investigated.

    They refuse to reply to anything from me, refuse to help.. and almost took what little money that I had. Because although it was past my 180 limitation when I tried to withdrawl it, they kept canceling my withdrawl… It took HOURS and costly cellphone minutes to get them to fix this problem.. and they added and extra limit to my account (what the hell was the point of that I do not know) when I was first limited one of their employee’s I spoke to on the phone about it told me it was perfectly FINE to set up a personal account for ebay useage… When the first one I set up (I mistakenly did it wrong) they told me just to set up another.. so on June of 2011, my account which was already limited.. Was limited again… Paypal.. is HORRIBLE.. and the worst thing is, since the owner of Paypal is the Owner of ebay, you get screwed over on ebay. And most sites out there that use paypal to payout (for articles, clothes, whatever) DON’T offer another alternative…
    Paypal actually THREATENED ME, Told me that ANY account I’m caught using or referring to will be SHUT DOWN.. I have seen this happen with my own eyes TWICE… Each time I was trying to help a friend with their project and just spreading the word…

  • travis

    paypal did the same to me and wont give my paypal account back,at least i got back my money 6m later

    what a scam

  • Chris

    about 7 years ago my paypal account had a ‘withdrawal’ – it was £250 that had vanished. after spending a couple of hours between, ebay, paypal, and my bank (each blaming each other) I eventually got someone who said ‘he could see who has done it…but he couldnt tell me because of the data protection act.’ My account had basically been hacked and a withdrawal made to their account which I couldnt trace. I continued to chase it up for a few days but it cost me even more money as I was at work having to call their chargeable number on my mobile. I gave up in the end and didnt use ebay for years. Now I’ve started selling on their again…and for no reason my account has been frozen with over £200 in there again. After reading screw-paypal.com I wonder if it was a 10 euro payment I made to a torrent site a few days earlier…and they use this as an excuse to freeze my whole account permanently and hold my money for 180 days. I’m never dealing with them again after this one. I’m glad I withdrew £500 the day before as I learnt my lesson from the 1st time.

  • http://www.jadedkittykimiko.com Jaded Kitty Kimiko

    I found a FB boycott paypal page for anyone interested
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paypal-Boycott/152022824892587

  • http://www.makemoneyinternetguide.com Tino

    never had problem so far with paypal… but reading comments above made me think twice about using them more extensively

  • http://goals.tv Robert

    My Paypal account went limited due to suspicious activity in January 2010. In July 2010 I uploaded all the documents, till today 14th Oct 2011 nothing happened, still in progres. They are simply ignorant and when you are bugging them, they penalize you. They are assh…

  • http://www.juguetesdecoleccion.com Juan Quaglia

    Thank you for this article and all the information about this issue. Paypal permanently banned my account yesterday and they told me that the problem wasn´t my fault (WTF!). According to them, my account is somehow related to another account that had fraudulent activity (which means: maybe a criminal bought me a pair of gloves in Ebay). They just banned me, without reason. I still can´t understand it.

  • Sam

    Hi Guys, i am facing same problem. They made my account limited and decided to close it. I am having some amount in my account and they decided to pay me after 180 days. They didn’t even ask me and told me what exactly the problem.
    I spoke to PayPal customer service and they said its security issue i asked what security issues then they said they cant tell but i can ask to following mail-id:appeal@paypal.com.
    This mail-id is incorrect.
    Now they are responding at all.

  • ralph

    I discovered this evening that my paypal account was ” limited” , as of December 2011 ( never did get any form of notification ). I called them and spoke with customer service. Guy by the name of ” Ricky ” informed me that it was permanently limited due to suspicious activity with ” linked accounts “. Linked accounts? What linked accounts? I replied. He said this info was confidential. I asked to speak with supervisor. Supervisor ” Chad ” informed me that there was no way to resolve my status due to “linked accounts”. They refused to give me any further details. Hung up the phone and called back and spoke to another supervisor ” Brad”. After speaking with him for a few minutes he looked a little further into this situation and decided to re-open my account. In addition, he said he really wasn’t sure why the other accounts had been linked to mine in the first place. Moral of the story is don’t accept NO as a final answer and Paypal is a shit run organization.

  • Siavash

    My papal account has been limited permanently just after purchasing 2 items from eBay without any reason or any explanation.They didn’t answer my emails at all.
    when I called them 2 times,they didn’t say anything about the reason of this permanent limitation except repeating the “my account has a high risk of unsecured activities”!!! and there is no solution for that.
    I correspond with eBay many times too,but they just addressed me to Paypal customer service.
    Even in the most uncivilized areas of this planet ,you can ask for the reason,if they want to accuse you.
    By the way,this limitation means that i can’t use eBay and PayPal anymore .
    I really wish eBay become bankrupt soon,since it doesn’t care about its customers at all.
    PayPal service suppose to an convenient service for its users , but became an frustration cause for me.

  • http://www.indigenouspeople.net/ Glenn Welker

    I know how all of you feel.

    Last year I had my PayPal account hacked; not just once, but twice in the same year!

    I still have an account with them have not put any money into it because of what has happened to me.

    After reading all of your sad stories I am glad to know that I am not the only person not all that happy with Pay Pal.

    Thanks

    Glenn

  • Babak

    Do Not Use PayPal service, I have got my account access banned (limited), they hold my balance of $900.00 for 6 months. They provided no reason and account access is limited for ever.

  • http://www.indigenouspeople.net/ Glenn Welker

    Yes, I stopped using Paypal and was hacked not just once but twice in the same year.

    I got my money back but this was just too much !

    I found Yardsellr.com instead of eBay to sell my jewelry, etc.

    I don’t mind getting a check in a few days, but at least I know it is coming!

    There are “too” many people who are getting ripped off and vow to never use it again!

    Thanks for all of these comments.

    Glenn

  • Caryn Rahner

    Here’s to all of you , paypal is a crooked organization with people who don’t know what they are doing and have no intention of following up, here’s the clincher, Ebay and Paypal are one company…The same organization and ebay sets paypal policies this according to paypal as of January 2012. They do what they want and even refuse to work with customers and I have asked them to close my account but they will not…turns out they also wont allow you to change your banking info on your own if they have an account with a pending trasaction….so buyer and sellers beware Paypal is a joke and so is ebay opening my own store website and willing to pay another and of course stay with a day job…However, just remember if you use either Ebay or Paypal and work a day job make sure you have an hour or two to spend on the phone when an issue arrives during normal working hours otherwise your $20 dispute could wind up costing you several hundred….beware and advertise in the yellow pages and use a good search engine I have the feeling like facebook people are done with much of the internet conclomerates and would rather deal with honest smaller organizations or simply not buy…I am not buying too much but am selling what I can…I won’t deal with anyone that takes paypal and will not deal with anyone who argues for paypal.. shows there is something shady about them…and no more foreigners, If you have it, it is in the continental US of A and you don’t have and accent I may consider you for purchases otherwise done…I prefer to support my countrymen and women, you know US citizens and registered visitors..Done supporting foreign organizations want middle and working class americans to continue as such and poorer americans to make it to middle class incomes (this as described by our very blind government). I personally feel if you want to earn and you have something I need or could use and you are american well I can pass the dollar along to you not some indian in a lawless ungoverned uncontrolled environment….

    PayPal and Ebay banned for good, I can find others who are willing and have the products I need and google chrome is another one.

  • Anon

    I am from UK and having the exact same problem.
    I recieved this today (10 Sep12)
    “10 Sep12:We identified activity on your PayPal account that violates the terms of our User Agreement. As a result, you’ll no longer be able to use your account. “

    The funny thing is my account was restored to normal on 6 Sep after they limited my account on 7 August apparently for AUP violation. I called them again but they had no clue and the Representative didn’t even know why my account was limited.

    Any help guys!
    I completely stuck and pissed as I am a power seller on eBay and my income has gone down to £0.00.

    Has anyone been through this??
    Thanks in advance

  • illy

    they just blocked my account for no reason
    we have shipped our items to the customers
    now I have shipping of merchandise that we have pay for
    and our money is stuck with paypal
    for 180 days

    they are criminals have to be way to stop them

    they destroy people life by killing their income their business

  • niko

    It just happened to me yesterday :(

    Only 1 fucking negative feedback from a buyer who doesn’t know computer, he blame the product. I’m so angry right now, Paypal block USD1500 in my account!

    I wish GC is available in my country soon.

    • Prince Visky

      Get in touch with me. I can help you out. :)

  • Laboni Dina

    I HAVE THE SAME problem…MY ACCOUNT is permanently limited since dec 20 2012… over and over again they say same shit. i used to sell electronics, clothing. before i started i asked them they said yes u can but for some stupid customers charge back after 2 months later…after they receive the item..they filed charge back….all of a sudden several charge backs even they got the items but they filed after 2/3 months later. As paypal told me..for several charge back/dispute files by customers, paypal has limited my act and said its permanent and they cannot provide services. they even said its not me i did something..its because i have some charge backs/disputes filed by customers..but i didn’t collect..its the customer paid by credit card..paypal collected the money and deposit in my papal act. later customer got the item ad filed chargeback after 2 months…now iam very angry caz i cant use ebay where as i run business long timeeeeeeeeeeeee……..i want to sue too…now i cant list item at ebay…i have payza but to list i need to have paypal.i wont use their service anyways but i need to be cleared as i became victimmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm i really need help

  • Charlie

    This thing just happen to me yesterday. i’am from philippines and still dont receive any may regarding the banned given to my paypal account (AKA: this limitation cannot be appealed). after reading this blog i am a bit relax and reduce the panic in me. i see a light of hope at this moment. i hope i can get money (php16000+) back earlier that 180days by using this method because 16k php is big amount of money in a third world country like philippines.

  • Brett

    This happened to us today. $14,000 (USD) in our account! We hope we can get that money back. We are setting up a merchant account with our local bank instead. Would recommend that instead of using 3rd party companies like PayPal.

  • eric norm

    I keep hearing different percentages of people can get their account back; sometimes it’s 1%, sometimes it’s 10%…. It feels like I have 0% when going through the correct paypal channels. http://deathbypaypal.blogspot.co.uk/

  • LaLa

    I applied for Paypal Pro and within 24 hours, I was banned from Paypal all together. If you don’t have good credit, don’t apply for their credit/debit card or for their Paypal Advance or Pro. They will shut you down within 24 hours without question!

    I spoke to a rep who reviewed my case and restored my account within 15 mins of review. Within 9 hours, I was shut down again! I called another rep who said my case goes to the “back office” for final approval and my account is scheduled to be restored within 24 hours. AFTER THAT, I received an email that they reviewed my case and I’m BANNED!

    In the years having Paypal and eBay, have never had a bad review, charge-backs or cases brought against me. I am guilty of co-signing a loan for someone else who defaulted. I have followed their rules and have not been shady in the least!

    None of this would have happened if I hadn’t applied for Pro! I’m sick and disgusted with Paypal and how they treated me and other’s like me!

  • Gary

    Hi guys,

    I was in the same position years ago! But now I am back selling! I suggest you join the forum at http://www.banbay.co.uk its a god send!!

    It got my business back on my feet, it takes work and you have to start from scratch with new ebay/paypal accounts but atleast I no longer fear limitations!

    I know how you feel mate, chin up, sign up and have a read :) You will be back selling in no time!

  • Messi Angulo

    any emails for paypal escalations department

  • Messi Angulo

    The problem with paypal is they are so ambiguous that you don’t know what is it that they really want. This is not nice and I don’t like it because paypal has a A+ business rating. An A+ organization works with its customers on problems. Paypal wants me to send me invoices from my supplier which I sent today however I am waiting for my receipt from the other supplier. Today I get an email saying my appeal is denied, which is not correct. I am not done sending what they want and I am pissed that they treat me like I am some piece of garbage. This is not the last they have heard from me I am sending my stuff to the attorney general and supplying everything with my bbb complaint

  • Messi Angulo

    i got unbanned and all my money! thanks i would recommend the bbb and federal reserve who will forward your complaint to the right agency then go with the state attorney general if all fails. I have to prove my innocence to paypal through the bbb and I did. I read the terms of service and how it affected me and what I could do to dispute that.

  • PkBlizzard .

    They just blocked my account today. I sell virtual items in World Of Warcraft. One customer disputed one of my products in an attempt to get the item for free, he even set up a false scam report against me on a message board and linked it to Paypal. Long story short, Paypal now thinks I sold sexual items for money and now all my money is in hold for 180 days.

    I’m a college student so selling those items was my main source of income outside of my parttime job. School takes up alot of my time so I cannot get a full time job. I had to pay tuition within the next month but now I cannot because of scammers and Paypal.

  • Leyla Trinity

    Happened with me , the funny thing is a user framed me and PayPal hopped in and went with the flow.
    I could’ve given him the refund if I noticed about the note that there was a link to a sexual content if I ever did noticed it.
    Good thing my PayPal account is separate my kik account for it was been hi-jacked. Bad thing is PayPal themselves participated on the user’s scheme and limited me. There goes my 500$ and I have nothing left on me anymore. They took my livelihood which is the only thing I’m relying at.

  • Carey Bison

    Paypal’s limitations have gotten worse by the day. There are instances where I have no clue as to why I got limited.

    http://auctionessistance.com/paypal-limitations-reasons/

  • Ashish Nayak

    I dn’t know what happen is this but PayPal is a one good site to use at last we say pls catch those u make a froad site

  • Ashish Nayak

    And mak e a legal site which to those person who are needed money.

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