How I Convinced PayPal To Release My Funds

This is a follow up to my post “Banned by PayPal

When I was informed that my PayPal account was “permanently limited” (aka: banned) and that PayPal would be holding my balance of $5,149 for six-months, I thought there was not much I could do. I appealed the decision to limit (ban) my account and PayPal denied it. Since I did not need the balance of $5,149 that PayPal was going to hold for 6 months I figured I would just wait it out (note that I say did not NEED it.. I want it, but I did not NEED it).

But after seeing some of the comments that readers posted on my original “my PayPal account was limited” post I started to feel a bit victimized and angry, and a bit like PayPal was pushing me around and doing whatever they wanted with my balance. I decided that instead of feeling like I was going to just lay down and let PayPal rape me that I would fight back one last time.

So based on a comment posted by Lucas explaining how he got his funds released after PayPal limited his account, I sat down and wrote this little email:

RE: Case PP-xxx-yyy-zzz

I am respectfully requesting that the hold on my funds/account be lifted. I am not necessarily requesting that my account be re-opened or allowed to continue to use the PayPal service, as I have already taken my business to your largest competitor and I am no longer in need of PayPal’s services.

I have previously requested a review/appeal of my case which was denied.  Although I still disagree with the decision to deny my appeal I will abide by it – however because I feel that holding my funds for 180 days for a non-fraudulent violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy is excessive, and perhaps a punitive abuse of power, I will be filing complaints with the following agencies on Wednesday morning, April 23, 2008 if I am not satisfied with PayPal’s response to this request to release my funds:

(agencies in the states that I reside or have a business presence in)

The California Office of the Attorney General
http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

The Washington State Office of the Attorney General
https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/ago/ComplaintForm.aspx

The Florida Office of the Attorney General
http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact

The Arizona Office of the Attorney General
http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact

Additionally:
The United States Federal Reserve
http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov/complaintinfo.cfm?info=1
(I understand that PayPal does not operate as a “bank” which is precisely why they may be interested in such complaints)

The Better Business Bureau:
https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/complaintlink.aspx

All complaints will be filed “online” Wednesday morning April 23, 2008 and written copies will also be sent via certified postal mail.

I understand PayPal’s need for holding funds for credit card chargeback purposes, however a review of my account history for the last year will reveal a very low chargeback rate as well as a very high customer-satisfaction rate. I feel that any reasonable person would conclude that holding my entire balance for 180 days is excessive and my be viewed by some as punitive or as already stated, an unnecessary abuse of power and perhaps even contrary to the laws of some states. That being said I have no problem with, and agree to leaving a balance of $500 for credit card chargeback purposes for the duration of the 180 days. I feel that this is a fair resolution while still leaving PayPal with the means to charge back any future credit card disputes to my account.

Please be aware that replying with the standard “this is part of the terms of service that you agreed to” will not satisfy my request, or deter me from filing my complaints with the agencies listed above on the morning of Wednesday April 23. It will be up to those agencies to determine if PayPal is operating within the law, abusing power, etc. I am simply seeking a resolution that is fair and in the best interest of both parties.

Thank you for your time again in looking into this matter.

Case PP-xxx-yyy-zzz

I addressed the email to the following addresses: account-review@paypal.com; aup@paypal.com; complaint-response@paypal.com; resolutions@paypal.com; escalations@paypal.com; complaints@paypal.com; RDutta@paypal.com; sthompson@paypal.com; crme@paypal.com; press@paypal.com; exec.relations@ebay.com

UPDATE 2017 – The email addresses mentioned above, and below are no longer valid. Most of these people no longer work for PayPal or have changed their email addresses.

Rdutta@paypal.com and Sthompson@paypal.com were as best as I could tell the guys in charge at PayPal, press@paypal.com and exec.relations@paypal.com appear to be their press people, and the others are all of the “escalation” email address that I could find – most of which I got from PayPalSucks.com. (see updated list of email address at the bottom of this post)

I did my best to word the email as politely as I could and basically told them that they had 48 hours to respond or I would start complaining to whoever would listen. I spell-checked it and hit the SEND button at 1:48PM California time on Sunday afternoon.

Approx 5 hours later, at just a little after 7PM California time on Sunday night my phone rang. CallerID said it was from the 402 area code and listed it simply as “Nebraska”.. Hmm.. Who could be calling me from Nebraska this late on a Sunday evening? Could it be Shoemoney calling or might it be someone from PayPal headquarters working late??

Sure enough, when I picked up the phone a very nice lady at the other end explained that she was calling from PayPal regarding the email I had sent earlier in the day. She had reviewed my account, agreed that my chargebacks had been virtually zero over the previous year, and that although PayPal would not be re-opening (or un-banning) my account, they would be transferring $5,000 of my $5,149 balance into my bank account. They would hold the remaining $149 for the balance of the 180 days at which time it would automatically be transferred into my bank account. Heck, that’s better than I had asked for in my email!

So – although having my PayPal account banned has been a huge inconvenience, being forced to switch to Google Checkout is still working to my advantage (making me more money), and now that PayPal will be releasing all but $149 of my funds, I can say that I’m pretty happy.

Now, if you’ve been banned by Paypal, before you go copying and pasting my email to try and get your funds released remember that I have had my PayPal account for a few years with virtually zero complaints and very few disputes or chargebacks. If you have been involved in fraudulent activity, been ripping people off, selling body parts, etc, you probably wont make out as well as I have (nor should you). However if your account has been in good standing and you have a low rate of disputes you may be able to get your funds released before the 180 day period that PayPal imposes by letting them know that you just wont stand for it and that you will complain to anyone that will listen.

W00t!

My Funds Trasfer
Paypal has returned my money to my bank account!

Update November 2013: Thanks to A.Chip who has compiled some tips that he used to get his money back when he emailed his letter:

  • Before I sent the email to Paypal, I made an email list inside my email account named “PayPal Emails” and put all the Paypal email addresses on that list. When it was time to send the email, I put the “appeals@paypal.com” email address on the “To:” line, and put the list in the “Bcc:” line so no one else in the company could see who else I sent the email to. Everyone who got the email could only see that I sent it to the Appeals department. Other Paypal victims should practice this technique with their own personal emails first to make sure it works before sending their email to Paypal. People in the “Bcc:” line should not be able to see any other email addresses except the one in the “To:” line.
  • After I sent the letter to Paypal, I received an email from the Appeals department stating they investigated my case, but still ruled against me. The following day I received the email from the executive at Paypal saying he would refund the money. At Paypal, it is clear that thy left hand has no clue what thy right hand is doing. So if a victim gets a rejection email after sending their letter, keep waiting. Someone else from the executive office will most likely respond later on with a real solution.

 

How I Convinced PayPal To Release My Funds by

458 thoughts on “How I Convinced PayPal To Release My Funds

  1. I have had a Paypal account since 2003 and never had a problem until last week. I misplaced my Paypal Here reader and took a few payments using the long card option provided by the app. Next thing I know is Paypal have put a hold on my income for 30 days.
    I have approached Paypal both in the UK and Luxembourg with very little help from their employees.
    Do these people not understand that small businesses require cashflow to operate?

    1. Of course they understand.. They just don’t care!
      The longer they hold your money and collect interest on it, the more THEY make!

  2. Letter of doom today..
    Aperantly one scammer and one that made chargback claim by “mistake” made them drop the hammer on me. so some 7000€ stuck there now :-/

  3. I have a business account that I signed up for mid July. I decided to switch to PayPal because they don’t charge a fee for chargebacks unless you don’t win (my other processor charged $45 regardless). I received only two claims against me and they were both resolved in my favor. All is going well. Then out of the blue, I get an email that my account has been permanently limited. I have $4500 they are holding for 180 days. This is my livelyhood and I need that money to live off. They continue to refuse to tell me why the account was banned.

    I sent an email using this template to the emails listed. Hoping to hear good news.

    Is it legal for them to hold OUR money? I may need to seek legal help.

    1. What happened?

      They are holding 3,000 for minimum reserve and 4,305 for rolling reserve. Totalling 7,305.00!!
      My account is usable but they are holding $3,000 as a cushion for if I have a chargeback and then a percentage of each sell for 60 days.

      I have had many opened cases due to my store having a 4-6 week shipping time frame and customers not reading the time frame when placing an order. However I won every single case in my favor. I need the $4,305.00 to buy a machine to help production time get quicker.

    2. Count Me In brother. I have provided a web page with substantial evidence on how they have limited my account with no appeal just like you and I have a recording of This PayPal atrocity you can do and see that I am indeed in the right and innocent to what I’ve done. Well worth the short listen to.
      Anybody that wants to collaborate together leave a comment on that web page with your email and I can create a network. They have a class action lawsuit this next couple weeks and after this slap-on-the-wrist nobody will be able to sue them for fraudulent business transactions and holding or freezing peoples accounts any more; due to them revising or updating their user agreement and moving on.. So I have stirred up quite a bit of noise myself with an alternative company I now work for that allows API Gateway cart checkout and King card processing for lower transaction fees starting rate of 1.39% rather than PayPal outrageous fines and utterly bogus agreement “contracts of death”. I do plan on suing in the state of Tennessee for at least $25,000. As you will see the punitive damages will exceed this amount in the money that they are holding as well my case I have a company that owes me nearly $10,000 in refunds that I cannot obtain because my account is not accessible. I have already gotten ahold of attorney generals and sent off my letter too many Senators. Next is my demand letter to San Jos, California (Paypal financial office) If anybody wants to jump on board with me please email me a demand letter and I will print it out and send it to them with my demand letter. If we all do this together perhaps we can even process a civil lawsuit. As Pro se, we do not need a lawyer for this we have logic and as long as we State our case ethically and honestly we will win this free case. Are you with me. Email me above and again sign up on my website and comment with your information, I will keep your comment private and not post your comment publicly, unless you would want me to. And you do not need to sign up with flashbanc in order to do this with me, I just am with this company because they are legit and they helped save my business when I needed it most. Which is gained my respect.

      I have emailed every single one of those email addresses and they have all ignored me, meaning they are hoping it will just blow over and be thrown under the rug or I will forget and move on. But if they see a demand letter and they don’t do anything we will automatically by default win our case.
      They will not want media involved and will dread press involvement. We may just win off of our own quote unquote settlement. But we don’t want peanuts here we want all of our money back and then-some for damages and Destroying business. I feel you brother from UK. I will leave my contact information as well if you want to collaborate my toll free number internationally is 855-841-9659. Kindest regards with sincerity Eric Plott

      Our anti PalPay fanpage alternative
      https://www.facebook.com/FlashPlott/

  4. paypal held my money for 2days over the 72 hrs promised they told me my £160 would be availible to draw from my bank between 3pm and 4pm on 12/8/2016 and this was gaurenteed! it wasent there we were going on holliday that night and lost £200 deposit over this as couldnt pay our cab fare to get to airport paypal are a joke! they said it was an error on there part after waiting 45mins on hold on phone to speak to them,they like holding on to your money with excuses to get more intrest,never again!

  5. Pay Pal tells me that pending funds being held through a Ebay sale are an Ebay issue,so i am confused to what is correct? advice appreciated,thank you

  6. Hi there,

    After I posted same email letter to Paypal, Paypal have response to me as follow:

    “Thank you for contacting PayPal in regard to the account issue.

    We understand that you would like the funds in your account balance to be released. Unfortunately, we are unable to release your funds until you have completed all the steps required to restore full access to your PayPal account, or until 180 days after the limitation was placed on your account.

    If you would like to refund your buyers, we can process this request for you. Please email us by clicking ‘Contact Us’ at the bottom of any PayPal page to request the refund(s). Please be sure to include the transaction date, email address and the Transaction IDs of the payment(s) you would like to refund.

    Thank you for choosing PayPal for your payment needs. Please feel free to contact us if you require further assistance.

    Sincerely,
    Dannie
    PayPal Account Review Department
    PayPal

    Need some advise from all you.

    Thank you

  7. I am looking for some advice or assistance with what can I can do… Paypal charged my bank account for my ebay seller fees. After 6 hours one the phone and even my bank.. Basically their charging my bank account for a charge when I had funds in the account. I did detail cross references from statements from ebay, paypal, and my bank. I believe I have been victim of account tampering, and I think paypal covered their tracks changing my account settings and transactions from my activity sheet that has fees and balances disappeared off my account. I had one of their high up reps. admitted fault and assured me he would correct it.. That I would receive an email I was to take to my bank to have charges removed.. So i waited hour and a half and never got email. I called them back and I got the ebay and paypal run around that neither except fault and then when i printed statements out to take to my bank, they tampered with my account..
    IM pissed needless to say, i later called ebay to pay the seller fee. I had to called paypal and basically got the run around .. So i couldnt even pay them with my paypal business cards to pay the bill so they would stop hitting my bank account.. IM done with paypal, and I want to file suit!!! Anyone got any advice I can check into ???/
    Thanks
    Nate

  8. They are holding 3,000 for minimum reserve and 4,305 for rolling reserve. Totalling 7,305.00!!
    My account is usable but they are holding $3,000 as a cushion for if I have a chargeback and then a percentage of each sell for 60 days.

    I have had many opened cases due to my store having a 4-6 week shipping time frame and customers not reading the time frame when placing an order. However I won every single case in my favor. I need the $4,305.00 to buy a machine to help production time get quicker.

  9. Can someone please help me? I also need an updated list of the e mails I live in mansfield oh, USA. Paypal also limited my act and said I have no chance of getting my funds out before 180 days and it has my ssi money in there! So I couldn’t even pay my rent and no one cares I’ve begged them to help me and it’s a no go…. 🙁

  10. Can someone please help me? I also need an updated list of the e mails I live in ohio, USA. Paypal also limited my act and said I have no chance of getting my funds out before 180 days and it has my ssi money in there! So I couldn’t even pay my rent and no one cares I’ve begged them to help me and it’s a no go…. 🙁

  11. ive just emailed on the above emails there holding 30k pounds off mine for god knows what reason just emailed 10mins ago had not confirmation or anything, anyone know roughly when i would get a reply or if i will i am from the UK

  12. I opened my uk paypal account while i was in the uk and i finished uni and left the country but i’ve kept it open cause i still use it as its connected to a uk bank account thats still valid and buy items cause my sibiling lives in the uk so items often sent to her, and now my account has been limited and they want proof of residency and ID and i can proof the id obviously but not the residency, and i can’t put my non-uk address on it.

    my bank allowed me to put my non-uk address on there dont get why paypal doesnt. and now i dont know what to do i dont know if i should put my siblings address but then i dont know what to do with the proof part.. can anyone help please!
    thanks

  13. Help! Will that technique work for the following? I closed my paypal account after a purchase on ebay using paypal resulted in hundreds of spam email. Ebay subsequently refunded my purchase price for the item- but it went back to the now closed paypal and I cannot get back my money! I’ve tried phoning but they never come on the phone and for their “callback” service, i never get a call back. Also when i created the account i used a made up phone number and i have no idea what that is now. all i have is the old user id/email address and password, but of course my account no longer exist so those have not helped. This all took place in june 2016, so its more than 6 months! (I should add that for the original purchase I used credit card account to fund the paypal – i do not have a linked bank account).

  14. Paypal are holding aprox. $40,000 of my money! paypal is a scam, paypal SUX, will post my full complaint on several review sites.

  15. They are holding over 80K UK pounds….. I think we should all get together and go to the press immediately… All of those email addresses are fine but lets get the press involved.

  16. They are holding over 1K Uk pounds of mine. They are closing both my accounts because i tweeted the Vice President of Paypal to complain. I agree lets go the press…we need to screw them like they have screwed us.

  17. Sent an email to every email on this list. all I got was the standard pre generated crap templet email responces. DID NOT WORK! It might work for some people for some reason, but we will never know why. I feel for each and every person who has submitted a story here. We all have felt the level of frustration that is about our breaking point. All I can say is keep the faith dont give up and just keep going. this has left me with about 6 dollars to my name and for once im at a point in my life where I dont know what Im going to do. so hopefully when i go to bed tonight I just wont wake up

  18. I’m currently a waiting $13,500 frozen in my account!
    This is a real injustice, they got to be legal action that could be taken against them.
    Just insane, total abuse of power!

  19. Hi all…having the same issues with paypal after 15+ years of being an ebay power seller with a sterling record. Unfortunately ebay pretty much forces sellers to accept and promote paypal and it seems to me that paypal has a near monopoly for a small seller like myself.

    So…if anyone has suggestions for alternate payment services I’d be very grateful. I’d rather not go through the process of having to open a merchant credit card service. Is there another service similar to paypal that ebay will accept? Thanks in advance for any guidance. Dorian

  20. Does this still work in 2017? My account got its first “High” account limitation a few days ago. Just had it restored. But it pisses me off that 1) they can randomly do a review of your account and nail you with a restriction even if you have had no problems whatsoever for the past several months and you are a loyal client, and 2) some of their reps are not very courteous. I always hope I get a female who is sympathetic towards my situation, not some guy who just spits out company policy and doesn’t give a shit. Basically, they asked me for: Photo ID, Credit card documentation, bank statement, and proof of address. I got rejected a few times but what finally worked was sending in a CLEAR picture of the ENTIRE Photo (my passport) and the most recent statement from the bank connected to my paypal….it proved my name, address, and acted as both my credit card and bank statement. Technically, I don’t use it as a credit card but PayPal accepted it as a CC so whatever… I also have a PO box address but I don’t use the “PO” part. I was scared PayPal would reject me again just for the heck of it and ask me for more “detailed” info. But I’m never gonna go through this experience. Will withdraw money out and send probably 95% of it to my online bank account where I have control over my money (and no charges/fees). Never underestimate how “random” paypal can be. Just when you think your account is safe, PayPal can hit you out of nowhere and treat you like you are some fraud case. I would rather report identity theft and fraud transactions than have the bank randomly limit my access and ask me for verification whenever it feels like it.

  21. This was definitely a good way to get PayPal to release your funds! Worked for me. They kept over $10,000 of my money and when I followed your procedure, they released within days.

  22. Okay, I guess it’s just not me who has been screwed by paypal. Could someone answer me this please:

    I am from Canada and have been selling on ebay as well privately for the last 5-6 years. Recently my sales have increased and that’s when paypal limited my account back in October. After their review they lifted the limits. Again in the January month, my sales were high, and now they have put a rolling reserve of 6000 USD on my account. This is really unacceptable to me and I don’t want to deal with them anymore. The funds are held for 90 days. I am sure even if I don’t do any transactions in this account now and ask them after 90 days to release the funds, they will not do it and will hold it for another 90 days. As far as my account standing is concerned, I have never ever had any charge back or claims on my account, not even a single one.

    My question is that I do see in the contract that they say if they find the account risky in any way, they can put a reserve on the account whatever they deemed necessary.

    Could anyone tell me if I try to go in small claims court, do I have any chance of getting my funds released due to this clause in the contract.

    I have already sent emails to everyone that I could that was mentioned in this blog, but have not received any reply back yet.

    Please advise me if it would be prudent to go to small claims court or not?

    Thanks,

  23. I just emailed everyone on the list above with a version of your email. Fingers crossed. They have a little over $1,000 of my money.

  24. Update:

    Your message wasn’t delivered to gforman@ebay.com because the address couldn’t be found. Check for typos or unnecessary spaces and try again

    Your message wasn’t delivered to teampaypal@accesspr.com because the address couldn’t be found. Check for typos or unnecessary spaces and try again.

    Your message wasn’t delivered to dspievack@paypal.co.uk because the address couldn’t be found. Check for typos or unnecessary spaces and try again.

    Your message wasn’t delivered to pvogt@ebay.com because the address couldn’t be found. Check for typos or unnecessary spaces and try again.

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