After having a Paypal account since somewhere around 1999, I got the dreaded “account limited” email and it was actually real this time. Account permanently limited, no appeal. And a vague reason for the limitation:
“After recently reviewing your PayPal account activity we have determined that you are linked to other PayPal accounts that have violated PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy.”
No mention of which transaction or why it was a violation. The only reason I have any idea it’s linked to a client is a conversation I was having with them via email, where they brought up their account had been limited. My last transaction with that person was over two weeks ago, but for whatever reason Paypal decided to wait until AFTER there was some money in my account (1st week of the month payouts from T-shirt/print on demand sites) to flag it for suspicious activity. What a coincidence, eh?
I have emailed the AUP Paypal address but as most have experienced, I’m sure I will not hear anything back, or a legalese “go pound sand” and that’s the end of it. So here’s a warning to all you small and medium sized web businesses. PAYPAL will ban YOU, and take YOUR money based on interactions with your CLIENTS. Should those clients do anything Paypal does not like, even if it has nothing to do with you, their ban could end up YOUR ban. And they will wait until there is MONEY in your account to institute the ban, so they can hold on to your money, interest free, for 180 days.
The amount being held hostage is fairly small, but the impact of losing Paypal given that they have zero competition is immense. I will now not be able to get paid by numerous T-shirt/custom design/POD sites that I work on, not be able to sell or buy on eBay directly, and not be able to buy things easily from small companies on websites. Nor will small clients have an easy way to pay me anymore. The Paypal Monopoly needs to end.
Again, WARNING to all individuals and small businesses using Paypal: You can be BANNED and your money SEIZED based on what your CLIENTS do on Paypal. All Paypal needs to say is that the transaction was suspicious, and you’re done.
CLIFF NOTES: I have a transaction with a client. 2 weeks later (after money comes in my account), Paypal claims said transaction is suspicious and looks at our accounts. Claims mine is linked to theirs (it is not and I’d love to see the proof they claim). Both accounts closed. No chance for me to refute why their claim is incorrect. They hold my money hostage and now I’m unable to use their monopoly internet payment system.
I will update this post or add another based on the response I get from Paypal.
Update: Money was finally released after 45 days (early for them) but any attempts to contact them have been completely ignored. No answer emails, calls are put on hold indefinitely.