Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ebay and Paypal's Nonsensical Policies

Attention online shoppers: For Heaven's sake, please STOP using Ebay and PayPal! These companies are so poorly run it is virtually impossible for an online merchant to successfully utilize their "services" (and that's being generous).

Ebay and PayPal are dead-end destinations for vendors specializing in e-commerce sales, and in the opinion of this author, both have the capacity to kill new start-up firms by draining their human resources, which must be invested entirely into waiting on hold for a customer disservice representative to hang up on them once one finally manages to get them on the phone.

To start with, PayPal has got a set of some of the stupidest rules conceivable. For example, you cannot use the same email address for more than one PayPal account. You cannot add new email addresses to an account, even though there is a link on PayPal's site claiming to do just that. Unfortunately, PayPal creates a mystery password that if you want to actually log in using the new email address, you must first successfully guess what it is. Sure, they provide a field where you can enter a new password of your own choosing, but it does not work when one tries to log in using the new email address and password.

You cannot use the same credit card with more than one PayPal account, the same goes for checking accounts. Once a credit card is associated with an account, it can never be successfully removed from that account and added to another. If you wish to set up a second PayPal account for a different purpose, you must first activate a brand-new credit card to associate with the account. This is pathetic and beyond asinine on the behalf of PayPal.

Now onto Ebay. Ebay requires that all sellers have a credit card and checking account associated with their Ebay accounts. However, Ebay provides no mechanism for actually providing them with that information. That is correct, Ebay is apparently not accepting any new sellers, as there is apparently no place on the site to enter credit card/checking account information, and the company will not allow new sellers to actually sell without providing this information Ebay won't allow you to provide.

Naturally, customer service at both of these organizations is more like a disservice.

Both companies were founded by Meg Whitman, which explains why both are so convoluted and unnecessarily complicated.


  1. I hear you on this pete, but what should someone like me do? i get paid through paypal for work i do for companies abroad. accepting payment through my bank account is quite a mission. paypal makes it a heck of a lot easier. lemme explain. a bank in south africa, FNB, has an agreement with paypal. south africa does not allow receiving money through their system other than through such an agreement. that means if i don't use FNB with paypal, clients will have much more of a mission paying me.

  2. I understand where you're coming from, as I am in the same boat. I need to accept PayPal because too many customers use it to not accept it.

    That said, the site's basic functionality often does not work, and for the reasons stated in the post, the whole process of dealing with PayPal is tedious and a royal pain in the you-know-what.

    What can a person do other than also provide as many other options as possible and hope that eventually the competition swallows them up? That was a rhetorical question.

    However, in the case of eBay, I do not see myself investing (wasting) a whole lot of time and/or money into that company. Between the nepotism favoring older sellers, the sales restrictions on new sellers, the rudeness and the incompetence of the staff, it's just now worth the time, effort, money or business for that matter.


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