Sunday, 14 February 2010

Problems with Paypal in France

My first client in the US, when I started my VA business, wanted to pay me via PayPal. This suited me, especially since the account was already set up from buying off EBay. PayPal came in handy again when one of our summer visitors, who at that time was moving from the USA to France and had no French bank account, used it to pay for his holidays. That was a big mistake! The relatively large sum of money he transferred showed on PayPal's radar and, back in July 2009, they blocked the account. Unfortunately for me, they allowed me to have funds paid into the account for some bits of writing I did, but they refused to allow me to withdraw funds until I could prove my identity.

Times are hard for us in the winter season here at Chez Belliveau, especially with the arrival of the Christmas credit card bills, so every bean has to be counted. Besides, it's not the principle, it's the money!

I have now sent PayPal no fewer than 15 separate pieces of paper saying who I am, but STILL they refuse to unblock the account. They will only accept certain documents in my name only and for one reason or another (joint bank account, utility bills in DH's name) I can't provide them. "Well, Janet, ring them up and explain", I hear you say!

I was hoping you'd suggest that – the saga continues!! PayPal have a computer which answers their phone and after you've keyed in the phone number you are ringing from (why?) and your file reference, you listen to that irritating Musak –whose invention was that? They should be shot at dawn. Bizarrely, they have a recording of somebody shuffling paper (I'm not kidding!) presumably to give the impression of the presence of a human being, then you are told by the computer that you have at least a ten minute wait before you can speak to anybody. Undeterred, I have sat through this procedure more than a couple of times now, only to finally speak to a "real live person", who had no authority nor discretion to bend the rules and could only repeat word for word what I have written on my own computer screen. No joy there then!

My latest attempts to unblock my PayPal account are a statement signed by the Mayor in our commune that I am who I say I am and I'm now waiting for a statement from the Social Security saying the same, which I shall then send onto them. Finger's crossed!

Once I finally get my hands on this paltry sum (I need it to pay the kids' canteen bills!) I shall close the account and join this website – I only wish I'd found this first!


Lesley said...

My God!! What a nightmare.

You've just reminded me - I came a cropper with PayPal last year when a merchant turned out not to be genuine.

Did I get my money back? Did I hell! They just ignored me after acknowledging my initial complaint. I'd forgotten all about it till now.

Hope it all works out well - and quickly.

Belliveau said...

It's a full time job trying to sort out all the cock-ups at the moment! and not all of them are mine! XXX