This month, I’ve released my new website – TaraFlyArt.com – and my own Art Shop to the world.
Although I’m still adding items and making revisions, because I’ll never be satisfied to leave things alone.
I’ve gained 19 new fans this week, increased my page views almost 100%, and received sales for my Mr. Darcy Cat from brand new customers.
So Paypal takes this prime opportunity to temporarily suspend my account… pending a review.
So what the heck happened?!
It stems back to a very large business-related purchase I made in December, that Paypal royally screwed up.
….I haven’t blogged about it before now because I hate to whine and victimize myself.
People who parade around portraying themselves as perpetual victims really perturb me. You know the types:
They constantly have drama in their lives, and usually complain that nobody respects them, and everyone is trying to “get” them (i.e. sabotage their efforts).
They value your friendship as something rare and priceless… until you disappoint them in some way – thus “betraying” them.
Yeah. Those people.
And I’ll confess, the whole incident has been embarrassing to me.
At every turn, I felt ashamed… as if this issue were somehow my fault.. and I didn’t want to draw too much attention to it for fear of ruining my “professional image”.
Well, screw my image.
It’s within my rights to vent a little.
PP has ticked me off, and I think Pee-Pee is an appropriate abbreviation for them.
I used to hear horror stories about PeePee tampering with people’s accounts, but I disregarded them because my interactions with PeePee have always been convenient, pleasant, and professional.
It truly IS the preferred method of payment online; safe and secure… from scrupulous sellers wishing to steal your account info, or take your payments and disappear.
So what happens when you make a rather expensive purchase from an online shop (we’ll call it “The Canvas Co.” an assumed name to protect their innocence);
you complete the transaction, receive a receipt, and five days later greet the UPS guy at your door…
Only to discover, weeks later, a second charge has been initiated by PeePee for the same transaction, and is pending withdrawal from your bank account?
Well, when I logged into my bank account in January to view my statement, and found a pending charge via my bank debit card – for an item I’d already received weeks earlier in December – I immediately called my bank to inquire.
They politely assured me that it hadn’t been processed yet, and could still easily be cancelled on PeePee’s side.
My PeePee account, however, showed the money had already been processed (on their end) and had been forwarded to The Canvas Co. – who had rejected it, as their records showed the transaction had been completed.
There my money sat…
PeePee was keeping it in my online account, instead of refunding it back to the bank where it belonged… to cover my automatic, recurring bills that were scheduled to be paid any day.
A call to the PeePee Customer Service landed me squarely in an argument with a woman who obviously had her nose buried in a script.
I explained how the transfer was “still pending” at the bank, and to please cancel the transaction.
But she apparently couldn’t do that.
She asked me to read the tracking number from my Christmas package 3 times, to confirm it was, indeed, the same order.
And after putting me on the customary 45 minute hold, she eventually suggested that I could wire the money back into my bank account…
which would take approximately 3-5 business days.
She would send me a detailed e-mail giving me the instructions.
How nice. Thank you.
Lady, I’m only slightly stupid.
I do know about the button at the top of my account page – the one which says “Send Money” – and gives me the option of wiring funds to a bank account.
I’ve used it, and am well aware of how the process works.
I wanted her to STOP the payment altogether, or else immediately return the money which they immediately removed without my authorization.
We disagreed on that score.
For added ammunition, I called The Canvas Co. to inquire whether they had sent PeePee a second invoice:
No. They had not.
They acknowledged prior problems with PeePee’s unfortunate customers being double-billed for Canvas’ products, but the rep had never heard of an instance like mine.
According to her, whenever The Canvas Co. rejected these additional payments, PeePee refunded the money to its original funding source – the customer’s credit card or bank account.
I called the bank again, explaining my dilemma regarding PeePee’s refusal to replace the funds, along with PeePee’s suggestion that I simply wire the money back myself.
The bank suggested that I file a fraudulent charge dispute against PeePee, so any overdraft fees or issues that might arise as a result of my funds hanging in limbo, would be reimbursed.
I mean, this order from The Canvas Co. wasn’t a measly $10, $50, or even $100 purchase.
It cost me literally hundreds of dollars – money which I had acquired specifically to make this purchase…
I didn’t have a bottomless well of funds to cover this second unauthorized deduction.
The bank filed the dispute, the money was refunded back into my account, my bills were paid, and I moved on with my life….
Cut to: April – one week ago.
My local craft store, A.C. Moore, was hosting a huge sale, and my favorite brand of acrylics were discounted among other things.
I went shopping to replenish (and stock pile) on art supplies, and wound up with almost $100 worth in my cart. :)
The sale was popular, the lines were long, and only two of the six registers were open.
I actually knew a couple of the customers waiting in line with me.
The cashier rang up my order, I paid with my business card, and it was declined.
We tried again, and naturally she announced out loud that it was rejected again. “You should call your bank to find out why they’ve denied access.”
blah, blah, blah…
As the blood ran into my ears, blushing at this huge embarrassment.
Fortunately, I also had checks, which were accepted.
I went home and called the bank.
My funds were intact, but they had cancelled the card and issued me a brand new one, with a new number.
Why? “Because we noticed suspicious, unauthorized activity on your card”
…and they felt its security had been compromised.
It all pointed back to PeePee’s unauthorized charge from February.
Someone at the bank’s Dispute Center HQ had taken a second look at the incident, and decided the best way to block PeePee’s access to my account, via my bank card, was to issue me a new card. *sigh*
I wish they would’ve saved me the humiliation by sending a warning e-mail or letter to the effect – “We will be closing this card account. Please do not attempt to make purchases until your new card arrives.”
But, mmmmkay… a minor setback.
Then today I logged into Paypal…
to discover a notice saying my PP account had been suspended, due to their “investigation” of the unauthorized charge accusation against them.
The bank had restricted them from using my card, and their response was to shut down my account (blocking all ability to send and receive money from my customers) until they “reviewed the case”.
Well here’s the case, Paypal….
You took money from my account without my permission.
The transaction was already paid for, and was received into my house.
“The Canvas Co.” (*name changed) did NOT bill you another invoice weeks later.
They rejected your second attempt to pay them with my money.
You held onto my money in an online account, instead of reimbursing my bank card.
My bills are paid automatically via my bank account, not my PP account.
Having hundreds of dollars sitting in a different account does NOT help me, when automatically scheduled payments were due to be paid.
Please leave my money in my bank account unless I instruct you otherwise.
Please “review” your mistake quickly and remove the limitations on my account, so that I can resume doing business online, since sales are indeed picking up (and everyone has been brainwashed into using PP).
I’ve enjoyed doing business with you.
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Tara Fly is a Crazy Cat Lady who spends her time painting portraits of cats dressed in clothes, watching BBC costume dramas, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair.