Adventures In Stupidity

Today’s adventure is my recent experience with Paypal®.

I have been a customer or a user of Paypal for years. In all my time, I really have not had an issue where I needed to contact their customer service for any reason. I like most use them for Ebay® purchases. I also have used them for some other transactions. One time I tried their invoice service. It went off pretty much without a hitch. As I said, I never needed to contact anyone before – till now.

I made a purchase from a vendor I use consistently for accoutrements of electronic devices. (phone case etc.) Usually I buy an item at a time as needed. Pay instantly. Never have an issue. However, this transaction I purchased multiple items and put them in the “cart” for one final price. Hit pay, then closed my browser.

To my surprise when I received notification of payment the term “pending” appeared. “Pending what?” I murmured. Seems for some reason my payment is in a “clearing” process and the seller won’t receive payment for up to a week! Thinking there’s a mistake or something awry I go to my account and attempt to find more information. Let the stupidity begin.

It seems for whatever the reason my instant payment has been turned into an “echeck.” Come to find out these echecks take up to 7 days to clear. And, Paypal advises the seller not to ship until these checks clear. Fair enough. But I didn’t choose this!

I spent nearly 20 minutes looking through their “Frequently Asked Questions” resource trying to figure out what is going on. It would have been easier with less frustration if I were handed the book War And Peace and asked how many times if any the word pathetic was used. At least I’d have a fighting chance of coming up with an answer.

Then, as I would guess most normal people who went through all the trouble of trying to resolve such an issue on their own only to end in frustration, now decide it was time to hit the “Contact Us” button. And what greets you after you do this? “Have you tried using our FAQ’s help menu? You can imagine at this moment, like you, I am about to scream.

After typing in the requisite details I receive just the type of statement that makes it all just seem worth it. (paraphrasing) “We will respond promptly to your request – in 24 to 48 hours!” Are you kidding me? Really?…I mean, really!

I contact the seller and inform them of what’s transpiring on my end. Four days have now passed since I’ve made this purchase and I’ve yet to resolve the issue. One of the sticking points Paypal keeps recommending to me via their wonderful automated customer service is to have a credit card on file. This way you avoid these types of issues. Problem is…I do! Up to date information, current and was just used. Even their website shows no issues with my card on file. Verified and all. Yet – here I am.

Then I do what every frustrated customer would do after exhausting all other options. Call the dreaded “help line.”

I listened to nearly 20 minutes of (I’m paraphrasing) “Your call is important to us. A representative will be with you shortly. Have you tried our easy online FAQ’s center?” Then it went on and on. Over, and over again about “how easy” they make their service to use and why you should us their other services for business and more.

During all this time no one ever came on the line. I guess the reminder of: “This call may be recorded for quality assurance” is a moot point now. Because the recording would only feature their recording telling me they may record the recording.

As I’m waiting, looking at my computer, my payment status turned from pending to cleared. It was like a religious moment. I hung up the phone and if not for the windows being wide open, I might have broke into a hymn or song. If there was a moment of epiphany to be marked is was this: There is absolutely no way I would even think of Paypal as a first, second, third, or any other choice in expanding my use with them. Only if there was no other way available on this planet. Even then I would weigh my options.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, then comes the coup de gras…

I receive an email survey asking how my experience using their website to resolve my issue. While feeling purely indignant, I reluctantly decided to attempt filling it out. Maybe, just maybe someone might read it.

Every time when I answered the “rating” I was asked (paraphrasing)”Explain how we can improve this” after 5 questions I was spending far too much just typing. And I was being succinct! Not writing War And Peace.

Then I looked up and noticed the bar stating how much of this survey I had completed was about 1/3. Meaning I have 2/3rds more to go! Enough of this stupidity. I jettisoned the survey, closed my browser and ended the madness.

Which now by all accounts might be the exact response they wanted to begin with.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr