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Old 05-21-2010
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Post wtfJeans story - how PayPal almost ruined our business

We’re small company (just my boyfriend and me) producing limited edition jeans.
Since we’ve planed to produce and sell only 1000 pairs, we thought that PayPal would be just fine for us, since we’ve already had business account there.

We were selling jeans online, on our web-shop, and less than a 48h after the sale has started, PayPal has blocked our account. Was it because we’ve sold about 150 within 48h or something else – we don’t know. They’ve simply blocked it. We weren’t able to receive money or to take the money. Blocked completely.

We’ve called the PayPal straight away and asked them where’s the problem? They’ve explained us that by the PayPal’s policy it is forbidden to take pre-orders if delivery period is longer 20 days. That was one of those things you don’t think about, because you haven’t read the small print in User Agreement :(

We’ve asked them is there any chance to resolve that problem or we’ll have to stop our business. It turned out that PayPal sometimes makes exceptions with the trusted clients, but we’ll need to give them “Proof of the origin of the merchandise” to unblock the account. We’ve sent them that document straight away and they’ve unblocked the payment possibility on our account within a few hours, so we were able to continue the sale. But, to completely unblock the account we were suppose to send them some more documents.

Of course, we were sooooooo wrong. :(

We kept working like that for 2 months. We were sending documents, sometimes they’d say they haven’t received them, so we would send again. Or they’d just say we shouldn’t call and that they’ll reply within 48h. And they wouldn’t of course. And so on, and so on…

Two weeks ago, they told us that they’ll call our clients to see have we delivered the merchandise (the jeans). We’ve been waiting for couple of days, checking our account few times a day, hoping it will be unblocked, because that was the last thing to resolve on their list. They haven’t replied, as usual, so we called just so they would told us they weren’t able to contact those 5 randomly chosen clients and asked us to contact the clients via mail, and to forward them (to PayPal) their replies.

I felt awful! Thank God our clients are mostly nice geeky ppl who know how PayPal’s “business policy” and all of them have replied to me within a few hours. So, we forwarded those mails and we were able to resolve the last thing on PayPal’s list for unblocking the account.
The next day we received the call from a supervisor from PayPal named Francine, who ORDERED US TO CANCEL ALL THE ORDERS!

We’ve told her that we’ve been working 24/7 for the past 5 months on this, that we’ve invested all of our savings, and even borrowed money from our family. She didn’t care about anything we said. She was ruthless. Her respond was that we haven’t read User Agreement carefully enough, and that she can’t believe that they (PayPal) have left us working for 2 months and that it’s not normal, and that she doesn’t understand how could’ve that happened. However, I couldn’t persuade her to unblock our account and she requested me to cancel all the wtfJeans orders which were scheduled to be delivered in September.

It was our mistake that we were taking pre-orders, I admit that. But they’ve tricked us saying that they do make exceptions sometimes, and they’ve unblocked our account so we could continue to sell our jeans, just so they could make us cancel all the orders after two months, and they’re charging us now TWO times for the service they haven’t provided. Once for receiving the money and the second time for sending the money back to clients.
But, that’s not all.

These few days we’re fighting that PayPal returns the money to some of our clients (about 120 of them).

When transactions are older than 60 days, it’s not possible to use that simple cancellation form. In these cases there’s a special form on their site, but when you full-fill it, unfortunately there’s no proof, no written trace that you’ve done it. We’ve made those requests about a week ago, but our clients haven’t received the money yet. Today we’ve managed to get some answers, but nothing good: they (PayPal) told us that they’ve received requests to return the money to only 3 clients (what happened with the rest of 120 – don’t know). But when we said: OK, but have you returned the money to them, they said they didn’t! And they wouldn’t say why.

At the moment, we’re implementing new payment gateway into our web-shop, and we’ve opened the merchant account at La Banque Postal . We’ve contacted all of our clients whose orders we had to cancel, and all of them who have replied, told us just to let them know as soon as we implement a new payment system. And they’ll come to order jeans again. We’ll be back in business within a next few days. But we honestly don’t know what will happen with the money of our clients which is frozen on our account. :(
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Old 05-21-2010
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Wow, what a story.

I'm surprised paypal let you go as far you did and your customers being so patient.

Live and learn I guess, there are plenty of other ways to accept payments online.

Good luck!
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They are ruthless! Your story sums Paypal up perfectly. Good Luck with your new merchant account and business.
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Old 05-22-2010
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The newest thing is that yesterday they reviewed our case again, asking us for some new documents (which are btw illegal to ask in France) and they couldn't believe it when my partner told them that we don't want them to unblock our account, that we just want them to return the money to our clients.
A guy from PayPal was totally confused!

Idiots!

First they order us to cancel all the orders and now when we've canceled half of them, they're reviewing our case again.
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Old 05-22-2010
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Welcome to paypal.
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Old 05-22-2010
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^^ nothing more, nothing less
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