I loathe, loathe, loathe Paypal and have since the day it launched

Paypal is consistently the worst user experience I have had since I first used the Internet in 1992.

Today the problem is that I’m trying to change the home address on my account. On Friday I bought a $29 iBook keyboard on eBay and the seller seems reluctant to send it to my office. (Packages seem never to arrive at my home: rants about UPS are for another day, but let’s just say lazy sacks of shit for now.) I’ve given the seller all my contact information—which with my name is plastered from one end of the Internet to the other so it’s not likely I’d get away with scamming someone for a $29 keyboard. But I figured I would just change my Paypal information to reassure him.

Anyway, I go to my profile in Paypal. I successfully add my new home address. I try to delete the old one because it is from two apartments ago. Paypal tells me in very annoying red letters “This address cannot be removed because it is associated with a credit card in your account. To remove this address, first remove the credit card associated with this address, or update the billing address for the card.”

No links in the error message directly to the page where I can do this. Fine. I go back to the profile page and click on “Credit Cards.” I select the credit card that is attached to the old home address and click “Remove.” Another error message: “You may not remove your back-up funding source while an instant transfer is still pending.” Never mind that there’s both a second credit card and a checking account attached to my Paypal account.

Fine. I click on the old address and click “Edit,” thinking I’ll change the billing address in Paypal for the credit card in question. The card is still valid. The bills are paid up. I just verified this in my card’s online account center. That card is good. I could buy a house with it right now.

Yet when I enter the three-digit verification code and change the billing address for that card, I get another annoying red stupid error message from Paypal, “This credit card has been denied by the bank that issued your credit card. For details on why your card was denied, please contact your credit card issuer’s customer service department. Or, you may want to try adding a different credit card.”

Online banking is easier than this, all my online account management for my credit cards is easier than this. Nearly every online shopping experience I have is easier than this. What the hell is wrong with the people at Paypal?

I managed to avoid Paypal for years because of these sorts of issues, but there are some people (masochists?) who refuse to take anything else.

Posted January 29, 2006

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