Some Things That PayPal Needs to Understand

Paying for something online should never be more difficult than entering your information and your credit card details and hitting "Submit."  There should be no "Hey, we noticed that you entered an e-mail address that corresponds to an account in our system, so we're going to put everything on hold until you link the card you just tried to use to your account."

Nor should there be a "That card you just tried to link to your account has a billing address that doesn't match your existing billing address, so we have to call you." issue.

Nor should there be an attempt to call me on a phone number that I haven't had for seven years.

Nor should there be a stubborn refusal to accept what I'm telling you is my actual phone number because "that doesn't match our records."

And once all that nonsense is wrapped up by a convoluted series of waiting for automated phone calls that never come, entering 4-digit codes and verifying checking account numbers, there should never be an infinite loop in which the invoice page leads to a "check to see if all this information is correct" page, which leads back to the invoice page, which leads back to the "check to see if all this information is correct" page, ad infinitum.

And nor, once one logs out and logs back in again, and attempts to pay the invoice for the umpteenth time, should there be an outright refusal to process the payment, saying simply that the card I chose cannot be used for this transaction, and would I mind terribly taking it directly out of my checking account?

And, upon becoming understandably frustrated at PayPal's inability to process a simple debit card transaction, there should never be a 15-minute wait on hold with no indication of when calls will be answered.

And, upon reaching an actual customer service rep, that customer service rep shouldn't be clueless as to procedure, telling me that the financial institution is declining the transaction when transactions many times the size of the one in question have gone through without a glitch.

Nor should that customer service rep continue to be clueless when I ask whether it might have anything to do with the handful of random transactions pending on the account, each of which is for $1.00, which is not the amount I'm trying to process.

Nor should the customer service rep try to tell me that closing my account is not possible because I have a balance of $1.95 and I need to either transfer it to my bank (whose information I had just deleted) or spend it.

Nor should that customer service rep become combative when I ask him to escalate the issue to his supervisor after telling him I don't believe it should be a prerequisite to have to find something online that costs exactly $1.95 and buy it before PayPal will close my account.

No.  The correct behavior was exhibited by the numbskull's supervisor, who closed my account after asking if I'd accept a check for $0.45, which is my balance minus $1.50 service charge.

Not everyone is interested in holding up something as simple as a credit card transaction so that PayPal can achieve its corporate mission of aggregating everybody's financial account information in one place, presumably to make it easier for identity thieves to not just drain bank accounts, but max out credit cards as well.  Coincidentally, this is an identity thief's wet dream. and nothing that any security expert or corporate manager will tell me is going to convince me that it's a good idea to let ANY entity that interfaces directly with the Internet to have carte blanche access to all or most of one's checking accounts and credit cards.  So PayPal should make it easy to say, "You know what?  Close my account, forget my information and - you know what? - forget I ever existed."