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Paypal - the company that's too clever by half

All it wants is control of your bank account



5:03 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

First off, let me say this probably does not apply to US residents.

If you are in the UK Paypal wants a Direct Debit - the ability to debit your bank account with whatever amount they want, whenever they want - and they'll go to great lengths to get it. And if they don't get it they have multiple ways to make your Paypal usage difficult.

That's not a big deal, surely? Paypal isn't your average hustler and isn't going to clean your account out, so what's the harm?

First, Paypal is not a bank and it's dangerous to treat it like one. Deposits in Paypal aren't covered like deposits in banks. Paypal isn't subject to the same strict regulatory regime as banks. Further, they are now Luxemburg based and even less accountable.

Second, and this is a big difference that people forget: If you cash a cheque someone gives you they can't cancel it a few weeks down the road. Paypal transactions CAN be cancelled and giving Paypal direct access to your bank is giving them an easy route out of any disputes. See #1: Paypal is not a bank.

Third, there are good reasons to treat them like you would a conman. Some of their modus operandi are highly suspicious. And that's what this post is about.

If you are UK based:

- Paypal will limit how much you can send people till you get "Verified"
- You can get verified via your bank account or your CC [paypal.com]
- Except that when you go to actually do the verification the only option is via your bank account.
- Hmm, but the info says CC. That's designed to take the emphasis off what is obviously their #1 intention
- To say bank or CC and give you only the bank option is a bit of a con in itself but let's say you give them your bank details
- They'll verify the account is yours but won't mark your Paypal account as "Verified" unless you give them a Direct Debit mandate.
- OK, so you give them the mandate to allow them to verify you and then remove it. Guess what - yes, you suddenly become unverified again!

They don't need to have direct, unrestricted access to my real bank account. That they are so keen as to be almost crooked in achieving that access is, I caution, grounds to consider them suspiciously.


10:19 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I don't think so mate.

I do think so, "mate".

Paypal [paypal.com]

I don't see them transferring that lot...only new headquarters

Your complacency with your finances seems to be matched by your ignorance about the facts.

then they Paypal, have to know who you are, and that you're not some mad bomber or Nigerian letter scamster or whatever

Ah, so you still haven't read the thread!


10:46 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

May 15, 2007

Paypal, has announced that Paypal Europe (Ltd) will cease functioning, as Paypal moves its operations to another Paypal entity, based in Luxembourg.

Paypal Luxembourg will be regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), the Luxembourg equivalent of the Financial Services Authority (FSA)

Paypal Europe to move to Luxembourg [platinax.co.uk]

Fact or Fiction ... You make the call...


11:39 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do think so, "mate".

Obviously you don't, simply as you don't know what mail I get. You are being silly. Paypal haven't sent me anything about a relocation, so you are so wrong to suggest that I or other PP users should automatically know about this - end of. And I'm betting that others have got no mail about this either. For some reason, you don't see how this is possible, well, that's your problem and not mine.

With regards to this authentication stuff, my understanding of banking procedure is way above yours. I'd put serious amounts of cash on the fact that ALL banks, merchant providers etc etc are only checking identity with the banks of PP users. PP users don't fully understand this request for information and are assuming that Paypal are somehow spying on their accounts. The rest is of the jungle telegraph nature - inaccurate rumours of criminal activity.

This thread is about Paypal gaining access to users accounts, so let's not pretend it's not. For the last time Paypal cannot take control of your bank account, and think it's very wrong for anyone to spread this rumour on a public forum, but what is more disturbing is for members here to insult my intelligence and also to invent absurd claims about the mail I recieve.

Madness lol.

[edited by: Helpinghand at 12:11 am (utc) on May 31, 2007]


2:28 am on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm in the US. I setup a special checking account for paypal with $100 in it. That is all they'll get.


5:06 pm on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

You've done the right thing by setting up a seperate account. I doubt Paypal will remove funds, as that would make it theft and thus would open up court cases worldwide. Not even Paypal could withstand such an onslaught from unhappy users and clients - it would hurt them badly.


5:23 pm on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Paypal haven't sent me anything about a relocation

You can't with any certainty say whether they sent it or not... only that you don't seem to have received it.

so you are so wrong to suggest that I or other PP users should automatically know about this

What I said was that Paypal emailed you to which you replied: "lol - I don't think so mate." You can continue to maintain they never mailed you but it's irrelevant really. All those who didn't get the email will still find the bold notice the next time they log into their Paypal account and they have to click past that notice to access their accounts.

New headquarters has nothing to do with billing, and hasn't affected my billing or payments or security in any way, shape or form

Considering your understanding of banking procedure is "way above mine" perhaps you can tell me how moving an account from a company that's under FSA control to one that's outside makes no difference to the security cover provided. Perhaps your suggestion is that the FSA is a waste of time and can be disbanded?

For the last time Paypal cannot take control of your bank account, and think it's very wrong for anyone to spread this rumour on a public forum, but what is more disturbing is for members here to insult my intelligence

My point has always been not that Paypal will take my money and run but that they are requiring on odious level of control for simple verfication and that once verified they won't release that control. To rant about that being a "criminal" claim does not come across as being the most intelligent interpretation. Again, I suggest you read the thread.


2:41 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

that they are requiring on odious level of control for simple verfication and that once verified they won't release that control.

If you want to panic or worry about this - that's upto you. But you won't panic me into anything.

I still don't understand this 'control' thing, don't actually care anyway and as far as I know Paypal aren't controlling me. I don't need to worry as my bank protects me - it's what I pay them for.

Thing is if you really knew anything of substance you would have mentioned it. This is just rumours that have reached you from a dubious source, it scared you and now you're spreading the panic is all.

Don't worry about it - life's too short lol.


12:25 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I notice you haven't taken my invitation to explain how moving out of FSA control altogether doesn't constitute a change in the level of protection.

When you get a minute could you sticky me the details of this bank that takes payment to protect you from things like unfair Paypal chargebacks and against Paypal going bust?


1:58 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

My bank doesn't take payment as such, but as a client, they protect my account from probing. Security is considered part of any banking service - just like it would be for a web service.

If your bank doesn't provide this standard service, switch banks now!

The basic service I and others have when using Paypal, IS NOT the same as a bank merchant service, where the bank does charge a hefty fee to provide it's merchant services. Paypal is different to say my bank's merchant services, is free and is why many use Paypal. For instance my bank merchant service would cost me 12'000, and is why I use Paypal - but my bank monitors my account for ALL activity, including debits, credits, who is making the transactions, amounts being credited etc etc, so I'm not worried.

Either way, a bank will cover you more than adequately. This security is just there - you don't even need to enquire about such services (It's provided when you open any account). Major high street banks are not in the habit of exposing customer's accounts so that anyone can withdraw funds, it would create problems for the banks and they would be out of business so fast because of it.

I don't know where you got this notion that banks are incompetent, but it's wrong and even more foolish to post about matters you really have no knowledge of. A quick phone call to your bank enquiring about security will soon tell you more than you need to know, and if your worried about outside agencies probing your accounts, I suggest you complain to your bank - they will sort it.

Banks know more about you than you realise, and the reason for this is to protect you! If banks aren't protecting clients, then something is seriously wrong - but that won't be the case.


3:07 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

but it's wrong and even more foolish to post about matters you really have no knowledge of

Only an idiot would believe that a company regulated by the FSA isn't safer for a UK citizen than an offshore company not under such regulation. So give us your superior knowledge of banks and confirm that a financial institution under FSA is safer than a financial institution outside of FSA remit ;)

Banks know more about you than you realise

My concern is Paypal, not the bank. Paypal is the company I don't trust. I've provided sufficient evidence here that things have changed at Paypal. And I've informed you of their move to an area of different financial, legal, accountancy and customer protection rules - something you weren't even aware of! I've also informed you that it's a new company, it's not under the FSA anymore and that a DD is not required for Verification - none of which you were aware of.

A bank won't refund you for money that's in your Paypal account when/if Paypal goes bust. As they are not under the scrutiny of the UK government anymore leaving any money in Paypal is about as safe as dumping it in a annonymous offshore bank account. Still probably safe .... but not as safe as in your local Barclays (with a government guarantee of part money back if they go bust).


3:45 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

PayPal needs some competition, there aren't any companies as popular as them and others that offer exact same services; if they would have some competition then they might have some more respect for the sellers, I got ripped many times (hundreds of $) as a seller.


5:35 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

leaving any money in Paypal is about as safe as dumping it in a annonymous offshore bank account. Still probably safe .... but not as safe as in your local Barclays

So cancel your Paypal account and use Barclays then. You keep ranting and complaining about how crap Paypal is and the FSA not worth a hoot, so do something instead of the verbal - it's much more usefully productive.

Paypal has moved over to another Country, there isn't really much you can do about this - so why keep bitching about it. You have 3 options:

Cancel Paypal account and use something else

Use your bank merchant service

Or you could waste more time with one-upmanship talk

You have provided zero evidence that Paypal steals money - none whatsoever, and it's because you can't. You'd rather chat about the FSA and turn it around on me, because it removes the attention off you. Don't waste you time.

For the record, I'm not an expert on the FSA, I never said I was an expert, infact few former bank staff have such indepth knowledge anyway - BUT, I know banking procedure of customer accounts, where as you don't. I used to work in a building society, and opened accounts for many customers, and part of my job was to explain the security aspects and reassure customers that the money would be safe - as it is in all banks.

Banks hire the top web, IT and financial experts going, and the system is pretty much watertight, not completely, but more than enough to stop an outside agency such as Paypal.

The FSA has been the regulator for financial services in the UK since I think 2001 - they have a strong interest in maintaining regulations outside of the UK, the FSA actively participates in this, so you can bet the FSA care about protecting consumers of financial products and services. Whether this includes Paypal - I don't know and neither do you.

I could contact the FSA and find out, but if I could find this information out then so can you. So why don't you do it, and it will solve all your issues won't it.

But then I'm not the one who is worried about Paypal - you are. This is why this is so hilarious lol.

Paypal can't get near your account.


10:39 pm on Jun 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Paypal burned me a year and a half ago, and they do not have any support like they say they do. When you do contact their "service" dept. or "support" dept. they send you a survey in the email because "they want to know if they were helpful". I answered four of those surveys, and talked to them for 5 months over the issue. They never corrected it, and I doubt they even read the survey. I distinctly requested someone to contact me in all of the surveys, and not one of them was answered. In one of them I specifically stated, just send me a reply in acknowledgment of this survey. They simply do not do what they say they are going to do, and they could care less about fixing a mistake they made. I refuse to use them, and I refuse to put my customers in a situation where they have to use them. Even with the limited usuage of ebay I do, if they are a seller that mandates paypal, I don't even bid, I will find someone that will take a check or moneyorder.


11:02 am on Jun 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

On the FSA issue: PayPal (Europe) Ltd is registered with the FSA as an electronic money institution. Registration number 226056.

PayPal's complaints process has to follow the FSA guidelines - if they're not doing that properly then you should be able to get redress.
(mod: permission for this link? it's to a government site)

Best, A.


11:07 am on Jun 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

LOL, it's funny how when people don't want to see the risks they just block out all the risky bits ;-)

andye, Paypal (Europe) Ltd is irrelevant. Your account isn't with them anymore. It's been moved [paypal.com] to a company that is not under FSA control and doesn't need to operate to strict FSA standards. That's all explained earlier.

The account looks exactly the same, seems to operate in exactly the same way, your previous login still works but, sorry, you won't get "redress" if something goes wrong because they don't need to bother about FSA rules any more.


1:54 pm on Jun 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

oddsod, it seems you're right.

It's now PayPal (Europe) S. r.l. & Cie, S.C.A. (PayPal Luxembourg), regulated by the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. They have a Luxembourg bank licence, i.e. they're regulated as a bank. Dispute resolution through the UK Financial Ombudsman Service is still available.

I can't say I see a big problem with any of this.

Paypal's customer service department has always been awful, I've taken that as a given in dealing with them. That's one reason why I don't do large amounts of business through them - but for the odd payment here and there, I don't see any reason for concern.

Best, a.


5:58 pm on Jun 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I can't say I see a big problem with any of this.

It moves from a company that's regulated in your country to one that's not and you see no problem?



11:56 am on Jun 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay Oddsod, you clearly have a major problem with Paypal, and that's fine, but you can't go around forcing your negativity on others. You are panicking others for no good reason, have little evidence on whether Paypal will rip businesses off to such an extent that it poses significant threat to every business on the web.

Yes, there were a few cases of transfer problems to current accounts, but this happens and doubt it was deliberate, and I haven't heard of anything major since. If such an issue exists, then it would be public knowledge the world over, you know like in the press! And Paypal just woudn't be used by anyone and will go bust very soon.

The majority of Paypal users are webmasters with their fantastic single page web sites, so I'm not worried about these being ripped off - are you? I hope Paypal does go bust, as will mean webmasters can't afford proper merchant account fees, sites will go bust, and the junk on the web gets cleaned automatically.

But by the sound of things Oddsod, your thoughts will soon be reality and there won't be anything to worry about as sites will be gone - like a big hole in the ground, swallowing up the trash. So I really don't understand why you are worried, because the problem you are so confident of, will solve itself. Wouldn't you say...

Self eradication of web junk. Wonderful.


12:24 pm on Jun 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You may have noticed that I stopped replying to your points because you have displayed an inability to read the thread, an ignorance of even the fact that Paypal is now a new company, a further ignorance of what the FSA does and that Luxembourg companies aren't regulated by the FSA, a propensity to pose as knowledgeable when all you have is probably just work experience making coffee at your local bank, an inability to tell the difference between a libellious assertion and a sensible warning, an ability to easily confuse between a warning of clearly increased security risk and ... negative propaganda about Paypal stealing everybody's money and running away in the middle of the night, and the general demeanour of a stooge who's not willing to consider factual material that conflicts with his self delusions.

And I won't start replying to them now ;)

Feel free to continue using Paypal, why do you even need to bother with replying in this thread?

This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49

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