PayPal - Trap for the inexperienced. Caution

    This post is based on its own mistakes in working with PayPal, and is a warning to those users who have not fully understood its features. I hope someone will benefit from my experience.

    I have been buying goods on Ebay for quite a long time (for several years now) and since payment there is possible only through a stick, then naturally I have an account there. I have several cards attached to it (intended for online payments), and a bank account for withdrawing funds (my foreign partners from time to time throw out money). Otherwise, I am not particularly familiar with PayPal. As they say, it works, it works well and conveniently. The account was in the "Personal" category.

    Recently, the service has begun to actively promote the transfer of an account to the “Corporate” category, praising new opportunities. I was seduced by the possibility of several users working in one account. I wanted to connect my wife to my account. Unfortunately, nowhere was it told about the problems with such a transition. On the contrary, it was stated that you can change the account category at any time. The transition to the corporate account went without any problems, they asked for the name of the company and something else, I don’t even remember now.

    The problems started in a couple of days. The message came that access to the account is limited, and you must provide legal documents to the company. But I don’t have any company; accordingly, I cannot provide documents. I decided to go back to the "Personal" category. As it turned out, it is impossible to do this quickly . To begin with, somewhere else, in the interface, there is no button “Lower account category”. Search for help on the site according to the words “Downgrade an account category” does not find anything. A search on the Internet found the opportunity to send a letter to technical support with a request to lower the category of the account. The letter was accepted, promised to be contacted within 24 hours. Immediately came an automatic letter from the text, which became clear that, in principle, I was on the right track.

    Excerpt from the letter
    Для изменения категории счета:

    1. Войдите в свою учетную запись PayPal.
    2. Нажмите на значок шестеренки (Профиль).
    3. Затем в нижней части страницы нажмите:
    а) Повысить категорию счета до корпоративного, или
    b) Если вы хотите понизить категорию счета до личного, нажмите Связаться с нами в нижней части любой страницы PayPal

    To date, a week has passed since the first letter was sent (I sent the same letters three more times), and I have not received any reply except for letters.

    So, what situation am I in now?

    1. I do not have the opportunity to use my account when shopping on ebay and accordingly I can not use ebay in principle. Had to go on Aliexpress.
    2. I can create a new account, but I can not link a card to it, because it is tied to a blocked account. In the meantime, the account is blocked to untie the card is impossible. The same goes for the bank account.
    3. It is also impossible to close a locked account. Even with zero balance.

    In general, the situation is stalemate. I can neither close the account nor use the new one until I provide documents that I don’t have. I’ll not be able to return to the old account category, because support simply does not respond.

    I would like to ask the developers of this service, if they are present here a few questions.

    1. Why is the translation into the translation of an account into the “Corporate” category occurs BEFORE the verification of documents and necessary data? Although, for example, increasing the limit and other operations are performed only after checking the data.
    2. Why it is impossible to close an account with a zero balance? No financial transactions occur.
    3. Why it is impossible to untie the cards and account from a blocked account. Again, no financial transactions occur.
    4. Why such difficulties when returning to the “Personal” category ( although I already doubt that this is even possible ). This is a lowering of the category, and no new profits are received by the client, and no additional data is required for this. What does tech support consider when sending emails?

    In general, this whole situation is very similar to the planned money trap in the account. In such a situation, it is easier to throw the balance on the account, close the linked cards and accounts, change the phone number and mail, and open a new account, taking into account the experience gained. The balance on the account, of course, remains to the cunning PayPal.

    UPD. Perhaps I can answer my own questions. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, but everything’s very likely.

    The comments said that this is a known and old problem. Somewhere since 2011. Why PayPal does not solve it. And it is beneficial to him.

    In Russia (and I think in the world) it is popular to use PayPal to run your small business. For example, buying goods in the same China and selling it. PayPal is very convenient for running a small business (for example, settlements with foreign suppliers, and sales on the same ebay). While the turnover is small, the “Personal” status is quite enough. But now the company is growing, there are already quite large sums in the account of the stick and the limits on the operations of the personal account are no longer enough. The IP or legal entity is issued, and the account on the stick is translated corporate. And here is a “pleasant” surprise.

    The account is blocked for the duration of the verification of documents. For the period from a week to a month.
    Required. For all. This subtlety is not mentioned anywhere in the translation of an account type. Yes, and it happens not immediately, but after a couple of days. Everything with the supplier to pay nothing, the business goes downhill, the image is lost. But the money is blocked only for the client; for PayPal itself, they work in some bank. Bring interest. This is obtained voluntarily - a compulsory interest-free contribution. Roll back, that would at least withdraw money to other accounts, or somehow save the situation - but in any way. Consider a request to lower the status of the account will also be in the same month (interest must run up). And PayPal is chocolate. Now imagine how many people around the world are transferring their accounts to a higher level, and understand why this PayPal transfer advertises so much.

    UPD1. The end of the story.
    I still managed to get through (hung on the phone for about half an hour). Stick again pleased me. First of all, PayPal has no complaints against me. Well, it did not work out with the corporate level, well, okay. Please can return to normal. Further fun - WRITE A LETTER TO THE SUPPORT SERVICE. I was just stunned. I wrote three letters. Yes, they say there are such letters, but the text does not match the template, so we did not consider them. DO NOT CORRESPOND TO KARL TEMPLATE. Show me on the site this template !!! .. I am not TELEPAT yet. Well, the girl came across a good one and sent a template to my mail. Here is the magic text.

    In view of the erroneous transfer of my account to the “Corporate” category, I ask you to lower its category to “Personal”.
    This account will be used only for personal purposes and I will not accept payments as the provision of services and goods.

    Magic in the last two lines. Without them, letters are not processed, but the most interesting error in the test letter is not reported. They are simply discarded. This letter will be considered for at least 11 days, so I hope that in a couple of weeks I will be reduced to a bill. Although, what is there to consider is not clear. I have no complaints, but it is necessary to blink.


    I decided to bring together all that was written in the comments.

    So there are two sides. I am a PayPal user, an individual and PayPal, a seemingly serious international company. I have a personal account in the PayPal system, it is verified, I passed a full verification as an individual, there are linked cards and a bank account. These elements are also fully tested. The experience of using the system is several years.

    The main complaints expressed to me in the comments are that I submitted an application for transferring my account to a corporate account, having attentively read the license agreement and presented myself as a legal entity. Perhaps they are right. But as correctly noted in the same comments - and you always read the agreements and agreements very carefully by signing them. But okay, we think that I'm wrong, and carefully read the legal agreements PayPal.

    2.1. Types of Accounts
    PayPal provides two different types of Accounts: Personal Accounts and Corporate Accounts. The user can not own multiple accounts. By opening a Corporate Account and accepting the conditions set forth in this Agreement, you acknowledge that the Account created will not be used for personal, family or household needs, and also confirm that you do not act on behalf of an unnamed beneficiary. Only legal entities and individual entrepreneurs are entitled to open Corporate accounts. By opening a Personal Account and accepting the conditions set forth in this Agreement, you acknowledge that you are not acting on behalf of an unnamed principal, third-party beneficiary or beneficial owner.

    Here is my mistake and I admit that I was wrong, I didn’t watch it. But read on .......

    2.2. Verification
    You can open a Corporate account only if you have passed the Verification. The restrictions set forth in Section 2.4 will be applied to the Personal Account, depending on the passage of the relevant Verification. For more information about PayPal Verification requirements, see Section 3 of this Agreement.

    The question arises why I was provided with a corporate account without having checked and did not make sure that I was a legal person. In principle, I should not have changed the status of the account until all documents were received and verified. It turns out PayPal (I repeat - a serious international company with a large staff of lawyers) violates its own legal agreements. What can we say about me, legally illiterate user. If the company kept its own rules, the situation as I simply would not have arisen.

    The second hot topic is account lock after account transfer. I honestly searched on the website and in the legal documents for any warnings that the account would be frozen at the time of the audit. This is nowhere to be found. Also on the site and there is no any information about the possibility of returning the status of the account to the "Personal". As suggested in the comments, this is a known problem and it has existed since 2011.
    It would seem, what is simpler (even for me - a person far from web design), when you click a button - go to the corporate level - show a window with a warning that during the data verification the account will be blocked, the funds will be frozen, there will be no possibility of unbinding payment cards, as well as the fact that the procedure to return to the status of "Personal" takes a long time. What would the user could stop, transfer for example money from the stick account to the bank account, and generally prepare for this procedure. It would also be logical to put a button in the account properties “Apply for a downgrade to“ Personal ””. Clicking on it would open a window with a form to send this request. It seems that there is nothing contrary to the law in this, and it does not require large expenses.
    I wonder why PylPal does not. There are two options from my point of view. The first is conspiratorial. It is profitable for a company to lure customers into such a trap, and this benefit exceeds losses from dissatisfied and departed customers. The second - personnel. Marketers of the company are complete morons and they should be fired in a crowd. I do not know which option is more correct.

    Well, since the company PylPal does not want to warn its customers about their problems, I will do it. Maybe it will keep someone from thoughtless steps, and even help to avoid financial losses.

    • Before moving to the “Corporate” account level, think about it - do you really need it? After all, its benefits are actually small. It does not give advantages in the limits of operations and on the balance of the account, and it adds a few new functions, creating a bunch of new problems.
      A. What is the difference between Personal and Corporate accounts and how to change the category?

      Personal and Premier accounts provide the same functions, so we distinguish only two types of accounts: for personal use and for commercial activities.

      The Personal account is suitable for individuals to:

      • Send and receive payments.
      • Make secure payments at eBay auction and trading companies' websites using a bank card.

      A corporate account is suitable for merchants who use the company name for sales and purchases over the Internet. The account of this category provides all the same functions as the Premier, and also allows you to:

      • Work under the name of the company.
      • Manage users, which will allow you to give individual access to employees of your company.
      • Get access to a PayPal solution, such as Express Payments.

      Note The

      limits for receiving and sending funds are the same for all categories of accounts.

    • If you still decide to go to the corporate level, be prepared for the fact that your account will be frozen and blocked for a period from a week to a month. Operations with funds and linked cards will not be possible. I recommend to withdraw money from the account and untie all the cards from the account before moving to the new level of the account.
    • To return to the “Personal” level, you must write a letter to the support service. To do this, click the “Need help?” Link at the bottom of any page on the PayPal site. On the page that opens, select “Write us.” On the letter form, select the “My account” topic in the drop-down list, select “Change account type” in the subsection, select the option "Downgrade account category." In the body of the letter write the following text:
      In view of the erroneous transfer of my account to the “Corporate” category, I ask you to lower its category to “Personal”.
      This account will be used only for personal purposes, and I will not accept payments as the provision of services and goods
      Letters with other text are not considered. After sending the letter, it is better to call the support service anyway and make sure that the letter does not cause any complaints. After all this, you can safely fold the pens and wait for PayPal to process your letter (at least 11 days).

    Enjoy your work with the "wonderful" company PayPal

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