At this point, I am at least as interested in punishing PayPal for their poor customer service as I am in getting my PayPal account turned back on.
I just submitted this article to Article Pool, which will distribute it to hundreds of web sites across the Internet. This will be just one small contribution to damaging PayPal's brand name and hammering eBay's already beleaguered stock price.
PayPal Lies to Customers
PayPal does not read or respond to email from their customers. If you respond to an email from PayPal, you will receive a message that states "We want to help you but we're not able to respond directly to emails sent to this address."
It is appalling that PayPal claims that they are "not able to respond." This conjures up images of hundreds of PayPal employees trying to use Microsoft Outlook but being unable to figure out how to use the pretty icons. Perhaps PayPal should invest in employee training.
PayPal's automated email goes on to say:
"If you can't log in to your account, you'll need to:
1. Go to the PayPal website.
2. Click "Contact Us" at the bottom of any page.
3. Click "Contact Customer Service."
4. Click "Continue" and follow the instructions."
The trouble is that this is a complete bald-faced lie.
I have spoken with many PayPal customers who have told me the same sad tale: PayPal does not monitor that message queue and they do not respond to customer requests for assistance filed via that form.
Today, I finally had a PayPal representative admit to me that they do not check that queue unless the customer calls them on the telephone.
PayPal was born on the Internet, yet their customer service department is unable to use either email or web forms successfully. The only ways to reach them successfully are telephone and fax.
Unfortunately, PayPal gives their telephone customer service representatives so little authority that they are almost completely useless. The representatives they place on the telephone do not even have the authority to transfer your call to a department that can help you.
Their fax system has worse problems. Numerous PayPal representatives have informed me that it takes 48 hours for them to attach faxes to customer accounts. Once that process is complete, the faxes go into yet another holding queue -- waiting to be read by a customer service representative. Unfortunately, that queue is also not likely to be processed unless you call PayPal on the telephone.
Calling PayPal on the telephone is an exercise in patience. PayPal's IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system is horrible. In my own personal experience, it successfully understands my voice commands less than 50% of the time. The system is totally useless at providing any useful service to the customer and simply adds additional hold time to each call. It is simply a method PayPal uses to discourage their customers from calling.
PayPal's customer service is so horrible that a Google search for the phrase "PayPal sucks" returns 249,000 results. That represents almost a quarter million PayPal customers who are so unhappy with PayPal that they have taken their complaints to the Internet.
PayPal's parent company, eBay, is no stranger to unhappy customers. There are over three million search results for "eBay sucks" on Google. eBay stock is currently priced at less than one-quarter of it's value at the end of 2004.
Until PayPal and eBay understand that they are in the customer service business, their corporate growth will continue to stagnate and their shareholders will continue to suffer the consequences.