Saturday, December 21, 2013

PayPal Makes Black Friday Even Darker - Part III

You could call this my Christmas story ... at least it's about the buying of presents.

If you haven't done so you should probably read Part I and Part II.

Part II ended with PayPal telling me they were looking out for my best interest. Even though they clearly were looking out for theirs and if I happened to benefit that was okay with them.

That's when my argument with PayPal went to email and things really started happening.  I was contacted by Frank and in his initial email he wrote this:

Please accept our sincere apologies for this experience. While you are correct that we want to avoid fraud payments as a cost saving measure, we also want to avoid frustrating chargeback investigations for our customers. I know in this case our security system was wrong and I can certainly submit this case to our risk teams to see what improvements we can make to our anti-fraud rules.

I have admit Frank started in the right place, with an apology. He followed up with the acknowledgement that their fraud restrictions benefit them. He also used the word "wrong" which in this instance was a good thing.

What followed was an exchange of emails that lasted for 6 days. These emails consisted of me venting my frustration with the situation and Frank taking it all in and being extremely sympathetic to what I went through.

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't buying the sympathy. After all, why would a company like PayPal care about someone like me. I don't move large sums of money. So when Frank offered to make the whole thing right I was stunned! Frank actually offered monetary compensation to make up for the deals that I wasn't able to take advantage of.

Frank's offer created a significant problem for me. I was very busy grinding my axe. If I wasn't out any money how would I be able to continue to make PayPal the villain I wanted them to be? Here I was doing my best to make sure Santa brought them coal this year and what do they do? The right thing! This could seriously interrupt my plans.

Plus what if I do take the money? What will they think of me then? That I just was complaining on Twitter to get something out of them? I wasn't in this for the money, I was in this for the indignant complaining. I had no intentions of taking any money and ruining a perfectly good reason to complain to a well established company.

How dare they!

So I ignored the monitory offer and kept complaining. I have to give Frank credit. He was nothing but kind, understanding and sympathetic throughout the entire exchange. Eventually all that took hold and my anger subsided. With it gone I took the time to look at the situation for what it really was.

PayPal a very large company had made a mistake. A technical one that is understandable but even so, one that could have been avoided. I complained through social networking (Twitter) and they actually responded. Not only did they respond, they apologized and offered to make it right.

I on the other hand was still complaining. Why was I still complaining when they were willing to make things right?

That is when I stopped and that is when this Christmas story takes the classic turn and ends on a positive note.

While it wouldn't be appropriate for me to discuss exactly what happened I will say this. PayPal acknowledged a mistake, apologized for it and took steps to correct the issue. They went well beyond what a company of their size would be expected to do.

I was a big fan of PayPal before this whole thing happened. After seeing how it all played out I have to say that I am even more impressed with them. What they did is the mark of a good company and it's the kind of company I want to deal with.

So in the end, PayPal made Santa proud ...

Vilmos has been a standup comedian since 1992.
He created a web site with Podcasts by comedians.
He is the host of The Green Room which is the longest running Podcast on standup comedy.
He also hosts The Mentorist v2 and The Spew.
His web site is
Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter @vilmosthecomic.

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