Paypal customer service has been nonexistent

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Apr 7, 2021
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I have had a paypal account for 15 years, and used it for countless transactions (thousands of dollars). My bank is connected, as well as credit cards. This year they limited my account, and require valid ID, which I provided. A US passport, a Real ID California drivers license, a social security card number, a credit card statement. However, all of these have a PO Box listed as the address. All my mail goes to a secure PO Box. Because of COVID, I lost my housing and have no bills that show proof of address, as currently I have no permanent residence. I gave up last year trying to remove the limit on my account. However, someone sent me $200, which Paypal will not allow me to withdraw. They will not accept all the Identifications I listed above. I now have spent all week and more hours than it was worth on the phone and exchanging emails with chat reps who don't read anything about the problem I am dealing and simply push forward formulaic responses. The level of ineptitude has been so great, that I waited a day for a response from one rep. who told me that my U.S. passport was expired. It expires in 2027.
I finally, on my own, called my credit card company, changed it to the address where I am staying and sent them a copy of a statement from the cc company. After several more email exchanges with a supervisor at Paypal (in India) which took 1/2 a day, he told me it wasn't acceptable. Finally he told me to change my address on my paypal account to match the one on the cc. I am waiting to see if that works.
First, I hope no one ever has to have a problem with Paypal which you can't just look up online. This has been hell. Second, How can they discriminate against people who don't have a permanent physical address? I
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
We have had a few successful PayPal cases like this where PayPal has erred in blocking an account. It takes awhile but using our company contacts and method of escalating the issue can sometimes work.

Here are our company contacts:

Here is how to write- follow the instructions exactly as it advises:

 
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Jun 24, 2019
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There are a number of categories about which PayPal can’t discriminate, race, religion, national origen, etc. Being homeless is not one of those. And I can tell you from professional experience that companies like PayPal have lists of suspicious addresses, which generally include all mail drops and post office boxes. Find a friend whose physical address you can use and switch everything to that address. You can then sign up for paperless service and just use on-line access.

I have friends whose residence address is legally concealed. Their driver’s licenses will report their address as Los Angeles Police Department or similar. They also run into the roadblocks you’ve encountered.
 
Apr 7, 2021
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thanks for your replies.
SoCal traveler, it too me days of wasted time with a ridiculously nonexistent customer service dept. to figure this out. I have had that PO Box address on Paypal for 16 years, and suddenly they flag it. I'm just confounded that security would be boosted by me adding an address of a friend--but for now, I could care less, because it worked.
Neil, I think you could add a few emails which I found to your list on elliot.org for Paypal in terms of escalating a case. I certainly sent a ton to them yesterday other than the normal customer service routes, which simply sent out formulaic replies that had nothing to do with my question. Did it work? I don't know, but a supervisor took over the email exchanges and wanted to resolve it right away, and actually began to give responses to my specific case.
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
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There might not be a quick fix here. But saying that there have been a few threads recently of people that followed this process that were very successful ( though they never learned why it happened, but got PayPal access back).
It sounds to me like you spammed a lot of letters at once. This is not the process.
Once you have the contact information, start at the lowest level, this is usually the customer service/care department and send your complaint. You want to give them five business days (Monday thru Friday, not counting holidays) to provide a response. Do not include any attachments, but instead offer to provide additional details if necessary, as some email providers may block emails with attachments.
This is one Email to the lowest contact on the list then wait a week then go to the next person on the list.

I can hear you saying to your self that if I do this it will take forever. Yes, it will take time . But if you do this you have a very good chance of getting your account unblocked.
The days of time spent are not wasted if a few weeks later your account is back.
There has been a lot of scams going on ( I think as Covid hit the crooks had to find new revenue streams, and online fraud was a good option). So I think this is why there has been a lot more interest in accounts details. Not just at PayPal but other online companies.
Also I was surprised that using a P.O. box on your drivers license was even legal ( in my state it is not allowed). Maybe that is part of it . Maybe PayPal does not understand it is legal to use a P.O. box as your license address and thinks that if it is not legal it is a scam.
To go back to an earlier point. There have been a few recent threads that followed the process stated in Neil's post, that were able to get their accounts back.

 
Apr 7, 2021
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I totally disagree with starting from the bottom. My problem is solved. Nowadays companies (and government agencies) don't address problems unless them are forced to. I spent roughly 20 email exchanges with Paypal over the week. The responses were so inadequate and formulaic, it was insulting. The person rejected me at one point, as I mentioned, becuse she misread my passport expiration date. Her supervisor, over the next string of emails, merely mirrored her inadequacy. I reached the escalation department on my own, and that brought in a higher up person, who was extremely responsive and timely. They spent countless hours of manpower to send worthless responses, when one trained person could have answered my question in 2 or 3 exchanges at most.
Again, after 15 years of being a customer, for them to suddenly flag me and freeze my account for no other reason than they changed their policies is terrible customer service. I won't be looking to use Paypal again.
Yes, Calfornia allows PO Boxes. Lots of homeless can only get by because local non-profits help provide this as their sole access to documents by mail. And PO Boxes are allowed on US passports too.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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Yes, Calfornia allows PO Boxes. Lots of homeless can only get by because local non-profits help provide this as their sole access to documents by mail. And PO Boxes are allowed on US passports too.
Your address is not on a US Passport (unless they have changed since I renewed mine in 2017) so it is only consequential for where the State Department mails the new passport.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
I totally disagree with starting from the bottom. My problem is solved. Nowadays companies (and government agencies) don't address problems unless them are forced to. I spent roughly 20 email exchanges with Paypal over the week. The responses were so inadequate and formulaic, it was insulting. The person rejected me at one point, as I mentioned, becuse she misread my passport expiration date. Her supervisor, over the next string of emails, merely mirrored her inadequacy. I reached the escalation department on my own, and that brought in a higher up person, who was extremely responsive and timely. They spent countless hours of manpower to send worthless responses, when one trained person could have answered my question in 2 or 3 exchanges at most.
Again, after 15 years of being a customer, for them to suddenly flag me and freeze my account for no other reason than they changed their policies is terrible customer service. I won't be looking to use Paypal again.
Yes, Calfornia allows PO Boxes. Lots of homeless can only get by because local non-profits help provide this as their sole access to documents by mail. And PO Boxes are allowed on US passports too.
Very glad your problem is solved. We do not advise exchanging many emails with low-level agents. Our method involves communications from Customer Service up the chain of executives at regular intervals. Customer service people and their supervisors cannot usually solve your kind of problem. But we have found it helpful to start with CS, then escalate using our Company Contacts. PayPal's a tough cookie to deal with, but we have many successful threads in the forum.

For the record, in the brokerage business we are not allowed to use post office boxes or mail drops on a brokerage account. If a new client does not have a verifiable legal address, we are not allowed to open the account.