Dear PayPal – Please shrivel up and die

business and consumers, business cheers and jeers

I like paying for things with a credit card.  It’s typically pretty fast (especially with those merchants that don’t require a signature for
<$25 purchases). It's secure. And I earn travel rewards for every dollar I spend. So when it comes to the occasional purchase online that I can only buy via PayPal I cringe. Why? Because PayPal really really really doesn’t want me to pay with a credit card, and they’ll harrass me about this during every checkout, creating a user-hostile experience each and every time I use their dog-forsaken service. A friend recently lamented that it took eight clicks for them to buy something on PayPal.  That sounds about right.  You see, PayPal defaults users to paying from their bank account… so we have to search for a tiny “more funding options” link and then select the credit card, then be subjected to a long whiny please “Are you absolutely positively sure that you don’t want to pay from your bank account?  It’s really a better option yadda yadda yadda…” followed by a charmingly shifting yes/no set of buttons.

Look, PayPal, I want to pay by credit card.  I’ve told you this more than a dozen times.  I’ve also read/skimmed/ignored your stupid please-don’t-pay-by-credit-card notice more than a dozen times.  And, by the way, I’m well aware that you already pass on extra associated charges to your merchants when buyers pay by credit card.

So SOD OFF!  Either let me set “pay by credit card” in my preferences somewhere, or leave me the frack alone.

In the meantime, I’m hoping you go out of business, to be replaced by a company that doesn’t repeatedly spit on its users.

ADDENDUM / DISCLAIMERS:
– I work for Google, which offers a somewhat-competing service called Google Checkout. I use and like that service, but am not part of the Checkout team.
– My anger towards PayPal may seem heavy given the seemingly light-transgression described above.  But it’s just the last straw.  PayPal has a history of thumbing its corporate nose at its users, and I’ve had the displeasure of using PayPal for many years as a buyer and seller on ebay.

13 comments… add one
  • Greg Grothaus Jun 23, 2008

    I would agree.  I understand that their fees are higher, but it doesn’t affect paypal as they turn around and pass the fees on to the merchant.  I say, let the merchant harass you instead if they want.  Maybe paypal should offer a feature to the merchant of “harass my customers to get them not to use credit cards” or “I’m happy to pay processing fees, please let my customers be happy”.

  • Slaven Jun 23, 2008

    Haha, I thought I was the only one bothered by this “feature”, it makes me so angry every time I encounter it (which is several times per month). It’s gotten so bad that when a site insists on using PayPal for payment I actually don’t login to pay! And this is not out of spite, I honestly find it easier to fill out my credit card information and hit submit than to play PayPal’s hide-and-seek games – I just know that one day they’ll catch me out and a purchase that was supposed to be expensed gets charged to my personal bank account.

    I can’t think of another service that is so customer unfriendly that I avoid logging into.

  • Slaven Jun 23, 2008

    “Are you a PayPal member with an account linked to a card?  I usually find it easy to use them, and they ding my card as needed if I don?t have an account.”

    Oh definitely, but once you become “Verified” by linking your chequing account to your profile they will want to suck it dry anyway they can. They keep insisting you use the Chequing account instead of Credit Card to pay any bill – I think the reason for that is that as a customer you have very little recourse if you want that money back if the sale goes sour, but with a credit card you have many more options. PayPal would prefer that they are the sole arbiter when it comes to taking your money back, as then they can minimize refunds and charge backs = more money in their pocket.

    I remember about a month ago they went as far as making the “Yes” button (to use your chequing account instead of credit card) large and orange, while the “No” button was shrunk in size and light gray on white background. Slimy, slimy, slimy! After a few weeks they realized this was going too far and went back to traditional Yes/No buttons.

  • Pebbles Jun 23, 2008

    I really had to smile when I read your venting about PayPal.  That feature has ALWAYS bugged me too!  I want to pay for everything with my Discover Card because I get cash back on every purchase PLUS I don’t have to actually pay for anything right away.  I HATE the thought of PayPal immediately taking money out of my checking account!  I wish they would let me choose my credit card as my “default” payment plan.

  • Noel Jun 23, 2008

    I thought I would wet my pants laughing when I read your post about how much you hate PayPal’s insistence on trying to force you to pay from your checking account!  I hate that too!  I want the rebate cash back from my credit card, and the 25 day float for not paying for an item right away!  Are you listening PayPal????

    Probably not!

  • Adam Jun 23, 2008

    Hey Lea, I definitely haven’t tried to hide my Googler’ness :D… and I do try to mention that I’m a Google employee anytime there might be a perceived conflict of interest.  I also include info on my job/career on my lasnik.net site, but I admit that few are likely to be bored enough to check that out.

    Re: my PayPal gripe:  Wow, looks like I’m not the only one this annoys!  Keep the griping coming, and I’ll try to remember to Poke a PayPal Person to look at this thread when I get back from Germany in a week.  Thanks for all your supportive comments!

  • Adam Jun 23, 2008

    P.S.—Let this also be a lesson to all of you, my humble readers, who have now witnessed what happens when one posts while cranky.  Specifically, overly meanspirited titles :-(. I think (and have often lamented) that there’s not enough civility on the net, and I’m a bit embarrassed that I’ve just wished “death” on a company.

    I’m tempted to change the title to “Dear PayPal: Go sit in the corner until you behave!” but that’s a bit long. Basically, I just want them to shape up, not go away. Wish I had been a bit more tactful in voicing that earlier.

    Repeat after me: Do not blog when cranky, drunk, depressed, tired, or a combination of the above… 😛

  • Slaven Jun 23, 2008

    I agree about mean titles in general but this one definitely resonated with some of us… 🙂

  • Adam Jun 23, 2008

    Heh, no accusation inferred, Lea, so no worries :-D. And yeah, I totally know what you mean about contexts and such.  I think part of it, too, is that I don’t really talk about Google much anymore on this blog, nor much uber-geeky stuff.  Always good to get a bit of a break from tech when reading and writing when one is immersed in it all day!

    Oh, and hey, glad to have you as one of the most long-standing members here 😀

  • Yeh don’t worry they are pissing every one off, and cuttting there owne throat.

  • Jerry Loggins Jul 4, 2008

    I totally agree that it is an inconvenience to have to instruct PayPal every single time to take the money from my credit card and not my bank account.  Seems to me it would not be a difficult fix for them to do, but they probably don’t WANT to do it because of the fees that credit cards charge to their merchants.

  • Online Shopping US Jul 14, 2008

    Yeah, Adam, i agree wid yr post, i found lost of scammers around me, so i left d business over there, and now i started my business wid my own website, still scammers are all around me, a person frm an African country wanted to buy products using paypal, but paypal not recoginze dat person, how i could come to know, dat dis people are really scammers or my business. though, i’v facility for Google checkout also.

  • Brady Sep 11, 2008

    That annoying little habbit of trying to use your bank account first has cost me almost $100,  ONCE I forgot to change funding to the debit card and so my bank charged me for returning the paypal charges.  Now I make sure I change to my debit card.  But that is not enough, now I have had 2 cases of paypal trying to take money from my nearly empty bank acount instead of the debit card (from a different bank) after I jumped through the hoops of changing to the debit card, costing me $60 this time.  And of course paypal won’t do anything about it.

What do you think?