Violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy
Last year in August, in a depressed state I regretfully joined (what was advertised as) a non nude, 100% legal website. I joined for some harmless titillation and paid a few pounds to join for one month. I had come across the website years ago and it was once a free forum that had links to file hosts.Membership was for access to a server the site now owned (which explained the charge for membership).
After paying through paypal I gained access to the members area expecting clothed modeling or “bootyshake” dancing videos etc. Instead what I found was mostly pornographic and potentially illegal content.
That’s not what I wanted or expected and immediately closed my account and deleted the files I had partially downloaded. I was shocked by what I had seen and reported the website to the authorities. I would have never imagined that websites in violation of paypal could trade through paypal. I guess if I had found the website a week later without paypal, I would have never have trusted/joined the site and wouldn’t be in this mess!
I then got the dreaded email from paypal:
“It has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use
Policy regarding your transactions.
We have detected that the website/s you were purchasing from is/are in
violation of our Acceptable Use Policy. The severity of the violation is
such that any linked accounts will be closed.
You will not be able to use PayPal for any future transactions. An
appeal is not available.”
I attempted to contact PayPal via their web page and was met with the same “copy and paste” message over and over again. All questions were met with the same blanket response. I then rang their call centre where the staff were more friendly and understanding, however they referred me to email email@example.com saying that only that department could reinstate my account. I was beginning to feel hopeful that Paypal would acknowledge my embarrassing mistake and give me my account back.
I sent a couple of emails through the website that got ignored and a couple directly to firstname.lastname@example.org who just replied with the same generic response. I even asked direct questions in my responses that were not answered. You cannot call this department either which makes them appear faceless and their replies are robotic almost.
I can live without using paypal and ebay, which is all I used paypal for, but here is where their dominance really comes into force. Online shops sometimes use paypal as a checkout method. I used my cards a couple of times to buy health foods and now they have been banned. It’s really starting to feel like a harsh penalty for a genuine mistake. I can’t shop online for nearly anything now!
Apparently there are many ways of setting up fake accounts to use with paypal, but I’m not interested. I just want to be a normal person with my genuine account back. In all the years I’ve used paypal, this was the only issue with my account and I would have hoped that with my explanation that Paypal would show some compassion and understanding.
The sad thing is that there are success stories of people having their accounts back again. It would appear that you either have to contact the right person on the right day or make enough noise. The biggest concern for most people is Paypal holding onto account funds for 6 months; an immoral practice that didn’t affect me.
I have continued to send emails every now and then which have either been ignored or met with the same generic response.
So here it is. My embarrassing experience of joining a horrible website that has landed me with a lifetime ban. I still hope that some day I may be able to resolve this issue and have my ban removed. For now, my message is to warn everyone to be very cautious about using paypal for anything that could land you in a similar position to me. I would go as far to say that people should not use paypal at all if this is how they treat individuals. I guess we are like ants to them with no importance.
For now I will have to shop on amazon and hope for the day that either my account is reopened or a more customer orientated company rivals paypal and it’s services (which is doubtful).
P.S I checked on the website months later which is still selling memberships now through different methods. The webpage looks different, but still sells their content as non-nude, 100% legal, which is a clearly a lie. I’m not going to mention the website as I do not want to promote its services in any way, but I will continue to report it to the authorities.
Posted: April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm