PayPal Suck For Online Workers

Online Worker, Does PayPal Suck As a Payment Method?

“Please help me understand why PayPal sucks so bad”, said an online worker to the PayPal community. I’d translate this to “Why PayPal, why? Why do you do us so bad?” Like the voice of the afflicted pleading for mercy and emancipation.

A lot like WPS Office, it started out so good, the best actually, then they had to go on and make all these updates. Now PayPal is a pain in most people’s backsides but they still keep growing. Why? They force sellers on eBay to set PayPal as a payment option.

That wouldn’t be much of a problem if they weren’t big fat thieves who torture people for fun. “I moved to the Netherlands from the UK ten years ago, and was quite happily (well as happily as it ever gets with PayPal) using my UK based PayPal account, with a UK bank account… My account was limited when I had taken nearly 2,500 GBP in payments over a short period… In case I am a money launderer!”

Convicted to Digital Handcuffs

PayPal acts like a criminal investigator without doing any of the investigation. Convicted without a cause is the common charge. The conviction usually being permanently limiting your account. No transactions can take place either to or fro, neither can you delete your account… Call it digital handcuffs… Good thing you can just set up another account, as long as you don’t use the same bank account details you used in your now limited account. But who would want to, when you’re dealing with such a condescending, self-glorified dictator with a “wachu gon do?” *puckered lips* attitude?

Their terms of service basically says that they can do whatever to whomever for no reason and we all click “accept”.

“We may, at our discretion, impose limits on the amount of your balance that you can convert or the number of conversions you can perform… We may, at our discretion, impose limits on the amount of funds you can send, including funds you send for purchases…”

What’s More… Holding Funds for 180 days


Not to mention how they withhold funds for 180 days or longer for no apparent reason, or so I thought. They actually use people’s PayPal balances to do investments and clearly state that you will get none of the profits. “I will never use Paypal again. After being a loyal customer for over 3 years, one day they decided to place a 6 month hold on my money for no reason. I couldn’t access over 20k in my account which I needed to pay my bills!”

The desperate calls to PayPal are numerous but their only answer… a cold shoulder.

Triggers To PayPal’s Actions

To be fair though, there may be some things that trigger PayPal to act so unreasonably:

  • If you violate PayPal’s user policy. E.g. by doing illegal business or a business that’s legal but not approved by PayPal.
  • Receiving an abnormally large sum of money into your account compared to your average. Contact PayPal ahead of time if you’re expecting a spike in received payment(s).
  • If they smell something fishy that makes them deem it fraudulent activity on your account. They’re practically hyperosmic!
  • If your background history qualifies you as high risk/unreliable. E.g. a bad credit score
  • When someone files a complaint to PayPal about your business.
  • When someone logs into your PayPal account from a different location. You know because us humans are stationary beings that never move.

Quick Illustration. True Story

Online Worker

  • Your account is not fully verified/up to date. Which reminds me of another story:

“I’ve had a paypal account against my will since 2011. That sounds weird, I know, but let me explain.

I signed up for paypal mostly to buy stuff on ebay and to pay for various DLC on I used to think it was safer and more convenient than typing in my debit card info each time I wanted to make a purchase.

For about a year, everything was fine and I had no problems. Then my debit card expired. Just gotta update my information, no big deal, I’ll be done and ready to go in 5 minutes, I thought. Ha, how young and naive I was…

I logged in, went to add my new card and update my billing information (since I had moved a couple months earlier). You’d think this would be extremely routine user activity, you know, the way it is with everything else, but apparently changing my information tripped a paypal security measure. Suddenly my account was “limited”. I could no longer make purchases, change any of my information, or even delete my account.”

  • You’ve had a series of chargebacks on your account. According to PayPal, a chargeback occurs when a buyer asks their credit card company to reverse a transaction that has already cleared.
  • Your website has questionable content. Keep your dark stuff in the dark web please. Better yet keep it out of your life but that’s all up to you and how dead your conscience is… None of my business though *looks away*

Website Interface and Update Refund Policy

PayPal is known to be cheeky with their website interface too. Depending on the country, they change the UI and even hide the “Manage Currencies” button that allows you to change the currency. This results in having to pay in your local currency so they get to charge you the conversion fee as well as the transaction fee.

PayPal isn’t too concerned with solving issues either; they’d rather just limit your account and ask questions… never. With an almost non-existent customer service, you’re practically left to your own devices. On top of all that inconvenience PayPal happily offers, they updated their refund policy as well. Now you don’t get a refund on your transaction fee when transactions are reversed. This is fine if it’s a one-time thing, a few dollars lost, not worth a rant. Unless you’re doing business and this happens often. Especially for reasons out of your control like:

  • The buyer gives you the wrong address then requests a refund due to the delay.
  • The shipment gets lost on its way and a refund is issued.
  • The buyer decides to change their mind on the purchase.

PayPal Funds Transaction Effects on Online Worker

Despite it taking too long to get your cash in hand (up to two weeks if it’s going through the bank) and like it wasn’t expensive enough, now they’ve set up an inactivity fee. It still has some benefits. The fact that it’s popular makes it easy for most buyers to purchase your products/services. A lot of freelance websites place it as the only mode of withdrawal. PayPal could also offer some amount of protection from fraudulent transactions.

Alternative Funds Transfer Methods

But, if you’re right about done with PayPal as an online worker, here are a few options you can consider,

  1. Payoneer
  2. Transferwise
  3. Stripe. Pound for pound better than PayPal in every way although only available in Canada and the US. You can however accept payments from any country.
  5. Apple Pay
  6. Google Pay
  7. Amazon Pay
  8. 2checkout
  9. Shopify payments
  10. Dwolla
  11. Skrill

I’d advise you to approach these payment doors with caution. Examine your needs thoroughly and do ample research on each payment option to pick the most suitable for your specific country and situation.

As an online worker your “life”, so to speak depends on a reliable payment system. Without this, your job is basically a hobby and will eventually turn into a source of frustration when your bills come home calling.

So be wise and get that rice!

75 thoughts on “Online Worker, Does PayPal Suck As a Payment Method?”

  1. Amazing content. I am here wondering if I will get my money due to reasons named above. Thank you

    1. Thanks @Evelyn, we are glad that you found it helpful and informative. It is debatable! Many Online workers says that their dispute resolution process is painfully slow.

  2. Paypal is a pain in the flesh. They treat all freelancers like “potential thieves.” A little “suspicion” and they slap you with unneccessary holds and limitations. They must work on their user experience before they lose a larger size of the market.

    1. I totally concur with Martin. Paypal have been like the elephant amongst the big five in the online work space/jungle, for a long time. They need to listen and improve the user experience. Else, its tusks maybe chopped off and the elephant may bleed to death.

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