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★☆☆☆☆

“Lives up to its reputation”

Written on: 28/07/2012

I was willing to give PayPal the benefit of the doubt, but sadly it lives up to its reputation.

Based in Ireland - fast becoming a hotbed of tired old dotcoms whose primary concern is paying as little tax as possible before being taken out by newcomers - it's one of those 'fingers in the ears' companies for customer service.

If you receive a timely response from PayPal, and that's a rare occurrence, it's a mixed blessing normally because the chances are they won't have answered your question. More likely, they won't know the answer and rather than investigating internally will divert you to a premium-rate phone number for you to do the work yourself. Which just delays you further, as you could have done that days before.

The voice recognition service is one of the clunkiest and poorly-thought-through I've ever used. Or perhaps it was deliberate - those Catch 22 questions that you can't actually answer but that also prevent you speaking to someone are guaranteed to reduce call volumes.

As a merchant with high volumes, good service is critical in the payments area, especially during the set-up phase. PayPal has undershot my already low expectations and the competition from Dwolla, Square, etc. can't come too soon.