What a familiar, friendly logo, right? Truth is, it’s NOT. This is a warning to artists, freelancers, online sellers, and EVERYONE who uses Paypal at all.
Recently a family member who has been doing freelancing work for several years moved from Finland to Canada. All of his freelancing payments were made through Paypal. At the time when he moved, there were several thousands of dollars left in his Paypal account. To our astonishment, his account was frozen as soon as he tried to transfer money from his new location.
Paypal explains this simply as: ‘he looked suspicious because he was logging in, and acting from a new location.’ Which is fine, really, we understand that. But how do we un-freeze the money? Short answer: we don’t.
Long answer: due to the fact that his account was connected with a Finnish bank, which was deactivated when he left Finland (for obvious reasons), and his action of attempting to transfer money from a new IP address, all of the money in his Paypal account are now frozen and cannot be accessed. That’s it. The money’s stuck in his account, we can’t transfer it, we can’t withdraw it, we can’t use it.
But what happens to the money, then? Well, since Paypal has terrible custom service (don’t send e-mails, they won’t reply you for weeks, and even then you won’t get anything sorted), I guess whoever owns Paypal will just hope that you give up on the money eventually so they can take it.
The thing is, Paypal doesn’t tell you this is going to happen. Their prime objective, as I understand, is to gain profit. And frankly, they do it through despicable means sometimes. Our family is by no means rich, and who knows when might we need those few thousand dollars frozen in that godforsaken service? Right now, the only thing we can do is to either a) re-open a new bank account in Finland b) go to America and open a bank account there. Either way, things are looking pretty grim.
I know there are a lot of artists and freelancers and people who do business via internet and Paypal here on Tumblr. And I just want to get the word out: IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON MOVING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY IN THE FUTURE, CLOSE YOUR PAYPAL BEFORE YOU GO. And PLEASE, for the love of god, transfer your money out into your bank or something. Whether it’s university, or actually changing citizenship, once you’re settled in another country, your chances of getting to your money in Paypal is slim, it could be frozen, it will be lost.
You CANNOT change your location on your Paypal account. This means if your current location is in Finland, but you are planning on moving to Italy or some other place, you MUST apply for an new account. And PLEASE remember it’s best to deactivate your old account, or at least transfer all the money out before you move.
Remember that Paypal can freeze or block you if they ‘think’, or ‘consider’ you to be suspicious. Since nobody really knows what qualifies as suspicious, Paypal can pretty much freeze anyone. Once that happens, you can kiss goodbye to your hard earned money.
Also, Paypal actually has the following written on their webpage concerning changes in their policies (in this case privacy policies):
You do not need to do anything to accept the changes as they will automatically come into effect on the above date. Should you decide you do not wish to accept them you can notify us before the above date to close your account(https://www.paypal.com/fi/cgi-bin/?&cmd=_close-account) immediately without incurring any additional charges.
What it basically means is that they can change their policies at any time, and your account will automatically accept them, whether you like it or not, no matter how ridiculous the changes are.
There are many more problems and potential risks when dealing with Paypal, but I won’t cover them since I neither have the experience (thank god), nor the time. But there’s some further reading at the bottom of this post.
I’m sorry this turned out to be such a long rant, but honestly, I am terrified and furious at this ridiculous service. I hope that I made some sense in this rant, and hopefully it will help someone to not fall into the Paypal trap. (Once you’re in, though, nobody can help you). Please reblog and signalboost this. Having someone’s blood money lost like this is the last thing I ever want to see. It’s despicable of Paypal and more people should be aware of this fact.
TL;DR: if you are planning on moving to another country in the future, please transfer your money in Paypal OUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE. If you don’t, that money is as good as dead. Also maybe re-read their terms and conditions and be cautious of Paypal in general.