PayPal refuses to close my PayPal Account

This post was written by marc on September 15, 2004
Posted Under: Consumer Complaints,PayPal

In my continuing battle with PayPal I have sent them several emails demanding that they close my account and terminate the user agreement I have with them. They refuse to do so.

They have placed my account in a “Limited Status” which does not close the account. It gives them the ability to share my information according to their user agreement and to take money out of my account should they choose to do so.

Since they admit that they don’t want to do business with me then they should close the account – but they worn’t do that. They want to keep me under their user agreement and they want to maintain access to my checking account even after it’s clear they won’t do business with me.

After several emails from them I called them on the phone at their service center in Nebraska and talked to Dave and I recorded the phone call (1mb 9 minutes) so that everyone out there who has access to the Internet can listen to PayPal and experience what doing business is like in their own words.

After the phone call at the above link I got a call back from another person named Michele at PayPal – and – I recorded that phone call as well (3mb 25 minutes). This person is some higher up. In this phone call she admits that PayPal can still access my checking account. She admits that PayPal will retain access to my checking account forever – and she admits that PayPal still have access to all checking accounts that they have ever opened whether they were closed, linited, or locked.

This alll started on June 13th 2004 when Paypal limited my account and told me they were seizing my money for 180 days and that there was no appeal and that there was nothing I could do about it. However – they underestimated me and I had my money out in less that 2 weeks. Since then I’ve decided it’s my mission to expose what scumbags PayPal is and to warn consumers about using them. I also intend to bring whatever heat I can on them to stop their unethical business practices.

For those of you who have questions about if it’s legal to record this phone call, I will point out several things that make it legal.

First – They are in Nebraska – I am in California – so federal jurisdiction applies. That makes it one party consent.

Second – on the first phone call – the automated voice states clearly “This phone call may be recorded”.

Third – I was talking to PayPal – not to individual persons at paypal. All the conversation is in the context of business.

Fourth – on the second conversation – they were recording me without giving me any type of verbal warning or otherwise that the call was being recorded. When I asked THEM if they were recording the call – they admitted that it might be. So on the basis that they record calls that they initiate without warning people they call that the call may be recorded they are consenting through their conduct and waiving any rights to notification themselves.

Fifth – They already know I record phone calls with them because I have already done it in the past and they have notes about this sort of thing in their computers on me.

Sixth – even if it were illegal – it’s wrong for them to commit fraud – it’s right for me to expose it – and if it turned out I were legally wrong I would appeal to a jury to override the law and find me innocent anyhow. They call it jury nullification – I call it jury empowerment. Besides – such a charge would give this issue the attention it needs to stop paypal from ripping people off.

Reader Comments

If PayPal still has access to your checking account information, you are going to have to do the following. Go to your bank, explain the situation and request a new account number. It will more than likely be a pain in the butt, but that is the only way you can prevent Pay Pal from accessing your account information.

Written By Kirk Bramlett on September 15th, 2004 @ 4:11 pm

Great call Mark. One question I suggest you ask is this: Since they are holding your information indefinitely, against your will, then are they willing to be liable for any and all abuses of that information. For instance, if PayPal is hacked and criminals get ahold of your information is PayPal going to guarantee to reimburse and indemnify you for all damages incurred, including loss of funds and damages such as identity theft.

Also another example would be any utility company. If you end your relationship with the phone company, electric, water, etc. they do not retain your information for ever.

Written By PayPalSucks on September 15th, 2004 @ 4:50 pm

Allow me to continue. When you are asking your bank for a new account number, make sure that you request a new Debit / Visa Check Card as well. Also, make sure that you terminate all credit cards and any other checking accounts you have linked with Pay Pal and request replacment account numbers with the firm explaination of why. This will guarantee that Pay Pal has no access to any of your financial data. If you need any further assistance to bring these _________________ (fill in the blank with your most colorful adjective) down, do not hesitate to email me. Thank you for allowing me to post this.

Written By Kirk Bramlett on September 15th, 2004 @ 4:52 pm

Does anyone know if it is possible to just call your bank and instruct your bank to cut the relationship with PayPal? I understand Marc’s frustration but it as simple as telling your bank the relationship has been terminated?

I am closing my PayPal account tomorrow. But, I have only used it twice in four years. These people sound like bastards.

Written By tomocius on September 15th, 2004 @ 6:48 pm

Allow me to continue. When you are asking your bank for a new account number, make sure that you request a new Debit / Visa Check Card as well. Also, make sure that you terminate all credit cards and any other checking accounts you have linked with Pay Pal and request replacment account numbers with the firm explaination of why. This will guarantee that Pay Pal has no access to any of your financial data. If you need any further assistance to bring these _________________ (fill in the blank with your most colorful adjective) down, do not hesitate to email me. Thank you for allowing me to post this.

Written By Kirk Bramlett on September 15th, 2004 @ 7:05 pm

I think Kirk is giving good advice. Also, you should make sure your site is clear of Paypal links – you still have some on your “” pages. Considering those are the pages Paypal suspended your account for, they might decide to fine you for keeping the links there. Why are the links still there anyhow?

Written By MadBlue on September 15th, 2004 @ 9:37 pm

Have you considered filing a complaint with your local DA? I do not think despite their assertions that they can legally bind you to an account that you are no longer willing to maintain. I’d check it out. You know they have already been sued class action. They are in the process of settling the judgement against them now.

Written By xmas on September 16th, 2004 @ 3:16 pm

Clearly Mr. Perkel broke the rules of Paypal. Paypal wants to keep his information so he can’t open another account.
Seems fair to me.

Written By sad1820 on September 20th, 2004 @ 6:58 pm

“Clearly Mr. Perkel broke the rules of Paypal. Paypal wants to keep his information so he can’t open another account.
Seems fair to me.”

but is not fair they take his money just because you broke a rule give his money back and close the account… period

i close my account, i always knew paypay was asshole.

Written By mel00 on September 20th, 2004 @ 10:38 pm

I did all of this first thing this morning. My bank was very sympathetic. They said PayPal constantly double dips and reverses transactions. They were stunned when I told them of their soon to be finings. Someone needs to get a copy of the user agreement circa June 2001. I signed up then before payprowl was bought by eBay. I doubt 90% of the ‘restrictions’ were ever on there. My memory isn’t that good to remember 3 years back anyway.

Written By Cyberwuffy Ala Wolfe on September 22nd, 2004 @ 3:18 pm

BE CAREFUL OF KIRK BRAMLETT! He is harrasing users of eBay and has charges being filed against him in numerous states.
I could provide more info, but am skeptical at the moment.
This guy is a complete pscycho..

he runs under the eBay username silverbells12111 and about 50 others. ALL ORIGINATION FROM WMCONNECT.COM ACCOUNTS…
Look out for this freak..

St. Charles MO Police are going after him shortly.

Bramlett, Kirk
10 Bel-Rae Ct

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Written By Unknown on September 22nd, 2004 @ 5:48 pm

WOW! That was the best phone call i`ve heard in age`s. But the real issue is when paypal/ebay go`s under the hammer, they then sell your details to whoever, could be the mob for instance! what would then stop the new owners from doing the dirty and doing exactly what is feared by all. Paypal are obviously holding all the aces, lets change the game so the aces are the donkeys! long live pertel.

Written By BLIGHTY on September 25th, 2004 @ 3:41 am

I have a copy of the June 2001 Paypal terms of agreement

Written By gazberotten on September 25th, 2004 @ 9:49 am

More foolish paranoia.

“But the real issue is when paypal/ebay go`s under the hammer, they then sell your details to whoever, could be the mob for instance! what would then stop the new owners from doing the dirty and doing exactly what is feared by all”

Good Point! A multi billion dollar company could collapse, get bought by the mob, and then rob us all blind! Uhhhh Huhhhh.

But just to play along… nothing other than the fact that they would all end up in a federal prison stops any company from breaking the law mobbed up or otherwise. Then again in the same sense nothing stops someone from renting a bulldozer and leveling your house in the middle of the night…. in fact that’s probably more likely than the mob buy’s ebay proposition. The ability to imagine wildly illegal scenarios isn’t all that relevant to the real world.

In the real world, Petel is upset because what happened to him was legal and his own fault.

Written By fudge3 on September 25th, 2004 @ 1:49 pm

Heres waht iwant to know. What the heck do you do if they want to “limit your account forever” adn you ahve $1400 inyour paypal balance like i do and you cant access your funds! They gonna give me the same line of balony the gave him on the phone? There are NO open issues on my account yet they still have $1400 of my money Frozen that i cant access! They gave me an ATM card claming its just like a checking account, well no checking account in my life has ever taken and frozen $1400 of my money like freaking paypal. im suing them and going to my media freinds! There communists!

Written By Kevin on October 1st, 2004 @ 3:14 am

Just withdraw your money as SOON as you get it like me. There’s never any knowing what PayPal will do. They can’t withhold it once it has left their systems. (A few days I’d say).

Written By Duncan on February 23rd, 2005 @ 10:13 am

yes they can. they can reverse withdrawels. they took me for 4500 i was trying to withdrawel and they have it but i sued and got it and a lot more. everyone needs to get together and sue them till they file bankruptcy

Written By dt on April 14th, 2005 @ 5:26 pm

Hi, Paypal are holding my money and because I purchased item through my freinds account when I was setting up a bank account they have placed a hold on his account too. I only lost $54 but my freind has $470 being held. How do we get the held released. They keep telling us the same thing and will not release it no matter what we submit. Are they bound to give you the money back even if I do not now and send them the information they request. I am just sick of them. If I do nothing can they hold his money and never give it back? Can anyone help me?


Written By Shannon on May 12th, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

Thank you all for sharing. i also have a story on paypal. they limited my account acees, i have 900 in there. I have sent ALL THE INFO THEY ASKED, including faxes with lots of paperwork. Now they say: the account is limited and no apeal option whatsoever. What can i do? i am located in portugal. is there a way to get my money back?
thank you

Written By vera on June 3rd, 2005 @ 4:44 am

Just put a stop payment on all paypal transaction on your account. You don’t have to go thru changing your account numbers to your bank account. Changing your credit cards numbers is a good idea.

Written By Tara on July 20th, 2005 @ 1:34 pm

YES i hate paypal they have tokk a lot off my credit card info and all i wanted to do was sell some items off ebay but paypal had to but in and suspend my account for me making to much money WITCH IS CONCIDERED FRAUD TO THEM so i already shipped my items so i ahev loost a lot of money because i could not touch the money that was in my account. so this is what i have to say to paypal


Written By dellon on July 28th, 2005 @ 1:02 am

PayPal has limited my account—you know the rest of the story—they want my suppliers bill of sale and the phone number and all tracking numbers to people that bought from me—I have provided everything and still they will not give me my 165.00 thats being held hostage.

Written By Tony on December 2nd, 2005 @ 10:15 am

I receved a phony paypal rrequest to update my information or my account would be I did,,I am now a victom of idenity thieft!! I had to close my bank accounts and reopen everything new.Paypal responded by FREEZING my account,,I requested they just close it ,,,but you all know the rest of the story,I did not violate any terms of agreement with paypal but im being treated as though I did..I too will live in paypals communist system forever.Until a CLASS ACTION SUITE brings them to there knees!! lets get one started chuck pa.

Written By chuck on January 1st, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

i’m furious with Paypal right now, yesterday, i opened a new paypal account with another Mastercard, because they limited my other account! Hopefully not forever. But the minute i wanted to send money on my new account, they say that it has exceeded the monthly limit,but the book was only 13 bucks!!i have to wait for this expanded number to come then to pay the person, but the whole purpose of buying this book at the first place is to do a book report, wtf! If i don pay in time, i don think i can use it at all.
i called their so call”help centre”, they let me wait FOREVER, literally, and i still don have an answer, all i want to say is fuck Paypal

Written By fancia on January 5th, 2006 @ 1:43 pm

Paypal is by far the absolute worse company that I have ever heard of and delt with. I can not believe that a company is even allowed to do such things as what they do. They bastards froze my account and have cost me 1000s in business. I lost a really good paying customer because of them and am going to file suit. I too have recored two conversations with them.

Written By L.L.Hill on April 8th, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

Paypal have just limited stating my account is linked with my brothers account which was limited over a year ago… I like the way they waited till i had over £1500 ($3000) in there before they limited… should earn them a couple of hundred dollars interest by the time they release it i think (180days // 6months) Ummmmm… I think its about time one of us took this way further and get paypal taken down for good.

Written By TSJ on June 3rd, 2006 @ 9:41 am

About a year ago I closed my acct. at paypal with no animosity towards them or “Violation” against me and it made no difference, I got the same rigamarole and runaround that Marc got because of his “violation”. I just wound up changing to a new bank and completely closing all of my other accts. at the bank I did business at. You are the man Marc…KICK SOME PAYPAL ASS!My conversations with Paypal were almost word for word the same as these recordings.

Written By Stu on June 9th, 2006 @ 7:14 pm

Nice recording mate. Im having the same problem. I have a limited account and they wont close it. How exactly did you get them to send you your money? please email me @

Thanks in advance


Written By Matt on June 18th, 2006 @ 4:34 am

PayPal wouldn’t have to be so harsh were it not for all the scum-bag Ebay sellers.
I wonder how many of these frozen accounts were due to ripping off unsuspecting Ebay buyer’s…

Written By Recon on June 21st, 2006 @ 9:11 am

My paypal account was limited on the 7th of june 2006 and i have mailed and called several times with no help or good advice from paypal.
and they said they dont want to do buisness with me but failed to unlimit or close my paypal account.
i am only 16 years old and i am being linked to my brothers who also have paypal account but are legitimate users.
i have called the 0870 number countless number of times and even mailed over 50 times but still no help.
my account has being locked and i have being unable to even log into my paypal account.
my email address is PLEASE

Written By Zaina on July 19th, 2006 @ 6:44 am


Written By D on August 5th, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

Hi there. I came across your post when trying to find info on closing my own account. A buyer filed a complaint against me for goods not as described. However, this is not the case. True, you could say I have committed a lie ofmission, but then isn’t nearly everything a lie of mission of some kind? Nothing I’ve stated in the listing was actually false.

Anyway, she returned the goods then filed the complaint. Now the fact that I can’t refund her even if I wanted to as paypal have taken the money is one issue, and now that paypal have the money I strongly believe it’s their prorogative to pass that money on. then there’s the issue that the buyer undertook a campaign of deformation of character, posting comments on my blog (which I deleted but kept the e-mail records of the comments) and generally acting in a manner that is uncondusive to resolving the matter.

I have until 10 August to resolve the dispute, and at this moment in time I fully intend to do nothing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s paypal’s problem, they’ve done their ‘holding the funds until the dispute is resolved’ thing, so they can damn well pass them on to whom they belong. Hopefully on 10 August something will happen, be it that the matter gets dropped, or taken even further, but either way I’m taking the precaution of closing my bank account (just as soon as my most recent withdrawal gets there). some may say this is being awkward, but its paypal’s meddeling that’s screwed this up, there is no way I’m paying money from my pocket to issue a refund, when paypal have already taken the money that should have been refunded, which I then might not get back anyways.

Re: the whole keeping records of checking accounts, I think this is morally wrong. Even businesses, employment agencies and the like only keep data for a maximum of 6 years (here in the UK). For banks, I think it’s longer, but the records certainly aren’t kept as ‘active’. From what you’ve said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the paypal database of user’s accounts just keeps growing and is never ‘placed into storage’. As I see it, a bank account that doesn’t exist can’t be drawn from, and as it’s only a student account I was going to close it anyways.

Sorry for that rant, but as we’re on the subject of dissin’ paypal, thought I’d just add my bit. If you want to fix a problem, then don’t fuss about and become even more a part of it. Paypal don’t seem to have got that.


Written By Hussein Patwa on August 7th, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

Paypal just froze my account because some asshole told them he did not receive something I sent him two weeks ago. I have had 400 plus transactions with no problems. Paypal obviously is not loyal to people who have used them successfully for years with no problems. One joker can get your account frozen in seconds…What a shitty company.

Written By Chad on September 11th, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

Mark, I completely agree with you. I listened to both of your phone calls and realize now how much Paypal is both a scam to you and me and to the world. My account was recently limited due to me not having enough information to provide them. I have taken them off ebay as my preferred method of payment and switched to Bidpay. That seems to be working out much better for me. I appreciate you linking these phone calls as they really caught my attention.


Thank You For Your Information.

sincerely, Jon

Written By Jon on September 22nd, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

Would it be illegal to post the name, home address and home phone number of all the PayPal executives and managers on the internet?

I just ask because I really feel sorry for the low-level customer service reps who have to deal with all the angry customers becuase the higher-up’s at PayPal are a bunch of crooked ass-hat’s.

In my opinion, the only way to REALLY win a war, and permanently so, is to take the fight to the real perpetrators. Keep calling their home phone, send complaint letters to their home address, maybe even show up at their house and protest. Who knows…..maybe some eggs and spray paint, if the situation warrants it. If anyone should choose to organize such an event, please advertise the time and place.

Written By Fat Teddy on October 2nd, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

Im from INDIA & somemhow got into trouble by accepting a payment from a HONG KONG based client in my NEW Paypal Account. They held up my $6000 for more than 200 days & after sending them almost all the proofs that i was the one who actually owned the account nothing really happend. So i sent them a letter from my brother’s attorny based in Cali , finally that thing scared them & they paid meon the basis of $2500 per month, it took me more than 3 months to get my money……. Since then i have been posting my exprience evrywhere i could. my Suggestion , no matter what happens … NO PAYPAL …. NO NO NO NO NO PAYPAL …… had this kind of thing been in India , govt wud have closed it down much earlier..

Written By USER FROM INDIA on October 14th, 2006 @ 11:58 am

Please help!!! !!!

I opened new account on Paypal and sold 3 items on ebay, after PayPal put limitation on my account and froze $1000.00. I tried every thing I could , I added credit card to paypal, I gave them bank account info , I send them all tracking numbers . Now they say
That they want receipts from the place I got them. I don’t have them and never will, these were a presents from some one I am never going to see again so I am stuck.
I don’t understand who cares where the items came from as long as people received them and they are happy. It looks like they just want to take my money.
Please if any one knows how can I get my money from them or what can I do ???
Please let me know !!!!!!!!!!!!
I live in Canada

Written By Yana on December 18th, 2006 @ 8:10 am

I am glad you posted this recording. This recording definitely made up my mind, i closed my account. Thank you very much for posting this and i will help you in your crusade and post it on every forum i can think of.

Written By cisco on January 13th, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

hi, basically ive got $6000 frozen in my paypal account and i have to send a passport to prove my identifty. Only problem is that im 16 and underage to have an account. What will they do when they find this out? will i ever get my money back?

My other option would be to edit the fax of the passport to make me 26. and send that to them. Do they have access to a data base to search through passports and find out my age. I dont want to be done for fraud. Please advise me.

Please email me at:

I will give a cash reward of $100 to anyone who can give me advice on the best way to tackle this.

thanks so much guys


Written By sam jones on February 2nd, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

My account was frozen because Paypal, in all their wisdom, noted that I had a surname that matched someone elses!

They want me to send them copies of my passport and birth certificate to the US, I live in the UK and am sorry to say that I do not trust the US and do not trust that my information would not be misused.

I have complained to the FOS in the UK as I feel it is illegal for them to not close my account as requested.

Its disgusting.

Written By Carlos Rodriguez on May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:01 am

My PayPal account has now been limitation. They requested that I fax then a photo ID, utility bill as well as my most recent bank statement. At first I thought maybe some one might I have been trying to use the account but after providing all the info requested. I got this reply:

“It appears that you have participated in behavior that could be reasonably suspected of cash advancing or other potentially illegal activity. We ask that you immediately discontinue funneling money through your account unless you are receiving payment for goods or services and can provide sufficient evidence including, but not limited to, verifiable tracking information for such purchases.

This is your written warning.

Account Review Department”

Not a few seconds later this came:

“We have reviewed your PayPal Account, and due to the excessive risk involved, we would like to begin parting ways in a manner that is least disruptive to your business”

This really makes me wonder is PayPal make this shit up so they can steal my ID sine now they have my ID, CC, bank account. I’m left with no choice but to close my bank account and open a new one.

I work in the financial world and you have to properly disclose risk I think PayPal should have to as well. Cause this has been more risky than any investment I have ever done.

I find it funny Google not allowed to store your browsing history for x amount of time but PayPal can hold your personal information for ever.

Give me a break I’m happy I no longer live in the US because it is really turning into a joke

Written By Kris on May 31st, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

I have made over $10 thousand worth of transactions and now all these victims of credit card fraud are making charge backs. So now my account is in a big negative balance.

Are Paypal expecting me to fork out thousands of dollars for their lack of credit card checking? How can I be held responsible for this when I never even so much as saw the credit card number to make any judgement on whether it was legitimate or not?

They can throw debt collectors, lawsuits, or whatever the hell they want I am not paying up because of their poor credit card checking. I’ve had to change my phone number, shift all my bank account funds to another account, and cancel and renew my credit card because of these bastards.

They can shove their license agreements/user agreements up their arses. They are simply taking advantage of 99% of people who do not have the time to read every detail of it. It is not fair. If I wrote “The use of my service will incur a one million dollar fee.” in tiny writing hidden somewhere in my user agreement, does that make it fair that my users will have to pay this? Of course not, I was just taking advantage of everyone who didn’t read all of it, and this is what Paypal is doing to me, and thousands of other victims.

Written By Jackson Capper on July 4th, 2007 @ 6:45 pm

Being the biggest provider of the online consumer payment services, PayPal acts as a monopolist in this industry and allows itself to conduct dishonest and unethical business practices. Despite thousands of dissatisfied users and multiple class actions against PayPal, the company has never apologized, not even once, for its actions. As the result, I personally feel disgusting to have any relationship with that company.

Written By Greg on July 11th, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

I just got notice this morning that my account is limited due to some stuff I had sold on ebay that they deemed was in violation.

Now I’m being told they WILL NOT lift the ban on my funds for 180 days! They are holding $343 of My money and they reversed $120 transfer today!

I have since filed complaints with the BBB, Attorney General, Ripoff Report and FTC. Any ideas? Has anyone gotten them to successfully lift a ban?

Written By Kristen on July 18th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

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