Let's assume you are customer of an online bank with no branch offices. Not that unusual nowadays, isn't it? Then let's assume you make most of your online payments via PayPal - easy and fast transfer, fast shipping: Just one or two days faster than the well-known bankwire transfer. I think these criteria should match on many of us. But what if one of both services (your bank), ideally responsible for transferring money to the other service (PayPal), messes something up? Sounds strange but this is what has happened to many customers here in Germany during the last days. Finally, I was affected as well. A true story!
Starting with as bank error
The bank of my choice has been the Comdirect, an online subsidiary of the Commerzbank. No hassle, no worries - since many years my salary is deposited there. All other things are paid from this account, for example a car loan, the classic rent for the house or - well - even the PayPal-stuff. Now let's assume that a technical problem in the online payment process of the bank occurs and every automatic bill payment is being withdrawn. Sounds weird? That what has happened from June 3rd to 4th, causing some monthly bill payments not to be executed. At this time I could live with this error as it just caused monthly payments to our daughter's accounts that were cancelled. The bank did react and informof this error - fortunately, rent has made its way to our renter.
A bank account being swiped off PayPal
Usually, this would be the end of the story. Unfortunately, the effect of this malfunction in the banking system caused famous PayPalto seemingly go mad on their customers. Out of the nowhere I got an e-mail today stating that the last PayPal-transaction I have made could not be processed via my bank account. PayPal's solution: Without further feedback or customer contact, the service swiped this bank account out of my account, charging my credit card instead. Hey, thanks for that!
Would be nice if I had the chance to react in any way. Of course the same account cannot be added again. All that PayPal tells me when trying to add it again is some kind of error. When putting this issue on Twitter asking for the possible reasons I found some fellows who had the same problem in connection with the bank's error and PayPal.
The Bank reacted well!
The bank did (which I had not a single problem with over all these years) reacted fast and answered on Twitter, blaming PayPal for this issue.
Fellow Users, same Problem
Another user told me that he was already in contact with PayPal and that there's no automatic solution for this case. Instead, he was told to send a copy of his ID card together with a bank account statement. Anyway, no one stated how long it would take to get your bank account running again with PayPal.
As it comes to this state, I am stuck in an dead end. At least if I don't want buy new stuff and pay via PayPal. I may do so, but everything will be withdrawn from my credit card account instead from my bank account. Usually, I like when payments are made instantly and try to use the credit card for all those monthly bills like Xbox Live, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.
A statement of PayPal is still overdue and at the moment I begin to understand the opinions of some other people who start to refuse the service. PayPal is convenient, fast and all the goods I buy online are paid instantly so that the seller can instantly ship the stuff. But what has been a big advantage over all these years seems to turn at the moment: PayPal has gotten fat and seems to be sure of its payment-monopoly, having the force to wipe a bank account from your account without any further investigation.
I am quite curious how this case will be solved (and when) - still PayPal is remaining silent. As for myself, I will draw my own conclusion out of this issue and cease to use the service until an official statement makes its way to the public. Errors may happen and in times of progressing digitalization, they WILL happen. But it's up to every company, every service how to handle these errors as it's finally the customer who is at the end of the line. If the price of using PayPal is being dependent from a service that wants to play with the big banks and remains silent when problem occur, I'm out here.
Comfort is great, but I don't want to pay this price as long as I feel like having tried to cheat regarding my financial situation. This is what stands between the lines of the PayPal-mail (which is automated, of course!) and makes me reconsider the further usage of this service!