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Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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Bazzinator
Contributor
Posted on

Recently PayPal stopped showing your running account balance on either the screen view or the PDF generated reports. This includes the "Balance Affecting" view and the "Balance Affecting" reports.  Upon contacting PayPal about the issue, I have been informed that they have decided to no longer show your running account balance on any screens or any reports other than a csv report download. The CSV report download is the most cumbersome way to obtain balances, as you not only have to queue up the report and wait for it to generate, but to make any sense out of it you need to open it with Excel and move all the columns around to make things fit. I'm not sure why PayPal thinks this is a good idea, unless they are trying to hide something.

 

I'm sure this lack of transparency must be illegal in many countries, although I am having trouble finding if there are account reporting standards for financial institutions that include the need to be transparent in balance reporting. This not only makes it difficult to reconcile our PayPal account, it makes it easier for a dodgy PayPal employee to start skimming funds from people's accounts. I am wondering if the decision to stop showing balances was taken by such a dodgy employee who wants to make it easier to defraud account holders. Many people don't balance their accounts anyway, and if PayPal make it even more difficult to do so, even fewer people will balance their PayPal accounts, making fraud by PayPal easier to commit. 

 

As usual, when contacting PayPal I was given no explanation as to why this decision was taken. Hence, my concerns over their motives.

 

If anyone can shed some light on this I would be most grateful. Meantime I will be downloading the CSV file and thoroughly checking our balances, and I will be contacting the financial regulating bodies in Australia over what appears to be an attempt to avoid being caught out in some existing or planned account skimming plan.    

16 REPLIES 16

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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biomedigital
Contributor

I have been in contact with them as well as this is one of the stupidest, anti-user-friendly things I have ever seen! What bank/payment provider stops you seeing your balance affected by transactions?! I can't think of a good reason why this has been done. An alternative to Paypal is now required.

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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Bazzinator
Contributor

I'm used to PayPal doing stupid things and also used to their copy/paste answers to questions, but I believe that this time they really have decided to remove the balances. It also happened in November 2020 for a short time, and after several attempts to get one of their people to take the time to actually look into the problem, I finally got a smart one. They put in a request higher up and the balances were restored within hours.

 

This time however, after finally getting a smart one I was given a case number and told that things were getting fixed and expected to be fixed by 28th February. I asked why so long this time and was told that the problem was more complex than the November issue. I then contacted Executive Escalations with the case number and asked if there was any way of speeding it up. The reply I received was a simple "Unfortunately, the running balance will no longer be available.   If you want to view the balance impact of any transaction, you will need to  download the Activity Download report by clicking on the Download option in your account."

 

I then responded again to the smart one in standard customer service about the open case and I told them what Executive Escalations had told me, and they looked into it and came back with "Its was finally cascaded that the service that provides running balance filter information for merchants has now been fully phased out."

 

So it would seem that they have indeed decided to no longer show balances. I can only think of one possible reason for this, that someone at PayPal is setting up to defraud a lot of people by making access to running balances difficult. 

 

The case number that I was given, originally set to be completed by 28th February was CSTS27941. Apparently this is now cancelled and not being looked at by their "IT expert" (yes singular, they apparently only have one).

 

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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Machineage
Contributor

What complete and utter BS from PayPal, but not in any way unexpected. I have tried for weeks now trying to get a resolution to this. I have threatened to withdraw my £2k+ balance, grains of sand to them. Absolutely HATE PayPal, and their disgraceful fees for a despicable service.

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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ElleF2
New Community Member

Yes, so evil, what is going on? I could see it in 2021, and now I can't!

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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vandersleen
Contributor

It's time for an alternative!!
PayPal's statements are not readable.
They do this on purpose, there is no other explanation possible.
PayPal is not made for the customer; it is a revenue model for themselves.
No self-respecting accounting firm accepts the lack of a balance sheet of funds.
Now all my customers simply pay me with a bank transfer.
And what I appreciate so much is that my customers trust me.
What are the added values of PayPal?
Selling points are: paying is done instantly and reclaim options.
But what you get in return is irritation.
I absolutely don't spend any more time decoding their statements.
I have my doubts whether their statements are really legal.
I wouldn't be surprised if their lawyers have looked for a hole in the law.
I am also sick and tired of their copy/past answers.
Once I asked a helpdesk employee to give short and direct answers, instead of evasive ones.
Guess what she said: "We always do".
The illogical and redundant menu structure on the screen gave me the last push.
Good Bye PayPal !!

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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Bazzinator
Contributor

An update to this. After getting nowhere with PayPal we submitted a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. We clearly stated what this was about, ie PayPal removing balances from the All Transactions (Balances View) and the PDF Reports. Further, it was about the suspect motives of the PayPal employee who organised to remove the balances. 

 

Now to show you how PayPal staff don't take the time to fully grasp what is written in front of them, this below is the PayPal representatives summary of what they "thought" our complaint was about.

 

PAYPAL RESPONSE:

"You have contacted us expressing concerns with regards to change in policy with regards to the information displayed on the homepage of your PayPal account..." 

 

PayPal removed the balances from the homepage a long time ago and we had no issue with this because the balance was still available in "All Transactions" using the "Balance Affecting View" option, and also in a PDF report if you don't mind waiting for one to generate (sometimes over a day). I guess PayPal got a lot of complaints when they removed balances from the homepage, so the lazy person responding to our latest complaint just assumed this was yet another complaint about that decision. NO PAYPAL, READ THE COMPLAINT, UNDERSTAND THE COMPLAINT, INVESTIGATE and RESPOND APPROPRIATELY.

 

The complaint has now been escalated with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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biomedigital
Contributor

I think this should stay up until fixed

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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Bazzinator
Contributor

The saga continues.

 

The Australia Financial Complaints Authority was lead to believe by PayPal that this complaint related to the display of balances on the homepage, and so they advised me that they were investigating the complaint with a view to whether PayPal is complying with its own "Terms and Conditions". I have clarified the complaint with the following information....  

 

------------

Your summary of your understanding of the complaint is incorrect. I will attempt to clarify the main areas of concern below.

 

  1. You say in your understanding of the complaint that it is to do with PayPal removing the running balances from the “homepage” of an account.

 

Clarification:

PayPay removed the balances from the homepage a long time ago, but left a number of ways to get a running balance. It was not a problem.

 

The problem arose recently when PayPal also removed running balances from a) The Detailed View, b) The Detailed View with filter for Balance View all Transactions and c) The PDF Statement Report. I have attached two images showing where PayPal have recently removed the running balance from the “BALANCE VIEW” screen and from the PDF statements.

PayPal Dodgy PDF Statement.pngPayPal Faulty BALANCE View.png

 

  1. The CSV report view is the only way now to get running balances, and it’s not only “cumbersome”, it doesn’t even work half the time. I have attached an image “PayPal FAULTY Report Request” showing that half the requested CSV reports don’t even generate.

 

PayPal FAULTY Report Request.png

 

  1. PayPal have stated that “the service used by PayPal that provided customers with the running balance filter information has been phased out.”

 

This does not get to the heart of the question. My question is “Why has it been phased out if not for some nefarious reason”? Running balance reporting is a way for customers to keep a track of their accounts and ensure there are no errors. The problem with PayPal accounts is that many people using the “service” do not keep a good eye on their balances, and by systematically removing running balances from all sources, PayPal are hiding possible errors from a large portion of customers who won’t go to the trouble of queuing and requeuing CSV reports, downloading them (when they work), opening with Excel and adjusting the columns so they can see the balances.

 

  1. The main reason for the complaint was not to ask whether PayPal is complying with their own “Terms and Conditions”. The reason for the complaint is to ask if PayPal is complying with Australian Law. I do not have access to all the legal requirements for financial institutions, and so I am asking you for help in this matter.

 

It seems to me that there would be some law in effect that prevents a financial institution from hiding information that enables a consumer to reconcile balance errors. It is obvious from the actions of PayPal in the systematic removal of this crucial information, that they are attempting to obscure the account reconciliation process. I realise that PayPal may be simply trying to lessen the load for their support staff who have proven themselves to be extremely incompetent, but the decision to “phase out” a system designed to aid in account reconciliation could also be an attempt to skim funds from the accounts of millions of unsuspecting customers.

 

What I am seeking essentially is advice on whether there is a law in effect that protects consumers of financial institutions. If there is no law in effect, and we are bound by PayPal’s terms and conditions I will escalate the situation by highlighting the problem with our Federal MP so that we can get a law passed to protect consumers from this type of suspect behaviour.

 

I am also asking if PayPal higher management is aware of the “phasing out” decision, and if they are confident that the decision has not been made by someone for unscrupulous reasons, because that’s how it looks to PayPal’s customers.

Why is PayPal making it difficult to find your Account Balance?

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swood5952
Contributor

I agree with all that is stated.  With the running balance option, I can balance my accounts in less than an hour a month.  I am now spending days trying to figure out what they are doing with my balance...  They have temporary transactions, hidden fees, strange math calculations and I can never get it to balance.  I now have to add a general transaction monthly to make it equal the balance shown at month end.  Any recommendations for other online payment service providers that are well known and trusted for consumers?

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