PayPal - BillMeLater - PayPal becomes BML and uses 'Bait and Switch' fraud technique
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I've been both a buyer and a seller on eBay for quite some time and PayPal has certainly been able to speed things along provided you have included any fees for using the service in the price of your goods. As a buyer, Bill Me Later has offered some fantastic financing options; 6-12-18 months with no handling charges if paid in full by the due date. I'm good at finding these deals and for the things that I want and scrutinizing the bills once I get them. I've noticed twice now that Bill Me Later has offered me extended financing at purchase, only to decrease the time limit when billing time came. The last time I called them about this they took my information to 'send to accounting' stating that someone would get back with me via email in a few days. Two days later I got an email stating that the complaint had been reviewed and corrections, if any, would show up on my account within 24-48 hours. I waited 4 days to see the results of a transaction that took seconds to complete only to see that they had removed special financing completely. As it stands now I have a $1300 purchase that should have had 18 months of no finance charges, instead it has been changed to a straight purchase. I've sent an email detailing this each day for two waiting for a response and am moving towards hand writing a letter with a copy of their advertised financing and a list of dates and times of when I've called.
A few minutes ago I tried to make a $10 purchase using my PayPal account. I use it often and change the method of payment to credit card, that way I don't have to manually enter in the number each purchase. I have $40 in my PayPal account which is set to transfer today to my BillMeLater account as a payment. So PayPal knows I have have only $40 earmarked to go to BillMeLater. The only option they would give me was to charge the $10 to my BillMeLater account or take it from my PayPal account since I had a balance. Sure.... take $10 away from the $40 going to BML and have BML charge me for having insufficient funds. Or charge the $10 to the BML account where I already have another promotional balance being paid off and this new one to be resolved. I found it easier to pull out the credit card and punch in the numbers.
I went back through my memo notes in Quicken and found that this same bait and switch occurred with BillMeLater before and I have had issues with PayPal. BML is not a bank, and therefore is excluded from having to operate under the same consumer protection laws as banks do. It seems like the more I use them, the more shady they seem to operate... forgetting to apply the correct promotion and Ooops, we "forgot" and didn't put on one at all when we "fixed" it. Really? Really.
PayPal is a fast and easy way to collect and send money. BillMeLater is a financing option that might be helpful to some. But beware: At best their systems make a lot of mistakes and their people are not trained on how to fix them and at worse; This is the way it was designed to be.
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