Newest Review: ... or receive a large sum of money then its no good. I really trusted them and have never had any trusting issues so I would recommend them ... more
Might be safe but it sure isn't perfect.
Member Name: Lions
Advantages: safest way to transfer money online
Disadvantages: fees, customer support, holding balance; all are annoying
I have been using PayPal for around 2-3 years now, pretty much ever since I started making money online. That online money making journey began with eBay, and since eBay owns PayPal it's only natural that I would create a PayPal account when making an eBay one. At first, I was in love with PayPal and truly believed it was the best way to transfer money online, a complete fanatic of the website really. Today, I still believe it's the safest way to transfer money online, but I no longer think it's the perfect website I thought it was when I first started using it.
As I said above, PayPal truly is the safest way to exchange money over the internet. As the internet continues to grow, so do the large amount of scams that take place on it. Of course many people have still been screwed over using PayPal, but it weeds out a lot of the major scams. Unfortunately though, the safety that comes along with PayPal comes at a cost. This brings me to my next point which is..
PayPal has become very well known for its greedy fees, and for good reason too. If you ever send any amount of money, unless it is sent as a "gift", it is considered applicable for PayPal to slap a fee onto it, which means if you're the sender of the money you may have to send MORE money to cover for the fees, or if you are the receiver of the money it means you will be getting LESS. All in all it means that both parties lose out.
Over the years many people have tried to squeeze their way out of fees by simply exchanging all money through gifts. While this has proven to be at least somewhat successful, it only works with small amounts of money (of which the fees would likely only be a penny or two anyway.) If you try to send a large payment, say, a couple hundred pounds as a gift, it's going to look a bit suspicious. After all, it's not often that you just decide to send your niece enough money for a new TV without any sort of "Happy birthday" message. If you are caught committing fraud with using gift mode to avoid fees, all sorts of hell can be raised by PayPal onto your account.
I have only ever contacted PayPal customer support on one occasion. I had gotten scammed online, bought something and never received it. It was supposed to be a digital item, an ebook actually. There was also a buddy of mine that purchased the same thing. We both opened up disputes with PayPal, and told them our side of the story. The scammer lied to PayPal support and simply stated that he had no idea what we were talking about and that WE were trying to scam HIM. PayPal let it go and both me and buddy were out the money. It wasn't much, only a couple of pounds, but still, isn't it the little acts of kindness by customer support that helps us judge a company most of the time?
This is another thing that really frustrates me with PayPal. After someone purchases your item on eBay and they pay you, PayPal keeps your money in a holding balance for approximately 20 days. It's very annoying if you're like me and try to make monthly deposits from PayPal into your bank account, as the money in the holding balance is essentially worth nothing for those 20 days, it can't be used for anything. I realize eBay wants to prevent scamming on their website at all costs, and I am glad they are making an effort to do so, really I am, but you would think they could come up with a way that doesn't hurt the users so much (heck, maybe they could work with the customer support, we already know that could help.)
You're probably thinking that with all of the stuff I have said that frustrates me with PayPal that I would give them a poor rating, however, I'm still going to go with the 4-star rating. And that's all because of the first thing I mentioned. Safety should always come first when exchanging currency over the internet, and despite some of the shortcomings that PayPal does have, I will give them credit for valuing safety over pretty much everything else.
If you've read some of the things in this review and decided against PayPal, or you are simply sick of some of the annoying aspects of it, there are some alternatives to it that are starting to gain momentum. The closest alternative is AlertPay, and coming in at a close third is Liberty Reserve. Both have millions of active members, many of which swear they are better than PayPal. Personally I still feel that PayPal is the most secure of all of them, but if you want something a bit different with some members that swear by their payment processors service, then I would completely understand your reasoning.
Summary: A perfect example that safety comes at a cost.
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