Update #2 — After a few hundred people had their penny payments to me bounce, PayPal mysteriously freed my account yesterday. Since then dollars and dollars have poured-in, all to be refunded next week, I promise. So please stop sending me money now, okay? Mission accomplished.

My favorite transfer by far was this one for a $0.01 eCheck (below), which I will make every effort to refund before I receive it, thanks:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 10.09.04 AM


Have you ever canceled a PayPal account? I tried to cancel mine today and the company wouldn’t let me.

In one sense it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to cancel their PayPal account since they don’t really cost anything just sitting there, but I’m a cranky old man and PayPal has been rubbing me all the wrong ways lately, so I decided to bail after, I think, 15 years of using the service. That they won’t let me out is bad enough, but it also violates their own support site, which in certain instances actually recommends canceling, except of course you can’t do it.

PayPal recently limited my account. I’m not even sure what that means, but according to the messages I started receiving I had to supply some additional information to get those restrictions lifted. That additional information included a Social Security or Taxpayer ID number, which they’d never required before.

It felt like phishing to me, so I contacted PayPal Security which didn’t respond to my e-mail question. So I tried phone support (it exists, apparently) though I was never able to actually get through. The information requests keep coming (they say I was randomly selected, were you?) and they include my first and last names so it might be legit. I just wish someone would tell me for sure.

On one of PayPal’s support pages they recommend canceling an account where you don’t want to give this information and simply opening a new one. More modern accounts probably require that SSN to do anything, so this may well be PayPal’s way of getting the same satisfaction through another door, but when I tried to take it they wouldn’t let me!

It seems that restricted accounts can’t be closed until the restriction is lifted, even though canceling is one of the recommended options.

I don’t know what the hell is going on here and hope someone will tell me. What I think is happening is PayPal is being leaned on by government agencies that feel the need to monitor my $8 per month Netflix payment. Stepping a little closer to the dark side this might also mean that PayPal has been hacked with notable success and this is part of their response. You tell me.

Well I’ll have none of it. PayPal, if you are reading this, I think your customer service stinks. I think you could answer my e-mail or the phone. I think your support pages should recommend procedures that actually work. As it is, has become useless to me as a PayPal address. I suppose I can sign up using a different address, but I prefer to be reached at a single location and now that location is hobbled, which sucks. That address is my property, not yours.

PayPal is getting more Google-like every day.

Can you help me retaliate, just to get PayPal’s attention? If you have a PayPal account please send $0.01 (a penny) to Maybe they’ll notice when a few thousand transfers come in over the next days. When and if PayPal releases my account, I promise to send everyone back their money.

I’m good for it.