Monday, August 18, 2014

The Inconvenience of PayPal

My Paris landlord represents a number of other property owners.

I am going to rent one of those others in a few months.

My landlord and I have always just settled up when I show up in Paris – no deposit, no problem.

It turns out that the next apartment is not owned by my landlord and the person who does own it wants a deposit.

That is absolutely no problem.

I hate cash rent.

It always feel like a drug transaction when my landlord and I count out several thousand euros on the breakfast table of my then current apartment.

I love paying by credit card.

It’s clean, easy and you get points.

Not so fast.

This deposit needs to be made via PayPal.

Here is the body of an email I just sent to my landlord.

It follows on one in which I had told him that I don’t have a PayPal account.


“Actually I do have a PayPal account. 

But it doesn’t work. 

I had forgotten that it didn’t work: two years ago PayPal told me I was condemned to limbo until I sent them a bunch of information. 

I sent them what they wanted but they told me they didn’t like it and if I didn’t fix the problem I couldn’t use my account. 

They wouldn’t tell me what they didn’t like – they had asked for and I had sent my drivers license and my passport -  so I sent them again. 

And they didn’t like it. 

I sent it again. 

And they didn’t like it.

So I gave up.

Today - after you told me that I needed to make a PayPal deposit for the rental - I signed on to PayPal for the first time in two years.

The first thing I tried to do PayPal said I needed to send them my drivers license and passport.

That was when I sent you the email saying that I might have a problem with PayPal.

Since them I have managed to talk to a person who told me that she would fix the problem – sort of – and I would be allowed out of limbo if only I would do several other things.

I have done those several other things.

No change.

The site still is telling me that I have to send them my passport and my drivers license.

Undaunted, I did a test run of transferring funds, and PayPal acted as if it had forgotten about the drivers license and the passport.

So maybe I can transfer the deposit to Michael.

I am willing to try.

However, if PayPal won’t let me do it, I am fresh out of ideas.”

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