It all started with this listing on eBay – a brand new original set of Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE. Normally, I would have just purchased this using my credit card or by bank transfer. But as luck would have it, this particular merchant only accepts payment made via PayPal. So I thought, “Fine, I have a PayPal account, I’ll use it then.” I have had a PayPal account for several years now, although I’ve never actually used it as I didn’t have credit cards and didn’t want to link my bank account to it. For me, it was easier just to do straight up bank transfer rather than to link it here and there.
Here’s a timeline of what happened.
26/6 Wednesday – I tried linking my American Express card to my PayPal account for the first time. After much ado, I finally got it added, with a USD1 charge to my card to check if it’s in good standing. And then I went to bed, thinking that I’d make the purchase tomorrow.
27/6 Thursday – eBay refuses to let me check the item out because my card apparently doesn’t work. I checked my PayPal account and realised that the card that I linked yesterday was gone. A call each to PayPal and Maybank pinpointed the reason as Maybank blocking my card due to fear of fraudulent activities. Fair enough. I was then assured by the bank that they’ve unblocked it and I will be able to make payment without further problems. I linked my card once more to my PayPal account and had it charged another USD1. And because this has wasted my time enough already on a weekday, I decided to continue on a weekend when I’d have more free time to deal with this nonsense.
29/6 Saturday – At midnight, I tried to make payment for the damn phone yet again. Only to have it fail AGAIN. I tried a few more times and for each time it failed, my card was charged USD1, for reasons I know not. I called up Maybank and was assured that my card works perfectly fine and that they’ve unblocked it as they’ve mentioned on Thursday. And because PayPal’s call centre does not operate 24 hours, I had to wait until morning to call. And thus resulted in a night where I barely slept at all as I worry that the eBay listing might get taken down before I manage to get it.
At 9 in the morning (Yes, on a Saturday. See how much grief this whole ordeal has caused me?), I called up PayPal yet again to check what else could possibly go wrong. I spoke to the same girl I spoke with on Thursday, though I highly doubted she’d remember me. As it turns out, AMEX and eBay have an arrangement whereby purchases can only be made through certain currencies. And Malaysian Ringgit is not one of them. AND WHY WAS THIS NOT INFORMED THE FIRST TIME AROUND WHEN I CALLED PAYPAL UP? I will never know. I checked with the customer service representative on the phone and she confirmed that this information is not available on their website because apparently it’s not a popular question. Really now? The whole of Malaysia only uses Visa and Master? I find that a bit hard to believe.
Upon her advice, I linked my Visa to PayPal as she said this will be the easiest way for me to finally complete the purchase. I tried twice, only to have it fail both times… And ended up having my Visa blocked because I have made too many payment attempts. HELLO? The only reason I made so many attempts was because I keep failing! When I told her that I thought PayPal was supposed to make it easier for people, she could only laugh weakly and told me that there are a lot of security measures in place. After putting me on hold to check what else she could do, she came back on the phone and told me that unfortunately, my card will be blocked by PayPal for 48 hours and there’s nothing they could do to unblock it. What they could do, was to credit my account with RM2099. But since it’s the weekend, the credit would only reflect in my account on Monday before 5pm. And then I’d be able to use the money to make my purchase. At this point, I was confused. It sounded as if they were offering me RM2099 for free as a compensation! I double checked with the customer service representative and she confirmed that they will indeed be giving me the credit for free for all the trouble I went through in order to make it up to me and hopefully that will leave a better impression of my experience with PayPal.
The only catch was that the credit would only be credited on Monday and seeing that there’s no telling when the eBay listing will be taken down, my best option now would be to borrow someone else’s card to complete my purchase today before it gets taken down. And then I could use the credit to pay back the person who lent me the card. FUCK THIS SHIT I’M JUST TRYING TO BUY A STUPID PHONE! If it’s still there on Monday, great! If not, oh well. If it’s mine, it’s mine.