PayPal Account Terminated (update: restored)

I've used PayPal for a number of years now for accepting donations to the upkeep of our site and services. This morning, I was catching up on support tickets and had one where a user stated they had tried to donate but it wasn't working. I also had several tickets from that I couldn't read as they were in Japanese, but did look like the usual PayPal notification of donations (and they appeared legitimate). Except they'd been sent to support instead of sales so clearly wouldn't work. (And no, I didn't click any links in them!)

I decided to add as a secondary email address to our PayPal Business account - no harm in that right? After all, the address is on the same domain.

As soon as I'd confirmed the address I saw the payment appear from the original user in PayPal's Activity list so all is seemingly well, until I switched back to Thunderbird...

Well, that doesn't look good
Well, that doesn't look good


Please tell me this is fake
Please tell me this is fake

One frantic support message and literally minutes later a response. "Our decision to close your account is final".


That response was so fast it felt canned, I doubt a human reviewed the account. I have absolutely no idea why this has happened, but adding the secondary address seems to have triggered it. A "thorough review"? Doesn't seem to be very thorough at all from my perspective.

We don't get that many donations, but still, it was enough to help with costs and motivate to keep up with support requests etc and therefore it is still a blow. And it doesn't make me feel good about the industry I work in, where automated algorithms are king and humans are around to ... dust the computers?

I don't know what my next steps will be, but clearly... don't bother donating to our PayPal account, it isn't going to work any more.

Update 2021-10-07 - it's back

Three months after my formal complaint with PayPal was closed as final, this evening I received an unexpected email stating the account had been restored. No more information than that, but I will update this post again if I receive more information or have my suspicions confirmed.

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# Ron

Maybe you can set up a stripe account with a donation button and let the user select the amount.

# kurt shafer

I think I used your software years ago and just found it useful again. GREAT WORK. About donations, I success freewebstore. When you set it up, send me an email for my donation. It will be worth more than a cup of coffee. (Even Starbucks....) Kurt