PayPal – do they owe you some £5s?

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In January in response to a BBC report by BBC MoneyBox’s Paul Lewis PayPal told us “We are in the process of implementing Faster Payments in the UK, to allow PayPal customers to move money from their PayPal account to their bank account”.

They explained that the delay was because PayPal were in the process of becoming the “first ever “Direct Agency” member of the Faster Payment scheme. This will mean that although PayPal is not a UK Bank it will give its UK customers the same almost instant real time money transfers to bank accounts as offered by UK banks in the Faster Payments scheme“.

In May PayPal published policy updates which came into effect on the 12th of July and confirmed that Faster Payments were on the way. It should in all fairness to PayPal be noted that they told Tamebay at the time that they would “progressively roll out faster payments during summer and should be completed for all users by late summer“. The 12th July date was the earliest that this would start, not the completion date.

I’m still not getting Faster Payments, I did a test transfer on the 13th of July and at the time of writing the money is still not in my Bank Account. I have to say it doesn’t bother me that much, I’m not desperate for the cash, but it’s strange that the worlds leading electronic money company still can’t perform an instant electronic transfer to my bank.

There’s a lot to be said about why PayPal weren’t ready with Faster Payments by the 1st January 2012, but the fact is that they weren’t ready and becoming the first Direct Agency has taken time. However it now appears that PayPal are acknowledging that they should have been ready in time and are compensating users who complain.

We found a thread on the PayPal Community Help Forum where when a PayPal user complained about lack of Faster Payments reporting they were promised by email that PayPal would “Refund any £5 withdrawal fees which you have paid since 1 January 2012” and “Refund any future withdrawal fees which you incur on a weekly basis“.

Another user notes that if that’s the case they’re due a couple of hundred pounds refund.

If you’ve been paying £5 fees to have funds deposited in your bank account within 1-2 working days it might be worth asking for a refund. We don’t know if it’s a discretionary payment promised to just one user, or if it’s a routine refund available to anyone that complains, but there’s no harm at all in asking.

PayPal do aim to launch the Faster Payments process to a small percentage of users by the middle of 2012, with all customers able to use this service by the middle of Autumn.

18/07/12 Edited to add: A PayPal user has posted on the same thread on the PayPal community boards a new response from PayPal saying:

Thank you for contacting PayPal regarding the 5.00GBP withdrawal fees you have been charged for the faster withdrawals and the information you have seen on the community post. I can certainly understand your concern in this matter.
I have reviewed your request and I can confirm that this matter is currently being discussed and we will update you as soon as a decision is made.
I appreciate your understanding regarding this matter. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

Doesn’t look so hopeful for getting a refund. I wonder if it’s different PayPal reps having different knowledge of the situation or whether they’re just getting too many people asking for refunds?

16 Responses

  1. paypal transfers are instant for us this last week or two . we thought we had a glitch, it really is instant , it was showing in our account on the click of the mouse

  2. I’ve just spoken to PayPal about this and they are aware.
    They have a “tracker” and will put your name on it if you request it.
    Any £5 fees incurred since 1st January should be reimbursed around September time.
    Any fees incurred from now on (until the faster payments are made available to you) will be reimbursed approximately 14 days after they have been incurred.

    I think I’ve quoted PayPal as accurately as I could have following our conversation.
    So if you’ve had any £5 charges since January I recommend you give them a call.
    (I tried a withdrawal on the 13th to see if it would appear in my account the same day and it still hasn’t appeared on the 16th).

  3. Just spoke to Paypal but they were a bit vague said they would put my account forward for the tracker but would not confirm if I would get my fees backdated to January

  4. PayPal have really not been impressive here. For me it reflects their ongoing failure to innovate their core product and instead focus on new gimmicks.

    They should have had the ability to withdraw funds instantly to user accounts instantly YEARS AGO. As it is, they are now lagging behind just about every bank in instant money transfers.

    Why has PayPal changed so little in ten years? Do they want dinosaur status in a very dynamic space?

    Dominance may not be enough for long-term survival.

  5. Try RBS if you want a banking giant thats dysfunctional, not once has paypal failed to transfer money into our account , only once in 10 years or more have we been caught with credit card fraud using paypal and even then we should have known,

  6. Who would pay to have their money transferred this quick anyway? To beat any interest you would get from a bank account, the sum would have to be substantial for a 2 day advance of your money.

    I agree that Paypal take too long to transfer funds, but I wouldn’t pay for it to be any quicker, as a business or an individual.

    As a business, we have the automated transfer of Paypal funds switched on and so we receive cash from Paypal every working day – just operating 2-3 days behind when that money was actually deposited from customers into Paypal.

    Mike Parker
    Technical Director

  7. Well my transfer (2-3 days) from the 13th hit my bank account today. Considering I initiated the payment at 6pm on a Friday night that’s not bad and definitely not worth paying a fiver to maybe have got my money yesterday.

    Still can’t wait for it to be instant though!

  8. Whatever the situation, if you have opted for a faster withdrawal and been charged £5 the fact remains that you should ask for that fee to be refunded.

    Clearly PayPal are refunding some people. I think that means they should be refunding everyone.

    Don’t forget, PayPal is at fault here by failing to comply with the Faster Payments regulations that came in to force earlier in the year.

    If you don’t ask, you won’t get from PayPal. (But we knew that already.)

    In extremis, if PayPal don’t oblige… I’d certainly send an email off to the FSA (who regulate PayPal).

    PayPal really need to pull their finger out here, make an unequivocal statement and (frankly) proactively refund people the £5s.

    Dan Wilson

  9. I used the faster transfer function on the 16th July @ 19.00 approx & the transaction is still pending as of now, thats nearly 3 full working days. Have phoned paypal & they said should transfer today (fingers Crossed) so much for 1-2 business days – every transfer should be instant


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