Monday, November 13, 2006

PayPal is broken

Right so I apparently only have 20 seconds of your attention so I will be brief, below is the first part of my account of some trouble I was having with PayPal. I assume that because you are here you are too.

Paypal support. If you call during business hours they do answer the phone.

1-866-571-3012 (Monday - Saturday 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Sunday 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM PT)

These pages are the continuation of the story if you care, otherwise I hope your troubles are resolved quickly.

Part 2
Part 3

So at some point in the last few weeks I started to getting the following whenever I try to access my account.

We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please click Retry or try again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Message 3004

Super. Normally this account only holds some low dollar amount, often $30 or less; so I wouldn't care too much. Unfortunately right now I do care...I won an item on eBay and I want to be able to pay for it. I thought that perhaps this was an unscheduled outage they do happen still, even to big companies. I went to my well of information for this sort of thing, and not a whisper of this on slashdot.

Right. I cannot possible be the only one having this problem, so I went to my wifes computer to check. Same result. I cleared the cache and cookies in Firefox and tried again; and again nothing. By this point I am a little annoyed, but it was late so I went to bed.

I tried again from work, and was still greeted with the friendly and informative message 3004. At this point I began to wonder if eBay hated Firefox, I couldn't imagine as there would likely be a riot. Not withstanding I tried with IE6; hello message 3004 (here to fore referred to as "bob")

I called my wife to see if I was the only one on the planet that was having this problem, and guess what she saw bob as well.

OK. Well at least it isn't only me, I was starting to think that bob was my imaginary friend. My brother gets a slightly different 3005 error, but still no go for me, my wife and my brother living in one house all cannot logon to the damn paypal site.

So the practical me decided to email paypal:


I am unable to logon to my Paypal account. My username is the same as the email address that I sending from. Below is the link info from my browser.

I am also attaching a screenshot. I don't know what to do, I have an auction that I have won but cannot pay for. Please advise. I am running windows xp home with latest patches (ie# included) I get this behavior on every pc in my house.

Please advise.

Hyperlink severely truncated and a little edited, but anonymity is ok even this day in age.

Anyhow I got a response that was very predictable:

"Dear Convictus,

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Service.

In an effort to assist you as quickly and efficiently as possible, please direct all customer service inquires through our website. Click on the hyperlink below to go to the PayPal website. After entering your email address and password, you can submit your inquiry via our Customer Service Contact form. If you indicate the type of question you have with as much detail as you can, we will be able to provide you with the best customer service possible.

If your email program is unable to open hyperlinks, please copy and paste this URL into the address bar of your browser.

If you are contacting PayPal because you are unable to log in to your account, please use the contact form below.

Thank you for choosing PayPal!"

Not amusing, please login to your account to report an issue with your logon trouble, have a nice day.

Well. Semi-thwarted, but undeterred I replied to them with additional information and specifically requested additional assistance from a human not a form generated brain dead response.

Thinking that it would be best to pursue additional avenues I decided to to try hitting up eBay for some assistancia as well.

To: eBay Customer Support
Subject: GS=C23002 Paying with PayPal [#US 30086T ?01 ]

Form Message %22301% 031200
Subject: GS=C23002 Paying with PayPal [#US 30086T ?01 ]

User Feedback: 45
User State: ?01

Browser Info: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1)
Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0

Buying and Finding > Paying for your item > Paying with PayPal

Message: 330044829567

every time I try to pay for my item I receive the following error.

We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please click Retry or try again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Message 3004

I am not sure what to do. Please help me complete the payment for my item"

Nice sweet and to the point, and the response:

"Dear Convictus,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to your PayPal account.

To help you as quickly and efficiently as possible, I've forwarded your email directly to a PayPal representative. We do this to ensure the security of your PayPal account information.

When you have PayPal inquiries, you'll get answers faster if you contact PayPal Customer Service directly. To reach PayPal Customer Service, log into your account and send a secure email through the following Web page:

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing eBay.

Steffan G.

eBay Customer Support"

Predictable, and again directing me to login to report my logon troubles. Sweet guys, but at least both companies tow the company line. What do you bet that paypal boys wrote the FAQ on dealing with paypal questions for the eBay people? Anyhow form generated cookie cutter crap was starting to wear thin so I thought a more direct route would assist in getting people to respond.

"Yeah for auto generated responses.

I already have tried support requests directly with paypal. They are returning me form generated emails telling me to logon to the site to work on account related issues(funny that my account issue is that I cannot logon to my account). Any way I contacted you in a vain hope that human beings still lived somewhere in this world that will read the email. Read the case, and see that I need to be helped in an "non-automated fashion"

Thanks though.

When I browse to the page that you directed me to I get the same Abort message 3004. I cannot access paypal. I am not joking when I say that any form of web support is not helping. I need a person to read this and realize that the systems that are in place are broken and not helping.

I cannot access paypal in any way shape or from using any browser. All I get from paypal is the message I relayed to you in my email.

I have cleared cache and cookies. I have tried running updates. I have tried it through secure web proxies in hope that is was an IP based denial.

I would appreciate help that involves a human."

Anyhow, this is the end of rant and I will update as I get more info, but I am not impressed with the lack of human touch. 3 emails in and not even a glimmer of hope to resolve my logon issues.

Tags: Digg!


  1. i am having same problem, i expect some money in 10-15 days but the damn paypal isn't working.

  2. They are holding some money from a purchase I made and cancelled. I cannot get ahold of anyone at paypal. I'd like my money available to me on another purchase. Are they just going to keep it??

  3. Holds are fairly common with banks, and usually if you have the funds to be making purchases of entertainment items and still afford to pay your bills, most people shouldn't notice holds as they resolve in a few days. In the always on world of high speed internet, I suspect that time lag is what is frustrating you.

    PayPal for their faults, to my knowledge has never stolen anyone's money. I have heard of them freezing accounts that have questionable activity, but I posted the 800# to contact PayPal here

  4. had the same problem : "We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please click Retry or try again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Message 3004"

    but only a few minutes after, i tryed logging in again.
    and guess what, it worked :D

  5. Below is a copy of the e.mail sent by me to PayPal and which elicited the autoresponse. I am unable to contact any person at PayPal. Is it going the way of some of the banks?
    Dear Sirs
    On the 1st of October 2008 I notified you of an unauthorised use of my PayPal account resulting in £443.80 being debited to my bank account under the Direct Debit I have with PayPal. Acknowledgment of the notification was receive by me from PayPal under Ref No PP-555-101-227. I have not received any further communication and I am unable to access my account because the attached window asking for details of my bank account appears. Can you please let me know what is the present position and whether I can expect reimbursement of the sum wrongly debited soon. Your assistance will be appreciated.
    Gwilym Thomas