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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
email@example.com 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...
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.