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PayPal Sucks

In the interest of accountability, I must say the opinions expressed below do not represent the opinions of Sterling-Rice Group.
As some of you know, Sterling-Rice Group is hosting the upcoming Master Innovation & Game Changing Growth Executive Forum on March 4th here in Boulder, CO. As part of the provisioning for the conference we needed an easy way both for people to pay for the conference as well as for us to receive those payments. Since we are not a retailer and don't accept credit card payments for our services, we needed someone to handle payment processing securely and easily. My suggestion was PayPal. They are pretty much the industry standard for online payment processing. We already have an account for our business, and pretty much everyone in the free world has a PayPal account. Better yet, they offer the ability to accept payments from people who have a credit card, but no PayPal account. Even better! In the interest of due diligence, we called PayPal to make sure we were doing everything we needed to to we are able to receive payments. They assured us that we were in good shape, and if we use their tools on our web site we will have no problem. Not so fast. A few days after launching the site to promote the conference, as well as an email campaign driving traffic to the site, the calls and emails started flowing in. "We can't pay for the conference." "It won't accept my credit card." I called PayPal and they assured me everything was in good standing. I called one of the people who was unable to pay for the conference and entered their payment info and the payment went through. At the same time we got an email from PayPal letting us know that our account was being audited and we were required to confirm some business details. I immediately called PayPal and they assured me that this would not prevent people from paying us. The next day I got another call from someone who could not pay. I circled back with PayPal and they gave me the opposite answer. Not only was the audit preventing us from receiving payments, but it would take 3-5 days for them to process the paperwork. Yuck. We sent the paperwork over. The next day we get a call from PayPal letting us know that we need to prove that we are in business. After pulling both our President and CFO out of a business meeting, calling the state of CO, and confirming it all with PayPal, we were back in business, or so we thought. Now we are just waiting 3-5 days for them to process our paperwork. In the meantime we are forced to go old school and send attendees invoices so they can sign up for the conference. We will never use PayPal again for payment processing.

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