On Monday, the founder of Infomedia Independence Cellphone, a small telecommunications company in the United Kingdom, revealed to Fox News that PayPal had frozen all of his online financial activity for a full year.
Paul Smith, the founder, claimed that the entire experience was harrowing and caused a significant amount of financial loss and stress for himself and the company. PayPal had insisted that he provide proof of evidence that he was trusted by customers and that the company had held secure payment services. PayPal had accused Smith of potentially fraudulent activities and took severe actions by freezing activity until Smith could provide sufficient evidence.
The entire process was lengthy and difficult to navigate for Smith. He felt frustrated and disheartened, as he was unable to conduct any business and was unable to receive payments for completed services. He was forced to accept answers to his inquiries by phone or email with the help of a third party, who was working on the case. In some cases, the amount of information asked amounted to an impossible feat. Smith’s pleas reached PayPal’s customer service so often, he eventually received an apology. Smith says that the apology wasn’t enough to cover the financial losses he and his company endured as a result of the ban.
The outcome of the incident has left Smith feeling violated and his faith in large corporate institutions tarnished. The experience has taken a toll on himself, his company and its employees. He worries that companies like PayPal may take similar actions against small business owners in the future.
The PayPal ban has not only served as a reminder for Smith to keep better records, but it has also illustrated the power of large companies and the damage that a ban can do to a small business. Smith urges companies such as PayPal to recognize the struggles of small business owners and offer more appropriate measures and communication channels when banning accounts.
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