F is for Fiasco

FI have a Post Office Box.  All of my mail goes to my PO Box, including Official Government Notices AND mail from the apartment complex I live in.  Remember this, it’s important to the story.

I’ve done business with PayPal for years. I really don’t have the complaints that a number of my colleagues have about PayPal and, as frustrating as it has been to get things to work as I want them sometimes over the years (they really make integration a pain in the posterior sometimes) I have generally been pretty happy with them. They make a metric f*ckton of fees from my transactions, so you would think that they would be at least moderately happy with me, as well.

So, my PayPal debit card was expiring in March.  I got a notification that they could not use the primary address on my PayPal account to send my card (it’s the PO Box) and would I please add a valid street address to my account and then contact them.

Before I called them, I consulted my friend Google. And came up  with story after story of people who, like me, receive their mail at a PO Box and cannot get their replacement cards (which they need due to expiration or loss or theft).  I called PayPal and was cheerfully informed it was no problem, the Post Office reads addresses from the bottom up and so they would put my name, street address, the box number, city, state and ZIP code and all would be well.

3 weeks later, I got another email from PayPal. They got the new card back, could I please contact them.

I called and they said “oops” and said they would CANCEL THAT CARD and open a WHOLE NEW ACCOUNT and send the card again, only this time they’d leave off my apartment number. SURELY that was what confused the Post Office.

3 weeks later, I got another email from PayPal. They got the new card back, could I please contact them.

I called and explained that their work-arounds were not working. I offered to pay for FEDEX shipping. I asked why, if I got ALL of my other banking/financial materials (including all other credit/debit cards) could PayPal not ship to the PO Box? “It’s policy”, was the answer I got.

I then got grilled for 15 minutes about WHY I can’t get my mail at my street address.  Because – I LIVE IN A BAD NEIGHBORHOOD, ok? The local paper will not deliver here due to “safety concerns for their carriers”. Ms. Supervisor says “well, I am showing it’s a deliverable address…” We went round and round and I finally said “people steal things out of the mailboxes where I live. It’s just the way it is. That’s why I have a nice, secure PO Box.”

Ms. Supervisor says they can try to send it to the Apartment Complex Office Address, she just needs to verify my identity.  We end up having to go through three rounds of identity verification questions because apparently their system tells them I am related to people I’ve never heard of.

It’s been about 3 weeks. The ladies who work in the office at my apartment complex are the additional reason I don’t get my mail sent here.  I fully expect that any day now I’ll get another email from PayPal saying they got the card back.  I am attempting to hold on to the faint, fleeting hope that this fiasco is finally finished but I fear that’s foolish and faulty reasoning.