Paypal’s user-unfriendliness

I resisted using Paypal for a long time, finally getting an account when Sarai started refusing to pay for my things with her account. Likewise, I only used Paypal with a credit card until I started doing some contract work and realized I need to be able to accept payments electronically. The only way to transfer money away from Paypal is by attaching a bank account, so at this point I had little choice. There was no way I was going to give Paypal access to my real bank accounts though, so I set up a free checking account to use solely as a dropbox, moving payments to this account and from there to my real account.

But now that I have a bank account attached, Paypal is trying their hardest to make me use it, even to the point where purchases default to direct debit instead of the credit card I normally use. This has to be changed manually for every transaction and, because I don’t keep money in this account, forgetting to do it means my transaction will fail.

Even after manually switching it, they do their best to get me to reconsider, making me click through a nag page before I can complete my transaction. The nag page tells me how easy and safe direct debit is without explaining how it will actually benefit me in any way, and ends with the line, “Do you still want to make this payment with a credit card?”

This is really annoying and there is no way to change it. Once you add a bank account to your Paypal account, it forever becomes your default funding source. You can change it yourself every time you buy something, but they don’t provide any way to permanently change it. Anything to save a little money on credit card processing fees, I suppose.

I would think that a business whose existence depends 100% on trust — trust with their customers’ money and bank account information, which is generally not given lightly — would do a little more to make their customers feel like they’re the ones in control. I don’t get that feeling from Paypal. I can’t wait until they’ve got some real competition.