NZ firms complain PayPal funds have not been paid

Two Kiwi firms say they have not received payments from PayPal for goods and services they have sold online for 10 days, leaving them $130,000 out of pocket.

Several other New Zealand businesses have also complained of late payments on PayPal’s Facebook page.

A PayPal representative said the company was aware of the issue.

“PayPal is aware of an error that has resulted in some of our New Zealand customers experiencing an issue with transactions being moved to their bank account from their PayPal balance.

“We are aware of the situation and our team is working hard to fix it as soon as possible. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Hamish Coulter, owner-operator of Hamilton food company Muscle Fuel, said it had used PayPal for the past 2½ years to process payments for all the online orders it received through its website.

But it had not received any payments since September 3 and was considering temporarily stopping taking online orders until the issue was resolved or it could find another payment partner.

Muscle Fuel, which employs 14 staff, had to take out an emergency overdraft from its bank to stay afloat, he said.

“We generally will get our account cleared at 10pm every night and by 10pm the next night the money is deposited into our account.

“PayPal customer service has been absolutely useless and have not given a timeframe when we can expect to be paid.

“There are many disgruntled users who are unable to pay their bills or their staff wages.”

Arend Nollen, owner of Wellington social media consultancy Social Envy, said it also stopped receiving payments from PayPal on September 3 and was now owed $100,000.

“We process quite a lot of money with our online business and the money hasn’t shown up into our New Zealand bank account at all,” he said.

PayPal was hard to contact, he said. “Every time we get in touch they say it our bank’s fault. We do business with two different banks, BNZ and Kiwibank, and they have both confirmed they haven’t received a cent.

“I have been following the PayPal Facebook page and there are loads of other customers facing similar issues.”

Nollen said Social Envy was getting by on reserves it had accumulated during the past few months.

“We are using that to maintain the business and pay the bills, but if this money doesn’t come in, potentially we won’t be able to pay wages to staff – it is going to put us in a lot of hardship.”

It did not have an account manager it could call and did not believe it was a valued customer, he said.

Coulter said each time he called PayPal’s Australian call centre, he got a different person and had to start from the beginning.

“They have generated an ‘inquiry’ but it has gone nowhere. First of all they tried to blame my bank and then they said they didn’t know of any issues.

“Last time I spoke to them [on Monday] they did admit there was an ‘issue’ which they said they were working on and they said I had to be patient. They said it was ‘just a glitch’.”

The problems had come at a bad time, as he was about to fly out to the World Power Lifting Championship, he said.

“It is not a good time to be stressed basically.”