I probably owe PayPal something of an apology. In my defense, they were as baffled by what's gone on with my account as I've been. The skinny on the situation, it turns out, is that all the way back in February I maxed out the number of times I entered my password (I forgot. You ever forget? It happened to me.) and was locked out of the system. At least, I was supposed to be locked out, and by locked out I mean I was supposed to be taken to a screen to verify some additional information if I ever logged in again. Instead, I got a vague error screen that looped no matter what I did. On top of that, I actually could log in to my PayPal account through the mobile app. My access was limited, but only limited, and quite possibly exposing a major security leak.
Remember in Office Space how Milton was laid off years prior to the events of the film, but no one bothered to tell him, yet he still received a paycheck through a software glitch? That's more or less what happened to me. Speaking of paychecks, I got a very pleasant surprise out of all this. As I mentioned, I was in the middle of a transaction on eBay. I put in an offer on a lot of paperback books, not expecting for the offer to be accepted (at least not within a few minutes), and got locked into paying what I owed. Obviously, I was more than willing to pay for the books, that wasn't the problem. I had enough to pay for the books. Again, not the problem. The problem was that the mechanism by which I would have paid for the books had a wrench in the works. I attempted a transfer from my bank to my PayPal account, only for it to basically sit in limbo for way longer than these things should take. In fact, at the time of this writing, it's still processing.
Here's the pleasant surprise: I looked at my PayPal account and saw a positive balance. My bank transfer was still in limbo, but I had a balance that was not there before, for exactly what I owed the bookseller. At first, I thought, "Great, now it's lying about my balance." Then, when I checked my e-mail (where I've been talking with the support staff), I learned that the guy who was handling my case issued me a courtesy credit. Essentially, it was to make up for all the fees I'd been paying by only being able to use my debit card to transfer money, but it just happened to be enough to cover my literary IOU.
As of now, I can access my PayPal account, update information, and many other things I couldn't do before. On top of that, I had an eBay purchase completely covered by a tech support guy, and I appreciate that wholeheartedly. I appreciate it because he didn't have to do that. I've worked customer service jobs and I know for a fact no one likes issuing credits. Companies rake their employees over the coals for issuing credits to customers, however small and justified they may be. No one wants to open that can of worms. No one wants to give that potential mile-betraying inch.
This was not a small favor. It was a small amount, but it was not a small favor.
So, not only props to PayPal support, but specifically their Twitter support. As I said, the phone support was a complete dead end. Twitter got me results.