Q. How many PayPal customer service agents does it take to understand a question?

A. 3 before I gave up trying (and it felt like a lot more).

I’d gone to buy a software license online but stopped when I noticed that it said VAT: (21.000% in United Kingdom) – for anyone not in the UK, the VAT rate is actually 17.5%. So all I wanted was to point out that this was wrong and get an explanation as to why. Fairly straightforward, or so you’d think…

First problem, trying to navigate the PayPal contact form to find an appropriate category/sub-category for my query. Harder than it should have been and with no “other” option I had to pick one that was vaguely related to the issue.

1st reply: Gregory seemed to think I was an eBay seller who was concerned about VAT on eBay fees.

So I rephrased and clarified and replied.

2nd reply: Maria now understands from my email that I want to edit the pay now button on my website and gives me detailed instructions as to how to do that.

I pointed out that she had understood wrong and rephrased yet again.

3rd reply: Rochelle almost gets it and tells me that sellers have the option to charge tax on their sales.

Ok, one more go. I was going to leave it there but we’re so close to an answer now…

I’ve replied saying that I know that and it’s the just the rate I’m querying. Let’s see if agent #4 can understand and maybe even answer the question.


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