If PayPal is your primary merchant account, as is the case for most e-commerce merchants, having your PayPal account suspended could be a huge nightmare.
Not being able to process payments means that you are practically screwed. You can’t make any money. And to add salt to injury, if your PayPal account got suspended, PayPal’s user agreement prevents you from opening a new account while your previous PayPal account is suspended.
In response to readers' requests, this article will evaluate all the reasons why PayPal can suspend your merchant account. We shall equally walk through the crucial steps to help you avoid the inconvenience of having PayPal suspend your merchant account. And you will also learn what to do in the case that PayPal already suspended your account.
Why PayPal can suspend your account
For starters, it’s safe to say that PayPal would rarely place a hold on merchant accounts. But when you comb through merchant complaints on the PayPal community, Reddit and Quora, the preceding statement seems to stand in cross-purposes with the experience of several PayPal users. Here’s one example:
“Recently, my PayPal account was suspended without warning. I created this account to support my ARG (Alternate Reality Game) by buying website hosting, SSL, et cetera, and Steam.
After setting my PayPal up, many people donated to me at once. Sadly, the "Support" Team at PayPal refused to tell me the reason why they blocked my account, and this issue gives me a hard time because I will shortly be unable to pay the bills for my site.” - Gábor, Hungary.
So the question is, why would your PayPal account get suspended if it’s not common practice?
There are several reasons. Let’s use Gábor’s issue as a case study. According to PayPal’s user policy, if an account, new or old, receives an unusually large sum of money, PayPal will have to suspend such an account. It raises a red flag. According to a PayPal representative, it’s a way for PayPal to curtail fraud issues and ensure its service meets its stakeholders' expectations. So Gábor’s PayPal account got suspended because of the sudden remittance influx.
But there are other reasons why PayPal could suspend a merchant’s account. It could be either that your PayPal account has a significant number of chargebacks, your business model or website content raises eyebrows, your credit score is low, or customers filed a complaint to Paypal about your business.
More so, if you violate Paypal’s user policy by using your account to receive lottery money, sell drugs or transact illegal activities, PayPal may suspend your account.
Likewise, PayPal will suspend your account if it's not fully verified or has inconsistent details, you or someone logged into your Paypal account from an unusual location, or there’s some fraudulent activity going on in your account.
Those are standard checklists they use to keep their platform safe for everyone. But from what we read online, there have been few instances when PayPal suspended a merchant’s account for reasons they didn't specify. Nevertheless, what you should keep in mind is that the primary reason why PayPal could suspend or even wholly ban your merchant account is that you have excessive chargebacks and disputes.
Beware of fraudsters posing as PayPal with emails and text messages
So that you know, not all “Your PayPal account has been suspended due to suspicious activity” notices come from PayPal. Some are from barefaced fraudsters and scammers looking to relieve you of your earnings.
Their aim with such phishing and spoof emails is to obtain your secure information, passwords, or account numbers. They might either ask you to “reply, call a phone number, or click on a weblink,” which will help them steal your personal information.
If you receive such emails, look at the sender’s email address. If it looks suspicious, it probably is; FORWARD the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. PayPal security experts will help you deal with it. But please, DO NOT click on any links in the email.
They can also reach you with false texts (Smishing) and voice (Vishing) messages. Whatever the medium is, be wary of such messages until you have confirmed your account's status by logging into your PayPal account from www.PayPal.com. If PayPal indeed suspended your merchant account, you will see the notice in your portal. That brings us to the next point:
How to avoid getting your PayPal account suspended, and what to do if your PayPal account is suspended
If you are reading this post, your primary concern could be to know how to recover your PayPal account. So let’s start with that point.
To recover your suspended PayPal account, you will have to log in to your PayPal Business account and visit the Resolution Center to review details of why PayPal limited your account. On that portal, you will find all the information required to unsuspend your account. According to PayPal, the requests will vary depending on the issue. Still, some possibilities are invoices from your suppliers, information about payments, proof of shipment, tracking information and buyers’ information, proof of address, and identity proof.
On the other hand, as prevention is better than a cure, you should do your best and ensure that your PayPal account does not get suspended. Ideally, you should make sure you comply with the User Agreement and keep a good relationship with PayPal. If you are receiving an unusual sum of money, it might be safe to contact PayPal ahead of time. Also, ensure your bank and account details speak the same language and always use trackable details when shipping orders.
However, as you would have guessed, you can’t be too careful with online transactions. No matter how many precautionary measures you take, if you don’t mitigate PayPal chargebacks and disputes properly, you will still get into trouble. The best bet is to future-proof your chargeback and dispute management processes with technology tools such as Chargeflow. With Chargeflow, you can be sure that all issues of PayPal chargebacks and disputes will be taken care of by specialists. You will NEVER have to run the risk of having excessive PayPal chargebacks stand in your way - Chargeflow will automate the entire process for you.
But it gets better. Our system will give you exclusive insights that can help you structure your company better. You will gain deeper customer insights and quickly forecast your business cash flow by having projections into how much money you can recover from ongoing disputes. Chargeflow gives you access to in-depth analytics - the type that’s never seen before in the disputes landscape. Join the smartest entrepreneurs who boss their way to unprecedented e-commerce success with Chargeflow! Get started here.