11/15/07

How I Bought $76 of Gas with PayPal


A funny thing happened at the gas station the other night. Monetizer went to use the trusty PayPal debit/credit card after making a $120 sale on eBay. So there's over $120 in the PayPal account. Gas is not cheap and Monetizer decided to get just $4 worth to get around town for the next day until more money came in. Chose "debit" at the pump and got the whole gallon :) Afterwards, the plan was to go withdraw $120 and deposit it into the real checking account. Well lo and behold, the bank would not release that $120 from the PayPal debit card from the ATM!

Monetizer tried a second bank, since it was after 1 A.M. The second bank was also refusing the requests. Finally, the Monetizer headed back home and checked out what was going on online with the PayPal. Well it turns out, PayPal had put a hold on $76 for the gas station transaction of just $4! Frustrated, Monetizer searched the net and found an eBay forum where another guy had the same problem with a $30 transaction for gas, at an Exxon Mobile. He was charged $76 as well after his PayPal debit gas station purchase.

<---- a="" cash="" fuel="" how="" learn="" on="" save="" to="">!!

Turns out PayPal or the gas station does this to make sure you can cover the debit purchase. $76 does seem a bit steep though. Had Monetizer just done "Credit" rather than "Debit", this all would have been avoided. I emailed PayPal promptly about this and they emailed back the next day, then took the "hold" off my $76, releasing it back into the account. But it speaks largely to today's lesson on money. You need to be vigilant and know the rules for the moneymakers you use online, as well as other financial companies and sites you deal with or use (credit cards, your bank's fees, stock accounts, etc). Many of these places can be "sneaky" if you're not keeping a watchful eye.

A great example is of course Google Adsense. They frown upon invalid click impressions and for good reason. Studying the Google TOS is probably a great idea, because Monetizer has seen many newbies messing around and trying to get friends to "hook them up". That's a no no.

Some other programs have explicit and specific rules. For example, PayPerPost does not want you running Kontera contextual ads in the paid or sponsored posts you do. You'll need to use the special filter code seen here. On the flipside, ReviewMe.com allows you to run Kontera.

Most importantly, I wanted to bring the $76 charge from PayPal to everyone's attention. Gas is already expensive enough. If you're going to use your PayPal debit/credit card for filling up with gas, choose credit ;) Or, just withdraw all your money from every account you own and hide it under your mattress. It seems safer in today's internet-driven world.

3 comments:

Allan said...

ALL banks, not just PayPal do it. After banking with every major bank in my area (a suburb of Wash DC) and getting reamed with fees, i decided to try a "smaller" bank in hopes that the "fees" would be "smaller". Sure enough, not one single "misc" fee whatsoever in 2 years.

However, every single day there is a huge difference in available and deposited funds. Every day when i wakeup i log into my online banking and print out the "snapshot" of an account and again when i goto bed. Everyday there is a discrepancy in the form of a hold(s) from somewhere i used the checkcard earlier. Usually, a bunch of small amounts that add up to a couple hundred dollars a day.

Now every single time i goto the Super gas station on one corner of an intersection with 3 other much smaller gas stations at the other corners, i get charged an extra $1 for "debit use" even though i always choose credit and never ever enter my PIN. "The bank" always pays the $1. It appears as a $1 dollar debit, then dissapears later. Gone, completely gone as if it never happened. However, "the bank" and that particular gas station charge, always triggers a hold of times 10. I buy $45 in gas and get $450 less in my account to spend until the next day. Happens everytime i gas up there. The other 3 stations process the charge as a credit everytime without any holds. I guess that is why they are small and the Super-mega station is big and as for the banks, they will get you one way or another, or at least try to.

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mdsd619 said...

I was also a victim of the paypal gas money hold. Except, they held $88 of my money! When I got home I noticed and freaked out, thinking someone at the gas station was trying to steal money from my account! I called paypal immediately and they took the hold off. Had NO idea about that before. Will definitely use "Credit" in the future, but have been too scared to use my card at gas stations until reading this post. So what happens if I only have 10 bucks in my account to begin with? lol

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