Gephardt –

WEST VALLEY CITY – It’s a safe bet some Utahns are rummaging through attics, garages and closets for unused stuff to sell on eBay for some extra holiday cash.

But what if you sold something and then learned you must wait six months to get your money? When it happened to a West Valley man, he contacted the KSL Investigators.

Just one try and Kelly Porter knew his new fancy, top of the line vaporizer wasn’t for him.

„I tried it and I had a very bad reaction,” Porter recalled.

He couldn’t return it, so decided to put it up for sale on eBay where it sold for $575. Within a day of being paid via eBay’s popular money handler, PayPal, Porter said he immediately shipped the vaporizer.

The buyer received it and had no complaints. The problem was PayPal would not let him have his money.

After hours of wrangling with the automated customer service, Porter said he received a message. „It says we have permanently locked out your PayPal account,” said Porter. „And, no explanation.”

That’s right: PayPal suspended his account as if he’d committed some sort of fraud. Even worse: It said it’ll be holding onto Porter’s bucks for 180 days and then he can ask for it.

„I did everything right,” Porter explained.

Kelly Porter contacts KSL Investigators after PayPal suspended his account. (Photo: KSL TV)

Not sure where else to turn, he decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.

We got ahold of PayPal to ask them why they flagged Porter. He shipped the vaporizer immediately, no complaints from the buyer, so why were they holding onto his money without so much as an explanation? With that, PayPal had a change of heart.

In an email, a spokeswoman wrote us that Kelly’s „account was limited due to a system issue with eBay email confirmation. His account is now fully restored.”

And just like that, Porter’s account was reinstated, and he got his money in about one day — not 180 days!

How to avoid lengthy PayPal holds

  • Make sure the name on your PayPal account matches the name on your bank account and credit cards
  • Printing a shipping label directly within PayPal provides tracking and delivery notification automatically
  • Or, if you print your own – say inside eBay – go back to your PayPal and upload the tracking information so PayPal can verify that package’s shipment and delivery
  • Ask your buyer to confirm through the PayPal app that they’ve received the package. That will help spur the release of your funds.

Matt Gephardt

Sloan Schrage

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