There are, at the time of writing, forty-three million 
reviews of Dragon Age: Origins (Bioware) currently 
available on the Internet, and I haven't got anything to 
add to any of them. Yes, it's brilliant; yes the storyline 
and NPC interaction are genuinely compelling; yes, the 
graphics are a little flickery around the edges in places. Buy, buy, buy.

Okay, that's covered. If you're still here I'm assuming you already have a copy and finished it already,
because I'm not going to be saying anything even half as entertaining. Instead, I thought I'd print the
transcription of my recent email dialogue with PayPal, and whine a bit about crappy customer

Still with me? Really? Your choice, I guess. So first, a little background: I have no credit card. I can't stress 
that highly enough. I have no credit card because I'm an idiot who quite evidently can't be trusted with 
money. I understand this, and have embraced and accepted it. I don't believe I'm alone. Secondly: I have no 
debt. I had debt, I ditched my credit cards, I paid off my debt. And no, it wasn't as simple as that - it was a 
shit process that lasted for fucking ages. So, no credit card, but no debt. I am solvent. Thirdly: I want to buy 
computer parts. I have money, Internet has parts, we live in an advanced capitalist society. A solution 
presents itself.

Having no credit card, I signed up with PayPal, an online banking company. I provided them with my regular bank details, and transferred some money. Not actual physical cash, you understand, but electronic data represented by ones and zeros, like an email. Eight days later the electronic money appeared in my PayPal account and I was able to spend it. So I tried. Here we go...

"Hi, I need to be able to verify my address in order to complete a transaction with Ebuyer, but having followed the instructions in "How do I verify my PayPal account" I have received an error message advising me that some of my details are incorrect. As far as I can see, this is not the case. Can you help?"

Note that throughout this dialogue I will be represented in striking consumer champion bold and
PayPal will be represented by weaselly evasive corporate italics. Also note that some of PayPal's
customer service operatives have the same grasp of written English as, apparently, the Nigerian royal
family. All text appears as received, except where I've edited for reasons of space and extreme

"Thank you for contacting PayPal with your concern. I understand that you are enquiring today about to verify your address in your PayPal account. I know the importance of this matter and allow me to assist you with this.'
 To lift the limit you might be asked to verify your information. You'll need to review and confirm your full name, date of birth, postal address and home phone number. If you have a business account, you may be asked to verify business information rather than personal information.
 To verify your account information, follow these steps:
* Log in to your PayPal account at
* Click on the ‘View limits’ link in the box which displays your PayPal balance.
* Select the Receiving Limit by clicking in the box beside it.
* Click ‘Lift Limits’.
* Click each link remaining active to remove your receiving limits.
[Some additional notes about timeframes here, not very interesting]
 I appreciate the opportunity to assist you. We are committed to making your experiences at PayPal pleasant and rewarding.

Sincerely, Ian"

Ian seemed like a helpful young man. I was gratified to see that he so readily understood the gravity of the 
situation. Unfortunately, these were exactly the same instructions I'd already followed.

"Thank you for your response, but you seem to have simply repeated the instructions which are already quite clear on your website. Having followed these instructions once again, I can confirm that I receive the error message "Some required information is incorrect. Please correct your information and try again." The information shown on screen is entirely correct. What should I do next?"

Further details were quickly forthcoming.

"Thanks for contacting PayPal. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions.
Upon checking your account, I can see here that you want o send a payment to eBuyer but your payment can't go through. I regret to inform you that the transaction was stopped by our Internal Security Program. This program determines whether an individual transaction has a high risk of failure or not. This has nothing to do with you credit rating or your credit limit. Usually, if the transaction does not fit the pattern of transactions that you normally make, our Internal Security Program will not allow it to push through.
Unfortunately, since there are literally thousands of transactions that go through the PayPal System each minute, it is logically impossible to manually turn it off. Again, this is just for the security of your PayPal account. We just want to safeguard you from any possible problem that might arise if we allow this transaction to go through.
To ensure the integrity of our network, PayPal may take security measures, which may affect some accounts in good standing. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused. PayPal employs complex statistical models to identify patterns of behavior. This is similar to the way banks and credit card companies identify patterns of behavior that are out of the ordinary when approving individual transactions. When our system does not allow a certain funding source for a transaction, it is merely an indication that the individual transaction fits a pattern we have observed in the past to have a high risk of failure.
It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.
Sincerely, Ram

What the fuck? While this was, quite figuratively, fascinating reading, Ram didn't seem to have fully taken on board the nature of the problem. I was a bit narked.

"My original question has still not been addressed. Why am I unable to verify my address details?"

"Thank you for contacting PayPal. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your
I understand that you want to confirm your address on your PayPal account. I
attached here the steps on how you can confirm your address on your PayPal
The 'Confirm by Phone' process lets you confirm by an automated phone call that
you are located at the address where you receive your credit /debit card statements.
This is a security
measure that demonstrates that you are the owner of the credit/debit card, which is
registered on your PayPal account.
You will be required to enter a PIN number to complete this process. To get your PIN, please follow the steps below and be sure to print the page or write the PIN number down.
[Instructions to confirm address by phone here, which pretty much boil down to "enter card details, wait for phone call".]
 After completing the phone call, you will receive an email with your Phone Confirmation results
 It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

 Sincerely, Keena"

It seemed like I was getting somewhere. Keena, unlike Ram or Ian, appeared to have read and comprehended my email. But I don't have a credit card. I pointed that out.

"I do not have a credit card, which is why I wanted to use PayPal in the first place, and am therefore unable to complete this process. My telephone number is [DELETED] and my home address is [DELETED]. Please feel free to call at any time."

I didn't get a phone call but I did get another email, from Angel, who in my head looks like Isla Fisher, due to 
my patchy recollection of mid-nineties Home and Away. That doesn't add much to the response, but it's a 
pleasant thought if you're that way inclined. 

"Thanks for contacting PayPal. My name is Angel and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions.

I apologise for the inconvenience that this might have caused you but the only way to verify your address on your PayPal account is through location confirmation through phone or post but to initiate this process you would need to add your credit/debit card details on your PayPal account. Please be informed that in doing this the system would be able to confirm that your card's billing address corresponds with the home address you have on your PayPal account. I would highly suggest that you would need to add a card on your account for you to verify your address on your account.

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you. We are committed to making your experiences at PayPal pleasant and rewarding.

Sincerely, Angel"

I didn't get where I am today by letting a pretty face in my head distract me from the goal at hand.
Except in a very specific set of circumstances. To be honest I'm a bit snarky in this next one, and it
gets worse. By the end I sound like a Telegraph reader writing to Watchdog. It's almost impossible
not to. Try it some time.

"I'm confused. If I had a credit card, why would I need to use PayPal? I had hoped that your service would enable me to transfer money from my bank to online retailers, but apparently this is not the case. My address details are on record with my bank, my employer, the British Home Office, Haringey Council and the DVLA. While I appreciate the need for security, can you advise me what information Visa Ltd can provide that is unobtainable from any other organisation?"

She couldn't. Although she did apologise for the previous lame-ass so-called "help", which was nice. Oh, what am I 
doing? I'm making excuses for her. It doesn't matter if she's Isla Fisher or an ex-Soviet shot putter. She is them. 
They are the enemy. Get it together, Panzerdivision.

"Thanks for contacting PayPal. My name is Angel and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions.

First let me begin by apologising for any inadequacy or inconsistency of service you feel you have received to date. I accept that issues like yours can be very confusing and I hope that by clarifying the situation and offering you the right advice I can help you resolve it.

Technically Mr. Perry you card processor has definite information in regards to your address. We would need this to confirm your address on your PayPal account. Also as a financial institution the only way for us to double check and confirm that your home address and billing address match is with your card. In many cases it is inadequate to just a bank account on your PayPal account for you bank does not provide relevant information in regards to your billing address.

What you would simply need to do it to add your card on your account so that you can initiate location confirmation thus enabling your address to be a verified address on the system so that you and your buyer would be covered with certain protection. Thank you for getting back to us.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal."

By this stage I thought I'd pretty much got the gist of it. PayPal uses an automated location
confirmation system provided by the credit companies to confirm address details. I don't have a credit
card, so I was a non-person. Still, it seemed crazy to me, and I've got time on my hands...

As I have pointed out on several occasions [Twice, actually. It's that Telegraph reader again. Read it with heavy emphasis on "As"], I do not have a credit card. Unfortunately, due to past problems with debt I am currently unable to obtain a credit card. Since I am no longer in debt and have no desire for credit, I did not previously consider this to be a problem.

Since I have no card and no card processor, there is no credit card institution currently holding any information whatsoever about my present address. I appreciate that it is the standard practice of PayPal to confirm that a home address and billing address match, but in this case there are no bills, and hence no billing address. However, since I certainly do live at [DELETED] and have many documents attesting to the fact, I find it difficult to understand why an alternative method of verifying this cannot be found. Could you explain?

And that was the end of the lovely Angel. Sigh. The next guy was a complete idiot.

Thank you for contacting PayPal with your concern.

I understand that you do not have any credit card to verify your address on your PayPal account, what I suggest is if you have any in your family who has a credit card that matches your last name or has the same last name and who lives with you or has the same address you can add that add to your PayPal account to verify your address as long as you have the card holder's permission to add the to the PayPal account.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

Sincerely, Christopher

Brilliant. That's your solution is it, Chris? For security reasons we suggest you use someone else's credit card? Fuck off.

I am the only person living at my address. Would you please either answer my question, or forward this email to someone who can.

He didn't. Cecil got it instead, but he had a bright idea.

Thanks for contacting PayPal. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions.

Mr. Perry, you may apply for our own card which is the PayPal MasterCard for you to be able to add a card on your account for you to be able to confirm the address. You may contact them to this number so that they may assist you further on how you may apply for the card.

Contact number : 0871-522-5155

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you. We are committed to making your
experiences at PayPal pleasant and rewarding.

Sincerely, Cecil

I was starting to think that the reason they were all so bloody pleased with the opportunity to assist me is because they needed the practice. Still, the thing about customer service centres is that they can't just ignore you.

As I have stated in my previous emails, I have been unable to obtain a credit card due to past debt. I suspect that this will be the case with the PayPal MasterCard, and am reluctant to apply since a failed application will have a further negative effect on my credit rating. Unless you are able to authorise my application I do not consider this to be a satisfactory solution.

Please note that my previous question has not yet been addressed.

And finally, I hit paydirt.

Thank you for contacting PayPal. My name is Jona and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions.

I understand you would like to confirm you location unfortunately you do not own a credit card and not wish to apply for a new card. I do apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused you. Allow me to provide alternative ways to confirm your location.

As an alternative to completing the location confirmation process, you may fax in a copy of a recent utility bill that shows your name and address. This document must not be older than six months.

If you are faxing information, it's important to use the cover page provided by PayPal. The cover page contains information specific to your account and using it ensures your documents are routed and handled in a timely manner. If you no longer have a copy of the fax cover sheet, please fax the requested documentation to 08707 303 194 Attn: Account Review Department. Please make sure you note your email address and the following case number when faxing the documentation:

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

Sincerely, Jona

So there we are. After eight emails and seven customer service operatives I've got information that could be posted on their website. As yet I haven't sent the fax, but I'll keep you updated. Actually, I got Al to buy the computer parts on his card back at the start, and paid him the cash. They were delivered quite quickly.  I should get out more.

Next time: Load "" plays with dangerous Christmas toys – always good for a laugh - and Clint
Panzerdivision can't get anyone to steal his pitiful identity.

Sleep well,

- Clint..

with Clint Panzerdivision

Home Defence UK
A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
Customer Service For The Obsessive

Figgis on MelScroogedFiggis 35Figgis 34Figgis 33Figgis 32Figgis 31Figgis 30Load"" Five
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