Last month Paypal quietly began charging new fees to its customers who have personal accounts without actually notifying them of the change. The new fees apply to payments marked as “Goods” or “Services.” Such payments were previously free but will now be charged a fee of about 2.9% plus 30 cents. When confronted, Paypal claimed the new fees had been announced in email, news articles, and Paypal’s own blog. However that turned out to be untrue. The only thing mentioned in those announcements was Paypal’s decision to allow its customers with premium accounts to make personal transfers for free.
“We didn’t want to make a huge formal communication out of this pricing change, because we weren’t really adding any fees, and we were hoping it would be a more useful experience for people,” Charlotte Hill, PayPal’s PR manager said.
That is beyond inexcusable. When Paypal, or any company, makes a decision that is going to cost its customers money, the first thing they need to do is communicate this to those customers. I’m not sure how Paypal thinks taking more money from its customers equates to a more useful experience either. I get payments via Paypal from my clients every month and Paypal always takes a chunk for themselves. I think they need to be charging people who send money via Paypal, not those who receive it. Paypal gets a good $50 or so a month in fees from me each month, fees that come from money I’ve earned.