non-support: PayPal can’t help itself

Another day, another company that won’t let me tell them what’s wrong with their site. Same as it ever was. This time it’s PayPal. Their interface to Subscription payments is poor. Firstly, you can’t find it under Send money, or under My account: I had to find a recent subscription payment, click on it for Details, then you see a link “You can see all of your recurring payments on the My preapproved payments.” (sic, these people can’t write properly). Follow that link and you see your subscriptions, but you still have no idea how to get to this from the menu system. Then, all this list does is show you your subscriptions and a scary set of merchants that are allowed to bilk you at will. You can’t change the amounts and you can’t reduce the maximums (eBay can drain me of $300,000.00 USD (per month) for “sellers fees” any time they want?!). OK, I’ll look for support then, and I want to help PayPal improve its site by surfacing “Preapproved payments” and letting me change subscription amounts. On every subscription page, there’s a (Questions about this subscription? Contact us.) link, that sounds promising! But of course SPage’s law kicks in:

the part of every Web site with the most problems is the feedback form for reporting problems.

Sure enough, that helpful-sounding link takes me to an utterly general “Email Us” form that makes me guess all over again where find Subscriptions! PayPal is too stupid to pre-select the right Topic and Subtopic?

I also clicked the general “Contact Us” link at the bottom and tried PayPal’s “Chat with Sarah” helpful bot, but SPage’s law is still in effect and it is comically bad. The bot didn’t understand “How do I give feedback on your  web site”, “Where do I give feedback?”, “How do I change a subscription payment”, “I want to change a subscription”, “reduce subscription”, etc.  The only thing she was good for is “I want to reduce preapproved payment.”, in response she told me how to navigate PayPal’s menu system to find the list of payments. In other words this hunk of junk doesn’t seem to understand the term “subscription”, I have to type “preapproved payment”, even though the web site still uses the term “subscription”.

And then when I tried to tell PayPal about these four defects in its web site, after spending 20 minutes typing this in, when I clicked [Submit] I got “Your session has timed out, please log in again.”

Your session has timed out, please log in again.

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