PayPal

Some months ago, PayPal customers in India were suddenly caught unawares by changes in PayPal’s policies regarding payments and withdrawal of funds. Those problems however, were resolved and things seemed back to normal. Around 3-4 days ago, I received an email from PayPal as below;

Dear Atul Karmarkar,
In accordance with regulatory instructions, we would like to notify you about a change in our withdrawal functionality in India starting on August 1, 2010. At present you can request for either an electronic or cheque withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account if you are an India user.
From July 29, 2010 onwards, you will only be able to request for a cheque withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account.
While we are working hard to restore the electronic withdrawal service, in the meantime, we are bringing this matter to your attention so that you can plan your future withdrawal activities accordingly.
To request for a cheque withdrawal:
Log into your PayPal account, click on ‘Withdraw’.
Click on the ‘Request a cheque from PayPal’ link.
Enter the withdrawal amount and select your mailing address, then click ‘Continue’.
Click ‘Submit’ to confirm your request.
In order to help you with this change and until further notice, we will refund the $5 USD cheque withdrawal fee to you for cheque withdrawals made on July 29, 2010 onwards.
For any questions, please log into your PayPal account and click ‘Contact Us’ at the bottom of the page.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused from this change in our withdrawal functionality. We will provide ongoing updates to you here. We thank you for your attention and patience as we work tirelessly to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.

Thank you,
The PayPal Asia Team

Just when I was thinking here we go again, PayPal sent another mail earlier in the day, this time full of joy and happiness, stating;

Dear Atul Karmarkar,
We’ve received good news. You can continue to enjoy electronic withdrawals just as you did before.
While we have received your appreciation for the advanced notice and the refund of the cheque processing fee, we also have heard loud and clear that you highly value the ease-of-use of our electronic withdrawal service. Our customers are our number one priority and we are working tirelessly to improve our service.
Thank you for your patience and in appreciation for your continued support, we will still provide the $5 USD processing fee refund for any cheque withdrawals made from July 29, 2010 until further notice.
For any enquiries, please contact PayPal customer support by logging into your PayPal account and clicking on ‘contact us’ at the bottom of the page.

Thank you,
The PayPal Asia Team

No doubt this is a relief, but PayPal seriously needs to sit with the Indian authorities and sort out all these payment + withdrawal related issues once and for all, before account holders stop using their PayPal accounts purely due to such uncertainty or worse, start looking for alternatives.