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Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/PayPal rate increase without notification


In August 2013 PayPal approved me for Merchant Rates on payment processing and confirmed it with this e-mail:

"Congratulations! You have been approved to receive PayPal's Merchant Rates. Effective within 48 hours, you will be charged 2.2% + $0.30 USD to receive payments. To keep your Merchant Rate, please keep your PayPal account in good standing and your payment level above $3,000.00 USD."

In 2014 I discovered that PayPal charged me a 2.5% rate during months where my previous month's volume was under $10,000. At no time was I notified that anything had changed as far as rate or threshold increase. My account has always been in good standing.

When I confronted PayPal about this they stated, "I have sent the email to review and I was told that the email states that as long as you keep your account above $3000 you will keep merchant rate but doesn’t state it will stay at 2.2%+.30 .Your PayPal account got 2.2% +.30 initially because you were over the $10000 threshold at the time. Merchant rate is tiered depending on volume and will always change. This information can be found by clicking on fees on the bottom of any PayPal page."

What do you think?


Hello Theo,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

A contract can take many forms; for example it can be a formal document or an implied agreement, and many incarnations in between.  There's a famous case about a good deal of money and the form of the contract was some notes on a bar napkin.  When parties have a contract dispute, it is the function of the court to determine what the terms of the contract are.  In some states, there is a law pertaining to plain language or construction (meaning the writing) of the contract.  For example, in some cases, super-fine print portions of a contract may not be enforceable because ordinary people can't read them.  It seems to me that a good number of entities post rules and conditions of their services on their websites, and reference to those within differing agreements.

My suggestion is that you take your emails and printed pages from the other party to an attorney licensed in your state for particular legal advice about the validity of the rate increase, and an exploration of your remedies.  Depending on what you find there, you may wish to proceed with legal action, or explore a different payment pathway.

I hope this helps, good luck to you.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conciliation Court * Civil Litigation * Forfeitures * Construction * Family Law

Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)

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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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J.D. William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, MN

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