I had an overdue invoice with a provider and today it got payed automatically.
Don’t get me wrong, I pay all my invoices, but somehow I got this overdue.
I’ve reviewed my Automatic Payments settings in Paypal and there is nothing enabled with this provider. I’m sure I didn’t pay the invoice manually. I’ve looked for a section on the provider client area (using WHMCS) to manage this auto payment but there is nothing.
What are the ways a provider can take the money from Paypal?
This time was a positive move (invoice got paid) but I’m worried a bug or something else can take money from my account without my permission in the future.
As far as I’m aware, there’s two ways that a merchant would get sent money via your PayPal without any of your intervention:
If you have a subscription set up. Basically means PayPal sends a pre-agreed upon amount at a pre-agreed upon time interval (i.e. send $10 every month, or once a year, etc.).
If you set up a “billing agreement” with the merchant. This gives the merchant permission to automatically request and receive money from your PayPal account, but the amount and time interval that the funds are withdrawn are not fixed (i.e. giving the provider a blank check and letting them cash it when your bills are due).
What you’re describing sounds like #2, a billing agreement. Auto payments (most of the time) aren’t able to be cancelled within the provider’s client area, but rather needs to be done via PayPal directly. I think most providers use this method for auto payments since it can better handle having multiple services and the provider can withdraw funds whenever an invoice is due.
I’ve had customers swear to me that no preapproved payment to me appeared in their list, yet I knew they had one and even proved it by successfully cancelling the subscription over API.
Add to that, if the provider changes timezones for their WHMCS, which can be as simple as migrating it and not taking that into account, your preapproved payments might suddenly come after the cron that declares your invoice past due.
Most stupid question came to my mind: What if I have paid the invoice almost asleep?
I went through the browser history on the phone and I see that today early in the morning I’ve seen the invoice, next to a visit to PayPal. 2 times with different providers. I only remember the last one.
Well, I made the payment myself.
Sorry for wasting your time guys. I should stop grabbing the phone inmediately after open the eyes (at least during quarantine).
So in the end, PayPal still sucks. They love to skim on top of horrid rates for currency exchange too. Not like opening a dispute with them will accomplish anything. Unfortunately my eBay and low-end addiction requires I sleep with them.