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Invest for Revenge? eBay

May 9th, 2014 at 02:27 pm

eBay (NASD:EBAY)'s subsidiary PayPal screwed me over in late March. My donation to PortableApps.com through PayPal set off an account "flag" request for verification. I input my information very slowly and carefully and accurately, but it was rejected and PayPal demanded I send sensitive personal identification like my SSN, verification of my mailing address. I thought "no, not when it's THEIR fault."

But companies will rarely apologize or change THEIR mistake. Because that would be responsive, and who cares about customer retention when one can spend more money attracting people who haven't yet had a negative PayPal experience?

I looked in PayPal's forums for ways to get around this baseless limiting of my account: there were none. I changed my address, I unlinked my joint account, I withdrew my balance from PayPal. PayPal sent automated multiple e-mails to the tune of "c'mon, you can send us your sensitive info. All you have to do is send us your sensitive info!" And yet on the PayPal forums one can read "I sent my info nine times, to a different person each time, and my account limitations are still there six months later" and "my PayPal account was hacked."

After five weeks of this asinine activity from PayPal, I received an e-mail: "We fixed our verification process." No apologies for any inconvenience. I don't know that I'd want to continue business with a company that flags my completely legal activity of online donations to tax-id organizations on some double-secret algorithm, or because of faulty business rules or bad programming. I am not convinced the benefits outweigh the risks.

Yet eBay is on both Jim Jubak's "best 50 stocks in the world" and "stocks for an 12-18 month horizon", Standard and Poor's "NetAdvantage" online database gives eBay an Investment IQ of 141, which is higher than my IQ, it's undervalued, and Value Line projects its annual return range (3-5 years) from a 7% low to a 14% high.

I kinda wanna buy some stock in eBay, chancing on a high 7%+ return, and using that to buy cryptocurrency.

What are your "investing for revenge" choices?

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