Authorised Holds


Recently I made 2 purchases through PayPal ($175.77 + $100) that the seller refunded immediately as they were having some issues on their end. Now I got confirmations of the money being paid and being refunded as separate emails within minutes of each other, however the money still seemed to be in my account and had not moved. Now I expected that whenever PayPal processes the payments, they will be debited from and then credited to my account within a short span of time considering the refunds were immediate, not really giving a second thought to this.

Unfortunately however, I had a very large unexpected expense the next day that pushed the account balance about $5 under $275.77 and during the course of the day while sorting things out I missed the notification that those two PP amounts had been debited and my account was now in negative by about $5. I wake up the next morning to CommBank having charged me a $5 "Unpaid payment fee" and then during the day they charged me another $10 "Overdrawing approval fee", presumably because I did not rectify the issue before midnight the night before.

Now the same day, PP refunds me the second transaction, $100, but not the first for some reason and I called to ask why that is, and after about 20 minutes of being juggled around by a machine, I finally get put through to someone in the US. This person now tells me that even though I'm looking at the transactions in my account where PayPal has deducted the 175.77 & 100 respectively, "they did not receive the money from the bank and will not refund it until they do" but then I still have a refund from PP for the second amount which she says was the completed refund. I went on to spend about 20 more minutes with her where she kept going around in circles saying that the first amount wasn't deducted, while my statement says otherwise, and then that the second was successfully refunded, but according to her, also wasn't removed from my actual bank account.

Overall I'm just really confused as to what is happening with the money, why the second was refunded but the first "cannot be refunded because it never left" and why I'm stuck with overdraft charges for amounts that "never left my account". I won't say I have no blame since I missed the notification telling me to balance my account, but further insistence that the money is still in my account is BS which means that I should still have the money and no fees.

I'm not really sure how to go about getting this issue rectified as I'm getting conflicting advice from both sides but is there any advice you guys have on how to sort out this mess?

Cheers and sorry for the long post

Related Stores



    • OP did not allow for unexpected expense and has been charged fee by bank. Blames PayPal transactions.

      • Yes, I admit it was my error in not accounting for an unexpected expense but my question is why I have been debited for a transaction that PayPal says they did not take the money for and therefore will not refund while refunding another identical transaction? Just trying to get an idea of what is happening.

  • Very unwise to give Paypal access to your bank account

  • $15 is a cheap lesson and much less than yesteryear. You had put your buffer money in a higher interest savings account, I am guessing, this being OzBargain and all. You sailed too close to the wind.

    • You're right about the rest being placed in a HISA and other investments, I was just mostly confused by the rings both sides had me running around in and was wondering if anyone had any experience or answers.

  • First - is your account still overdrawn? Before anything else, transfer money in so that it's not overdrawn.

    Second - wait. Bank transactions aren't instantaneous. CBA may have debited your account on your end, but on seeing that it overdrew your account in a way that you haven't authorised, put a hold on that transfer and so the money never got to Paypal, and is actually being returned by CBA to your account.

    • No, I rectified the overdraft as of yesterday. All of this happened over the last 4 days so it only in overdraft for less than a day. I'll be sure to put a hold on that transfer now, thanks for the info!

  • When you called the adults at CBA to ask them to refund the overdrawn fees what did they say?

    You did call CBA didn't you… ?

    • I did call yes, originally they were very reluctant to help as they kept insisting that PayPal needs to refund but the second time around when I called and told them that PP says they haven't withdrawn, even though me and the CBA phone teller can see they have, they decided to just refund me the overdraft fees and block the PP transaction since I acted in good faith and brought my account out of negative within a few hours.