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PayPal: How many Brits were robbed today?

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Letter PayPal's dollar-sterling exchange rate today at £1 = 97¢ made some quick-witted individuals very happy. The real rate, as published at Xe.com's very fine currency converter, is £1 = US$1.57861.

So what about ordinary Joe Punter who simply wanted to pick up a bargain or two? Today was not the day to use PayPal if you were paying in sterling, as this sad tale from Reg reader Bryan MacErlean, shows.

I paid $669 for a watch today got charged £680 pounds. Contacted paypal support initially they were adamant that 'the rate is blended and calculated by the computer so must be right'. 20 minutes later at international rates I managed to get put through to someone in finance only to get fobbed off to yet another person. They still didn't admit it was their fault - they think the USD is worth more than sterling. I am unsure about my legal position on this one...

Us too, Bryan. Usury is forbidden in some countries and sharp practice in most. But incompetence?

So here's an easy question that surely even PayPal can answer: How many Brits were robbed today? And another easy one: why should Bryan lose £256.25, simply because a bogus currency rate was used today? (again to XE.com where we find that US $669.00 = £423.746).

Now a piece of advice for PayPal: perhaps it's time to swap your computer for something that can tell the difference between sterling and the euro. ®

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