How to Use PayPal to Pay for a Flickr Pro Account

Head Desk

If you’re experiencing the frustration of not knowing why Yahoo! is being so obtuse about what’s wrong with using PayPal to pay for a Flickr Pro Account, I hope this article helps.

I have a Flickr Pro Account that I used for my business, especially for this blog. Since it is a business expense, I wanted to use my business checking account to pay for it. The easiest way to do so was through PayPal, which Flickr claims is available as a payment option.

I go through the steps, log into Flickr twice, log into PayPal once, and finally I can click on the button to submit my order.

Then I get this error message:

Yahoo Error

Click to see the full message

For those of you who can’t see the image, the error reads as follows:

An Error has Occurred.
There is an error with the payment method information. Please check the information and re-enter it or use another payment method. If the problem persists, please contact Yahoo! Customer Care.

There is no link to the Yahoo! Customer Care page. There is a link that takes you to Yahoo!’s main website, but why would I want to go there from this page? There is a link to go to the help page, and from there, it’s a mess.

In the end, I found “Product and Service Specific Help” under Yahoo! Wallet Help Topics, and then I found a section titled Why am I seeing errors when ordering with PayPal?. It says to check that you have enough funds in your account, that your funds are tied to a funding source, and that your account information is up-to-date. The other suggestion was to essentially reboot by deleting PayPal from your Yahoo! wallet and entering it in again. If none of those options work, Yahoo! suggests you contact PayPal. “Since the errors are with their system they will have the best information.”

PayPal’s message boards have a few people who are experiencing the same frustration I am, and there was no resolution for any of them, so I called PayPal. If you are wondering, on your main account page, at the bottom you’ll find a Contact Us link, and then you’ll need to go to a different link for contacting them by phone, which gives you a network PIN you’ll need when you call. When I did get through to an agent after a few phone menu items, I was told that the error message on their end is that a Flickr Pro Account requires immediate payment.

My PayPal account isn’t tied to my bank’s debit card, and my expectation was that a $24.95 Flickr Pro Account payment would take the $12 I had in my PayPal account and then pull the remaining amount from my checking account. I had this expectation because when I set up the PayPal account in the wallet, I was able to specify that order of operations. Also, it’s how it works when I make eBay purchases. It turns out, however, that Flickr wants the payment immediately, which means I need all of the money in my PayPal account or a credit or debit card that the funds can be pulled out of.

The solution: transfer the remaining money to my PayPal account, wait for it to get there, then pay for the Flickr Pro Account.

Alternatively, I could pay for it using a credit or debit card, but I’m still waiting for a new one from my bank, so it’s not an option for me currently.

When Yahoo! claims that the “errors are with” PayPal, apparently they mean that the error messages are secret and they have no way to tell you what’s happening. When they say that you need to ensure you have enough funds, they mean in your PayPal account NOW.

What’s frustrating is that their help and error messages don’t tell you any of that. At no point in the regular transaction did I learn that PayPal payments must be immediate. I had to talk to a PayPal representative to learn this information. Why wouldn’t Yahoo! tell me since I’m making a payment for their service? Also, normally when I make a payment with PayPal, the other person gets a message saying that the payment is processing, and it might take a few days. I don’t use PayPal for much, so the idea that I had to have enough money right now in order to make a payment was foreign to me. PayPal usually makes the process pretty easy since they’ll pull the funds from my bank account if I don’t have enough readily available.

Lesson learned: This situation with Flickr wouldn’t be so frustrating if expectations were set properly. Just tell me up front that I needed to ensure I could pay immediately! And in my own business dealings, I hope I also do well to set expectations appropriately to avoid needless frustration.

Have you had frustrations with Flickr, Yahoo!, and PayPal? Do you find that the error messages and explanations are too vague and useless? Did this article help?

4 comments to How to Use PayPal to Pay for a Flickr Pro Account

  • I just went through a lot of the runaround stated above. And was similarly frustrated. I also saw that people have been encountering this issue for longer than a few months now, with no change/clarification to the wording/system. That is poorly managed. Through searching etc on Yahoo I was finally able to track this down http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/wallet/paymentmethods/general-73.html but gahr the whole thing pissed me off. LOL. The whole reason for me setting up a paypal account was to use in situations like this and then to be told that “it’s not our fault, blame paypal”? Does Yahoo/Flickr now want our money/business? Shouldn’t it be their concern as well that people are getting royal po’d because they have to deal with this issue?

    Ok.. time for some breathing exercises 😉 lol

    Thanks for sharing this. I hope other people have found some comfort that they’re not alone. And it seems likely that more people will find this later since apparently they don’t deem it a serious enough issue to actually do anything about it.

  • James Buddenhagen

    I have spent the last hour trying to figure out why paypal did not work to pay my flickr account. Paypal has no record of any transaction, and flickr claims the attempt to pay using paypal failed. Grrrrr!!!

  • James Buddenhagen

    Here is the message I get: https://flic.kr/p/DhjP1E

  • That sounds frustrating, James.

    At some point I stopped paying for a pro account years ago, so I have no idea how things have changed since. I wish I could be of more assistance, but everything I know about it is from this 5-year-old article I wrote when I dealt with it back then.

    I hope you figure it out, and if you do, please feel free to post what you did here.