Problem with payment service provider Braintree by Paypal

I have had a big problem with the payment service provider that I chose to use on the new website: "Braintree by Paypal"

I did not experience any issues initially setting up the system up. linking it to my PayPal account (the parent company) and taking payments directly on the website.  I was really pleased with it and it appeared to be working really well.  However, I later discovered that I should have received a "welcome" email from Braintree, which contained important information about using the system before the "application" had been fully processed and this information is also supposed to be displayed whilst creating API keys - I however was not required to do this as I linked it to Bluepark which only required a merchant ID. 

I first noticed an issue when I received two orders that were processed but the payment did not arrive in my PayPal account. As I had already shipped these orders out to customers, I was understandably concerned.  Things were about to get much worse...

Braintree had failed to process my application for over 30 days and additionally failed to communicate when the application had failed.  After multiple failed attempts to get to the bottom of the issue, I was initially told that "It looks like your application has not been fully approved yet which is why the funds have not been disbursed to your account. I'm going to go ahead and loop you over to our Sales team. They should be best suited to answer this question for you and provide you with additional information. If you have any additional questions in the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out!"  

The Sales team however did not get back to me and I had to call multiple times while they tried to discover what the issue was.

After initially being told that it would only be the last two customers that would be refunded and that they would look it to getting me a refund, was told: "I have escalated this case and asked for a refund and we will not be able to issue a refund in this instance. You were notified twice of the pre-transact limit and what would happen if your application was declined. "

This was followed up by them deciding to refund all the customers that had purchased knives during the 30 day period that I had used the service.  There suggestion was "we recommend working with your customers to claim funds via a different channel like a direct debit, PayPal transaction, or even a mailed check." 

I was told that the reason that my application had been rejected was that Knives were not allowed on the Braintree AUP - This however is not true and I was later told: "While not explicitly mentioned in the AUP list, at this time Braintree views kitchen knives as high risk and it is not something we are able to support. Please keep in mind that our AUP is not completely inclusive of the businesses we can and cannot support as we have different policies per region and review applications on a case-by-case basis."

So basically, in a nutshell... Braintree made a mistake in my application, failed to communicate and then after refunding all my customers they told me that I was on my own.

I can't say that I would recommend Braintree by PayPal to anyone.

I will now have to look at an alternative way of taking direct payments.  PayPal Website Payments pro might be the answer but it comes with an additional monthly cost that I'm not sure I want to pass on to the customer.