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PayPal Preparing To Address Frozen Funds Policy

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the papers-please dept.

The Almighty Buck 175

First time accepted submitter skywire writes "After years of forcing innocent customers to navigate a Kafkaesque process to unfreeze their funds, PayPal has announced that they are preparing major changes to alleviate the pain. From the article: 'The company routinely freezes funds for 21 days if it thinks there's a fraud risk, and its terms give it the right to extend the freeze for up to 180 days. To get access to their money, users are often asked to provide the kind of documentation that a product seller would have, like several months' worth of sales records. But if you're running a fundraiser or selling tickets to an upcoming conference, you don't have that paperwork. Even for those with extensive paper trails, the appeals process can take months to resolve. The Web is filled with enraged blog posts, websites like paypalsucks.com, and a Tumblr called "Conferences Burned by PayPal."'"

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175 comments

Need I say more? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651521)

>minor changes

Annie Hall (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651545)

Pam (Shelley Duvall): Sex with you is really a Kafka-esque experience.
Alvy Singer (Woody Allen): Oh. Thank you.
Pam: I mean that as a compliment. [imdb.com]

Too Late (5, Insightful)

QuantumBeep (748940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651587)

After over ten years of destroying businesses and hurting people while hiding behind a blank gray wall of "policy", Paypal are kidding themselves if they think that they can ever recover the goodwill that they've burned.

Re:Too Late (2, Insightful)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651637)

You are kidding if you disregard the stupidity of the average sheeple.

Re:Too Late (1, Insightful)

broohaha (5295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651775)

> sheeple

I'm so tired of this word....

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652071)

Tough shit. It perfectly fits the masses of morons that drive business today. What else but livestock continues to hear 'fuck you, pay me'. And pays every time?

Blind lead the blind (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652179)

What better word would you use for cases where people follow rather than thinking for themselves, like a sheep circle [dailymail.co.uk] or an ant mill [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Blind lead the blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652605)

Good corporate citizens.

Re:Too Late (5, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651663)

You don't need much "goodwill" when you are the biggest player in the game and have a captive user base.

Re:Too Late (2)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651813)

Emphasis on the captive user base when comes to eBay. I doubt that anything will come of these changes as long PayPal and eBay are the same company and they have no widely recognised competition.

Does anyone know of any effective competition to the eBay/PayPal behemoth of faceless people in gray suits?

Re:Too Late (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651981)

For commercial seller Amazon seems to be the vastly superior service. I know I only look at ebay if there's none listed on Amazon or none at what I consider a reasonable price. As far as payment processors for things like donations there's Google Wallet, Isis, and Amazon payments.

Commission requirement (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652233)

For commercial seller Amazon seems to be the vastly superior service.

This is true for commercial sellers. But for sellers who don't pay $40 per month for a store, Amazon hits them with a $1 per item commission in addition to the final value fee. And items without a UPC/EAN or ISBN can't be sold at all.

Re:Commission requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652665)

> And items without a UPC/EAN or ISBN can't be sold at all.

This is simply not true. For many many many products you can get assigned an ASIN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASIN).

Re:Commission requirement (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653125)

For many many many products you can get assigned an ASIN

And for many many many products you can't without first getting a UPC, EAN, or ISBN. The information is in a help file on Amazon, which is available only to logged-in subscribers to an Amazon seller account. I'm not at work right now and thus lack access to my employer's seller account at the moment. Do you have an Amazon seller account? If so, do you want me to look up the citation for which categories absolutely require a UPC, EAN, or ISBN?

Re:Too Late (4, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652245)

None of these has really garnered much marketshare, despite Paypal's evils. Although an interesting payments model, its customer service is an oxymoron. When you've got auction funds tied up from eBay, or there's a question to your business model, they shoot their clientele first, look for blood, and allow questions to be asked later.

If the US banking laws were real (I know, another oxymoron), Paypal would have the teeth of a hundred US DAs in their leg, gnawing viciously. But they're seemingly exempt, as are all the big financial houses.

Re:Too Late (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652339)

True dat!

Every contested PayPal transaction I've ever seen has been settled in the buyer's favour. No appeals allowed. Currently my personal balance is running my way but the injustice of it chafes.

Re:Too Late (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653627)

the eBay/PayPal behemoth of faceless people in gray suits?

Just as a side note - having visited the eBay PayPal campus, it's actually a very colorful location full of cheerful people.

Re:Too Late (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653417)

The competition can be impossible to work with in some countries. I am currently in Thailand where the banks are good. OKPay demand that I jump through certain hoops to verify, fine. So I let them pay some money into my account but it arrives without any code that they need to verify so I cannot verify. OKPay say that I need to find that code and I need to find out whom on the route from wherever to Thailand lost the code. I cannot, so I try the credit card verification. They deduct a small amount from my credit card and I have to say how much. They want to know exactly how much in Euro but my statement is in Baht and the rates vary each day. I have no idea how much the amount was in Euro and neither do my bank. So they ask for some paperwork to verify but they want paperwork that is in English which is not going to happen here as this is Thailand where they speak Thai. All my official letters are in Thai which is written in what looks like dead worms.

Paypal, who have frozen my money before and whom I hate, allow me to say how much was deducted in Baht and the codes appear on my statements. Paypal has its faults but it works better.

Re:Too Late (2)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653493)

I stopped using paypal and ebay years ago, maybe even a decade, because of these predatory practices. And I am not alone.

Re:Too Late (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651727)

Credit card policies are not very different

Most of the sellers I read about we're just dumb

Re:Too Late (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651829)

we're just dumb

Speak for yourself, but don't count me in.

Re:Too Late (5, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651851)

Credit card policies are not very different

Most of the sellers I read about we're just dumb

That's the problem, really.

Merchant accounts aren't too different from what Paypal does in the end - except retailers are often forbidden by contracts to speak about it.

The other thing is, the average Joe cannot get a merchant account, so accepting credit cards is impossible (they often have minimum transactions per month of minimum amount to qualify, else you get the high rate account). Paypal does, however, let the average Joe do that, so if you're running a small shop and can't qualify, Paypal is pretty much your only option.

Especially if you want to sell online (imagine how online auctions go if you can't pay via credit card).

The problem is, most sellers just assume that it's like a cash account and Paypal will hide al lthe fees and crap from them. But given a chargeback can occur easily 6 months from the transaction date, and by default the credit cards refund the money unless the seller can prove the transaction (at which point it's paid back), well, most people are in for a surprise.

I suppose one could take cash or cheques sent through the mail. I'm sure that's viable in this day and age of buying stuff and getting it the next day.

Average Joe (4, Informative)

englishstudent (1638477) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652133)

I believe that the average Joe can now accept credit payments using 2CO https://www.2checkout.com/ [2checkout.com]

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652517)

The average joe setting up a merchant account isn't difficult.

It just takes a little research.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652899)

30 seconds' worth of searching produced:

Square [squareup.com]

Go Payment [gopayment.com]

Payware Mobile [paywaremobile.com]

ROAMpay [roamdata.com]

Re:Too Late (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651859)

But the credit card companies don't abuse their policy. Most are banks, and have some regulation. PayPal is a non-bank banking institution, and that's why they are evil (well, one reason of many).

Indeed merchant accounts don't freeze the whole ac (4, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652075)

Indeed. With CC merchant accounts they don't automatically freeze an account full of funds based on automated heuristics. It's possible they do it rarely, but working closely with thousands of businesses, and having my own merchant accounts, I've never heard of it happening. I've had my Paypal account frozen before and I know at least a dozen other people who have.

The chargeback process is still slanted toward the buyer, but the buyer has to fill out and mail or fax paperwork, not just click a button on a web page. That reduces BS chargebacks. More importantly, that chargeback affects only the one transaction; they don't freeze thousands of dollars of unrelated funds. CC processors only freeze the account after MANY complaints from buyers. Partly, that's because they do the anti-fraud work upfront, when you apply to open the account. That takes a couple of weeks.

Re:Indeed merchant accounts don't freeze the whole (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653007)

Indeed. With CC merchant accounts they don't automatically freeze an account full of funds based on automated heuristics. It's possible they do it rarely, but working closely with thousands of businesses, and having my own merchant accounts, I've never heard of it happening. I've had my Paypal account frozen before and I know at least a dozen other people who have.

You are obviously a merchant, not buyer, but buyer accounts are frozen quite often by automated heuristics. An international traveler would be silly to rely on a single credit card for a trip without at least looking up the local toll-free number for when the "unusual" activity locks their card (the consumer equivalent of freezing an account).

The chargeback process is still slanted toward the buyer, but the buyer has to fill out and mail or fax paperwork, not just click a button on a web page.

It's how it should be. I had an argument with a seller on eBay once. He said he sent it. I never got it. I did a chargeback. He complained that I didn't buy insurance.

Legally, the transaction is not completed until the item is delivered. The item was never delivered. I was due my money back. My options are to go to court and prove I never got it, or just do a chargeback. Chargeback done. Insurance protects me, delivery receipt protects him. I don't buy insurance. If you can't pack it right, you get a chargeback. If you don't ship it, you get a chargeback. And no, I don't pay your insurance for you (like mortgage insurance, where it's default insurance you pay that covers the bank, not you). If you don't want to buy insurance to cover yourself, then you deserve the chargeback. Most eBay sellers take that into account. $0.01 items with $15 delivery weren't uncommon for a while, but I heard eBay was cracking down on it, but I haven't been back in a while to see.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652693)

> PayPal is a non-bank banking institutio

Well, in Europe PayPal is actually a bank (residing in Luxembourg). That did not stop the shady business practices either.

Re:Too Late (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652299)

Most of the sellers I read about we're just dumb

Here is the first one I read.

http://conferencesburnedbypaypal.tumblr.com/post/9341558088/a-major-open-source-conference-in-paris [tumblr.com]

That guy doesn't seem very dumb to me.

Credit card policies are not very different

Again, citing the example I linked above, "six months" seems to be going above and beyond what most credit card policies try to enforce.

At least, I would never expect eventbrite.com to take that long to transfer funds (obviously) needed for a conference.

Re:Too Late (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653361)

Here is the first one I read.

http://conferencesburnedbypaypal.tumblr.com/post/9341558088/a-major-open-source-conference-in-paris [tumblr.com] [tumblr.com]

That guy doesn't seem very dumb to me.

12 paragraphs about paypal scewing him over followed by "I still do use their services from time to time".

You have a different dumb threshold than me.

Re:Too Late (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651837)

After over ten years of destroying businesses and hurting people while hiding behind a blank gray wall of "policy", Paypal are kidding themselves if they think that they can ever recover the goodwill that they've burned.

Pull your head out of your ass.

So paypal pisses off small portion of their users? Big deal, no company is perfect. But what about the MILLIONS of users like me that have been using it for over a decade without a single problem?

See the problem is people hate to be inconvienced when its for the purpose of security but then they bitch and whine like little kids throwing tantrums when they themselves have a real problem. They want everyone else to be inconvienced but them or they simply dont care what happens to others. In paypals case youre damned if you do and youre damned if you dont.

And your whole paypal destroys business's is fucking hillarious because you have absolutely nothing to back it up with or use it in a insightful. You just swing that hammer hoping to hit something.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651891)

Wait, isn't PayPal's entire profit model based on keeping those frozen funds?

Re:Too Late (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652403)

No. PayPal's business model is based on making the transaction really easy and then taking a moderately exhorbitant chunk of the money transacted. For me in Australia to get money from Armenia (for example) PayPal is brilliant and worth every penny. For me to get money from the other side of my city the cost is the same and yet becomes astronomical when the service is seen in perspective. I allow 25-30% to PayPal for every transaction. The reality is higher or lower but it averages out to that amount.

Re:Too Late (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652733)

...taking a moderately exhorbitant chunk of the money transacted.

I allow 25-30% to PayPal for every transaction.

Seriously? That seems like a hell of a "moderately exhorbitant chunk" to me...

Re:Too Late (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652873)

My guess is he is taking a lot of small payments where fixed fees drive up the overal percentage considerablly.

There is a new "micropayments" option that purports to offer far more reasonable fees for small transactions but their website doesn't make it clear if credit card transactions are covered or not and it's only for domestic payments within the US, EU or AU.

Re:Too Late (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653281)

Yes. Big payments a smaller proportion.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653613)

No. PayPal's business model is based on making the transaction really easy and then taking a moderately exhorbitant chunk of the money transacted.

Your fees go to great things like the elaborately catered tech presentations at PayPal headquarters.

http://www.meetup.com/TechXploration/

Re:Too Late (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651983)

I ran a business using PayPal almost exclusively for 4 years without any real problem. I tried to branch out to other options, but most weren't worth the time, and the only other likely alternative, Amazon, turned out to be as uncommunicative and belligerent as PayPal is rumored to be. They didn't lock any funds at least, just disabled the account, but they were a real pain about it.

Re:Too Late (2)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652453)

I tried to open an Amazon account a couple of years ago and belligerent is the only way I could describe them. I never did open an account them. Is it worth the effort to try? It seems very US-centric even once you pass through their positive/negative dichotomy they call an application.

Re:Too Late (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652829)

I'm in the US, so can't say what they're like to the outside. Other than this badly failed attempt to deal with them on a business level, I do really like them. I live in a rural area and buy things from them weekly, and use Prime both for the fast free shipping and video streaming. As a customer I like them (and can't find any nearly adequate substitute). But I won't try to run a business with anything they offer in that respect.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652001)

"Always Free! We make our money on the float!"

Remember that?

Pfft. Whatever.

Bitcoin.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652027)

PayPal offers a great service, despite the circlejerk to the contrary. Their policies were oriented towards businesses, not charities or the like. The fact that people, in their infinite stupidity, would signup for a merchant account without reading the terms, nor even slightly understanding the fraud reduction procedures that would be required to allow people to accept credit card payments with virtually no verification, is not PayPal's fault.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652515)

Yep, they burned me 2 years ago and I will never go back. They actually cost me money due to their error and they wouldn't fix it, apologize or pay for the damage they caused. Fuck them.

Re:Too Late (1)

fliptout (9217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652545)

No kidding. I've stopped using ebay too. Haven't missed it at all.

Re:Too Late (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653095)

In the same way good companies can turn bad, bad can turn good. Perhaps because managers and employees keep changing, or maybe it's because they're forced to provide better service due to competition from rivals (I bet Apple et al. would still force DRMed mp3s upon their users if say Amazon MP3 didn't initiate the idea).

Re:Too Late (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653145)

After over ten years of destroying businesses and hurting people while hiding behind a blank gray wall of "policy", Paypal are kidding themselves if they think that they can ever recover the goodwill that they've burned.

Yeah, like everyone else I opened a Paypal account about a decade ago - but they quickly put me off with some bizarre policies, plus their incessant attempts to make me tie in my checking account to their service for no good reason whatsoever (okay, it would've benefited THEM, but not me).

Maybe they've changed, I don't know; but I have made a point for the past decade of avoiding them and not doing business with anyone who doesn't offer a non-Paypal payment option. There's pretty much nothing they could do that'd draw me back in.

Re:Too Late (1)

cellurl (906920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653605)

I hate that company and always will. Please tell me an alternative.
I setup a nonprofit (completely legit, but not 501c3).
They let me set it up, then kept asking for crap I didn't have.
Then they wanted a deposit which I gave.
Then they asked for the same (never had em, never will) documents.
I asked to re-list it as non-charity and they froze my deposit.
I finally listed them as SPAM and wrote off the deposit.

Pricks and I won't forget it. Help eliminate stupid speeding tickets [wikispeedia.org]

Won't matter (0)

eksith (2776419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651591)

PayPal is an old granny trying hard to change her skewed view of business, but ain't getting anywhere. So she goes, "well, maybe the people who talk funny aren't out to steal money", but no. That kind of thinking won't change as it's too far ingrained. Are there people conducting funny business on PayPal? Of course! But when customer service is near non-existent and fundraisers can be a complete success or an abject failure well under the time it takes for them to turn their head either way, why would anyone use them for anything critical again?

I don't know if Google is a better alternative, but I can't imagine it's a surprise it's taking off as much as it is.

Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651605)

The phrase "too little, too late" comes to mind, though it's not nearly emphatic enough.

Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651631)

Fuck Paypal, I hope they go bankrupt (fiscally, they already have morally covered).

never again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651669)

Ever. Trust is entropy. You can't go back.

Big changes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651681)

Now, when they screw you over, at least you get a reach-around.

Square (5, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651695)

Maybe they're feeling the heat of competition from square and feel the need to do something to stop the exodus.

Our little business finds square a lot easier to deal with.

invisible hand (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651699)

It's pretty mind-boggling that nobody has come along and eaten Paypal's lunch yet. For all the internet-era services (most?) that based their business model on merely having the most active accounts and got burned, there are a couple for which that strategy seems to be a winner. Facebook is another one. There's no reason to use either of these services other than the fact that everyone else does - and in fact, there are lots of reasons not to (i.e. the services themselves are ass, and are run in a way that's at times abusive to their userbase).

And yet, despite the fact that there's nothing preventing competitors from springing up (unlike, say, Ticketmaster - which actively uses payola to monopolize the market) - and despite the fact that some with very deep pockets (Google) have tried - Paypal & Facebook still dominate.

Maybe it's luck? At some point someone will set up a competing service that just happens to ensnare the particular, unmarked, and unrelated 5% group of "tastemakers" who are sufficient to catalyze a shift away to a new service?

paypal needs more money (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651703)

since Paypal is caving in to pressure from the AA's to not do business with companies/people/websites the AA's don't like, it looks like Paypal is trying to get back the business of the other people they have screwed over.

My guess is nothing is probably going to change, but a Press Release saying so looks good.

Alternatives (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651725)

They're (Paypal) probably noticing the flood of payment alternatives. Stripe et al. come to mind...

Re:Alternatives (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652553)

I think the problem with most alternatives is PayPal covers the most ground. I've been looking for alternatives to PayPal for a while now and none of them have covered the kind of ground PayPal does. Even Google's offering, which you would honestly kind of expect to be pretty widely available is only usable in a few countries.

I await the day PayPal is lost to the annals of obscurity.

If PayPal wants to seem trustworthy (0)

Dracos (107777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651733)

They'll submit to being regulated like a bank. I used to work for Western Union, their money tranfers are subject to banking regulations, but PayPal isn't, for doing essentially the same thing.

Re:If PayPal wants to seem trustworthy (2, Insightful)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651879)

Indeed; PayPal is not a bank yet I'm betting most of its customers think they are. They don't have to follow the same set of rules and so they get to make their own. Customers only learn of this after they've been burned, unfortunately. That's why I don't use PayPal.

Re:If PayPal wants to seem trustworthy (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651889)

They are in Europe and have been since 2007. Not that it stops them acting like dicks, of course, they are just (in principle) well-regulated dicks over here.

Re:If PayPal wants to seem trustworthy (4, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651893)

The only nice thing about PayPal being a non-bank is that someone in the US can pay someone in the UK relatively easily. I moved out of the US, and for me to send myself money from my US accounts requires I show up in my bank, in person, to order the international transfer. They don't even honor their own terms of sending based on a fax. Banks are afraid of being the next HSBC.

Re:If PayPal wants to seem trustworthy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652351)

Don't know what they're afraid of. 4 weeks earnings and no jail time, for making money hand over fist on criminal activity? Its a fucking license to do wrong.

TL;DR (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651753)

You already burned us once, PayPal.

You will not be given another opportunity.

WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (4, Insightful)

Gorshkov (932507) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651757)

Until recently, I was on the board of directors for a local homeless shelter here in town. RIght now, we're in the middle of planning a major fundraiser. When it was suggested that we get a paypal account so that people could purchase tickets on-line, I went ballistic - I've heard way too many horror stories over the years. I'm not sure others on the fundraising committee quite believed everything I said, but my reaction was so strong it spooked them, and they backed off the idea completly. Paypal's changes will have to be effective, and in place for a very long, long time before they even have a *chance* of having people like me deal with them. That's a very large part of the market they've never had, and quite possibly never will.

Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651907)

I was a small fish, I used PayPal exclusively to buy things on eBay, and still I found them to be an incredible pain in the ass to use even when they weren't treating you like a criminal (why did I either need a land line installed or to provide a copy of my drivers license to buy things off of eBay?). They were such a PITA that I eventually disable my account. I wouldn't even DREAM of using them in an official, business capacity.

Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652641)

When it was suggested that we get a paypal account... I went ballistic

You sound like a real joy to work with.

Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (3, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652793)

You sound like you've never worked with the PayPal "dispute resolution" process.

Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652951)

Actually, I have resolved several disputes with PayPal, both as a complainer and complainee. Yes, there is much red tape involved, but it's comparable to dealing with any other bureaucratic institution. The most difficult time I had was when I was required to fax them some documentation, since I could not find their fax number listed anywhere. Make a note of it folks - the UK fax number for PayPal is 011-44-8707-303-196.

In my experience, if you adhere to their rules, PayPal is about as "evil" as any credit card company or bank I've dealt with. No more, no less.

I would certainly not feel it necessary to "go ballistic" if a colleague suggested dealing with them.

Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (2)

Gorshkov (932507) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653325)

In my experience, if you adhere to their rules, PayPal is about as "evil" as any credit card company or bank I've dealt with. No more, no less.

I would certainly not feel it necessary to "go ballistic" if a colleague suggested dealing with them.

Big difference - banks are regulated, paypal is not. What the banks can and cannot do, and WHEN they can and cannot do it, is very precicely defined by regulators. What papal can and cannot do, and when, is absolutely up to them, with no oversight whatsoever. As far as "going ballistic" is concerned - I'm guilty of hyperbole. Sue me.

Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (1)

Flavio (12072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653579)

I agree with him. Paypal has a terrible track record, and if a moderately successful fundraiser can cause them to seize funds. Since the shelter isn't a business with a track record of sales, it could take significant effort to get access to those funds. And since Paypal isn't a regulated bank, there's no recourse other than taking them to court.

Paypal is convenient, and is only worth the risk if you can afford to lose the transaction.

Reminds me of a funny story (5, Interesting)

cualexander (576700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651761)

PayPal once froze my account. I didn't realize how much they take those comments seriously and several years ago I sent some money to my wife with PayPal and put "For Sexual Favors" in the memo box, just kidding around, the way people would do on checks back in the day. Well, apparently PayPal thought I was actually paying for sex with PayPal and froze the funds. After I called them and explained the situation though, they quickly released the funds.

Re:Reminds me of a funny story (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651885)

Funny, i suppose.

Mostly just makes me think you're an idiot.

Re:Reminds me of a funny story (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652315)

I need a script that mods -1 troll every message that has the word "idiot".

It's worse than "sheeple."

Re:Reminds me of a funny story (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652591)

Let me guess; you get called an idiot and referred to as sheeple a lot?

Re:Reminds me of a funny story (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652161)

Why did your wife charge you? How much does she charge if you don't mind me asking.

Re:Reminds me of a funny story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652287)

My college roommate's account got frozen when I paid him my share of utilities. I wrote something like 'elephant tusks' or 'conflict diamonds' in the memo field. He was mad because this was back in the day when they were paying good interest, and he had like $10k in his account - all frozen for a month or so.

Re:Reminds me of a funny story (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652539)

Well, apparently PayPal thought I was actually paying for sex with PayPal and froze the funds. After I called them and explained the situation though, they quickly released the funds.

The story is not funny at all, but it is indicative of problem with PayPal

The fact that you had to explain yourself before your account is un-frozen is the very reason PayPal should cease to exist. I should be able to write whatever the hell I want on the payment -- unless they have some proof of illegal activity, I should not explain myself to PayPal to recover my account/my money.

Too little too late (3, Interesting)

Mephistophocles (930357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651765)

Yep, don't care. They lost me 2 years ago and short of their entire executive team kissing my bare ass on national TV, there's no way in hell I'm ever going back. Doing business with them was exactly like being raped.

Re:Too little too late (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651863)

>> They lost me 2 years ago and short of their entire executive team kissing my bare ass on national TV,

Hi! I'm with customer relations at PayPal and we're working hard to restore our name and good will to our prior customers. Our new policy is to do everything within our power to help you view the new open PayPal in a better light. As such, your request for a public ass kissing has been reviewed internally and accepted.

Please write back with your name, number and the nearest TV or film station so that it can be broadcast.

Disclaimer: Note: All fees and expenses related to the round-trip ticket to your home town, purchase of air time, film crew and all misc and incidental fees will be applied to your paypal account.

Thanks!

Joe
Paypal Customer Service.

In Germany (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651841)

Paypal does not get much news coverage in Germany, it is just not as useful since the bank transfer system is pretty fine. But a while ago they managed to get onto the news when they tried to force a company to stop selling Cuban cigars. The company decided to stop offering paypal transfers instead of stopping to sell the cigars.
But really, how is that their bussiness? And why is that stupid Cuba embargo still in place? Some people said that this embargo has always been about turning Cuba into a colony.

Re:In Germany (3, Interesting)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652325)

The embargo on Cuba dates back to the nationalization of US property in Cuba by Castro (think Bacardi). What's actually forbidden is the transfer of US funds to Cuba, which is why Paypal, as a US company subject to that rule, gets antsy if people use their service to pay for Cuban goods. They would have to trace every transaction involving the German cigar seller for any US based funds, and that would be a huge nightmare. Easier for them to just block the whole transaction

money laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42651909)

The main problem, as with banks, the governmental have them scared of accidently money laundering, they can go to prison for quite a time if they are caught.
Look at Standard Chartered bank they only escaped prison by giving the US a lot (billions) of dollars

Too late for us (5, Informative)

tipo159 (1151047) | about a year and a half ago | (#42651917)

I am involved with organizing a sporting event. This last year was our seventh running of the event. In previous years, the sanctioning body would collect the entry fee and send the events their portion. Because of some issues with the sanctioning body (not really set-up for credit card payment and slow payment to events), the system was switched to where events collected the entry fee.

We decided to go with PayPal for most of the normal reasons folks go with PayPal. I had the PayPal-based payment system up on the event web site in a couple of hours. The first month of getting entry fee payments went fine and we could transfer the funds into the event's bank accounts (to cover pre-event costs like venue deposits and insurance).

The trouble started at the end of the early entry period for the event (when entry fees increased). To avoid the increase in entry fees, almost everyone entered in the event who had not already done so, paid their entry fee on the same day. This triggered PayPal's fraud system and the event's PayPal account was locked. Although we had successfully run the event for the six prior years (with outside media coverage to prove it) and our paperwork was in order, PayPal decided that they would not give us access to the funds until after the event had run, "just in case the event was cancelled and the entry fees needed to be refunded".

PayPal's actions were almost a self-fulfilling prophesy. Without access to the funds to cover pre-event costs, the event was almost cancelled. Luckily, between the entry fees collected before the PayPal account was locked, the entry fees that we collected directly after the account was locked and understanding vendors, we were able to cover the pre-event costs and the event was held.

After successfully running the event, we contacted PayPal to get the account unlocked. At first, they wanted to make us wait six weeks. However, we pressed the point that we had bills that had to be paid and needed access to the funds ASAP. After an hour on the phone, they unlocked the funds and gave us access to the funds.

Compared to some people that I have spoken with, we got off easy.

I don't care what PayPal's new policy is. We are not putting our event at risk again by accepting payment via PayPal.

Re:Too late for us (3, Insightful)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652247)

Just tack on a PayPal "processing fee" for anyone that wants to use that method. This is an extra charge to cover the chance that PayPal will jerk you around. For example: Check, Visa, or Mastercard = $20 entry fee, Paypal = $20 + $5 Paypal processing fee = $25. This will make most people use another method, but still leave the option open for people who have no other way to pay. The extra fee covers your risk and hassle in using PayPal.

You can even adjust the processing fee in real time to keep your risk manageable: Assume you have reserves from last year's event equal to 20% of this year's expenses. Then adjust the fee so that no more than 20% of your registrations are through PayPal. In the worst case, you can still cover your bills, and argue unfreezing your account afterwards.

Re:Too late for us (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652421)

Just tack on a PayPal "processing fee" for anyone that wants to use that method.

Paypal terms of use forbid surcharges specifically for paypal transactions. You might be able to get away with a discount for other payment methods (I don't know for sure), that is the way people traditionally got around similar rules for credit cards - a cash discount rather than a credit card fee.

Re:Too late for us (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652743)

Just tack on a PayPal "processing fee" for anyone that wants to use that method. This is an extra charge to cover the chance that PayPal will jerk you around. For example: Check, Visa, or Mastercard = $20 entry fee, Paypal = $20 + $5 Paypal processing fee = $25. This will make most people use another method, but still leave the option open for people who have no other way to pay. The extra fee covers your risk and hassle in using PayPal.

I had been using PayPal as a onesy-twosy seller on eBay for a long time and never had a problem with PayPal. The guy running the event had had a eBay store and never had a problem with PayPal. It seemed like a safe, easy way to handle online entry fee payment. PayPal was our way to accept credit card payment. Based on our experiences, we had thought that people who had had problems with PayPal must have done something wrong.

Now we know better.

For this year's iteration of the event, with more time, we have found ways to accept credit cards (with code that we can drop into our website for online payment) that are safer for us (and less expensive) than PayPal.

POLICY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652021)

Nananana we have your money and you are shit out of luck. fuck you.

So they're putting that in writing after its been used in practice for a decade now?
Well that's mighty nice of them.

I still wonder whos dick paypal sucked so hard to not be classed as a bank or credit card by now... That must have been one awesome blowjob.

Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652053)

PayPal tried this on me. I found the solution was to be extremely nasty and aggressive towards them. I gave them a lot of bad PR over the issue. They backed down and apologized. Wonder of wonders. PayPal is a very arrogant company but they really hate bad PR.

Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652259)

When I saw what they did to Wikileaks I closed my account.

Not going back (4, Informative)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652335)

Honestly, I've given up on Paypal. Back in 2009, I've had my account frozen due to using many credit cards. Since I didn't have a job, I (thought I) couldn't get an actual credit card, and used a service in my country that generates temporary credit card numbers, valid for a month and with a set credit limit*. Well, Paypal didn't like that I used more than (IIRC) 15 credit cards in X time, so they blocked my account. I've since learned that Paypal e-mail support is where messages go to die, and, through site revisions, has become almost impossible to find. So, to resolve my problem, I had to call an Irish number, where this lady basically told me "No credit card, no dice". So then silly me goes and gets an actual credit card and calls again. "Looks good. It should be OK, now" - someone else says. It isn't. The next call: "OK, reset the password from your main computer". a) My main computer was a laptop which died in the middle of this process, and I've told them this, and b) What's the point of being on the web if you're requiring people to do something from a set computer? I've reset the password and the account is still blocked, so I've given up. Luckily, I only lost a little money in this process, but I've been finding that living without PayPal is easier than I thought.

* For the curious, https://www.mbnet.pt/ [mbnet.pt]

Stupid users deserve what they get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652391)

Only an idiot would use Paypal.

Elon Musk is a piece of subhuman waste who is a parasite on
decent people. Yes, he sold Paypal, but he also created it.

What the fuck is it going to take before you bottom-feeders
wake up and recognize when someone has a dick up your ass ?

Ebay and paypal in cahoots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652523)

Recently i sold a rather expensive rc helicopter because i needed the money on ebay . After selling it for around 400 dollars i went ahead and shipped it after getting message that the payment was received. I goto get my cash from an atm to pay a much needed bill and it says insufficient funds for 200 dollars. I call them and they say that because i have not sold 15 items on ebay that they will hold the money until the buyer leaves good feedback or 90 days has passed and i show proof of delivery. "To protect the buyer" so i begged the guy to give me good feed back right away and he did and it still took them a week after the feedback. I called and they told me that even though he left good feedback i cant have the funds until a minimum of 15is days has gone by.

I honestly think they are illegally holding money for taxes and until we stop using them it wont change. Ebay lost my business and so has paypal.

fucking morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652543)

You are a fucking moron if you're doing business with paypal.

I will still make purchases via paypal, but only when no other alternative is available. But I only use a credit card with zero liability, and I'm not giving those fuckers my bank account number or my debit card number.

And for people who say: "I don't have a credit card" etc...

I say: "Get a skill and get a fucking job."

I'm Confused? (1)

rueger (210566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652683)

There are people who still use PayPal? Merchants or sites that encourage it? I can't recall the last time I came within spitting distance of PayPal for anything.

Then again, it's been several years since I went near e-Bay either.....

Too little, too late. (1)

ikea5 (608732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652807)

Screwing legitimate users on regular basis is not a good way of doing business. eBay/PayPal.

2007 Transfer to Wife in Europe (4, Insightful)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652879)

I transferred a good bit of money to my wife in Paris in 2007. It had worked twice previously. On the third time, Paypal "froze" the funds, IE took them out of our joint account in the USA, but not putting them into our account in France. Several weeks went by, I was calling constantly. One particular guy taking my calls will live in my memory forever. I learned to just say "escalate" "escalate" "escalate", as we reached a point when my wife in France's internet account would be cut off for non-payment. We had to keep faxing documents all showing both our names on both the accounts. It was an absolute horror show. I don't understand why there is not a class action suit against them for the interest Paypal earned from all of the people like me who had all of their money in Paypal limbo. I'm way too busy to worry about this now, but if I had time to, I'd hate their guts.

It backfired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652999)

Once I used to leave cash for my purchases in my paypal account and since I got 0% interest I presume Paypal made quite for themselves. Never mind: I got fast access to my cash for purchase, but the news about accounts being frozen spooked me. Not just the news, but a family member had a fake paypal transaction on his credit card and they gave him a really hard time. After that, I keep nothing in my Paypal account and pay by "instant bank transfer" which PayPal offers. If they didn't, I wouldn't use their service at all.

more paypals (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653167)

None of this would be a problem if PayPal had serious competition. There should have been half a dozen companies doing exactly what PayPal was doing which were started in the past five years.

Recently, the local bank where we keep our family's and our business accounts has started offering a QuickPay service which apparently hooks into Chase Bank and allows for sending and receiving money to and from email accounts. It's still in its infancy compared to PayPal, but I've been using it more and more because of how much I loathe PayPal. It works just as well and hopefully it will become more widely used. I'd switch away from PayPal in a minute if there were good alternatives (I'm in the US).

PayPal is now filled with competitiors (3, Interesting)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653501)

Now about time for someone to actually challenge eBay. eBid, uBid etc. never gain steam. We need an auction site that takes all sorts of payment methods, including enabling established sellers to accept non-recoursable payment methods like Western Union, Bitcoins etc. to increase liquidity.

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