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PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the saving-them-from-the-root-of-all-evil dept.

The Almighty Buck 443

rysiek writes "Remember MailPile, the privacy-focused, community-funded FOSS webmail project with built-in GPG support? The good news is, the funding campaign is a success, with $135k raised (the goal was $100k). The bad news is: PayPal froze MailPile's account, along with $45k that was on it, and will not un-freeze it until MailPile team provides 'an itemized budget and your development goal dates for your project.' One of the team members also noted: 'Communications with PayPal have implied that they would use any excuse available to them to delay delivering as much of our cash as possible for as long as possible.' PayPal doesn't have a great track record as far as fund freezing is concerned — maybe it's high time to stop using PayPal?"

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443 comments

Who leaves money in a paypal account. (5, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | about 8 months ago | (#44764589)

It's well known that they do this sort of stuff - not regularly sweeping it out to a bank account is a really bad idea.

Re:Who leaves money in a paypal account. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764639)

Who uses PayPal?

It's well known that they do this sort of stuff -- regularly sweeping money into a bank account will also get your account frozen.

Re:Who leaves money in a paypal account. (5, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#44764749)

regularly sweeping money into a bank account will also get your account frozen.

At least it won't get your account frozen with your money in it!

Take money out of PayPal to buy more product (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#44764947)

It's well known that they do this sort of stuff -- regularly sweeping money into a bank account will also get your account frozen.

When I first read your comment, I thought PayPal might do this to encourage people to spend the money in their PayPal accounts within the eBay-PayPal ecosystem, so that PayPal can milk 3% off each transaction. But then I realized that sweeping money into a bank account was commonplace among businesses whose suppliers don't accept PayPal, such as a business that buys radio control cars from a distributor [horizonhobbycorp.com] and sells them on eBay [ebay.com] or on its own web site [philshobbyshop.com] . Is it really that much easier easier for an online retailer that sells physical goods to provide itemized invoices than for a company that sells services?

"Maybe?" (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 months ago | (#44764597)

"High time to stop using paypal" was years ago. They've been famous for this scummy behavior since even before ebay bought them and forced you to use them.

Re:"Maybe?" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764761)

Why does PayPal have any say in how the funds raised are to be spent? That is like the bank demanding an itemized weekly budget and a yearly fiscal and activity plan before they'll dispense funds from your account.

Re:"Maybe?" (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#44764873)

It stinks of the government and/or IRS abuse. Forget boycotting business for its behaviour [read: complicity]. Isn't it time we start boycotting government a bit?

Re:"Maybe?" (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765041)

Isn't it time we start boycotting government a bit?

Yes. Stop driving on public roads, using your tap for water, sewage pipes for drains/toilet, and purchasing inspected food. The city will be by shortly to remove your streetlight and disconnect your electricity, water and sewage connections.

Don't try to cheat by "camping" in one of our public parks.

When your house catches on fire, make sure you have lots of buckets of rain water (no tap, remember?) to put it out, because the fire department will only come by to make sure your neighbors' houses are safe [yahoo.com] . If you get robbed, then I hope you are home, armed and a better shot than your robber, because the police won't stop to help.

Better yet, instead of inconveniencing us, why don't you just move to your own Ayn Rand/Libertardian paradise of Somalia, DRC, Sudan or Chad? There's no government to speak of, so you'll get everything that's coming to you.

Re:"Maybe?" (0, Troll)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 8 months ago | (#44765083)

Nice strawman there. You probably wouldn't strongly prefer to live in any of Somalia's neighbors with governments either, such as Ethiopia. Whenever someone brings up Somalia in a government related argument, they are more or less screaming "I AM A DUMBASS!"

Re: "Maybe?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765047)

no fucking kidding. it is obvious to anyone with a brain that the government is to blame but the statists around here will just blame PayPal for looking after its own rational self interest instead. typical.

Re:"Maybe?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765071)

It stinks of the government and/or IRS abuse.

Not sure if troll, or just ignorant.

Paypal gets away with this because they are not regulated by the government.

Re:"Maybe?" (3, Informative)

orgelspieler (865795) | about 8 months ago | (#44764825)

What else is there? Look, if I see a vendor on eBay who doesn't use PayPal, my first thought isn't "oh, this person is a conscientious objector to PayPal's malfeasance." Instead, it's an instant scammer alert. The one time I used BidPay, I got scammed. Never again. On the other hand, it's way to easy for shitty buyers to screw you over on PayPal.

I don't know what the other options are, though. Even on Slashdot, there seems to be a lot of "don't use PayPal" but not a lot of "use $SERVICE instead" as an alternative.

Re:"Maybe?" (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 8 months ago | (#44765001)

Okay, lets rephrase the question ...

Why are you still using ebay? It hasn't been a worth while way to buy things since roughly 2006 or so.

Re:"Maybe?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764899)

"High time to stop using paypal" was years ago. They've been famous for this scummy behavior since even before ebay bought them and forced you to use them.

I stopped using PayPal years ago and when ebay insisted that PayPal was the only method of payment, I stopped using ebay too.

FE F1 F0.fm (2, Insightful)

return 42 (459012) | about 8 months ago | (#44764607)

I smell the NSA.

Re:FE F1 F0.fm (1)

kintamanimatt (2674243) | about 8 months ago | (#44764695)

Could be, but it's doubtful.

PayPal in the early days nearly got eaten alive by fraud and they obviously have to protect their business from bad actors. The problem is not that they assess the risk of fraud, but their overzealous fraud department and the way they treat their customers.

Also, fuck PayPal. I've had no end of problems with them in the past.

Bitcoin. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764613)

Paypal is administering it's wishes over other people's money. Don't use them. Period.

Re:Bitcoin. (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 8 months ago | (#44764767)

"Use Bitcoin" used to be the easy answer to Paypal dontation problems but not any more.
Since most donation-based projects ultimately want USD or EUR, they need an easy way to convert BTC donations to their target fiat currency. The days of easy conversions of BTC to fiat are pretty much over. Governments are increasingly seeking to regulate (or eliminate) the BTC currency markets, making this even more of a mine field than Paypal.

Re:Bitcoin. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 8 months ago | (#44765013)

What world do you live in where 'Use Bitcoin' was ever a viable answer to anything more than silly sites that no one cares about? Its even more of a joke than paypal.

Don't use US services (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764615)

They will betray you.

Other countries' immigration departments (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#44765035)

As a U.S.-born U.S. resident with a B.Sc. in computer science, I sort of feel locked into U.S. services. What other country would let me use its services instead?

We need to push regulators to treat them as a bank (5, Insightful)

Isca (550291) | about 8 months ago | (#44764617)

That's the only way to stop this nonsense. There will be new, different nonsense at that point but at least they will have to justify and backup what they do.

Re:We need to push regulators to treat them as a b (5, Insightful)

kintamanimatt (2674243) | about 8 months ago | (#44764735)

PayPal in Europe is a bank and they still suck. The way to stop PayPal's silliness is to stop using PayPal.

Re:We need to push regulators to treat them as a b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764999)

Or, as in my case, never start using them. Any merchant that insists I use Paypal loses my business.

Re:We need to push regulators to treat them as a b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765031)

...that especially includes eBay. Stop using eBay, and Paypal goes belly up. So does eBay, unless they stop forcing people to use Paypal.

Re:We need to push regulators to treat them as a b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764763)

Paypal actually has a bank license in many countries, and as such are in fact regulated as a normal bank in those countries.

Details may vary, yada

Re:We need to push regulators to treat them as a b (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 8 months ago | (#44764961)

It's not just Paypal they have to worry about. Look at what normal financial institutions did to Wikileaks. Mastercard stopped procesing payments, and Julian Assange's swiss bank account was frozen. If you challenge the powers that be, you will be retaliated against.

Re:We need to push regulators to treat them as a b (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#44765067)

Yes GPG support outside the USA would be less easy for the US. You can have all the GPG support you want based in the USA. Or use a 'free' US brand of email.

They should rename the service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764621)

from paypal to ManSlave

Why the fuck should they give an account of anything to them? Are they some sort of legal entity now?

Elon Musk should blast these shits from orbit with his moon laser

Who do people still use PayPal high value accounts (3, Interesting)

Tukz (664339) | about 8 months ago | (#44764623)

I don't get it.
I hear stories like this all the time.

Why do people insist on using PayPal for high value accounts?

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 8 months ago | (#44764717)

Why do people insist on using PayPal for high value accounts?

Why do people use PayPal at all?

PayPal has always done things I found objectionable. There was a period of time when some websites would only accept Paypal; but I haven't run into one of those in years. But back when I did, I'd make a point of telling the website operator they'd lost a sale because I refused to use PayPal (not that anyone cares what I did as an individual, but I figured if enough people did it things might change).

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (5, Informative)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 8 months ago | (#44764795)

Why do people use PayPal at all?

Mainly as a convenient means to avoid giving credit card numbers to those I trust even less than them. Nothing beyond that.

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 8 months ago | (#44764855)

Why do people use PayPal at all?

Because they want to buy and sell stuff on eBay?

Then why do people use eBay? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#44765057)

Let me guess 93 Escort Wagon's next question: If using eBay requires PayPal, why do people use eBay at all instead of Etsy for handmade things and Amazon for everything else?

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 8 months ago | (#44764933)

The sellers, not the buyers, are effected by paypals overly-liberal freeze-the-funds policy.

Because of this, even though there are alternatives to paypal, most sellers continue to accept paypal or they will lose customers that prefer paypal.

The policies of paypal will eventually put them out of business unless they change their ways, but its a long way down unless they start messing with the buyers too.

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 8 months ago | (#44764771)

Why do people insist on using PayPal for high value accounts?

You'd have to be a fucking moron to use them at all. Why would anybody with a brain give their banking information to this company, even for a "low value" account?

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 8 months ago | (#44764857)

I think you answered your own question. You don't give them banking information. A credit card on the other hand would be much better.

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 8 months ago | (#44764883)

You'd have to be a fucking moron to use them at all. Why would anybody with a brain give their banking information to this company, even for a "low value" account?

That's why you don't give them your normal bank account. Instead you create a separate checking account (which you can get from some banks with no monthly fee) and link that account to PayPal. Regularly transfer the money from that account into your real account. That way, if PayPal does decide to do something stupid, the amount of damage they can do is strictly limited.

If you're an eBay seller, this is the only sensible way to go.

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 8 months ago | (#44764995)

I didn't know that eBay was still around!

Can't an "ebay seller" just get a merchant account like a regular business? I can't imagine that there's any good reason to do business with a company that may or may not decide to seize all of your money at any time, for any reason.

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (1)

Tukz (664339) | about 8 months ago | (#44765039)

eBay owns PayPal.
I'd imagine they'd force you to use PayPal.

That may be FUD though, I don't use either.

Re:Who do people still use PayPal high value accou (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764981)

My own anecdote about PayPal:

I went to Disneyland with friends, and instead of carrying around a wad of cash in a highly populated area, I opted to use just one credit card. A month later, my bank told me that there were some odd charges to PayPal. I had them cancel the $1000+ in charges for landscaping in a state I didn't live in, and called Paypal to say WTF?. What was their answer to someone creating another account with the same credit card ? "We'll look into it". After I heard that, I told the person to completely disable my account and do whatever they can to ensure my name cannot be used on their system, and that I would never use their "service" again.

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764625)

This seems like a no-brainer. Why did they leave so much out there to begin with?

Don't feel sorry for anyone using PayPal (1, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 8 months ago | (#44764637)

It is a stupid service run by idiots who pull shit like this. It has been known for years. Why would anyone use it - at all?

Re:Don't feel sorry for anyone using PayPal (2)

Surazal (729) | about 8 months ago | (#44764691)

Sometimes there are services that don't have another option for online payment *other* than PayPal. It kind of sucks, but there it is. Just make sure you never keep any money in the account. PayPal's been pulling this kind of shit for years. I'm surprised no one has taken them to court over it yet (or if they had, why it hasn't made the news).

Re:Don't feel sorry for anyone using PayPal (1)

pipatron (966506) | about 8 months ago | (#44764859)

Getting such an account probably requires signing 30 pages of fineprint, making sure that anything you do can get your account banned.

A bigger question is why. What do PayPal gain by "randomly" freezing accounts like this?

Re:Don't feel sorry for anyone using PayPal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765077)

It is a stupid service run by idiots who pull shit like this.

Don't forget their insanely-high transaction fees.

Paypal is the moron-tax for people who would normally play the lottery, but happen to be running a business.

What right does PayPal have? (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#44764641)

Aside from the fact that PayPal holds the money, what right do they have to demand a business plan from an indiegogo funded project? Is there a business connection between PayPal and Indiegogo? Or is PayPal just performing a dick move?

Re:What right does PayPal have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764663)

I believe you have answered your own question.

Re:What right does PayPal have? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764677)

Because fuck you, that's why. Also, they keep bribing congressmen to not regulate them so there is no enforced law saying they can't do that.

Re:What right does PayPal have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764865)

Aside from the fact that PayPal holds the money, what right do they have to demand a business plan from an indiegogo funded project?

They don't. Freezing an account because of suspected suspicious activity is one thing, attempting to steal $45k is quite another. Paypal is notorious for this kind of behaviour and I'm actually surprised people still use them.

Instead of trying to deal directly with Paypal, maybe MailPile's legal counsel should contact the local district attorney in their area and demand that they be prosecuted for theft. Maybe a Paypal executive would go to prison for a few years over this, it is the only way to correct such actions in the future. The excuse listed for Paypal's behaviour is "concern about charge-backs". Sorry I don't buy it, if this excuse had any basis in reality then *EVERY* Paypal account would need to be frozen and no one would use them.

Actually (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764647)

It's time to never start using paypal.

Paypal acting like a bank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764649)

What does Paypal have to do with any aspect of how the money is being used let alone itemized budget and development goals, Paypal isn't giving them a loan its just the middle man handling the money transfer or am i wrong?

Depends on what you do via Gaypal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764651)

Dumping $100 as 'prepaid wallet' for the occasional Chinese webshop seems controllable.
But all the guys/companies collecting anything above the pain threshold (45k, wohoo!) in this 'bank' should get a roll of 'certified idiot' stickers for free.

Re:Depends on what you do via Gaypal (4, Informative)

kintamanimatt (2674243) | about 8 months ago | (#44764723)

Gay isn't a synonym for bad.

you may not like it but, yeah, it is (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764889)

Gay has been used as a synonym for bad for a long time. The PC police may not like it but that doesn't change the facts.

Re:you may not like it but, yeah, it is (-1, Flamebait)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 8 months ago | (#44764997)

Gay has been used as a synonym for bad for a long time. The PC police may not like it but that doesn't change the facts.

I'm guessing you don't get invited to many parties. Or you're twelve. Am I right?

Re:Depends on what you do via Gaypal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764989)

Gay is a synonym for abnormal, however.

Re:Depends on what you do via Gaypal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764821)

Dumping $100 as 'prepaid wallet' for the occasional Chinese webshop seems controllable

Except you don't need Paypal on aliexpress

Surprise! (2)

kintamanimatt (2674243) | about 8 months ago | (#44764659)

As tiresome as it is to read the same kind of PayPal horror story, I hope they keep coming. The world needs to be continually reminded not use PayPal because of they way they treat their customers. Why people voluntarily continue to use PayPal is beyond me. There are an increasing number of less evil alternatives.

I hope PayPal becomes a relic of the past, like AltaVista and other things I can no longer remember.

Re:Surprise! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#44764745)

Why people voluntarily continue to use PayPal is beyond me. There are an increasing number of less evil alternatives.

People use paypal because people know about paypal. I use paypal to buy stuff because it works. Nobody takes google payments. I suspect there's two reasons for that, and only one is inertia. Everyone has a paypal payment module because it's easy. Not everyone has a google payments module, perhaps it's not as easy.

I hope PayPal becomes a relic of the past, like AltaVista and other things I can no longer remember.

Me too, but it doesn't seem likely. eBay/Paypal, it's a tight combination.

Re:Surprise! (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 8 months ago | (#44764793)

Nobody takes google payments.

Those are your only two options? What about a credit card?

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764877)

What credit card company accepts donations from someone else on your behalf?

Re:Surprise! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#44764983)

You get raped with CC fees if you use a traditional processor, that's a last-resort option. I have a Square account and all that, but I only have it so that I can accept payments face to face from someone without cash, not so that I can accept web payments.

Re:Surprise! (2)

Rick Richardson (87058) | about 8 months ago | (#44764861)

"Google Checkout is an online payment processing service provided by Google aimed at simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Users store their credit or debit card and shipping information in their Google Account, so that they can purchase at participating stores by clicking an on-screen button. Google Checkout provides fraud protection and a unified page for tracking purchases and their status. According to a Google update[1] on May 2013, Google Checkout will be retired on November 20, 2013."

Wiil be retired on November 20, 2013.

Re:Surprise! (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 8 months ago | (#44764985)

There's one website I know of which had a choice between PP and Google Wallet. I don't even have a PP account because they're well known for this kind of crap.

The writing has been on the wall for years... (1)

celticryan (887773) | about 8 months ago | (#44764661)

This is nothing new. Paypal sucks when it comes to this stuff. If you still use it and this happens - you should have known better. Your own fault. Stop using them and maybe they will get the hint. Or maybe they will just go away.

eBay = Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764667)

1) Skype started spying for the NSA in 2011 when they were owned by Ebay, the owners of Paypal.
2) Paypal almost certainly hands all transaction data to the NSA, or rather *sells* it, because NSA pays for data feeds.

Really, stop using Paypal. Especially if you want to make political donations (to Wikipedia, to Mail pile etc., to political organizations and so on).

Well, duh. (0)

dragonard (261270) | about 8 months ago | (#44764669)

"...maybe it's high time to stop using PayPal?" Stopped years ago. They've screwed me (and a lot of other people) out of so much money. I've never used Google's services, so I don't know if they're any better.

Paypal freezing is old news (5, Informative)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 8 months ago | (#44764693)

Paypal froze Notch's account after Mincraft went gold and began selling. Supposedly in just one day he managed to get over one hundred thousand dollars in sales which prompted paypal to freeze his account.

This is thanks to the US patriot act [wikipedia.org] , bank secrecy act [wikipedia.org] and possibly some other nanny state laws. Large transactions are red flagged and reported. The owner of the account must provide an explanation of what they are doing with the money. This is one of those risk mitigation plans we were talking about the other day which helps the US government find the "bad guys". Eventually paypal will unfreeze the account once they learn the money won't be used for terrorism, drugs, racketeering or other boogeyman bullshit. I feel safer already.

Re:Paypal freezing is old news (4, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 8 months ago | (#44764751)

Paypal froze Notch's account after Mincraft went gold and began selling. Supposedly in just one day he managed to get over one hundred thousand dollars in sales which prompted paypal to freeze his account.

This is thanks to the US patriot act [wikipedia.org] , bank secrecy act [wikipedia.org] and possibly some other nanny state laws. Large transactions are red flagged and reported. The owner of the account must provide an explanation of what they are doing with the money. This is one of those risk mitigation plans we were talking about the other day which helps the US government find the "bad guys". Eventually paypal will unfreeze the account once they learn the money won't be used for terrorism, drugs, racketeering or other boogeyman bullshit. I feel safer already.

As if Paypal unfroze Notch's account out of the goodness of their hearts. No, the only way to get unfrozen is to have a huge crowd of fans making a big stink and generating lots of bad press. Does anyone remember Something Awful's Katrina fund [somethingawful.com] ? Paypal will try to steal your money, or at least sit on it for as long as they can to make interest on it. That this is a surprise to anyone is a surprise to me. (yes, that is what I meant to say there)

Re:Paypal freezing is old news (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 8 months ago | (#44764905)

What? PayPal freezing accounts has nothing to do with bank regulation and everything to do with the fact that they're not a bank. Think of PayPal like a shifty uncle who offers to let you store your money in his safe. Store too much and he might decide to keep it, and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it.

Re:Paypal freezing is old news (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 8 months ago | (#44765029)

Paypal froze Notch's account after Mincraft went gold and began selling. Supposedly in just one day he managed to get over one hundred thousand dollars in sales which prompted paypal to freeze his account.

This is thanks to the US patriot act [wikipedia.org] , bank secrecy act [wikipedia.org] and possibly some other nanny state laws. Large transactions are red flagged and reported. The owner of the account must provide an explanation of what they are doing with the money. This is one of those risk mitigation plans we were talking about the other day which helps the US government find the "bad guys". Eventually paypal will unfreeze the account once they learn the money won't be used for terrorism, drugs, racketeering or other boogeyman bullshit. I feel safer already.

Actually put this way, and after what's happened recently with the US going after bitcoin companies for money laundering...it actually makes sense for paypal to protect itself (from the government) by making a reasonable attempt to verify that the money passing through it is not obviously money in the process of being laundered.

as if.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764705)

The final sentence incorrectly suggests that there was a time to *start* using paypal!

How do these companies survive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764713)

You would think at some point they would fuck over the wrong person and their executives would get shot in the head.

Re:How do these companies survive? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 8 months ago | (#44764941)

If someone started doing this; they should start with larger, more dangerous targets, like the executives of Goldman Sachs, who've basically stolen 7 trillion from the American people.

But Musk sells electric cars and builds rockets! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764733)

Which makes most people around here forget how he gets the money for that in the first place.

High time to stop using PayPal? (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 8 months ago | (#44764739)

Shit man, that was 14 years ago. You know, when they started abusing accounts under protection of "not a bank".

Re:High time to stop using PayPal? (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 8 months ago | (#44764757)

Yep I remember that flack back then. But I don't really care. Haven't used them for anything in years and refuse to do any business involving them.

Re:High time to stop using PayPal? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about 8 months ago | (#44764783)

I had a card issued by the same bank that they use (METABank) and they denied me the use of the card for the account, they also denied my BoA account, my Ally account, my PNC account and my Wells Fargo account, they finally allowed my USAA account. The whole time demanding that I send them heaps of private financial and personal data that I was not ever going to send them. Just so I could access $25 in the paypal acccount...

Re:High time to stop using PayPal? (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 8 months ago | (#44764945)

Worse than this, I have friends that tell me, "Oh no PayPal is fine, just only use it for sending money, not receiving."

No, just no. By supporting them you are helping perpetuate the scam that is PayPal. How do you think they make money? By getting people to use their service.

Stop supporting people that make PayPal possible, and they will disappear.

What do the Investors think? (1)

unixcorn (120825) | about 8 months ago | (#44764787)

If I was someone that "invested" in this startup, I would certainly not be happy with PayPal. In fact, if their hold on the cash hinders development, I smell a lawsuit.

This seems like a no brainer. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 8 months ago | (#44764829)

I use paypal daily, but only because the transactions I make through it are small and meaningless.
The second I do something like this where I have a large amount in there, I'm switching to another service.
I've been hearing horror stories like this since they froze the Paypal account of the dude who made minecraft.

Re:This seems like a no brainer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764975)

What are these `another services', if I may ask?
Credit card companies generally do not have a better track record.

Ditch Paypal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764879)

As much as people hate banks, banks have guarantees and they simply cannot freeze your assets for bullshit reasons. Banks are regulated. Paypal is not, and they can fuck you at any time and you have simply no legal recourse. Paypal is a band of thieves.
People should have stopped using Paypal years ago.

Stripe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764885)

Isn't this the WHOLE reason "Stripe" was founded? To allow developers to take payments and funding outside of PayPal? I turned off PayPal eons ago and never looked back and have not been any worse for it. I'll NEVER use them to pay or be paid again.

War on Privacy (3, Informative)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 8 months ago | (#44764887)

Anyone who is funding any project that the US government does not like should know better than to use Paypal at this point.

Paypal is a tool of the US government, for whatever reason(s). and this is hardly the first time they use Paypal as an attack vector.

Paypal is the AOL of on-line payment systems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764895)

I've had some success using Dwolla. What other alternatives are there to PayPal besides Visa? Visa (and Credit Cards more generally) actually provide me some protection from online fraud, but I risk having to cancel the card and get a new one.

And if you HAVE to use PayPal, why in hell would you leave 10s of thousands of dollars in an account? That's just crazy.

Law Suits By Donors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44764913)

To Pay Pal.
Release my donation to Mailpile or give it back, so I can donate it directly.

Maybe a bunch of law suits will encourage them to do the job they advertise they do.

I use it because I have to (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 8 months ago | (#44764937)

I do a lot of sales on ebay, and as such am required to use paypal. At least if I want to make sales. That said, I never let my paypal account go above $1000 (typicall not above $100), and it is tied to only one bank account that I never let go above $1000. My personal and business accounts are with a local credit union that has great service and lets me auto transfer funds between accounts as much as I like with no fees.

It take a bit of diligence on my part, but this way if my account is frozen, or somehow paypal decides to reach into my bank account for whatever purpose (be it a hacked account, or some shady business practice), the damage is limited.

WTF? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#44765015)

Seriously WTF?

the bad news is, PayPal froze MailPile's account, along with $45k that was on it, and will not un-freeze it until MailPile team provides 'an itemized budget and your development goal dates for your project.'

Since when is it any of PayPals business what people use their accounts for?

Oh, right, because PayPal likes to act like a bank when it's convenient, and then loudly say "we're not a bank" when they don't want to do something a bank couldn't do.

Yet another reason why I think PayPal are assholes and would never deal with them. Arbitrarily deciding to withhold someone's money for no legitimate reason pretty much confirms that.

PayPal isn't a trustworthy entity. They're not a bank, and they're not regulated like a bank. So why do people continue to trust them?

I think this makes sense for PayPal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765059)

This makes sense from a risk management perspective, and not necessarily just from a "earn interest on the held cash" perspective.

Per the article: "...unless Mailpile provides PayPal with a detailed budgetary breakdown of how we plan to use the donations from our crowd funding campaign they will not release the block on my account for 1 year until we have shipped a 1.0 version of our product"

Imagine you have thousands of people donating to a cause, and then the company taking the money decides to take all the money and run. Each of those thousands of people get pissed off and request a refund. If PayPal can't refund the cash (since the company has already taken it out of their PayPal account), these people end up disputing the charge through their credit card, and PayPal is suddenly out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Showing that the company is legitimate (i.e., either getting them to show a business plan, or holding the cash until version 1.0 has been released) reduces the risk that the company is taking the money and scamming the donors.

So even though it doesn't seem fair for Mailpile, I can see why PayPal would want to do this.

Who the hell do they think they are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44765075)

Has no one bothered to bring them to court over this?

The fact is, they do not have the right to ask what you do with the money, just like any other donation funded organization, who are they to think they have that right? I see this clearly as either a planned attack by someone who stands to lose if this app gets out there... like a competitor that happens to know someone inside of Ebay/Paypal, or this is purely Paypal wanting to hold on to that money and make more interest on that money (like the big banks do with your money). I see this 150k as a very big sum of change that could make or break a company, the fact is, they could be held liable for a bankruptcy situation that they could have avoided.

If you consider the cause, the fact that this is in virtual space and has no real defined laws present, I would say again Paypal knows this, and knows no one can really do much about their own policies no matter how crooked, but at what point do you allow an organization like theirs to continue working like this. I would have a separate account for the paypal stuff and after each 100$, get that 100$ transfered out of that account into another account they have no access to. It might be a bit more work, but at any time, they would never be able to freeze more then 100$ on me.

Google, I hope you are listening and come up with a Paypal killer, we definately need one!

Hmm (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 8 months ago | (#44765081)

If someone could get a class action lawsuit on and get a judge to find that Paypal must pay interest at the rate of inflation when it freezes funds, it would pay better interest than a typical savings account. Just sayin'...
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