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Tue Dec 6 2011 22:56:58

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

By: Ina Steiner

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It started as a fairly typical rant against PayPal policies and turned into a major brouhaha picked up by media giant CNN. Regretsy blogger April Winchell, who goes by the name of Helen Killer on her blog, complained when PayPal told her she had broken its rules by using the Donate button to raise money for a project in which she was donating toys and money to needy families. She said PayPal froze her funds and requested that she refund unprocessed donations.

The Consumerist picked up Regretsy's story, and when a CNN reporter began asking questions, PayPal told CNN it had released the funds and was working with the account holder. PayPal then wrote about the issue on its blog.

A blog called TheGreenGeeks also wrote about the issue, and its post shows how confusing it is if you want to do charitable fund raising but are not a non-profit.

Why would PayPal let a for-profit use the donate button and then ask question if the account holder is a non-profit, after already collecting donations? On its own blog, PayPal said it requires certain documentation to prevent misuse of the donated funds. "In this instance, we recognized our error and moved as swiftly as possible to fix it." What was the error? Or did PayPal make an exception for the Regretsy blogger?

According to Regretsy's tweets this evening, "You DO NOT have to be a NPO to solicit donations. Paypal admitted they gave me the wrong info when they called me today," and that "It's a gray area and they admitted it was subjective and that they made a bad call." Winchell, who is also an author and actress, said she had raised $150,000 in donations using PayPal in the past 2 years.

PayPal acted in this case because of media attention, but what about the next person who encounters such issues and doesn't have the same kind of media savvy as Winchell? While it was great that CNN took an interest in this specific case, they didn't ask PayPal questions about two of the most interesting aspects: PayPal's practice of freezing funds and of keeping a portion of fees on refunds. It's amazing what the light of public scrutiny can accomplish, as Regretsy's owner discovered today.




Comments (27) | Permalink

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Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Dec 7 00:21:19 2011

Why do the words ''unscrupulous'', ''disingenuous'' and ''clunky'' keep coming to mind when one thinks of PreyPal?

Thankfully, Visa is to launch its new “V.me” service next year. The idea is similar to that offered by PayPal: you upload details of your payment cards to Visa—even if they're not Visa-branded—and Visa will process the payment without ever revealing your card details to the merchant.

At last! Freedom from the clunky PreyPal at least for off-eBay online merchants; and PreyPal will undoubtedly now atrophy back to it’s mandated use on eBay, from whence, without its mandated use thereon, PreyPal would never have had the success that it has had …

But, be in no doubt, except for its mandated use on whatever will be by then left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay Marketplace, the clunky PreyPal will elsewhere be buried by Visa’s professional offering, “V.me”, once it is up and running in 2012.

PayPal claims PayPal Is Not a Payments Processor!
http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=24148

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: CNNseekTheTruth LOL

Wed Dec 7 04:53:41 2011

Don't expect CNN to ask the right questions because to do so would expose the level of greed and corruption of ebay/paypal with the blessing of wall street.

Bernie Madoff is in jail because he did bot have powerful board of directors and wall street behind him who could pressure the media to ''Shut Up''

''what about the next person who encounters such issues'' The bigger question is: What about those already dealing with such issues?

The real issue is how much of ebay/papal reported revenue is from simply taking users money so they can tell wall street and stockholders look how much we took in this quarter while side stepping the ''how we took in the revenue'' part.

Wall street and stockholders could care less about where the money comes from so they turn a blind eye to what is going on. When the truth finally does come out they will be lying to their teeth claiming they knew nothing about it and scrambling to find a scapegoat to blame it all on.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: 824684

Wed Dec 7 07:23:03 2011

PP swooped in like some dark evil vulture onto the funds. They immediately took their cut (x3). Then they froze even  April's personal accounts, perhaps as revenge or punishment for the bad PR which was being generated.

They were deleting comments from their facebook wall literally as fast as they could, in realtime.

Once they realized that the situation was out of control, they contrived to issue more falsehood, eg: That hollow (non) apology and further statements on their blog about having been in contact and making donations etc. I read the donation part as more-less a hope to pacify and silence the situation. To this point, no donation has been made.

Did any of you catch the blog photo switcheroo? LOL!

In short, they thought they had an easy mark. oops!

Through it all, while the rest of the interwebs were almost on fire and melting down, there was almost NO mention about it on ebay forums anywhere. What little there was was largely ignored and/or buried.

So I think it's safe to say the ebay community doesn't care about anything but their own pocketbooks. LOL.

There is so much more to this best thing to do would be to read all the comments and all the blogs about it.

Besides Helen Killer of course, I thought Forbes and thegreengeek blog did a really good job breaking it down, along with many of the commenters.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Dec 7 07:34:24 2011

Never surprising.
Always disgusting.
Beneath contempt.
Incompetent.
Corrupt.
Vile.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: themcd1998 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 7 10:52:12 2011

Check out Dwolla.com

Up and coming PayPal competitor.  And no, I don't work there.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: WhoKnewIt This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 7 10:58:46 2011

Biggest problem for a lot of us is that Etsy only uses PP....if we had a "choice" it would be a no-brainer. PP froze a sale in my account once for absolutely NO reason. They told me the buyer complained about not getting the item. The "buyer" was a return customer of mine, not only did she NOT complain about no delivery she left positive feedback in my Etsy store and ordered ANOTHER custom item! When all this information/proof was given to PP the response was "we can legally hold funds for up to 21 days"...and they did.....I hate them...but with Etsy they are the only game in town...

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: Good Grief

Wed Dec 7 12:35:48 2011

Good for April for making the ugliness of pp out in the public.

I love regretsy and the wonderful people on team April for raising funds.
The site is also great for finding all those FAKE re-sellers on etsy.  Keep up the good work April.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Dec 7 12:39:31 2011

@WhoKnewIt

So PayPay is holding your money for ITEMS NOT SOLD on eBay?

More of you ought to complain in every forum where eBay and PayPal are mentioned. I see Philip complaining elsewhere.

You guys have skin in the game and only whine here.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: JoyfulA

Wed Dec 7 12:50:58 2011

I saw PayPal trending on Twitter and, naturally, checked it out. Then I did my part by retweeting.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: Departing seller

Wed Dec 7 17:04:20 2011

LOL!  I love it!

PayPal greed exposed.

Nice to see people calling out Paypal's BS on the PayPal blog.

Anuj Nayar, Director of Communications, PayPal... I do believe you and your company are full of 5h1t.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 7 17:34:04 2011

check out

SQUAREUP.com

Got that one from website magazine, I believe.

process CC pymts on an app from your DROID, or with a square reader, which is free. (non ''swiped'' CC pymts have a slightly higher fee than ole PP, but if the buyer refuses to use them....) Swiped in person is 2.75%

Takes about 6 days to arrive, thanks SQUARE.

And NO I don't work there.

and** INTUIT payment network will do e-checks for 50 CENTS each... (I don't work there either)

So in the future when someone says ''I want to use my checking account, but I refuse to use PP'', you can still sell to them.

Or once you have ''converted'' a buyer to your own website.....

Go forth, brick by brick and tear that ebay / PP wall down!!

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: Departing seller

Wed Dec 7 17:52:44 2011

This story is all over the place.

Do a Google news search for ''PayPal'' and ''Regretsy''!

msnbc.com
The Daily Telegraph
Z6Mag
NBC Bay Area
The Nonprofit Quarterly
CNET (blog)
Digital Spy
Daily Mail
myce.com
Gawker
The Guardian (blog)
Adweek
CTV.ca
Computerworld
The Age
Portfolio.com (blog)
DiePresse.com
TechCrunch
Gazeta.pl
Dagbladet.no

Pressetext.com

and
on and on...
The bad press on PayPal even breaks the language barrier.

I am loving this!

At least John Donahoe can offer PayPal some comfort as he explains to PayPal why they should let go of their successful past.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: bill

Wed Dec 7 17:57:53 2011

I made a complaint to visa I actually have received a response from visa who said they are investigating about ebay/paypal for the holds on funds and  their unsavory business practices, the complaint was made to them concerning ebay/paypal deceptive outrageous business practices and policies and the fact that they should consider their reputation being harmed because of ebay/paypal. The complaint was made with the understanding that ebay/paypal were being paid fees by sellers who are not treated like ebay customers, the ebay/paypal mind- set that treats sellers like we are employees. I too have had payments held out of the blue once in awhile. Payments from buyers whom have done nothing wrong. Paypal calls it security risk or something I cannot remember. The money is held forever it seems, they buyer gets upset because I do not ship until I get my money. I am not subjected to paypal holds all the time like some sellers, I would never put up with that, this is something that happens about once every six months. It really sucks how ebay/paypal stress that sellers give good customer service but their own customer service is pathetic to say the least. The fact that you can go online to many of the review sites and they all base ebay reviews by the amount of transactions by buyers!! not reviews sellers who are actuaslly the customers of ebay/paypal. This mess was created by one individual John Donahoe, that is clear, his actions are depolorable and I woulod like to know how many of the payments are being held in a years time and for how many days. I think a audit should be done, they are obviously collecting interest on that money or investing it how could that possiblly be legal, just another jd policy being buried by politicians and judges who are bought by wall street.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: What's That?

Wed Dec 7 18:34:14 2011

@bill

If you have something worthwhile to say and want others to read it, please use paragraphs and not one block of text.

Like this.

And this!

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Dec 7 18:38:51 2011

The problem we have in getting rid of the clunky middleman PreyPal is twofold:

1. PayPal is very convenient for online buyers (it’s the merchant that invariably and habitually gets it in the neck), and

2. PreyPal is effectively mandated on the eBafia Marketplace.

These hurdles are not going away until:

1. The “eBafia Don” finally succeeds in taking the eBafia Marketplace submarine, and

2. A better alternative to PreyPal arrives on the scene.

Well, at least a far better alternative will be available to off-eBay online merchants next year: Visa’s “V.me”.

eBay’s submarine experience may take a little longer. In the meantime, it’s going to be fun watching the “Pain from Bain” continue his destruction of this once great entity …

PayPal claims PayPal Is Not a Payments Processor!
http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=24148

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: JS

Wed Dec 7 18:56:59 2011

Not sure if anyone realized it was one year to the day after they froze and siezed wikileaks, then was caught in another world class lie about why they froze those funds. It's on the forbes article.  http://onforb.es/rRKZFV

As of  right now I still don't see where they made good on their supposed donation. I suspect that may have been 'conditional' though. Perhaps if Regretsy took down their blogs?

Are you still all smiles, Anuj Nayar? You think stealing from kids is funny, do ya?

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: JoeS

Wed Dec 7 19:13:45 2011

A friend of mine filed a complaint with the California Attorney General's Office several years ago regarding shady practices by ebay/paypal and never heard a thing.

You know government agencies have probably been bombarded by people complaining about ebay/paypal's shady dealing over the years and you rarely hear anything come of it.

What a sad world we live in when governments don't protect its citizens like that instead protect the big corporations because of their political contributions.

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: JS

Wed Dec 7 19:59:53 2011

There's an upate on the regretsy bog. Paypal actually ponied up the donation.

While I'm glad to see how things turned out, paypal can't buy any honor.

There are still more victims than you can shake a stick who don't have thousands of fanatic supporters.

They are still breaking laws. They still have questionable practices and policies.

Who will be the next to get paypal'd?

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Dec 7 21:51:40 2011

Regretsy update on PayPal donations:

http://www.regretsy.com/2011/12/07/paypal-update/

Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions   Regretsy Tangle with PayPal Raises Questions

by: un happy Ebayer

Wed Dec 7 22:08:53 2011

paypal is owned by ebay either one has no ability to pursue any plans but making profits.

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