Why Paypal Sucks



URL : http://www.betanews.com/article/PayPal_Blocks_Hurricane_Relief_Funds/1125880826

PayPal Blocks Hurricane Relief Funds

It’s no secret that the widespread destruction of Hurricane Katrina was exacerbated by delayed relief efforts, but the latest victims of bureaucracy are those individuals simply trying to help out. Humor site Something Awful raised almost $28,000 in less than 9 hours - right up until PayPal froze the funds.

Something Awful’s dedicated community may call themselves “goons,” but they have historically been quick to respond when needed. The site previously raised $22,000 to fund armor plating for soldiers in Iraq. And the disaster unfolding in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf coast was no exception.

With its main Web servers located in downtown New Orleans and offline due to flooding, Something Awful founder Rich Kyanka asked visitors to donate to the Red Cross from a temporary page explaining the situation.

“Some people are emailing me, asking if they can donate to SA to help with our server move and downtime and temporary hosting and stuff. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine,” Kyanka wrote. “If you really want to make a difference, donate to the SA Red Cross Relief Fund link above. They need it more than we do.”

Unable to take credit card payments directly due to his site being down, Kyanka set up a PayPal account specifically to handle the effort. Donations poured in at a rate of almost $3,900 per hour - an astounding number from any perspective.

That is, until PayPal shut down Something Awful’s donation account late Saturday evening. Because PayPal’s customer support was closed for the night, Kyanka was unable to discover why $27,695.41 in Red Cross relief funds were locked. PayPal’s automated system explained that it had received “more than one report of suspicious behavior from your buyers.”

In the interim, Something Awful directed visitors to donate directly to the Red Cross. Kyanka said he originally setup Something Awful’s own fund so he could send free merchandise such as hats and t-shirts to those who donated.

Explaining the situation on Something Awful’s temporary Web site, Kyanka exploded: “It’s not me you’re hurting; it’s the thousands of goddamn people with no homes, no money, and no hope fleeing a burning, flooded wasteland they used to call “home.” I wasn’t going to take a single cent of the donations, unlike PayPal, who decides that when people send money to help victims survive a national disaster, their company should still make over 2.35% of everything sent in.”

Kyanka reached a PayPal customer support agent Sunday morning and was asked to fax in a driver’s license, bank records, credit card records, and a written request to unlock the account. He was told it generally takes 3 to 5 business days to process the documents.

Another PayPal representative called Kyanka Sunday afternoon, offering to help resolve the problem. However, she also delivered some bad news: PayPal was unable to directly donate to the Red Cross. Due to prior agreements, the United Way is PayPal’s relief organization of choice.

After initially agreeing to the charity swap, members of the Something Awful community questioned the United Way’s record. And with no word of when the donations would be freed, Kyanka contacted PayPal and “asked them to refund everybody’s money.”

“All I tried to do was raise money and personally reward people for donating in a time of need, and it turned into a smoldering, twisted, burning car wreck along the highway. I’m beyond apologetic this did not work out the way I planned, but the pure hassle PayPal has given me trying to raise money just isn’t worth it, especially when it could take over a week for the money to be unfrozen,” Kyanka wrote in a final update.

“Please donate using the Red Cross link up top. I can’t send you guys any free stuff, but I promise I’ll sit here in my basement with the lights off, drinking a beer by myself and thinking of you.”

:Z :Z :Z


Hmm, one more reason to hate Paypal, what assholes!


Dang . . . are there alternatives to PayPal?


Moneybookers is an alternative (if I got the name right).


paypal has a bad habbit of freezing accounts


Well, there’s enough fraud on the Internet that I’m actually quite glad that PayPal’s systems have automatic safeguards like this. The downside are the false positives, but it’s nothing too serious (at this moment in time, none of that money is going to be useful anyway; only in the long run will it be of any use, so they can afford to take their time on this).

And PayPal isn’t singling them out with the 2.35% fee; if they had done the donations through a credit card company, they’d be charged that fee anyway, and how would PayPal’s automated system know if a payment account is used for commercial or non-commercial purposes? PayPal’s website does have a donation thing that will let people donate to UW with all transaction fees waived; I guess it’s just a matter of bureaucracy that they can’t set it up like that for SA, which is unfortunate, but I wonder how much of that is because PayPal is genuinely evil, how much of that is because PayPal has a bureaucracy, and how much of that is because of the myriad of regulations that govern the financial system; I would guess the latter two.

I think that SA telling people to donate direct is a better way to do it; too many middlemen like SA will just tangle things up (while I’m sure that SA is legit and genuine because I myself visit that website now and then and I trust them, I won’t be surprised if there are other people out there who are not so genuine who may be trying to capitalize on this).


Paypal is really bad…


I have visited this site before seeing this thread ;). The site is great and you will find many thing there. Visit this site for more information abount that…


Lol … happens alot I hear :slight_smile:


I too have been burned badly by Paypal, so I have begun to search for Paypal alternatives like this site I found. It seems to make a lot of sense what is being said about Paypal. Why is it OK for Paypal to have total control of MY money, anyway? It’s my hard earned money, and I’m not about to become yet another bad Paypal statistic that gives them even more money in their already full pockets.


[QUOTE=ahsan16;1699378]Paypal is really bad…


I have visited this site before seeing this thread ;). The site is great and you will find many thing there. Visit this site for more information abount that…[/QUOTE]

But the “best thing” is that at this website a “better alternative” is linked under each story. Sounds for me like “PayPal is no good, therefore use our service”. It looks like they will find new customers in this way.

The site is definately not independend. If this site would have been independend they would not link the “better alternative” under each story.

And by the way who says this stories are really true? I could also write a few stories about problems with PayPal…

I will not say PayPal is perfect and never makes mistakes. But AboutPayPal hass a kind of bad taste for me… :rolleyes:


TM that is spam


3 weeks ago Paypal authrized $1000 worth of charges to a Sony dealer in Brazil using my credit card number that was stolen from a security flaw at IBS Electronics website. They acknowledged that the persons information did not match the credit card information but they still authorized the payments. My bank, People’s United, has refused to honor Paypal’s charges and has refunded me all money. I will never deal with anyone except my bank. If my bank can’t get you the money then you are not going to be some one I deal with. Paypal just plain sucks.




On the contrary, I find Paypal a very easy and secure way to sell everything from my sons old toys to my drives that I do not use anymore, or just bought because I wanted to try for a month or so. I have had an account with them before they were bought by Ebay and I have never had an issue. 1 Time a guy tried to charge me State tax that was not going to be paid to the State and I reported it and they returned my money. I never keep more than a 100.00 balance and they make the transfer to my bank immediately all for a very small fee. Why do you think 90% of the power sellers select " Paypal Only" as an option, no company has a clientele that makes everyone happy, when you run a large business, especially one that is this large and does business with as many different types of people , I think they do a great job.


yeah i always select paypal for online transactions when its available. even for donations.


what about Google Checkout?


I also use PayPal and never had really problems with this service. A few weeks ago my account was locked for security reasons. But after contacting PayPal and sending them a view informations the account was reactivated after 24h.

I often use PayPal to pay stuff from ebay and also from other online sops accepting PayPal.


Paypal’s a lot like everything else out there - there’s some good stuff (convenience) and some bad stuff (things slip through the cracks)