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Some people... - MegaZone's Safety Valve — LiveJournal
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
Some people...
eryn_ From: eryn_ Date: July 2nd, 2004 04:45 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I don't like PayPal. They don't have the aura of trustworthy-ness. And periodically I hear horror stories from other people. That was enough to keep me from doing business with them.

Rumors of PayPal freezing accounts for censorship reasons reminded me that cash says: "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private" and there is a reason it says that. PayPal converts money into something that might be worthless if they change their minds. Not a risk to take with someone who appears untrustworthy and most everyone appears to hate. (Possibly that is like PDAs, you never hear about the people who love their PDAs, just the growling when something fails, so PDAs seem to have an enormous failure rate.)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 2nd, 2004 05:06 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Let me put it this way - PayPal moves nearly USD$5 billion a *quarter* and they have over 45 million registered accounts.

They have an extemely high user satisfaction level overall - but they also have a lot of very loud disgruntled users. Some of that is PayPal's own fault - in the early days they were so focused on preventing fraud that they tended to treat any user with suspicious activity like a criminal and made them jump through lots of hoops just to prove they were legit. They've mostly changed that now, but they're still working on customer service issues.

But a lot of it is because people don't read what they agree to so they get scammed either buying or selling and for some reason they expect PayPal to give them their money back as a buyer, or let them keep the money as a seller. That just doesn't make sense. PayPal actually will do that, to a degree, if you follow their Buyer or Seller Protection programs - but a lot of people don't follow the rules. But these people blame PayPal and run around the next telling anyone who will listen how evil they are.

Then there are the conspiracy theorists who claim PayPal is just one big scam and they make all their money by 'freezing' innocent accounts. Uh, yeah... right. I love it when these same people pimp for other payment companies like StormPay or FirePay, which are fishy at best (the guy behind StormPay was tied to an MLM scam), or other sites which were/are outright scams "They promise they're better than PayPal! PayPal sucks! Use this site instead, they roxx0r!" Then a couple of months later the same people are saying "Hwy, what happened to Site X? They closed down and all my money is gone!"

I don't know of PayPal blocking anything for censorship reasons. They do not handle payment for adult goods, online gambling, etc. But that's not a moral issue, it is a business issue. The majority of the fraud cases PayPal had to deal with came from those market segments. After analyzing where they're greatest fraud exposure was they decided the returns on those segments of the market weren't worth it, so they dropped them. Talking to people at PayPal dropping those areas killed something like 90% of their fraud rate, for a much lower percentage of their business. It was all about cutting their losses.

PayPal certainly isn't a perfect company, but I don't really see a good reason to not use them. There are precautions I'd take depending on the level of business being done, but fewer than 1% of their users will ever have any trouble. And most of those users will have it cleared up fairly painlessly - and usually users have done something to get the hairy eyeball. Sure, innocent users get caught in the net sometimes - but if they follow the rules in the user agreement and work with PayPal to clear things up it is rare that any real harm is done.

And I say this while working for a PayPal competitor. What's bad for PayPal is often good for us - people still look for payment systems, and if they fear PayPal they may use Pay Cash. But it bothers my sense of justice I suppose to see so many people making false accusations against them. They have real issues, sure - the problem is those don't get any real attention amidst the din.
eryn_ From: eryn_ Date: July 2nd, 2004 07:03 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I don't often have a need to do online shopping with small companies. Just about the only things I can see that I would want PayPal for are donations to various sites I would like to support. Most of those end up finding a way for people to mail checks.

I agree with you that the negative reputation they have is probably exaggerated and due to stupid-user error. I read through their policies, restrictions, promises, etc. and decided I did not want to deal with them. Which is exactly what you're upset that other people aren't doing. You don't care that people don't like it, just that they don't like it for reasons they should have known about in advance if they weren't braindead.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 2nd, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Pretty much. If you don't like the terms, don't use the service. That's cool. But people who bitch about the terms after agreeing to them and using the service just need a cluestick.