PayPal wins Grinch award with Regretsy donation shutdown

PayPal offers a "Donate" button, but when April Winchell used it on her Regretsy site to raise money for gifts for needy children, PayPal shut her account. Big mistake, but things are better now.

True, Regretsy doesn't look like a charity site, and is in fact a commercial business. They've also worked with PayPal for over 10 years. Winchell pointed out in her conversations with PayPal their guidelines don't say the user of a Donate button has to be a non-profit, just "a worthy cause." PayPal did take their cut, of course, apparently more than once.

Shutting down a fundraiser during the holidays is about the worst PR a company can get, and PayPal was showered with condemnation from across the Web in short order. Now, PayPal has reinstated Regretsy, released the funds they withheld, and made a donation of their own. But the flood of negative comments shows many people are unhappy with how the eBay-owned PayPal has handled their success.

Hatred unleashed

I despise PayPal the company. The transaction capability is superb when it works. But if at any point you have to deal with the company, its policies or appalling customer service model and phone systems, look out.

Alex Manchester on techcrunch.com

Paypal is the worst online transaction company in the history of the internet. They are well known to rip people off and provide zero customer support.

Teknohe on cnn.com

Paypal is the shadiest of mainstream internet companies. You're better of doing business with organized crime.

nickmb on news.ycombinator.com

PayPal has absolutely lost user trust.

David Murphy on techcrunch.com

And another thing...

Paypal is a bank. A real Bank. Which makes it even more despicable.

Philip Lindblom on techcrunch.com

As of right now, PayPal has announced its INTENT to donate, but no actual donation has been received.

maiorano84 on cnn.com

Yes, after paypal not only froze the Santa account (after charging fees for the donations THREE TIMES), they froze her personal account in retribution for her blogging about the debacle,

dynomoose on cnn.com

They're not so bad

Paypal is trying to do more by requiring actual identification to open an account (to combat money-laundering) and add more security steps (to prevent unauthorized use) but it's a constant battle between security and convenience.

Jake Mercurio on techcrunch.com

Without wanting to justify Paypal's actions wouldn't it be easy to launder money through Paypal if they let you so easily mark a 'suspicious' transaction as legit?

dazzawazza on news.ycombinator.com

Just another example of how much good will a bureaucratic blunder can cost a company in a couple of days.

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