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A better option than Paypal?

Back when we were prepping to move, I was vigorously selling off our worldly possessions on EBay- who, not coincidentally- owns PayPal.

When the items had been sold off and delivered to their respective buyers, I had the temerity to ask Paypal for my money.

They refused.

They weren't confiscating it, mind you- PayPal was just holding it to protect me. (BTW, this happened to famous author George RR Martin, too as he documented here).

To get my money, all I had to do was:
1) Re-prove I was who I said I was; including sending in manually photocopies of two forms of picture ID AND receiving a phone call at the landline phone number that corresponded to my mailing address in SOUTHERN California.

2) They felt is was their duty as part of buyer protection to contact everyEBay customer I had had in the past 90 days- by mail, thanks- and make sure my customers- who had already left me positive feedback on PayPal/EBay's system- were completely satisfied with the products they received from me- despite my being an EBay vendor for over 8 years.

3) For my further safety and convenience, they were also contacting all NON-EBay people who caused funds to be put into my account to confirm that they did so of their own free will and that I was not a potential fraudster.

I did eventually get access to the funds in question. I also spent over 8 hours on hold and in deep conversation with the underpaid drone thugs that work phones for EBay/PayPal and had, shall we say, other inconveniences.

As EBay/PayPal have set up a cute little operation that is exempt from banking regulations (No branches), they- in effect- can operate without legal supervision. The only way to get at them is by filing expensive lawsuits and, as most of the people they mess with are small fry, there have been only a few suits. Which, by the way, when someone actually gets to filing such, PayPal ALWAYS, 100% of the time, settles out of court.

Avoid doing business with PayPal if at all possible!!!

The above is why I am posting the below.

First Bank SD has a new service which competes with Pay Pal. One of the major differences between First Bank's Revolution MoneyExchange and PayPal is that, well, First Bank is a real bank and a member of the FDIC, which means that your money is insured up to $1000. It also means they have to comply with banking regulations, and can't pull the same shenanigans that PayPal has been frequently documented as doing. What's more, unlike PayPal, Revolution does not charge you a fee to receive payments. There are some fees, but all are avoidable. (Example: $2.50 fee for withdrawals by check, but ACH transfers to an existing bank account are free.)

Use a real bank: Revolution Money Exchange

If you sign up by clicking the button above, I will receive a referral bonus of $10. (Step 3: Profit!)

I appreciate the $10, but mostly this is about the spreading of a new gospel. I have no illusions these people are necessarily better, but as an actual bank, there are rules they have to play by and they don't charge for receiving money!

Alas, sign up is limited to residents of the US or those that can fake it, 'cos if you aren't USian, you are probably a terrormorist.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
I signed up, got a friend to sign up and did infact get the free $10! It's in my bank now, no worries. My only problem is getting buyers to sign up + use it. I have been battling paypal for 3 months now over "suspicious card useage" where they freeze my account until I call. Promise to fix it and then never do. The suspicious useage? Me running to the ATM everyday to drain the balance so they can't steal it !!!
Aug. 19th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
I've created a community paypal_hell Please join and tell your story.

Another option for online payments is Amazon Payment. I haven't used it yet, but I signed up and it already seems better than paypal. You can use a real credit card for your transactions. Real credit cards give you much more consumer protection than EFT bank transfers. In fact, under the EFTA, paypal could clean out your bank account and you'd have no legal recourse. It's very scary considering the way the way they treat their customers. It's unfortunate that paypal is so big. Not using it makes many online purchases difficult or impossible.
Aug. 19th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
BTW, I went and read through the user agreement for the money exchange thing you posted. I would be very wary of using that. If I'm understanding the user agreement right, if you purchase something using that account and then return it for any reason, there is a $35 charge to return the money to your account. They also don't stop payments from going through if you don't have enough money in the account. Instead, they charge you a $35 overdraft fee.

It does seem that Amazon Payments is still the best alternative that I can find http://payments.amazon.com
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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